“At first, I thought ‘How dare you say that about my America,’ she said looking at me through squinted eyes, “but then I saw it, our arrogance will be the end of us.”
She explained to me how she and her husband voted for Bush. She said they were conservative and watched Fox News regularly; however, something touched her in seeing and hearing everyday people from around the world talk about her beloved country as a bully; a hypocrite. Something touched her when faced with the sobering charge of War Crimes and the images of torture at the hands of Americans under orders from the US Government. Something touched her that day that made her think about what she thought she knew.
This woman said these things to me after watching a test screening of a new documentary called Internationally Speaking.
I’ve been doing this, political activism, a short time, relatively; but it never ceases to amaze me how much people care. How one instant, one piece of information can open a person’s mind to something they didn’t see before.
More and more American citizens are losing support for Bush and losing support for this war in Iraq. They are learning certain things, with increasing speed. These things the activist community knew before the war started: that we were opening a dangerous can of worms by attacking Iraq.
Cindy Sheehan knows how one instant can change your life forever. Other Mothers who have lost sons know. Now Mothers and Fathers and Sisters and Brothers are learning this before it’s too late. Still there are those who think their voice is futile.
Last week at the post office I was speaking with a Postal worker about Camp Casey. “I respect what she’s doing,” the woman had said to me, “but he’ll never talk to her. He can’t, because then he’ll have to talk to everyone.”
I said. “Exactly. Cindy Sheehan deserves answers. This country deserves answers.”
“I have three sons in Iraq,” the woman told me, “one of them – it’s his third time over.”
“You should go to Crawford!” I replied.
“Well, my sons aren’t dead… yet”
I told her that was the best time to go – before they died. It’s getting to that point, folks. People are starting to wake up and speak up before it hits their little box of reality.
As Cindy said, “If you fall on the side that is pro-George and pro-war, you get your ass over to Iraq, and take the place of somebody who wants to come home. And if you fall on the side that is against this war and against George Bush, stand up and speak out.”
It’s far passed time to speak out, America – stand up in solidarity with Cindy. Speak out in your local communities. Write letters to the editor. Let’s generate a sound heard around the world – “America says NO to this war. America says NO to torture and abuse. America says NO to occupation. America says NOT ONE MORE PERSON WILL DIE because of this war.”
Speak up, America. Stand up. Let’s roll.
Christine Rose is an activist and filmmaker.