Bless Her Heart...
So... Cindy Sheehan has given up.
I suspect that the anti-war movement for which she was a vociferous advocate, was a part of a process of grief. I have to, as a person who has processed grief myself more than once, wonder if her process is complete or nearing completion (though I know from losing my own only sibling, that for mothers- my own mother included- the pain and the loss never really completely processes).
The trouble is, that part of Mrs. Sheehan's personal process may have been to come to the truth, which is: that her son (bless him) served and died for nothing- for NOTHING legitimate, for nothing but GREED and that he along with my cousin Seth, and so many other precious members of our service, were caught up in this action of war for LIES. These service people are truly serving for nothing for there is little of our country left that is recognizable in terms of noble goals and inner light. I know that not everyone will see this as I do...your mileage may vary but, remember- there are many more today, who do see it this way, than even a year ago. I sometimes believe that even my own late father, a veteran of WW2 would see it my way if he was alive today.
The straw that may have broken the camel's back for Mrs. Sheehan (and many others of us at this point) is the investment of so much hope and energy of all kinds, in the Dems, thinking they'd change things. Instead we've all found that it appears to be merely the same deep rut different day, ultimately; the Dems didn't have the courage of the majority of Americans' conviction that: the war must end now, that there has been enough American blood spilled for greed and lies.
Aside from that, I seem to remember that she'd been having some health issues earlier in the year or late last year, so perhaps there are also physical, mental and emotional exhaustion issues that she needs to pay particular attention to, as her inner resources are becoming tapped out. It's a good time for taking time for herself and I wish her rest and wellness.
Personally, I find I am vascillating: between remembering that I knew clearly that even with an '06 Dem success, that truly it would likely only be a symbolic change perhaps with some minor inroads made, but that it'd be an extremely slow, difficult and a delicate process to change the direction of this country's careening path toward the ever-approaching cliff; that it'd be but a beginning movement, a step in the right direction back from the edge of the abyss. Yeah, I am vascillating between that realistic expectation and feeling outraged at the resistance of our Dem Congressional leaders to take more actual risks (instead of making "safe" votes that are nearly meaningless), to speak out more clearly (instead of triangulating), to take more clear actions (instead of backing off), to finally get some teeth and backbone. When I indulge that outraged feeling, I remember- I KNEW this would only be a very weak wobbly beginning step at best, to try to just begin to repair what's happened. Fact is, the Republicans spent decades setting themselves up- in all kinds of ways- to take advantage of any opportunities that came along, ready to pounce and to sink in their claws, not let go once latched and establish their strength- and they succeeded...while the Dems, even with just the paper thin majority they have, are still reactive instead of proactive- too little, too late, too safe- over and over again.
So who can blame Cindy Sheehan for feeling bereft of any wish to continue on with what must feel like a pointless effort? I sure as heck don't blame her a bit. Bucking the status quo takes a toll. Feeling a sense of betrayal by those in whom one has invested trust, faith and hope...takes a toll. She is a human being like every human being- even those who are Republicans- yes, even they will eventually draw a line between themselves and the actions of the Bush administration (because I know for myself that in my community most Republicans are good people and actually, when we talk, we find we are alot more close in beliefs than even they would want to admit to. I am glad we find common ground more often than not.)
I think of Mrs. Sheehan's son Casey, and I think of my cousin Seth Dvorin- another soldier lost in this war, and I just wonder what they'd be doing today if not for their joining up out of the wish to serve after the LIHOP (let it happen on purpose)/MIHOP (made it happen on purpose...and yes, I believe it was one or the other...or both, and I don't feel a bit of hesitation saying so) PNAC's golden opportunity that happened on 9/11/01, among other reasons. I think of the ones who served and did come home, totally changed in body, mind and spirit, gradually coming to the realization that they are screwed out of any kind of semblance of normal life (let alone the benefits, care and support they deserve as they try to reintegrate)... but for the life-changing experience of (this bogus) war.
Oh I could go on and on...but I won't- on second thought I have a couple more things to say, so thanks for bearing with me just a bit further:
And yes, I know that these soldiers signed up of their own free will and I've observed how easy it is for so many to dismiss and scoff sincere expressions of sympathy and support for those who've made that decision join up, for whatever reason. I am truly amazed by that attitude of, "They knew what they were signing up for...". Doesn't mean they were no less surprised to learn that their own country sold them down the pike, even if they do know.
And just so- I know that men and women sign up motivated by many reasons...promises from recruiters about money, career possibilities, training etc...and yes, for patriotism and the wish to protect this country at a time of fear and uncertainty. Some even find self-discipline and purpose in the structure of the military, while still others are successful in avoiding prosecution for foolish acts of youthful stupidity. And yes, there are those who harbor the ugly racist reasons-- like the urge to kill "ragheads". There are so many different reasons; probably as many reasons to join up as there are soldiers.
Even so...our soldiers trust that their CIC, and We, the People have their backs- that is, when they swore to uphold our Constitution from threats foreign and domestic, they thought they could clearly trust that:
1- They'd be deployed appropriately with a clear mission.
2- They'd the proper support of all kinds, including material, to carry out that mission.
I cannot stop feeling somehow partly, even if in a tiny way, responsible for the betrayal of these trusts.
As for "Support The Troops"...it's a phrase like all propaganda, that means nothing but sounds like something/everything important and makes everyone want to do to "fit" and identify with some nebulous, impotent, inaccurate ideal that is wrapped in the flag and in patriotism. The Congressional Dems (leaders and all) had an opportunity to do the right and the wise thing, but by their actions, they might as well just put yellow ribbon magnets on their foreheads or whatever, and proceed with the big nothing that they are accomplishing with added piety. Their recent indecisive nonaction in Congress regarding this war, have just about as much significance to the soldiers, their families- and to We, the People who put their fannies in their new jobs and cushy offices- as the influence of the passing of gas in a whirlwind. That's a whirlwind, we will all reap for allowing this betrayal of trusts, regardless of our party affiliation, our intentions, our phone calls and emails to our representatives, or our fervent faithful actions in protest of war or in support of peace, or our votes- there are consequences to all of this impotence- enough to go around to everyone!
I don't honestly know whether to be angry or to give up, myself, or to gawddam- pardon my language- fight on harder. Frankly, I'd rather die than let the war/fear-mongers think they've won, that we've finally shut up and acquiesced, and now they can rape the world as they wish.
So if average me is so tired and torn on so many levels that even I can't figure out what direction to take at this point, I don't find it hard at all to imagine that Cindy Sheehan is tired, and can do no more for now, than to stop in her tracks, sit down and take a look around to see where she is and what has happened in the last several years since her precious boy died, as compared to what she's done and been able to do in that same time... and try somehow to reconcile the emptiness in any gap she may perceive in the midst of it all.
It's called feeling sick at heart and there are alot of us out here, who share that feeling. This puts me in mind of the last verse and refrain of that old song, "The Great Mandala":
"We are free now, we can kill now,We can hate now, now we can end the world.
We're not guilty, he was crazy.
And it's been going on for ten thousand years!
Take your place on The Great Mandala
As it moves through your brief moment of time.
Win or lose now you must choose now
And if you lose you've only wasted your life."
...May we all find a new balance and a renewed path onward.