Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Cindy Sheehan's disgust

Here's a link to Cindy Sheehan's full post on DKos.

Although I can never ever possibly know what it's like to lose someone in a war, I can sympathize with Sheehan's frustration. It's sad to see someone as genuine and passionate as Sheehan get chewed up and spit out by the system.

As she says:

The most devastating conclusion that I reached this morning, however, was that Casey did indeed die for nothing. His precious lifeblood drained out in a country far away from his family who loves him, killed by his own country which is beholden to and run by a war machine that even controls what we think. I have tried every since he died to make his sacrifice meaningful. Casey died for a country which cares more about who will be the next American Idol than how many people will be killed in the next few months while Democrats and Republicans play politics with human lives. It is so painful to me to know that I bought into this system for so many years and Casey paid the price for that allegiance. I failed my boy and that hurts the most.

One point Sheehan makes here is that a lot of the Progressive left abandoned her when she started criticizing the Dems for their political cowardice and stupidity and utter failure to end the war despite the huge mandate they were clearly given in November to do so. I share Sheehan's frustration with the two party system, and while I was in college and for a few years afterwards, I was involved in third party politics. The trouble with third parties is that a) there are way too many of them and they mostly have about 4 members each, b) none of them get along enough to work together, and c) the whole electoral system is so utterly and completely stacked against third parties that you have to be a millionaire like Perot or Mike Bloomberg to even consider a run. Even Ralph Nader couldn't break 10% of the vote, and he had basically a national campaign. I myself worked for David McReynolds, a great peace activist with the War Resister's League and the Socialist Party's candidate for president in 2000. The SP-USA couldn't even get on the ballot in most states. That's just ridiculous.

Anyway, I salute Sheehan's courage, and I sympathize with her frustrations. I don't feel that I have the right to criticize her decision to quit her fight, because I really can't put myself in her place, I can't know what she's had to go through to make this decision. I hope she continues to speak out in whatever way she feels she can, and I urge all activists to take Sheehan's core point to heart: apathy is fatal.