Tuesday, June 21, 2005

CODEPINK's Stop The Next War Now (excerpt from Nancy Lessin's "Breaking The Code Of Silence")

My stepson Joe, a marine, was deployed with the Twenty-fourt Marine Expeditionary Unit in August 2002. He was headed for Kosovo. He told us he would be ending up in Iraq, and indeed he did. In September 2002, when the drumbeats for war were getting deafening, my husband, Charles Richardson, and I saw no good reason for the United States to be invading Iraq. We weren't convinced that mystery weapons of mass destruction, supposedly hidden somewhere in Iraq, were imminent threats to the United States. We saw no links between Saddam Hussein and Al-Qaeda. We didn't see how invading Iraq would address the terrible tragedy of 9-11 or solve the problem of terrorism. In fact, we believed that if the United States invaded Iraq, we were more likely to see more, not less, terrorism.
We saw that all those who were saying, "We've got to go to war!" weren't going anywhere. Nor were their loved ones. It was our loved ones who would be used as cannon fodders. We made our first poster in September 2002. It had Joe's picture on it, and it said, "Our son is a Marine. Don't send him to war for oil."
At an antiwar demonstration in Washington, D.C., in October 2002, we met Jeffrey McKenzie, a father whose son would be deployed in January. The next month, Jeff's family and ours formed an organization called Military Families Speak Out (
www.msfo.org). We wanted to break the code of silence, to use our special need to speak out -- and the special voice with which we speak -- to prevent an invasion of Iraq.

The above is from Nancy Lessin's "Breaking The Code Of Silence" in CODEPINK's Stop The Next War Now (page 11 is the source for the excerpt above).

For more information on Nancy Lessin, you can refer to a report from PBS's NewsHour and many reports at Democracy Now! -- I'd recommend " Military Families And Soldiers Speak Out Against War" and "Exclusive: Parents Mourn Son's Suicide After Returning From Fighting in Iraq" as a starting point." You can also check out Military Families Speak Out.

For those keeping track, we've excerpted Camilo Mejia's "Regaining My Humanity," Arundhati Roy's "Introduction," Medea Benjamin and Jodie Evans preface, and Alice Walker's foreword. In addition, Dallas has provided a list of all the contributors to CODEPINK's Stop The Next War Now.

We'll continue to note it, bit by bit, here. I hope if you haven't picked it up yet (either your own copy or a library copy) that you'll find something in the excerpt that makes you think and makes you want to check out the book.

On May 4th we noted this:

Code Pink has a book out entitled Stop the Next War Now. For more information, see Code Pink or BuzzFlash. The book contains contributions from a number of women this community has noted and highlighted. Among the contributors: Medea Benjamin, Amy Goodman, Barbara Lee, Naomi Klein, Eve Ensler, and Arianna Huffington.

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