Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Cindy Sheehan begins protest against the wars on Martha's Vineyard today

Peace Mom Cindy Sheehan lands on Martha's Vineyard today to demonstrate against the continued wars -- wars that continue despite a 'change' in the occupancy of the White House. Dave Cook (Christian Science Monitor) reports she will hold a news conference tomorrow "morning at the Oak Bluff's Elementary School on the island resort." Cape Cod Today adds that among the actions will be members of the peace movement sailing around Martha's Vineyard August 27 through the 29th:

Sheehan's purpose is to bring leaders together to stand as an acting 'Department of Peace'. She calls for immediate stipulations: "I am calling in the Peace Movement to encircle our country with our united demand for an immediate return of all U.S. forces around the globe. Bring every one of our troops home NOW! We need them in our families and towns. This world needs a permanent vacation from war."

Jake Berry (Cape Cod Times) also reports on Cindy's impending arrival and notes:

"The body bags aren't taking a vacation," Sheehan, a California native, wrote in a released statement. "As the U.S.-led violence surges in Afghanistan and Pakistan, so are the needless deaths on every side."
Sheehan will host peace vigils tomorrow and Saturday at Ocean Park in Oak Bluffs, with a news conference and media interviews in between. She will also lead a series of boat trips throughout the end of the week, hosting members of the public and the media in discussions of the wars on a ship, named the SS Camp Casey, after her son.
The boat trips, scheduled to run Thursday through Sunday afternoons out of the ferry port in Vineyard Haven, will last about one hour each, according to Bruce Marshall, a Sheehan spokesman.

The Iraq and Afghanistan Wars have not ended. They continue. Just yesterday John J. Monahan (Worcester Telegram & Gazette) quoted US House Rep Jim McGovern stating: "They are talking about leaving a pretty significant force behind and I'm worried about that. [. . . .] We still have 30,000 troops in Korea. We are going to leave 50,000 troops in Iraq. How do we sustain that? I think we need to get out of Iraq and let them run their own country."

A letter writer to the South Florida Sun-Sentinel Times explains it:

When I returned from Vietnam in the late 1960s, it seemed the deaths of soldiers and civilians were treated as though they were but the melodramatic nuance to somebody else's Aquarian Age. Today, the deaths seem cast as acceptable losses in the transition from the Bush to Obama policies. Protests are minimal, staunched by administrative promises proven insubstantial. One by one by hundreds, people are losing their lives, and still the wars go on. What was not accepted from Bush is tolerated from Obama.
The United States needs to leave Iraq and withdraw from Afghanistan, now. Accusations of isolationism don't wash while American soldiers and Iraqi and Afghani civilians die to prove the falsehood that intervention is peacemaking.
Jerry Maxham, Davie

Last week, Charlie Gibson issued the royal edict of "Enough already." Apparently grouchy due to the fact that no longer co-hosting Good Morning America means he's unable to nap on live TV, Queen Charlie Approximately showed just how nasty a TV reader who elected to leave the news department to go into entertainment (Good Morning America is produced by ABC entertainment) could be when forced to form an opinion that goes beyond, "Mmm. Smells good. In our next segment, we're joined by entertainer Joey Heatherton. And later, Shari Lewis joins us to talk about Lamb Chops brave battle with lint balls. Stay tuned!" Cindy responded to Charlie Gibson's nonsense and pointed out, "I certainly am not the anchor of a major network news show, but last time I checked, people are still dying at a heartrending clip in Iraq-Af-Pak. If my goal was '15 minutes of fame,' I could have gone quietly away a long time ago. I started because I wanted the wars to end, and I will figure I can go away when the wars end…but when is that going to be? In my lifetime, probably not."

We'll note this from IPA:

CINDY SHEEHAN, via Laurie Dobson
Available for a limited number of interviews, Sheehan, whose son Casey was killed in the Iraq war, drew global interest when she attempted to confront a vacationing George W. Bush at his Crawford ranch in August 2005. She went on to write Peace Mom: A Mother's Journey through Heartache to Activism and other books. Now, with President Barack Obama vacationing in Martha's Vineyard, Sheehan is traveling there. She was recently interviewed on MSNBC.

Said Sheehan: "I think that people are waking up to the fact that even if they voted for Barack Obama, he doesn't represent real change. July was the worst month for U.S. soldiers in Afghanistan. Innocent people in Iraq and Afghanistan are continuing to be killed in these wars. These policies were wrong when Bush was president and they're wrong now that Obama is president.
"Barack Obama is an intelligent person. Can we figure something out that doesn't involve killing innocent people, that doesn't destroy our soldiers?" Sheehan is scheduled to speak at a news conference on Wednesday at 11 a.m. at the Oak Bluffs Elementary School in Martha's Vineyard.
Sheehan now hosts an internet radio show and writes regularly at CindySheehansSoapbox.com.
Also see: "Public Opinion in U.S. Turns Against the War"

For more information, contact at the Institute for Public Accuracy:
Sam Husseini, (202) 347-0020; or David Zupan, (541) 484-9167

This morning Reuters reports a Baghdad roadside bombing injured four police officers, a Samarra roadside bombing claimed the life of 1 police officer and left another injured, a Baghdad sticky bombing left "a municipal official" and three bodygurads injured plus a civilian, another Baghdad roadside bombing injured four people and (dropping back to "late" Monday on the rest), 2 police officer shot dead in Baghdad in separate attacks, 1 Baghdad home invasion which resulted in 1 man ("university professor") being shot dead and a Mosul mosque invasion in which a child and cleric were wounded.

Lisa notes this from Chris Hedges' "This Isn't Reform, It's Robbery" (Information Clearing House) on ObamaInsuranceCare:

The bills now in Congress will, at best, impose on the country the failed model in Massachusetts. That model will demand that Americans buy health insurance from private insurers. There will be some subsidies for the very poor but not for anyone above a modest income. Insurers will be allowed to continue to jack up premiums, including for the elderly. The bankruptcies due to medical bills and swelling premiums will mount along with rising deductibles and co-payments. Health care will be beyond the reach of many families. In Massachusetts one in six people who have mandated insurance still say they cannot afford care, and 30,000 people were evicted from the state program this month because of budget cuts. Expect the same debacle nationwide.
"For someone my age who is making $40,000 a year you are required to lay out $5,000 for an insurance premium for coverage that covers nothing until you have spent $2,000 out of pocket," Himmelstein said. "You are $7,000 out of pocket before you have any coverage at all. For most people that means you are already bankrupt before you have insurance. If anything, that has made them worse off. Instead of having that $5,000 to cover some of their medical expenses they have laid it out in premiums."
The U.S. spends twice as much as other industrialized nations on health care -- $7,129 per capita -- although 45.7 million Americans remain without health coverage and millions more are inadequately covered. There are 14,000 Americans a day now losing their health coverage. A report in the journal Health Affairs estimates that, if the system is left unchanged, one of every five dollars spent by Americans in 2017 will go to health coverage. Private insurance bureaucracy and paperwork consume one-third, 31 percent, of every health care dollar. Streamlining payment through a single nonprofit payer would save more than $400 billion per year, enough, Physicians for a National Health Plan points out, to provide comprehensive, high-quality coverage for all Americans. But the proposed America's Affordable Health Choices Act of 2009 (H.R. 3200 in the House) will, rather than cut costs, add an estimated $239 billion over 10 years to the federal deficit. This is very good for the corporations. It is very bad for us.
The lobbyists have, as they did with the obscene bailouts for banks and investment firms, hijacked legislation in order to fleece the citizen. The five largest private health insurers and their trade group, America's Health Insurance Plans, spent more than $6 million on lobbying in the first quarter of 2009. Pfizer, the world's biggest drug maker, spent more than $9 million during the last quarter of 2008 and the first three months of this year. The Washington Post reported that up to 30 members of Congress from both parties who hold key committee memberships have major investments in health care companies totaling between $11 million and $27 million. President Barack Obama's director of health care policy, who will not discuss single-payer as an option, has served on the boards of several health care corporations.

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