For the past week Cindy Sheehan has camped outside George Bush’s ranch in Texas demanding the opportunity to ask him why her son Casey was sent to die in an illegal and immoral war.
Cindy says of her campaign, “We are gathering people together in this country who believe that this war is a mistake and our troops should come home.
“I know people have been frustrated, either sitting on the fence or apathetically sitting on the sidelines. I know before Casey was killed, I didn’t think that one person could every make a difference in the world. Now I know that isn’t true.
“Not only can one person make a difference, but one person, with millions behind her can make history.
“George Bush, you work for me. I pay your salary. Come out and talk to me. Anyway, I have a feeling you are about to be fired.
“Why should I want one more mother to go through what I’ve gone through because my son is dead?
“The only way he can honour my son’s sacrifice is to bring the rest of the troops home — to make my son’s death count for peace and love, and not war and hatred like he stands for.
“Tell me the truth. You tell me that my son died for oil.
“You tell me that my son died to make your friends rich. You tell me my son died to spread the cancer of Pax Americana, imperialism in the Middle East. You tell me that, you don’t tell me my son died for freedom and democracy.
“I don’t believe Bush’s phoney excuses for the war. I want him to tell me why my son died.
“If he gave the real answer, people in this country would be outraged — if he told people it was to make his buddies rich, that it was about oil.”
Bill Mitchell’s son Mike was killed in Iraq in the same battle with Casey Sheehan. Bill is in Crawford with Cindy. He says, “The death of any child is a devastating event for a parent. A piece of your heart dies when your child dies.
“So I just want to stop this. I don’t want to hear about anybody else dying, American or Iraqi.”
The anti-war movement in the US is gathering pace behind Cindy’s campaign. The huge media focus has pushed the 24 September protests — on the same day as the march in London — to the forefront of people’s minds.
Jason Miller, an anti-war activist from Kansas, said, “Ultimately George Bush bears the responsibility for the death of Casey Sheehan.
“But he is refusing to take just a few minutes out from his five week vacation on his Texas ranch to speak with Casey’s mother.
“He owes her and the rest of America an answer, but this evangelical crusader cannot summon the mettle to meet with her on his own doorstep.
“Following his example from Vietnam, his daughters remain stateside as Bush pontificates on the nobility of the cause for which 2,000 Americans have already died in Iraq.
“Support for the war continues to wane. According to a recent poll conducted by the highly respected, non-partisan Pew Research Centre, 51 percent of Americans believe that Bush deliberately misled the public about whether or not Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction.
“Some 58 percent of Americans now believe that the US will not be able to establish a democratic, stable government in Iraq and only 43 percent of Americans are now predicting a victory in Iraq.
“It is time to start bringing our troops home to safety and to stop the senseless slaughter of Iraqi civilians.
“Tragically, as was the case with Vietnam, there will be no happy ending to the tale of the Iraqi Invasion.
“Suffering, war, terror, and death are the bitter harvest the Iraqis are reaping, and the flag firmly planted in their soil is one of economic servitude to the American Empire.
“On 24 September United for Peace and Justice has organised a non-violent march to the White House to demand the end to the war in Iraq.
“What the proponents of the Iraq invasion do not realise is that peace and justice are inextricably linked.
“By invading and occupying a sovereign nation, America’s leaders have wasted many lives and vast resources, while fuelling antipathy toward the US and creating new terrorists.
“It is time for the United States to become a member of the world community rather than a murderous bully.”
Cindy Sheehan’s protest echoes the actions of Military Families against the War in Britain. It is a sign of hope that the storm against Bush is growing stronger.