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  Code Pink Challenges White House

COMMENTARY:

Code Pink Challenges White House

by William Hughes
Reading an “Open Letter” to First Lady Laura Bush, Sarandon mocked President George W. Bush as a warmonger and derided him for calling himself “The Decider.”
Washington, D.C.--On Sunday, May 14, 2006, a colorful protest action sponsored by “Code Pink: Women for Peace” was staged directly in front of the White House. It included a mini-parade, a sing-along and plenty of roses waving around. The event, a 24-hour vigil, began the day before. Its theme was “Declare Peace on Mother’s Day.” On a warm but cloudy afternoon, it featured speeches, from 2 to 4 PM, by activists such as Cindy Sheehan, a leader in the “Gold Star Families for Peace" and Susan Sarandon, a member of the Screen Actors Guild and a celebrated film actress.

Sheehan said that this Mother’s Day has been wonderful, but “very emotional for her.” She related how a soldier came up to her earlier and gave her "an orchid as a present.” Sheehan continued that "Casey [her son who was killed in Iraq] had brought all of us together” and had given her “so many gifts.” She added that the activist community is “making a difference” and that the day will come when the Bush-Cheney Administration “will be held accountable and that we will bring the troops home.”

Susan Sarandon and Cindy Sheehan
One of the campaigns that Code Pink, a national organization, has launched is to get the junior Democratic Senator from New York, Hillary Clinton, “to listen.” According to Code Pink, she’s a pro-Iraqi War Lite in the image and likeness of Sen. John Kerry (D-MA). Code Pink activists are pushing her to sign on to a Resolution calling for bringing all the troops home, now. Clinton continues to vote to fund the war--a conflict based on lies. As of today, 2,439 brave American military personnel have died in the war, another 17,869 have been wounded. The cost of the conflict is now put at $280.8 billion, while Iraq, a country of 27 million, lies mostly in ruins, and its death toll may exceed 100,000.

Reading an “Open Letter” to First Lady Laura Bush, Sarandon mocked President George W. Bush as a warmonger and derided him for calling himself “The Decider.” She reminded Laura Bush that Americans really “don’t want their kids to go off to war and die.”

Sarandon was also one of the principal speakers at a large anti-war rally, which was held on the National Mall, on October 26, 2002. Since then, the Bush-Cheney Gang has been caught up in a web of sordid scandals, such as the disgraceful torturing of detainees at Abu Ghraib; spying on U.S. citizens; the Valerie Plame affair, featuring the Neocon, Irving “Scooter” Libby; and the case of the sleazy lobbyist and fixer, Jack Abramoff. Meanwhile, the administration is suspected, too, of creating a framework, via Homeland Security Agency and the Patriot Act, for a possible Police State.

Colman McCarthy, an ex-pundit for the Washington Post, said, “Unless we teach our children peace, someone else will teach them violence.”
Showing up for the event, with his bicycle in tow, was Colman McCarthy, an ex-pundit for the Washington Post. He said, “Unless we teach our children peace, someone else will teach them violence.” He is also the founder of the Center for Teaching Peace. Famed African-American Comedian Dick Gregory emphasized that “the power of mothers” was one of the “strongest” of all the powers and that, if harnessed properly, it is a power that could radically change the present pro-war attitudes. Karen Kwiatkowski also spoke at the rally. She is a retired USAF Lieutenant Colonel and a sharp critic of the Iraqi conflict. She recently worked in the Pentagon. “Our nation was marched into war based on lies and false patriotism.” she charged. Dr. Dahlia Wasfi, who has just returned from Iraq, said she was outraged that the “Mossad is training U.S. troops in Northern Iraq.” She also railed over the fact that while Paul Bremer was the Viceroy of Iraq he “couldn’t account for $9 billion” in funds from his tour of duty there. Meanwhile, she added, Americans were “’drowning” as a result of Hurricane Katrina because of the gross failures of the federal government to protect them.

On March, 2003, Ann Wright, a high-ranking diplomat in the U.S. Department of State, resigned her position rather than endorse the Iraqi War. She seemed to sum up the feelings of the hundreds of people in the crowd when she declared, to a loud round of applause, “It’s time to take our country back!”

The Ladies in Pink are making a critical difference on the issues. As they chanted out in unison, in front of the White House, “Stop the killings, not one more! Mothers say ‘no’ to war,” I could imagine their call being heard across America.


© William Hughes 2006. Hughes, a Baltimore attorney, is the author of Saying ‘’No’ to the War Party (IUniverse, Inc.). He can be reached at liamhughes@comcast.net.

AUTHOR NOTE: The splendid historian Will Durant considered Ancient Iraq (Babylon) to be one of the prime wellsprings of the culture of the peoples of the Christian West. He pointed out that it had sourced the “foundations of mathematics, astronomy, medicine, grammar, lexicography, archeology, history, and philosophy.” The Myth stories concerning the Creation, a God/Man rising from the dead, a Holy Virgin Mother and the Flood and Ark; the “Epic of Gilgamesh"; along with the legendary “Hammurabi-the-Lawgiver” also came from this sacred land. See Our Oriental Heritage, Vol. 1.


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This story was published on May 15, 2006.

 


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