Posts Tagged Dick Cheney

TIME Surprises with 9/11 Victims Not Usually Seen

In a series of video interviews entitled [Beyond 9/11] Portraits of Resistance, TIME magazine includes the expected 9/11 survivors, first responders, family members of those who were killed.  They include those you’d have to classify as war criminals in the wake of 9/11, George Bush, Donald Rumsfeld, “Dick” Cheney and General Petraeus; other government and U.S. military personnel.

I found, out of the 40 people interviewed, 3 who are surprising, including two I consider friends and heroes.  They are:

Cindy Sheehan

Cindy Sheehan, 2011

Cindy Sheehan

Cindy Sheehan recounts her reaction to George Bush’s announcement that 12 Marines who died in Iraq in August 2005 had died “for a noble cause.”  She didn’t believe her son Casey, a reluctant soldier who was killed in Iraq in 2004, had been sacrificed for anything good.  Cindy’s actions in camping out in front of Bush’s ranch were such that millions cheered her on.

You can find her at Cindy Sheehan’s Soapbox.

James Yee

James Yee

James Yee, 2011

James was an Army Captain who became a chaplain for Muslim soldiers in early 2001.  When Rumsfeld opened Guantanamo to house men from dozens of countries as part of the “global war on terror,” James was assigned to be prison chaplain. The prisoners’ conditions, he says, were “not fit for animals.”

Soon, because he spoke up, he was disappeared into a brig in South Carolina, threatened with execution for speaking up against the conditions.  He fought his imprisonment, and eventually won an honorable discharge from the military.  James Yee is now the Executive Director of the New Jersey Chapter of CAIR, the Council on American Islamic Relations.

Ali Abbas

Ali Abbas

Ali Abbas, 2011

Ali was asleep on an Iraqi farm when bombs were dropped on his home by the American military in 2004.

“I lost my arms and my body is burned, and also my family is dead.  We were all asleep, 12 o’clock at night, and we heard the big noise.  The fire was all over us, I heard my family screaming.  I couldn’t see anything, but I could feel everything…I lost my father, mother and my brother, and 13 members of my family.”

Ali Abbas was resettled with a friend in England.

All of them are victims of the Bush regime’s “global war on terror” who have stood heroically against the abuses of illegitimate, immoral, unjust U.S. occupations.  I am glad they are recognized.

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Changing the Dynamic Because The World Can’t Wait

World Can’t Wait activists are intensely committed to stopping the “Bush” program.  Though we didn’t succeed in our collective efforts to drive out the Bush regime, we set a standard, on principle, for challenging the government not to carry out crimes in our names.

But having principles is only a start.  We want to stop the crimes.

Let me follow out one example.  We’re paying the price for not having forced Bush and Cheney from office in disgrace once the Abu Ghraib abuse became public. We were all against the shocking memos of the Bush legal torture team; the snarling Cheney refrain that water-boarding is a “no-brainer” and keeps “us” safe; the branding of every Muslim as a “terrorist”.  Torture opponents had the moral high ground during the Bush years.

Yet, we’ve allowed Bush to say, first, “We don’t torture;” then to get away with the legal cover-up.  And now the message from the neo-cons is open: “We must and will torture.”  14 months post-Bush, the Cheney approach sets the agenda, despite President Obama’s promises, and intentions, to shut down Guantanamo.

Obama himself is committed to indefinite detention, hence his refusal to allow habeas rights for detainees in U.S. detention in Bagram, and his defense of former Bush policies and CIA agents on the basis of “executive privilege”.  He’s a breath away from restoring military commissions as opposed to civilian courts, as the venue for trying Guantanamo detainees.

The most essential element to turning this climate and direction around, and getting back the moral high ground and political initiative, is a protest movement, coming from the people and the campuses.  The people who hoped that Obama would listen to us have been deeply discouraged and demobilized.  I would argue that he follows “national security” imperatives first, though he wraps the war-fighting in Nobel peace platitudes.

But for him to have to listen to the people’s demands, it’s imperative that the voices who oppose what was done under Bush back the demand to end the “global war on terror” with visible protest.  This is what World Can’t Wait is building.

You can join in and support this resistance now.

Arrow Sustain World Can’t Wait’s work!  Help spread this national movement.

ArrowJoin in protest Saturday March 20, marking the 7th anniversary of the US invasion of Iraq.  Washington DC, noon, The White House, or other cities nationwide.

Arrow Become a War Crimes Watcher; help bring the Bush era war criminals to justice by protesting wherever they appear publicly.

Arrow Get involved with the We Are Not Your Soldiers Tour, bringing Iraq & Afghanistan war veterans into high schools to help students resist recruiters.

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