The Costs of War
We who have made the "ultimate sacrifice" know the true cost of war.
By Cindy Sheehan
" -- -- This immoral invasion and occupation of Iraq
has cost the world so much. George and his reckless war of choice
have cost the American taxpayers billions of dollars that could be
better spent at home. Judging from Katrina, Iraq has cost our
country much of its security. It has cost the US any good standing
we enjoyed in the world community. It cost America the post 9/11
good will from almost the entire world. We Americans are the
laughing stock of the world community. Not only is our callous and
careless leadership disdained, but we the people are scorned because
we "re"-elected George for a 2 nd term and not only that, we are
allowing him to continue to mis-lead our country into ruin.
The price many of us are paying is so much costlier than the mere
monetary expense or loss of reputation. Over 2000 American families
have paid the price of our dear loved ones to the insanity. Over
15,000 of our young people are wounded with many, many of those
being amputees. The Veterans Administration estimates that over ¼ of
our children will come home with Post-traumatic Stress Disorder. I
believe that number is higher, because I know of many cases where
the military refuses to allow soldiers to seek treatment for PTSD.
Many of them are sent back to battle if they even dare suggest they
may be suffering from PTSD. Even if they are not wounded emotionally
or physically, or killed, our soldiers will not come home entirely
I was standing in front of the White House the other day when the
indictments against Scooter were handed down. I was helping to hold
a banner that said: Support our Troops: Bring Them Home Now.
When we received word of the indictments, many of us protestors
outside the White House were cheering with happiness and relief. At
last, someone could be held accountable for the lies that led our
country into a disastrous invasion of Iraq. But I wasn't cheering. I
put down my end of the banner and sat down on the curb and cried.
Scooter is just a lap dog for Cheney. He and this administration
don't do anything unless the dirty deed is analyzed and planned for
maximum damage to the offending party and minimum harm to Bush and
Co. The criminals in power meant to hurt Joe Wilson and his family
because Joe had the temerity and the audacity to call them liars:
and to do it with such intelligence and alacrity was too much for
the crooks to bear. If this crooked administration let Joe Wilson
get away with telling the truth and calling them liars, then who
would be next? Colin Powell? Judith Miller? The main stream media?
(It could happen).
I cried because there are people in this world who have lied about
smaller things and have been punished more harshly. I cried because
there was a shill of the right near me holding a sign that read "Put
Cindy in Abu Ghraib" when there are war criminals and immoral war
profiteers running amok in our country. I cried because George,
Dick, Condi, Colin, Alberto, Donald, Scooter, Paul, Karl, Judith,
O'Reilly, Hannity, Limbaugh, etc., lied about the reasons for
invading Iraq and because of their lies, my son, who rarely told
anything but the truth, is dead.
The liars and lies that led the US to invade Iraq are legion and
well documented. (Once, just for giggles, I put George Bush/Lies in
a Google search and 272,000 references came up). The lies to
maintain the occupation are the same. The liars are now starting to
beat the war drum for invading Syria.
A mom whose son committed "accidental" suicide in Iraq about 7
months ago called me this morning. She is beside herself with grief.
I remember that the 7 th month to the 9th month is the hardest. I
think this is true because the profound shock is starting to wear
off and the horrendous pain sets in. I so vividly remember the days
where I ached so badly I didn't know what to do with my pain. I was
afraid if I started screaming, I wouldn't be able to stop until
every blood vessel in my brain burst open. I was afraid if I started
to hit something, I wouldn't be able to stop until it was completely
destroyed. I was afraid that I would have to live every single day
with heartbreak so intense and overpowering that I would eventually
wear myself out from it.
The ninth month after Casey was killed was the absolute most
devastating for me. I remembered the first nine months of his
existence in my womb all warm and protected. How his dad and I
anticipated his birth with so much joy and expectation. In contrast,
the first nine months he was in the cold, cold womb of our mother
earth were so joyless, painful, dark and dismal. Having your child
murdered for lies, mistakes, and betrayals is so dark and dismal: no
one should have to endure what we are enduring.
I was able to reassure the mom in agony somewhat that if she could
get through about two more months, she would be able to breathe a
little and maybe smile a little and even mean it once in awhile.
We who have made the "ultimate sacrifice" know the true cost of war.
92 families found out in October, one of the bloodiest months of
this war. Seven of our brave troops were killed today and their
families will soon know how much pain the Bush administration's lies
will cause them and how much peace, sleep, and joy these same lies
For everyone else, this is the true cost of war:
Moms and Dads having their hearts and souls violently ripped out.
Overwhelming guilt is felt in relentless and pounding waves.
Husbands and wives sorrowfully and prematurely burying their life
partners. Days and nights ahead filled with loneliness and pain.
Brothers and sisters having integral parts of their history seized
so cruelly from them. Holidays, birthdays, and other celebrations
that will never be the same.
Sons and daughters unjustly denied the basic human right to grow up
with both of their parents.
Other family members and friends mourning and missing someone too
young to be killed in an occupation in which the war dead were sold
the bill of goods that they would be greeted with chocolates and
flowers from the Iraqi people as liberators.
A sovereign nation which was no threat to the United States of
America lies in ruins and tens of thousands of its innocent citizens
have been slaughtered just for the hell of it.
When are we going to stand up as a country and yell a collective:
"bull-shit?!!" I have been screaming this until my voice is getting
hoarse and people are getting sick of hearing it.
How much and how many more are we going to allow the serial liars to
rob from us?
I say not one more.
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