Critical Responses to Sir! No Sir!
Camp Democracy, Day Three and Day Four
Marble, marble everywhere – and not a drop of human decency to be found.
Well, what a horrible experience I had lobbying. It was much harder and much more emotional for me than any prior experience. I was in tears at several points in the day. What really got to me was the look of total non-concern for all the horrible things that this Republican White House and Congress has done. They flat out do not care who they hurt or who gets killed, as long as it isn’t them. The only senator I came face to face with was Mr. Graham. When I said to him “I don’t think you care about these things” he goes and puts his hand on my shoulder and patronizingly says “I think I know what I am doing.” He then turns and walks into his office and I say as the door is shutting “My god forgive you.” No response to that, or the fact that I am in tears. I think I know what he is doing too – and it is called EVIL. I not only gave him one of my letters to Republicans, I also gave him a copy of a blog post (about Senator Graham) from the blog “A Lie A Day.” Someone from South Carolina writes this blog.
In all the offices I went to, I stated that I wanted to see the end of secret prisons, torture, kidnapping, rape, holding people without trial or charges or evidence, and wars of aggression based on lies. My letter and my statements let them know just what I think of all of them – not much.
I was surprised at how emotional I became while doing this lobbying, since I have done it several times before without that happening. I think perhaps it is because we finally have undeniable proof that the US/CIA is running secret prisons around the world – Bush admitted it. And he admitted it without a shred of shame or even a minor awareness of just how evil and barbaric those secret prisons are. They have no ability to understand how counter-productive such barbaric acts truly are.
I lobbied in the senate offices until 2:30 and then went over to the representative’s offices to talk with James Thomas, who is legislative assistant to Representative Taylor. He is thick as a brick himself. He did agree that there are secret prisons being run by the CIA around the world, although I am sure he would have denied it two days ago. Pretty hard to deny it now that Bush admitted it. Anyway, Mr. Thomas would not agree that torture or murder was taking place in those prisons, even though I gave him a story that had a former “detainee” (in actually, he was a kidnap victim) telling of the torture he received. (There are also reports of murders, but obviously, those murdered people can no longer tell their story.) That man was released without charges. The story I gave him also said that another innocent man had been kidnapped and sent to Syria for torture. Mr. Thomas apparently thinks only nice behavior is taking place in our “secret prisons.” Also, every time I brought up how horrible things are in Iraq, he would say “don’t you want the Iraqi people to have freedom and democracy?” He is totally buying into the myth that we are there to do good for the Iraqi people, and if any bad things happen (this is true for torture also) it is just a few bad apples. What a load of horseshit he feeds himself daily! He is part of that 15% who believe in AMERICAN EXCEPTIONALISM. That is, no matter how may acts of horror that Americans are shown to have done, he will excuse it as necessary to achieve the wonderful things we are bringing the victims of horror. (I bet he would believe that if it was done right in front of him also. I guess he thinks they are having tea parties at those secret prisons.)
Well, it is truly a sad shame that all the wonderful acts of goodness that the US military and the CIA are spreading around the world are not visited on Mr. Thomas’s family. If that were to happen, maybe, just maybe, he would wake up. If such acts of horror (like kidnapping people and holding them without charges or trials, torture, rape, murder, keeping them in secret prisons, war, bombings, shootings, chaos, mayhem, etc) were to come to his family via a foreigner, then he would feel entitled to retribution and revenge and calls for justice. The fact that his own government is doing this to other innocent people does not even inspire him to call for justice or call for the government to stop. And he is the aid of the guy who is supposed to represent me in my government! Instead, all they represent is evil.
May God forgive them.
After this trying day, I was not feeling energetic to go back to Camp Democracy or to go hear the former president of Iran speak here in DC. It is now Friday night (as I write this) and even writing it up is so very tiring. I guess all good people get tired trying to deal with evil.
So, one Republican Congressman and the staff of another 50 Republican Senators don’t give a damn about the suffering of the Iraqi people. They are not only blind, obtuse and evil, but they are also dangerous: they would inflict this suffering on other people without a second thought. I don’t know how to reach them or wake them up, and I fail to understand how they ever got elected. I do know that I have to take care of myself, and this is impacting me too negatively, so I will no longer go to DC and lobby the evil ones. I will have to stick to writing letters or postcards.
Friday September 8, 2006
I went to FCNL offices to see Laura and to pick up some War Is Not The Answer posters. I showed her my letters to the Senators, and admitted what I have written in them is not very “Quakerly”. They are pretty hard hitting and ugly letters, except of course for the letters to the GOOD DEMOCRATS. There were only 23 of them. I went back to the Hart Senate office building and finished up the lobbying. Today seemed to go much better. I wore my IMPEACH BUSH & CHENEY tee shirt today, and only one person said something to me in an elevator. She said she liked the shirt. FCNL gave me some flyers for Camp Democracy. One of those flyers talks about what you can do to promote world security, and they advocate doing this by – you guessed it – lobbying your elected representatives by phone, mail or visiting. I agree with them that it is important to keep the pressure on! I know I have done my share of that, but as long as there is only one or two thousand of us doing it, we won’t get very far. Now, if there were one or two hundred million who did this, things would change fast.
Anyway, I headed over to Camp Democracy this afternoon. They had a line up of speakers and various topics today, and they also had someone there doing a live radio broadcast. First thing I did there today was buy a “We Will Not Be Silent” tee shirt, which I really wanted to do. I sat in on the labor movement against the war and heard about how they brought over Iraqi labor union leaders to meet with US labor union leaders. They have a movie out called “Meeting Face to Face” and there is more information at www.meetingfacetoface.org. I bought the DVD “Sir, No Sir” when I realized that I would rather hear the Camp Democracy speakers than go to a showing of that movie at the Black Congressional Caucus convention (which is also going on). I hope to show this movie, and the film from the US/Iraqi labor meetings, someday in Asheville.
There was also a presentation on depleted uranium (DU), which was very sad and very upsetting. There is more information about that through Veterans for Peace and at www.info-mission.org
We heard today that there would be an open house at the Pentagon tomorrow at 10. I plan on going to that.