The activist community center, Crawford Peace House is hosting Camp Casey. We speak with Peace House spokesperson Hadi Jawad. [includes rush transcript]
Hadi Jawad works for the Crawford Peace House, which was founded two and a half years ago. Jawad says the Peace House and efforts like Camp Casey are reaching out locally to residents of the conservative town of Crawford.
- Hadi Jawad, Crawford Peace House
AMY GOODMAN: We wrap up today with Hadi Jawad. He is co-founder of the Crawford Peace House. When we came in last night, driving on George W. Bush Highway, we then went over to the Crawford Peace House. Welcome.
HADI JAWAD: Welcome to you. Thank you for coming to Crawford. We invited you about five months ago up in Dallas, if you remember. So really glad you are here.
AMY GOODMAN: Well, I’m glad to be back. Can you talk about the Peace House? Talk about this community that Crawford — that the ranch resides in?
HADI JAWAD: It is remarkable, what’s happening here in Crawford, Texas. Of course, we opened our doors about two-and-a-half years ago on Easter Sunday, 2002, and we told Cindy that we have been waiting all this time for you and everybody else to show up, and we are so glad they did. This is — could be a pivotal moment in the direction of our country. She is encapsulating and voicing what millions of Americans have in their hearts. As your listeners know, 60% of Americans now have deep misgivings about the current administration’s Iraq war policy, and Cindy has become the voice for that dissent and galvanizing millions around the country and around the world.
AMY GOODMAN: Can you talk about this little piece of land in the world, Crawford, the place where President Bush bought this property to vacation and to call his second home; what the people of Crawford are like; their reception to you at the Peace House, which is here permanently, and to Camp Casey, that has just been set up?
HADI JAWAD: The President’s ranch is about eight miles north of the city of Crawford, which a very, very small town, actually. This is a strongly, staunchly pro-Bush territory. When we first came here, and still to the day, the people of Crawford, and we have no doubt in our minds that this has created a big disruption in the lives of the people of Crawford, and we do everything we can to minimize the disruption that these folks face any time people like us come to Crawford.
In our opinion, the western White House, had it not been for the Crawford Peace House, would have been able to carry on their business without anybody offering any objections or ideas that are not in agreement with this administration’s policy, so we felt imperative that we — that somebody be here in Crawford to speak out when this administration speaks out.
We have tried to make inroads into the community in Crawford and around Crawford. We have made many overtures to the folks to come and sit down and break bread with us and dialogue with us and discuss with us the issues not only facing Americans, but people around the world. We have made many inroads, overtures to the clergy and said, you know, please, try to find — we want to find out who you are. Please come and talk to us. Unfortunately, we have not had much success.
AMY GOODMAN: Although one local paper here did not endorse President Bush, and then you have this other paper called The Iconoclast in town.
HADI JAWAD: The Iconoclast catapulted to worldwide attention when it endorsed John Kerry in the last elections. I don’t mean to indicate that there’s nobody in this area that’s not supportive. For example, we have Mr. Fred Mattlage, who is related to the gentleman who fired the shots, came to the Peace House three days ago and said that he was ashamed by the actions of his cousin. He brings shame not only to his family, but to all Texans, because this is not what Texas hospitality is all about, and offered us very graciously his land for Camp Casey to move to, which will be happening today, as you know. The whole camp is going to move to a new location, and in our opinion, it’s an escalation from our point, because we will have semi-permanent quarters.
AMY GOODMAN: Hadi Jawad, thank you so much for being with us.
HADI JAWAD: Thank you, Amy.
AMY GOODMAN: Hadi Jawad is the co-founder of the Crawford Peace House. As we wrap up here today, this weekend, Lance Armstrong is coming to the ranch. He will be riding with President Bush on bicycles. He has also come out against the Iraq war, said the money would be better spent on, well, budgets like the National Cancer Institute. Yes, Lance Armstrong, a cancer survivor. On Saturday night, Steve Earle is going to come here and play, and on Sunday, Joan Baez will also be bringing the music to this community. And the events here just continue to evolve. Today a religious ceremony will take place, religious leaders of different faiths walking past the crosses of more than 800 service men and women who have died in Iraq.