We go to Washington, DC to speak with antiwar activist Cindy Sheehan, founder of the group Peace of the Action, who has set up a camp near the Washington Monument calling on President Obama to end the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. Sheehan’s son Casey was killed while serving in Iraq on April 4, 2004. [includes rush transcript]
AMY GOODMAN: We go to Washington, DC to Cindy Sheehan. Her son Casey was killed while serving in Iraq on April 4th, 2004. Cindy Sheehan is the founder of the group Peace of the Action. That’s P-e-a-c-e. She has just set up a camp near the Washington Monument called Camp OUT NOW, calling on President Obama to end the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. She’s joining us from Washington, DC.
Cindy, welcome to Democracy Now! Why have you set up camp in Washington, DC?
CINDY SHEEHAN: Well, hi, Amy and Juan. Thank you so much for having me on today.
Well, we’ve set up camp because we believe, of course, that — we still believe that the invasions and occupations of Iraq and Afghanistan for the multinational corporations using our US military were wrong under the Bush administration, they’re still wrong under the Obama administration. For the last, you know, thirteen, fourteen months, the antiwar movement has been giving President Obama a free pass. And while that’s been happening, people are still dying, people are still being displaced, people are still being tortured and detained. And, you know, like the woman from Iraq said, it’s to steal the resources and wealth from these countries and put them in the hands of the multinationals.
So we’ve been struggling to keep this movement alive for the past year. And we just said enough is enough, and we need to go into the face of this military-industrial empire again and say, you have to do it on our timeline, the people’s timelines. Get our troops out of these countries. Let the people control their wealth, control their resources. Put them back to work. And maybe we can start to rebuild this country, where education is being gutted, healthcare is, you know, in extreme crisis, we don’t have jobs, you know, we’re losing our homes. And our economy is collapsing also. So we’re hoping not just to build a camp, but to rebuild this movement to have some kind of say in foreign policy.
JUAN GONZALEZ: And Cindy, why do you feel that the peace movement has, as you say, given the Obama administration a pass? What has contributed to sort of this deconstruction of the movement that was so strong during the Bush administration?
CINDY SHEEHAN: Well, you know, that’s a very good question, Juan, and I’ve been trying to analyze that and figure it out, too. Of course, nobody liked George Bush. Nobody was — you know, in the movement was happy with the Bush administration. Happy to see him go, we wanted to see him go in handcuffs instead of on the date when all presidents leave office. But a lot of people in the antiwar movement actually worked for Obama, thinking that he was going to be some kind of a change. So if you work for somebody and that person is elected, then you achieve your goal.
And so, even though Obama said he was going to send more troops to Afghanistan, Afghanistan has become the new — the new hot war. Iraq has become the new forgotten war. And so, as Iraq is winding down for US troops, people are still being killed there. People are still, like the woman said, being economically compromised. But General Stanley McChrystal has said that this is going to be a bloody year for everybody in Afghanistan. And we can’t give the Democrats a free pass. Obviously, the Democrats are not the party — are not an antiwar party. And we, the people, have to figure out that it’s not — that peace and war are not a bipartisan issue. It’s a systemic issue that we have to organize to resist.
AMY GOODMAN: Cindy Sheehan, we want to thank you very much for being with us on this seventh anniversary of the invasion of Iraq. She lost her son Casey six years ago on April 4th, 2004.
CINDY SHEEHAN: Thank you.