Stuck in Stage Two by Cindy Sheehan

Iraqi Mother and Son--Nameless to us.

Casey Sheehan, not just a number.

The 5 Stages of Grief:
1)   Denial
2)   Anger
3)   Bargaining
4)   Depression
5)   Acceptance

In 1969, Swiss psychiatrist, Elisabeth Kubler-Ross published a groundbreaking book called: On Death and Dying. The five stages of grief listed above are called the Kubler-Ross Model and were originally designated for people who were diagnosed with a terminal illness but were extended to anyone who has suffered a major loss such as: losing a limb, losing freedom, or a death of a close loved one.
Subsequent studies have shown that most people suffering such a profound tragedy go through at least two of these stages, some go through all, few go through in the order the stages are listed, there is no set time-frame, but the theory is, each “griever” finally reaches the final stage of “acceptance.”
As most of you who are reading this know, my son was killed on April 04, 2004, in the US’s illegal and immoral occupation of Iraq. He was a US soldier who enlisted to not only get college benefits, but also for some kind of misguided idea that he would be performing some kind of valuable service for his country. So far, in almost seven years of my grief, I have experienced the first two listed stages.
When we were informed by the military that Casey was killed in action in Baghdad on Palm Sunday that year, my “denial” stage lasted as long as I laid on our living room floor screaming, “Nooooooooo, nooooooooo, nooooooooo, not Casey,” over and over. It felt like an eternity, but it was probably only a couple of minutes. I don’t know, but I am surprised I didn’t burst capillaries in my brain, heart or lungs after that episode. Since about 9:05 PM on that day, I have been stuck in stage two: Anger.
The Anger stage of grieving can manifest itself in many ways. One can be angry with oneself for a stupid lifestyle choice that led to an illness or incapacitation. One can be angry with the loved one for his/her choices that led to death. I have never been angry with Casey—I have been angry with myself for not trying harder to stop him from enlisting or going to Iraq. In this stage it is very common to place blame. Besides blaming myself, (and my prison is the hell of living the rest of my life knowing I failed my son who died too early before he could really even live), I blame the rotten system here in the USA. At first, all my anger and recrimination was focused on the Bush administration, but as my knowledge and experience expanded, I realized that there was enough blame to go around: war profiteers, the media, the banksters, Congress, greed, the apathy of the average US citizen, etc.
So, after almost seven years, why am I stuck in the Anger stage? I haven’t even gone through the depression stage and my oldest son was killed. I get up every day and mostly greet each day with the gusto of having a purpose greater than myself. There have been days, especially in the first year, when I felt that the pain was so overwhelming and unbearable that I would walk aimlessly around the house just picking up things and putting them down with tears streaming from my eyes. I spent hours journaling at Casey’s grave trying to make sense out of something that was so disordered, violent, and senseless. But I have never been depressed. Down, sad, wracked with pain, but not depressed.
As an introspective person, I think there are two major reasons I am stuck in Anger—first of all; my grief extends to every single person who has been killed in these Imperial wars for profit. My dear son wasn’t the first one killed by US violence and the killing hasn’t stopped. Violence perpetrated by the US is a daily occurrence and the wound that was opened on 04/04/04 can’t even scab over. That’s why this piece is relevant in general, not just specifically to me. Millions of people have been killed, wounded, displaced or otherwise traumatized since 9/11/01. Casey’s murder is literally just a teardrop in an ocean of global grief caused by the lies and crimes that led to so much heartache.
The second reason that I am stuck in Anger is that, even though the culprits for this pain have been self-identified, there has been no justice delivered. 
My son was killed. Casey didn’t die of natural causes or by accident. He was deliberately put into harms’ way and many people in the Bush administration have incriminated themselves, or others, by admitting that Saddam had no WMD, or lying and saying that they never said he did. Cheney has even said that he never implicated that Saddam was connected to 9/11, and are now trumpeting some myth of a “free Iraq.”
From Cheney having pre-invasion meetings with oil execs, to Condi having meetings with foreign diplomats saying that "the intelligence and facts were being fixed around the policy"(Downing Street Minutes) of invading Iraq, to George Bush even admitting in his recent book that he was an enthusiastic supporter of torture—the murderers of Casey, et al, should not be roaming free and prospering from their eight years of unfettered carnage. “It’s just not fair,” is the refrain that keeps running through my mind.
I worked super hard for the impeachment of the Bush administration. I even ran for Congress against Nancy “Impeachment off the table” Pelosi for this very reason, announcing my run right before Congressman John Conyers, who was at that time Chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, had me and about 49 other impeachment activists arrested in his Capitol Hill office.
Even though the US has committed international crimes of aggression since they were more precisely defined after World War II, and since the US regularly violates UN resolutions and runs roughshod over the Security Council for its own interests, and not one US president has ever been held accountable, I have all but given up on my son receiving justice for his murder. It’s sad because I don’t think complete healing (of me, or humanity) and acceptance can be achieved without justice. I am not talking about revenge. Revenge is just perpetuation of violence.
This planet has been set on the road to mutual ruin. Would Bush have felt so full of hubris if one of the war criminals that preceded him in office had to pay for his crimes? Would Obama feel so free and comfortable continuing the vicious policies of the Bush years, if BushCo had been held accountable?
Not too long after his inauguration, Obama basically said that accountability for the crimes (national and international) of the Bush regime would be “off the table,” because we need to “look forward.” That’s easy to say if A) one hasn’t experienced such unpunished loss, and B) one is planning on continuing the crimes. Indeed, the Obama DOJ has vigorously blocked accountability for anyone in the Bush regime; maybe most notably, John Yoo and Federal Judge, Jay Bybee, who collaborated to formulate the disastrous US torture policy.
I can’t lie to myself or to you, I am stuck in Stage Two, and if someone, anyone, had a fair trial (something denied to thousands of their detainees and political prisoners), and was convicted (since it was a fair trial) and sent to prison, I would get “unstuck,” but I am not the only one in this country who is “stuck.”
We have to come collectively out of our “denial” that we live in an Evil Empire that won’t stop, and indeed will use every tool at its disposal, until it drains this planet dry of every drop of oil and every molecule of precious minerals, and it doesn’t really matter who inhabits the Oval Office.
We need to get angry enough to actually do something about it and leave the depression stage for the oppressors when their ways of lives are diminished because their wars for profit have ended.
And we won’t “bargain” with anybody for peace or justice, we will seize them as we reject the violence of Empire and embrace healing.
Finally, acceptance, Never! We won’t rest until we have created a world that is free from the wars of the ruling class and filled with economic equality and environmental sustainability for everyone.
We need to “Protest like an Egyptian.”

whitney, trev and ?????????????/

the martins

Urgent Solidarity: Prisoner Activist Facing Violent Retaliation

The "R" Word by Cindy Sheehan


The “R” Word
Cindy Sheehan
More powerful than a locomotive, and able to leap tall buildings in a single bound--Revolution is simply joining forces to overthrow the status quo with uprisings against the world’s ruling class courageously springing up all over the globe.
I have a few "friends" that have been rather indignant and have broken off contact with me because I frequently use the word, “revolution.” I wonder if these same people quit eating at IHOP when the restaurant chain, known for it’s pancakes started it’s new club: “The Pancake Revolution.”
I’m serious, if one Googles the words, “Pancake Revolution,” you will be taken to IHOP’s page to sign up for the “Revolution.” The slogan for the Pancake Revolution, is, you guessed it: “Pancakes to the People.” The sign up page has a distinct revolutionary look to it.  What is a pancake revolution anyway? They make them into triangles?
We are slammed with the word “Revolution” in advertising—we are cool with the Pancake Revolution, the Chevy Revolution, the iPhone Revolution, and even the American Revolution—why was it okay for we here in America to violently throw off the shackles of an Evil Empire 235 years ago, but to not do it peacefully today? Our war for Independence was just as bloody as any other “revolution.” I suppose the revolutionaries of those days were also “defriended” many times over before Facebook was even invented.
Since we started exploring the idea of Re-Creating Revolutionary Communities, which is a totally non-violent way of resisting the crimes of the Empire, the world has witnessed some honest to god uprisings in the Arab world: Yemen, Tunisia, Jordan, and now Egypt, where tens of thousands of people are there courageously standing up to a horrible US/Israeli propped up dictatorship that has been in place for almost 30 years. Of course, mouthpieces of the Empire are warning Egypt to “reform” its government and use “restraint” when the billions of dollars they have sent to Mubarek since he became dictator are what he uses to oppress his people and what he used to create the police state that has helped our CIA imprison and torture other people, among other things. The people of Egypt know which side of the “Wall” that the US regime stands on, and it’s not the side of the people.
As of this writing, Mubarek is stubbornly holding on to power in Egypt, no matter what the people want. After years of truly sham elections, the people are resisting and bearing witness and many in the lamestream media want to portray Egypt’s uprising as anti-austerity riots, or protesting food shortages—I heard one commentator say that the Egyptians have been "happy" with the dictatorship for almost 3 decades, now—so what are they protesting? Why are they all of a sudden angry at Mubarek, what did he do? I have been to Egypt and worked with activists there—these uprisings have been brewing for many years now. People can only take so much and I heard one CNN reporter that has lived in Egypt for over 20 years confirm this and he also told us here back in the states that the violence is “not coming from the protesters,” which is almost always the case.
My idea for Re-Creating Revolutionary Communities does have that dreaded “R” word in it. The Empire is taking away our homes while bailing out and supporting the banksters that are stealing them. The Empire appoints a man notorious for sending jobs (Immeldt of GE) out of the country to “solve” a Great Depression Era unemployment crisis. The Empire is continually allowing drilling and more exploration for fossil fuels in a world that is being poisoned and violated by its dependence on this filthy fuel. The Empire is imprisoning whistleblowers without a trial while self-confessed criminals like George, Dick, Condi and Donny run free.
Is it possible for we here in the pit of the Empire to reclaim our revolutionary spirit and organize to throw off the chains of oppression—maybe, but many people believe that the chains are there for our own good, and that’s really bad!
What we can do is work on the localization movements to not only create healthy communities locally, but to link globally to break the chains of oppression and create strong bonds of awareness, prosperity, peace, health, and sustainability.
Re-Creating Revolutionary Communities is holding a conference call Sunday, February 6th and we have over 130 participants—we are going to plan the kick-off community events for our healthy, truly grass roots movement.

Much Thanks!

Hello my sweet friends!

Today I have little card to share using paper from one my favorite manufacturer, October Afternoon. The yellow polka dots paper is from the Modern Home Maker collection. Can you see the music note background? Ohh, how I love the stamp from Papertrey! (the stamp is not mine though, I borrowed it from Sheila). While creating this card, I realized that I don't have any ink pads at home because I left them in the store so I used distress ink instead. I love the vintage-y effect that can only be achieved with distress ink :)

That's all I have for today. Enjoy your weekend!


Don't Lose Your Good Thing

it's very delicious.
I had to eat fast before the ice cream melted.
so enjoy ice cream,
enjoy your time,
Hold your opportunities,
I don't want to lose a good thing.



For every book sold, Cindy Sheehan's Soapbox will donate $10 to the Bradley Manning Legal Defense Fund.


If you don't want to pay by credit card, you can send a check/money order to:

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PO BOX 6264

Vacaville, Ca 95696


1 BK:  15.00
2 BK:  28.00
3 BK:  41.00
4 BK:  57.00
5 BK:  73.00





Sneaky Peaky and Guessing Game

Hello friends! On Sunday, Josie and I did something fun for Smidapaper and here's a sneak of our cute project :) Let's play something fun, shall we? All you have to do is to guess what project this is and the first person to guess it right will receive a prize. You have until Sunday, 30th Jan to play this game. Come and play along!

Hope you have a lovely day!