Friday, August 19, 2005

komo news | Local Mom Joins Cindy Sheehan's Protest In Texas

Local Mom Joins Cindy Sheehan's Protest In Texas

August 19, 2005

By Tracy Vedder

SEATTLE - The military mom who started a national anti-war movement outside President Bush's Texas ranch has touched people here in our state.

In fact, one woman was so compelled by Cindy Sheehan's protest, she was compelled to travel to Texas and join her.

Lietta Ruger just got back from a week spent camped outside the Bush ranch. Ruger grew up a military brat, was a military wife and now has a son-in-law and a nephew in the Army.

She says it's that military connection that compelled her to travel to Texas and join in Sheehan's vigil.

"I just felt that I needed to get down there and stand with her because I'm fully in support of what she's attempting to do," Ruger said.

Sheehan's son Casey was killed in Iraq last year. She's been camped outside the President's ranch hoping to meet with him and ask him to bring the troops home.

Sheehan flew home to California Thursday night after her mother suffered a stroke, but hundreds of protesters remain, including relatives of other soldiers.

Ruger, of Bay Center, Washington, says she's never been an activist, until now. Over the past year she's protested the Iraq war locally, but going to Crawford, Texas, sleeping in a tent, and being a part of something she believes is growing, just felt right.

"For us as military families, carrying the disproportionate load of the Iraq war, it's our troops and our families affected."

Ruger knows other military moms disagree, but she insists the protest does not dishonor those who have lost loved ones. Yet nationally there's been criticism of Sheehan's vigil, including from other Gold Star moms who've lost sons in the war in Iraq.

Rosemary Palmer, whose son Bryon was 25 when he was killed said, "Sheehan has become a lightning rod. We want to open up the conversation -- you can support the troops and not support the way that this war is being waged right now."

And Janet Norwood lost her son Augie earlier this month. She said, "it breaks my heart to see all the coverage and something I consider to be negative and (the troops) might think that they are not being supported over there."

But Ruger believes it's military families' responsibility to speak out for those who can't.

Like her son-in-law, a soldier who asked to remain anonymous: "I can look back on this one day, and say I served in the U.S. military," he told KOMO 4 News, "and I take great pride in that."

In spite of that pride, this soldier doesn't feel safe showing his face. He's done one tour in Iraq and expects to do another. He also thinks the war is senseless. But it's not something he feels free to say publicly.

"If we say too much, then we can get in trouble for it. So, as a troop, we need people to speak for us."

As a soldier, he supports the right of protesters to speak.

"Not only do I support it, but there's thousands of soldiers out there that support it. We know what they're doing here in the states; they're speaking for us - we have no voice."

He may have no voice, but his mother in law does. And she vows to continue speaking on his behalf.

komo news | Local Mom Joins Cindy Sheehan's Protest In Texas

1 comment:

Karim Kadiri said...


Everything we do and everything we live through contributes to what we ultimately become and who we are.

I often criticize the US government and the American way of life; you may call me a cynic but that just happens to be my angle and I feel comfortable there. I am often asked why I simply don’t move away since I hold this country in such contempt. Firstly, I do not have such a distain for the nation as a whole, only for a few specific yet pivotal areas of concern to me.
Secondly this country just like any other needs voices of descent and opposition to keep it from sliding too far to one side or another.

In today’s America it seems as though one voice is louder than all others and that is the voice of the “supposed” religious right wing of the government. They have control of the congress, the senate and the white house.
This monstrous political bulldozer has pulverized all that was laid down before it like a beast originally in captivity for too long, that now seeks revenge after its escape. The Clinton years had been laced with a great economy, a very favorable opinion of the US abroad and of course some controversies that we all wished had not happened. The Clinton affairs unfortunately served as a rallying cry for the opposition and helped to galvanize the middle of the road conservatives.
Suddenly we had the religious right (yet morally wrong) demanding restoration of honor and integrity to the presidential office and the nation was in the grip of the “family values” crusade.

As much as I personally favored the former (liberal) president, I hold him responsible for the outcome of the election in 2000.

Soon after Clinton’s misdeeds the right started to look for a candidate they could mold into this wholesome image that could salvage America’s integrity. They naturally could not deal with anyone with a political precedent and especially not anyone with any stated strong views on anything. They needed a fresh face to whom they could manufacture and attach a somewhat clean past. What could be better than a guy that used to drink and drive among other things and then found Jesus? That’s it, a “born again Christian”!

Halleluiah to that! This candidate did not need much by way of credentials; all he needed is to claim that he was an evangelical candidate. Today, five years after the fact we are still being sold this bill of goods and it seems a great portion of Americans is buying it whole. No one that I have personally heard on any political talk show or otherwise has ever questioned this notion. So I ask you my “wafinning” friends, what has George W. Bush ever done that could even remotely be deemed religious?
I cannot think of a single thing, can you? Yet on a daily basis we are bombarded with the accepted notion that this guy is leading with his faith etc… I am outraged that this technique has actually worked!

Had we elected Pat Robertson or Jerry Fallwell, insane as they may be, I would have accepted this evangelical president idea. George Bush however is nothing of the sort.
What battered women’s shelter has he built or what charity has he started and supported?
All that he needed in order to be accepted as a religious president is the indoctrination we had been subjected to by the political machine that is squarely behind him.

This latest election was heavily skewed by the support the right found in the Churches across the Midwest and the south. Priests, pastors and reverends stopped one inch short of flat out endorsing their candidate. Never mind that this candidate had bombed thousands of innocent children in an unwarranted war, as long as he was anti-gay marriage and anti-abortion. What a disgrace!

Nevertheless the movement found support in many arenas:

To a lesser, more subtle degree, I found that country songs such as “let freedom ring” and “red, white and blue” had also worked to the republicans’ advantage as they cried more of blind patriotism (rally behind the president in times of war) rather than raise awareness about the ills of war. This made it really cool to be patriotic and at the same time got the civilian troops pumped for war and the imminent victory.

TV and radio talk shows also jumped on the bandwagon fueling the fire of nationalism; almost nobody of any prominence could come out in outrage at what was happening and survive the piranha like feeding frenzy. Such a person would have been destroyed before having a chance to state the reasons for their opposition to this sweeping blindness. It seemed that all the right components were in place to promote the sale of this war as a “good thing for America”.

I am encouraged today at the long overdue coverage of the outraged families that lost sons, daughters, fathers and mothers senselessly. Finally they are getting heard, finally we have proof that they do exist. Up to this point all we were allowed to see, by the self censored media (afraid of boycotts as retribution), were those who lost loved ones and still supported the war and believed their family members died for our freedom etc… I am also pleased to see republican lawmakers demanding some sort of deadlines from this president.

For all involved on the battlefields, I pray for your safety and the end of this madness. I naturally hold no hope for a quick resolution to this situation, as a matter of a fact I truly believe that we have unleashed a beast that will not die within our lifetime.

Finally concerning the initial question often asked of me, the answer is yes I am making arrangements to leave this blessed country as quickly as I possibly can. It will not be an easy proposition but with God’s help and a bit of good timing I should be able to do it fairly soon.

President George W. Bush's statement in March 2006 after 3 yrs of war "a future President will have to resolve war in Iraq"


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