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Money Trumps Peace...Sometimes

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It is always painful to watch George stumble his way through press conferences. He canà ‚¬ „ t get through a sentence without at least two-three "uhs," his eye lids flutter up and down in what my daughter, Carly, calls the "liarà ‚¬ „ s blink" and just because it is painful that a human like that is ostensibly the leader of the free world. There is always a plethora of things that he says, does, or screws up on to write about but this time what caught my attention happened during the Q & A. George was asked if he thought the economic sanctions on Iran would work because so many European nations trade with that country.

He stopped to collect his thoughts with what he thought mustà ‚¬ „ ve looked like a studied and careful demeanor, but more like someone with a sour tummy, and said: "well, letà ‚¬ „ s put it this wayà ‚¬ ¦money trumps peace, sometimes. In other words, commercial interests are very powerful interests throughout the world (I added the italics). It is always interesting with people who frequently play fast and loose with the truth, such as the liars in BushCo, once in awhile, if they talk long enough they tell a truth.

"Money trumps peace" is the fundamental reason for the invasions and subsequent gory and violent occupations of Iraq and Afghanistan. In Richard Behanà ‚¬ „ s excellent article: From Iraq to Afghanistan: Connecting the Dots with Oil, he brilliantly follows the history of the oil-money trail in these countries that are one, rich in oil, and two, well placed for the transportation and delivery of oil. Neither Iraq nor Afghanistan, or their leaders or governments had anything to do with 9-11, but they were in the way of oil and other industries that profit from oil, so they had to go. Money trumped peace in those countries and they are destroyed and hundreds of thousands of Iraqis, Afghanis and Americans have been slaughtered because they were blocking American imperialistic profiteering.

"Money trumps peace" is the underlying reason for all wars as two time Congressional Medal of Honor winner and highly decorated Major General Smedley D. Butler wrote in his reflective, yet prophetic, work War is a Racket:

WAR is a racket. It always has been.

It is possibly the oldest, easily the most profitable, surely the most vicious. It is the only one international in scope. It is the only one in which the profits are reckoned in dollars and the losses in lives.

A racket is best described, I believe, as something that is not what it seems to the majority of the people. Only a small "inside" group knows what it is about. It is conducted for the benefit of the very few, at the expense of the very many. Out of war a few people make huge fortunes.

During the short booklet which every prospective parent, current parent and every teen should read thoroughly and often, he keeps referring to World War I as the "World War" because he was writing directly after the "Great War;" the "war to end all wars." There was no World War IIà ‚¬ ¦yet. General Butler was no unwashed, hippie peace-nik. He was a warrior who, as often times happens when men face the horrors of war ("War is hell:" General Sherman), saw the futility of killing as a diplomatic tool that kills and maims our young people for "the benefit of the very few."

"Money trumps peace" should be the rallying call of all the Democrats and Republicans who are exploiting our tired and wounded soldiers in the field to justify handing BushCo more money to complete his mission of totally decimating the Middle East for the oil companies, construction contractors, and defense industries. How many times have we heard: "We have to vote for the emergency funding for the troops." That money is not for the troops, never has been for the troops, and the troops in the field wouldnà ‚¬ „ t need any support if they used the money that was already in the pipeline to bring our soldiers and marines home from the killing deserts. I talked to a young lady at a university in Minnesota whose good friend was a Marine in Iraq who just got home and one of the only things that he shared with her was that he had to eat ants. If you donà ‚¬ „ t believe me, just ask Mr. "You go to war with the Army you have, not the Army you want." Our troops have never been supported in this monstrous mistake of a war and they have never received the tools they need to survive, let alone be successful in their so-called mission. The money goes to one thousand dollar a day mercenaries---not our two thousand dollar a month grunts.

"Money trumps peace" when while asking for tens of billions of more dollars for war, George is balancing the budget off of the backs of vets who have served this country honorably by cutting back on VA benefits. Many times I am asked: "What would you say to Bush if you were to meet with him now?" I think my first question would be: "How the hell do you look at yourself in the mirror?" How dare he?

"Money trumps peace" is one of the reasons why true peace wonà ‚¬ „ t be possible when our country is mis-governed by people who are beholden to and entrenched in the military industrial complex. K-Street palm greasers have an easier passage in the Halls of Congress than do activists with petitions, or a Gold Star Mother wearing a "protest shirt" do.

"Money trumps peace" is the problem when some leaders of Congress, who should be working day and night to bring our troops home to save Iraq and the lives and souls of our brave soldiers and marines, are out raising money for presidential campaigns that are still a year away. Sometime between now and the first primaries in 2008 we will be holding vigils for the 4000th troop killed in Iraq and thousands of Iraqi families will be overcome with grief and pain while the talking head shows are already consumed by election fever.

"Money will always trump peace" unless BushCo are impeached, removed from office and imprisoned for leading our military like lambs to the slaughter to die for Raytheon, Halliburton and Blackwater Security.

"Money will always trump peace" until we the people demand that our tax dollars remain in our communities, schools, and families and not directly funneled from The Treasury Department to the Pentagon, so that our children do not have to offer themselves up as these human sacrificial lambs.

Peace can and should trump money, but only if we are willing to stand up and challenge the continuing and immoral perception that "Money trumps peace."

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Cindy Sheehan is the mother of Spc. Casey Austin Sheehan, who was KIA in Iraq on 04/04/04. She is a co-founder and President of Gold Star Families for Peace and the author of two books: Not One More Mother's Child and Dear President Bush.
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