Tuesday, December 06, 2005

Howard Dean and CODEPINK

The neo-cons are trying to make something out of a picture I posted here that was picked up by the central CODEPINK web site. Phoenix Sue was concerned this might happen when I showed her the picture of Howard Dean holding up CODEPINK Shirts that had just been handed to him by CODEPINKers as they rode the elevator to the Arizona Demo mixer with him.

She was concerned that being associated with CODEPINK would hurt him. I was (and am) more concerned that the threats and intimidation used by the ultra right uber-cons over the last few years has brain-washed some of brilliant and most active progressives and have them playing by scripts written by these uber-cons.

Howard Dean has been against the Iraq War since the beginning. CODEPINK is simply a group of women who are against the war and began wearing pink and doing "over the top" actions to gain media coverage of the pro-peace viewpoint in the corporate media when no other view than that of the Bush Administration could be found in any major American media outlet.

It was the media who took Howard Dean down in early 2004 by playing and replaying only one capture of his hoarse yell into a single directional mike that picked up only his voice and none of the roaring crowd that fanned out to the front and sides of him. There were other recordings that made it clear everyone there was hooping and hollaring. There was nothing strange about it.

Now for a bit of education about Pink. The miscategorization of Pinkers as Pinkos is almost as ludicrous as saying that CODEPINK is a Soviet plot. (For those of you who don't know... the Soviet Union no longer exists.)

CODEPINK is Women for Peace and the term CODE PINK comes from two different sources -- the first is a play on words related to the Color Coded Terror Level Warning System that the government introduced to instill fear in the American people. CODEPINK wanted to see peace and the level of peace being given as much energy, press, air wave frequency, time and money as the terror and the threat level. Buying into fear and cowering in rooms sealed with plastic and duct tape just wasn't an option for a large group of women who take responsibility for their own safety and that of their country. CODEPINK believes working toward peace will make the world safer than waging war.

I personally get rather angry when conservative pundits and vicious, ignorant bloggers spout platitudes and knowingly lie through their teeth. My own peace work comes from faith. For them to associate my pink peace work with communism, anti-Americanism or make any such ignorant statements shows that they research nothing and all they say must be questioned or that they knowingly are lying and thus are using Christianity as a costume rather than a heart-felt guiding principle. They seem to have taken nothing of the core teachings of Christ, the Buddha, Mohammed, or other wise ancestors into their hearts.

Another meaning of CODEPINK is derived from the hospital code for different kinds of emergencies. In many hospitals Code Pink means that a child is missing. The mothers of those killed in the Iraq occupation know the meaning of truly missing a child.

I personally will continue to give to humanitarian aide drives when there is need. If the funds happen to be for medical supplies to go to Falluja, that is fine. My country had used chemical weapons in attacking the largely civilian population of the city.

I am greatly saddened when people equate patriotism with aggression. My family can trace its American heritage to arrival in Massachussets from England in 1630. Don't tell me I'm not all American. My brother served in the Marines in Vietnam during the "Platoon" era (Hue and the Tet Offensive.) My huband is also a Vietnam-era Army veteran. I am proud to serve my country through organized public protest of un-American Bush policies and practices that endanger the future of freedom and democracy all over the world.

I'm glad I can sleep knowing I am honest, patriotic and peaceful. I do not have to tear down anyone or any perspective to make myself feel better or important. I know the words terrorist and insurgent are now useless terms due to their use in propaganda. I'm glad the home schoolers, stay-at-home-moms, and blue collar folks who are Pinkers gave Dean and his wife those shirts. Peace is patriotic.

My solution to dealing with the fundamentalist nut cases (like Osama -- who did you think I meant?) is to build fair trade and women based economies throughout the world so these misogynist patriarachal tribal elements fall away.

Enough for now. But there will be another entry soon... I feel a Hillary rant coming on.


Anonymous said...

Code Pink spokeswoman Sandy Brim flew an American neurosurgeon to San Salvador in 1985 to operate on Marxist Revolutionary Party Commander Nidia Diaz, whose hand had been injured in combat. Diaz’s group had claimed responsibility for the murders of four U.S. Marines and nine civilians two months before. Kirsten Moller, the current executive director of Global Exchange and Code Pink, like Benjamin, worked for IFDP in the 80s.

Artemesia Pax said...

Central America was a nightmare and continues to be unstable due in part to US intervention. Some people would say that the most significant impact on the U.S. was the channeling of funds paid to Iran in the "arms for hostages" deal (Remember that one?) through Central American Drug networks. Even if a country wants to go "Marxist" we have no right to interfere in internal politics which we have done time and again by putting in puppet dictators in C.A. & S.A. rather than in letting democracy work. So yes, some people worked against U.S. efforts to deny our neighbors democratic control over their own countries.

Many people who traveled to C.A. in the 70s, and 80s saw the horrors the U.S. was enabling and committing. Perhaps they over-reacted, perhaps not, when working with indigenous movements.

Youthful involvement in causes is often intense and extreme. Marxism in principle is rule of the people by the people. In practice it doesn't turn out that way. American Democracy is in principle rule of the people by the people, but in practice over these two hundred plus years has transmuted to rule of the people by the corporations...the EXACT same darn thing our forebearers fought to free themselves from.

But your argument is the Coca Cola and Heroin argument. Or perhaps a better analogy would be: I was a Girl Scout during that time period of which you write, does that mean I am a Republican now?