Results tagged “Iraq” from Six Hours A Week: Adventures in American Exile

Veterans Should be Revered

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walter reed.jpegI don't know many veterans yet. I will. 

Surviving a year of intense government-sanctioned spying has changed me. Post-traumatic feelings of safety and trust will be hard-won. The pain of constant betrayal twinned with the stigma of seeming crazy to those who can't fathom it are difficult to describe.  

So, I know how much this has impacted my life and how much time and effort it will take to recover, and how I'd just like to live in a spa for six months. Looking at it in relative terms, I was under a sort of cushy guerrilla house arrest -- as long as I was at home and not being manipulated or lied to by "friends" I was safe (though constantly monitored). 

I was never cold or hungry or exposed to depleted uranium, or dodging sniper fire. I didn't have to see friends and civilians killed, or hear agonized screams and cries. I wasn't required to kill.

Imagine recovering from combat. How do people come home to their families after facing such unending stress and horrors? How do they ever find "normal" again? Deal with becoming disabled and struggling to pay the bills, or being stuck at Walter Reed? We have over 300,000 troops suffering from PTSD and a veteran suicide epidemic.

Veterans should never have to want for anything again. They should finish their days in absolute comfort, have the best medical and psychological care, housing credits, and scholarships for their children. Veterans should not be homeless. That it took domestic, government-sanctioned repression for me to "get" to some small degree what it would be like to recover from military work is one of many unexpected gifts and ironies.

Getting "On the List"

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Jackie Kennedy.jpg
The most "radical" act I have ever taken part in is one I organized. It was a miserable failure, and I was embarrassed by it. I write about it now not out of pride, but as a way of letting readers know what it takes to get "on the list."

You may remember the lead-up to the Iraq war as a frustrating, heartbreaking time. Many of us believed that preemptive aggression was a way to further agitate people who hated the U.S. and would only make future terrorist attacks more likely. We could see right through all of the pretextual explanations for war. At the same time, as I wrote last fall, the anti-war movement seemed frustratingly ineffectual.

So -- what was my brilliant response to the impending bloodshed and the lackluster antiwar movement? To dress up like Jackie Kennedy and carry around shopping bags with Jesus on them. Though this may seem a bit off, I think history will prove this brand of "radicalism" much more sane than Dick Cheney's. Why the Jackie Kennedy imagery?

Six Hours A Week Is:

A coping strategy, advocacy outlet, and form of protection. My life has been nearly destroyed by the unconstitutional practices of politically/socially-motivated private intelligence contractors and the corruption and cronyism that allow them. Apparently because I speak out in ways that prioritize the little guy and human and environmental health above gargantuan profit margins, and believe that facts are as important as PR spin, I was someone who had to be completely discredited. In 2007, after a few months of a surreal and relentless invasion of privacy and dignity, I started to spend six hours each week researching, communicating about, and advocating legal and ethical responses to assaults on our shared democratic and republican ideals. For most of that time I was writing from the perspective of someone whose life was manipulated into a constant state of terror and emergency. In 2010, many of the array of entrapment attempts seem to have failed and it seems no longer possible to get away with such excessive, obvious harassment and overt interference. As we take more practical steps to address what has been allowed to happen to my family, we do expect to see some more harassment and intimidation. But I should be able to chronicle it from a more measured perspective, rather than that of someone in constant fear. Part of me would like to go back and delete earlier posts, because even I find them hard to relate to in some ways. But this blog has been one of our only forms of protection as everyone in any official capacity ignored the truth and tried to spin and frame us into the troublemakers and perpetrators of one form or another. So I leave it up as a form of protection, a record of what has occurred, and (with luck) the account of our way back to credibility and some form of legitimate justice. All content on this site is property of Kyeann Sayer. All rights reserved.