If this isn't the best place for the miracle story, please place it
I was at Camp Casey for all day Thursday except when I went out exploring around the Bush ranch and Mosheim. I probably heard most of Cindy’s interviews though because I wasn’t gone that long. I didn’t try to keep track of all of the news organizations but she was squeezing lots of radio interviews in between the videos. The Korean camera team was interesting with the interviewer in a black suit and tie, (Yeouch! Later on, I noticed that he had taken the jacket off.) a red shirt, and with his arm around his off camera interpreter. If you caught the one with Keith Olbermann that evening, I thought it was her weakest performance of the day because of obvious fatigue. Plus they had her in the ditch with some fire ants at the time. It was still excellent though, would you not have to agree?
I told her that I had been trying to say the same things but that she was doing a better job of it. She said that her loss had sort of focused her mind and I agreed that well yes, there is that. If you would like to know a little more of the background, www.truthout.org/ is a great place to start. William Pitt from Truthout was there doing some excellent interviews before he got attacked by fire ants. I hope he’ll be returning!
I won’t go into all of the details about why the conditions are so harsh unless you are interested. The local authorities were obviously under a lot of pressure on Wednesday night but they are good people. Then on Thursday night, I never saw a single one!
The conditions are uncomfortable enough that you tend to wake up pretty early around Camp Casey. I don’t know how many of the pictures you might have seen yet but Friday morning I watched someone get a great shot of the sun coming up over one of those Texas long views with the long rows of crosses in the foreground. There was a hummingbird visiting the flowers in the center of the frame over one of the crosses but I didn’t get his name. I felt like a dummy for having been there the whole previous day without realizing that all of the flowers were real. They couldn’t have been lasting too long right beside the asphalt like that in those temperatures. They just kept arriving though from all over the world.
When she did the interview for the Today Show, she was still in the ditch but moved up into Camp Casey and away from the fire ants. If you caught that one, all of those flowers in the background were real! Unbelievable.
Any way, well before that interview as we were tidying up the Camp and rearranging the flowers, this guy comes walking through with his wife and a sign saying We Support the War and the President. I said that I hoped he had brought some coffee because I hadn’t had any for two days. He sort of laughed but indicated that he hadn’t. He did have some copies of his book in his backpack though and Fox News was pretty quick to get an interview with him. I declined to buy one but told him I would check it out and he provided some insights into the reviews it had gotten on Amazon. If you would like to check it out, here’s the link.
He was on active duty in the information office at Fort Hood. He has a degree in political science and a master’s degree in history. We all said that he was brain washed but he made the point about the need to discuss our different perspectives and of course, we were happy to agree with that.
During the course of his first interview, he said that he had “enjoyed” his time in Iraq. I thought that was a strange choice of words which probably implied his access to air conditioning during his tour. Cindy often makes the point that as uncomfortable as it may be along side the asphalt in a bar ditch in Texas in August, it’s worse for the soldiers and the people of Iraq. I’ll just amend that to “it’s worse for most of the people and the soldiers in Iraq”.
After biting my tongue through that whole first interview, I was able to establish that our common ground was support for the soldiers and he agreed. Then I pointed out that his sign only expressed support for the war and the president. He sort of laughed and said that it just wasn’t that big of a sign. I said that our differences were precisely in whether to support the president’s war. I wouldn’t even have to use the word “lies” in order to say that the shifting nature of the president’s rationale for his war made it unworthy of support. The president’s earlier position on nation building should really make that unsuitable as his new “moral” justification for invading another country. The information officer said that those decisions were the responsibility of the commander in chief and it was our duty to support those decisions.
After a while, Cindy got there from the Peace House in Crawford and entered the ditch for the Today Show interview. She has to expend a good deal of energy stand-there-and-sound-checking for every two or three minutes that might or might not air. After she finished talking with Matt Lauer (is that the Today Show dude?) or whoever, she quickly began another long string of interviews. I like to hear as many of them as I can, but there was already a large group of photographers and interviewers around her before I could finish scratching my ear. Luckily, she has some schedulers to help out. I mentioned to one of them that at this point, the quality of her interviews might be more important than their quantity and they should insist that she get some rest occasionally.
By the time I got there, it was the information officer who was interviewing her. In the course of asking his question, he made the point that the loss of her son, while regrettable, was not all that important to the grand course of history and … I never really got the full sense of the question. The statement itself caused something of a buzz among the veterans and peace workers but it seemed like a valid observation to me. Cindy asked him to walk with her in the Posted No Trespassing grassy area of the country road 3-way intersection median and she told everyone else to stay where they were. I respected that. Most of the photographers were following along as the two of them walked with her arm around him but they weren’t really crowding in close. So I said pretty loudly, “Hey, I thought we were supposed to stay here!” and decided to go get some water from Old Paint.
I gathered up a few bits of trash and the odd piece or two of dirty clothes and put them in a plastic bag and stashed them in the trunk. The water was excellent but I would bet you even money that its temperature was in the nineties. I wasn’t complaining though, I was sitting there and really enjoying it. After a while, I noticed the information officer walking by very quickly. Since I had been there all night, I was parked in the ditch a lot closer to Camp Casey than he was. I swear to goodness that he looked like he was crying. So I started following him but I would have had to run to catch up.
After 100 meters or so, we got to his car and I said, “What did she say, if you don’t mind my asking?” He said, “Oh, we just agreed to disagree.” I kind of nodded and said yeah and leaned back a little to leave. Then he said, “She asked if she could pretend that I was her son and I said yes. She said I love you, Casey and I said I love you too, Mom”. It all seemed perfectly natural to me in that moment, so I said, “Thank you for sharing that” and started walking back to Camp. He followed me back and we parted company but along the way it sank in a bit and I got pretty misty eyed.
Worth the trip, eh?
"The mind has lost it's cutting edge, we hardly understand the Ancients."
Gregoire de Tours, 6th century.