Cedar Creek Treehouse

at Mt. Rainier







Viewpoints

Political Editorial Comments
by Cedar Creek Treehouse owner Bill Compher

Veterans for Peace -- 2005

Below is the text of two items of correspondence between Bill Compher and former President of the United States Jimmy Carter. The text of these letters also appears on the web site of Veterans for Peace.

VFP member Bill Compher's letter to Jimmy Carter:

January 9, 2005

Mr. Jimmy Carter
The Carter Center
One Copenhill
Atlanta, GA 30307

Dear Mr. Carter:

I recently attended a Veterans for Peace meeting in Olympia, WA, where the topic was depleted uranium exposure to U.S. and Iraqi troops and civilians in Iraq. We were discussing various ways this problem could be addressed. Then just today I read an article in YES! magazine (Winter2005, www.yesmagazine.org) by Darrin Burgess which said, "the Pentagon is quietly pursuing an alternative to depleted uranium ammunition, after years of rejecting claims that it leaves a legacy of death and contamination." He goes on to say that contracts have been awarded to a company to develop a tungsten alloy replacement for DU, a change already made by Germany.

Currently, however,people are dying from the longtime effects of DU inhaled or ingested (leukemia, birth defects, cancer .... ) and many more will be exposed in the future, as areas hit with DU shells remain radioactive. In 2002, the United Nations declared DU weapons illegal.

I would very much appreciate hearing what you, as a nuclear physicist, ex-President, Navy Veteran, and Humanitarian, have to offer in the way of information, opinion and advice regarding this dire situation. Your comments would be shared with members of The Rachel Corrie VFP Chapter 109 (Olympia, WA). Many other activists, concerned citizens, and military families affected by this tragedy would also greatly value your guidance. I realize your plate is full already and time is precious, but a response from you, however brief, would do wonders for the hope and morale of many Americans who feel increasingly helpless and betrayed by their government.

Respectfully,

Associate member, VFP 109, Olympia, WA

Ashford, Wa. 98304
bcompher@centurytel.net


January 19, 2005, Jimmy Carter responded:

To Bill Compher:

In the first place, the Iraqi War was unnecessary, unjust, and its initiation was based on false premises.

The United States has now become the antithesis of efforts to control nuclear weapons, by abrogating many international agreements negotiated and supported by all previous presidents beginning with Dwight Eisenhower. We also oppose control or prohibition of land mines and cluster bombs, and are not meeting our commitments to destroy weapons of mass destruction including chemical and biological weapons.

Using depleted uranium is just one of a litany of issues that need to be addressed, but the decisive voices will be those of the general public, which seem largely ignorant or supportive of the policies named above. Veterans for Peace and other organizations with similar commitments can play an important role, and I wish you well.

Sincerely,

Jimmy Carter


Serious Denial


by Bill Compher

(Copyright 2009 by Bill Compher)

Some serious denial going on
As in: The man I voted for is doing wrong.
Ain’t no “Change I can believe in”
Drone bombing sleeping children.
Yeah there’s some serious denial going on.

Some serious denial we are in,
War criminals getting off again.
Just “look forward -- don’t look back,”
Accountability ain’t a possibility.
Some serious denial we are in.

Some serious denial happening today,
Accepting torture and looking the other way.
With our silence fascists scheme
Plotting out their sordid dreams.
Some serious denial happening today.

Some serious denial going on right now
Cause Congress has sold out -- and how.
The people they represent
Are the lobbyists we resent.
Yeah, some serious denial going on right now.

Some serious denial going on all around,
Those in charge have really let us down.
They serve the Corporate Master
For the people – it’s disaster.
Some serious denial going on all around.

Serious denial has somehow taken hold,
Protesting at the rally’s gotten old.
Seems a very good year
To be a war profiteer.
Yes, serious denial has somehow taken hold.


You Can't Be All You Can Be When You're Dead


Copyright 2005 Bill Compher

Well I'm seventeen and a junior at my school
I ain't that smart, but I'm nobody's fool
Went down to the lunchroom fer to eat
When this Army feller said "Hi son, have a seat"

He asked me what my plans were after graduation
I said I wasn't sure of any occupation
He seemed so understanding of my situation
Then said "Son, how'd you like to serve your nation?"

"We'll pay the cost of college with the GI Bill
We'll train you for a job -- a good one with a skill
We'll feed you, clothe you, house you, yes, and pay for your tuition"
But he never told me that I could be dodging ammunition

Chorus:
You can't be all you can be when you're dead
That's something my recruiter never said
You can't use the GI Bill -- after you've been killed
You can't be all you can be when you're dead

He didn't mention Baghdad, or going to Iraq
Or that I might get killed in a suicide bomb attack
Or be told to shoot civilians, or be beheaded with a hack
Or be forgotten by my government if I ever made it back

He didn't tell the girl recruits of sexual assault
Or uranium exposure - hey, it happens -- not their fault!
No, he just tried to get me to sign on the dotted line
The military's your best deal - it's gonna be just fine!

Chorus:
You can't be all you can be when you're dead
That's something my recruiter never said
You can't use the GI Bill - after you've been killed
You can't be all you can be when you're dead

Recruiters in our lunchroom get their quota if they can
The superintendent loves them - he's a military man
No problem with the school board or the principal -they rule
Supporting an illegal war and the students being fooled

Chorus:
You can't be all you can be when you're dead
That's something my recruiter never said
You can't use the GI Bill - after you've been killed
You can't be all you can be when you're dead


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On March 11, 2003, the investment firm of Edward Jones aired a closed-circuit, one-hour program to thousands of its offices nationwide. The program was entitled "War, Terrorism, and Your Investments", and was hosted by four-star Army general Barry McCaffrey (retired, having  played a major role in the 1991 Persian Gulf war.)  The poster featured a smiling Gen. McCaffrey, who promised to explore the topic :  "Should war impact your investment decisions? " This was part of the Edward Jones'  "Face to Face" investor-education series. McCaffrey is also an NBC television "consultant" ....(General Electric owns NBC, and is one of the largest military contractors in the U.S.).

  So it shouldn't have come as much surprise when the next morning (March 12, 2003) he was interviewed on the NBC "Today" show, explaining and pitching a weapon called "Massive Ordnance Air Blast", or more popularly  referred to as "M.O.A.B."---  Mother of all Bombs.  This is the largest conventional bomb in the American arsenal--- " A munition so massive that its 18,000 pounds of high explosives must be dropped from the rear of a cargo plane. The bomb explodes a few feet above the ground, and is designed to send a devastating wave of fire and force hundreds of yards to kill troops, flatten trees, knock over structures, collapse cave entrances, and, in general, demoralize those far beyond the impact zone."   (The New York Times,  3/12/03 ).

 

Notice that "innocent civilians and children" was not included in the description. This was part of the U.S "shock and awe" plan, boasted about to the American public by Bush, Rumsfeld, Cheney, Powell, and others in the administration. When we learned of the Edward Jones program of March 11, we visited three offices in three cities (Eatonville, Tacoma/Lakewood, and Olympia Washington ), protesting what we feel to be capitalism at its most obscene. If you are also outraged, call the Edward Jones office nearest you and tell them what you think. To borrow a now famous quote from Michael Moore--" Shame on you, Mr. McCaffrey (or fill in the blank).....Shame on you".



The photos below were taken on April 9, 2003, at Westlake Plaza in downtown Seattle.
This was the day Saddam's stature was pulled down and Baghdad was said to be "liberated"...

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On April 9, 2003, we were protesting the invasion of Iraq in front of the Federal Building in downtown Seattle.  (see story in Tacoma Tribune - April 10, 2003).  Afterward, we headed back to our car on Queen Anne, planning to take the monorail from Westlake Plaza to the Seattle Center.

As we approached the small park, we saw what appeared to be a "movie set", complete with cameras ( local t.v. news crews), Seattle police, Iraqi men dancing and waving American flags, and Iraqi women in burkas kissing photos of George W. Bush.  Unknown to us, the statue of Saddam Hussein had just been pulled down and Baghdad had just been "liberated......"  ( Now THERE was a cheesy movie production.....200 or so actors surrounded by a few U.S. soldiers--  totally staged and misleading for the American public to enjoy on the six o'clock news)



.....the first of many photo ops--( like Bush in his flight suit on the aircraft carrier soon after, or carrying the PLASTIC turkey at Baghdad airport on the following Thanksgiving....).

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We took a deep breath and walked into the middle of this circus, standing silently with our hand-painted protest signs. We were spit on (our only casualty) by an American teenage girl and her mother. The cheering disappeared for the next eight months, only to surface momentarily (not among all of the Iraqi people) when Saddam Hussein was captured on December 14, 2003.

Unfortunately, very few will be cheering the continued occupation by U.S. military forces. Indeed, lives will continue to be lost daily on both sides until our troops are brought home. Most Americans, however, will see only what the corporate media want them to see, as clearly demonstrated on April 9 and throughout the invasion and occupation."

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Seattle Folklife Festival  -- May, 2003.   

We met other protestors at Folklife. One group had set up an "Impeach Bush" information booth. Strangers would continually walk up to us and give their support and encouragement. Thousands of people attend this four-day event, so it's a great way to be seen and heard. Lesson learned: 

If you're feeling helpless or frustrated, and there is no organized protest rally happening at the time, just paint a sign and stroll around in a busy public place!




Editorial -- 2003

One year ago we wrote the editorial below to voice our concern about the looming prospect of an illegal "war" on Iraq, and the Bush Administration's reckless disregard for the environment. Sadly, the invasion took place as planned, thousands of  Iraqi civilians and soldiers died, and American soldiers and Iraqi and Afghani civilians continue to die daily as the occupations continue.

On two occasions during the week of December 5-10, 2003 in Afghanistan, the American military bombed innocent children as they played.

The U.S. government policy continues to be one of ruthless aggression, where the killing of innocents is justified  while supposedly rooting out "suspected terrorists" with faulty or non-existent "intelligence".

The Bush Administration  (and Congressional members that support its policies) are responsible for every single life that has been lost so needlessly. The United States completely squandered the goodwill and sympathy that the world community bestowed after September 11. The continuing daily carnage truly makes a mockery of the Christmas expression "Peace on Earth, Goodwill Towards Men ".

The Bush Administration ignored millions of people voicing their opposition, both home and around the world--- national and world leaders, religious leaders (his own Methodist Church and the Pope)....retired military experts....ex-presidents...---  as well as the United Nations--  to wage a personal war for oil, power, and corporate profit. The foxes (including Fox "News") are guarding the henhouse. We are witnessing a blatant corporate takeover of Democracy, both home and abroad. "Freedom" to the Bush supporters means freedom for the U.S. military and Big Business to invade any country it deems valuable--( and knows it can defeat.) It's not freedom for the people-- it's freedom for Halliburton, Dick Cheney. et. al. to bomb civilians, level their cities, and then award themselves multi-billion dollar exclusive contracts to rebuild them and establish stronger business monopolies. It's an old game called Imperialism.

George W. Bush and his advisors--Rumsfeld, Cheney, Wolfowitz, Rice, Powell--should not just be removed from office---  they should be brought before a world court and (along with their former ally Saddam Hussein) convicted of war crimes against humanity. Only then will the world be a safer place for people and the environment. Only then will there be money in the "budget" for peacetime, not wartime necessities--namely, health, educational, environmental, and social service programs so desperately needed. Peace on Earth? Let's continue to hope so. Regime change begins at home.




Editorial -- 2002

The Cedar Creek Treehouse owners, (and a concept shared by its' friends, many guests, and supporters,) have always endeavored to offer an "Earth-Friendly" experience -- a special way for people to enjoy the magical world of the tree canopies and surrounding forests. Our visitors are invariably charmed by the sounds and sights of Nature ... a clear, rushing mountain stream ... wind whispering through the treetops ... a fairytale forest to enjoy. (See Guest Comments.)

"Eco-Tourism" continues to be more popular world-wide with each passing year. People who love treehouses seem to love trees, and also to have respect for Nature as a whole.

Unfortunately, it has become painfully obvious to us (and to other citizens and environmental organizations as well, e.g., Sierra Club, Greenpeace, Friends of the Earth, etc.) that the current Bush administration's environmental attitude and policies are threatening not just America's forests and ecosystems, but many other precious resources worldwide as well -- air and water quality, wildlife, and the welfare of human beings in general. Drilling for oil in the Alaskan Wildlife Refuge ? Bombing for oil in Iraq? Being the global bully and isolationist rather than a global team player?

We desperately need renewable energy sources.(solar, wind, and hydro systems -- not nuclear plants, oil wells, or military proliferation). This administration and the Americans that support its policies need to learn the meaning of the adage of the future: Live simply, that others may simply live.

War for oil (or other corporate national interests ) is not the answer, nor acceptable.
People living together in harmony, sharing and respecting the planet's resources, celebrating our cultural differences (not despising them) -- THAT'S THE ANSWER!! Or at least, it's a good way to start.

Sound idealistic? It's not, really. It's the only way the planet will survive the future. (Gene Roddenberry figured that out when he created Star Trek in the 1960's!) We believe most people in the world JUST WANT PEACEFUL CO-EXISTENCE! Let's make "Peace on Earth" a reality, not just a meaningless, seasonal Christmas cliché.



Cedar Creek Treehouse, P.O. Box 204, Ashford, WA 98304
** Call 360.789.6773 **