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28 Aug, 2009 08:55

Obama on vacation as wars rage on

Having reappointed the Fed chairman and lost a close political ally, President Barack Obama has been determined to carry on with his vacation, strolling on the beach, taking his daughters for bike rides and playing golf.

Barack O’Brownies and Obamaritas – attempts by local cafés to cash in on the President’s presence – have filled the island of Martha’s Vineyard.

The upscale American resort is in the spotlight as usual this summer, as this is the place where the U.S. President traditionally takes time off from his duties.

Here, cash pays for peace, and while Obama is relaxing by sailing on a yacht or chilling out in a luxurious cottage, the Secret Service is nearby to make sure nothing bothers their President on vacation.

However, not all is smooth in Wonderland.

With vacation season in full swing for many, there are those who aren't willing to rest while US-led wars are continuing.

Anti-war activists have come to the island to reach out to their president.

Among then is Cindy Sheehan, who lost her son in Iraq four years ago. She says that although the façade has changed in Washington DC, the policies still remain the same.

Known as the “Rosa Parks of the anti-war movement”, she is on a mission against America’s wars. Sheehan thinks it is not the right time for the country and its President to go on vacation.

“The only change I see in the foreign policy of this country has been a change for the worse,” she said.

Troops have still not been pulled out of Iraq, and more young soldiers are being sent off to Afghanistan. Thousands have died.

After 5 years at war, Matthis Chiroux calls it the closest thing to hell he can imagine. He says for those who survive, the memories of murders, corpses, rape and abuse are a burden impossible to carry.

“Somebody came home and shot themselves in the face. And if it’s not that, somebody came home and drunk themselves into a stupor, drove a car and killed a family. If it’s not that, it’s a homeless veteran on the side of the road, tears in his eyes and demons haunting his heart.”

And while the president is chilling, the protesters hold anti-war banners and candles, which they call a symbol. The symbol that they will not give up until peace returns to places where the word has long been forgotten.