portland independent media center  
images audio video
newswire article reposts united states

political theory

Cindy Sheehan: 'War-Hawk Republicans and Anti-War Democrats: What's the Difference?'

Please see the other two stories posted below this one on how the Rs and Ds are cut from the same cloth - the people in Congress do not 'represent' the people of the US, they represent the corporations and the creators of the war machines - the banks, the defense industry, the super rich, etc. There are no martyrs in the Congress. Too bad Cindy Sheehan is having to find this out now, even as she still unwilling to let go, saying "I am just hoping against hope that the war is on the Dems' contract somewhere," not understanding that it will never be in their contract because there is a *very* *very* good reason that it is not. Money. Don't fall for the 'few notable exceptions,' those are in place to keep you hoping, keep you voting properly but to no avail - they are placeholders who are powerless to effect change, for a very very good reason.
Published on Tuesday, October 4, 2005 by CommonDreams.org
War-Hawk Republicans and Anti-War Democrats: What's the Difference?
by Cindy Sheehan

The past week in DC found me in many offices of our elected officials: Senators, Congresspersons, pro-war, "anti-war," Democrat, Republican. With a few notable exceptions, all our employees toed party lines.

Thanks to those who met with me, because, except for Sen. Barbara Boxer, (D-Ca), I was not their constituent. And I believe the Republicans who met with me, whether they knew it or not, were breaking with their leader on this, since he was too cowardly to meet with me.

The War Hawks I met with made my skin crawl. They so obviously are supporting a war that is not in our nation's ibest nterest, nor is it making us more secure. I heard from Sens. Dole (R-NC) and McCain (R-AZ), and Rep. Marilyn Musgrave (R-CO) about 9/11 and "fighting them over there, so we don't have to fight them over there." That made me sick. George Bush and his lying band of imperialist greed mongers exploited 9/11 and our national terror of other terrorist attacks to invade a country that had nothing to do with the attacks on our country. Now, in the aftermath of those lies, tens of thousands of innocent Iraqi civilians are dead and almost 2000 of our brave young men and women. What makes the Iraqi babies and families less precious than ours? The crime that these people committed was being born at the wrong place at the wrong time. George took his war OF terror to their doorsteps. I even asked Sen. Dole when she thought the occupation would be able to end and she was incredulous that I would even think of Iraq as an occupation, she sees it as a liberation. I really wanted to know how many of them do we have to kill before she considered that they were liberated.

The War Hawks (or war-niks, as I like to call them) also use the rationale that Saddam used weapons of mass destruction on his own people. I asked Sen. Dole three times where Saddam got those weapons, and she wouldn't answer me. Because the smiling, kind, patronizing War-Hawkette knew where Saddam got the wepons. He got them from the USA. Saddam was a bad guy, but he was our bad guy (see the famous picture of the grinning Rummy shaking Hussein's hand) until he decided to sell his oil to Russia and France for Euros...then "oh my gosh, Saddam kills his own people!!"

We didn't care about Saddam killing his own people after the first Gulf War when George the First encouraged the people of Iraq to rise up against Saddam. We didn't care about the Iraqi children dying during the Clinton years from the bombings and the sanctions. All of a sudden in March 2003 those things became so important that it was urgent that our troops invade Iraq. Besides, the memo to Congress where George asked for the authority to invade Iraq specifically mentions WMD's and terrorism, it says nothing about Saddam being a "bad guy" or spreading "freedom and democracy" to Iraq. The reasons for our continued occupation change as fast as the old ones are proven lies.

It was horrible to talk to these three warmongering Republicans, I almost felt like I had to take a shower after each visit, but they did not affect my resolve. Congresswoman Musgrave was openly hostile when we were ushered (by her very nice staff) into her office. Ms. Musgrave actually has a son in the service but she got very defensive when I asked which branch of the service her son, who is stationed in Italy, was in. I was asking mother to mother, but she basically said it wasn't any of my business. I told her she must be very worried about her son and he would be in my prayers.

I know that it is hard to have a child in military service whether in Iraq or Italy. She also "supports the president" 100%. Do these politicians not realize that the people are withdrawing their support for this war and for this president at an unprecedented clip? To support George at this point is to support a sinking stone. To support George at anytime, is and was, a mistake of tragic and immense proportions.

The War-Hawk Dems I met with were equally, if not more, disheartening. Although my meeting with Sen. Clinton (D-NY) went well, I don't believe she will do anything to alleviate the suffering of the Americans in Iraq or the Iraqi people. I don't believe that sending more troops is the solution, it will only aggravate an already untenable situation. We met in NYC with Sen. Charles Schumer's aide, who told us that the Senator thinks the occupation of Iraq is a "good thing for America" but he wouldn't elaborate on why. The aide was asked if the Senator had a vested interest in keeping this war going, because the Senator is certainly not stupid enough to believe that this misbegotten, misadventure in the Middle East is good for anyone. I don't think the people of Louisiana, Alabama, and Mississippi would agree with the Senator that this illegal occupation is a "good thing."

The "Anti-War" Dems perplex me the most, however. Except for the good guys, like the members of the Out of Iraq Caucus and a few Senators, the Dem party line is that we must allow Iraq a window of two months time and after the referendum on the constitution this month and the parliamentary elections in December, it will be time to attack the failed policies of George and his cabal of liars.

In my meeting with Howard Dean, he told me that the Iraq issue was "hard" and the new Dem "Contract with America" is going to have 10 points and the first one is going to be "Universal Health Care." I told Mr. Dean that if the Dems didn't come out strongly against the war and against George's disastrous policies, we were going to become irrelevant as a party (which is already happening) and the "hard" issue should be the one that is worked on the hardest! I'll admit that the issue doesn't seem so hard to me: George and his sycophantic band of criminals lied to the world; too many people are dead for the lies; too many people are in harm's way for the lies; it is time to bring our troops home. I am just hoping against hope that the war is on the Dems' contract somewhere. George is always pulling out the old saw that what he does in sending our children to die and kill is "hard work." I hate to see that same adjective used to describe bringing them home. The war issue is not complicated: wrong to invade and wrong to stay. Bring our troops home. Simple.

I think if one is not speaking out right now against the killing in Iraq, one is supporting it. I believe that the members of Congress who have always been, or are now, opposed to this war, need our 100 percent support, admiration, and encouragement. Everyone else needs to be prodded in the right direction. I implored every member I spoke to this past week (and during our bus trip) to lead our country out of the desert. I believe that if they did, America would follow them through fire to bring our troops home.

Finally, I was harrassed at the Capitol Building by a thug security guard who screamed at me to get out of the building until my next appointment. I complained to another security guard about the disrespectful treatment that I had received from the other guard and he said that most of the employees were "Republicans" and they didn't appreciate what I was doing. I have news for them: this is not about politics, to me, this is about flesh and blood. This is not about right and left, this is about right and wrong. 19 troops were needlessly killed in Iraq this past week. 19 families were destroyed senselessly and avoidably. Hundreds of innocent Iraqis were killed for just being home that day, just being out shopping, or just going about their daily lives. An average of almost three of our young men and women are killed everyday in George's abomination. While the War Hawk Repbublicans are wrongfully supporting a wrongheaded war and the "anti-war" Dems are hemming and hawing about the politics of this administration's misguided and evil policies, how many more families will get the news that their lives have been destroyed in the tragic meantime?

What are they waiting for?


homepage: homepage: http://www.commondreams.org/views05/1004-20.htm

Contract with America? 04.Oct.2005 16:10

are they completely clueless?

They could have least stolen one of their own ideas, how about the New New Deal?

Talk to our Oregon Representatives! 04.Oct.2005 16:51


Cindy Sheehan says: "Except for the good guys, like the members of the Out of Iraq Caucus and a few Senators ..."

The reposter ("repost") of Cindy's article, however, says this to Cindy: "Don't fall for the 'few notable exceptions,' those are in place to keep you hoping, keep you voting properly but to no avail ... "

But why would we not vote for the good guys? And the fewer are their number, the more we should be sure to vote for them!

Is it really true that the citizens of Oakland, California, are falling for a sham when they vote for Barbara Lee? I don't think so. I think that it sounds very cool to talk like that, and maybe makes someone feel superior to us dopes, but it isn't really true. What it is, is a cop-out, an easy-out.

Cindy asks, in conclusion: "What are they ["mainstream" Dems] waiting for?" I doubt that they are waiting for people to quit voting out of cynicism.

The Out of Iraq caucus: "Maxine Waters has informed PDA (Progressive Democrats of America) that she and Rep. Charles Rangel, Rep. Barbara Lee, Rep. Lynn Woolsey, Rep. Xavier Becerra, Rep. John Conyers, and Rep. John Lewis are leading a newly formed Out of Iraq Congressional Working Group, with 41 members."

Current members of the Working Group include:

Rep. Neil Abercrombie, Rep. Xavier Becerra, Rep. Corrine Brown, Rep. Julia Carson, Rep. Donna Christensen, Rep. John Conyers, Rep. William Delahunt, Rep. Lloyd Doggett, Rep. Sam Farr, Rep. Chaka Fattah, Rep. Raul Grijalva, Rep. Luis Gutierrez, Rep. Rush Holt, Rep. Marcy Kaptur, Rep. Carolyn Kilpatrick, Rep. Dennis Kucinich, Rep. Barbara Lee, Rep. Shelia Jackson - Lee, Rep. John Lewis, Rep. James McGovern, Rep. Carolyn Maloney, Rep. Jim Moran, Rep. Grace Napolitano, Rep. Eleanor Holmes-Norton, Rep. John Olver, Rep. Major Owens, Rep. Donald Payne, Rep. Nick Rahall, Rep. Charles Rangel, Rep. Janice Schakowsky, Rep. Bobby Scott, Rep. Jose Serrano, Rep. John Tierney

We don't see even ONE of our Oregon representatives on the list! Probably because none of them feels that there is enough grass-roots support to go for it.

So, how about this: We lobby our Oregon representatives to join with the Our of Iraq Caucus!

Of course, "repost" could convince us that it won't work and it's all just a sham to keep us "voting properly" -- so, we could join up with "repost" and do absolutely nothing. We could even feel cool and superior about the nothing that we do.

Let's see: talk tough like "repost" and do nothing OR risk looking stupid and do something -- that is the choice.

Cindy Sheehan and Lockheed 04.Oct.2005 18:00


>>Is it really true that the citizens of Oakland, California, are falling for a sham when they vote for Barbara Lee?

As an Oakland resident, I no longer vote for Lee, I vote for whatever third party candidate runs, or not at all. Barbara Lee could switch into the Green or Peace and Freedom party and still remain a force. But she never would since she is beholden to corporate interests, the same as Kucinich et al., while criticizing those.

Barbara Lee could state that she will no longer take any corporate donations. She will not. She could support primarily Green Party candidates locally who are the only ones speaking out against war. She will not. She has bought into the power game. That's the REAL problem - the money in politics. Because that's what this is all about, money and power. War, at it's essence, is about money. So is Barbara Lee, by remaining in a party that runs on corporate blood money.

She can want peace and be the sole poster child, but if she really wanted to make a difference she could also dump her own failed party. The Ds that think they can 'reform' the party are lost - the D candidates want to keep their own powerful positions, believing that they are saving us from the Rs, when in fact, if they simply folded and went home, or, like courageous Matt Gonazalez in SF, SWITCHED to a party with actual people-centered positions, they could actually make a difference.

We'd all be better off if the Ds simply called it quits and let a real party take over.

But they never will because you keep on voting for them. And for what? To make a pathetic pitch against 'war' when the party they have a feeding tube inserted from is half of the whole problem in this country?

I don't say Lee and McKinney and Kucinich are wrong, I just say I won't waste my vote on them until they show the real courage it will take to make change, instead of remaining in denial, like alcoholics, about what their real role is - to decieve the public into thinking the Dems are a 'left' party, when actually they are pumping the same oil money as the Rs, while throwing token crap out to desperate people who think that one vote against war in the congress will somehow save us.

Imagine if Cindy Sheehan were to take money from Lockheed Martin to stay at Camp Casey a couple more weeks? And imagine if she then paid special visits to the CEOs offices for her speeches. That's really what you're talking about here. When the good guys start melding with the bad, we have a problem. Luckily, we don't think Cindy understands what the Democrats are really all about.

but we still watched CNN every night, didn't we? 04.Oct.2005 19:38


Saddam was our bad guy. He didn't dare attack Kuwait until AFTER he asked for AND GOT Bush 41's go ahead.

And Bush 41 turned on Saddam to make himself salvation to a bunch of people with oil. And we all saw Bush 41's (Shit, it must suck to remain a number to your fuck up son for the rest of your life) shuffling of assets as making the US a great country. Sorry, the USA is a great country for other reasons. Reasons that are constantly being attacked by both parties. FREE THE CONSTITUTION from both fuck up parties!

Anti-war 04.Oct.2005 21:42

Lynn Porter

Sure, by all means pressure our Oregon Reps. to join the Out of Iraq Caucus. But also pressure them to cut off funding for the war. In June all of the Oregon Reps. voted for the 2006 Defense appropriations bill, which included $45 billion for the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. We have to let them know that's not okay and they should not do it again.

I've already told my Rep., Peter DeFazio how I feel about this. He has defended his vote as supporting the troops. I say support them by bringing them home NOW.

re: anti-war 05.Oct.2005 09:34


"Of course, "repost" could convince us that it won't work and it's all just a sham to keep us "voting properly" -- so, we could join up with "repost" and do absolutely nothing. We could even feel cool and superior about the nothing that we do."

Why do you assume when someone says they do not want to vote for Democrats that they are doing nothing? Do you really see voting for Democrats as the only thing one can do? That attitude can be a problem. That attitude can leave you doing nothing BUT voting for Democrats!

Kucinich was not able to influence the Democratic Party platform one iota. I like the guy, he is obviously well meaning and wants a more just world. He also campaigned actively and openly to draw people away from the Green Party and towards the Democrats. The vast majority of people on the floor of the Democratic convention were against the war. So why did the party platform fail to reflect their interests? Again, Kucinich and others were unable to influence the platform in the slightest bit.

Of all the Democratic candidates who are talked about for the 2008 presidential race, are there any real anti-war voices among them? No

I would not criticize anyone who votes for Cynthia McKinney. She is cool! But I do also criticize the Democratic Party as a whole, and figure it is unredeemable. I do not know the future, that is just my best guess based upon what has happened. The farther down you go, the more local you get, the more value your vote has. Your vote for president is meaningless. Your vote in your own town has meaning and at that level, Democrat and Republican has less meaning and in many cases local voting is not partisan.

Some thoughts

What "S" Said 06.Oct.2005 06:25

alsis39 alsis35@yahoo.com

And then some.