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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 weapons. 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?

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from left and right. We as a nation have got to go back to our Founding Fathers basic reasons for breaking from King George > freedom of religion. Those of us with religious convictions, no matter what our religion is, havc a basic philosophy that flesh and blood, as you say, is more important than party lines.
Personally, I have noticed that my hometown Catholic church is putting the concept of "PEACE" more and more on the prayer list every Sunday. But I think more needs to be said and in greater detail by the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops in Washington DC:

Clearly, the Bush Administration are practicing Fascists, wolves in not so sheepish clothing, because all the lies and motives have been revealed. The Catholic Church can no longer make the same mistake it made during Nazi Germany> silence. Silence by the Catholic Church now would be another glaring Sin of Omission.

Thank you for your persistent honesty and frank discourse.

The pro-war GOPs and Dems will never be so frank. The real reason we are in Iraq? It's the one no pro-war person ever mentions: the "O" word.

We're in Iraq because we let the oil companies buy up enough government influence to keep us in gas guzzling cars for the last 35 years, to squelch alternative sources and conservation programs, and to keep the people disempowered over their own lives and their own country's destiny.

The logical continuation of this oil-based culture is the necessity to occupy the oil producing countries.

Until we are willing to cut Exxon out of the White House and Congress, moderate our lifestyles for our good, our children's, and the planet's, and invest in energy efficient transportation, guess who will still site in the Senate, sign war appropriations, talk about how things in Iraq are improving (how can you have a meaningful election in a country where the occupying army is at war with 1/3 of the population?), and how all of this, for some UNSTATED reason, is "good for America."

Bring the troops home now.


Cindy, thank you again for speaking truth to power.. I heard you at the Peace rally in DC and everything you said rang true and during the rally I gained confidence in the country again that things could be solved by standing up for what is right and the country seems to be ready to do just that.

Cindy needs to start meeting with some 3rd party leaders. As she has the "street creds" she could make one of the 3rd parties into a major force. Who would have thought before the summer that these arrogant, power hungry dems and repubs party leaders would even agree to see cindy.

Well she cetainly has their attention now and if they don't wanna play ball with the 60% of the people that believe we are headed in the wrong direction then we need to push the 3rd party leaders who are want to be a credible force in American politics to go have a session with Cindy.

Ralph how about a meeting with Cindy??

You have issues. I advise therapy.

Therapy? I have to admit some Americans are just rude. Do us a favor
here OK,.. be nice or disappear.

Decent people have courtesy for others opinions expecially someone that has lost their son in war for the US. No one asks our political affliation before our children are sent to war. Decent people do not call an occupation, a liberation for their own peace of mind. Decent people do not bomb others to liberate them...or occupy their country and claim the people are now free. I wouldn't like it...would you?

I suppose you see yourself as such a nice and tolerant American.......never "rude".
Go lecture the mirror.

p.s. I'm not the one who posted, just an observer that finds it hilarious to read the righteous comments of some who preach what they don't seem to practice.

If you feel so strongly, why don't YOU go to Iraq and try to make a difference. If Bush is what you say he is, you won't get anywhere campaigning in America. He'll bury you. Iraq, on the other hand, is where it is all happening. Go there and make a difference.

NO ONE should be in Iraq, unless they are Iraqi,is the point...We have no right to be there. So, YOU go make a difference. The Iraq was was started on lies, and the US military should not be used against a country that did not attack us, and should not be used as an occupying force. It is just wrong.

There is no doubt that bush and company are the Hurricane Katrinas of American Foreign Policy. Saying that the war in Iraq is a mess is like saying the Titanic had a bit of a problem on Her maiden voyage. This will be exceedingly difficult to get out of. What bush has done cannot be undone. Moreover, as bad as this is it is only the most recent of a long line of Foreign Policy blunders. Just looking at the Middle East, we have overthrown the government of Iran, installed a dictator there, supported a dictator in Iraq whose war against Iran killed a million people, looked the other way when he invaded Kuwait, double crossed Saddam and used his aggression to increase our military presence in that region, cause the deaths of thousands of Iraqi civilians in the course of controlling Saddam and are now invading and occupying Iraq.
The "mainstream democrats" have long since bought into this Foreign Policy. The exception was getting out of Vietnam. Liberals have been blamed for losing that war. Witness the notion that if we had done this or if our hands weren't tied or blah..blah..blah we would have won. How much thanks has been given to getting us the hell out of that immoral disaster. I don't think we have ever admitted that we were wrong and had violated International Law.
Now here's another opportunity for political courage. All someone has to do is tell the American People and admit to the world that we are lying, self serving, hypocritical mass murders, the lives of our bravest and dearest have been thrown away and that the terrorists that flew airplanes into our buildings had some valid points to make. The alternative is to simply hide and wait for someone else to catch that falling knife.

The fact that you actually believe that terrorists flew planes into the Twin Towers at this late date, reveals what's wrong with our nation. When a people foolishly believe whatever the government tells them without independently verified proof that its true, they are indeed in trouble! In spite of a mountain of suppressed facts which prove otherwise, you remain stuck in a belief about 9/11 that's completely wrong! You don't know this because like most Americans, you probably feel its better to blockout alternative views on 9/11 rather than analyze them. So much for the facts!

This is exactly how we got into the Iraq mess, people believing government propaganda instead of the facts, which people like Scott Ritter were loudly disseminating to all who'd listen! Political courage begans with the individual not a leader, a foolish and cowardly people are fit to be oppressed not free! If you know the truth your actions should be guided by it. If you know only the government position, then you should seek the truth by listening to alternative views on the issue. This is after all the only way to get at the facts. Whatever your personal orientation, one should never forget that the government's position on an issue equals propaganda not the truth! Things must be independently verified at all times. In the absence of political courage, propaganda will invariably blot out the truth and people will be led astray. We have no excuse for our present day foolishness as a nation. With the truth all around us, there is no reason for any American to ever be led astray! The American people can be led astray only, when they individually choose to block out alternative views in favor of blindly following the government line. This my friend is always a difficult, but still a very personal choice!

I think all idiots/'independent thinkers' such as yourself should have had a front row seat on one of those four planes to "independently verify" who was flying them. Actually, the more I read of the left's shrill whining the more I think you all to be delusional and paranoid. Too bad you're not paranoid about the right people - the islamic nuts who would like to see you and me dead.

And now the gem - Scott Ritter - the voice of truth. (That's sarcasm, btw.) Wasn't he busted for trying to pick up an underage girl or two? ( I can hear the answer already - he was framed by the great government conspiracy. Please - give it a rest. Glad to see the left pick a real esteemed figure to defer to. He sure has a lot of moral authority... Almost as funny as the uneducated Hollywood activists that try to insult public figures with graduate and post-graduate degrees. (now THAT'S entertainment!) Not that degrees necessarily indicate intelligence, but they're sure more likely to be indicators of such than the lack thereof.

And - Cindy - the new totem pole and rallying cry of the left. Bravo. Too much for words. Beyond the pale - trashing her own son's name for the sake of the communist-sponsored anti-war lobby. Shame on you, Cindy, you've no moral high ground to stand on. I've children too, and if my child died (God forbid) protecting this great (greatest) country I'd do more to honor him than twist his patriotism into a grotesque political tool. Maybe Hanoi Jane could scoot over on that enemy anti-aircraft gun and save a seat for Cindy. What Cindy is really doing is ensuring that MORE of our boys die in Iraq since she is emboldening the terrorists we fight there. That is called aiding and abetting the enemy in time of war - Treason. (Violation of allegiance toward one's country or sovereign, especially the betrayal of one's country by waging war against it or by consciously and purposely acting to aid its enemies. - What a shame that Treason is no longer a fashionable charge. Sedition and Treason - two charges that could easily be applied to a lot of the traitors (ooops - 'independent thinkers') that are fighting for the spotlight of infamy. (First Amendment rights don't protect traitors who commit Treason knowingly, willingly, and gladly.)

The left is one big three-ring circus where each bozo tries to outdo the previous one, and often succeeds. In the words of a character played by another pseudo-activist, Hanks, "Stupid is as stupid does." Please - by all means carry on - the rest of the country could use some more entertainment in these difficult times.

I'd rather be see with a clown than be seen with people wearing stripes and florescant orange clothing.

The left stands for helping the poor-but the right stands for milking the poor to feed the reach. May their crimes finally come to light so we can have a gov't once more-by the people and for the people!

Thank you, Cindy, for facing these deceitful leaders one to one. The "answers" they gave you simply prove that they are either really unintelligent or else in cahoots with the war profiteers. Facing up to our nation's misdeeds will not be easy. We have much blood on our hands. And we do need a new political party, be it Independent, Green, Peace or Progressive. I pray that someone, from any such party, will soon lead us out of the mess we are in. After all, the majority of us are not beholden to the war profiteers. We are fed up with most of our politicians and eager to take back our country.

Cindy is doing a yeoman's job and standing up to those who defend this war only for their personal ideological beliefs... There is not one good reason for pursuing this disasterous adventure given by those Cindy talked to... It is time for them to sacrifice...the families that bought their children armour have not been reimbursed...Dole, Clinton, Bush, MCCain, Schumer, Lieberman .... you support this war drop a minimum of 10Gs in the bucket...a small sacrifice for your war of choice. EVery pro war Senator should contibute...along with Rummy who can afford this alone. Bush and Cheney should have to contribute to those maimed...who cannot support themselves. The House should have to donate as well. Hey, these guys are independently wealthy, have health insurance and a guaranteed pension to boot that we taxpayers including the soldiers have to pay for...not much sacrifice there. There should be no more golf trips, no more deductions for fact no write offs during this war of choice for the hawks. No fund raisers for political parties...unless there is a 60/40 split...60 to the soldiers.... the maimed soldiers should also attend so they can do some networking... Hey, they paid the price for these guys to host these big include them. This is just a start of ideas but a collection for armour in the Senate is a start...and Bush, Rummy, Cheney along with the neocons in the press should all have to make some sort of contributions of money and jobs for these guys...Give some advance notice and I'll come to DC and help with the collections from these guys. I would also like to hear all the reasons for this war...that so many of these guys allude to... when they say it wasn't just WMDs...Well, could you be more vague...Let us in on the other reasons for killing our children and Iraqis...

Cindy, I admire your persistence in making these scoundrels account for their crimes. But in the present structure the odds are rather heavily stacked against you achieving any success. The only way out is to dump both the parties as neither of them seem to have the nation's interests at heart. There has to be a new political party which should reject all lobbies and draw their power entirely from the people. The common man on the street is the only hope for US. Why don't you talk to Gary Hart, who in my view is the only public figure with the Character, Intellect and the Stature and ofcourse the charisma to head a new party. Look at Europe - can you imagine any Political leader in Europe getting away with such criminal actions????
Do you think the Press in Europe would let their leaders get away with such crimes?? The Press in US is utterly corrupt. Do not expect any support from the press as they have a stake in all the Criminal acts of the Govt. Here's wishing you all the best.

A liberal is someone who is so open-minded that their brain has fallen out.

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