I want to take a moment to note yesterday’s heartbreaking news that, five years after the start of this war, there have been 4,000 U.S. military deaths in Iraq. Tens of thousands of our brave men and women have also suffered serious wounds, both visible and invisible, to their bodies, their minds and their hearts. As president, I intend to honor their extraordinary service and the sacrifices of them and their families by ending this war and bringing them home as quickly and responsibly as possible.
Presidential Candidate, Hillary Clinton
March 25, 2008
University of Pennsylvania
Political expediency is the opposite of democracy where the people are the sovereign and is also responsible for infinite death and destruction.
Hillary Clinton was not only pro-invasion of Iraq she was one of the administration’s biggest neo-con cheerleaders for it. “Saddam: disarm or be disarmed.” (Senate Floor Speech: Oct. 10, 2002 right before she gave George authorization to unilaterally and without a declaration of war from Congress, to invade Iraq). Clinton was not fooled by “super-genius” George Bush about his claims that Saddam had WMD and she also had to know that over a million Iraqis were killed and the country devastated after the inhumane sanctions imposed and carried out by her husband. She has to know, because she counts her years as first lady in her resume’ for president. Iraq was no threat to the US (or to Israel, which was also a big concern of hers). The invasion and occupation of Iraq was to be waged for the benefit of the war machine and she willingly allowed herself to be used as a tool for the evil empire.
In September 2005, I was even more idealistic and starry-eyed about the situation than I am now. I had just completed the Camp Casey experience and I was filled with hope. During Camp Casey, Rob Reiner (actor-producer-director) and his wife, Michelle started to support our efforts and the efforts of my organization, Gold Star Families for Peace (GSFP) as we made commercials featuring Gold Star family members against the war. They raised a lot of money for the commercials and their staff was graciously helping GSFP gain its 501c3 (non-profit) status. After I returned to California from Crawford, I met with Rob and Michelle at their home in Los Angeles. Present at the meeting was Steve Bing, heir to a fortune and huge Clinton supporter. At the meeting, I was told that Hillary was our “best hope” to regain the White House in ’08, and that I should go along with the program because I didn’t have to worry, Mrs. Clinton would come out against the war when it was “politically expedient” to do so. I was appalled at this because I didn’t believe that “political expediency” was a good progressive indicator between right and wrong or life and death.
After the meeting, I returned to the “Bring Them Home Now” bus tour and one of our stops was Brooklyn where I shared this bit about “Mrs. Clinton” with the large crowd packed into a Brooklyn church. The attendees were also sufficiently appalled, but I got in huge trouble from my “supporter” Steve Bing for saying this. However, Steve decently arranged a meeting between myself and Mrs. Clinton for after the tour arrived in Washington, DC for the enormous ANSWER/UFPJ march on September 23, 2005.
I went to the meeting with Senator Clinton with another Gold Star Mom, Lynn Braddach, whose son, Travis Nall was KIA in Iraq. My sister Dede and Senator Harry Reid were also in attendance. We all poured our hearts out to the Senators and Senator Reid commented: “It seems like we need to do more to end the war,” before he left and after Senator Clinton left the meeting, she promptly walked out and told Sarah Ferguson of the Village Voice: “My bottom line is that I don’t want their sons to die in vain… I don’t believe it’s smart to set a date for withdrawal… I don’t think it’s the right time to withdraw.” I was stunned and shocked by her statement at that time, because that was exactly what George was saying. I began to speak out against her as I saw that she was a “hawk in dove’s clothing” and as dangerous as BushCo. I had to do it even though it cost me the support of the Reiners and Steve Bing. It was not a “monetarily expedient” thing to do, but, in my opinion, the right thing to do.
So now after 2200 more American deaths; tens of thousands of physical, mental and emotional injuries; hundreds of thousands of more Iraqi deaths; millions more Iraqi refugees; and hundreds of billions more dollars, Mrs. Clinton apparently now believes that ending the occupation is the “politically expedient” thing to do. Incalculable grief and suffering have transpired since our meeting with Senator Clinton in September 2005 and we won’t be able to quantify the future untold suffering that will unfold if and when she becomes president and finally decides to do the correct thing (not politically expedient thing) and start to withdraw our troops.
These wars of aggression have traumatized our nation in so many ways and we must do everything in our power to insure that we are represented by people who always do the “humanely expedient” thing over the “politically expedient” thing in every case.
I have, on occasion, seen the best of politics, but have been disheartened and disillusioned to also see the worst in politicians. I am running for political office, but heaven forbid that I will ever become a politician—I am hoping to remain a public servant—in or out of office.