Political Expediency

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.

Cindy Sheehan is the mother of Spc. Casey Sheehan who was killed in Bush's war of terror on 04/04/04. Sheehan is a congressional candidate running against Nancy Pelosi in San Francisco. You can visit her campaign website at CindyforCongress.org. She is the co-founder and president of Gold Star Families for Peace and The Camp Casey Peace Institute. Read other articles by Cindy, or visit Cindy's website.

16 comments on this article so far ...

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  1. Ryan said on March 27th, 2008 at 6:05am #

    Cindy Sheehan, you were a tool of the corporatist peace movement. When you realized that, you were shocked and delivered your farewell blog posts. One noted you were no longer supporting the Democratic Party. The other said you were done with the peace movement.
    So why do you continue to be a tool?
    If CODESTINK and all the other really, really want to end the war groups really wanted to end the war, wouldn’t they have paired you up with Barack Obama? The anti-war senator and the peace mom!
    But they kept you away from him and steered you towards Hillary. You still allow yourself to be used.
    Until you can call out Barack Obama, why don’t you just go back into retirement? He is not anti-war and columns like your column do nothing to get that reality out. Many parents have buried their children as a result of Barack Obama’s non-stop funding for the illegal war.
    Either stop being a tool of the Democratic Party or go away.
    Someone who ‘endorses’ Cynthia McKinney and then spends all her time propping up Barack Obama is a tool and a fool.

  2. Wendy said on March 27th, 2008 at 6:24am #

    Cindy, well at least we agree on something: neither of us will be voting for Hillary. By the way, after losing your Congressional run to Pelosi, will you be using Casey’s death for a presidential run in 2012? That would be the only other situation worse than another Clinton presidency.

  3. hp said on March 27th, 2008 at 8:04am #

    Now that is truly hate speech, Wendy.
    Is it learned or genetic? Or both?

  4. Erroll said on March 27th, 2008 at 10:05am #


    Very well said. Pseudo liberals like Wendy demonstrate themselves to be just as pernicious, and foolish, and stupid, as the neoconservatives.

  5. jim said on March 27th, 2008 at 10:19am #

    Thank you for your persistent efforts.

  6. Jim said on March 27th, 2008 at 1:07pm #

    You should go on the Deadline Live show with Jack Blood for an interview about this. Why is it that so few people are talking about Hillary being pro war?
    Thanks for the update and article.

  7. Miley said on March 27th, 2008 at 5:15pm #

    “Why is that so few people are talking about Hillary being pro war?” Uh, The Nation, In These Times, The Progressive, MoveOn, the entire choir’s singing and they’re singing for a War Hawk. My vote is Cynthia McKinney and Cindy Sheehan does need to figure out who she’s supporting because she DID endorse Cynthia but all she does is stick her nose in the Democratic race despite claiming to be done with the party. Every slam against Hillary is a build up of Barack Obama. He is a War Hawk. Cynthia McKinney will end the war. If Cindy Sheehan was talking about Ralph Nader, I wouldn’t have a problem with it. He’ll end it too. But she is providing cover for Barack Obama and the first poster is correct that she’s done that all along, knowingly or unknowningly. She should know better. And why was CODESTINK dragging her off to meet Barack? Because he’s not going to end the war. But they want him to get the nomination. So Cindy, like a good little puppet, shows up to write her idiotic posts on Hillary while staying silent on Barack Obama. And we’re all supposed to go, “Oh, she lost her son.” Guess what, Barack Obama voted to fund the illegal war over and over. A lot of parents lost their children because of Barack Obama. So until Cindy Sheehan can get honest, she really does just need to butt out. As a Cynthia McKinney supporter I wonder how Cindy thinks she’s doing my candidate any good? She’s not. And she’s not helping to end the war. She’s just being a tool for the Democrats all over again. Maybe she thinks she can get back in the Blog Bois Club that way?

  8. Miley said on March 27th, 2008 at 5:16pm #

    Correction: “Why wasn’t CODESTINK dragging her off to meet Barack?”

  9. hp said on March 27th, 2008 at 6:09pm #

    What angers you the most, Miley?
    Cindy’s not living up to your expectations or Cynthia not having a chance in ten million?
    If you are always angry because people don’t or won’t support your person, you’re only going to make yourself sick.
    I have it even worse than you do.
    I don’t believe for one second the ‘people’ elect anyone.
    If the last two elections stolen right in front of our eyes didn’t do it, then nothing will.
    This is all just therapy..

  10. Miley said on March 27th, 2008 at 8:54pm #

    Hp, Cindy Sheehan endorsed Cynthia McKinney, she used that endorsement to get on a panel for the Green debate where she asked questions of the candidates; however, Larry Bensky was the only one asking about Iraq.
    Cindy Sheehan has taken to visiting Common Dreams and posting comments that are pro-Barack Obama, comments, not columns, in joining in the Hillary bashing.
    She needs to be bashing them both or admit that her endorsement of Cynthia McKinney was nothing but a photo-op for herself.
    The war didn’t end when her son died. And Barack Obama voted for funding it. Cynthia McKinney didn’t. So she really needs to stop helping Barack by going after Hillary every other column. She needs to stop playing ‘Peace Mom’ while she builds up another War Hawk who not only is making war noises about Iran, as William Akcer pointed out in the Washington Post last week, but has also stated Hugo Chavez’ presidency is illegitimate and that as president of the United States it would be his job to help the people of Venezuela. That would be one of the country’s Cindy visited. And she doesn’t call out Barack Obama?
    I do get what you’re saying. I’m not sure that I disagree. But Cynthia supporters like me and Ralph Nader supporters are doing their best to get the word out and we certainly don’t need Cindy Sheehan doing the Obama’s campaign’s work for them.
    Now Cynthia may not have a chance, Ralph may not have a chance. I would be happy seeing either in the White House. But I do know the world doesn’t stand a chance if we’re all playing stupid and pretending Barack Obama’s the coolest and peace-yist of all. That nosense has already led me to stop visiting The Nation, The Progressive, Common Dreams and watching Amy Goodman’s dreadful show that finds her with ethics similar to Judith Miller these days. Our brave ‘left’ is lying to us and we don’t need it from the radical Dissident Voice. DV’s really all I have left. So that probably makes me angry as well. But I am big time angry that Cindy got good write ups from the left not in the tank with Dems for endorsing Cythia and now wants to promote Obama.
    And don’t get me started on Jeremy Scahill who’s latest article with Naomi Klein offers his generic talking point except when he’s being interviewed by Real News Network at Winter Soldier. It’s Obama Groupie time for America and America needs to wake up. Regardless of who decides the election.
    All of this p.r. passing as journalism means a large portion of Americans have been softened up so that if Obama gets into the White House, there will be excuses not outrage. We need to be outraged right now and channeling that. My opinion.

  11. Wendy said on March 27th, 2008 at 9:18pm #

    Hey, where is Hue Longer the troll? Peace on Earth. Wendy

  12. hp said on March 27th, 2008 at 9:20pm #

    Thanks for your tempered reply, Miley. I do understand what you say and I’m certain everyone here also does.
    Obviously you are truly concerned and sincere.
    Just don’t let it affect your health.

  13. Hue Longer said on March 27th, 2008 at 11:05pm #

    Well Wendy does occasionally pop back in to read the misdirection she causes. Hello Wendy, I’m honored to have the peace prayer “woman” address me!

    Could you clear it up for the kind progressives here that you are not a Democrat? I think it funny their assumption that Democrats are the worst kind of trash visiting DV.

    Miley/Ryan…I thought she did dis both a short while back.

  14. Miley said on March 28th, 2008 at 7:20pm #

    Hue Longer, she hasn’t dissed both that I’ve seen. I’ve seen her posting comments on those Barack Will Save Us articles at Common Dreams about what a b— Hillary is and then, getting comments of “Welcome back, Cindy, we missed you,” shine it on for Obama. I’m not talking about her articles, I’m talking about the commenting she was doing at Common Dreams, over and over, last month.
    I supported Cindy when she walked away from the Democratic Party. If she wants to walk back to it, she needs to say so. She endorsed Cynthia McKinney and, on one article, she posted something like 10 comments. She found time to attack Hillary, she found time to coo about Barack, but she never said a word about Cynthia.
    In terms of her columns, she has not dissed both. She writes a column about how awful Bush is, then she writes a column about how awful Hillary is, then she does another Bush column, then she does another Hillary column. Over and over. Find the Barack column. There is none. She may have mentioned it in a signle sentence but it’s not been the focus of her column.
    And with her other ‘peace’ friend David Swanson instructing people to vote Obama if they want to end the war near daily, she wouldn’t speak out against Obama.
    I’m tired of that garbage. I’m tired of Amy Goodman. It was pointed out that the day of primaries in CA, MASS, etc., Goodman finally got around to interviewing Cynthia. That was no help to Cynthia. In MASS she lost some votes from people who didn’t know they had to switch their party registration to vote for her. Why is that Amy Goodman is supposedly not a Democrat but she can’t focus on the Greens? The Dems have had how many debates now? The next day on Democracy Now! it’s time for a full hour. The Green Party had only one debate and Amy Goodman reduces that to a single headline. She doesn’t broadcast the debate. Dennis Kucinich gets shut out of a Democratic debate and there she is offering him the whole hour to give his responses. But she can’t even broadcast the Green debate? The only one and she can’t provide it?
    I read a good point online somewhere about exactly how do you get all these people endorsing Barack Obama? People who normally don’t agree with anything and often have lively debates but there’s Matthew Rothschild praising him, Katha Pollitt endorsing him, Laura Flanders endorsing him, John Nichols, Ari Berman, Ari Mebler, Ruth Conniff, Barabra Ehrenriech, and the list just doesn’t end. With the exception of them ALL agreeing Ralph shouldn’t run in 2004, I haven’t seen them all agree on anything ever before. Juan Gonzales wrote “I Smell Barackoloney” for The New York Daily News and despite the fact that Juan was a co-host on the program that morning, Amy never mentioned the column. She always mentions his columns when he’s on Fridays. But that one she couldn’t mention? But she could list all her weekend appearances. Or how about her two visits with Melissa Harris Lacewell in January? Melissa Harris Lacewell is part of the Obama campaign. But there’s Amy chatting with her and not telling the audience. Melissa’s offering ‘objective’ thoughts on candidates and says ‘wow’ over a speech that she found amazing that was given by Barack Obama. Amy Goodman should have told people. And she knew Melissa was part of the campaign. Before that first appearance, they were both on Jesse Jackson’s radio show and Melissa was talking about that. But we sat through an entire broadcast of Melissa’s “objective” thoughts that included praise, outright praise for Barack Obama. She’s part of the campaign. She’s making calls and speeches. The audience had a right to know that fact and to evaluate her ‘objectivity’ based on that. When it was time for Amy to turn Melissa loose on Gloria Steinem the very next week, there’s Amy saying Melissa supports Barack and there’s Melissa bragging about being part of the campaign. Audiences had a right to know that. Amy did the same thing with Frances Fox Piven who took her support for Barack public two weeks before she showed up as an ‘objective’ panelist on Democracy Now. This isn’t a minor issue to me. Ralph Nader and Cynthia McKinney get no attention. And I do believe the Barack Obama attention has been orchestrated. Dissident Voice, Black Agenda Report and Juan Gonzalez are the only ones I trust anymore.

  15. Wendy said on March 28th, 2008 at 7:56pm #

    Miley, you stated: “I’m tired of Amy Goodman.”

    I agree with you 100% on that one! Amy “blame America first” Goodman is a poor excuse for a journalist.

    Peace on Earth. Wendy

  16. Bl4ckP0pe said on March 30th, 2008 at 10:43am #

    Casey Sheehan was a gawddammned Volunteer Warcriminal and I salute the Iraqi Resistance who plugged his flabby white ass before the bastard could do any more damage to their country.

    It is a great pity it wasn’t 400,000 busted GameBoy Tourists y’all had to whine about, instead of just 4,000.

    Still, here’s hoping 2008 brings you a bumper harvest of wasted skYanki MeatSackz to moan over.

    Unity + Victory to the Heroic Iraqi Resistance !
    Everyone has a part to play – Rome wasn’t burnt in a Day !