War on Iraq  
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Resisting Hillary

How can those who want the occupation of Iraq to end support Hillary Clinton's higher political aspirations? They can't.
 
 
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I would love to support Hillary for President if she would come out against the travesty in Iraq. But I don't think she can speak out against the occupation, because she supports it.

I will not make the mistake of supporting another pro-war Democrat for president again, as I won't support a pro-war Republican.

This country wants this occupation to end. The world wants the occupation to end. People in Iraq want this occupation to end.

Senator Clinton: taking the peace road would not prove you are weak. Instead, it would prove that you are the strongest and wisest candidate. As a mom, as an American, as a patriot: I implore you to have the strength and courage to lead the fight for peace.

I want to support you, I want to work for you, but like many American moms, I will resist your candidacy with every bit of my power and strength unless you show us the wisdom it takes to be a truly great leader.

Prove that you are "passionate" and reflect our nation's values and refusal to support imperialism, greed and torture.

Senator Clinton: come out against this occupation of Iraq. Not because it is the politically expedient thing to do but because it is the humane thing to do. If you want to make Casey's sacrifice count, bring the rest of his buddies home alive.

I did meet with Sen. Clinton, along with Sen. Harry Reid, on Sept. 22, 2005. No one has asked me how it went with Sen. Reid, but I've been asked about my meeting with Sen. Clinton many times. A few days earlier in Brooklyn, I had referred to her as waiting for a politically "expedient" moment to speak out against the war in Iraq. I, of course, think that this tactic is wrong, because politics has nothing to do with the slaughter going on in Iraq. No one asked the almost 2000 Americans and tens of thousands of innocent Iraqis who have been killed what political party they were rooting for. When a mother receives the news that her son or daughter has been killed for lies she never thinks "Oh no, how could this have happened? I am a Democrat (Republican)!!!"

Playing politics with our soldiers' lives is despicable.

I thought the meeting with Sen. Clinton went well. I thought she listened and heard what we had to say. I went with another Gold Star Mother, Lynn Braddach, and my sister, Dede Miller. After Sen. Reid left, Mrs. Clinton stayed for a few more moments and she told us that she had met with the other Gold Star Mothers who had a different view from ours. I said it didn't really matter, because our view is right. Lynn, Dede and I don't want our loved ones to be used as political pawns to justify the killing spree in Iraq. I can't believe any mother who has had her heart and soul torn out would wish that on another mother. How often do the lies have to be exposed before every American (elected official, media representative, average citizen) wakes up and says, "enough killing is enough!"

I thought Mrs. Clinton listened, but apparently she didn't because immediately afterwards she said the following to 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."

That quote sounds exactly like what the few Republicans I talked to that week said. Making sure that our children did not die in "vain" sounds exactly like something George Bush says. A "date" for withdrawal? That sounds like Rush Limbaugh to me. That doesn't sound like an opposition party leader speaking to me. What Sen. Clinton said after our meeting sounds exactly like the Republican Party talking points I heard from Senators Dole and McCain.

Sen. Clinton is in California today to raise money for her political campaigns. An invitation to one star-studded gala reads:

"We must stand with Senator Clinton as she stands up for what we believe in. Hillary is and always has been our champion in the White House and the Senate." And she's one of the "strongest, most passionate and intelligent Democrats."

I didn't get an invitation to any of the events, but maybe it's because she doesn't stand up for what I believe in. I don't believe in continuing this occupation of Iraq and I don't believe in killing more of our soldiers because my son has already been needlessly and tragically killed. I don't believe she is passionate. I think she is a political animal who believes she has to be a war hawk to keep up with the big boys. She is intelligent, there's no doubt about that. However, I believe that the intelligent thing for Democrats to do for 2006 and 2008 would be to come out strongly and correctly against the botched, bungled, illegal and immoral occupation of Iraq.

Sixty-two percent of Americans now believe that this war is based on lies and betrayals and want our troops to start coming home. Fifty-three percent of Americans want our troops to come home immediately. The last time I looked, Democrats did not comprise 62 percent of our population. Americans oppose this war in overwhelming numbers and it crosses party lines. Because America can see that the war in Iraq has fueled terrorism and has made the world and our country less secure. America can see that the murder of innocents is not a "right and left" issue, it is a "right and wrong" issue.

Sixty-nine of our best and brightest have been sent meaninglessly and unnecessarily to their premature deaths since I met with Mrs. Clinton on September 22nd. Sixty-nine mothers and fathers, and who knows how many spouses, brothers, sisters, sons, daughters, cousins, and friends, have been meaninglessly and unnecessarily sent into tailspins of grief and emptiness since that meeting.

We all know that Sen. Clinton, along with many other Representatives and Senators voted to give George Bush the authority to invade a sovereign nation that was no threat to the U.S.A. We know that they spinelessly abrogated their constitutional responsibility and duty to declare war. We (and most of them) know that voting to give an irresponsible person authority to wage war was a devastating mistake. But I know that knowing all of that will not bring my son or almost 2000 other Americans back, and it won't bring back that nation's war dead, either.

Cindy Sheehan is co-founder of Gold Star Families for Peace .