You Get What you Vote For! By Cindy Sheehan November 27, 2009

November 27, 2009 at 16:18:47

You Get What you Vote For!

By Cindy Sheehan

For OpEdNews: Cindy Sheehan - Writer

The so-called anti-war movement currently finds itself in somewhat of a quagmire: What to do when the man you raised money for, volunteered for, and yes, even voted for, actually fulfills one of his most repulsive campaign promises?

First of all, I never understood why, or how, peace people could support someone who voted to pay for the wars while he was a Senator and was quite clear on the fact that he would increase violence in Afghanistan and perform a slow, painful and very incomplete withdrawal from Iraq. Principles that were proclaimed so loudly while Bush was president get shoved aside and buried now that a Democrat is president and how do you get your principles back from the dung-pile of selling out?

Secondly, On January 23rd of a rapidly dissipating 2009, Barack Obama perpetrated his first war crime (as president) by authorizing a drone attack in Pakistan. In February of this same year, he ordered an increase of roughly 20,000 more troops to Afghanistan: more war crimes, no corresponding outcry. However, when I cried out, I was roundly attacked by the “left” for not giving Obama a “chance.” 2009 is going to be the most deadly year for our troops and Afghan and Pakistani civilians on record. I think George Bush is calling: he wants his Nobel Peace Prize back.

It is being widely reported (and it seems hotly anticipated by some)—that even though the “anti-war” movement wrote a letter to Obama and asked him to “pretty please” not send any more troops to Afghanistan and had us calling the White House all day on Monday the 23rd when Obama was scheduled to hold his final “war summit"—that the U.S. will commit 34,000 more troops to Afghanistan which is a 50 percent increase in troop strength in the Land of Certain Empire Death.

What is the “anti-war” movement's response going to be? Candlelight vigils; “honk if you love peace” rallies; a hundred rounds of “We Shall Over Come" (someday, not today or tomorrow); or, is the “anti-war” movement going to say: “Phew, McChrystal asked for 80,000, but our letter worked—he's only sending 34,000?”

True story: in October of 2005, U.S. troop deaths were going to reach 2000, within days and the “movement” was planning its response. I called for a die-in, with risk of arrest, in front of the White House and called for a candlelight vigil in Lafayette Park. moved their vigil to another location because they told me that their members weren't ready to do civil disobedience and some of them may be accidentally swept up in some kind of a "peace sweep." I said, “Fine,, have a candlelight vigil for 2000 like you did for 1000 and next year you'll have one for 3000, then 4000, and then 5000.” I think many of's members were ready, I just don't think that was then, or is now. They didn't do it when Bush was president, I can't imagine standing up for peace when their man is the one doing the killing.

So, here we are four years, thousands of U.S. troops deaths and hundreds of thousands of civilian deaths later, and the Pope of Hope, the Dalai O'bama, the Nobel Laureate will soon be condemning thousands of more to the same fate and his supporters have given him permission to do so, no matter how many letters they write, petitions they sign or phone calls they make.

In the end, you always get what you vote for.

I knew that this surge was a done deal no matter how much political posturing and pandering occurred. I chained myself to the White House fence on October 5th and was arrested with 60 other people protesting the wars and demanding that peace be put on the proverbial table. But those were symbolic actions and the problems we are facing are deadly and in full Techno-Color, real. The time for symbolism and street-theater ended years ago, but moribund actions won't seem to just go away gracefully, so we will have to cut them off, cold turkey!

On Monday, November 30, the Peace of the Action Coalition will be sending out a press release condemning the escalation and announcing our Mother of all Protests (MOAP) that will begin in the spring.
If you're looking for some action, look no further than Peace of the Action and stayed fine-tuned for further details!

"Mother Of All Protests!" ...get a piece of the action!

The Peace of the Action Coalition will be announcing Mother of all Protests (MOAP). The banner of 9/11 Truth will want a piece of the action.

North Texans for 9/11 Truth

I am planning on going...

Do these people deserve to know how and why their loved ones were murdered? The facts speak for themselves.

Obama Administration has co-opted liberal groups

From Van Jones: A Moment of Truth For Liberal Institutions in the Veal Pen

Soon after the election, the Administration began corralling the big liberal DC interest groups into a variety of organizations and communication networks through which they telegraphed their wishes — into a virtual veal pen. The 8:45 am morning call co-hosted by the "liberal" Center for American Progress, Unity 09, and Common Purpose are just a few of the overt ways that the White House controls its left flank and maintains discipline.

My own experience with the Veal Pen came indirectly, when some of them had the temerity to launch a campaign against Blue Dogs. They were rebuked and humiliated in front of their peers as a lesson to them all at a Common Purpose meeting, which is run by lobbyist Erik Smith. White House communications director Ellen Moran attends. It isn’t an arms-length relationship between these groups and the administration.

A few weeks ago, Rahm Emanuel showed up at a Common Purpose meeting and called these liberal groups "fucking stupid" for going after Blue Dogs on health care and ordered them not to do so any more. Since that time, to the best of my knowledge, none of them have.

These organizations may kid themselves that they’re doing no harm, but that’s not true. They are the institutional liberal validators who telegraph to liberals that there are problems, that things are happening that are not good for them. They are trusted to decode the byzantine rituals of government and let the public know when their interests are not being served, that it’s time to pay attention and start making a racket. When they fail to perform that task, the public is left with a vague feeling of anxiety, intuitively understanding that something is wrong but not knowing who or what to blame.

When the White House met with bankers after the AIG scandal and they said they didn’t want to be criticized for getting huge bonuses paid for by taxpayers, the White House complied and "cooled their rhetoric." The President told the public that Timothy Geithner had been instructed to do everything in his power to claw back those bonuses, and the House passed a bill doing just that. But it died in the Senate.

You remember all those campaigns by the unions, by the online groups, by liberal economics and finance organizations pushing the Senate to take it up?

Yeah, me either.

Meanwhile, I've needled one of the leaders of the Progressive Change Campaign Committee (the so-called 'Bold Progressives'), asking basically "When are you going to take the gloves off?", but those questions are always ducked.

Also, even somewhat outspoken lefties don't want to talk about Obama's lying, backstab of a deal with Tauzin and Big Pharma, which is a direct violation of one of his campaign promises. Instead of demanding that Obama apologize for his uber lie, at most they'll briefly mention it in passing. But the Republicans don't want to talk about it, either, as they are also 'on the take' from Big Pharma. So, instead they make up stories about pulling the plug on Grandma.

"We all like sheep have gone astray".

Does anybody know about the current status of Cindy Sheehan's relationship with Randi Rhodes? Rhodes claimed Sheehan as a "friend", but Rhodes is such a Democratic Party toady, I don't expect that their "friendship" survived the Democrats taking power, and showing the world, as Rhodes often used to say, "who they are". (The full Rhodes quote, which only gets directed at Republicans, is "When they show you who they are, believe them.")

the need for strong action

Cindy's call for strong action is needed. I hope to be there if I'm not in jail already.

I don't agree with an assumption of hers. All political protests are PRIMARILY symbolic. In Seattle in 1999 when we shut down the WTO meetings, the significance was the symbol we showed the rest of the world.

The Democratic Party stands for cowardice. We must show we understand the important dimension of courage cowardice. This means getting arrested is NOT enough. It means serving time in jail is needed

MLK said " Undeserved suffering is redemptive." Gandhi's satyagraha is defined as "putting one's whole weight on the truth"

Showing we can persist in the face of repression shows other citizens we have the courage to deserve their support.

It's the difference between a symbol of phony courage and a symbol of real courage.

David Slesinger

It isn't 'cowardice'

When it comes to widely-held misconceptions that prevent the mass of the people of this country from understanding their situation clearly, that of Democratic 'cowardice' ranks right up there with the alleged 'incompetence' and 'ineptitude' of the Bush administration. These politicians know exactly what they're doing. How long-established does a party's commitment to war and empire have to be before opponents of war and empire stop wishfully imagining that Democrats are really like them underneath, they just 'need to get a backbone,' (as I've often heard people say) yadda yadda yadda?

It's important, at long last, that we get the diagnosis right: The Democrats do not 'stand for cowardice;' they stand for safeguarding corporate interests. It isn't that they have been 'ineffective' or a 'failure' in the pursuit of peace; rather, they have been all too effective and all too successful in the pursuit of war and U.S. global hegemony. If the big banks and corporations are happy, they they're happy. Let the opponents of war go on and attribute it to 'cowardice' if they wish.

(Not that any of this is meant to detract from the preceding comments about the political significance of courage.)

So 11/30 has passed

Has anyone heard the announcment? Did I miss something?

UPDATE: "The Killing is Right and Proper"

"The Killing is Right and Proper"

Cindy Sheehan

On Saturday, Bay Area CODEPINK and I, started our caravan to Creech AFB in Nevada with a morning peace rally at Travis AFB in Fairfield, CA.

After we got there we were informed that we had to move off the base and were shown by MPs where we could protest. As good warriors for free speech and peace, we groused about it and we were moving forward to where we were supposed to go, when a very angry older man pulled up and started yelling at us to: "Don't go, I want to counter protest you." I told him, first of all, he shouldn't be drinking so early in the morning, and secondly not to worry, that we were going anywhere, we were just moving about 100 yards away.

We decided to just stop and take a picture by the Travis AFB sign and then we were going to get back in our cars to caravan down to Lemoore NAS because it was extremely windy and we were running a little late anyway.

I was giving a little speech denouncing the drone-bombing program and the upcoming 50 percent troop escalation to Afghanistan, when the angry old man, now dressed in a military uniform, charged around the corner and got right into my bullhorn-I told him to get out of my face and he very violently slaps the bullhorn away from me.

Everything happened so quickly: I was so shocked that I was actually physically assaulted that I just turned away from him and that's when my colleague, Suzanne immediately jumped to my aid and got between the man and me. He swore profusely and pushed her-and then a mini-melee ensued. The numerous MPs and POs that were there finally intervened after I asked them to stop the man from assaulting my friends. I touched no one even though I was within my rights to defend myself. The video clearly shows that the aggressor and the person who brought unreasoning anger and violence to the rally was Sgt. Phil Ward

After the mini-melee, a Fairfield Police Officer, told Suzanne and I that we couldn't press charges against the man who physically assaulted us because it was a "he-said, she-said" situation, when at least one dozen law enforcement officers were standing around and witnessing the events AND if we did press charges, then Suzanne and I would also have to go to jail until things got sorted out! Complete bullshit.

After all that, when we were leaving, like we were asked to, I got about 2 feet out of the parking lot and I noticed one of the CODEPINK women was not in the van, so I pulled over to the side of the road to wait for her and as soon I we got rolling again, to add insult to injury, I WAS PULLED OVER and detained for about one-half hour and kept isolated in my car from the others until I was presented with a ticket for "impeding traffic!"

We dropped my daughter's car off and I hopped in the van with a group of desperadoes, (with me being the third youngest, at 52, and six out of eleven in the van being over 70), and we headed down to Lemoore NAS and a National Guard post in Fresno. After another three- hour drive from Fresno, we landed at a cheap motel in Mojave California and I was shocked to open my email and see that I had received numerous emails attacking me for essentially "bullying" a poor, old military veteran.

I watched the news videos to confirm my recollection, which was 100 percent correct. I got to watch an interview that Phil Ward did after his attack on us and he says that the killing in the wars is "right and proper" and was exceedingly upset with Obama because he is only sending 34,000 more troops to Afghanistan when the generals asked for 40,000 more. During an interview with me, I am clearly shaken, but I say, "no matter how much violence they bring to us, we will bring them more peace."

A thing to think about in this whole episode, is that at least one area newspaper posted that we were going to be at Travis AFB, and it only drew ONE person out to protest us who was unreasonably aggressive and almost comically out of control? Hmm-it makes one wonder what Phil Ward was up to. He charged out of his car at us from the second he got there and felt it was okay to be physically aggressive towards me and the other protestors and he did get away with it with impunity?

We will bring them more peace, but we will also bring them justice, too, as we are planning on pressing charges against Phil Ward as soon as we return from Creech AFB.

There's scum that attack and more scum that protect those attackers.

There's scum that take away our rights to peaceably assemble and to freedom of speech, and more scum that protect those who try to steal those rights.

We the People need to be the ones to vigorously defend our rights and defend peace on earth from everyone from Sgt. Phil Ward to President Obama who think that killing is "right and proper."

Video of Phil Ward attacking our protest:

I agree..

...with everything she said until "In the end, you always get what you vote for".

Voting is obsolete. It does not mean anything any more. Its purpose is to put a facade of public support and democracy on a tyranny by the few. The minute one gets elected into a higher office, his/her agenda becomes stuffing and carving the turkey called American Public. Serving the people? Yeah, sure -- on a silver platter!

So, if an elected official seems to conduct himself/herself in a treasonous way with respect to the majority of the people in this country, what remedy do we have? Not elect him/her the next time? That's about the only one. Then the next guy/gal comes in and picks up right where the previous one left off (witness the current president). Haven't we seen this game long enough? Often people vote for someone not because they are thrilled for a particular person but because the opposition looks much worse (again, witness our current president).

With all due respect to Cindy Sheehan (and greatly admiring her energy and courage), in terms of the end result, if I may ask, in which way a protest differs from a letter-writing campaign or a candle-light vigil? It is certainly not sufficient to FORCE the government to change its ways. It serves to inform the people and the government that some of us are really-really pissed off at its policies. So what else is new? The problem is, the "elected representatives" don't give a shit, because they are not being FORCED to.