Of "Heroes" and "Communist Dictators" by Cindy Sheehan

July 21, 2017

The first time I met Senator John McCain, I was still under the false impression that, even though he was a Republican, he was still slightly independent and not entirely reprehensible.

The occasion was the now infamous meeting our family had with then president George Bush in 2004, about six weeks after Casey was killed in Iraq.

Our family was invited for a “sit-down” with Bush at Ft. Lewis up near Seattle. The government was paying, so we agreed. We had some things we wanted to “chat” with him about, also.

Along with about 16-17 other families in the same piteous situation, we cooled our jets for awhile in a waiting room at the base hospital. After a bit, we were ushered into a small curtained room to wait for 43. While we were waiting, the curtains parted and in walked McCain. I did mention to him that he had been a POW in another immoral war and I asked him why my son had to die. His response: “Well Cindy, if we don’t win in Iraq, then I am afraid for nothing.” After McCain left, we all wondered if he had been the “opening act” for Bush.

Fast forward six months to inauguration day for 43’s second term. 

By that time, I was now very active opposing Bush and the wars and had founded Gold Star Families for Peace. I was invited to appear on Good Morning America (from the Library of Congress) early on the morning of the inauguration. After the interview, I was leaving and John McCain walked in to be interviewed—I reminded him that we had met at Ft. Irwin and I told him what I was up to. His response (which he later denied in our 3rd meeting) was: “The country needs people like you, too.”

After I protested Bush and the wars at Camp Casey in Crawford in August of 2005, I went to Washington DC for a huge antiwar rally in September and I met with many reps and Senators and John McCain was one of them. I reminded him that he had encouraged me to protest the war back in January and he said, “Why would I do that, I support it?” On the way out, he said, “Good luck, Cindy.” I said, “Thank you, you are wishing me luck to end the wars.” He said, “I take it back, then.”

I have been in Phoenix at his office a few times opposing his bellicosity with my dear antiwar friends there.

Since my first meeting with McCain in 2004, I am under no illusion that he is “independent” or not too reprehensible. In a nation of reprehensibles, he is near the top (or bottom) of the dung-heap. It's normal that conservatives are praising him, but he is being lauded by liberals as an "American hero" also. That a war criminal who, with his own hands, murdered untold number of Vietnamese and with either incompetence or arrogance murdered 134 sailors on his aircraft carrier the USS Forrestal in Vietnam is considered a “hero” doesn’t say very much about this country.

Among others, Senator Bernie Sanders (D-Vt—-yes, I know technically he is independent, but he’s about as independent from the Dems as McCain is from the GOP) has heaped praise upon the head of the slimy McCain since he was diagnosed with brain cancer. Now, I don’t expect Bernie Sanders to tweet, “Nice, a war criminal has cancer; isn’t karma a bitch?” But how can a person who protested the Vietnam War tweet this about McCain?
John McCain is a hero, one of the most respected senators and a friend. The hopes and prayers of the nation are with him and his family.
In the ill-fated campaign of Sanders for president, after he was “accused” of being a supporter of President Hugo Chavez of Venezuela (CitGo oil provides low-cost or free heating oil for poor people in the Northeast), Sanders campaign sent out a fundraising blast to his supporters trashing the beloved Chavez by calling the populist president of Venezuela who was democratically elected many times (and survived a coup attempt and recall effort) a “dead, communist dictator.” (Unfortunately, he got the "dead" part right).

I was very privileged to know Hugo Chavez, and in contrast to McCain who never met a war he didn’t like, or a pocket he didn’t want to pick in reverse Robin Hood style, Chavez was a warm person who had a big heart and used the power of his office to elevate the condition of the poorest—often at the expense of the parasitic wealthy.

When Chavez was a military officer, he noticed that the government that he was sworn to serve was horribly oppressing its own people and, with other officers, tried to overthrow it.

On the other hand, McCain, who graduated 2nd to the bottom of his class at the Naval Academy used his military career to carouse and murder his way through Vietnam and with the help of his Admiral father, covered up his crimes to use his “heroic” “service” as a stepping-stone for greater political power.

If Obama and Sanders and many liberal talking blah-blah heads are praising the “American hero” McCain are they saying that the war in Vietnam was "heroic" and the millions of Vietnamese who died and continue to die from their poisoned country and landmines are just shit? 

Liberals (like this clip from The View), who thought McCain was the reincarnation of Adolf Hitler when he ran against Obama in 2008, are now gushing over how McCain corrected a woman on TV who was afraid of Obama because she thought he was an “Arab.”

“No,” McCain thoughtfully and with his "great" flair of being so gosh-darned "independent" corrected the woman and said that Obama was not an “Arab,” but a “good person.” Cogitate on that for a moment—liberals are praising a deeply bigoted statement. Like the Vietnamese, do liberals consider Arabs as shit?

John “Bomb, bomb, bomb, bomb, bomb Iran (and everywhere else, while we're at it),” McCain has been one of the biggest devotees of this country’s imperial misadventures his entire life; however, the “Communist dictator” never once invaded or infested another country by his military. No, Chavez used Venezuelan oil and the force of his personality to not only improve the lives of Venezuelans, but to forge alliances and friendships throughout Latin America and the Caribbean. Yes, even improving the lives of the poor in the United States.

Meeting McCain was like meeting a robot with insincere blue eyes: a male Hillary Clinton, if you will. With few exceptions, the humanoids that inhabit US politics are cold, calculating and murderous liars.

Meeting Chavez was like coming home to your long lost brother who only wanted good things for everyone and was expansive and genuine in his hospitality and courageous in standing up to the Great Satan of the North.

I am not afraid to say that, although I am not thrilled that McCain has brain cancer, I am in no way sad about it, or conflicted about calling out the terrible crimes against humanity this man has committed in the name of American “heroism.” Illness, near death, or death itself should not confer immediate sainthood on profoundly criminal lives.

I would rather see him and his ilk rotting in Ft. Leavenworth.

Cancer claimed the lives of my sister Dede Miller and my comrade Hugo Chavez and millions of other good people, often after torturous struggles. Now, McCain.

The death of Chavez was a great loss to humanity; the death of McCain, not so much. We should have exactly the same sympathy and compassion for McCain that he showed to all his victims--at home and abroad--which is zero. 

Cancer is the deadly and too prevalent equalizer: it takes the good and evil, alike.

John McCain passed away on 8/25/18---while we don't celebrate his death (we mourn for his scores and scores of victims), we do not think it's appropriate to elevate him to some great hero. Here is an update on the tweets from people whose devotion to US Imperialism should no longer be denied:








  1. A fair, thoughtful perspective, Cindy. Thanks.

    1. McCain did not murder "with his own hands." He murdered from a state of the art plane. Big difference.

    2. I assume when he dropped bombs that he pulled the levers, or pushed the buttons with his hands? Maybe he used his kneecap, but I doubt it.

  2. Thank you Cindy. I totally share your values and your analysis of this terrible period of history, including the nature of U.S. politicians. The tweet from Sanders was just another gut punch, for anybody who ever had any hope in Sanders. It must be a game to him. Sending people to kill and die.

  3. Unfortunately war criminal McInsane's brain tumor metastasized 80 years too late. Well, if it does not kill him the Alzheimer's will.

    McInsane should rot in Hell. Satan's loss is life on Earth's gain.

  4. Spot on, I agree with your honest perspective Cindy, and thank you for sharing it with us. Thank you Todd Boyle for pointing me to this piece.

  5. As hard as it is to criticize someone with brain cancer, the truth is John McCain is the ultimate warmonger. Raised in a family of admirals (both his father and grandfather were admirals), John McCain believes that war is the ideal condition for the human race.

  6. Cindy, this is the TGP version of your terrific piece. Have a look if you can.
    Sending you a warm fraternal embrace!


  7. The pilots, still strapped into their aircraft, were immediately aware that a disaster was unfolding, but only some were able to escape in time. John McCain was among the first to notice the flames, and escaped by scrambling down the nose of his A-4 and jumping off the refueling probe shortly before the explosions began. (Wikipedia)
    I’m no fan of McCain, but tell me, how does this constitute “Murder”?

    1. Thanks for your comment---if you dig a little deeper than Wikipedia, you will find that McCain, indeed was responsible for the fire getting out of control and he panicked and made it worse. I wouldn't make claims that I haven't researched thoroughly. The reason a lot of people don't know this is that McCain's admiral father whitewashed the whole sordid affair and one of his best buddies "investigated" it and "suprisingly" exonerated McCain.

  8. You know, Samuel Clemens would have agreed with Cindy 100+%

  9. Would it be OK if I cross-posted this article to WriterBeat.com? There is no fee; I’m simply trying to add more content diversity for our community and I enjoye7d reading your work. I’ll be sure to give you complete credit as the author. If “OK” please let me know via email.


  10. I really hate when his daughter who is now a political analyst on the view talks about how they are a military family and how hawkish she is. Said that one of the generals in Iraq kept her brother safe. None of them were keeping Casey or my husband or the thousands of other poor boys and men safe or the civilians that have been murdered in Iraq and Afghanistan . The poor in this country are sent to murder the poor in other countries all so people like the McCains, Clintons, Bush’s, Obama’s, (all politicians) get richer and richer. Mean while they are slashing veteran benefits. Love you Cindy.

  11. McCaine was responsible because he "wet started" his jet which is a method that shoots a long hot flame out the back of the plane. In this incident his flame ignited the bombs on board the plane immediately behind him causing the bombs to explode.

  12. Would have loved this, and reposted it, except that you heaped praise on a socialist dictator that left his country and economy in ruins. You are right, he attempted to make the poor more equal at the expense of the rich....now every citizen is 100% equal....equally poor and destitute.

    1. FYI: https://popularresistance.org/on-the-eve-of-venezuelan-presidential-election-us-empire-is-not-sitting-idly-by/


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