Archive for the 'McCain' Category

Chris Hedges will vote for Nader over Obama and so should you.

These words are powerful:

There is little disagreement among liberals and progressives about the Nader and Obama campaign issues. Nader would win among us in a landslide if this was based on issues. Sen. Barack Obama’s vote to renew the Patriot Act, his votes to continue to fund the Iraq war, his backing of the FISA Reform Act, his craven courting of the Israeli lobby, his support of the death penalty, his refusal to champion universal, single-payer not-for-profit health care for all Americans, his call to increase troop levels and expand the war in Afghanistan, his failure to call for a reduction in the bloated and wasteful defense spending and his lobbying for the huge taxpayer swindle known as the bailout are repugnant to most of us on the left. Nader stands on the other side of all those issues. 

So if the argument is not about issues what is it about?

Those on the left who back Obama, although they disagree with much of what he promotes, believe they are choosing the practical over the moral. They see themselves as political realists. They fear John McCain and the Republicans. They believe Obama is better for the country. They are right. Obama is better. He is not John McCain. There will be under Obama marginal improvements for some Americans although the corporate state, as Obama knows, will remain our shadow government and the working class will continue to descend into poverty. Democratic administrations have, at least until Bill Clinton, been more receptive to social programs that provide benefits, better working conditions and higher wages. An Obama presidency, however, will make no difference to those in the Middle East.

I can’t join the practical. I spent two decades of my life witnessing the suffering of those on the receiving end of American power. I have stood over the rows of bodies, including women and children, butchered by Ronald Reagan’s Contra forces in Nicaragua. I have inspected the mutilated corpses dumped in pits outside San Salvador by the death squads. I have crouched in a concrete hovel as American-made F-16 fighter jets, piloted by Israelis, dropped 500- and 1,000-pound iron-fragmentation bombs on Gaza City. 

I can’t join the practical because I do not see myself exclusively as an American.  The narrow, provincial and national lines that divide cultures and races blurred and evaporated during the years I spent in Latin America, Africa, the Middle East, Europe and the Balkans. I built friendships around a shared morality, not a common language, religion, history or tradition. I cannot support any candidate who does not call for immediate withdrawal from Iraq and Afghanistan and an end to Israeli abuse of Palestinians. We have no moral or legal right to debate the terms of the occupation. And we will recover our sanity as a nation only when our troops have left Iraq and our president flies to Baghdad, kneels before a monument to the hundreds of thousands of Iraqi war dead and asks for forgiveness. 

We dismiss the suffering of others because it is not our suffering. There are between 600,000 and perhaps a million dead in Iraq. They died because we invaded and occupied their country. At least three Afghan civilians have died at the hands of the occupation forces for every foreign soldier killed this year. The dead Afghans include the 95 people, 60 of them children, killed by an air assault in Azizabad in August and the 47 wedding guests butchered in July during a bombardment in Nangarhar. The Palestinians are forgotten. Obama and McCain, courting the Israeli lobby, do not mention them. The 1.5 million Palestinians in Gaza live in a vast open-air prison. Supplies and food dribble through the Israeli blockade. Ninety-five percent of local industries have shut down. Unemployment is rampant. Childhood malnutrition has skyrocketed. A staggering 80 percent of families in Gaza are dependent on international food aid to survive.

Please people.  Come to your senses.  Vote for Nader.

War, with all its euphemisms about surges and the escalation of troops and collateral damage, is not an abstraction to me. I am haunted by hundreds of memories of violence and trauma. I have abandoned, because I no longer cover these conflicts, many I care about. They live in Gaza, Baghdad, Jerusalem, Beirut, Kabul and Tehran. They cannot vote in our election. They will, however, bear the consequences of our decision. Some, if the wars continue, may be injured or killed. The quest for justice is not about being practical. It is required by the bonds we share. They would do no less for me.


Justin Raimondo endorses Nader

I liked Raimondo’s endorsement of Nader here.  I’ve always enjoyed his articles which badger the US military imperialist machine as he is one of the major contributors of 

I’ve seen some foolish articles over at the Huffington Post website asking Nader to step down so that Obama can have a clear run to the finish.  Raimondo points out the foolishness of this position in showing that Obama is clearly pro-war and has issued a number of statements that will likely lead to war with nations such as Iran and Pakistan.

Raimondo is also very adept at pointing out the corporate backers of Obama who’ve contributed hugely to his campaign are the very same people that have contributed heavily to getting our nation into this huge financial crisis in which we gave them 700 billion dollars.

Here’s what he says about Nader in what appears to be coming from a true conservative/libertarian at heart:

And there is better: Ralph Nader.

On the defining issue of the campaign – and the age – Nader is spot on: the bailout of the banks, he avers, “was clearly socialism bailing out capitalism.” Not that this version of capitalism has anything to do with authentically free enterprise: “This is the collapse of corporate capitalist ideology,” says Nader. “I emphasize corporate, because the only capitalism left now is small business. They’re the only ones who are free to go bankrupt.”

On foreign policy, Nader is the only consistent anti-interventionist in the race, or, at least, the only one who makes this an important part of his campaign. Unlike McCain and Obama, who both revel in baiting the Russian bear, Nader asks: “Why don’t we leave the Russians alone?” Why, he asks, are we provoking Moscow into another cold war? Obama, the candidate of the supposedly “antiwar” wing of the Democratic party, is pledged to usher Georgia as well as Ukraine into NATO – which the Russians view as an aggressive act. Both want anti-missile “defense” shields in place in Eastern and Central Europe – only Nader seems to understand that this is just a scam for enriching the military-industrial-congressional complex.

Nader is the Eugene Debs of our times: he is brave, intractably committed to principle, and disdainful of the limousine liberals and their “conservative” counterparts who grimace in maidenly horror at the sight and sounds of such truth-telling populism. Most importantly, Ralph Nader knows who are the real enemies of the American people, and what is the source of their power. He, alone, is serious about breaking that power. While I may disagree with some of his more socialistic proposals, and probably wouldn’t last very long at a Nader-for-President meeting before getting into it with his commie followers, I don’t know of anyone in American political life, at the moment, who has more genuine good old fashioned integrity. I also can’t think of anyone who annoys the limousine liberals and Obama-oids more–and since these folks are our future rulers, or so it seems, that is reason enough to cheer his campaign and his continued presence in public life.

You’ve got to love it.  Go Nader.

Chomsky on the Presidential election

Why do I vote for Nader each election?  Why do I never vote for a person who has a republican or democrat attached to his name no matter what position he is running for?  Noam Chomsky was interviewed on Real News and discusses the answer to these questions much better than I ever could.  At the end, he leaves room for the lesser of the two evils choice, and we can talk about that sometime, but I am not a lesser of two evils kind of guy.  When it comes to Coriantumr and Shiz, I’ll go hide in a cave.  Check it out:

America’s last chance at democracy… the debate to come this Sunday.

I tuned in to the debate tonight.  It was funny to see the veins bulge on McCain’s forehead as only a desparate, drowning man trying to keep his cool could appear.  Anyone can see that Obama is in command at these debates and defeats McCain just by keeping his cool.

However, Neither of these two are for me.  Why is it that we still think we have a democracy in America?  We have two different people to choose from.  Neither of them match what I would like in a President.  I wish that the people would demand that more candidates be allowed into the debates.  We are allowed only to choose from door one or door two.  When you want your kids to do what you want, you provide them with two choices that seem different, but in reality, whichever route the child chooses will be acceptable to you.  I know that trick, I’ve got kids. 

We’re all being treated like kids.  We are presented with two viewpoints.  Whichever person we choose, we will not be upsetting the powers that be.  Both will still be for the military-industrial complex.  Both will still be for protecting “American interests” abroad (code language for continuing the raping and pillaging of another country’s resources).

I would like more choices to be presented to me.  Of course, I’m hip about the 3rd party candidates and have voted for Nader since 1996.  This year will be no different.  But, the majority of Americans need to have other candidates placed in front of them, other viewpoints and ideas served up on a silver platter, before they get it into their heads that they’ve been swindled by only having two choices for so long. 

I am interested in the upcoming debate this Sunday.  It is being covered by CSPAN and hosted by Amy Goodman of Democracy Now.  All 6 major candidates are invited.  Barr might not come and McCain and Obama aren’t interested in democracy enough to show up.  I wish America knew how much she was being swindled. 

Behold our democracy in its glory:

Time to face the facts on Afghanistan

These words ring true to me on the situation in Afghanistan:

The current war in Afghanistan is not really about al-Qaida and `terrorism,’ but about opening a secure corridor through Pashtun tribal territory to export the oil and gas riches of the Caspian Basin of Central Asia to the West. The US and NATO forces in Afghanistan are essentially pipeline protection troops fighting off the hostile natives..

Both Barack Obama and John McCain are wrong about Afghanistan. It is not a `good’ fight against `terrorism,’ but a classic, 19th century colonial war to advance western geopolitical power into resource-rich Central Asia. The Pashtun Afghans who live there are ready to fight for another 100 years. The western powers certainly are not.

As that great American founding father Benjamin Franklin said, `there is no good war, and no bad peace.’ Time for the West to face reality in Afghanistan.

Read more here:

Nader on the last presidential debate.

Ralph Nader briefly addressed what went on in the last debate.  He’s so much more substantive than the two from the two headed corporate party.  Check out his points here:

“There’s actually alot of space on that debate stage. The Debate Commission is the company created by the Republican and Democratic parties in 1987 to get rid of the sponsorship by the League of Women Voters, because they thought the League was too independent. And so, my two competitors decide who tens of millions of people in this country can see on that stage.

Which is why people in Western democracies can hardly believe how we manage these kinds of political processes. Every major national poll has said that they want me, by name, on those presidential debates. In 2000, 2004, and 2008.

Now, one of the reasons why they don’t want me or other third parties on the debate is what was excluded tonight — you’ll know — excluded tonight was any mention of the Wall Street bailout, because both McCain and Obama supported it.

Excluded was any mention of cracking down on corporate crime, fraud, and abuse which is looting trillions of dollars in worker pensions and from investors and environmental violations, because both McCain and Obama have no platform on how to crack down on corporate crime, waste, and abuse.

You’ll notice they talked about what to do about credit — heavy credit and debt. One way is to have a living wage for workers. Workers go into debt because one out of three of them are making Wal-Mart wages. There was no mention of how to cut the deficit by getting rid of corporate subsidies — hand outs; give aways. Because both McCain and Obama don’t have a policy on living wage, and they don’t have a policy against — cutting off taxpayer subsidies to the fat cat corporations around the country.

There was no mention at all of the Palestinian people. It’s like they’re non-persons. And, if you look at the debate and you ask, “How many times did McCain and Obama really agree with each other?” Even though they didn’t use the word — it was overwhelming. Whether it’s on Iran; Pakistan; on Russia;

Whether it deals with nuclear power; which they both want to re-introduce in this country — even though it requires 100% taxpayer loan guarantee before any nuclear power plant is built because Wall Street will not fund such a risky form of energy.

Even on energy, they quibble about “Well, who voted for what?” But they all want an equal smorgasbord, don’t they? A little bit of nuclear, oil, gas, solar, conservation. But there are important forms of energy that are much better than other forms of energy. Namely, something they hardly mentioned: energy efficiency. For more motor vehicle fuel efficiency; lighting; heating; air conditioning.

It’s really quite distracting to the American people to have to sit here three times and watch debates that are almost “ditto” debates. Did you watch the first debate? It’s incredible how repetitious their statements are, and how similar the questions are.

Now, why are the questions so similar? Because they select the questions. So these aren’t really debates, as the gentleman just mentioned — they’re just parallel interviews.

Now, what we should do in the future is have large coalitions of national citizen groups, like League of Women Voters, neighborhood groups, labor groups, religious groups, environmental groups, all kinds of coalitions getting together and setting the stage for presidential debates. So that the people summon the presidential candidates in April of a presidential year, or May, and say “Here is your post-Labor Day schedule; and you’re going to go from Boston to San Diego. You’re going from Seattle to Miami.” That way, the people shape the agenda, shape the presidential debates, and they’re not simply spectators — which they are now left just being spectators.

“Who won? Who won?” It’s WHAT won. WHAT lost. I think the people lost. And I think big business won. I think militarism won. I think corporate tax loopholes won. I think labor lost. I think consumers lost. I think people who have to pay to these credit card gougers, and these high gasoline prices and these high medical prices and drugs by companies that are subsidized by your tax dollars — I think they lost. The people lost.

So this is my debate here, in Winsted Connecticut. Thank you very much.”

Is Russia the evil empire? Presidential politicians and the pot calling the kettle black.

Tonight, the two secret combinations candidates discussed whether or not Russia under Putin is the evil empire or not. 

Both stopped short of “yes” or “no” but made plain they have problems with Russia.

“I think they’ve engaged in an evil behavior and I think that it is important that we understand they’re not the old Soviet Union but they still have nationalist impulses that I think are very dangerous,” Obama said.

“Maybe,” McCain said, adding: “If I say yes, then that means that we’re reigniting the old Cold War. If I say no, it ignores their behavior.”

Isn’t this fascinating?  We build up and train an army in Georgia and watch while it attacks a civilian population in its sleep, massacring at least hundreds of defenseless people in cold blood, meeting no resistance at all… and all we in the US can talk about is the beacon of democracy and freedom in poor little Georgia and how it is being bullied by big bad Russia.  Little wonder that Joseph Smith said that his feelings revolt at the idea of having anything to do with politics. 

We are talking here about the politics of murder, the politics of a massacre of women and children (it is not any better to kill men by the way), which politics are the worst kind of politics.  This is where our government flagrantly crosses the line between secret combinations and a government answerable to its people.  Do you doubt that Georgia was the aggressor and that the US government and media lie to this very day about that incident?  Read this story here, just out today from the Christian Science Monitor then and see what you think of this woman’s eyewitness account of what happened in South Ossetia the night of August 7, 2008:

I was in Tskhinvali, the capital of South Ossetia, on Aug. 7 when Georgian troops marched into the city and killed my friends and neighbors. I huddled with my family in terror for three nights while Saakashvili’s tanks and rockets destroyed hundreds of our homes, desecrated cemeteries, gutted schools and hospitals.

I also have good reason not to trust what Saakashvili says. For three days before the attack I had been getting calls from many Georgian friends warning me to get out. They said Saakashvili was planning an attack. Most of the Georgians living in South Ossetia left because they knew what was coming.

On the night of Aug. 7, Saakashvili went on television and assured the frightened civilian population of South Ossetia that he would not attack us. This was long after the time Saakashvili now claims Russians had begun “invading” Georgia.

Ossetians went to bed relieved and thankful for a peaceful night.

Less than two hours later, according to credible international accounts, his artillery, bombers, and three brigades of ground troops unleashed what I can only describe as a fierce hell on our city. In the moment, we knew only our fear as we hid. Afterward I spoke with hundreds of Ossetians to find out what was done to us.

My friend’s elderly father tried to douse the flames set by Georgian fire on the home he had built with his hands. His leg was severed by shrapnel from Georgian weapons. He bled to death while his disabled wife crawled from their burning home.

Ossetians saw Georgian tanks firing into basements where women and children hid for safety They saw fleeing families shot down by Georgian snipers. We learned that the Georgian military had used Grad rocket systems and cluster bombs against Tskhinvali.

Read the rest of this story here:

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