In 1952, when McCarthyism was at its height, Supreme Court Justice William O. Douglas labeled the investigative techniques of the junior senator from Wisconsin “guilt by association” (Adler v. Board of Education). Douglas added that McCarthyite tactics were “repugnant to our society” because, despite the absence of any overt wrongdoing, the pasts of those attacked were “combed for signs of disloyalty” and for utterances that might be read as “clues to dangerous thoughts.”
More than a half century later, “McCarthyism” was joined in the lexicon by “Swiftboating,” the art of the smear campaign mounted with the intention not of documenting a wrong, but of covering the victim with slime enough to cast doubt on his or her integrity. Now, in 2008, after a primary season increasingly marked by dirty pool and low blows, “McCarthyism” and “Swiftboating” have come together in a particularly lethal and despicable form. I refer to the startling revelation — proclaimed from the housetops by both the Clinton and McCain campaigns — that Barack Obama ate dinner at William Ayers’s house, served with him on a board and was the honored guest at a reception he organized.
Confession time. I too have eaten dinner at Bill Ayers’s house (more than once), and have served with him on a committee, and he was one of those who recruited my wife and me at a reception when we were considering positions at the University of Illinois, Chicago. Moreover, I have had Bill and his wife Bernardine Dohrn to my apartment, was a guest lecturer in a course he taught and joined in a (successful) effort to persuade him to stay at UIC and say no to an offer from Harvard. Of course, I’m not running for anything, but I do write for The New York Times and, who knows, this association with former fugitive members of the Weathermen might be enough in the eyes of some to get me canned.
Did I conspire with Bill Ayers? Did I help him build bombs? Did I aid and abet his evasion (for a time) of justice? Not likely, given that at the time of the events that brought Ayers and Dohrn to public attention, I was a supporter of the Vietnam War. I haven’t asked him to absolve me of that sin (of which I have since repented), and he hasn’t asked me to forgive him for his (if he has any).
Indeed in all the time I spent with Ayers and Dohrn, politics — present or past — never came up.
What did come up? To answer that question I have to introduce a word and concept that is somewhat out of fashion: the salon. A salon is a gathering in a private home where men and women from various walks of life engage in conversation about any number of things, including literature, business, fashion, films, education and philosophy. Ayers and Dohrn did not call their gatherings salons, but that’s what they were; large dinner parties (maybe 12-15), with guests coming and going, one conversation leading to another, no rules or obligations, except the obligation to be interesting and interested. The only thing I don’t remember was ideology, although since this was all going on in Hyde Park, there was the general and diffused ideology, vaguely liberal, that usually hangs over a university town.
Many of those attending these occasions no doubt knew something about their hosts’ past, but the matter was never discussed and why should it have been? We were there not because of what Ayers and Dohrn had done 40 years ago, but because of what they were doing at the moment.
Ayers is a longtime professor of education at UIC, nationally known for his prominence in the “small school” movement. Dohrn teaches at Northwestern Law School, where she directs a center for child and family justice. Both lend their skills and energies to community causes; both advise various agencies; together they have raised exemplary children and they have been devoted caretakers to aged parents. “Respectable” is too mild a word to describe the couple; rock-solid establishment would be more like it. There was and is absolutely no reason for anyone who knows them to plead the fifth or declare, “I am not now nor have I ever been a friend of Bill’s and Bernardine’s.”
Least of all Barack Obama, who by his own account didn’t know them that well and is now being taken to task for having known them at all. Of course it would have required preternatural caution to avoid associating with anyone whose past deeds might prove embarrassing on the chance you decided to run for president someday. In an earlier column, I spoke of the illogic of holding a candidate accountable for things said or done by a supporter or an acquaintance. Now a candidate is being held accountable for things said and done four decades ago by people who happen to live in his upper middle class neighborhood.
Hillary Clinton and John McCain should know better. In fact, they do know better....
Wednesday, April 30, 2008
Truckers' protest urges Congress to stop subsidizing oil industry and build new refineries
Wednesday April 30th, 2008For more information, see: The Unknown Candidate: Force Congress to Impeach Bush/Cheney: Step One
A convoy of trucks rolled through Washington, DC, on Monday, as part of a protest to pressure Congress into acting on high gas prices. As gas around the US hit an average of $3.66 per gallon--a full 66 cents above the price this time last year--truckers called on the US government to take action.
Monday, April 28, 2008
"The Defense Department has temporarily stopped feeding information to retired military officers pending a review of the issue, said Robert Hastings, principal deputy assistant secretary of Defense for public affairs. The New York Times first reported on Sunday that the Defense Department was giving information to retired officers serving as pundits for various media organizations in order to garner favorable media coverage.This is pro-war propaganda at its most insidious. Make sure you take action: sign Free Press's petition and call on Congress to demand better media.
The New York Times first reported on Sunday that the Defense Department was giving information to retired officers serving as pundits for various media organizations in order to garner favorable media coverage...."
Poll: Bullshit Is Most Important Issue For 2008 Voters
- Wilting Over Waffles | New York Times | Maureen Dowd:
"...Before they devour themselves once more, perhaps the Democrats will take a cue from Dr. Seuss’s 'Marvin K. Mooney Will You Please Go Now!' (The writer once mischievously redid it for his friend Art Buchwald as 'Richard M. Nixon Will You Please Go Now!') They could sing:
'The time has come. The time has come. The time is now. Just go. ... I don’t care how. You can go by foot. You can go by cow. Hillary R. Clinton, will you please go now! You can go on skates. You can go on skis. ... You can go in an old blue shoe.
Just go, go, GO!'”
- Obama's Sweeping Foreign Policy Critique | AlterNet:
"Democrats should not have to act like Republicans to pass some test on national security. It's time to end the politics of fear...."
- The Real McCain on Race and Immigration | AlterNet:
"It's not a pretty picture...."
- Let's Party Like It’s 1932 | Election 2008 | AlterNet:
"Obama has the potential to become as great a president as FDR, while activists have the potential to prompt change comparable to the New Deal...."
- Robert Creamer | The Huffington Post:
"Last Night Clinton Won the Pennsylvania Primary, but Lost the War for the Nomination..."
- Hillary's New Inevitability | The Huffington Post | Dylan Loewe:
"Hillary Clinton scored a decisive victory against Barack Obama in Tuesday's Pennsylvania primary. But underlying the numbers, there is a new kind of inevitability on the horizon. Certainly her campaign will use the night's victory to propel the race forward into Indiana and North Carolina, hoping against hope that few noticed what actually transpired. But with her luck running as perilously low as her campaign war chest, it would seem improbable that the media would provide her cover yet again.
After tonight, despite an apparent ten point victory in Pennsylvania, Hillary Clinton is no longer electable in a general election...."
- Hillary Turns Up Heat, Threatens to "Obliterate" Iran | AlterNet:
"Is the campaign trail the best place to ratchet up the rhetoric against Iran? Clinton thinks so.
How proud the Clintonistas must be. They have learned how to rival what Hillary once termed the "vast right-wing conspiracy" in the effort to destroy a viable Democratic leader who dares to stand in the way of their ambitions. The tactics used to kneecap Barack Obama are the same as had been turned on Bill Clinton in earlier times, from radical-baiting associates to challenging his resolve in protecting the nation from foreign enemies. Sen. Clinton's eminently sensible and centrist -- to a fault -- opponent is now viewed as weak and even vaguely unpatriotic because he is thoughtful. Neither Karl Rove nor Dick Morris could have done a better job.
On primary election day in Pennsylvania, even with polls showing her well ahead in that state, Hillary went lower in her grab for votes. Seizing upon a question as to how she would respond to a nuclear attack by Iran, which doesn't have nuclear weapons, on Israel, which does, Hillary mocked reasoned discourse by promising to "totally obliterate them," in an apparent reference to the population of Iran. That is not a word gaffe; it is an assertion of the right of our nation to commit genocide on an unprecedented scale...."
- Clueless in America | New York Times | Bob Herbert:
"We don’t hear a great deal about education in the presidential campaign. It’s much too serious a topic to compete with such fun stuff as Hillary tossing back a shot of whiskey, or Barack rolling a gutter ball...."
- CQ Politics | Reid to Press Democratic Superdelegates to Endorse:
"Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid said Thursday he plans to turn up the heat on undecided Democratic superdelegates if the party’s presidential nominating contest is not resolved after the last primaries June 3...."
- Racism In The Ranks | AlterNet:
"The results of the Pennsylvania primary show that racism is a problem that still plagues the Democrats...."
- Obama, Clinton and the War | Truthdig | Robert Scheer:
"It should mean a great deal to progressives that in the race for the Democratic presidential nomination Sen. Ted Kennedy favors Sen. Barack Obama over two other colleagues he has worked with in the Senate. No one in the history of that institution has been a more consistent and effective fighter than Kennedy for an enlightened agenda, be it civil rights and liberty, gender equality, labor and immigrant justice, environmental protection, educational opportunity or opposing military adventures...."
- Election Madness | The Progressive:
"Historically, government, whether in the hands of Republicans or Democrats, conservatives or liberals, has failed its responsibilities, until forced to by direct action: sit-ins and Freedom Rides for the rights of black people, strikes and boycotts for the rights of workers, mutinies and desertions of soldiers in order to stop a war. Voting is easy and marginally useful, but it is a poor substitute for democracy, which requires direct action by concerned citizens...."
- What Can He Change? | Agence Global | Immanuel Wallerstein:
"...So, now that Obama seems so near to becoming president, there has begun to be considerable discussion in the press, on the internet, and in public debate about what kinds of changes Obama actually intends to undertake. This seems to me the wrong question. The real question is what kind of changes Obama can make, a quite different question....
Change is indeed possible, and potentially a very positive change. It all depends far less on Obama than on the rest of us. But Obama might, only might, give us the space in which the "we" of "yes, we can" can push him and the United States."
- Obama's Go-To Guy | Too Much: A Commentary on Excess and Inequality | Sam Pizzigati:
"A self-described 'centrist' is minding Barack Obama's economic policy store. Will this centrist prove a pitchman for plutocrats? Or should the wealthy start to worry? We sift the evidence...."
- Hope in the Time of NAFTA | Truthdig | David Sirota:
"Reading articles about Hillary Clinton attacking NAFTA can lead you to believe The Onion has taken over America’s news bureaus.
Clinton spent the last 10 years repeatedly praising the trade deal in speeches, most recently calling the job-killing accord 'good for New York and America.' Yet, journalists barely mention that record as they transcribe her assertions that 'I have been a critic of NAFTA from the very beginning....'"
- McCain Says, Retracts 'Could Lose Over Iraq' Comment:
" John McCain said Monday that to win the White House he must convince a war-weary country that U.S. policy in Iraq is succeeding. If he can't, "then I lose. I lose," the Republican said.
He quickly backed off that remark...."
- List of McCain Fund-Raisers Includes Prominent Lobbyists | New York Times:
Michael Luo and Sarah Wheaton report, "Senator John McCain has campaigned on curbing the influence of money in politics. But an examination by The New York Times of a list of 106 elite fund-raisers who have brought in more than $100,000 each for Mr. McCain found that about a sixth of them were lobbyists...."
- Hillary's Terrorist Ties | Newsmax.com | Dick Morris & Eileen McGann :
"In this week's debate, Hillary Clinton said all of her 'baggage' has been 'rummaged through' for years. But important features of her close relationship with known terrorist sympathizers and Hamas supporters are still opaque to the public view...."
- Steve Weissman | Truthout | Baiting Obama:
"... using 'bittergate,' Wright and Ayres to drag down Barack Obama has nothing to do with fair-minded debate and discussion. Nor is all this a needed vetting of Obama, as Hillary persists in saying. The current noise is nothing less than the predictable rebirth of an American political tradition. Call it redbaiting, witch-hunting or McCarthyism, the old slime is back and the reasons go far beyond the demands of Gotcha journalism and electoral combat."
- Anti-McCain Ad Surfaces in Battlegrounds | Truthdig:
"Something called the Campaign to Defend America has purchased a reported $1 million worth of air time in Ohio and Pennsylvania to run this ad, which connects John McCain to George W. Bush.
Update: Check out this investigation to learn who is behind the ad...."
- Truth Vs. 'Trash Journalism': McCain's Weak Rebuttal to Damaging Allegations | AlterNet:
"John McCain is not a very nice man. I have made that abundantly clear in my new book The Real McCain: Why Conservatives Don't Trust Him And Why Independents Shouldn't. When I wrote it, I endeavored to write about the actual man, not the myth or the media legend. Perhaps that was where I crossed the line...."
- Shoddy! Tawdry! A Televised Train Wreck! | New York Times | Frank Rich:
"...I can’t remember a debate in which the only memorable moment was the audience’s heckling of a moderator. Then again, I can’t remember a debate that became such an instant national gag, earning reviews more appropriate to a slasher movie like “Prom Night” than a civic event held in Philadelphia’s National Constitution Center:
“Shoddy, despicable!” — The Washington Post
“A tawdry affair!” — The Boston Globe
“A televised train wreck!” — The Philadelphia Daily News
And those were the polite ones. Let’s not even go to the blogosphere....
The unequivocally good news is that ABC’s debacle had the largest audience of any debate in this campaign. That’s a lot of viewers who are now mad as hell and won’t take it anymore."
- Gary Hart: Breaking the Final Rule | The Huffington Post:
"It will come as a surprise to many people that there are rules in politics. Most of those rules are unwritten and are based on common understandings, acceptable practices, and the best interest of the political party a candidate seeks to lead. One of those rules is this: Do not provide ammunition to the opposition party that can be used to destroy your party's nominee. This is a hyper-truth where the presidential contest is concerned...."
- Raw Dawg Buffalo: Eighter from Decatur:
"...Now days, Hillary Clinton sound like she shoot dice. She is always taunting her 35 years experience. So I have been doing some thinking, If she is 60 now, that means she been in public service since age 25, which I find hard to believe. Sure a large amount of that time was as first lady of Arkansas and the First Lady of the United States, but really, outside of that, what experience does she have? ..."
- McCain Is Now Officially a Campaign Finance Criminal | AlterNet:
"But as Media Matters points out, you'd never know it from reading AP writer Jim Kuhnhenn."
Saturday, April 26, 2008
From PledgeToImpeach.org comes news of a strike:
Dear Pledges,SIGN THE PLEDGE HERE.
When you signed your pledge to participate in a strike to force Congress to impeach George Bush and Dick Cheney, we promised you that your pledge would only be called in if we knew we had enough people on board to effectively shut down the nation, leaving Congress no alternative but to impeach Bush/Cheney. Though we have made substantial progress toward that end, we have not yet gained that certainty. What we do have is a growing solidarity between PTI, other impeachment groups, and now several labor unions, all working to close down our nations largest sea ports on April 30 and May 1. (Los Angeles, Long Beach, Newark, and Houston). Though this is not a calling of your pledge to stay home from work and shopping, it is a request that you find every way to support this action. Why? Because this action can give large numbers of determined Americans confidence in our cause and our ability to organize an effective national strike for justice through
impeachment/peace/fair labor practices.
In our effort to help the International Longshoremen's Union and IWW Union(Port Truckers) in their strike, we are asking that you hand out the attached flyer at every truck stop, or sea port near you, and inform every suffering truck driver, harbor worker, or otherwise outraged American that the day to warn Congress that American National Solidarity is near at hand and that we will soon be capable of calling an effective national strike that will force and end to the reign of corruption in Washington.
The Pledge To Impeach "Plan for Victory" to front-load enough people before delivering the ultimatum - "Impeach or We Strike!" to Congress remains the most viable among all stated plans. By joining with the truckers and longshoremen we are forming a real partnership with labor; one that we will continue to cultivate until we have a movement large enough to
force Congress to act.
We urge you to go to the pledgetoimpeach.org website to get up to speed on what we and the truckers and dock workers are doing on May 1, and why they are doing it, Between now and April 30, distribute the attached flyer, carry the Impeach or We Strike! sign. Then, at your own discretion, take sick/vacation leave, and refrain from any unnecessary purchases on April 30 and May 1.
This is not the strike that will bring us our goal of impeachment, but we feel it can be a major step toward it. Time is running short and it should be clear that the November election will not bring the change we need, regardless of who wins. Tell your co-workers to join you in staying home.
After three years of organizing it is time to act with determination and inform Congress that the people will not be ignored, or exploited any longer. If they won't defend the Constitution of the United States, then we will.
Over the last three years Pledge to Impeach has refused to participate in many actions we considered doomed to fail. We believe this action can lead to our day of victory, and we believe in the people taking it. We told you that demonstrations alone, that petitions alone, that vigils alone would not be effective. We told you that Kucinich and Wexler were not for real, and they have proven it. We now ask that you not fail to act when your action will bring results. Take part in defending America by helping expand an action that can lead to our first act of National Solidarity,
Spread the word. Our future depends on us.
Monday, April 21, 2008
Pennsylvania's Presidential primary on April 22 will be essentially unrecountable, unverifiable, and unauditable - an irony, because state law requires manual audits of a statistical sample of ballots cast in elections.Help VerifiedVoting complete the legislative push toward reliable, secure, verifiable, and transparent elections!
Over 85% of Pennsylvania's voters live in counties in which paperless electronic voting is the only method of voting at the polling place. Absentee voting requires an excuse in Pennsylvania, and there is no early voting period, so the polling-place equipment will tabulate the vast majority of the votes in the primary. Pennsylvania's Secretary of State has judged that reel-to-reel paper trail printers compromise voter privacy, and none of Pennsylvania's direct-recording electronic (DRE) systems offer voter-verifiable paper records.
The availabilty of emergency paper ballots is also a cause of serious concern. Current election law does not specify a given amount of emergency paper ballots. The Secretary of State's office has suggested that enough emergency ballots for 20% of registered voters be available. We hope that all counties print sufficient ballots, given the expectation of high turnout.
Here is a summary of the voting systems used in Pennsylvania:
As a complete reading of the California and Ohio reviews will reveal, all of the optical systems used in Pennsylvania have serious security vulnerabilities. But optical scan systems offer a record of the votes that is independent of the software in the machine. And Pennsylvania law, 25 P.S. 3031.17 (pdf link), offers the best defense against these vulnerabilities: a random manual audit of ballots cast in an election. Only the counties with paper ballots can implement this law in a meaningful way.
- According to the Secretary of State's most current voter registration statistics, Pennsylvania has 8,326,564 registered voters. 7,064,129 voters are registered in the 51 counties in which paperless electronic voting is the only method of voting at the polling places.
- Of the 51 counties which use paperless machines, 25 use the paperless ES&S iVotronic touch screen machine as the principal voting system. These counties have over 2.6 million registered voters, comprising 32% of the registered voters in the state. After the state of Ohio's EVEREST voting system review was published, Edward Felten, head of the Center for Information Technology Policy at Princeton University, wrote that the iVotronic is "too risky to use in elections."
- 16 counties, with over 900,000 registered voters, use the Diebold/Premier TSx touch screen as the voting system. California Secretary of State Debra Bowen disallowed the TSx for use as a primary voting system for multiple and grave security vulnerabilities, as well as threats to voter privacy. See Secretary Bowen's withdrawal of approval here (pdf file), and the full reports of the review teams.
- 6 counties, with over 2.3 million voters, use the push-button Shouptronic voting machine.
- 750,000 voters will use the Sequoia Advantage, which apparently miscounted party turnout in New Jersey's February 5 primary. New Jersey county election officials called for an independent investigation of the machine discrepancy. 104,000 voters in York County use the Sequoia AVC Edge, also disallowed for use as a primary system in California (pdf link to report).
- 82,000 voters in Blair County will use the Hart Intercivic eSlate as the primary system. The eSlate was also found vulnerable in the EVEREST (p. 228-230) and the California top-to-bottom review (pdf links).
- Just under 1.2 million voters live in counties in which optically scanned paper ballots are the primary voting system. 740,000 voters live in four counties which use blended systems, with DREs used for accessible voting systems. 420,000 voters live in the 12 counties that use optical scan systems with a ballot-marking device for accessibility.
Although November is looming nearer, Lackawanna County decided in March 2008 to switch to an optical scan/ballot-marker solution in time for the April 22 primary.
Please visit their action center (click here) to turn the whole country green with voter-verified paper records and mandatory manual audits of those records.
April 21st, 2008Photo: The Rev. Jeremiah A. Wright Jr. and President Bill Clinton at a prayer breakfast at the White House in September 1998.
I don't get to vote for President this primary season. I live in Michigan. The party leaders (both here and in D.C.) couldn't get their act together, and thus our votes will not be counted.
So, if you live in Pennsylvania, can you do me a favor? Will you please cast my vote -- and yours -- on Tuesday for Senator Barack Obama?
I haven't spoken publicly 'til now as to who I would vote for, primarily for two reasons: 1) Who cares?; and 2) I (and most people I know) don't give a rat's ass whose name is on the ballot in November, as long as there's a picture of JFK and FDR riding a donkey at the top of the ballot, and the word "Democratic" next to the candidate's name.
Seriously, I know so many people who don't care if the name under the Big "D" is Dancer, Prancer, Clinton or Blitzen. It can be Mickey Mouse, Donald Duck, Barry Obama or the Dalai Lama.
Well, that sounded good last year, but over the past two months, the actions and words of Hillary Clinton have gone from being merely disappointing to downright disgusting. I guess the debate last week was the final straw. I've watched Senator Clinton and her husband play this game of appealing to the worst side of white people, but last Wednesday, when she hurled the name "Farrakhan" out of nowhere, well that's when the silly season came to an early end for me. She said the "F" word to scare white people, pure and simple. Of course, Obama has no connection to Farrakhan. But, according to Senator Clinton, Obama's pastor does -- AND the "church bulletin" once included a Los Angeles Times op-ed from some guy with Hamas! No, not the church bulletin!
This sleazy attempt to smear Obama was brilliantly explained the following night by Stephen Colbert. He pointed out that if Obama is supported by Ted Kennedy, who is Catholic, and the Catholic Church is led by a Pope who was in the Hitler Youth, that can mean only one thing: OBAMA LOVES HITLER!
Yes, Senator Clinton, that's how you sounded. Like you were nuts. Like you were a bigot stoking the fires of stupidity. How sad that I would ever have to write those words about you. You have devoted your life to good causes and good deeds. And now to throw it all away for an office you can't win unless you smear the black man so much that the superdelegates cry "Uncle (Tom)" and give it all to you.
But that can't happen. You cast your die when you voted to start this bloody war. When you did that you were like Moses who lost it for a moment and, because of that, was prohibited from entering the Promised Land.
How sad for a country that wanted to see the first woman elected to the White House. That day will come -- but it won't be you. We'll have to wait for the current Democratic governor of Kansas to run in 2016 (you read it here first!).
There are those who say Obama isn't ready, or he's voted wrong on this or that. But that's looking at the trees and not the forest. What we are witnessing is not just a candidate but a profound, massive public movement for change. My endorsement is more for Obama The Movement than it is for Obama the candidate.
That is not to take anything away from this exceptional man. But what's going on is bigger than him at this point, and that's a good thing for the country. Because, when he wins in November, that Obama Movement is going to have to stay alert and active. Corporate America is not going to give up their hold on our government just because we say so. President Obama is going to need a nation of millions to stand behind him.
I know some of you will say, 'Mike, what have the Democrats done to deserve our vote?' That's a damn good question. In November of '06, the country loudly sent a message that we wanted the war to end. Yet the Democrats have done nothing. So why should we be so eager to line up happily behind them?
I'll tell you why. Because I can't stand one more friggin' minute of this administration and the permanent, irreversible damage it has done to our people and to this world. I'm almost at the point where I don't care if the Democrats don't have a backbone or a kneebone or a thought in their dizzy little heads. Just as long as their name ain't "Bush" and the word "Republican" is not beside theirs on the ballot, then that's good enough for me.
I, like the majority of Americans, have been pummeled senseless for 8 long years. That's why I will join millions of citizens and stagger into the voting booth come November, like a boxer in the 12th round, all bloodied and bruised with one eye swollen shut, looking for the only thing that matters -- that big "D" on the ballot.
Don't get me wrong. I lost my rose-colored glasses a long time ago.
It's foolish to see the Democrats as anything but a nicer version of a party that exists to do the bidding of the corporate elite in this country. Any endorsement of a Democrat must be done with this acknowledgement and a hope that one day we will have a party that'll represent the people first, and laws that allow that party an equal voice.
Finally, I want to say a word about the basic decency I have seen in Mr. Obama. Mrs. Clinton continues to throw the Rev. Wright up in his face as part of her mission to keep stoking the fears of White America. Every time she does this I shout at the TV, "Say it, Obama! Say that when she and her husband were having marital difficulties regarding Monica Lewinsky, who did she and Bill bring to the White House for 'spiritual counseling?' THE REVEREND JEREMIAH WRIGHT!"
But no, Obama won't throw that at her. It wouldn't be right. It wouldn't be decent. She's been through enough hurt. And so he remains silent and takes the mud she throws in his face.
That's why the crowds who come to see him are so large. That's why he'll take us down a more decent path. That's why I would vote for him if Michigan were allowed to have an election.
But the question I keep hearing is... 'can he win? Can he win in November?' In the distance we hear the siren of the death train called the Straight Talk Express. We know it's possible to hear the words "President McCain" on January 20th. We know there are still many Americans who will never vote for a black man. Hillary knows it, too. She's counting on it.
Pennsylvania, the state that gave birth to this great country, has a chance to set things right. It has not had a moment to shine like this since 1787 when our Constitution was written there. In that Constitution, they wrote that a black man or woman was only "three fifths" human. On Tuesday, the good people of Pennsylvania have a chance for redemption.
Colbert Report: Finally, the Voices of America's Long-Suffering White Males Will Be Heard
Saturday, April 19, 2008
Perhaps, to maintain my own sanity, I need to hold out hope that his candidacy is about changing the very things Mr. Engdahl illuminates. That is why I am supporting Barack Obama for President. There are many indications -- subtle, but there nonetheless -- that Obama is not part of the incestuous behind-the-scenes Washington power elite, although he will most assuredly be wooed by the powers-that-be in an attempt to control him. I'm betting he will not take the bait.
I'm interested in what others think and am sending an email to Mr. Engdahl for his thoughts on Obama. I'll let you know his response.
First, Sean's introduction:
Political Incest and Psychological WarfareIntroduction by Sean@iNoodle.com:
I post the below article not because I give a damn about Hillary's campaign being deliberately sunk. Nor would I give a rat's ass (a favored expression of my dead father) if Obama's or McCain's was similarly sunk. Huge hoorays, rather, would be in order were all three to go down along with the permanent political establishment which parades these shameless shills before us, offending our every sensibility with their endless mind rot.Is the Hillary Clinton campaign being deliberately sunk?
Instead, I post this piece because the political incest of which Engdahl writes provides yet further evidence -- for those who require it -- of collusion between the anti-democratic political elite of the so-called left, right and center.
This -- not the election charade -- is what folk need to talk about as they go about their day-to-day. The rest is but drivel. But such drivel endlessly pumped out of the media machine's shitty depths and straight into our increasingly passive minds is more powerful than guns, bombs and rockets, unless we can individually, and thereby collectively, become explicitly aware of the psychological war that the candidates and their corporate-political (i.e., fascist) masters are waging, ceaselessly and at every turn, as a means to control our political- and, indeed, our very self-consciousness. In short, to control us, as individuals and in the collective. Fascism.
This war, for the simple fact that most haven't noticed, they have already won -- what with their 16 intelligence agencies (in the U.S. alone, and bolstered immeasurably by the global military-industrial complex of 'defense' contractors which people these conspiring enterprises and vice versa), their in-pocket 'journalists', their corporate mass-broadcasters, their corporations, period, not to mention their fraudulent banks, money-laundering stock markets, and money-printing central banks -- unless we are to wake up and, en masse, bring a quick and decisive end to their endgame by way of an utter refusal to participate in any aspect of their genocidal endeavors, to begin to recognize, fully, that black's not white, nor white black, and to speak and to live the real reality -- that which we see, smell, taste, touch and hear and otherwise sense -- which exists within and all around us rather than to accept the pseudo-reality which we, in waterboarding fashion, are presently forced to swallow and to breathe deep into our drowning minds.
And, so, it is with this in my own mind that I post the following piece. Please share widely.
By F. William Engdahl
Online Journal Guest Writer
Apr 16, 2008, 00:18
American presidential politics are at best a cynical business. The outcome is typically determined, at least since the ill-fated campaign of George McGovern in 1972, by major corporate lobbyists and behind-the-scenes money interests who have little interest in national issues other than their own. Now, with the sudden departure of Hillary Clinton's main campaign strategist, Mark Penn, it is clear that the powerful interests originally backing Clinton have decided to end the game with her.
On the surface the issue was a discovered conflict of interest between Penn and Hillary over Penn's outside consulting for the government of Colombia on a policy which Hillary stated she opposed. Penn had agreed to be hired as a high-price lobbyist by Colombia to help secure congressional passage of a bilateral US-Colombia free trade bill that US unions claim would cost American workers hundreds of thousands of jobs. Hillary desperately needed trade union support to win the primary in Pennsylvania, and unions are strongly opposed to the US-Colombia trade deal.
The curious career of Mark Penn
The figure of Mark Penn is revealing as to what the machine of Hillary Clinton represents in terms of power politics. Penn had been a political adviser of the Clintons since managing Bill Clinton's 1996 gubernatorial re-election fight. His firm ran the election polls that helped define Clinton's campaign strategy, itself a cynical modern US electoral innovation, updating with high tech means the motto, "tell the people what they want to hear." Pennís polling firm, Penn, Schoen and Berland (PSB) has been used by Britain's Tony Blair, Italy's Silvio Berlusconi, by Menachim Begin in Israel and Senator Joe Lieberman to shape election strategy.
PSB has played a pioneering role in the use of polling operations, especially "exit polls," in facilitating various US-backed "Color Revolutions" in Serbia and elsewhere. Its primary mission is to shape the perception that the group installed in power in a targeted country has broad popular support. The PSB group began work in Serbia during the period when Mark Penn was President Clinton's top political advisor.
Manipulating exit polls
The PSB website boasts that they "have played critical roles behind the scenes of the elections in Serbia and Zimbabwe, helping the opposition parties craft strategies, messages and organize a credible and effective campaign that has enabled them to weaken the dictator, his political party, and eventually throw him out of power. The introduction of cutting edge political and communications techniques is as well as the advice of the best Western political consultants and image makers, is as potent a weapon as the planes, bombs, and intelligence technology used in such conflicts as the Persian Gulf War, Bosnia, Kosovo, and, most recently Afghanistan." In short, PSB is at the cutting edge of the modern politics of images.
In 2004, it was PSB which ran the "exit polls" in Venezuela asserting, even as voting was still open, that their polls showed "major defeat for Chavez." The opposite was the case with Chavez winning an overwhelming 59 percent. Investigation revealed that Penn's PSB had emailed and faxed their poll results to international media four hours before polls were to close, proclaiming, on the basis of the fraudulent polls, that Chavez had lost. That was in violation of Venezuelan election law and was intended to rally international support behind a campaign to declare Chavez guilty of vote fraud and organize a recall. It backfired and PSB came under public fire as a result.
Referring to Mark Penn, the influential Washington Post once referred to him as "the most powerful man in Washington you've never heard of." According to PSB's website, Penn helped elect 15 overseas presidents in the Far East, Latin America, and Europe. Clients include heads of state or opposition politicians in Greece, Turkey, Israel, the Philippines, the Dominican Republic, Bermuda and Yugoslavia.
About the "permanent establishment"
Mark Penn is exemplary of what US political insiders refer to as a person of the "permanent establishment," the shadowy institutions and insiders behind the curtains who really determine critical policy issues and shape the choices gullible voters then are given to "democratically choose among."
It has been referred to by strategists since the time of Edward Bernays as the "illusion of choice." Penn is above political party, serving the interests of what some call the permanent establishment. As a case in point, he also is CEO of the influential global public relations firm, Burson-Marsteller, which includes among clients the largest US mortgage lender, Countrywide Financial, and Blackwater Inc., the Republican-led mercenary security firm that has been accused of repeated killings of innocent Iraqi civilians. Penn's firm was to make sure the "image" of such clients remained positive to the US public.
. . . political incest?
More interesting is that "Democrat" Penn's Burson-Marsteller Worldwide owns BKSH & Associates, a major political lobbying firm run by Charles R. Black, Jr., counsellor to Republican presidents. Black now works full time for the campaign of Republican John McCain. In other words, Black heads a firm whose boss is "Democrat" Clinton's top strategist, at the same time Black is Republican opponent John McCain's top strategist.
In turn, Penn's firm, Burson-Marsteller is owned by British advertising and public relations giant WPP Group which employs as lobbyists former Republican National Committee Chairman Ed Gillespie; former House of Representatives Republican leader Robert S. Walker, top Republican fundraiser Wayne L. Berman and the former media adviser to George W. Bush, Mark McKinnon.
In the wake of the resignation of Mark Penn, reports in Washington are that James Carville, former 1992 campaign adviser to Bill Clinton, to Tony Blair and Israel's Ehud Barak, will assume the role of campaign strategist. It is worth noting that Carville is also deep in Washington political incest. While Carville was running the 1992 Clinton strategy, Carville's fiancee, Mary Matalin was running the campaign strategy of President George Herbert Walker Bush. As the old expression goes, US politics, at least, has indeed strange bedfellows.
This article was originally published by the Center for Research on Globalization
F. William Engdahl is a Research Associate of the Center for Research on Globalization and author of the recently-released book, Seeds of Destruction: The Hidden Agenda of Genetic Manipulation (www.globalresearch.ca). He also author of "Century of War: Anglo-American Oil Politics," Pluto Press Ltd. He may be contacted at his website, www.engdahl.oilgeopolitics.net
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- Why Bush Watergated Spitzer
- Behind Military Analysts, the Pentagon's Hidden Hand | NYT | David Barstow:
"In the summer of 2005, the Bush administration confronted a fresh wave of criticism over Guantanamo Bay. The detention center had just been branded 'the gulag of our times' by Amnesty International, there were new allegations of abuse from United Nations human rights experts and calls were mounting for its closure. The administration's communications experts responded swiftly. Early one Friday morning, they put a group of retired military officers on one of the jets normally used by Vice President Dick Cheney and flew them to Cuba for a carefully orchestrated tour of Guantanamo... Records and interviews show how the Bush administration has used its control over access and information in an effort to transform the analysts into a kind of media Trojan horse - an instrument intended to shape terrorism coverage from inside the major TV and radio networks...."
- Talking to ourselves | Los Angeles Times | Susan Jocoby:
"...It is past time for Americans to stop attributing the polarization of our public life to the media, the demon entity "Washington" or "the elites." As long as we continue to avoid the hard work of scrutinizing public affairs without the filter of polemical shouting heads, we have no one to blame for the governing class and its policies but ourselves. Like Hofstadter, I yearn to live in a society that values fair-mindedness. But it will take nothing less than a revolutionary public recommitment to the pursuit of fairness, knowledge and memory to halt, much less reverse, the trend toward an ignorant single-mindedness that threatens the future of democracy itself."
Poll: Hillary Drops Back. Obama Pulling Away | Newsweek | Michael Hirsh
"Despite her campaign's relentless attacks on Barack Obama's qualifications and electability, Hillary Clinton has lost a lot of ground with Democratic voters nationwide going into Tuesday's critical primary in Pennsylvania, a new NEWSWEEK poll shows.Continue reading.
The survey of 1,209 registered voters found that Obama now leads Clinton by nearly 20 points, or 54 percent to 35 percent, among registered Democrats and those who lean Democratic nationwide. The previous Newsweek poll, conducted in March after Clinton's big primary wins in Ohio and Texas, showed the two Democrats locked in a statistical tie (45 percent for Obama to 44 percent for Clinton). The new poll puts Obama ahead among women as well as men, and voters aged 60 and older as well as younger voters. (For the complete poll data, click here)...."
Friday, April 18, 2008
Poor Hillary. Talk about "out of touch." Chill, Hill -- before your head explodes.
Celeste Fremon: Clinton Slams Democratic Activists At Private Fundraiser
"At a small closed-door fundraiser after Super Tuesday, Sen. Hillary Clinton blamed what she called the "activist base" of the Democratic Party -- and MoveOn.org in particular -- for many of her electoral defeats, saying activists had "flooded" state caucuses and "intimidated" her supporters, according to an audio recording of the event obtained by The Huffington Post....
Clinton's remarks depart radically from the traditional position of presidential candidates, who in the past have celebrated high levels of turnout by party activists and partisans as a harbinger for their own party's success -- regardless of who is the eventual nominee -- in the general election showdown.
The comments also contradict Clinton's previous statements praising this year's elevated Democratic turnout in primaries and caucuses, and appear to blame her caucus defeats on newly energized grassroots voter groups that she has lauded in the past as "lively participants" in American democracy.
In a statement to The Huffington Post, MoveOn's Executive Director Eli Pariser reacted strongly to Clinton's remarks: "Senator Clinton has her facts wrong again. MoveOn never opposed the war in Afghanistan, and we set the record straight years ago when Karl Rove made the same claim. Senator Clinton's attack on our members is divisive at a time when Democrats will soon need to unify to beat Senator McCain. MoveOn is 3.2 million reliable voters and volunteers who are an important part of any winning Democratic coalition in November. They deserve better than to be dismissed using Republican talking points.""
"Her message comes down to this: We can't really change the say-anything, do-anything, special interest-driven game in Washington, so we might as well choose a candidate who really knows how to play it."-- Barack ObamaPoll: Obama has better White House chances than Clinton, Democratic voters say | International Herald Tribune:
"WASHINGTON: Barack Obama has won endorsements from a former Clinton administration official and two ex-senators, boosting his campaign for the Democratic presidential nomination ahead of Tuesday's Pennsylvania primary that could determine whether rival Hillary Rodham Clinton stays in the race.
The support comes as a new Associated Press-Yahoo News poll shows that Democratic voters now favor Obama over Clinton as their best chance for winning the White House...."
- Obama greeted by largest crowd of his campaign | The Huffington Post:
"PHILADELPHIA — Barack Obama was greeted by the largest crowd of his campaign Friday night in Philadelphia. Some 35,000 people jammed into Independence Park to see the Democratic presidential candidate, four days before this state's crucial April 22 primary...."
- Clinton's Odds: Time And Delegate Math Not In Her Favor | The Huffington Post:
"The calls are growing again for Hillary Clinton to recognize that her mathematical chances for winning the democratic nomination are low to none...."
Watch the lowlights from last night’s debate on ABC. Sick of this junk news?
"I'm outraged about last night's presidential debate on ABC, and you should be too.
ABC dedicated the entire first half of the debate to recycling the same junk news stories about the candidates' personalities and past associations that have been circulating endlessly in recent weeks.
At a time when we are facing life and death decisions about health care, war, climate change and the economy, ABC went for fluff and innuendo. No wonder so many people are misinformed or don’t pay attention to politics.
Last night made a mockery of this election and gave us a stark view of Big Media's impact on our democracy.
We have to do something. Instead of just switching channels, we need to demand better media.
Media is the lifeblood of our democracy. But as our media falls into fewer and fewer hands, real journalism is being replaced by cheap infotainment and rank sensationalism. Newsrooms are being squeezed, foreign bureaus have been shuttered, and serious issues are simply ignored.
We can do more than just throw open the window and scream, "We're not gonna take it anymore."
Last night's debate is just a symptom of a much more serious sickness afflicting our media system. The root of this problem is bad policies that let Big Media companies like Disney -- which owns ABC -- get so big. It's up to Congress and the FCC to roll back media consolidation.
But it's moments like this that wake people up to the dire state of the media. Help spread the word.
We deserve better media; we need better media. Let's hold ABC and Disney accountable -- and fight for media that we can count on."
P.S. Get connected and help spread the word. Join us on Facebook.
P.P.S. Missed the debate? Read Tom Shales’ review, “In Pa. Debate, the Clear Loser is ABC.”
Take action on this important campaign at:
Tell your friends about this campaign at: http://free.convio.net/site/Ecard?ecard_id=1361
Note: Free Press is a national nonpartisan organization working to reform the media. Free Press does not endorse or oppose any candidate for public office
- Charlie Gibson, George Stephanopoulos Lose Debate | The Progressive
"What a painful debate to watch! Where is Dennis Kucinich when you need him? At least Kucinich dared to point out how off base the “moderators” were in some of the debates he was in...."
- Hillary Clinton On Southern Working Class Whites In 1995: "Screw 'Em" | The Huffington Post
"During the past week, Sen. Hillary Clinton has presented herself as a working class populist, the politician in touch with small town sentiments, compared to the elitism of her opponent, Sen. Barack Obama.
But a telling anecdote from her husband's administration shows Hillary Clinton's attitudes about the "lunch-bucket Democrats" are not exactly pristine...."
Former President Jimmy Carter, predictably, is being denounced for meeting with the exiled leader of Hamas in Syria on Friday.
Carter's critics are wrong. Talking to Hamas, which won the January 2006 Palestinian legislative elections, is a necessary part of creating peace. As Carter himself said, "There's no doubt in anyone's mind that, if Israel is ever going to find peace with justice concerning the relationship with their next-door neighbors, that Hamas will have to be included in the process."
Please sign our petition -- co-sponsored by A Just Foreign Policy -- to Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton, and John McCain asking them to support former President Carter and support talks with Hamas:
Jimmy Carter knows that, according to Haaretz, 64% of Israelis have said they want their government to talk with Hamas about a cease-fire.[A] He knows that after Hamas won the January 2006 elections, it was willing to declare a ceasefire and allow President Abbas to negotiate with Israel on behalf of all Palestinians.[B]
Jimmy Carter knows that the blockade of Gaza being carried out by Israel, the U.S., and Egypt has actually strengthened Hamas in Gaza,[C] as 90 percent of Gaza's factories have closed and many former employees are now working for Hamas.
Jimmy Carter knows that Efraim Halevy, former head of Israel's Mossad, has called for Israel to negotiate with Hamas.[D] He knows that before the Annapolis conference, a bipartisan group of U.S. foreign-policy experts, including former national security advisers Zbigniew Brzezinski and Brent Scowcroft, sent a letter to President Bush and Secretary Rice saying that "genuine dialogue" with Hamas is "far preferable to its isolation."[E]
Indeed, he knows that the U.S. has encouraged Egypt to talk to Hamas about negotiating a cease-fire.[F] How can it be a scandal for Jimmy Carter to talk to Hamas, but not for Egypt to talk to Hamas at U.S. direction?
If the United States truly wants a settlement between Israel and the Palestinians - as opposed to just pretending that it wants one - it must deal with Hamas.
Please sign the petition now.
Sydney, Cecilie, Rachel, Rebecca, and Jean
Jewish Voice for Peace
[A]. "Poll: Most Israelis back direct talks with Hamas on Shalit," Yossi Verter, Haaretz, February 27, 2008
[B]. "Carter Defends Plan to Meet Hamas Despite Israel Criticism," Agence France Press, April 13, 2008
[C]. "Gaza's Unemployed Have Handouts or Hamas," Griff Witte, Washington Post, April 13, 2008
[D]. "Ex-Mossad chief wants Israel to talk to Hamas," Michel Hoebink, Radio Netherlands Worldwide, February 21, 2008
[E]. "Bipartisan Foreign Policy Leaders on Annapolis Conference," Daniel Levy, Prospects for Peace, October 10, 2007
[F]. "Brushoff for Carter Over Plans for Hamas Meeting," Griff Witte, Washington Post, April 15, 2008
Tuesday, April 15, 2008
From The New York Times:
"The independent label sticks to John McCain because he antagonizes fellow Republicans and likes to work with Democrats.Photo Credit: www.thewashingtonnote.com
But a different label applies to his actual record: conservative...."
Monday, April 14, 2008
"Forget about her claim to have dodged sniperís bullets in Bosnia, or that she was named after Sir Edmund Hilary, or that she met a woman who was denied health care and died.Continue Reading.
All of these Hillary Clinton fibs and exaggerations are basically harmless. But her current attempts to lie about her record and to pretend that she always opposed free trade agreements and disagreed with Bill on NAFTA is a serious distortion of her record as she searches for blue collar support in Pennsylvania...."
Sunday, April 13, 2008
McClatchy Washington Bureau reports:
LEVITTOWN, Pa. — Like many women over 50, Paula Houwen was eager to vote for Hillary Clinton for president.Continue Reading.
"I was impressed when she was first lady. She wasn't the country's trophy wife," the 56-year-old suburban Philadelphia pharmacist recalled.
Today, though, Houwen's no longer a Clinton fan.
"I do not like the way Hillary Clinton has run her campaign," she said.
Clinton's strongest core of support — white women — is beginning to erode in Pennsylvania, the site of the critical April 22 Democratic presidential primary, and a loss here could effectively end her White House run....
Oh, noes! Would it crush anyone's beautiful velveteen pony to learn that Hillary Clinton hasn't always been a duck-hunting, beer-drankin', Senator-Saint who walked among the commoners and lived as they do? It's true, it's true, and apparently, there are witnesses!
Harvard University political scientist Theda Skocpol - also an elite, I guess! - provided Talking Points Memo with a following statement, which, in part, reads:I have been in meetings with the Clintons and their advisors where very clinical things were said in a very-detached tone about unwillingness of working class voters to trust government -- and Bill Clinton -- and about their unfortunate (from a Clinton perspective) proclivity to vote on life-style rather than economic issues. To see Hillary going absolutely over the top to smash Obama for making clearly more humanly sympathetic observations in this vein, is just amazing. Even more so to see her pretending to be a gun-toting non-elite. Give us a break!...
This has to be one of the few times in U.S. political history when a multi-millionaire has accused a much less wealthy fellow public servant, a person of the same party and views who made much less lucrative career choices, of "elitism"! (I won't say the only time, because U.S. political history is full of absurdities of this sort.) In a way, it is funny -- and it may not be long before the jokes start.
"A firm that has donated to the president's charity is accused of collaborating with the government in its crackdown on Tibetan activists. Hillary Clinton has spoken out against China's actions."Photo Credit: (Eugene Hoshiko, Associated Press) IN HANGZHOU: President Clinton gave the keynote address at a 2005 conference organized by Alibaba, hailing the Internet as “an inherently cooperative
STEELTON, Penn. — Democrat Barack Obama lashed out Sunday at rival Hillary Rodham Clinton, mocking her vocal support for gun rights and saying her record in the Senate and as first lady belied her stated commitment to working class voters and their concerns.Hillary Clinton's Rovian tactics -- accusing her opponent of attacking her character and integrity -- when, in fact, it is she who continually has been attacking Obama's integrity and character -- is as obvious as her insincere, atrociously-bad-actor-emoting on the stump, her attempts to portray herself as eternally victimized by everyone from Obama to the media, her schizo-frenetic campaign, and her inability to tell voters anything resembling the truth, not to mention any factual statement of what she and/or her husband specifically did during their eight years in the White House to substantially improve the lives of the middle and lower classes.
"She knows better. Shame on her. Shame on her," Obama told an audience at a union hall here.
Obama reiterated his regret for his choice of words at the fundraiser but suggested they had been twisted and mischaracterized. He said he'd expected blowback from GOP nominee-in-waiting John McCain, but had been "a little disappointed" to be criticized by Clinton.
Then, laughing along with the union audience, Obama noted that Clinton seemed much more interested in guns since he made his comments than she had in the past.
"She is running around talking about how this is an insult to sportsmen, how she values the Second Amendment. She's talking like she's Annie Oakley," Obama said, invoking the famed female sharpshooter immortalized in the musical "Annie Get Your Gun."
He continued: "Hillary Clinton is out there like she's on the duck blind every Sunday. She's packing a six-shooter. Come on, she knows better. That's some politics being played by Hillary Clinton."
Clinton has told campaign audiences that she supports the rights of hunters. Saturday, she reminisced about learning to shoot on family vacations in Scranton, where her father grew up. She's also said she once shot a duck in Arkansas, where she served as first lady.
Fighting back, Obama said Clinton's history proved she was not as sensitive to the concerns of blue collar voters as she tried to project.
"I just have to remind people of the track record," Obama said, noting Clinton accepted campaign contributions from PACs and drug and insurance industry lobbyists, which he does not.
"This is the same person who took money from financial folks on Wall Street and then voted for bankruptcy bill that makes it harder for folks right here in Pennsylvania to get a fair shake. Who do you think is out of touch?" Obama said.
"This is the same person who spent a decade with her husband campaigning for NAFTA, and now goes around saying she's opposed to NAFTA," Obama said, referring to the North American Free Trade Agreement that is widely unpopular in blue collar communities.
The Clinton campaign issued a quick retort to Obama's comments.
"For months, Barack Obama and his campaign have relentlessly attacked Hillary Clinton's character and integrity by using Republican talking points from the 1990s," said spokesman Phil Singer. "The shame is his. Senator Clinton does know better — she knows better than to condescend and talk down to voters like Senator Obama did."
If Hillary was all she cracks herself up to be, these tactics would be unnecessary and her record of achievement would stand for itself. The trouble is, she hasn't got much to show for her "35 years of experience" that would impress the American middle class or the poor. In fact, she has a record filled with scandals, questionable campaign finance practices, ties to lobbyests, and failing her most important responsibility of the Clinton White House -- healthcare reform. Her record is pro-war, pro-free trade, pro-Wall Street (and pro Wal-Mart). In this campaign, she has consistently put her own aspirations for power above the good of the party or the country. If it is change from the status quo you are looking for, or help for those among us who need it most -- think long and hard before you vote for Hillary Clinton.
It's amazing to me that one of the astute Democratic strategists haven't figured out that the debate on Iraq has been argued on a false premise promoted first by BushCo and, now, by McBushCo. This isn't rocket science, folks....
It's Occupation, Not War
By Charley Reese
"The wars in Iraq and Afghanistan ended some years ago. In Iraq, the war ended with the fall of Saddam Hussein's government; in Afghanistan, with the fall of the Taliban government. What's been happening since is occupation and resistance to occupation.
It's always helpful to call things by the right name. One of the ways using the wrong word can trip us is illustrated by John McCain's campaign theme. We have to win the war in Iraq, he keeps saying. Ending a war implies either winning or losing. No such baggage is attached to an occupation. You can end an occupation without either winning or losing. You just withdraw your troops...."