Top Leaderboard, Site wide
September 3, 2014
Truthdig: Drilling Beneath the Headlines
Help us grow by sharing
and liking Truthdig:
Sign up for Truthdig's Email NewsletterLike Truthdig on FacebookFollow Truthdig on TwitterSubscribe to Truthdig's RSS Feed


sign up to get updates

Truthdig Bazaar
Engaging the Muslim World

Engaging the Muslim World

By Juan Cole

more items

A/V Booth

Truthdig Radio: Dennis Kucinich Battles Libya Bombing

Email this item Email    Print this item Print    Share this item... Share

Posted on Mar 24, 2011
Photo illustration from an image by Colin Grey

(Page 2)

Robert Scheer: Yes. In fact, there’s an irony here in that The Wall Street Journal had a very interesting article pointing out that the opposition is the kind that we usually deride; it’s more Islamic, it’s more conservative in a traditional sense than Gadhafi has been. And Gadhafi has actually been presented in recent years, again by the Bush administration and by Blair when he was in charge in England, as somebody we could do business with. And then suddenly that changed.

Dennis Kucinich: Well, there is that … you know, just as we did business with Saddam Hussein at one point. We have this ability to summon up a demon of the week and to be able to create caricatures of people in order to justify military action. And the point that you make about just who it is that we’re working with—no one really seems to know. Except that there is a possibility that if Gadhafi is usurped, that these elements would create a divided Libya, which would be a fertile ground for al-Qaida. And so the national security interests of the United States, if you wanted to strictly define them in terms of the euphemistic global war on terror, would seem be … run contrary to an intervention. That’s not to say that we shouldn’t be concerned about the conditions in Libya and the plight of the Libyan people. But there is something about recognizing that the … that people are basically going to have to be in charge of their own fate. And that intervention may actually make, military intervention may actually make things worse. It may, in effect, give Gadhafi the ability to say that all of his opponents are part of a Western interventionist plot to grab oil and sink the hopes of the people of Libya.

Peter Scheer: Congressman, would you have favored any kind of military action earlier in the conflict, when Gadhafi was just, appeared to be sending fighter jets to bomb civilians in populated areas?

Dennis Kucinich: No. No, I would not have, I would not have favored any military action there at all. And I don’t, I don’t think that with the tides for change that are sweeping across the Middle East, that the United States can decide to intervene. We can’t do it. It’s not just about Libya; it’s about Yemen, it’s about Bahrain, it’s about Saudi Arabia and Syria, and so many other places. We cannot determine the outcome. And as brutal as these governments may be to their own people, it’s not up to us to determine who’s going to lead a country, the character of a government. And we’re not at the point where we can do that, anymore. We just can’t afford it. Period. And we can’t, we can’t … you know, if the international community wants to do that and participate, then we have to have that debate in the United States Congress. But I am not in favor of intervention.


Square, Site wide
Peter Scheer: Can I just ask you about your district? There’s some reports that you may be districted out through some nefarious state politics? Do you want to, do you have any updates on that?

Dennis Kucinich: Well, you know, the reports are true. The district I hold in Cleveland, Ohio, is due to be either substantially altered or abolished. A former chair of the state Republican Party two weeks ago said that it was going to be abolished in the redistricting. And so I intend to stay in Congress; I’m going to have to … I don’t know where I’m going to be running, though. That’s where the situation is right now.

Robert Scheer: Well, Dennis, I know you’ve given us a lot of your time, but let me just say, I hope you’re not going to be one of those politicians that then goes to work for the enemy, right? I mean, you’ll be a … [laughter] … you’ll be a truth-seeker and not go work for some big lobbying … as a lot of Democrats do, they go work for Wall Street, they go work for the worst in the country. …

Dennis Kucinich: I think anybody who looks at the trajectory of my career would know that …

Robert Scheer: Yeah … so you might have a good life after Congress. …

Dennis Kucinich: … that it’s unlikely to head towards K Street. [Laughter]

Robert Scheer: You know, but you might actually emerge as like the next Ralph Nader. I mean, because really we need people who know how Congress works and how … what the lobbyists are up to. Do you think there’s some … assuming you lose your district, is there some future role that you could play?

Dennis Kucinich: Well, here’s the thing. I want to … I’m focusing now on the job that I have to do in Congress. That’s number one. Number two, I have every intention of staying in Congress, which means that I am going to run again; I just don’t know where. And number three, based on that outcome, I’ll be able to answer definitively the question that you raised. But what I’ve tried to do, in the time that I do serve, is to bring the same measure of critical inquiry to all matters that Ralph Nader has brought into the consumer movement. And, you know, I think that it’s very important to hold government officials’ feet to the fire on issues of policy and how tax dollars are being spent. And so I’m going to continue to do that as long as I’m in public service.

Robert Scheer: Dennis, as long as we have you, let me just switch the subject a little bit, because it was announced today that new housing sales are at a historic low; they dropped 16 percent; it’s predicted that homeownership is going to drop 10 percent over the next years. We have 50 million people who’ve either lost their homes or are going to lose their homes. The economy does not seem to be getting any better. And yet we’re sailing along with the same kind of leadership, coming from the Democrats, that we have from the Republicans. And there was some hope that the libertarians, like Ron Paul, would challenge the power of the Fed, would challenge the power of big banking, and that some liberals in Congress would do that. Do you see any movement to that …

Dennis Kucinich: Yes …

Robert Scheer: … Or all they all lining up behind this president, and …

Dennis Kucinich: … Well, they’re not all lining behind him. I mean, Ron Paul, in his position as chair of a banking subcommittee, continues to challenge the Fed, and he and I have worked together on that. And furthermore, I’ll just give you a preview of legislation that I’m working on reintroducing in this Congress that would dramatically change the Federal Reserve Act of 1913 by putting the Federal Reserve under the Treasury Department, and would cause fractional reserve banking—which inevitably has enabled banks to pyramid their assets to the point of where they could make investments that have exposed taxpayers to great losses—to change the fractional reserve system. And finally to enable the government, which famously has claimed it’s broke, to be able to restart our economy by investing in our nation; by sending money into circulation to rebuild our roads, our bridges, our water system, our sewer system, or to build new rail for carrying passengers; to be able to invest in education and health care. We have within our power the ability to redirect the fate and the future of our nation, but we have to get control of our monetary policy. And right now, our government is run with a close eye toward [what] Wall Street wants, and policy just all the way down the line, and that is why whether it’s a Democrat or Republican in the White House, the wealth of America keeps accelerating upwards.

Peter Scheer: Can I just ask, in your working with tea party people, with Republicans, are you committing to making any kind of cuts to the budget that you might find unsavory, to form a compromise?

Dennis Kucinich: No, I … listen, my approach to the budget has been this: That we ought to sharply cut Pentagon spending. We ought to … we could save hundreds of billions of dollars by getting out of Afghanistan, Iraq, stopping these military interventions, paring back significantly the Pentagon budget, and reversing the Bush tax cuts. These are all things that are within the capability of government to do. And also just encouraging competition in our economy. You know, we can … we have forgotten that we can still prime the pump of the economy. That kind of economics went out the door; now we’ve accepted a jobless recovery in saying that a certain amount of unemployment, apparently it’s close to 10 percent, is necessary for the proper functioning of the economy. We’ve established a new threshold of unemployment. This is wrong; this is fundamentally wrong. And so I’m not for cutting any social programs, any programs that are needed to help the poor; we need more investment, not less. And government can only do that if we get control of our monetary policy, and if we break the grasp that Wall Street has on our economic and finance policy. So this is a long haul we’re talking about. But I think it’s possible, because the American people, as we have 15 million unemployed, 50 million still without health insurance, another 10 million people who are in various phases of losing their homes. The numbers are there, and they suggest a lack of proper concern about the economic plight of millions of Americans, and inattention to the practical aspirations that most Americans have for jobs and health care, and education, and retirement security, and peace.

Robert Scheer: You know, Dennis, do you think … Congressman, sorry … do you think that in a way these foreign adventures are a distraction from these profound economic issues we have. …

Dennis Kucinich: They’re more than a distraction; they’re putting us on a path that parallels the forces that drove, that led to the breakup of the Soviet Union. You know, we have to stop building an empire. We have to come home. I mean, this has been being said for 40 years in America; this is George McGovern’s theme. We have to come home and start taking care of things here, and it’s a grand distraction, but it’s worse than that. It is undermining our ability to function as a nation. And the other thing that war does, the other casualty of war … the other casualties in war are civil liberties. And so we start to see the quality of our political democracy eroded. And, you know, you can’t have a political democracy unless you have an economic democracy, so war is an economic issue as well. Three trillion dollars, minimum for the Iraq wars; half a trillion dollars already for Afghanistan; a hundred million a day in Libya. We cannot sustain our nation on this course; it is impossible. It is against the laws of physics, because we’re trying to create a new mass out of a black hole.

New and Improved Comments

If you have trouble leaving a comment, review this help page. Still having problems? Let us know. If you find yourself moderated, take a moment to review our comment policy.

Angel Gabriel's avatar

By Angel Gabriel, March 28, 2011 at 8:05 pm Link to this comment


I have been watching this “death Rattle” for decades and every time I think that
it is finally starting to collapse from the inside out it miraculously revives itself,
but in saying that it has hinged around new War’s that the US has gotten itself
involved in, or have created to serve the purpose of an excuse to name and
blame a new enemy of the American people that has worked to unite those flag
waving loyalists in a common purpose - Kill the oppostion to American
Dominance then pick the spot most ripe to plunder where the resources or
business opportunity for the IMF/Wall Street elitist brigade can “regime change”
their way into the economic drivers seat.  This entire new wave of
Corporatocracy started in earnest with the signing of PNAC.
The Corporatocracy has been very slick in the manner that they have
conscripted the US and Israeli Military’s to fight these Corporate Battles! the
slickest part of it has been that through Mainstream media assistance, they rally
the US Tax Payer dollar to pay for these assaults on unfriendly regimes to US
and Israeli Interests, then quietly play out their strategies to break the Civilian
Populations in those country’s “will” to resist.
I do agree with you as to the most effective method to use to bring on their
demise is by patience and persistence. Alone i can do nothing more than
scream at a website, but united with like minds around the world we can,
though our united resolve, back away from them and let them destroy
themselves from within, as they are doing quite nicely on their own currently.
Not much word coming out of Israel at the moment when topics like double
standards are brought into focus… One might think there could be a good
business opportunity in Israel as a Laundry Service, though it would be a
disgusting job cleaning all the undershorts as they fill up with the events
happening all around them that are moving their enemies closer to tossing out
the old Zionist friendly despots put into power to serve US and Israeli interests
and replacing them with Representatives of the People’s will rather than the old
I’m with you and we will continue our vigilance in peace. Watch and wait - the
time will come quickly when it does come!

Report this
Gulam's avatar

By Gulam, March 28, 2011 at 4:55 pm Link to this comment

Angel Gabriel you are almost there. I agree completely and appreciate your turn
of phrase: “I’m finished with any support for Kucinich, or anyone else who
poses distractions without actions….” Yes, you do see how guys like Kucinich
and Bernie Sanders are paid well to play the role of loyal opposition. Most of the
time everybody is convinced that there really is a viable opposition, however,
every time it counts the “loyal” part rears its head. How did anyone ever take
the Democratic Party seriously after Lyndon and Hubert and all that they did?

Going all the way involves realizing that the whole democratic premise is
downright silly. Believing this Enlightenment faith means believing that Moses
should have come down off the mountain and taken a vote on what kind of
morals the community should follow. What a little play-acting stunt this whole
democracy sideshow has become, what a distraction it is now, while a very
small upper class takes even more advantage of the great herd than ever did an
official aristocracy.  When you finally get the picture, then you will join the rest
who have stepped back to watch the fall, for what can you do to better help the
poor of this earth and the environment, what more can you do to stop
militarism, the arms race, and nuclear madness than to step aside and watch
the USA crash.

According to classical Chinese thought, at a time when The Way is not being
followed by the state, the superior man hides himself so that nobody notices
him. Evil falls by itself; under most circumstances it is better to wait an
opportunity to serve the good. After the Vietnam War, the people from the
anti-war movement, whose case had been thoroughly vindicated, were not
praised and welcomed back into the fold. Those of that huge baby-boom
generation who cared about the society as a whole and not their own careers,
those who saw the truth and spoke out, they were systematically kept out of
the main corridors of power in America, and they kept themselves out of the
CIA and the military? Ask yourself what kind of person would have worked for
the CIA after the Vietnam era, after all pretence of being “one of the good guys”
was long gone?

The task now is for a new generation to drop-out from the public trough, the
money making society, to work alone out of the way in small ways to find and
preserve and continue what has been achieved out of the limelight by the
previous generation. At this point public life is poisoned, nobody with any
dignity would willingly become a public figure in America, arts and letters of the
official post-modern empire of the media are a cruel joke to anyone with any
taste and vision.  Though home life has also been badly weakened, home and
community are places where energy can be well used while we wait for this
self-enlightened secular Empire to continue its death rattle.

You said that you were tired of distractions without actions. At this point in
time almost any action that an American politician can take would be little but a
distraction. When there has been far too much doing, not-doing likely to be a
more positive move than more doing.

Report this
PatrickHenry's avatar

By PatrickHenry, March 28, 2011 at 6:20 am Link to this comment

“MI6 Created the Muslim Brotherhood - e.g.”

Israel created Hamas.

CIA created Al Qaeda.

Pattern here?

Report this
fearnotruth's avatar

By fearnotruth, March 28, 2011 at 1:52 am Link to this comment

RE: ...God created the islamic brotherhood. (sic)

MI6 Created the Muslim Brotherhood - e.g.

Muslim Brotherhood was a participant or observer in the following events:
1954-1970: CIA and the Muslim Brotherhood Ally to Oppose Egyptian President Nasser

In 1954, Egyptian President Gamal Abddul Nasser’s nationalist policies in Egypt come to
be viewed as completely unacceptable by Britain and the US. MI6 and the CIA jointly hatch
plans for his assassination. According to Miles Copeland, a CIA operative based in Egypt,
the opposition to Nasser is driven by the commercial community—the oil companies and
the banks.

At the same time, the Muslim Brotherhood’s resentment of Nasser’s secular government
also comes to a head. In one incident, Islamist militants attack pro-Nasser students at
Cairo University. Following an attempt on his own life by the Brotherhood, Nasser
responds immediately by outlawing the group, which he denounces as a tool of Britain.
The following years see a long and complex struggle pitting Nasser against the Muslim
Brotherhood, the US, and Britain.

The CIA funnels support to the Muslim Brotherhood because of “the Brotherhood’s
commendable capability to overthrow Nasser.” [BAER, 2003, PP. 99; DREYFUSS, 2005, PP.
101-108] The Islamist regime in Saudi Arabia becomes an ally of the United States in the
conflict with Nasser. They offer financial backing and sanctuary to Muslim Brotherhood
militants during Nasser’s crackdown. Nasser dies of natural causes in 1970.

[DREYFUSS, 2005, PP. 90-91, 126-131, 150]
Entity Tags: UK Secret Intelligence Service (MI6), Saudi Arabia, Central Intelligence Agency,
Gamal Abddul Nasser, Muslim Brotherhood
Timeline Tags: Alleged Use of False Flag Attacks

Report this
Angel Gabriel's avatar

By Angel Gabriel, March 27, 2011 at 6:08 pm Link to this comment

All this while Israel continues the ethnic cleansing right under the apathetically compliant noses of the
American Tax payer!  All the while sending the tax dollars to Israel and the War suppliers to
continue this abominable policy of arming Zionist aggressors for the protection of US interests!.
I’m finished with any support for Kucinich, or anyone else who poses distractions
without actions to stop the Carnage in the Country’s the US moves to prop-up in it’s
supposed “interest”  while it goes after the ones that don’t play along with the game!
You know, the game which by now obviously means the pillaging of resources,
selling off State assets to IMF/Wall Street Elitist investors and then selling them new
infrastructure to replace the infrastructure destroyed in their
attempts to overthrow un-friendly regimes in their game of Global Monopoly.
I suppose it’s going to take Hotels & MacDonalds on every intersection flying
American and Israeli flags on every square on the Game Board before the world
can once again descend into peace… The price you pay for NWO Corporatist Capitalism eh???
Piss off Dennis and the rest of the distraction artists you work with - Your era is rapidly coming to an end and you will not be able to stop it with your liberal and Conservative accomplices!

Report this
RichZubaty's avatar

By RichZubaty, March 26, 2011 at 6:24 pm Link to this comment

“wait till the IMF, World Bank and attendant Carpet Bagger financiers get their shops set up for wholesale asset stripping”

My my such an optimist. Mabye that’s why God created the islamic brotherhood.

Report this
fearnotruth's avatar

By fearnotruth, March 26, 2011 at 4:52 pm Link to this comment

RE:THIS is the kind of image America needs around the world. Not propping up
dictators. Tilling the soil for Democracy. It may not work this time. But it sure is
worth trying. Nothing else we do works.

looks good on paper… wait till the IMF, World Bank and attendant Carpet Bagger
financiers get their shops set up for wholesale asset stripping

Report this

By Michael Cavlan RN, March 26, 2011 at 3:33 pm Link to this comment

Dennis Kucinich

I used to respect him. He no longer has any credibility.

After his “airplane ride” and change of “heart” on health care.

Not to mention that he just stated that

“While Obama has done Impeachable actions, he should not be Impeached.”

Dennis’s job is to keep the “left” in line with words.

While his actions show otherwise.

Report this
RichZubaty's avatar

By RichZubaty, March 26, 2011 at 1:47 pm Link to this comment

Dennis efforts to capture the FED into the Treasury Department are amazing. Bravo! Yes, our government can print its own money and issue it for worthy projects like rebuilding infrastructure without have to borrow it, with interest, from the FED. Simple common sense.

Report this
RichZubaty's avatar

By RichZubaty, March 26, 2011 at 1:23 pm Link to this comment

Dennis Kucinich is my hero. I volunteered for his presidential bids. But he is wrong and Obama was right to intervene in Libya. This situation is so new – real coalition partners lined up against a real murderous tyrant – that the Left doesn’t know what to make of it. To do nothing was to approve murder and approve war. To intervene was to stop murder and stop war. To do nothing was to let a murderous tyrant who sells us oil go about with business as usual. To intervene means to till the soil to allow a garden for democracy to grow, and possibly risk electing some guys who don’t like us. But already opposition leader Dr. Abdulmonem Hresha of the Islamic Brotherhood, supposedly our enemy, has said he will never forget what France, England and the USA did to free his country. THIS is the kind of image America needs around the world. Not propping up dictators. Tilling the soil for Democracy. It may not work this time. But it sure is worth trying. Nothing else we do works.

Report this
fearnotruth's avatar

By fearnotruth, March 26, 2011 at 3:36 am Link to this comment

RE: I’m glad there is still someone in Washington with the lights on.

let’s pray no plan advances to put out those lights - Wellstoned, as it were -
nothing is off the table around which convenes the Global Finance Oligarchy

Report this

By chip, March 26, 2011 at 2:18 am Link to this comment

Hey Dennis
Don’t you remember? The Libyans were the people that shot “Doc” in “Back To The Future”.

Seriously though, How about a Kucinich/Paul or Paul/Kucinich ticket in 2012? 

If not, Kansas City would welcome you.
Dennis Moore’s wife lost over in Johnson Co, Ks.
And Emanuel Cleaver is a good guy but some mild drain bamage is apparent.

I voted for Ron Paul in the primary 2008 after the democrats shut you out of the debate.
I believe I would have stuck with him in Nov.

Thank You Dennis, I still wonder what Obama did to you on “air force one”? But I’m very glad to see the old Kucinich is back.   

Oh yeah we also got a contaminated Nuke Bomb plant here run by “Honeywell”. Our city council just voted to build them a new plant with 700 million in city bonds, six miles to the south, in a soybean field that they deemed “A Blighted Area”.
Of coarse this happened with very little media coverage.

I think we are the only city to own a Nuclear Bomb Plant.

Anyone who wants to buy a used, contaminated, nuke bomb plant can Google “Kansas City Plant” or “Bannister Federal Complex”.

Report this

By Jack, March 25, 2011 at 3:48 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

I think it will be a great benefit to the world when the American economy finally bottoms out and we can finally end the blood for oil wars. Kucinich is right and once you attack a country because the side you chose is losing the war it becomes regime change regardless of how you try and dress it up with the word humanitarian.

Report this
Gulam's avatar

By Gulam, March 25, 2011 at 2:13 pm Link to this comment

The great thing about just letting economics take its course, watching the dollar go
down rapidly and even egging it along, is that it can gut that obscenely overgrown
military machine without blasting it out through war. Absolute power always has
the same effect, and the Americans are not uniquely to blame. In some ways their
rule was beneficent, like that of Duryodhana in the Mahabharata. That great Hindu
epic has a lot to say about the present situation in the world. Would it not be a
very great blessing indeed if this exaggerated gathering of weaponry and power
could be deactivated by economic collapse without putting the world through yet
another series of destructive epic battles and vast civilian death?

Report this
Gulam's avatar

By Gulam, March 25, 2011 at 2:01 pm Link to this comment

While I admire Dennis Kucinich,  at the same time I see him as the problem. While
he is doing his damnedest to save America from itself, and making a more gallant
effort than most, would it not be the best thing for the poor of this world and for
the environment of all of the creatures of this earth if the US crashed totally right
now? What other steps than collapsing their government can Americans possibly
do that would so rapidly cut down on environmental damage, halve the production
of weapons on the planet, slow the nuclear and bioengineering madness, and stop
the constant bombing of poor people? Crashing the US economy and ultimately
strangling their military machine is the big one. Nothing else human beings on
this planet can do right now will have anything like the profound, positive impact
of simply trashing the dollar and the Zionists that control it.

Report this

By NYCartist, March 25, 2011 at 8:41 am Link to this comment

Transcript is much appreciated.  Thank you.  I am pleased to read that Kucinich is quoting Chomsky on empire and “humanitarian” wars.  I gave up on Kucinich when he said he would support “my President” last year on an issue I no longer remember.  He lost credibility with me.

Report this

By SteveL, March 25, 2011 at 12:22 am Link to this comment

House Speaker John A. Boehner (R - OH) has repeatedly said the U.S. is broke.  Some how we have plenty of money to start yet another war.  Despite North Korea doing all the things we only accuse the Arab nations of doing we never seem to want to invade North Korea.  Oh well no oil, no ore, no war.

Report this

By Flapdoodle, March 24, 2011 at 6:43 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Hey ML, peddle your snakeoil elsewhere. 

War is war, bombing is bombing.  There is no compelling case that the US bombing the Libyans will do sufficent good to merit murdering people and wasting US resources, and shiploads of reasons to be skeptical of anything military adventure the US proposes. 

You want to help the freedom fighters?  Go there and join up.  Otherwise, zip it.

Report this
PatrickHenry's avatar

By PatrickHenry, March 24, 2011 at 6:28 pm Link to this comment

I’m glad there is still someone in Washington with the lights on.

Report this

By M L, March 24, 2011 at 10:32 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

The Freedom fighters are a ragtag group of guys fighting with heart and courage but not sufficent weapons/resources. My heart went out to the freedom fighter carrying a plastic gun. Our US military should step up and help these men. In the past two wars ( Iraq & Afganistan) our U.S military took lives and now is the time to start saving lives. Instead of being feared for our military prowess, we should be respected for our dedication to human rights and human life. These middle eastern countries now have an opportunity to establish a new government and write a constitution. We must remember that only a few men (our founding fathers)established the United States of America,  wrote our Constitution ( laws of the land), the Declaration of independence (from the oppression of Great Britain)  and Bill of Rights (limiting government) Egypt, with so many young intelligent people can set an example and lead the way for the other countries fighting for freedom and democracy.

Report this
Right 1, Site wide - BlogAds Premium
Right 2, Site wide - Blogads
Join the Liberal Blog Advertising Network
Right Skyscraper, Site Wide
Join the Liberal Blog Advertising Network

A Progressive Journal of News and Opinion   Publisher, Zuade Kaufman   Editor, Robert Scheer
© 2014 Truthdig, LLC. All rights reserved.