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Truthdig Radio: Dennis Kucinich Battles Libya Bombing

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

(Page 3)

Peter Scheer: Is Washington’s government as [broke] as it’s popular to say?

Dennis Kucinich: Depends whose accounting books you’re using. You know, on one level, we have unlimited money for war. On another level, we’re broke when it comes to home-heating oil for people in our Northeast regions; we don’t have sufficient money for Social Security, we’re told; we’re told that funds have to be cut to our states, who then in turn cut funds to education and health care. So, you know, it all depends who has the books. And does that … does it follow that we can’t be more fiscally prudent? No, we can be. But it’s very easy … a trillion dollars and more lost in tax cuts to the rich; Joseph Stiglitz and Linda Bilmes’ book about the Iraq war projected a $3 trillion cost, minimum. The cost for Afghanistan, once they get through with that, is going to go into the trillions. And it’s not just that, it is the U.S.’s far-flung military presence, globally, which is another, maybe $10 billion minimum every year, just to keep that going. And so we have to … we are at a moment in our experience as a nation where we have to decide who we are, what is the purpose of our nationhood. And we can still have a country which provides opportunities for all. And that means jobs for all, education for all, health care for all, retirement and security for all. But we cannot do it unless we stand for peace. And if we don’t, if we don’t get that, then we’ll go the way of other empires, which eventually collapse of their own wake. And that’s … and so we have to make decisions about who we are, what we stand for.

Robert Scheer: You know, I’ll ask one last question, Congressman. But when I was growing up, and I’m considerably older than you are, Detroit was a symbol of American progress. That’s where the good jobs were; that’s where we got the new middle class, you know; unionized workers with good benefits doing, making great cars. Cleveland was the center of the American optimism. Now I just saw a report that the population of Detroit declined, what, 25 percent in the last 10 years. I mean, it’s becoming a ghost city. You’ve lost ... you may lose your seat because the population in Ohio has gone down. And what is happening to this heartland of America? You’re not some guy who comes out of Greenwich Village, you know, or Santa Monica, Calif., or something. You come out of the heartland, and you’ve tried to represent these people. Why are there these attacks on unions now, and what is—what’s going on out there?

Dennis Kucinich: Well, the deindustrialization of America began with—well, was accelerated with the passage of NAFTA, and then the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade, and then China trade. And let me explain how. The fact that those trade agreements were passed without workers’ rights, without human rights, without environmental quality principles, enabled corporations to move jobs out of America to where workers could be paid a pittance working in conditions that were otherwise intolerable, in conditions where the air and the water was being ruined, and sometimes using slave, prison, or child labor. The … you can look right now at where we are with a trade deficit in excess of, or in the neighborhood of $450 billion, a good part of that to China. And you look at the communities that have been hurt—and I’ve seen this; I mean, I’ve seen communities in my campaigns for president. I’ve seen communities which were once prosperous falling apart because the jobs left. And the deindustrialization of America, the loss of our strategic industrial base—steel, automotive, aerospace, shipping—has caused a hollowing out in those communities which were the flagships of the, of 20th century American industrial might. And that includes Detroit, and Cleveland, and Youngstown, and Pittsburgh, to an extent. And it has had ... you know, it has a devastating demographic impact; a financial impact on those communities, cities and states; and it really helps, on the other side of it it’s created … you know, we’ve exported our jobs and we’ve imported poverty.


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Peter Scheer: Congressman, thank you so much for your time.

Dennis Kucinich: Thank you.

Peter Scheer: That was Congressman Dennis Kucinich of Ohio, who is working to defund the military action in Libya, which he calls unconstitutional.

* * *

Kasia Anderson: This is Truthdig Radio. I’m Kasia Anderson, associate editor at Truthdig. And I’m happy to be here with athlete and author Ryan Quinn. Welcome, Ryan.

Ryan Quinn: Thank you.

Kasia Anderson: We’re going to be talking about Ryan’s first book. But I also wanted to get a little bit into your background first, starting with the place of your birth, which is very interesting to our audience.

Ryan Quinn: Oh, yeah.

Kasia Anderson: Yeah.

Ryan Quinn: I’m from a little town called Wasilla, Alaska; perhaps you’ve heard of it.

Kasia Anderson: The second most famous person from Wasilla.

Ryan Quinn: I know. [Laughter] So disappointed about that.

Kasia Anderson: Always in her shadow, right?

Ryan Quinn: Yeah.

Kasia Anderson: And you grew up in Wasilla, or how long were you in Alaska?

Ryan Quinn: Until I graduated high school. So, born and raised. And then I got a ski scholarship at the University of Utah, so I found myself in Salt Lake City.

Kasia Anderson: Incidentally, I am from Salt Lake City, the place of my birth. So, how did you find the …were you, you know, was there some kind of culture shock when you moved to Utah? Were you prepared for what you found there?

Ryan Quinn: I was. At the time, it was a step up in terms of moving to a bigger city. So I guess, looking back, it looks different from this angle than it did then. Although I have to say, you know, the day-to-day life for someone who’s not a Mormon there is really … it’s, it’s not remarkable in any sort of way, I guess. You know, all of my friends were on the ski team, in the athletics department, and most of them had been recruited from other states; a lot of my teammates on the ski team actually were from Scandinavia and [elsewhere in] Europe. So it was very much a normal sort of place for me to go to college.

Kasia Anderson: Right. There was a subculture in Salt Lake, too, as I recall, that was the, sort of the non-Mormon crowd.

Ryan Quinn: That’s right. Yeah, it’s a very, very … and it’s a sort of self-segregating … if you find yourself in a bar, you’re probably not surrounded by very many Mormons, so.

Kasia Anderson: Exactly. [Laughter] So, and you came out in your sophomore year, is that correct?

Ryan Quinn: That’s right, yep.

Kasia Anderson: And what was that experience like?

Ryan Quinn: It was great, actually. Before I came out, obviously, it was isolating and nervous, I guess. And then I had a great group of gay friends who were not in the athletics department, and …

Kasia Anderson: At the university.

Ryan Quinn: At the University of Utah, yeah. And sort of got tired of having two separate lives, and I would hang out with my gay friends, you know, and then I would …

Kasia Anderson: Were you out to your gay friends?

Ryan Quinn: Yes, yeah.

Kasia Anderson: OK.

Ryan Quinn: But not to my teammates. And then … so finally I just, you know, decided, I need to come out and be who I am, and these guys are my friends, and hopefully it’ll go well. And it did. They were …  not only were they accepting, but incredibly supportive.


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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!

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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.

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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?

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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

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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!

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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

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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”.

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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.

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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?

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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