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A Conscientious Objection

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Posted on Mar 23, 2008
McKinney and Nader
runcynthiarun.org/votenader.org

Cynthia McKinney waves off reporters as she casts her vote in the 2004 election.

By Chris Hedges

Those of us who oppose the war, who believe that all U.S. troops should be withdrawn and the network of permanent bases in Iraq dismantled, have only two options in the coming presidential elections—Ralph Nader and Cynthia McKinney. A vote for any of the Republican and Democratic candidates is a vote to perpetuate the occupation of Iraq and a lengthy and futile war of attrition with the Iraqi insurgency. You can sign on for the suicidal hundred-year war with John McCain or for the nebulous open-ended war-lite with Hillary Clinton or Barack Obama, or back those who reject the war. If you vote Democrat or Republican in the coming election be honest with yourself—you have voted to allow the U.S. government to continue, in some form, the campaign that needlessly kills ever more Americans and Iraqis in a conflict that has become the worst foreign policy disaster in U.S. history and a crime under international law.

“When will the American people actually vote to give to the world more than bombs and missiles, sweatshops, dubious science, frankenfood, poverty and misery?” Cynthia McKinney, the presidential candidate in the Green Party primaries, told me. “Not only do we need an immediate, orderly withdrawal from Iraq and Afghanistan, we need an end to the militarism that has placed U.S. troops on the soil of over 100 countries. A true peace agenda means a complete redefinition of security. I remain convinced that if people in Haiti, Venezuela, Brazil, Ecuador, Bolivia and Nicaragua can vote a peace and justice agenda into power, then so too can we.”

Examine the proposals on Iraq offered by Clinton and Obama. They talk about withdrawing some troops, but they also talk about leaving behind forces to protect U.S. bases in Iraq, assigning troops to train the Iraqi army and continuing the fight against “terrorism.” Clinton and Obama do not throw out numbers, but a rough estimate would be 40,000 or 50,000 troops permanently stationed in Iraq. Obama, his advisers say, will also not rule out continuing to use private security companies like Blackwater Worldwide in Iraq. The war would not end under a Democratic administration. It would drag on until the mission collapsed and the U.S. retreated in humiliation. And when pressed, the Democratic candidates have admitted as much. Tim Russert in the New Hampshire debate asked the Democratic candidates to guarantee that all U.S. troops in Iraq would be home by 2013. No one, including John Edwards, was prepared to make such a commitment. Dennis Kucinich, the only Democratic candidate who opposed a continuation of the war, had been excluded from the debate. When the question was asked he was standing outside the hall in the snow with supporters to protest his exclusion.

  But the lust for militarism by Clinton and Obama does not end with Iraq. The two remaining Democratic candidates back the occupation of Afghanistan. They defend Israel’s indiscriminate bombing of Lebanon, which killed hundreds of Lebanese, destroyed huge parts of Lebanon’s infrastructure and left U.S.-manufactured cluster bombs littered over southern Lebanon. Clinton and Obama praise the right-wing government in Jerusalem and callously blame the Palestinian victims for the suffering inflicted on them by Israel. They support, in open defiance of international law, the 40-year Israeli occupation of Palestinian land and the draconian siege of Gaza, dismissing the grim humanitarian crisis it has unleashed on the 1.5 million Palestinians trapped in the world’s largest open-air prison.

The Democrats, who took control of the Congress in midterm elections largely because of public dissatisfaction with the Iraq war, have continued to fund the war, ignoring anti-war voters. The party, as a result, has sunk even lower in public opinion polls than the president, to a 19 percent approval rating, according to a NBC/Wall Street Journal poll. Clinton and Obama dutifully lined up with most other Democratic legislators to cast ballots in favor of squandering more than $300 billion in taxpayer money on a war that should never have been fought. And, if either is elected, he or she will spend billions more on the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. I will skip the rest of the mediocre voting records of Obama and Clinton, which include pandering to corporate interests, failing to back a universal single-payer health care system, refusing to call for the slashing of the bloated military budget, not urging repeal of NAFTA and the Taft-Hartley Act, which cripples the ability of unions to organize, and not seeking an end to nuclear power as an energy resource. Let’s stick with the war. It is depressing enough. 

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The anti-war movement bears much of the blame. It sold us out to the Democratic Party. The decision by anti-war activists to accept a moratorium on demonstrations in 2004 in order to support John Kerry ended our chance to build a widespread, grass-roots movement against the war. Kerry, in return for this support, ridiculed and humiliated those of us who opposed the war. He called for more troops in Iraq. He mouthed thought-terminating patriotic slogans to out-Bush Bush. He promised victory in Iraq. He assured voters that he, unlike George W. Bush, would never have pulled out of Fallujah. Anti-war voters stood passively behind him as they were humiliated and abused. And the anti-war movement has never recovered. The groundswell of popular revulsion that led hundreds of thousands to take to the streets before 2006 collapsed. The five-year anniversary of the war was marked with tepid protests that were sparsely attended. Why not? If the anti-war movement gutlessly backs pro-war candidates, what credibility does it have? If it fails to support those candidates on the margins of the political spectrum who stand with it against the war, what is the movement worth? Why not be cynical and go home? 

“It is a virus,” Nader said in a phone interview. “It is self-defeating. What are they doing this for if they can’t push it into the political arena? Is it all theater?”

“The strategy of the Democratic Party is to beat the Republicans by becoming more like them,” Nader said. “How can they get away with that? If they become more like the Republic Party they start eating into the Republican vote. This usually would inflict a price on them. They would lose the left’s vote, but since the left signaled to the Democrats that their vote can be taken for granted because the Republicans are too horrible to contemplate, they get both. As a result, when you put this cocktail together, becoming more Republican to get Republican votes and hanging on to the left because they have nowhere to go, you set up a tug in the direction of the corporations. There is no discernable end to this strategy by the left. When you ask the left they say not this year, sometime later. But when? If it is not now, if it is sometime in the future, when? What is their breaking point? If you do not have a breaking point you are a slave.”

The energy and idealism are out there. Nader, in a March 13-14 Zogby poll, took 5 to 6 percent in a race between McCain and either Clinton or Obama. Nader, among voters under 30 and among independents, polled 12 to 15 percent. If the anti-war movement gets behind him and McKinney, if it stands behind its principles, it could begin to shake the foundations of the Democratic Party. It could re-energize itself. It might even force Democrats to offer voters a concrete plan to withdraw from Iraq. 

War is not an abstraction to me. I know its evil. It is time, if we care about the state of the nation, to take an unequivocal stand against the war. If Clinton and Obama do not want to join us, so be it. I support those candidates and organizations that fight back. We should, in solidarity, strike with the International Longshore and Warehouse Union on May 1 against the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. We should support Code Pink’s refusal to pay the portion of our taxes that go to funding the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. But most of all, we should refuse to be suckered by Democratic candidates who use fuzzy language and will not commit to a total withdrawal from Iraq. We owe it to the hundreds of thousands of dead and injured. We owe to those Iraqis and Americans who will die in the coming days, weeks and months. We owe it to ourselves so, at the very least, we can salvage our integrity.


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By inter4522, March 22, 2010 at 10:09 am Link to this comment

We definitely need to get out troops out of the middle east. They need to able to control their own country. We have done enough.
whistleblower policy

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By Crimes of the State Blog, May 15, 2008 at 3:07 pm Link to this comment

McKinney was the ONLY memmber of Congress to hold hearings on the fraud that was the 9/11 Commission.

She was attacked from the Democraps and the Rethugs, and forced out of congress as a result.

Maybe you’re the loon.

70+ Disturbing FACTS About the 9/11 Attacks
http://crimesofthestate.blogspot.com/2007/02/no-george-monbiot-these-are-facts-of.html

http://crimesofthestate.blogspot.com/

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By Crimes of the State Blog, May 15, 2008 at 3:00 pm Link to this comment

“Our bombing and embargo during the Clinton years killed (reportedly) over 100 children.”

This is so through the looking glass bizarro, I’m nearly speechless.

The UN reported more than 500,000 dead Iraqi children as a result of the sanctions imposed under Bush 1 / Clinton.  This number was also stated as approaching 1.5 million casualties total.

“Are the Democrats solely responsible for 4006 dead troops, and over a half million “others”?> “

More accurate studies put the current death toll since 2003 at over 1.2 million more Iraqis.

Your question is pretty absurd as well.  Are the Democrats “solely responsible” that Rethug war criminals lied their asses off to start this war?

That’s nuts.

Where do you get your information?

Bookmark this:
http://crimesofthestate.blogspot.com/

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PatrickHenry's avatar

By PatrickHenry, April 14, 2008 at 4:43 pm Link to this comment

I couldn’t agree with you more.

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Strider's avatar

By Strider, April 14, 2008 at 4:06 pm Link to this comment

Chris Hedges wrote: “Those of us who oppose the war…have only two options…Ralph Nader and Cynthia
McKinney.”

Not so.

Ron Paul also wants to end the war in Iraq and withdraw our troops.

He is, by far, the BEST candidate running. But he would upset the status quo by attempting to return our nation to constitutional government, and our power-loving rulers would NEVER allow that. That’s the main reason FOX News refused to allow him in the presidential debate which they sponsored.

The current three top runners – Obama, Clinton, McCain – would all continue to increase the size and power of our federal regime, continuing our slide into despotism. That, by the way, is the status quo. Goodbye U.S. Constitution, goodbye freedom! All hail the federal police state! And you thought the Real ID Act was meant to help us…

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By colin2626262, March 30, 2008 at 7:46 pm Link to this comment

Thanks for the suggestion on that earlier post.  I’d like to take one of those peace courses, but it’s important to try to find peace within oneself, without the help of books and such, I think.

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By JF William, March 30, 2008 at 7:35 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Indeed !
check this…
Lynching by Laptop 2
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LCR6IdTQTeE

Just a hint : Before you export democracy, try having it at home !

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By cyrena, March 29, 2008 at 3:38 pm Link to this comment

Hi Colin,

Oddly enough, my mother told me long ago that when she was ‘expecting’ me, the alternate name she had in the event that I turned out to be a boy, was Colin. So, I like that name too.

You mentioned that you never had the opportunity to take a Peace Studies Course when you were in college. Neither did I, even though my original college time was in the aftermath of Viet Nam, and one might have expected such a thing to be available.

HOWEVER, if you really wanna do something, and the ‘in the street’ sign carrying doesn’t appeal to you, (it’s also a given that you’ll probably be arrested for exercising your rights anyway, which is why activists generally prepare for that before they even hit the streets) then maybe you might consider taking some courses like that now.

Actually, that’s what I’ve done. There are in fact entire curriculums built on Peace Studies, or Peace and Security, and often are offered under the umbrella of Global Studies.

I’ve had the opportunity to do that, having returned to academia after many, many years. The thing is though, that it is EXPENSIVE. No..it shouldn’t be, but that’s the way the world has become, and especially the US.

Thing is, for us middle agers, (and I don’t know that you are) we really do have to take some responsibility for at least ATTEMPTING to bring ourselves up to speed on the changes that have taken place over the past 3 or 4 decades. I realized that about a decade ago myself, when I kept ‘hearing’ about this “Globalization” thing, and not having any real understanding of what it was all about. I was too busy working, (and being ‘globalized’ without my knowledge).

So, that’s just a suggestion. I know it’s more than a notion to do it. But as things become more and more desperate, it’s damn near a REQUIREMENT. We have to understand what’s happened, why, and how, before we can do much to address it, and make the necessary corrections. Once we do, a bit of that helplessness that has come from the dictatorship of the Cheney regime can begin to subside. (believe me, I DO know the feeling well.)

Just some thoughts.

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By Conservative Yankee, March 29, 2008 at 6:04 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

The Democrats WERE responsible for the Iraq war. Which would never have been an issue if not for their overwhelming support for the Gulf war (when they controlled both houses of congress)

Clinton continued this war by enforcing the “no fly” zones, and Our bombing and embargo during the Clinton years killed (reportedly) over 100 children. Then the coup de grâce by the spineless-ones they supported Bush II in his unilateral war of aggression.  Even today, after all that has happened, only one Democratic Candidate (Dennis Kucinich) would give a time-line and plan for troop withdrawal, and end of war. The Democratic controlled House, and the divided Senate still regularly vote to fund this wasteful exercise in jingoism. Both Token and the corporate whore have voted to continue this conflict that they both say was a “mistake”  Law of holes: “When in one stop digging.”

Are the Democrats solely responsible for 4006 dead troops, and over a half million “others”?> Are they singly to blame for “The War” ... obviously not. the government (after all) are our employees, so we are to blame. GWB conceived the war, and his party supported him, so the Republicans are also perpetrators. 

But to exempt the Party Of Buchanan from responsibility for the mess in Iraq is equivalent to telling me the Party of Lincoln had no responsibility for the Racism in New York during the Civil War.

My advise to the D party… Stop digging.

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By JF William, March 28, 2008 at 8:46 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

GOP KILLING FLOOR
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f4QKfDdJ3ns

DEM KILLING FLOOR
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=scNLxSleuec

HIGHEST BIDDER
http://ca.youtube.com/watch?v=MmhL8bjL9vc

BLACKWATER : THE CRUSADE
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-DpRz4CvMqo

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By PatrickHenry, March 28, 2008 at 7:06 pm Link to this comment

The advent of paperless voting machines replaced the vote rigging, ballot box stuffing of old, making manipulation more efficient and time saving.

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By cyrena, March 28, 2008 at 3:11 pm Link to this comment

You paint with a broad brush of hate here galateadoro

•  “…but forget that 2,000,000 (that’s 2 million) registered DEMOCRATS (= idiots) voted for Bush for president that same year.”

Actually, I certainly DID NOT forget, that so many dems voted for Bush that same year. Most of them probably from TEXAS!!

So, let us not deny that there are uniformed people everywhere, and in all parties, and that’s not gonna change.

SOME of the people can be fooled ALL of the time.

ALL of the people can be fooled SOME of the time.

ALL of the people can NEVER be fooled ALL of the time.

So, maybe YOU have forgotten that Al Gore won the popular vote in that same election. That means that the MAJORITY of Americans…WHO CASTED a VOTE, did NOT elect George Bush.

The Supreme Court APPOINTED him, over the will of the people.

As for the Democrats being responsible for Iraq, you must be on crack.

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By Melvin Mackey, March 28, 2008 at 2:36 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

How long will we have only two choices?

1) Vote for continuing the war - for giving Bush/Cheney a pass - for subjecting the American people to corporate control - etc., OR

2) Throwing our votes away on a candidate who represents our values so we can send a message.

The answer is until we implement Instant Runoff Voting (IRV). Only then will we be able to vote our values and not waste our vote on a losing candidate. Only then will the Democrats welcome the Naders and McKinneys into the dialogue.

If you don’t know about IRV, go to:

http://www.fairvote.org/?page=19

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By Tony Wicher, March 28, 2008 at 1:37 pm Link to this comment

If you want four more years of McCain, go ahead,  cram yourselves into your ideological voting booth and vote for yourselves. I hope you enjoy your own private circle jerk. If you are interested in moving this country forward instead, vote for Obama or Clinton (hopefully Obama).

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By Ted Swart, March 28, 2008 at 11:02 am Link to this comment

Strong language lad (or lass) but not far from the truth. Pelosi is as crooked as they come.

Who says the system isn’t totally broken?  This two party stranglehold is simply a case of Tweedledum and Tweedledee. They are both utterly beholden to big business and the obscene gap between CEO’s stipends and the employees in their companies. What makes anyone think that either of them can (or will even if they could) fix the economy. And, if the government does not fix the economy and our ridiculous dependence on oil nothing else matters.

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By galateadoro, March 28, 2008 at 10:39 am Link to this comment

Democratic voters are the most ignorant, the blindest, the most exasperating people on the face of the Earth. They hate Nader for getting 90,000 votes in Florida in 2000, but forget that 2,000,000 (that’s 2 million) registered DEMOCRATS (= idiots) voted for Bush for president that same year. Can you stop eating excrement for breakfast every morning, Democrats?

Can you face reality and admit that your party is responsible for Iraq, for the disastrous economy and for the loss of our civil rights as much as Republicans are?

In 2004 Senator Coward conceded so fast that even his running mate was disgusted. Senator Coward looked the other way despite massive evidence of fraud in Ohio staring him in the face for months. And of course, Kerry was not going to end the war once in the White House, he was just going to manage it differently.

In 2006 the War Party once again stabbed the American people in the back by not doing what voters elected them to. Probably because through his illegal wiretapping Bush got as much dirt on Pelosi, Reid and Conyers as to guarantee us in Iraq for another 200 years. That’s what happens when you elect criminals to supervise criminals.

Now the War Party want us to choose between two corporate mobsters, Hitlery (Bu$h with tits) and Obomber (Bu$h with a tan) and the blind fools are yet again ready to line up behind them like zombies. Despite clear and abundant evidence of betrayal and deceit from the War Party. Real progressives must NEVER vote for a Democrat. They should just as soon vote for McCane (Bu$h with a cane).

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By colin2626262, March 28, 2008 at 7:21 am Link to this comment

I appreciate your comments too, Angela.  I never used the word “tepid” to describe antiwar protests, though.  I think they’re effective to a degree.  There’re larger forces at work, of course.  The business world turned against the Vietnam War.  It was costing too much, wasn’t good for the economy, those at the top.  Antiwar activism also helped end the Vietnam War.  I think the fact you find meaning in protest is good.  I say God bless you, and I hope I’ll see you out there some time.

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By Conservative Yankee, March 28, 2008 at 6:24 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

In the Great book “All the Presidents Men” the gentleman identified only as “deep throat” tells Carl Bernstein “Follow the money” this would be excellent advice for voters this year.

Hill-the-business-shill took 1.8 Million,  Token took 1.6 million, and GI Joe took half a million. from The financials (you know, those folks like Citi Group who got us into the home mortgage crisis) one who is aware of these “gifts” must ask himself, “What are they buying?

Tax-payer money is now flowing to Wall Street. Bear Stearns chief stockholder, and former CEO (who got Bear into the financial mess in the first place) walked away from this deal with 60 million dollars. True it had been 480 million just one month ago, but it was still better than the original government brokered deal which would have left him at 12 mill.

Citi made a grab for Lehman Bros. Their stock had been at $65 just two days ago, but dropped into the high thirties after announcement that they had missed their earnings projection. Citi’s anounced grab pushed the stock up to around $46. This gave Richard Fuld the formerCEO a big boost for his 186 Million Haul Stock-Grant and his stock options package of 5 mill.

Anyone seeing a pattern here? What’s a couple of million spread over the political landscape when there is so much at stake.

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By Joe, March 27, 2008 at 10:54 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

If only these folks that are busy supporting others like Osama could get behind Ron Paul, the only one that ever had at least a snowballs chance in hell… Instead the all threw it all away wasting supporting for CAFTA supporters like Osama.

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By Tony Wicher, March 27, 2008 at 1:32 pm Link to this comment

Re By vbl, March 26 at 7:40 pm #

“Perhaps it is sad, but neither Cynthia McKinney nor Ralph Nader has any more chance of becoming President than my dog does—and I don’t even have a dog.”
——————————————————————————
lol, vbl! 

Your post is right on the mark! And it’s very serious, too! Nevermind left-wingers who are so far “out there” or so pure or something that they can’t tell McCain from Obama or Clinton. There aren’t that many of them in the non-Truthdig world. What’s worse is that I am hearing about polls saying that a large percentage of Clinton supporters (over 20%!)actually say they will vote for McCain rather than Obama, and a somewhat smaller but still high percent of Obama supporters (16%) say they will not vote for Clinton! This is very alarming, don’t you think? This kind of partisanship is lunacy. We’re going to lose if this split keeps up, and it’s gonna be 4 more years ov Bush-McCain.

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By colin2626262, March 27, 2008 at 12:58 pm Link to this comment

Thanks, Cyrena.  I like that name.  He did do a lot more than pray.  That’s why I said, “That’s not to saw we shouldn’t act.”  I also said I sit on my couch a lot.  I guess it’s a question of finding the opportunity to show courage, and the striving should have meaning outside of the social context.  In other words, going to a peace rally or vigil and waving and sign and then going home and sitting on the couch again isn’t doing much for the people dying over in Iraq.  I just watched that interview that Dick Cheney gave where, when asked his opinion about the fact that 2/3 of Americans want the war to end, he said, “So?” and smirked at his own indifference to our voices.  I feel like I can’t do anything with someone like that running the country.  That’s why I would turn to spirituality, and find meaning in the personal context, and dissenting against evil that way.  The only problem is turning the personal into a mass movement, which is what’s needed to end the war.

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By colin2626262, March 27, 2008 at 12:50 pm Link to this comment

Hey, that’s cool you teach a Peace Studies course.  I never had one of those as an option when I was in college.  I understand Hedges calling on us to support the third party peace candidates.  It’s not that bad of an idea, really, even though I said it was, and you think he’s lost his mind.  To start a movement, we should support people like Nader, who, if you’ve read his recent articles, actually is like a saint compared to the other people in Washington.  And, by the way, did you watch the debate with Sam Harris.  Hedges opening speech about God made me cry.  It was so beautiful.  The rest of the debate was truly informative as well.  Atheism was made into a joke, based on the interaction between Chris and Sam Harris.  It was great.

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By Angela, March 27, 2008 at 7:16 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

colin2626262:  “I personally have not participated in any anti-war protests, so maybe I’m a hypocrite and an idle man who spews opinions about the way things should be from his couch in his safe home.  Yet I’d love to truly get involved and bring an end to the hate-filled crime of blood and sin that is the Iraq war.  What can I do, though?  I’m just one person.”

To colin2626262:  I appreciate your comments very much but unfortunately you are part of the problem.  I am very involved as an activist (I was in DC on March 19th and the protests were anything but “tepid”) who hears from many friends and family members how much they admire what I do.  They support me and are glad I am out there representing them.  How much more effective might I be if they would put themselves out there too.  You are “only one person,” but if everyone who says what you say went into the streets change would be realized very quickly. 
To tell the truth, I am tired of being a representative constantly working to stop the war while others stand by and while the media gives more attention to the likes of Britney, Paris and Lyndsay than to hundreds of thousands of people exercising there First Amendment rights to peaceably assemble. So, colin2626262, we need your help and the help of everyone else like you.  You are not alone - please join us in the streets next time actions are called for.  Please check out http://www.united for peace.org and http://www.afterdowningstreet.org and other sights that will inform you of the whens and wheres to help. 
Thanks for listening!

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By Leefeller, March 27, 2008 at 5:50 am Link to this comment

Career politicians and the electoral system rigged against democracy.  Your premise is quite on the mark until the word democracy is used.  Our government was designed to be a plutocracy to protect the wealthy, so I suggest the original plan has worked quite well.

Real debate on real issues, that affect the people of our nation as a whole, will never happen,  for career politicians would be out of a job working for lobbies. 

Your post is quite enlightening,  Not sure what you mean about “progressives”  “playing musical chairs in congress”?

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By john, March 27, 2008 at 4:56 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Republican operatives gets paid to break the law and go to jail. let’s not discuss the real issues, just more dirt on the candidates and get paid at the same time.

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By John, March 27, 2008 at 4:47 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Let’s dig some more dirts on the candidates and get paid for it too.

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By PatrickHenry, March 27, 2008 at 3:44 am Link to this comment

And of course the AIPAC money which funded the GOP campaign to unseat McKinney, even though there are few jews in her district.

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By cyrena, March 26, 2008 at 11:17 pm Link to this comment

Good post colin…

BUT, remember this one thing…Gandhi did far more than pray.

It takes courage, and I know that can be hard to come by. But it’s worth striving for…

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By Thomas Scott Tucker, March 26, 2008 at 11:09 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Thank you, Chris Hedges, for opening a public space for real debate about war, peace and this sad presidential campaign.

Some good comments among the responses, but also a chorus line of jerking “progressive” kneees. One respondent says frankly that conscience is a nuisance in “pragmatic” politics. All of the arguments for voting inside or outside the box of the Democratic Party are getting another spin here.

Some of the more vituperative Democrats had better understand this raw fact: Lots of voters do not need your Civics 101 lessons. We know plenty about how the bipartisan system works—it works damn well for career politicians of both corporate parties. Some percentage of us—we cannot be certain of our numbers, especially in an electoral system rigged against democracy—will never give a cent or a vote to the Democratic Party. We vote against the parties of war and empire every chance we get, and we do not place our trust in “progressives” playing musical chairs in Congress.

Neither the white woman nor the black man are talking honestly about class, capitalism, and the causes of war.  Until we have that raw debate in public, we can expect the next imperial war as sure as clockwork. I’m glad Chris Hedges urges voters to vote against war and for peace.  That’s a beginning—simply reclaiming our right to take action against career politicians of both corporate parties.  Democratic apparatchiks are frantic that their party will “lose” votes that never belonged to them in the first place.  Every vote in every election has to be earned.

Thomas Scott Tucker

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By vbl, March 26, 2008 at 8:40 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Perhaps it is sad, but neither Cynthia McKinney nor Ralph Nader has any more chance of becoming President than my dog does—and I don’t even have a dog.

Only one thing is paramount in Election 2008.  The election of John McCain will not mean the beginning of McCain’s first (perhaps only) term.  It will mean the beginning of Baby Bush’s third term.

And that is likely to mean U.S.A.—R.I.P.

If you want this to happen, or don’t care if it does, vote for McKinney or Nader or any other marginal candidate, and you may be helping in however tiny a way to bring it about.

But if you think that getting rid of Baby Bush and the atrocious people he has brought into his administration is Priority #1, it’s long past time to drop the third-party protest delusion, which is surely a delusion in 2008 if not necessarily in all other election cycles.

No president will ever be our messiah.  Worldwide problems, many immeasurably worsened by what a friend calls “the Bush Crime Family,” are too intractable for any man or woman to solve alone.  But we do need a man or a woman with basic competence, leadership skills, and dedication to the well-being of America.

First, though, and it shouldn’t be necessarily to point this out, but apparently it is:  such a person must win the election.  And like it or not, history has designated the sole remaining possible alternatives to Baby Bush 3 as Democrats Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton.  Neither candidate nor the Democratic Party is in any danger of being mistaken for perfection.  But barring extraordinary developments, it’s either one of them or Bush crowing “I’m baaack!” like the reincarnation of Richard Nixon.

Those who threaten to vote for McKinney or Nader—or for McCain, as some disgruntled Democrats have said they will do if their candidate doesn’t get the nomination—are like a kid who says, “I’m going to punish you by bashing my own skull in.”  This notion recalls the loony idea back in the day that voting for George Wallace would hasten the revolution.

Again, we aren’t voting for Jesus Christ Superstar.  Nor will electing Obama or Clinton cue dancing in the streets.  The struggle for a progressive America will have to continue without letup, since many so-called Democrats are really Republicans at heart and none is any closer to sainthood than you or I.

However, if it is not to be President Baby Bush Surrogate McCain, it must be President Obama or a second President Clinton.  Face it and act accordingly.

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By JoeJ, March 26, 2008 at 7:37 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

If you really want American participation in Iraq to continue longer, really want to keep American troops there indefinitely and really want American bases there maintained for years - maybe decades - by all means vote for Nader and/or McKinney. You’ll help elect McCain, and he’s the only major party candidate committed to those aims. As for St. Ralph Nader - who definitely helped bring us the most disasterous administration in U.S. presidential history by running in 2000 - he must have the most gigantic ego ever possessed by mortal man. But, of course, he may - like some of his followers - believe he isn’t a mere mortal man.

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By Maani, March 26, 2008 at 7:12 pm Link to this comment

What:

“[McKinney] got run out of GA, which is not that easy to do…”

It is easy when you know the facts.  The GOP had over 40,000 of its voters switch parties JUST so they could vote in the Democratic primary against McKinney.  They then switched BACK to the GOP for the general election.

This is established fact.  And unquestionably one of the smarmiest displays of unethical behavior in the history of politics.

Peace.

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By lightiris, March 26, 2008 at 7:00 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Okay, I’ve used War Is A Force That Gives Us Meaning in the Peace Studies course I teach as a text.

I read American Fascists and passed it on to many friends.

But I’m thinking you have lost your mind.  First, you decide that you need to take on Sam Harris, Richard Dawkins, et al, and now you need to vote for Ralph Nader and Cynthia McKinney? 

Sorry, all set.  In a rather Liebermanesque turn of events, you have lost your way.

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By colin2626262, March 26, 2008 at 5:54 pm Link to this comment

Chris,

I’ve read your articles and books.  You’re the best political writer, and, I think, non-fiction writer, out there.  But this article is a bit disturbing.  A vote for Nader or McKinney is basically pointless.  My parents asked me who I was for in the presidential election.  I said Nader.  But then I said, “I’m not gonna vote anyway.”  That was after they voiced their disapproval.  Who’s to say someone like Ralph Nader, if he were to get into high public office, wouldn’t turn into exactly the same type of person the Left excoriates?  In my opinion, all government officials are by nature imperialists.  As Simone Weil pointed out, the desire is for power, and the acquisition of more and more power, even to the extent of self-destruction from that very power.  Our current administration exemplifies these traits.  Yet I don’t think I’m being cynical—just realistic—in saying that everyone in the state apparatus is, or will become, if they reach the height of power, a morally offensive militarist, who understands force alone, as opposed to compassion and love among human beings.

As for the anti-war movement, I wasn’t aware of some of the things Kerry said, such as that which you alluded to about Falluja.  I knew he was a fraud, as far as being opposed to the war, even though he wasn’t when he came back and testified about atrocities in Vietnam when he was a young man.  He wasn’t in power then.  He was just a conscience-stricken kid, really.  As soon as he became a senator and finally a presidential candidate, his conscience was left in the wake of trying to appear as patriotic as his Republican counterpart.  Your points about Clinton and Obama are true.  They’re not going to end the war, I don’t think.  Their rhetoric about bringing the troops home is designed to garner votes.  However, Obama seems at least a little more sincere.

I personally have not participated in any anti-war protests, so maybe I’m a hypocrite and an idle man who spews opinions about the way things should be from his couch in his safe home.  Yet I’d love to truly get involved and bring an end to the hate-filled crime of blood and sin that is the Iraq war.  What can I do, though?  I’m just one person.  When Gandhi was asked what should be done about Hitler, he responded with what some would think of as a crazy idea.  He said, “Pray for him.”  I just pray, right now, that the war ends.  I know some people, who might read this, comment feel the same way.  I think that’s really the only way we’ll end the war in Iraq.  That’s not to say we shouldn’t act.  But the only way is through the source of peace, the source of love.  You know who I mean, Chris.

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By cyrena, March 26, 2008 at 5:08 pm Link to this comment

Excellent post, and a much appreciated evaluation of the reality of things.

Thanks!!

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By amunaor, March 26, 2008 at 2:55 pm Link to this comment

Yes, it is a very deeply seated psychosis and it won’t be diminished by Israel’s continued hypocritical response and reluctance to revisit the original wound and address it, that being their Jewish-Egyptian heritage and the person who founded their violent split from the heritage – Akhenaton/Moses - and the son Tutankhamun who attempted to heal it but was killed by one of their own for the attempt.

Of course, it didn’t help that Constantine exacerbated the wound by wallowing his own lust for empire in it, by spinning a psychodrama around it.

Peace, Best Wishes and Hope

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By What?, March 26, 2008 at 2:42 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

WTF is right, but for a different reason.  McKinney is a psycho—hello, she got run out of GA, which is not that easy to do.  I don’t care what she says, or how liberal she sounds, she is nuts and no one should listen to a word coming out of her mouth.  And Nader, he is more concerned about his personal ambitions than was is good for America—megalomainia anyone?

Seems to me Hedges should evaluate some of their actions, not just words before he spouses again.

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By voice of truth, March 26, 2008 at 2:37 pm Link to this comment

I agree you’ll never find the 100r;s, but my real point is that one should not compromise their vote away from their preferred candidate, whomever that might be, to “the lesser of evils” of only those candidates that are percieved as being able to win.

Just think about how candidates for the various debates were chosen.

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By Tony Wicher, March 26, 2008 at 2:34 pm Link to this comment

The whole point of voting is to exercise one’s power as a citizen to move the country in the direction one wants it to go. One must therefore base one’s choice of who to vote for on many other factors besides which candidate is closest to one’s own position on the issues.  Even though you might agree with Nader more on the issues, voting for him amounts to nothing but a protest vote and should only be done if you really believe that there is no difference between McCain, Clinton and Obama. You might not agree with Obama on some issues, but you have to ask yourself whether you agree with Clinton or McCain less. If you say that you will not vote for a candidate unless you agree with him 100% is to take yourself out of the political process. You might as well just vote for yourself and be done with it. To me, Obama is head and shoulders above the other two viable candidates.

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By PatrickHenry, March 26, 2008 at 2:12 pm Link to this comment

I agree, unfortunately many of the semitic people bear grudges and seek revenge for generations.  The christian ethic of turning the other cheek is non-existent especially on the part of Israel who have demonstrated overkill on most occaisions.

I’ll bet many of those “terrorist” rocketeers taking potshots at Israel are nothing more than a small cadre seeking revenge for relatives killed and displaced by Israel.

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By PatrickHenry, March 26, 2008 at 2:05 pm Link to this comment

We need more statesmen to call out Israel and the tiny minority that supports it.

Antitrust actions are long overdue in the media, banking, and other sectors of society which a small religious minority seems to discrimminate against all others.

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By ed_tru_lib, March 26, 2008 at 1:59 pm Link to this comment

So-what’s it going to be Hedges?-no health care for 65-70 million Americans after 8 McCain years? How many women mangled after the McCain court outlaws abortion? How many unwanted, unsupported & unsupportable children roaming our streets and filling our prisons for future generations? How unbreathable will the air be? How undrinkable the water? Will we be able to read anything we want at the library, and without homeland security not knowing about it? Come to think of it, will there still be libraries??—with public funding???
What does it take for these shameless, mindless, tumors on the body of the real left to finally be excised? Look what they have given us the last 7 1/2 years by electing Bush by voting for the N-word, and still the whining little weasel who thinks its still the 60’s and we’re all in danger of buying corvairs, doesn’t show the least little amount of class to slink off to his rooming house and and finally wash & press his 1 drip-dry suit.
Hedges-there are a few other issues besides Iraq. Even if these 2 pathetic people (Dear God-Shrieking Psycho Cynthia McKinney as the Nadernut’s running mate??!!-Britney Speares would have been a better, and saner choice) will never see that, or admit that they did since that would remove even this miniscule limelight they’re struggling so hard to get under this election year, the rest of the left does appear to finally get it-GORE WAS NOT JUST A DRAMATICALLY SUPERIOR CHOICE TO BUSH IN 2000-HE WAS A MONUMENTALLY SUPERIOR CHOICE TO NADER.
Silly, whining, anti-semetic, irrelevant (except potentially through irresponsibilty) Hedges; who but you would come up with this nonsense? Well, Ralph I guess.

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By cj, March 26, 2008 at 1:33 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

I think part of the reason for the trouble we’re in is due to voters compromising their principles and voting for ‘the lesser of two evils’.

The US was in trouble before Bush. Bush accelerated a decline we were already in.

It’s time for a drastic change and cowardice of conviction will not help.

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By mill, March 26, 2008 at 1:14 pm Link to this comment

i am truly sympathetic to “voice of truth"s point of view.  yet .... 

i live in a world that will be run by somebody, NEVER my preference on principle (at least to this point and i’m 54 years old).  the next president will come from the 2 major parties - in neither of which I am a member - the democrats are closer to my policy taste.  so i’d rather them than republicans.

you should vote for who you want.  but if you have a policy preference among those who are likely to win, your reality might be better lined up with your principles if you bend your principles when you vote.

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By Christopher Robin, March 26, 2008 at 12:32 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Chris,

I voted for Ralph Nader in 96’ and 2000. I have defended him against the vile remarks of those who feel entitled to his support, and will continue to do so. But I couldn’t vote for him in 04’. An election I would have crawled on hands and knees over broken glass to vote against Bush. I admire and respect Ralph’s efforts as I do yours.

Politics is more than issues alone, it’s about bringing groups together to form large coalitions. Large enough,to achieve office. Not just to move a major party in a direction we wish. Yes this war is a mistake, Yes this war is unpopular, Yes it is immoral, Yes it’s creating more problems than solving, and Yes it needs to end.

Trouble is, although a majority want this war to end, many voters will want to leave in a orderly manner. Not leaving chaos…realistic or not. This view will have a large margin of Independents, Dems and some Republicans.

This is where the problem of McCain comes in, if a significant fraction of these voters feel that what is being proposed by the Democrat is irresponsible or reckless…..Mc Cain will win them, a man who feels we should occupy Iraq indefinitely.

Enter the Democratic nominees…. One who is center right, who has voted for this war as a hawk, but is now spouting anti-war promises(Hillary). And in my view, one who is center-left opposed the war before it was launched (Barack Obama).He’s appealing to Independents, disaffected Democrats, the young and even some Republicans.

We could have a liberal Democrat in the White House, first in many years.Under a large banner of the groups above. Perhaps usher in a “progressive” generation not seen since FDR

If you succeed in appealing to a significant portion of voters who oppose this war. It will have the effect of not pulling Obama toward your positions, but rather assist in the divide and conquer of McCain and the Republicans. Obama is trying to appeal to a broad range of Americans, to unite and succeed. That will be the necessary for the overwhelming mandate necessary to push anything though Congress.

This is a chance to marginalize the DLC wing of the party and move the democrats to the left. Maybe not as far left as we feel policy should be, but left none the less. Enough that the election is in reach, and real change could be produced.

I think it boils down to a difference in opinion of Barack Obama, and tactics used to achieve change.

I trust Obama to produce real changes, and to end this war. I don’t trust Hillary, and if a Ralph/McKinney protest vote is successful, it could lead to John McCain. A tragic mistake both at home, abroad and in Iraq.

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By voice of truth, March 26, 2008 at 12:16 pm Link to this comment

The whole point of voting is to vote for the person you want to see in a particular office, not for someone’s else’s choice.  Just because a person will not win does not mean that one should compromise one’s principles and vote against their conscience.  Look at the candidates who have run for office in the past numerous times before finally achieving success.  The fact that more and more people voted for them is the reason for their success.  It has to start somewhere.

If your choice of candidate can not win on their own stances, then they don’t deserve to be in office.

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By mill, March 26, 2008 at 12:09 pm Link to this comment

Echos of Naderites in 2000 swearing there’s not a dime’s worth of difference between Republicans and Democrats, when Ralph Nader voters could have voted for Gore and gotten closer to their policy goals than allowing the Bush Republicans to run things by voting for Nader.

But go ahead, throw the election to McCain by voting for either of 2 candidates WHO WILL NOT WIN ... and plan on sending your great-grandchildren to Iraq as a result

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By Sparrow, March 26, 2008 at 11:27 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

That is her father’s story not Cynthia.  Still playing the guilt by association game I see.

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By voice of truth, March 26, 2008 at 11:04 am Link to this comment

If you lived here in the Atlanta area, you would know this crazy nut called Cynthia McKinney.  Her father, Billy McKinney, a GA State Rep, once pulled a knife on another rep, in the Statehouse, threatening to “cut” him!!  He is also famous for his speech of “That ain’t nothing.  The Jews have done bought everything anyway.  Jews.  J-E-W-S.  Jews!”  This must be the genesis for Cindy’s hatred of Isreal as well.

Little Cindy is only following in his shoes.  She was voted out of office here twice, but can’t seem to just go away.  Anyone who would vote for her just because of her Iraq stance isn’t intelligent enough to even be allowed to vote.

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By amunaor, March 26, 2008 at 10:58 am Link to this comment

Furthermore, I am confidant that Obama will address the highly xenophobic nature of this issue in the same cool and calm approach which he has already demonstrated by his manner of dialog, and the necessity of dialog, rather than imposing the explosive club of force, when pressed to confront other such divisive volatility.

Peace, Best Wishes and Hope

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By WriterOnTheStorm, March 26, 2008 at 10:55 am Link to this comment

Hey Ralph, if you’re reading this, I’ve got a nice campaign slogan for your run against Obama:


“Obama’s spare change won’t cover the reality check.”

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By Maani, March 26, 2008 at 10:43 am Link to this comment

Outraged:

“Good one….  I agree…except, if Maani is racist I’d be surprised (not some of the others though), he could be though, but I don’t think so.”

Where is this coming from?  I read through every one of zeitgeist’s posts here and did not see him suggest that I was a racist.  Is this coming from him - or from you?

In either regard, I must say I am surprised and concerned at how easily the term “racist” is thrown around here.  What is particularly strange about it is that it is coming largely from those who decry the lack of understanding, and are MOST supportive and complimentary about Obama’s speech calling for a national discussion about race.

Throwing the word “racist” around does absolutely NOTHING to furthher that discussion, and in fact only hinders it.  One does not teach an ignorant person something by calling them “stupid”; one “takes their hand” and TEACHES them - patiently, honestly and humbly.  Similarly, one does not help either the REAL racists or bigots (of which there are few, if any, here, despite how often the word gets thrown around) or the “borderline” ones (those who may simply not know better) by accusing them of being racists.

Apparently, Cyrena and some of the other “angry” people here either cannot or will not learn how to govern their passions enough to stop with the name-calling and accusation, and actually do what Obama is suggesting: engage in a DISCUSSION about race, NOT engage in epithets and unhelpful vilification.

Peace.

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By amunaor, March 26, 2008 at 10:30 am Link to this comment

**By Tony Wicher, March 25 (The Obama campaign is full of Arab-Americans and Palestinian sympathizers such as myself who have been keeping a low profile. I have recently begun speaking out and opposing Zionism within the campaign, and I have found many supporters. However, I condemn the Hamas rocket attacks too. They accomplish nothing but to bring retribution on the heads of the Palestinian people. Palestinians need a Nelson Mandela to lead them, not desperate militants firing rockets. This is the only way to get American public opinion on their side, and that is the only way they can win, not with stupid rockets. Obama would gladly negotiate with such a leader.)

Tony, you are so right, violence begets violence. I’m sure that you’re aware of another voice that is consistently squelched, the Jews against Zionism.

The following video is a bit dated now, but still relevant-
Ahmadinejad Meeting With Anti-Zionist Jews:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3xA1DbBAcOQ

It is critical that these folks be brought into the fold and their voices heard.

To fully appreciate the level of forces currently at play, one must go back and plumb the preponderance of prevailing winds which helped propel and breathe life into the Balfour Declaration. Much of the impetus for Zionism rode on the back of delirious Christian sympathies both in England and America, who in the throws of blind passion, sought to compel the fulfillment of prophecy; thought it necessary to blast a chunk of earth out of Palestine in order for this to occur, this was and is a very fundamental undercurrent which subconsciously fanned the flames for the creation of an Israeli state and thus, influenced Zionist aspirations.

Where is Israel in all of this? Through a comfortably numb symbiosis, Israel continues as a surrogate in the clutches of its Neo-Roman host, whose ego, in 1948, had been stroked with the offer of a seat at the table of Constantine’s neo-Roman empire, which continue today in the same imperialist aspirations of Constantine.

Once this is understood, it becomes clear that Israel is Israel in name only, but in reality it wears the Neo-Roman coat of Constantine; the Atonist; Sol In Victus; today the radical fundamentalism of the extreme right, the neo-Christian-Zionist; anyone thinking this to be utter nonsense, need only to listen to the ranting agenda of Pat Robertson and his ilk. It is from this pack of wolves, ‘Roberson’s School for Religious Change in Government’, crusader Bush has chosen to pluck his warrior disciples from and fill bureaucratic positions around him. It is the injection of this toxic mix that infuriates the region of Israel’s Arab brothers and sisters and it must be vetted.

From what position do you suppose James Carvel, was so brazenly pointing his pontificating finger when he accused Richardson of being ‘Judas’, upon Richardson’s decision to bail from this boat of lunatics?

Peace, Best Wishes and Hope

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By Maani, March 26, 2008 at 10:30 am Link to this comment

Tony:

“Maani, I am not a partisan sycophant for Obama as you are for Clinton.”

Now you are an BLATANT liar!  And for anyone who doubts me, here is the proof:

http://www.iowa.barackobama.com/page/dashboard/public/CXZZ

Peace.

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By stevec, March 26, 2008 at 9:59 am Link to this comment

Yes, you could vote for Nader or McKinny and help ensure that we’re in Iraq for a hundred years with McCain. When the left becomes as ideological and pure as the right, we are doomed.

Would you really want either of these people as President and Commander and Chief of the United States? Of course not. The last time enough people decided to send a “message,” we got George Bush for 8-years.

Get real. Vote Obama and get real change in 2009.

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By bozhidar bob balkas, March 26, 2008 at 8:50 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

if nader gets just 5% of the votes, it would h. been a begining of a two-party system in US. in canad we’r a bit luckier; we h. a two-party system altho not yet winnig fed’l elec’n. bc, saskachevan, ontario, and manitoba h.  NDP gov’ts.
this may explain the fact that we’r more socialist than US. US’ ruling class- not, of course, working class- is leaving us be since ther’s china, iraq, iran, korea, palestine, ‘stans to play gmeas w. after all, what else will US administration do to assuage boredom and obtain accolades from the runnig dog (corporate media, clergy, army echelons) of the ruling class. thanx

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By Greg Weis, March 26, 2008 at 8:44 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

I am sympathetic to those who believe they ought to vote for the candidate who has the highest principles, and I understand Chris Hedges’ argument.  But as I see it, it is invalid for most U.S. voters.  In any state where the vote is up for grabs, a vote for anyone but the Democrat is effectively a vote for McCain, who lies farther from high principles.  If on the eve of the election, polls show that the Democrat does not have a chance in, say, South Carolina, where I live, then I think I’m free to vote for Ralph Nadar, the person whose principles most closely resemble my own.  But in most states the point is not to avoid voting for anyone who won’t immediately withdraw troops from Iraq; the point is that either McCain or the Democratic nominee will be the next President, period, and one ought to vote for the better of the two.  That would be the Democrat.  One doesn’t acquire dirty hands by voting to put a better person than John McCain in the White House.

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By John, March 26, 2008 at 8:34 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

I am supporting the candidate who is really addressing issues that we are really concerned with. I support Cynthia McKinney.

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By dustinchicago, March 26, 2008 at 8:31 am Link to this comment

Mike Gravel just switched to the Libertarian Party.  So now we have 3.

What we need is for MORE people to run for office, any office, in order to talk the ‘gate’ issues of campaign reform and public financed campaigns, an national election system, and media reform and net neutrality.

These will give us the tools to reshape policy in our interests, and make the ‘We’ mean you and me, not the financeiers and facists.

So what office are you running for?

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By Tony Wicher, March 26, 2008 at 8:31 am Link to this comment

re By zeitgeist, March 25 at 2:15 pm #
(160 comments total)

Re: Re:
Tony, I’m in agreement with ‘markfreds’ conclusion:

**My hope is that an Obama Administration and a wave of new progressive Democrats in Congress we will move the party and our nation.  I think there is even a chance that a stronger and more progressive Congress will be out front on some issues and will be able to hold Obama’s feet to the fire**

I too have had similar concerns regarding even small remnants of any corporate troops, mercenary or otherwise, remaining within Iraq borders. Just imagine how we would feel if a belligerent force were parked off our coasts and within our cities? Only a complete withdrawal, embarrassing and humiliating it should be, because we, as a people failed to restrain a brute and misappropriated use of force… But, as I have stated elsewhere, we’ve already seen what happens to outspoken people, such as Kucinich, who was marginalized and diminished in the public mind, trashed as being unelectable, so too would Cynthia become chewed up and spat out. What most people probably don’t realize is that Obama is attempting to appeal to the widest spectrum, initially and once he becomes the nominee, I am confident that he too would echo in resonance to those very same concerns Kucinich and now Cynthia bring to the table. “
——————————————————————————-
Zeitgeist,

This is my thinking too. I would only like to add that it is up to Obama’s supporters to hold Obama’s feet to the fire. That is why I have been speaking up within the Obama campaign, where I am a member of several groups, taking a strong and visible stand for really ending the occupation, and also for fighting the influence of the Israel lobby (which is active in every campaign) and standing for Palestinian human rights. Thus I urge those who really oppose this war and have a progressive agenda not to waste their time on Nader, McKinney, the Greens, etc. but to join the Obama campaign and advocate their positions from within it. Their chances of actually influencing national policy will be much greater.

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By heavyrunner, March 26, 2008 at 8:25 am Link to this comment

I am a conscientious objector who went underground during Viet Nam rather than appear when drafted.  Other than one year when I was emotionally exhausted from legal battles I have never paid Federal Income taxes (legally).  The tax laws are written in such a way that if you are in business, like owning a farm, you can pretty easily take in enough money to live, yet show little or no income on your schedule “C.”  So if you want a lot of money, this is not a way to avoid taxes, but if you don’t mind living simply in beautiful peaceful surroundings it works out well for keeping on the moral side of funding nuclear weapons, wars of aggression and genocide.

I live in California, where John McCain has about as much chance of winning as Cynthia McKinney does.  I have voted for Ralph Nader in the past, including in 2000.  My take on that election is that if the Democratic ticket had been Gore/Nader instead of Gore/Lieberman they would have won by a landslide.

So since it is a free vote, I will keep my conscience somewhat clean by voting for Cynthia McKinney, most likely, in the fall. 

I would never vote for Hillary Clinton even if I lived in Virginia, but I might take a chance on Obama going off the reservation once in office and vote for him if I was in a swing state like Virginia.

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By Expat, March 26, 2008 at 8:06 am Link to this comment

^ comment.  With all of the propaganda; I’m tired all over.

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By thebeerdoctor, March 26, 2008 at 7:46 am Link to this comment

Hello truth diggers here is my latest:
http://thebeerdoctor.newscloud.com/

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By JF, March 26, 2008 at 7:42 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

If Chriss is wrong would anybody PLEASE explain me how it is after watching these 3 clips ?

GOP KILLING FLOOR
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f4QKfDdJ3ns

In a spirit of total equity, I address the democrat’s historic stance too… wink

DEM KILLING FLOOR
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=scNLxSleuec

so…

HIGHEST BIDDER
http://ca.youtube.com/watch?v=MmhL8bjL9vc

“How to get people to vote against their interests and to really think against their interests is very clever. It’s the cleverest ruling class that I have ever come across in history. It’s been 200 years at it. It’s superb.” - Gore Vidal

EXECUTIVE RESUME
http://whitenoise.webnode.com

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By Ted Swart, March 26, 2008 at 7:16 am Link to this comment

Hi Expat. You sum up the whole discussion in one simple sentence:

‘We’re being fooled into thinking “we” decide.’

The truth is that the system is totally broken and the options available are pretty well all designed to keep the system in being (Hillary,Obama, McCain) or impotent when it comes to effecting change (McKinney, Nader).
When I read about Obama spending $1.5 million a day on his campaign and Clinton spending $1.0 million a day I cringe at the heart of my soul. 

As far as the two Chrises are concerned give me Chrisopher Hitchens rather tha Chris Hedges any day—despite Hitchen’s crude behaviour. At least Hitchens has the courage to say “God is not Great”.

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By DrZee, March 26, 2008 at 7:08 am Link to this comment

Chris, you say “Those of us who oppose the war, who believe that all U.S. troops should be withdrawn and the network of permanent bases in Iraq dismantled, have only two options in the coming presidential elections—Ralph Nader and Cynthia McKinney.” If we all do as you suggest McCain will be president. How is this an option we should consider seriously? This is why I often am embarrassed to say I am a progressive.

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By Guitarsandmore805, March 26, 2008 at 7:06 am Link to this comment

I appreciate the efforts of Ralph Nader and whoever Cynthia McKinney is and we need to have more people speak out to shape the national debate instead of just tagging along behind the front runners like an obedient flock of sheep.

With the margin in Florida so small you could almost say that Ralph Nader cost the Democrats the election in 2000.  And how do we use that information constructively? I believe we write to Senators Clinton and Obama (and your own state sentator)referencing this blog post and threaten to vote for Nader if the Democrats are not more forthcoming with a time table for complete troop withdrawal and a realocation of funds to health care, social security, energy independence, and the new green economy.

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By debbie steele, March 26, 2008 at 7:04 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Thank you Chris Hedges for expressing what is happening to block any kind of real change here in this country.I too voted for Kerry hoping that once he was in office change would be more possible than with Bush.The lesser of two evils I am sick of and will not make the same mistake again.Cynthia Mckinney and Ralph Nader do say what I feel is needed to repair the damage done to people here in this country and in other parts of the world.Dennis Kucinith and Mike Gravel also gave solid platforms for change but were pushed out of the Democratic primaries due to not enough money.That says it all about the two party system. Green party’s platform expresses my political and environmental beliefs and I am not going to continue to vote for the lesser evil and end up with basically the same economics and militarism.They have my vote.

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By Expat, March 26, 2008 at 6:38 am Link to this comment

^ Chris.  IMO this article is disingenuous rot or maybe you’re chumming (the same).  Come on; what’s Nader or McKinney going to do at this late date.  You grossly over estimate the power of truthdig.com to effect meaningful change (hasn’t so far).  For a third party to be viable they need MONEY, lots of it!  Judging by this election a third party in this country is a fantasy at best/false hope at worst.  These guys hang out and lounge around and then have a little fanfare and declare?  WTF, are you truly serious?  On top of this….the dems can’t focus and risk 4 more years of the same.  Personally I’m disgusted with the whole charade.  We’re being fooled into thinking “we” decide.

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By drawlr, March 26, 2008 at 6:09 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

You are so uninformed that it is scary that you have the right to vote.

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By Dr. Knowitall, PhD, PhD, March 26, 2008 at 5:46 am Link to this comment

I’m not quite that harsh.  But I am more a “think outside the box” and “I dream dreams that never were” kind of guy.

Most of us have been sucked into the propaganda and rhetoric, the empty rhetoric IMO, of this campaign that has become “the Amercian Way.”  We’ve bought in.  I really don’t think that what the MSM and politicians are keeping at the forefront of our minds has anything whatsoever to do with the idea of America or the dream of America.

The campaign has become entertainment.  It’s easy to debate the economy and the war.  But these things are only symptomatic of an ongoing conspiracy to shut the majority of American people out of the dream.  And people don’t know any better because, if you’re born blind, you have no idea what it’s like to see.

We need to start from the beginning.  In this case, I’m a “throw the baby out with the bath water” kind of guy because this baby, the bastard child of politicians and MSM, is an evil alien.

All the candidates have been sucked in.  They’re all part of the problem.  It is absolutely inane and silly for any of us to focus in on any of them.  They’re talking heads.  They’ve amassed $1 billion to spew their garbage and lies to us and we continue to listen. 

Truthdig and blogs like it could be instruments for change in the dialogue.

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By hmk, March 26, 2008 at 4:40 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

So many claim to be opposed to the war in Iraq; but then refuse to attack the base on which it sits - the one incident that allowed everything that happened in the past seven and a half year to happen.  The thing whose name may not be spoken in public lest its speaker and all who listen be branded as crackpots.  But it’s the only way to end this nightmare.  We know where it all began, and when it began, almost to the minute. For seven and a half years it’s sat like a holy relic emitting death rays all over the middle east.  A war begun by a sacred idol can only end when that idol is smashed.

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By yossarian100, March 26, 2008 at 4:23 am Link to this comment

WTF, indeed! We may be “silly and out of touch,” or we may be those who choose not to simply follow the herd to yet one more slaughter. The “lesser of evils” approach no longer works for me. If you want to stick with the idea of uniting the Democratic Party for a victory in November, go right ahead. No matter who wins, we’ll be right back to business as usual. I no longer want to play that game.

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By jerry gates, March 26, 2008 at 4:13 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Chris Hedges ,“A conscientious Objection, reflects my own exodus from the United States Army in 1975 and asks the Americans against the war to back Candidates against the war if they want a peaceful and trustworthy government.

  The end Game is begun in earnest as Cynthia McKinney(my candidate) and Ralph Nader( my past “guy”) have entered the arena of debates and strategies for taking back the government of the United States from Israel and private interest groups within US borders and giving the people back their sayin a government of, by and for the people who pay for it all.

  While I have espoused the virtues of Obama as the mainstean candidate of choice, I see a very real possibility that Cynthia McKinney can and will overtake the democrats in the next five months with an approach to CHANGE which eclipses any offering by Obama or Clinton.

  Clinton and Obama are destined to be sidelined by reality as the depression of the US economy closes in around the poor in these United States and the electorate drifts away from their bullshit and towards grass roots initiatives that would die under an Obama presidency and never have a chance under Clinton.

  Among the McKinney, Nader initiatives which should be considered by any voter are the removal of AIPAC as the theif in the isles of our legislative branches and presidential cabinet positions.

  Voters must also consider what will become of their nation under the suspicious activities of the war on terror, and the US meddling in Pakistan and Afghanistan. Trust for the United States is at an all time low among Islamic peoples, even our allies in Jordan, Egypt and Saudi Arabis, More of the same backstabbing and gun running is not an option unless the US electorate is prepared for a future of heavy losses for it’s military, it’s economy and it’s moral standing in the world community.

  While feigning discontent with Russian policies, the US and Israel continue to conspire with Russia to undermine peace in the middle east and empower imperialism in the region. This will never stand and will only escalate conflicts, exacerbate enmity and take a withering toll on us military assets into the next century.

  The time is NOW for sanity, responsibility and solvency to return the government of the United States to the people who pay their bills and have been sidelined , until now in their voice in government.

  A three way split in the vote which sees a crippled and malignant McCain fall on his neocon ass, Hillary concede to Obama, but incinuate herself into his cabinet, leaves Cynthia Mckinney with the goal of garnering 38% of the vote to win the presidency from candidates who have allready swon their allegiance and the servitude of the US economy to wars of agression to protect Israel who is damned well bold and brash enough to defend itself after embarasing George Bush with their complacency in creating real and substantive peace between Israel and their neighbors, Palestine.

  Vote your conscience and if you oppose agressive destruction of Islamic nations and denigrators of Palestine and the Arab league. Vote for Mckinney and Nader to be the ticket and get these grifters and grafters out of our government and promote sanity, decency and solvency as well as Green initiatives that should have been mainstreamed fifty years ago if the US was wise enough to vote for candidates that were truly thoughtfull of their needs and not indebted, by bribes and coercive politcal alliances, which require then to rip off the people and empower the Pentagon and US corporation to attempt to take over a world well equiped and motivated to repell US advances and end US moral and economic standing in the world community.

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By cyrena, March 26, 2008 at 1:27 am Link to this comment

zeitgeist..

**As the private military industry continues its remarkable growth, there has come a particularly ominous presidential executive order on July 17, 2007 “blocking property of certain persons who threaten stabilization efforts in Iraq”. ***

Thanks for this. I do remember this particular presidential E/O, but thanks for the reminder, because it does connect. (there were a couple of others at the same time if I remember, same wording/intent, though it seems like the other one pertained to Lebanon).

I was NOT aware of this ‘agreement of principles’ between Maliki and Bush, but I guess it doesn’t surprise me. I’m grateful for the links and your analysis.

Man oh man..is there ANYTHING that these thugs won’t do, and manage to get away with it. Of course there’s no way any of it would hold up in a court of law. On the other hand, how does one even GET it TO a court of law?

The UN, the ICJ, the ICC, all seem totally hampered in dealing with ANY of the atrocities committed by the US under this regime.

Just pisses me off beyond description…

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By Dennis Dunn, March 25, 2008 at 8:22 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

I’m a 70 year old white Obama boy.
Check this YouTube out:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?=AgkrX-NSt6Q

Then, practice saying: PRESIDENT OBAMA

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By amunaor, March 25, 2008 at 7:24 pm Link to this comment

*cyrena: This came up when I asked if there wasn’t some way (based on the international law, and the laws of occupation) if the Iraqis couldn’t force the contractors out, or at least be able to try them there, for so many of the crimes they’ve committed.**

As the private military industry continues its remarkable growth, there has come a particularly ominous presidential executive order on July 17, 2007 “blocking property of certain persons who threaten stabilization efforts in Iraq”. Such a broad brush would certainly include anti-war protesters. And who, having witnessed recent judgments from Bush’s Department of Justice, would doubt that the understanding of “certain persons” could be easily enlarged to ensnare anyone who opposes the Administration in any of its other spheres of interest? “Blocking property” is cutting off access to one’s bank accounts, an effective way to neutralize adversaries by sending them suddenly into survival mode.

Full Story:
http://www.dissidentvoice.org/2007/11/protection-for-“haves”-in-bushs-ownership-society/

Bush to sidestep Congress on Iraq military pact:
http://ww4report.com/node/5262

The “declaration of principles” signed by President Bush and Prime Minister Malaki is designed to not only keep American military forces in Iraq indefinitely but also to ensnare America into Iraqi domestic politics. In short, it confirms our suspicions that the NeoCon wet dream, the “Project for a New American…

Full Story:
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/tag/status-of-forces-agreement


I would think that the above agreement, made outside the will or consent of the people under which this agreement was to be made, is about as worthless as all of the other empty treaties the U.S. government has entered into with its own indiginous population, of the Indian land we now occupy.

I don’t see how the invading occupier, illicitly trespassing on the rights of a sovereign Iraq, setting up a stooge puppet in its midst, could then flaunt any secret agreement with the puppet, as being anything but illegitimate and bogus. Without even the slightest amount of scrutiny, it seems to me that this underhanded, empty transaction would hold about as much water as a sieve in anybody’s court of law.

Peace, Best Wishes and Hope

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By RB W/Mi, March 25, 2008 at 6:10 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

http://supporters.runcynthiarun.org/supporters.cgi

I’m not positive if this website is the one I heard of on “Democracy Now” , but it looks official….I have to check with the Better Business Bureau or other source yet before I mail any $.

I feel bad for the next person in office, with forcasts of a world depression.

Yet containment of the USA greedy corporate America has to happen. Bankers, speculators and politicians have to STOP their plundering, exploiting, their warring occupations, inequality ...Hustling in the world.

I don’t think anyone can stop the barbarians/oil shareholders in the 21st century. Yet Cynthia McKinney on the ballot is a “wake-up America” to the Green Party ,the 3rd party needed to stop the “run-away train” of crony capitalism…maybe a “turning point in evolution”?  Bernie Sanders are you listening? Sol socialist in congress? FSTV, Moyers PBS, progressives, The Daily Colbert shows… All of this is beyond belief. There will never be any changes, sad to post.

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By WriterOnTheStorm, March 25, 2008 at 6:02 pm Link to this comment

It’s been disappointing to see so many on the left seemingly resigned to the ongoing occupation of Iraq. Are they too caught up in the democratic primary race, their once savage souls now soothed by the music of Obama’s rhetoric? Are they preoccupied with their expanding mortgage and the shrinking value of their homes? Are they merely suffering from opposition-fatigue?

Most likely, they were never fully committed to our leaving Iraq. They simply wanted to stop Neocon momentum. Once leading democrats, starting with that uber-nancy, Ms Pelosi, made it clear that they weren’t going to do anything about Iraq after all, many democrats decided they would just live with it too.

If one looks at the history of western nations, we see that most of them suffered through 500 to 1000 years of border wars, bloody political upheaval, brutal monarchies, internecine struggle, and imperial invasion, before they finally reached an equilibrium of democracy. Given this as precedent, is it not more than a little unreasonable to expect Iraq to now skip the vegetables and go straight to the dessert?

Iraq is going to struggle to find its way. It’s going to be violent at times, it’s going to be chaotic. People are going to be forced out. Others will take advantage of this chaos to profit and to rise politically. And it’s going to happen, wether we leave tomorrow, or ten years from now. It’s normal. Think of this process as growing pains. Every nation goes through it.

So cheers to Hedges for the reality check. We should get out of Iraq now. Besides, we can’t decry the occupation of Palestine when we are engaged in an occupation of our own. But I won’t hold my breath. In fact, I may buy some Blackwater stock. It’s a cold wind coming, and I can feel which way it blows.

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By Inherit The Wind, March 25, 2008 at 5:40 pm Link to this comment

So what else is new under the Sun?
That’s why I don’t post here much anymore.  Too many idiotic ideas that don’t stand up to a daylight viewing.

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By cyrena, March 25, 2008 at 4:53 pm Link to this comment

Patrick Henry,
•  “The next president should turn it into a hospital/hospice/orphanage for all the innocents we’ve killed in the name of America.”

Now THIS is an excellent idea! And, we can let the Iraqis (who want to and are able) finish the work. It’s not like they don’t know how to create buildings. They HAD them (beautiful ones) before we bombed everything to dust. So all of these contractors…Halliburton and KBR and all of the others, can just provide the money, (from the zillions they’ve stolen) and the Iraqis can decide what they want to do with them.

I do remember that Obama pledged to dismantle all bases. Like Tony, I have a criticism of keeping any ‘security forces’ in Iraq. HOWEVER, (and I say this because I’ve enquired about it elsewhere, regarding the legality of contract mercenaries in international law or ‘war law’) we don’t really know –OURSELVES- what is going on in the so-called ‘government’ of Iraq. Quite frankly, NOBODY does, including Clinton, and Obama, because the relationship between the US and the Iraqi government is such a closely held secret, and it is mandatory that whomever the new president is, be able to establish some kind of an understanding with them, in order to complete an orderly withdrawal.

The Dick Bush Cabal has intentionally kept this muddled, chaotic, and all the rest, because they thrive on instability. Before any of them can really put down any concrete plans, it will require talking to the Iraqis, and probably the Iranians as well. I think everyone knows that at least Obama, has not been privy to any of that information, or what ‘deals’ they’ve made with the corrupt government of Iraq, or any of it’s opposition groups, or any of the rest of it.

Now McCain MAY know more, and so might Clinton. Hard to say. But my guess is that Cheney is the only one who really knows what’s going on, along with some of his secret staff.

This came up when I asked if there wasn’t some way (based on the international law, and the laws of occupation) if the Iraqis couldn’t force the contractors out, or at least be able to try them there, for so many of the crimes they’ve committed. I was advised that it depended on what the Iraqis had already agreed to. So, we don’t know WHAT the hell is going on with them, but I’d be willing to bet that the most corrupt among those so called leaders, (the ones in bed with Dick Bush) would be deathly afraid if the ‘protection’ of US forces and/or contractors was to be removed.

So, I just said all of that to say, there’s so much we can’t know, and that I’m sure Obama knows that as well. He’s nothing if not cautious, and always thinking of the unforeseen or otherwise unintended consequences of anything.

For now, I just have to repeat what many of you have already noted..in the political reality, what Obama is likely to do may be different than what he’s indicating at this point, because he DOES have to appeal to as large a population as possible, and because there are still facts on the ground in Iraq (and elsewhere) of which he cannot be fully aware.
For instance…recently fired Fallon is NOT going to be allowed to testify before Congress. Only Betraeus and Crocker.

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By Rob Bjerk, March 25, 2008 at 4:41 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

The Constitution Party is, I believe, the third largest party in the country now, and will nominate a candidate with views very similar to Ron Paul’s.

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By Dick Kaiser, March 25, 2008 at 4:01 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Dear WTFrank,

Sorry you don’t believe in democracy, man. But apparently you do believe in having a good strategy for your beloved Demos. Here’s one sure to please the majority of Americans and maybe you too.

Nader’s campaign planks are a bald-faced gift to either Dem candidate. Read them.  What’s not to like? They are American, not American Empire.

These corporate suckups (O and Hillel) that pretend to represent the left middle are too stupid and fearful to recognize Nader’s gift.  The residue left in the Dems’ ring put me to f—-in’ sleep!  Just as Gore and Kerry did before them!!

When the People expect nothing from their corporate media anointed candidates, They get nothing. No money for healthcare, no money for infrastructure, but TRILLIONS for Iraq and 700+ military bases around the globe and dozens of new military toys.  Thanks for NOTHING, Dems!!!

Those, like you Frank, who blindly apologize for corporate-marinated candidates ought to be ashamed of themselves for they exhibit the destructive fear that rules the armchair Dems. 

Honor Nader’s service to the country, steal his platform, and win in November going away.

First Justice, then Peace.

—Richard

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By PatrickHenry, March 25, 2008 at 3:52 pm Link to this comment

If they act aggressive towards you for no reason. yeah!

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By Outraged, March 25, 2008 at 3:47 pm Link to this comment

Re: zeitgeist

Your comment: “Both the far right Republicans and the stop-at-nothing Clintons are using the “scandal” of Obama’s preacher to undermine the first black American candidate with a serious shot at the presidency. Funny thing is, the racist Clinton/Far Right smear machine proves that Obama’s minister had a valid point. There is plenty to yell about these days.”

Good one….  I agree…except, if Maani is racist I’d be surprised (not some of the others though), he could be though, but I don’t think so.  If Clinton gets the nomination, what will Obama supporters do?

You can’t go McCain…and voting for Clinton would be damn near the same thing.  I fear that is why she refuses to bow out. With Republicans voting for her it’ll appear that she has “support” which in reality we all know is questionable at best.  So… what if the superdelegates’ vote DOES nominate Clinton?

I will not vote for Clinton or McCain, as I see that as a game of Russian roulette.  Either way, Nader is still right and logic dictates that.  Now as for McKinney or Nader being viable candidates this DEPENDS, we’ll have to see how it all pans out like I said.

I see Obama as being very different in the implementation of proposed plans than I see Clinton.  The Democratic Party is playing almost as vicious a game as the Republican party.  Somewhat like the child molester who offers candy and a “free trip” to Disneyland.  Might have sounded good at the time… but that isn’t the way it ends up is it?  I think this is the point Hedges and Nader are trying to make.  Remember it was the DEMOCRATIC PARTY who marginalized other democratic candidates early in the primary.

There is something to be said for “growing” the Progressive Party.  For anyone who might be interested here’s a link.

http://www.progressivepatriotsfund.com/

Now…while I CAN qualify Nader, I am not as familiar with McKinney.  However, we can always play the “Pollyanna” glad game… if the Democratic Party “kicks us in the teeth again”, we’ll have an option.  Possibly… the first BLACK and WOMAN PRESIDENT!  Wouldn’t that be a ruse.

Remember, Obama supporters ARE the bulk of the Democratic Party.  Clinton needs the Republicans to vote for her, even to make a showing IN “SUPPOSEDLY” HER OWN PARTY!

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By amunaor, March 25, 2008 at 3:15 pm Link to this comment

Tony, I’m in agreement with ‘markfreds’ conclusion:

**My hope is that an Obama Administration and a wave of new progressive Democrats in Congress we will move the party and our nation.  I think there is even a chance that a stronger and more progressive Congress will be out front on some issues and will be able to hold Obama’s feet to the fire**

I too have had similar concerns regarding even small remnants of any corporate troops, mercenary or otherwise, remaining within Iraq borders. Just imagine how we would feel if a belligerent force were parked off our coasts and within our cities? Only a complete withdrawal, embarrassing and humiliating it should be, because we, as a people failed to restrain a brute and misappropriated use of force.

Perhaps as a goodwill gesture we could let the Iraqis turn the ‘fort knox’ embassy into a prison for them to extradite all of the evil-doer participants who manufactured this bloody tragedy, for their incarceration. After that, they could implode it, so as not to waste any money on feeding the miscreants.

But, as I have stated elsewhere, we’ve already seen what happens to outspoken people, such as Kucinich, who was marginalized and diminished in the public mind, trashed as being unelectable, so too would Cynthia become chewed up and spat out. What most people probably don’t realize is that Obama is attempting to appeal to the widest spectrum, initially and once he becomes the nominee, I am confident that he too would echo in resonance to those very same concerns Kucinich and now Cynthia bring to the table.

This is another reason why Corporate Representative Clinton must step aside! She has already lost; but in her spiteful claims on entitlement, she is willing to sink the entire ship in her feigned pursuit of power.

Peace, Best Wishes and Hope

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By Joe Sixpack, March 25, 2008 at 3:13 pm Link to this comment

Wow. That’s amazing an amazing set of points you just laid out. First you accuse Clinton of flat out lying about a trip she took to Bosnia a dozen years ago. You take great exception to this. Hillary is a politician who embellished a story. Clearly she should be taken out back and summarily executed for that. So Obama lied about how much money and access Tony Rezko gave and received and having ‘never’ heard his spiritual mentor of 20 years use hate speak, yet admitted to as much during his ‘historic’ race speech. So I thought he was above politics as usual and used nothing but ‘straight talk’. You must be devistated that Obama seems to be nothing more than a typical politician. At least I know what to expect with Hillary. Too bad. So sad for you.

The Obama campaign knew this pastor would be a real problem even before he announced. The cover up was in saying he ‘had never heard those remarks’. That’s a flat out lie. Now you’re all tweaked because the old addage, “the enemy of my enemy is my friend.” Believe me that won’t be the case in the fall when the Wright-Wing nutjobs go back on the attack.

What about your candidate who disavows the ‘politics of personal destruction’ the same way they disavow the inspiration for the book that is responsible for over half of Obama’s annual income. The Obama campaign preaches party unity out of the left side of their mouth and uses the right side to attack Hillary, Bill, Chelsea, anyone associated with their efforts. Just disavow the words of another serrogate! Hey I thought words matter? Oh. Only when they favor your case, huh? Obama never has to attack directly he has plenty of spokespeople and policy advisers to go shout “MONSTER” from the highest rooftop.

just be thankful you’re not Obama’s sickly 85 year old grandmother. They say some people would run over their own grandmother to become president. I guess Obama WILL say and do anything to get elected. Sorry grandma.

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By thebeerdoctor, March 25, 2008 at 3:03 pm Link to this comment

Muscleboy, let me try to help you out here. Who said: “It is central to our freedom and to our progress, for on more than one occasion, history has proven our great dissenters to be right.”
Or: “President Bush’s speech in Cincinnati and the changes in policy that have come forth since the Administration began broaching this issue some weeks ago have made my vote easier.”
Give up? Why it is the beloved Senator Clinton on the floor of the Senate, voting to authorize this god damn war. There were 23 Senators who said No to this folly, but she was not among them. And now she won’t even admit that her vote was a dreadful mistake. Tell me, what kind of leadership is that?

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By PatrickHenry, March 25, 2008 at 2:49 pm Link to this comment

The next president should turn it into a hospital/hospice/orphanage for all the innocents we’ve killed in the name of America.

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By Frank, March 25, 2008 at 2:38 pm Link to this comment

Hedges, do you realize how silly and out of touch you look even giving press to these two “candidates”?

Just when I though Truthdig couldn’t appear more ridiculous…..Hedges goes the extra mile.

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By Ron, March 25, 2008 at 2:32 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Chris Hedges’ idealism is admirable, and his criticism of US policy is appropriate.  However, in 2000 Nader swung enough votes to give the Supreme Court cover to give the Presidency to Bush.  So a vote for Nader was, in the end, instrumental in getting us into Iraq.  Today, who would you prefer?  McCain or Clinton or Obama?  You won’t get Nader, you won’t get McKinney, and the Republicans will be as happy that you wasted your vote in 2008 as they were in 2000.  A vote for Nader or McKinney is equivalent to a vote (technically only 1/2 vote) for McCain.

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By republicanSScareme, March 25, 2008 at 2:24 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

The more I think about Nader and what he’s doing, I become more convinced that he’s just a Zionist mole. What a pathetic end to a fine career.

I hope no one wastes their vote on that die-hard zealot.

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By Marshall, March 25, 2008 at 2:07 pm Link to this comment

If we go to war with Iran, it’ll be because they’re trying to build a nuclear weapon.  And I’ll support that war 100%.

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By Tony Wicher, March 25, 2008 at 2:05 pm Link to this comment

I am not a liar but you are truly an idiot for completely misunderstanding what my post was saying. Believe it or not, Maani, I am not a partisan sycophant for Obama as you are for Clinton. My post was intended as a criticism of Obama. Of course it applies equally to Clinton. Together with everyone who is really against this war, I want to end the occupation. That means getting ALL troups out of Iraq, and letting whoever takes over there dynamite that horror of and embassy building. If Obama leaves 40,000 troops in Iraq to defend that that bunker of a “embassy”, he is no better than Clinton. How about that? Do you understand now, thick-headed one?

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By amunaor, March 25, 2008 at 1:39 pm Link to this comment

Sure! Just like Hillary didn’t run from the plane in order to dodge sniper bullets while she and her daughter attended a tea party in Bosnia, etc….

Hillary’s Nasty Pastorate:

http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2008/03/20/opinion/main3955108.shtml

http://www.thenation.com/doc/20080331/ehrenreich

*<Hillary wants to stop the war>

Too late! She and everyone of these ‘Corporate Criminals’ that began this ‘illicit’ invasion for plunder should be made to walk the plank - Millions dead, displaced and psychologically destroyed - No thank you!


When Republican agitators of the mid 1970s to the late 1980s were genuinely anti-American in the same spirit that later Jerry Falwell and Pat Robertson were anti-American when they said God had removed his blessing from America on 9/11, because America accepted gays. Falwell and Robertson recanted but we never did.

The hypocrisy of the right denouncing Obama, because of his minister’s words, is staggering. They are the same people who argue for the right to “bear arms” as “insurance” to limit government power. They are the same people that in the early 1980s roared and cheered when damnation was called down on America because it had “fallen away from God” at their national meetings, including the annual meeting of the ultraconservative Southern Baptist convention, and the religious broadcasters.

Today we have a marriage of convenience between the right wing fundamentalists who hate Obama, and the “progressive” Clintons who are playing the race card through their own smear machine. As Jane Smiley writes in the Huffington Post “[The Clinton’s] are, indeed, now part of the ‘vast right wing conspiracy.’

Both the far right Republicans and the stop-at-nothing Clintons are using the “scandal” of Obama’s preacher to undermine the first black American candidate with a serious shot at the presidency. Funny thing is, the racist Clinton/Far Right smear machine proves that Obama’s minister had a valid point. There is plenty to yell about these days.

Who is the real Judas here?

Peace, Best Wishes and Hope

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By Maani, March 25, 2008 at 1:31 pm Link to this comment

Tony:

“It has always bothered me that Obama has consistently said all along that his Iraq policy involves “leaving troops behind to guard our embassy”. Have you seen that embassy building? That’s not an embassy, it’s some kind of military bunker. It is not normally necessary to have troops to guard our embassies in countries with which we have normal diplomatic relations. How many troops do we have guarding our embassies in Egypt, or Russia, or China? Maybe a few in case of an incident. It’s not going to be that way in Iraq, is it?”

You are either hopelessly uninformed, or you are a liar.  The embassy is still being built, and will be the largest of its kind in the entire world; almost as big as Vatican City.  So it WILL require a permanent force for protection.  Here is an article about it:

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/12319798/

Peace.

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By Maani, March 25, 2008 at 1:27 pm Link to this comment

Tony:

You should always provide a “full disclosure” disclaimer with your posts, letting people know that you work for the Obama campaign.  Not doing so is dishonest - and your candidate claims to be against dishonesty in any form.

Peace.

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By Sue Cook, March 25, 2008 at 12:46 pm Link to this comment

You got “b” right and that’s all.

Hillary will be the mother of all presidents to help heal this fractured state of confusion we are presently in.

You better believe it!

Peace.

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By Muscleboy, March 25, 2008 at 12:45 pm Link to this comment

Hillary’s connection with this born-again-Christian group “the Family” is non-existent.  You say she supposedly attended a dinner and this makes her part of the inner-circle of this bible study group? 

Hillary wants to stop the war and remove the US military bases from Iraq. She and Obama want to remove all traces of torture and extra-judicial treatment of people by the USA. Barack and Hillary both want to make us a nation that adheres to the essential words of Jesus Christ including treating each other with love and kindness.  This false religiosity of the Bush administration is a deception of a very great sort.  Bush is an extreme opposite of Jesus Christ in every single regard.  To compare Hillary and Barack with the warmongering lunacy of the neocon-McCain camp is ridiculous.

You are willfully trying to deceive people with your spew.  The Republicans were caught doing this very thing in 2004 trying to deceive us progressives to pull votes in critical areas away from the Democrats who are light years ahead of the Republicans in terms of progressiveness and hand them over to Bush.  It’s no different this time we just have new names running.

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By Morgan Mghee, March 25, 2008 at 12:36 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

You’ve got a bit of a ‘campaign rhetoric koolaid’ mustache going there. I could offer you some oceanfront property in Elma,Wa or I can direct you to some resources for ‘Not’ finding any real differences between Clinton, Mccain or Obama:

http://www.votesmart.org/voting_category.php?can_id=9490 Obama voting record
http://query.nictusa.com/cgi-bin/qcan/ Obama Campaign Contribution records

http://www.votesmart.org/voting_category.php?can_id=55463 Clinton Voting record
http://query.nictusa.com/cgi-bin/qcan/ Clinton Campaign Contribution records

http://www.votesmart.org/voting_category.php?can_id=53270 Mccain voting record
http://query.nictusa.com/cgi-bin/qcan/ Mccain Campaign Contribution records

Actions speak far more loudly than words, never more than during an election.

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