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A Conscientious Objection

Posted on Mar 23, 2008
McKinney and Nader

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Those of us who oppose the war, who believe that all U.S. troops should be withdrawn and the network of permanent bases in Iraq dismantled, have only two options in the coming presidential elections—Ralph Nader and Cynthia McKinney.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.

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“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 Bubba, March 25, 2008 at 12:30 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

There’s such a thing as bad strategy, Chris.

Voting for Nader or McKinney is bad strategy. Anyone but a fool can see this.

Implementing bad strategy does not integrity make. About the best it may accomplish is to allow a fool to feel good about the harm he’s done.

Get a grip.

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By markfred, March 25, 2008 at 12:09 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Lets start with an agreed upon fact: neither Nader or McKinney will be our next president.
So for me the question becomes how do i as a left-leaning progressive move our nation in a more enlightened direction.
Hedges claims that if we stick together and vote for an alternative we will “shake the foundations of the Democratic party.”  Well that didn’t happen after Nader’s 2000 run and the Supreme Court’s anointment of GWB.
In my opinion, Nader could have played a monumental role in moving our nation.  Had he in the closing days of the 2000 campaign stepped back and said you know I was wrong, there is a difference between Al Gore and George Bush and the stakes are too high - I’m supporting Gore.  Nader could and i believe would have had a voice and place in a Gore Administration.  At mid-life (yes i quite college and worked for the McGovern campaign back in 1972) i have lost some of my haste, but none of my idealism or fight.  I suppose maybe I’ve been tempered by reason, but I now know the work will never be finished - certainly not in my life-time. 
My experience is that i can make a difference and i can move the Democratic party by being there, doing the slow hard work, and raising my voice every chance i get.  I’m in this to move the D’s further down the field toward our goal. 
I will not work to further divide an already too small progressive vote and hand the white house over to McCain
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.
Call it a pipe dream if you like, but i can work toward making that dream happen.  There is no amount of work i can do to make Nader or McKinney our next president.

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By DR, March 25, 2008 at 12:08 pm Link to this comment
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After the last 8 years, how can anyone in their right mind vote for Nader?

What if, by voting for Nader, you end up putting John McCain in the White House? This is a commonly raised objection, and frankly, third party voters have yet to adequately answer it. That is simply because there is no answer. A vote for Nader is a vote for McCain, just like a vote for Nader was a vote for Bush 8 years ago.

We live in the real world or real politics, Mr Hedges. If you want to live in fantasy-land, buy yourself an island somewhere…

And NO, you CANNOT vote your conscience; that’s not how the Consitution is laid out. You have to vote YOUR BEST INTERESTS; that’s the absolute only way the system has any chance of working. It might feel fuzzy to vote for the old coot, but it might end up costing the lives of hundreds of thousands of people. Do you want that on your conscience? (before you start staying that I’m fearmongering, please take into account the fact that McCain has made no secret of his intent to attack Iran at the earliest opportunity).

It’s not in your or anyone else’s best interests to vote for Nader. Period.

Note that I’m not even bothering to speak to McKinney. There’s a reason for that…

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By Tina, March 25, 2008 at 12:07 pm Link to this comment
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It’s a FACT: if you voted for Nader in 2000 you let Bush win… and the Iraq “War” is partly your responsibility. It really is as simple as that.

If only 538 people would have not voted for Nader in my Palm Beach neighborhood in 2000 EVERYTHING would be different now.

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By amunaor, March 25, 2008 at 12:03 pm Link to this comment


Hillary’s Ties to Religious Fundamentalists
There’s a reason why Hillary Clinton has remained relatively silent during the flap over intemperate remarks by Barack Obama’s former pastor, Jeremiah Wright. When it comes to unsavory religious affiliations, she’s a lot more vulnerable than Obama.
You can find all about it in a widely under-read article in the September 2007 issue of Mother Jones, in which Kathryn Joyce and Jeff Sharlet reported that “through all of her years in Washington, Clinton has been an active participant in conservative Bible study and prayer circles that are part of a secretive Capitol Hill group known as the “Fellowship,” aka the Family. But it won’t be a secret much longer. Jeff Sharlet’s shocking exposé, The Family: The Secret Fundamentalism at the Heart of American Power will be published in May.
Sean Hannity has called Obama’s church a “cult,” but that term applies far more aptly to Clinton’s “Family,” which is organized into “cells”—their term—and operates sex-segregated group homes for young people in northern Virginia. In 2002, writer Jeff Sharlet joined the Family’s home for young men, foreswearing sex, drugs and alcohol, and participating in endless discussions of Jesus and power. He wasn’t undercover; he used his own name and admitted to being a writer. But he wasn’t completely out of danger either. When he went outdoors one night to make a cell phone call, he was followed. He still gets calls from Family associates asking him to meet them in diners—alone.
The Family’s most visible activity is its blandly innocuous National Prayer Breakfast, held every February in Washington. But almost all its real work goes on behind the scenes—knitting together international networks of right-wing leaders, most of them ostensibly Christian. In the 1940s, the Family reached out to former and not-so-former Nazis, and its fascination with that exemplary leader, Adolph Hitler, has continued, along with ties to a whole bestiary of murderous thugs. As Sharlet reported in Harper’s in 2003:
Full Story:
In light of the fact that the Bush administration is known to have surrounded itself by these very same right-wing fundamentalist zealots, who Bush has plucked from the ranks of Pat Robertson’s ‘students for religious change in government, should be very upsetting to anyone with eyes and ears. It appears the groundwork has been lain to foment and propel us further into this divisive bitterness, by stirring the already muddy waters of xenophobic fear, pitting ‘us’ against ‘them’, crusader Bush and his coterie of disciples are and have been slowly pushing us deeper into the abyss, with the now, psychologically, implanted ‘global war on terror’.

For what other reason do you suppose James Carvel, so flagrantly cast the subliminal dispersion of ‘Judas’ upon Richardson’s bailing from this boat of lunatics?

Peace, Best Wishes and Hope

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By amunaor, March 25, 2008 at 12:02 pm Link to this comment

What utter rubbish! Clinton’s continued claims to the throne as some sort of entitlement, her slight of hand and empty tricks of numerology, manages only to shed further light onto her desperately depraved ego, willing to stoop to the lowest in order to steal the highest. Her current numbers game is absolute gibberish and only reflects the delusional qualities of her character. What ever respect she might have commandeered, early on, is slowly falling by the wayside. I am confident that if we were to have a re-vote in California, Texas and Ohio that her assumptions may not bare the wind she so currently claims fill her sails.

Who in their right mind, especially the younger generation, turning out in droves, would vote for the warmonger McCain? This majority is sick and tired of the ‘Corporate Warmongers’, ‘Experience as Usual’, the good old boy network. Obama fully understands these issues. He holds his cards close to his chest so as not to get ‘Kuciniched’ off the stage. Obama will win by a landslide!

Before we criticize Obama’s stance on the Israeli/Palestinian issue, we must first take into consideration of how mad-bomber McCain and easy-rider Hillary will fit into this picture.

McCain is a rabid warrior; Bush on steroids! But what you may not have heard is an extended critique of the kind of Commander in Chief that Captain McCain might be. To combat what he likes to call the transcendent challenge of ‘Radical Islamic Extremism’. Radical Fundamentalist McCain is drawing up plans for a new set of global institutions, from a potent covert operations unit to a ‘League of Democracies’ that can bypass the balky United Nations, from an expanded NATO that will bump up against Russian interests in Central Asia and the Caucasus to a revived US unilateralism that will engage in ‘rogue state rollback’ against his version of the ‘axis of evil.’ In all, it’s a new apparatus designed to carry the ‘war on terror’ deep into the twenty-first century. For McCain, the Iraq War, the conflict with Iran, the Arab-Israeli dispute, the war in Afghanistan, the Pakistani crisis and the lack of democracy in Egypt, Saudi Arabia and Jordan are all rolled up into one “transcendent” ball of wax – ‘Us’ against ‘Them’.


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By laughoutloud, March 25, 2008 at 12:01 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

people who support hillary clinton are either:

a) rich
b) female
c) white males who have a hard time with women and use their support for hillary as an ice-breaker.

anyone who does their homework on the candidates and remembers from elementary school how to play connect the dots would know that for the greater good of america, hillary is NOT the wise choice.

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By Marshall, March 25, 2008 at 11:57 am Link to this comment

You’re absolutely right Tony.  I’m a conservative and even I can see that, for liberals, a vote for Nader is a wasted vote.  And Truthdig actually chooses this self-delusional article as its featured headline.  You’d think Scheer would know better - I know he’s smarter than that.

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By Sue Cook, March 25, 2008 at 11:42 am Link to this comment

I concur, brava!

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By Saddler, March 25, 2008 at 11:37 am Link to this comment

Let’s all give our votes to third parties, and then we can think about how moral and pure we are as McCain does things as president that would make Hillary’s most corrupt advisers blush. We will lose so good, as the left loves to do.

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By KimbaKristin, March 25, 2008 at 11:13 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

While I’m an Obama supporter, I can certainly appreciate having Nadar and McKinney’s voices in the race—and my respect goes to their supporters.

However, this is about the last argument I would make in support of either of them. Why? I wholeheartedly believe that Obama and Clinton are committed to getting us out of this war. They just doesn’t want to be reckless about it.

Even Mother Jones—hardly a bastion of hawkish, right-wing thinking—recently ran a story on the complexities of extricating us quickly from Iraq. I’d hope that whoever is elected president won’t be foolish enought to ignore these complexities.

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By Muscleboy, March 25, 2008 at 11:07 am Link to this comment

Hillary Clinton has stated for years that she will remove the Bush criminal fascist monkey-brained idiot administrations military bases in Iraq; in fact both Obama and Clinton have made that very clear.  They have said that after pulling out all forces there may be a small residual force left in Kurdistan but the primary force posture will be from bases, ships and other modalities outside of Iraq. The Bush mass-murdering Hitlerian psycho-fascist cabal has made it clear they want something like 14 of the largest most espensive military bases in the world in Iraq permanently.  McCain has fully accepted this Bush program and of course eagerly added that we will have 100 years of non-stop war.

Both Obama and Clinton are very near identical they want to remove all US military bases in Iraq engage with friendly diplomacy with the nations of Iran and Syria who are and should always be our friends although both say clearly that the security of Israel will remain at the forefront.

This and many other things like the immediate shut-down of Guantanamo and the formal charging of anyone in US courts that is not sent back to their home country hopefully with a big I AM HORRIBLY SORRY WE HAD A FASCIST RAPIST MASS-MURDERER FOR A PRESIDENT repayment for their and their families tragic experience with the USA.  Make it clear to these people this is NOT THE USA it is a band of psychotic freaks called neocons and Bush-monkeys and doesn’t represent the greater people of the USA.

No I’m afraid it’s clear we don’t need Ralph Nader and Cynthia McKinney to save us and rebuild us from the horror of the child-killing Bush cabal.  Although I would certainly like to see them both do something other than run for an office they couldn’t possibly do anything but give more votes to McCain.  Like why not work in the Democratic administration to make sure it is as progressive and decent as it can be.  Why not work to inform people.  We don’t have a press and that’s partly why our Democratic system is so dysfunctional that we could let a degenerate amoral bunch of mobsters run our great nation.  Although I should make it clear i do not believe Bush won either election.

Hillary Clinton and/or Barrack Obama are both a million billion trillion times better than Bush.  They are not the same and it is a big lie to say they are.  I think it also may be part of the Republicans effort to push support from them over to the impossibly Nader/Kinney team in order to boost chances for Bush II (McCain).  God that’s the last thing we need.  Funny how we don’t hear much from Nader anymore except during elections.  I mean it’s not like we don’t have the worst prison system in the world there is plenty for him to inform people about and work on other than de facto supporting the Republicans every four years.

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By Brock, March 25, 2008 at 11:04 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Absolutely wrong.

You know whose fault it is that we have GW Bush?
The people who voted for GW Bush.

Did you vote for Al Gore?
Should I blame you that Ralph Nader lost?

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By Steve, March 25, 2008 at 10:54 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Actually this article is completely wrong.  There is one true antiwar candidate in this race and he happens to be a republican. Ron Paul has a proven track record of voting for a non interventionist foreign policy!! He is the only candidate that does what he says and says what he means!!  But of course because of blind ideology most on the left and on the right will ignore him or characterizes him. If you want a true antiwar candidate then you better wake up!!

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By Bert, March 25, 2008 at 10:41 am Link to this comment
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Ironically Nader would have proved himself a true statesman and therefore worthy of being President if he had at the last moment strongly thrown his votes to Gore. As it is, I can never forgive him for his help in giving us 8 years of disaster which we cannot as a country or as a planet afford.
And Hedges wants a repeat????

We should support grassroots efforts OUTSIDE of the electoral process, like MoveOn, Truthdig and Truthout, the impeachment efforts, and other things we believe in. There we should say exactly what we think and be uncompromising.  But we should NOT let divisive issues interfere in the presidential campaign to the point of getting a Republican elected. That is just plain STUPID.

I am right now very pissed at Bill for his slippery tongue-slips about Obama. Partly because of that I am now pro-Obama. BUT:
I don’t really care WHO gets in as long as it is a Democrat. That has to be our number-one priority. Hillary would be infinitely better than McCain.

I AM extremely irritated with Pelosi et al for not pushing for impeachment. I think that would have been (and be) the best way to defang the Bushies, and the only honest response to what has gone on.

BUT: we are fighting not just McCain, not just Bush: also we are fighting Rupert Murdoch, the New York Times, the Wall Steet Journal, Halliburton, Blackwater… throwing our votes away with Nader will serve no purpose whatsoever.

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By Lee, March 25, 2008 at 10:27 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Acknowledging an ignorant idiot like Cynthia McKinney ... let alone accepting her participation in the political system is ridiculous. This person should be totally ignored!!!

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By franco stalini, March 25, 2008 at 10:27 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

reading thru so many comments and all have in common
the anti-war and anti-subservience to the state positions. Agreed?? so , why aren’t any of you
praising the one and only person to have those positions and to have been unyielding and consistent
and moreover, brilliant economically the whole past 20 plus years!!!!!mckinney and nader are both ego- driven demagogues
with only enough sense to oppose the war but not enough to know better than to kill the american spirit of ingenuity with more government “good intentions” which equal socialism and decay of mind and motivation for all who follow it!
and for real perspective on our democracy, read John Flynn or Ron Paul or Paul Craig Roberts,etc. PLEASE.

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By Tony Wicher, March 25, 2008 at 10:26 am Link to this comment

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? How many troops will we need? Like 40,000? No, either the occupation ends or it doesn’t. Ending it means getting all the way out, not leaving 40,000 troops. Like Vietnam, in other words. I fear that Obama does not understand this. As a strong Obama supporter, I will start to make this point within the campaign.

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By Gmonst, March 25, 2008 at 10:18 am Link to this comment

I totally agree!  Barack Obama is the best mainstream candidate for president I have ever seen.  To throw that chance away at this important time is just stupid.

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By ntc, March 25, 2008 at 10:17 am Link to this comment
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It’s really quite simple.  If “5-6%” of the electorate goes for Nader, then the election will go to McCain.  And we will probably go to war with Iran.  If war with Iran is what you want, then by all means, vote for Nader.  You can always feel good about your protest vote.

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By Gmonst, March 25, 2008 at 10:16 am Link to this comment

The way I see it this is not the year for protest votes.  I have made my share of them and will probably do so again.  However, I have come to accept that I simply have a more progressive outlook than the mainstream of America.  Like it or not that is where I am at.  I can choose to be uncompromising and vote for a candidate I agree almost completely with such as Nader or McKinney.  I could do that, but I would rather be realistic and vote for the best choice who will most represent my ideals and actually have a chance at winning and making some changes.  I think that person is Obama.  A vote for a third party candidate at this time is basically a wasted vote.  I think that in this presidential cycle to stand on the sidelines and not try to influence the mainstream to pick the best realistic candidate is really foolish at best and dangerous at worst.  I think we sometimes loose site of the fact that the mainstream is called the mainstream because its where the majority of the people are.  At this time the best way to steer the mainstream toward the progressive path I would like to see for the United States is to vote for Obama, not to throw your hands up in frustration and vote for someone without any chance of winning or making a difference.  There are genuine differences between the remaining mainstream candidates.  In such a time, with so much at stake, its important to have a realistic impact on the outcome.  Not to mention that Obama is the closest we have had to a truly progressive presidential candidate in my adult life, and he can win!

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By thebeerdoctor, March 25, 2008 at 10:13 am Link to this comment

Tony you are right on the mark. One of the great gifts of the 24/7 spin machine is that they have totally marginalized the Iraq war vote. That is why you have Mrs. Clinton refusing to admit that her vote for authorization was a ghastly mistake. The “if I had known then what I know now” just does not cut it when you consider that there were 23 Senators who did say No. What did Senator Boxer or Stabenow know that the Senator from New York was not aware of? Barack Obama is not being smarmy when he points out that the resolution was titled: A joint resolution to authorize the use of United States Armed Forces against Iraq. What is ambiguous about that?

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By Typical White Person, March 25, 2008 at 9:59 am Link to this comment

Cynthia brought herself down, she was just as egotistical as Mr. Mayor himself. She felt sh was above the law, she got what she deserved.

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By thebeerdoctor, March 25, 2008 at 9:55 am Link to this comment

Yes that is the man.

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By Typical White Person, March 25, 2008 at 9:52 am Link to this comment

Bravo, about time someone actually stood up to the politicians, a real DA, doing her job, Bravo again

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By drawlr, March 25, 2008 at 9:50 am Link to this comment
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The only reason I can think of that Mr. Hedges omitted Ron Paul from the choices is that he must be a socialist at heart.  Sure, Nader and McKinney want to bring the troops home, but what is their domestic policy?  Nader and McKinney are welfare-statists, i.e. socialists.  Ron Paul wants to bring home the troops, use the money to meet obligations that the government has made, such as Social Security (even though he disagrees with the underlying philosophy), and then let Americans keep a lot more of their money.  If he had his druthers, he’d dismantle the federal government down to its bare-bones constitutional functions.  I doubt you will hear either McKinney or Nader advocate such a thing.

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By BeefTanker, March 25, 2008 at 9:47 am Link to this comment
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Ron Paul doesn’t think evolution is real.  He believes in creationism.  That is sad.  I don’t want another person running the country that doesn’t have the brains to understand the basics of biology.  We need science.  He thinks we don’t.  No thanks to him.  I will take a Nadar.  Not a wasted vote.  At least I won’t have blood on my hands.  Maybe someday we will get out of the mind set of a two party system.  Others laugh at us.

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By Tony Wicher, March 25, 2008 at 9:47 am Link to this comment

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.

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By Typical White Person, March 25, 2008 at 9:25 am Link to this comment

Lawrence Mass, East St. Louis and Gary Ind.have been crapholes for for over 30 years. Lawrence went into the toilet during the late 60s early 70s, Gary crapped out after the steel mills left and that was in the 60,s,Lawrence was a mill town on the Merrimack River, can’t pollute and stay in business, Gary had competition from other steel mills, and Europe, after Europe it was Japan, and the only one I haven’t been to is Hattiesburg, I do see something in common with all the cities though, and it’s not who was in office at the time the cities went down the tubes….

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By Tony Wicher, March 25, 2008 at 9:18 am Link to this comment

Here we have the most able politician I have seen in my lifetime with a real chance to become President, Barack Obama, and Hedges tells us to go into the phone both with him and vote for Nader for president of the phone booth. Some choice. I’m every bid as anti-war as Hedges is, and I say that if you want to isolate the anti-war movement and make it irrelevent, listen to him. If you want a sane, peace oriented foreign policy for this country, vote for Barack Obama.

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By niloroth, March 25, 2008 at 9:17 am Link to this comment

It is very sad and very telling that you think that the one provides proof for the other.

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By Joe Sixpack, March 25, 2008 at 9:02 am Link to this comment

That ‘snake’ as you describe her just happens to be the best candidate we have, like it or not. We Democrats were well-positioned for the fall election.  We had two issues we could run and win on:  1) the war and 2) the economy.  Instead we’re going to run on “racial reconciliation”. This one-third-of-one-term junior senator from IL is our best hope? Please. One quick listen to Wright-Wing Radio like Rush Limbaugh will convince you of the uphill battle our “most liberal Senator” will have against McCain. Why you’d want to nominate a candidate who couldn’t win his own party’s primary in CA, MA, NH, NJ, TX, FL, MI, NY, OH, TN, MO, AK, AZ, NV (did I miss any?) is just beyond me.  As Lloyd Bentsen said:  that dog don’t hunt.

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By Typical White Person, March 25, 2008 at 9:00 am Link to this comment

Expensive Shit-He Miss Road
Coffin For Head of State
Opposite People
Before I Jump Like Monkey Give
Teacher Don’t Teach Me No Nonsense
you mean this Fela Kuti?

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By Typical White Person, March 25, 2008 at 8:53 am Link to this comment

Only if your an African American Woman. The cop didn’t know who she was, because her corn-rows were out. Likely story

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By John Caruso, March 25, 2008 at 8:53 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

oketa: Regarding “a hawk in the White House who wants to spend even more money on the military than we already are”, this is Obama’s official position:

Expand the Military: We have learned from Iraq that our military needs more men and women in uniform to reduce the strain on our active force. Obama will increase the size of ground forces, adding 65,000 soldiers to the Army and 27,000 Marines.

There’s certainly no “change” there.  Regardless, if we’re willing to settle indefinitely for “at least some change”, that’s all we’ll ever get.

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By Bill Blackolive, March 25, 2008 at 8:42 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

While I also keep hoping Obama is just awaiting to get in, he surely is the best boxer.  You cannot disregard this immense talent, and with heart.  Maybe he is part time schizoid in a schizoid nation, but like Jesse Jackson the man has some heart, whatever his conflict.  I don’t know, then, what he could exactly maybe do, and not be shot.  We will see. But Nader is beat on so much he went to acting like he needs more love, in this most indoctrinated nation, I don’t know.  But, wow, Cynthia McKinney is still slugging.  She is the best.

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By Chuck Scharf, March 25, 2008 at 8:38 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

These naive leftists still amazingly don’t seem to understand, or refuse to admit, that war is, more than anything else, the ultimate Government Program.  Statists of both the left and the right, i.e., Clinton, Obama, McCain, Nader, McKinney, Bush, Cheney, Wilson, Roosevelt, and all the rest, will forever be trying to find a way to get us into one.

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By TrevorAlan, March 25, 2008 at 8:23 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Well at least someone has come up with a new face to lead left-wing objectors in McKinney.  I’m not voting for her but at least she represents a chance to bring a new generation of protest to the fore, rather than relying on the increasingly self-centered Nader (I just don’t undersand the continuing fascination with someone whose day has so obviously passed).  At least she represents a real chance to build the Green Party rather than just the cult of personality that has become saint Ralph.

But I want to object to one thing. In her pantheon she lists Venezula as country choosing peace. I am sure the people want it, but its President Chavez seems to be amping up wars with surrounding nations, so I am not sure his is a great example to suggest.

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By Joe Sixpack, March 25, 2008 at 7:31 am Link to this comment

“I think what we really need is a bunch of old, bald-headed guys like me—about 100,000 of us—to storm the white house and relieve Mr. President of his “hard work” duties. The police might be heartless enough to bash in only a couple of our heads…”

We don’t need to bother storm Washington. We can simply choose to open our wallets and support Senator Clinton (D) NY in her bid to become the first woman President of the United States. She has the plans and the wisdom to unite not just the minority races but the entire human race. How wonderful it would be to change the whole history of male-dominated politics-as-usual? How refreshing would it be for America to suddenly have a World leader rather than a World Dominator in the highest office of the land?

Take a stand and support Hillary Clinton in her effort to end our dependance on foreign oil, create millions of green-collar jobs and once again make the United States the world leader in emerging technology that removes the shackles of the oil industries. Let’s elect this woman and watch what happens when an administration moves into the White House and hits the tough issues head on without making years of rookie mistakes. She’s been there, done that and has a drawer full of t-shirts to show for it. Let’s elect an experienced woman who can not only dream about a more perfect union, but who can deliver us one too. Supporting Hillary is not a vote against hope and change, it’s providing the nation and the world with a real leader who can ease our financial burdens, improve our schools, revitialize our industry, redistribute the treasure the military industrial complex demands we spend to maintain dominance, teach us that the best way to protect our families is without a gun, rebuild our crumbling national infastructure. Ask yourself why you’d want to support anyone else. If the answer is a negitive like “a stain on Monica’s Blue Dress” or a racially-motivated distraction from the more important issues then know we should be hoping for much more than that in a candidate. Dare to dream bigger.

BTW I laughed at your ‘bald-headed’ comments. Whenever I see a soilder I try to speak with them. I offer a personal thank you for their service and sacrifice that this old, fat, bald guy can’t provide anymore. I always get a big smile and a chuckle from our troopers. Next time you see someone in uniform I hope you choose to thank them for be willing to obey the orders of leaders they not agree with any more than you do. They are our best and brightest and love our country more than we civilians can ever know.

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By Joshua Katz, March 25, 2008 at 6:52 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Nader and McKinney are, I think, good choices for anti-war voters.  But to say that they are the only 2 choices is disingenuous.  Although the Libertarian Party has not yet nominated a candidate, it seems highly likely that the LP candidate will be anti-war.  All the major frontrunners - Root, Smith, Ruwart, and Barr - are anti-war.  What’s more, unlike Nader and McKinney, the LP candidate also will advocate peace within the country as well.  They will not advocate the use of government force against innocent citizens.

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By David Malbuff, March 25, 2008 at 6:14 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

If I vote for Cynthia McKinney, will I be allowed to hit a cop and get away with it?

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By Leefeller, March 25, 2008 at 6:12 am Link to this comment

Good post, it tells us the same people who said Impeachment is off the table, is bringing us their selected choices for us. 

No they do not care about the people, we the people are expendable, like surfs to inhance the wealth of the Plutocracy.

Build on fear and ignorance to keep differences real or perceived to enhance division among the people.

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By Conservative Yankee, March 25, 2008 at 6:05 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

That was a good one!  How many cities have you visited?

Lawrence (Mass)
Patterson (N.J.)
East St. Louis (Ill)
Gary (Ind)
Compton (Calif)
Hattiesburg (Miss)
Miami, (FL)
Cleveland, (OH)

and a hundred more small towns and cities abandoned by years of Bush-Clinton-Bush economic policy which puts US workers and the jobs and businesses which support them, LAST behind personal ambition, huberous, and greed.

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By Joe Sixpack, March 25, 2008 at 5:41 am Link to this comment

Perhaps you’d rather spend a trillion or so more dollars on a few brand new carrier battle groups to protect American interests in the middle east? That’s what the military would recommend purchasing if we suddenly lost the support of Israel in the region. Regardless of what your political beliefs are or how much you want things to be different Cyrena, we are completely screwed without oil. Please don’t insult me by calling me an imperialist. I don’t believe that America has any more right to invade other countries to separate them from their natural resources than the Japanese had in the 1940s or the Soviets had in invading Afghanistan in the 1980s. World history books are filled with examples of Imperialism. Pick your favorite and I’m against it. But I certainly understand your need to frame me into a box you can easily rail against. You disagree with me on issues and so that makes me somehow evil and vile. That’s all so very enlightened of you.  Liberal elitism will lose us another winnable election. Get fired up and ready to go!
I think most Americans are grateful to have a friendly nation in that region.  Long before there was a massive liberal movement to mitigate the racist sins of our fathers,  and thank goodness that Obama can make us ‘typical white people’ feel better about all the racial issues that still divide us, there was the guilt for not having done more, sooner to protect Jews from Hitler’s gas chambers.  They will never let us forget, not that we ever should.
Like it or hate it, America is completely dependent on foreign oil. The Neocons can give us all the lectures about freedom and spreading democracy they want, but I will always believe the reason we invaded Iraq was to secure the most important strategic interest we have, oil. America has foolishly based the entire economy on petroleum products, literally paving our streets, diapering our children and wrapping our garbage with it. While I would personally much rather see us spend the billions of dollars we provide Israel in military credits annually in the development of alternative energy sources, I am in the minority. As long as we as a nation continue to believe that spending $4 to drive, on average 20 miles, is a small enough price to pay. As long as the people of Maine continue to pay $3.59.9 for a single gallon of home heating oil that can add up to average over $1000 a month annually, corporations and politicians that profit from these transactions will say anything and do anything to hold on to power over those markets.  America is hardly the only country completely dependent on an oil economy. 
My point about the Israeli nuclear stockpile was this. Would you trade the stabilizing effect we have on Israel during times of crisis, like when the SCUDS were falling and the IDF nuclear weapons were wheeled out of storage facilities, assembled and made ready for immediate deployment (in the full view of satellites), for a couple of billion dollars? Let me ask it in a different way. How would you drive to your ‘corporate plantation’ if the major oil producing countries were made permanently uninhabitable in a post nuclear exchange in that tiny region?  Let me ask the question in a third way. How much can I expect to pay to fill my Camry (It cost $51 yesterday) when no people can safely enter the oil fields ever again and oil drilling must be done robotically using technology that doesn’t exist today and could take 5-10 years to implement, starting the day after the bombs fall? Forget the last question because we won’t need cars anymore if that happens.

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By Joe Sixpack, March 25, 2008 at 5:40 am Link to this comment

You think this is a ridiculous argument don’t you? I submit to you that the Israelis will never allow themselves to be pushed into anything even close to resembling a gas chamber ever again.
Piss the Israelis of at your own peril. I’d appreciate it also if you refrain from projecting the hatred you have for the Bush administration onto me. I don’t remember lying to all of the citizens of this country (including a certain senator from New York), making the case for, and then prosecuting an illegal war. I don’t remember sending over 4,000 young men and women to their deaths. This death toll most recently includes a young man from Bethel, Maine killed by a mortar round on Saturday.  It was the bastards Bush and Cheney who sent our kids into harm’s way out of sheer laziness and pure greed, not me. Lazy because we could have spent the treasure, put our young people to work and enriched our country at the same time by investing in new energy technologies. How refreshing it would be to elect the woman who has pledged billions of post-war dollars into creating alternative energy sources, reviving high-paying manufacturing jobs in our great state and creating millions of green collar jobs across our nation. Making Detroit the electric car capitol of the world should be everyone’s dream. I understand that you prefer a guy who, whenever he hears a good plan says, “Oh yeah, I agree completely in what she just said.” You go right ahead and support him.
I’ll never call you names or systematically demean you on a public web site because I respect your intellect, your writing ability and your wonderful spirit, but I respectfully disagree with you

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By cyrena, March 25, 2008 at 5:05 am Link to this comment


I only just got a chance to look at the thing. Kind of creepy. I hope he’s lying.

I specifically heard him say..NO PERMANENT BASES.

On that much, he seems to stay true to his word.

But, if he wants to keep the Green Zone operational, as well as the Embassy..that’s still too much.

Yeah, I know…nobody wants to think of turning that billion dollar Embassy back over to the Iraqis. But hey, that’s the price you pay for trying to take over another country.

And, there’s no such thing as keeping ‘a few’ there for the maintenance of the Green Zone, (The US Capitol of Baghdad) and the Embassy, the (not yet completed) largest Embassy in the world. (already having construction problems from shoddy contractor work).

BUT, it DOES explain, (what I’d already figured out) about him not signing on to the bill. I knew there was more to it. I didn’t know that he had long, long, ago initiated legislation to put them under some sort of control, to address what Condi Rice has been calling a ‘loophole’ in the law, that allowed them to murder with impunity.

THAT was not a ‘loophole’ but a provision of Paul Bremers Provisional Coalition Authority. So, at least he tried long ago to correct it, and it looks like his legislation will pass the Senate, as it has passed in the House. I don’t know how easy that will be to enforce, but it’s better than letting them get away with murder, as they have least when they can be caught and identified.

That Hillary is a snake…

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By Dr. Knowitall, PhD, PhD, March 25, 2008 at 4:23 am Link to this comment

If you threw a lot of nukes at oil land, would the nukes make the oil unuseable, especially if it’s only a few feet underground?  How would you ever get it out, even if it were useable?  Everyone in protective suits? 

I don’t think we need to worry—at least until after the oil is gone.  Then again, maybe nookyouler enriched oil might just be the answer to all our energy problems. I hope the world’s Oppenheimers and Drakes, those really brilliant people whose brains have done so much for the world, aren’t, even as I write, working on that possibility right now, but stranger things have happened. 

Look for nookyouler hybrids coming to a dealership in your area soon along with huge tax incentives, compliments of the White House and congress.

I think what we really need is a bunch of old, bald-headed guys like me—about 100,000 of us—to storm the white house and relieve Mr. President of his “hard work” duties. The police might be heartless enough to bash in only a couple of our heads. 

I’ve had a good life—until 2000. I don’t include ‘41 to ‘45.  And except for 1950-1980 (Korea and Viet Nam). Then BushWarI and BushWarII.  Oh, yeah, I forgot, scratch the Ray Gun years.  Cripes!  Have I been fooling myself?????

All this brought to us by the Dems and the Repubs. Dr. Phil says, “The best predictor of future behaviour is past behaviour.”  Hedges is right.

Old Bald-headed Guys, UNITE!!!

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By Doug, March 25, 2008 at 3:01 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

I don’t believe the Libertarian party has chosen a candidate yet, but it’s an absolute certainty that, whoever it is, he or she will be opposed to the war. The LP has been consistently antiwar from its inception. And, unlike Nader and McKinney, both of whose knowledge of economics could fit on the head of a pin, the Libertarian candidate will not espouse domestic policies that would render half the country unemployed.

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By thebeerdoctor, March 25, 2008 at 2:29 am Link to this comment

How many among the Truthdig posters are familiar with the music of the late Nigerian musician Fela Kuti? During a recent retrospective of his recordings I came to the realization that Fela was one of the most conscious persons, when it came to political hypocrisy. The price he paid for putting truth to power as it were, along with his challenging, unconventional way of living, was very high indeed.
I could say to go to Google, where there are some interesting articles. But the best way to get at Fela’s art is to listen to his recordings. For my part, he was an Afrobeat musical genius. If he was around today, 11 years after his death, he would observe our present political situation here in America, and probably say: “teacher don’t teach me nonsense.”

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By cyrena, March 25, 2008 at 1:58 am Link to this comment

Amen!! It’s all true. I’m one of the one’s that ‘gets it’. wink

Matter of fact, I knew a few years in, (at the Corporate Plantation) that I was ‘expendable’, and it’s good to recognize reality. It doesn’t necessarily increase one’s options, but it’s still good to know the deal. THEY DON’T CARE!!

So…great minds and all of that…I remembered the same thing (maybe at the same time) about Dr. Know-it-all hoping Obama was lying. (at least about a few things).

So, I guess I have to admit to accepting that there are times, when lying is necessary. I hate admitting that publicly, but…it’s the reality. It’s one of the few times when one can legitimately use the lamest of excuses…“They made me do it”.

Or, in my business, one of those occassions when in order to uphold one law, we gotta violate another one.

It’s all so complicated. Doesn’t have to be. is…

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By Outraged, March 25, 2008 at 1:15 am Link to this comment

Thank you Chris.

During Jeremy Scahill’s interview at the Winter Soldier event it’s clear where the candidates stand.  Scahill ought to know, he wrote the book on Blackwater.  Before anyone “rules out” anyone, it’s best to have all the facts.

The thing everyone seems to be forgetting are all the nasty little facts which don’t agree with our stomach.  THE FACT IS: Kucinich and Gravel were NOT pushed out by the Republicans.  They were pushed out BY THE DEMOCRATS!

What does that tell you about whose running the show, behind the scenes for the democratic party?  If the democratic party was really about bringing control back into the people’s hands, why did they EVEN EARLY ON, marginalize those who would have done that.

Don’t be misled.  I believe it was Dr. Know it all, a while back who said, I hope Obama’s lying….some of us agreed, I still hope that, we will see how it all pans out.

We know Clinton’s out already, the numbers are in on this thing.  The only option she has is to pull in enough superdelegates who will vote AGAINST THE WISHES OF THE PEOPLE.  If she does…who will you vote for?  Maybe the Green Party will start looking a little more palatable then.

If Clinton pulls off the scenario above, and she just may…., GREEN IS YOUR ONLY OPTION.

Nader’s quote: “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.”

He’s right…and some people don’t like that reality.  Some… DON’T EVEN GET IT! Either way that doesn’t change the facts.  That this is what’s happening.  Look at what these corps have done to third world countries.  Do you really believe they value America’s minions more or that they see you as anything more than expendable!  Wake up.  They DO NOT CARE if they kill you, and already in America today THOUSANDS die or are injured on the job, many will never work again.  This very same group/complex will sacrifice your blood on the battlefield, it’s one and the same to them.

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By Slagfish, March 25, 2008 at 12:38 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Given the corporate ownership of the two major political parties, a third party is absolutely essential.  Gotta start somewhere.  Might as well start with the greens or Nader. It’ll be a long and rocky road to success and we may not get there, but a journey of a thousand miles begins with the first step.

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By John Caruso, March 25, 2008 at 12:17 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

cyrena: Chris’s research is fine, but it appears you haven’t been listening to what Obama has been saying about Israel.  Someone already covered Lebanon, but here was Obama addressing Israel’s attacks on Gaza (in the form of a letter to US ambassador to the UN Zalmay Khalilzad):


Dear Ambassador Khalilzad,

I understand that today the UN Security Council met regarding the situation in Gaza, and that a resolution or statement could be forthcoming from the Council in short order.

I urge you to ensure that the Security Council issue no statement and pass no resolution on this matter that does not fully condemn the rocket assault Hamas has been conducting on civilians in southern Israel.

All of us are concerned about the impact of closed border crossings on Palestinian families. However, we have to understand why Israel is forced to do this. Israel has the right to respond while seeking to minimize any impact on civilians.

The Security Council should clearly and unequivocally condemn the rocket attacks. If it cannot bring itself to make these common sense points, I urge you to ensure that it does not speak at all.


Barack Obama


If you choose to support Obama that’s up to you, but you should at least do it with no illusions about his actual positions—especially on the topic of Israel and the Palestinians, where his support for Israel’s crimes has been unwavering.

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By cyrena, March 24, 2008 at 11:17 pm Link to this comment

Ah but Maani,

I was very, very, serious. After reading your tripe for all of this time, there’s no doubt in my mind that you certainly have the POTENTIAL to be as dangerous as Rove.

You just don’t have the opportunity. If you did, you wouldn’t be posting here.

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By 911truthdotorg, March 24, 2008 at 9:35 pm Link to this comment

Pentagon report finds no evidence of Saddam attempt to assassinate Bush ......and people STILL believe the 9/11 scam!!! _evidence_of_0324.html

9/11 WAS an inside job!

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By oketa, March 24, 2008 at 8:48 pm Link to this comment

Unfortunately, voting for Nader in hopes of change is naïve.  If you waste your vote on him, McCain will win, and we will be stuck with a hawk in the White House who wants to spend even more money on the military than we already are.

McCain also supports the disastrous economic policies of the Bush regime.  We cannot afford the risk of him getting elected by pursuing idealism.

Obama might not be perfect, but he is our best hope for at least some change.

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By amunaor, March 24, 2008 at 6:50 pm Link to this comment

The birth pangs began with Constantine’s amalgamation and lust for empire, Sol In Victus.

Peace, Best Wishes and Hope

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By PatrickHenry, March 24, 2008 at 6:26 pm Link to this comment

I voted for him in the Maryland Primary, had to change to a Republican to do it. 

I pray he makes the General Ballot one way or another.

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By Dr. Knowitall, PhD, PhD, March 24, 2008 at 6:00 pm Link to this comment

And a “secure world” is one in which working class people are kept at bay and made to kow tow to a tyrannical, oppressive government, perhaps an oligarchy or a plutocracy.  And it doesn’t listen to reason and it doesn’t listen to the ballot box.  Doesn’t leave much choice, does it?

Don’t worry about the Blackwaters of the world.  Our military will hunt them down and squash them like a beetle, unless, of course, they’re in Iraq or Viet Nam. 

How bad does it have to get here, beerdoctor, before you’d welcome a Blackwater to blow our government out of DC?

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By buck, March 24, 2008 at 4:55 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

yeah vote for ralph, elect mccain.  learned nothing from 2000? your vote of integrity in 2000 got us our Iraq now. yes it is your fault.
remove your head, your brain needs some air.

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By cyrena, March 24, 2008 at 3:28 pm Link to this comment

You don’t seem to have much of a sense of geography there Joe in Maine, though your own imperialist mentality certainly shows though.

Israel has been sitting on those tons of nukes for over 30 years. WHY? To protect ITSELF, being the little tiny place that it is, and needing all the fire and other power it can possibly obtain, in order to force its way on a region where they are a very tiny majority.

Tiny though they may be, they want to own all the land, all the air, all the water, and all the fish in the sea, and let’s not forget to mention all the oil in the Middle East.

The problem is that just having a nuclear weapon in every Israeli garage, or under every citizens’ bed, is of limited value to them, if the deadly stuff can whisk right back at them. (limited geographical space there)

Meantime, tell us why WE the people (of the US)should be so grateful, (for other than the obvious reasons that we know you don’t care about – humanity) that the Israelis didn’t nuke Iraq? Is that because YOU –like the thugs in the White House- figure that Iraq belongs to US, and that Israel would have destroyed OUR property?

Well, even for an imperialist like yourself, that wouldn’t have done us a damn bit of good, since the nuking of Iraq or anywhere else in the Middle East, would surely put your precious OIL loot out of reach and inaccessible for decades to come. THAT’S why Israel didn’t nuke Iraq, and instead had the US destroy the country by other means.

Now explain why the US needs allies/friends in the region, unless it’s because the US intends OWNERSHIP of the region, in conjunction with Israel?

Will it piss Israel off if we stop giving them $3billion dollars of our tax dollars (annually) and if we stop supplying them with billions more ($22.7 last year) in weaponry?  Do ya think THAT would piss them off?

If so, who do you think they’ll ‘take it out’ on?

You say we should piss them off at our own peril, so I guess that means they’ll come attack US, here in the US? With the weapons that we’ve provided for them?

Gee…what else could you mean?

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By Maani, March 24, 2008 at 3:15 pm Link to this comment


“...the Maani-Rove poison…”

Now, that’s a low blow, even for you…LOL.


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By cyrena, March 24, 2008 at 2:58 pm Link to this comment

You’ve got a point Non Credo.

I can’t argue it. I’ll only say that as much as it dismays me that he didn’t come out and denounce it, we know why. He wouldn’t stand a chance.

And, that’s how politics so corrupts…and all because of…ISRAEL..the cancer that just keeps on growing.

I recently read a headline that said that Isreal was demanding (with a straight face) that Obama pronounce FEALTY to Israel!!


I don’t think that’s gonna happen.

I mean…come on…when does the insanity end?

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By amunaor, March 24, 2008 at 2:29 pm Link to this comment

To those still floundering in a delusional world, thinking we still have even the slightest semblance of Democratic principles woven throughout our body politic, those principles were scattered to the wind in 1913, leaving us with an Oligarchy of Corporate power, the biggest Corporation of all being the Military Industrial Complex – The Merchants of Death. This power has been taken out of the hands of its citizenry and concentrated into the hands of the corporate elite. We’ve all witnessed how such misappropriated force can be easily abused to satisfy the debauchery of a base ego; to enforce the whims of empire and a greed driven corporate expansion.

The Bush clan, corporate raiders (Brown Brothers Harriman, Carlyle Group, Halliburton, Kellogg Brown and Root, etc…) are the ‘robber barrons’ progeny of greed that in 1913, by deceitful means, centralized the power of money in the Federal Reserve, a continuing saga. From 1913 onwards, when the bulk of U.S. corporate laws were unleashed, the subsequent stewards of the Constitution, having fallen asleep or seduced by its power, ignore the lofty insights of its founders, instead some chose to wallow in the same corporate trough of base human nature.

Peace, Best Wishes and Hope

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By liber8US, March 24, 2008 at 2:06 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

You’re damn right!
Dr. Paul is the only candidate STILL IN THE RACE that can be counted on to have the brains and courage to do what is necessary to make America prosperous for the general electorate in the future.
You others think Ron Paul’s views are just too radical?
What’s so unradical about the massive dollar devaluation(that Ron predicted by the way) that is already upon us?
You think it’s over now that the FED(which Paul would get rid of) has loaned JPMorgan millions in order to buy out Bear Stearns(in a shadowy weekend, mafia-like deal) for just a sliver of the stock value?
This is merely the beginning of a financial tsunami that will leave the people BEGGING for the Amero as a replacement currency while the perpetrators of this charade(Bear Stearns paid billions in “Bonuses” in February) are laughing their asses off with fine food and drink on the yachts your money paid for.
If you let the candidates chosen by the corporates win, you deserve the misery that will inevitably ensue, because in case you can’t do math, the US Treasury is the most indebted in the entire WORLD.
Just check the CIA facts book if you don’t believe me!
I will write in Ron Paul, if for no other reason than to screw up the tallies in the Diebold vote-flopping machines.
What are you going to do?

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By cyrena, March 24, 2008 at 1:35 pm Link to this comment

Dr. Know-it-all,

I’m pretty sure Pelosi does NOT wanna know. It’s called willfull ignorance. It could have happened at least 3 years ago, when Cynthia McKinney was putting the paperwork together on her own.

She finally did file a resolution for it, just before she was kicked out of the Congress, but of course everybody ignored it, and the press labled it as ‘symbolic’.

Then we see what happened when Kucinich tried. Ron Paul shut him right down, and Pelosi did nothing.

But yes..Bravo to Wayne County. Much respect to them for doing what they have to do.


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By cyrena, March 24, 2008 at 1:25 pm Link to this comment


Nobody could have said it better here. And, that’s the truth.

On this…

•  “But, we’ve already seen what happens to outspoken people like this, just as Kucinich was marginalized and diminished in the public mind, trashed as being unelectable, so too would Cynthia become chewed up and spat out.”

It’s already happened to her. (Cynthia McKinney) and it was UGLY. It was even more petty and nastier than what is being hurled at Obama, but not on as wide a scale, because she wasn’t that widely known outside of her district.

Still, they came down on this woman with a couple of doses of the Maani-Rove poison, and that was it. Caused her to lose her seat in the 2006 contests, when we were actually able to add some democrats to the ticket.

Anyway, while I’ve always admired her, we’ve already seen what they’ll do to her. I mean Dennis Kucinich was intentionally marginalized, as were a few others, but this woman was swift-boated, Maani style, except the people who swiftboated her were far more significant than a poster to a political blog site.

You’re speaking my own thoughts with this as well:

•  “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 similar respect towards those very same feelings Kucinich and now Cynthia bring to the table.”

In short, (and I know I’ve said this before) Obama can do a lot, simply by breaking the choke of the disease of these old politics. But, he can’t do anything until he actually gets the office. He knows that, and his advisors know that as well. That’s the reality of it.

And yes, unless Hillary steps aside, and the infighting stops, we’re gonn be totally screwed, because time has just about run out.

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By Dr. Knowitall, PhD, PhD, March 24, 2008 at 1:24 pm Link to this comment

Maani, this is 2008.  We just don’t have the option to not pay our taxes to the Fed.  It didn’t take them long to figure out how to stop that sort of civil disobedience.  Sure, we could quit working.

You probably all have heard by now that the good people of Detroit and the Wayne County prosecutor’s office has moved decisively to charge Mayor Thug Kilpatrick on 12 felony counts. 

Bravo, Detroit/Wayne County!!!!  You have done in a matter of weeks (in arguably the most maligned city in the USA) what our congress, after many years, still refuses to begin to do: Impeach the Thugs.

How’d you do that?  Pelosi wants to know.

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By amunaor, March 24, 2008 at 1:24 pm Link to this comment

Yes, I agree, especially when considering the rabid fundamentalism that is at the head of this very dangerous and xenophobic snake!

Peace, Best Wishes and Hope

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By wstander, March 24, 2008 at 12:59 pm Link to this comment
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While I agee with the opinions about the rather spineless positions of Clinton and Obama on the war, let me state the obvious. A vote for Nader or McKinney will do absolutely nothing to advance the cause of ending the occupation of Iraq because they are 100% unelectable.

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By Maani, March 24, 2008 at 12:25 pm Link to this comment

Perhaps a few more words from Mr. Thoreau are in order:

Thus the State never intentionally confronts a man’s sense, intellectual or moral, but only his body, his senses. It is not armed with superior wit or honesty, but with superior physical strength. I was not born to be forced. I will breathe after my own fashion. Let us see who is the strongest.

What force has a multitude? They only can force me who obey a higher law than I. They force me to become like themselves. I do not hear of men being forced to have this way or that by masses of men. What sort of life were that to live?

When I meet a government which says to me, “Your money or your life,” why should I be in haste to give it my money? It may be in a great strait, and not know what to do: I cannot help that. It must help itself; do as I do. It is not worth the while to snivel about it. I am not responsible for the successful working of the machinery of society. I am not the son of the engineer. I perceive that, when an acorn and a chestnut fall side by side, the one does not remain inert to make way for the other, but both obey their own laws, and spring and grow and flourish as best they can, till one, perchance, overshadows and destroys the other. If a plant cannot live according to its nature, it dies; and so a man…

The authority of government, even such as I am willing to submit to — for I will cheerfully obey those who know and can do better than I, and in many things even those who neither know nor can do so well — is still an impure one: to be strictly just, it must have the sanction and consent of the governed. It can have no pure right over my person and property but what I concede to it.

The progress from an absolute to a limited monarchy, from a limited monarchy to a democracy, is a progress toward a true respect for the individual. Even the Chinese philosopher was wise enough to regard the individual as the basis of the empire. Is a democracy, such as we know it, the last improvement possible in government? Is it not possible to take a step further towards recognizing and organizing the rights of man?

There will never be a really free and enlightened State until the State comes to recognize the individual as a higher and independent power, from which all its own power and authority are derived, and treats him accordingly. I please myself with imagining a State at least which can afford to be just to all men, and to treat the individual with respect as a neighbor; which even would not think it inconsistent with its own repose if a few were to live aloof from it, not meddling with it, nor embraced by it, who fulfilled all the duties of neighbors and fellow-men. A State which bore this kind of fruit, and suffered it to drop off as fast as it ripened, would prepare the way for a still more perfect and glorious State, which also I have imagined, but not yet anywhere seen.”


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By Maani, March 24, 2008 at 12:11 pm Link to this comment

And now, a word from Henry David Thoreau:

“I heartily accept the motto, “That government is best which governs least,” and I should like to see it acted up to more rapidly and systematically. Carried out, it finally amounts to this, which also I believe, “That government is best which governs not at all”; and when men are prepared for it, that will be the kind of government which they will have. Government is at best but an expedient; but most governments are usually, and all governments are sometimes, inexpedient.

“The objections which have been brought against a standing army, and they are many and weighty, and deserve to prevail, may also at last be brought against a standing government. The standing army is only an arm of the standing government. The government itself, which is only the mode which the people have chosen to execute their will, is equally liable to be abused and perverted before the people can act through it. Witness the present Mexican [Ed.: Iraq] war, the work of comparatively a few individuals using the standing government as their tool; for in the outset, the people would not have consented to this measure…

“Under a government which imprisons any unjustly, the true place for a just man is also in prison. The proper place today, the only place which Massachusetts has provided for her freer and less desponding spirits, is in her prisons, to be put out and locked out of the State by her own act, as they have already put themselves out by their principles. It is there that the fugitive slave, and the Mexican prisoner on parole, and the Indian come to plead the wrongs of his race, should find them; on that separate, but more free and honorable ground, where the State places those who are not with her, but against her - the only house in a slave-state in which a free man can abide with honor.

“If any think that their influence would be lost there, and their voices no longer afflict the ear of the State, that they would not be as an enemy within its walls, they do not know by how much truth is stronger than error, nor how much more eloquently and effectively he can combat injustice who has experienced a little in his own person.

“Cast your whole vote, not a strip of paper merely, but your whole influence. A minority is powerless while it conforms to the majority; it is not even a minority then, but it is irresistible when it clogs by its whole weight. If the alternative is to keep all just men in prison, or give up war and slavery, the State will not hesitate which to choose.

“If a thousand men were not to pay their tax bills this year, that would not be a violent and bloody measure, as it would be to pay them, and enable the State to commit violence and shed innocent blood. This is, in fact, the definition of a peaceable revolution, if any such is possible.

“If the tax-gatherer, or any other public officer, asks me, as one has done, “But what shall I do?,” my answer is, “If you really wish to do anything, resign your office.” When the subject has refused allegiance, and the officer has resigned his office, then the revolution is accomplished.

“But even suppose blood should flow. Is there not a sort of blood shed when the conscience is wounded? Through this wound a man’s real manhood and immortality flow out, and he bleeds to an everlasting death. I see this blood flowing now.”


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By thebeerdoctor, March 24, 2008 at 11:53 am Link to this comment

Maani, thank you for the link. Blackwater and the mentality that it represents needs to end, for the sake of the security of the world.

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By LibertyWatch, March 24, 2008 at 11:47 am Link to this comment

Abandon Hope, All Ye Who Enter Here!

Impeachment & PEACE by popular demand!

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By amunaor, March 24, 2008 at 10:54 am Link to this comment

Let us not offer ourselves up in sacrifice to the psychic-vampires, who seek to maintain division by stirring up xenophobic fears, inciting the mind to hatred, lending the warrior mindset, of unchecked power, cause célèbre to spill more innocent blood onto the ground of personal, special and corporate interests, here and abroad. Obama has stated, “it is not the immigrant; the different races; the different skin colors of the mixed ethnicities existing within the borders of America, that have brought about the inequalities we so often feel, but rather the predations of the corporate monolith that we should be pointing our collective finger at.” Let us not be distracted, by further division!

Peace, Best Wishes and Hope

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By amunaor, March 24, 2008 at 10:42 am Link to this comment

This is all, the already, deeply divided democrats need, more uncertainty. Although I’m not at all that familiar with the woman mentioned in the article, I could very easily be persuaded by Cynthia McKinney’s, very strong stance on her numerous issues listed at her site. But, we’ve already seen what happens to outspoken people like this, just as Kucinich 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 similar respect towards those very same feelings Kucinich and now Cynthia bring to the table.

This is another reason why Clinton must step aside!

Everyone everywhere should be constantly reminded to stop calling it what it isn’t; IT IS NOT A WAR!  IT IS NOT A WAR!  IT IS NOT A WAR!

From the beginning, it has been nothing more than a U.S. Corporate Government sponsored police action; an aggression against a sovereign, an aggression of opportunity, and an aggression against humanity; resulting in the invasion, occupation, murder and displacement in millions of its indigenous population for the purposes of plunder.

Let us as American citizens denounce all U.S. sponsored corporate criminals monetarily benefiting themselves from any established position here within the U.S. along with their associate counterparts within Iraq, by demanding those corporate establishments that they immediately remove the American flag from their place of business, lest they be erroneously perceived, by the Iraqi people, to be representative of the true good wishes and intentions of the American citizenry towards them. These corporate, financial criminals do not represent the U.S. Constitution, or its citizenry!

Since the pseudo-representatives of the people, whose only allegiance has been to the reckless Corporate Oligarchy, no longer represent the best interests of its American Citizenry; whom with careless abandonment, having shamefully bloodied that symbol in their frenzied and selfish pursuit of personal aggrandizement, they too should be stripped of their American flag lapel pins.

We denounce the following remarks by the Corporate Oligarchy talking heads.

In the words of John McCain: F—- You!
In the words of Dick Cheney: So What!
In the words of a xenophobic god, crusader GW Bush: If you’re not with me, you’re a terrorist:

In the words of Hillary Clinton: Experience as Usual (Who loves McCain more than she does her own and to prove it, is willing to destroy the village in order to save it.)

A reminder to us all, what precisely it is that we cast our vote for, at this historical crossroads. If we miss this opportunity, we will have failed in recognizing the well intentioned, philosophical individual whose moment in time, is directed not by the ego, but by the heart; whose willingness to reach out to the, often manufactured, opponent in dialog through wisdom and understanding, sits in stark contrast, diametrically opposed to that of Clinton-McCain, with more of the same ‘Experience as Usual’; war, war and more war. There is something beastly psychotic in a nation, whose annual military budget of 650 billion dollars, sits on the fulcrum, in balance to a world population of roughly 7 billion. It is this mindset of fear which Obama wishes to change. If not, it will be to our own peril.

Peace, Best Wishes and Hope

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By Maani, March 24, 2008 at 10:16 am Link to this comment


Re Blackwater, an interesting editorial from today’s NYT:


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By John, March 24, 2008 at 9:58 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

One gets the impression that Hedges would only be happy if the US retreated and then lay down its weapons permanently. 

Leaving now would be an act of utter masochism and weakness, just as Osama bin Laden predicted.  Our nation no longer has any resolve, partly due to the prevalence of morally equivocating sophists such as Hedges.

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By Maani, March 24, 2008 at 9:51 am Link to this comment


While your knowledge of and attention to Scripture in these regards is laudatory, your “timing” may be off.  There are still a number of things that need to occur before the passages you cite can be fulfilled.

Still, the “birth pangs” are in fact getting more frequent and more intense, so the time may be sooner than later.


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By Charles Newlin, March 24, 2008 at 9:41 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

I can’t improve on Mr. Hedges’ excellent piece, except to say that to make a real impact, McKinney and the Greens will need a lot of help.  I hope everyone who reads this will check out her website,, and the party’s,

There is a vast sea of discontent with the major parties and their mealy-mouthed candidates, as well as with the peace movements’ pandering to the Democrats.  Only if those people are willing to put their efforts and their money where their hearts are will the alternatives make real headway.  It’s up to us!

Chris Hedges already has done that, and once again, thank you, Chris!

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By God?FreeDumb?, March 24, 2008 at 9:37 am Link to this comment

If you learn to read it.
12   ¶ And the sixth angel poured out his vial upon the great river Euphrates; and the water thereof was dried up, that the way of the kings of the east might be prepared.
Thats the Sixth Angel:
This is your Seventh and LAST Angel:
16   And he gathered them together into a place called in the Hebrew tongue Armageddon.
17   ¶ And the seventh angel poured out his vial into the air; and there came a great voice out of the temple of heaven, from the throne, saying, It is done.
18   And there were voices, and thunders, and lightnings; and there was a great earthquake, such as was not since men were upon the earth, so mighty an earthquake, and so great

Chapter 18 gives the Last & Final COMMANDMENT:
4   And I heard another voice from heaven, saying, Come out of her, my people, that ye be not partakers of her sins, and that ye receive not of her plagues.
take it with a grain of salt if you want.
I do believe America will soon Experience that “GREAT EARTHQUAKE”.

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By Maani, March 24, 2008 at 8:46 am Link to this comment


“Hedges seems to think that POTUS is in charge of the military-industrial complex, he or she is not.”

How right you are.  Indeed, this is without question the most critical point re this issue.  A president, despite their comparatively broad powers (even without the even greater centralization that has occurred under Bush), is CIC of the military, but has almost ZERO power or control over the MIC.

As I have said elsewhere, idealism is a good, noble, even critical thing.  But one also needs to retain a health dose of realism or one is simply living in a fantasy world where everything will magically change or be made better simply by voting for a particular “extremist” (even if it is a “good” extreme).

Major change rarely comes overnight.  And with a system as broken, backward and corrupt as the U.S. politico-economic system, change is likely to come only in small increments, over time (if at all).  In this regard, you are correct that voting for an “extremist” - no matter how noble a gesture - is “stupid,” perhaps even self-defeating.

I would rather have a centrist or center-left politician like Clinton or Obama who knows the system, has relationships within it, and understands the REALITY of Washington and the system, and who will thus have a MUCH more likely chance of effecting change - even mimimal change - than an “extremist” like Nader (who I dislike) or even McKinney (for whom who I have great respect and admiration).


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By Joe Sixpack, March 24, 2008 at 8:43 am Link to this comment

Good Doctor.

I’ve never heard a peep from Obama about the war on drugs. Hillary has advocated the decrimilaization of non-violent drug offenses.

Hillary has loudly and clearly denounced Blackwater and will end the use of private security companies. No word from Obama suggests he is for them.

He has no middle eastern policy that he can speak intelligently on. Maybe burried deep in his website you can find an obscure position paper written by that woman who called Hillary a monster. Maybe.

The man is a big-time liberal. Don’t believe me? Tune into wacky, Wright-wing radio. You’ll hear it the day he gets the nomination.

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By Joe Sixpack, March 24, 2008 at 8:37 am Link to this comment

All that ‘pandering’ to Israel is done for one very good reason. we need their friendship in the region. They also have a nuclear weapons arsenal that includes no less than 400 thermonuclear warheads. Those include ICBMs aimed at the former Soviet Union and China. It includes submarine launched nuclear cruise missles, aircraft delivered gravity bombs, suit-case sized tactical nuclear weapons and even nuclear-tipped artillery.

I encourage everyone to read The Samson Option and keep in mind that our military weapon credits and historic support are the ONLY reason Bagdad is not a forever uninhabitable, glass-topped parking lot today. They were ready and more than willing to nuke Iraq for the SCUD attacks in the 1st gulf war.

Piss them off at your peril.

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By thebeerdoctor, March 24, 2008 at 8:36 am Link to this comment

I guess it depends on what you mean by a liberal/progressive agenda. Does Barack Obama favor ending the war on drugs? Does he want to stop using Blackwater as the mercenary army that it is? Does he want to stop giving arms to Israel and Egypt? I think you will find he has no liberal agenda on those issues. But one thing he has spoken out for is internet neutrality. A political liberal? That would be Dennis Kucinich. Mainstream news perpetrates the myth that he is the former mayor who wrecked the city of Cleveland. But a proud liberal he is.

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By Roach, March 24, 2008 at 8:18 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

What about Ron Paul???????????????

What about dismantling and removing bases from every FAILED empirical experiment from around the globe?
Germany - Japan - South Korea - and the Middle East!!!

What about ending any sub-prime mess by taking away prime and dismantling the Fed!?!

What about freedom and liberty?

What about state’s rights?

What about “Don’t Tread on Me!”

F Nader

A welfare state and a warfare state cannot exist any longer.  We are broke!

Ron Paul is the only candidate promoting any of these ideas.  Look into it.

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By Joe Sixpack, March 24, 2008 at 8:06 am Link to this comment

“Obama is not a liberal”

Ahhhhhh. Huh?

Obama has a more liberal voting record than HRC and even more liberal that a socialist senator from Vermont. Hey, “Liberal” is not a four letter word in my dictionary, but let’s call a spade a…. Whoops. Better not go there.

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By rowdy, March 24, 2008 at 7:48 am Link to this comment

i just googled mckinney. i wanted to be sure chris was talking about the nut case from georgia. many of her votes were in agreement with my own feelings, but she is still a nut case. nader is, to some small degree responsible for the bush take over. he certainly has no political viability. i’m thinking maybe chris has turned the corner and has become nutty himself.

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By Nicholas Pisano, March 24, 2008 at 7:35 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

While I have a great deal of respect for much of Chris’ writing, with some notable exceptions, I think it is somewhat disingenuous to write that the best hope for change in Iraq is to vote for a candidate that has no chance to be elected which, given that a significant enough minority of people would do so, would throw power back to the war party.  The ethics on this is clear: you throw away your vote and bring about the opposite result you desire then you are just as complicit as those who voted for the war.  The Zogby poll showed that the 5% was taken away from the Democratic nominee leading to a McCain victory—a minor fact that he apparently decided to leave out of his post.

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By Paul_GA, March 24, 2008 at 7:29 am Link to this comment

Or is he too far to the right for Mr. Hedges, as a libertarian? Did Mr. Hedges even bother to seek him out for an interview for this article?

I voted for Dr. Paul in the Georgia primary, and though I was one of only ten in my entire district to vote for him, I’ll never think my anti-war, anti-Statist vote was “wasted”. I expect he’ll be my write-in candidate come November.

Anyway, it’s wrong to think that McKinney and Nader are the only choices for antiwar people.

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By Conservative Yankee, March 24, 2008 at 6:37 am Link to this comment
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There is (contrary to the above piece) hope for a consensus building majority on the war, but folks with “multi issues” are unwilling to even discuss “consensus.” Take the “pro life” movement, the far right “Christian Conservatives” they are NOT of one mind any more than the Democratic party.  Many Pro-life folks support an “End to all killing” including Capital Punishment, but you would not know this from the news. Out in the Mountain States, the Quakers are fundamentalists. I was once in a Quaker Meetinghouse in Oklahoma where the preacher (yeap that’s right they have Quaker preachers) sermonized a hell so hot you could feel the flames under the meetinghouse floor.  Evangelical, and Christian to the core they believed in neither war nor the death penalty.  obviously no one is working on a “universal” peace, just pieces of peace.

I consider myself a conservative, I hate (government sponsored) social programs (including the whole anti-privacy DHS thing), restrictive gun laws, and big government. With that thought process, I don’t see how anyone could expect that I would support the wars in Afghanistan, Iraq, or the endless, costly,  fictitious, “war on terror.

The reality is that “terror” for many US citizens involves the thought of losing your home, job or both, or losing a family member in useless, wasteful, foreign wars.

look beyond petty prejudices, focus on one goal at a time, build alliances with folks outside the far-left mentality, and break these ties when you move to other areas and tasks.

I am also not sure we should be working to regain
“the Social Conscious we began in th elate ‘60’s & early ‘70’s” referred to by Purple Girl above. Maybe the better model is the Union movements of the thirties…..looks like we may be heading into an economy where people would support such a movement… The “Limousine liberals” of the 60’s and 70’s alienated too many people who are still around today, and when reading their record, given their numbers, they were not a big success story.

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By thebeerdoctor, March 24, 2008 at 6:15 am Link to this comment

As you know, I started a big discussion on Obama’s Mideast policy, awhile ago. But voting for the Green party or Nader is at best, a very stupid noble gesture. Hedges seems to think that POTUS is in charge of the military-industrial complex, he or she is not. Obama is not a liberal, but neither are his policies set in stone. Because he does have genuine empathy for his fellow human beings, there is at least the possibility of national policy being set on a better path. This can not be said of Senator Clinton, who at least in the case of ‘more cluster bombs for Israel’, practices what she preaches.

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By Leefeller, March 24, 2008 at 6:08 am Link to this comment

“Dennis Kucinich, the only Democratic candidate who opposed a continuation of the war, had been excluded from the debate.”

When the first Democratic debate happened Mike Gravel bored a new ass hole in the token candidates, when he attacked the Military Complex, it was the first time I ever heard a candidate tell the truth. 

The selected candidates, selected for us by the Plutocracy, the elite, those with power, allow us our choices and what we get to vote for.

A strong third party would undermine and destabilize the power brokers in the world, and that is not an allowable option.  Follow the money and know why impeachment is off the table.

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By Purple Girl, March 24, 2008 at 4:51 am Link to this comment

I am in absolute agreement with your post.
But then the realities of the times must be considered.
For the last 35 yrs such Social Conscienceness has been systematically (institutionally) pushed farther back. Consider Carter- a man who not only showed compassion can be a strength, but a weakness in the eyes of too many of our countrymen. this man continues to be a Beacon to the idea of Humanitarianism. The Proof of the Dem Parties rejection of this is the obvious lack of Council from such a Man.
I’ve been a Dem for 26 yrs- I’m now in the Recovery Process (betrayed). But so are many of my fellow Patriots. We have seen gains in the Repub sector and certainly the Independents. But to take a Huge step ‘to the left’ will weaken those alliances. Peace is apparently a scary concept. I KNOW Kucinich had far more support in MI than was alllowed to be shown ( misleading comments about WHO was on the Ballot) But if he could not effective battle the 2 party machine- how do you expect Nadar too?
It has taken decades for THEM to infiltrate our Country- I tamy take Decades to until we once again reach the Social Conscious we began in th elate ‘60’s & early ‘70’s. WE will not Win because far too much has contaminated our collective minds- Our house cleaning may have to be done with as much ‘convert’ actions as the Inc’s have used all this time. As a Kucinich support I will support Obama as at least a Step closer to the Path we Began so Long ago. If they Do to Him what they have done So many times before- I will follow him to whatever Party he decides- we have momentum and a Chance.

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By Johnny, March 24, 2008 at 4:12 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

I am one of those disenfranchised progressive democrats who have seen the democratic party take a hard right. I have criticized those who have voted for Ralph Nader in the past and defended the democratic party for running campaigns that appealed to more conservative voters. I have accused the Nader supporters of helping elect George W Bush and of wasting their votes.

I have been sadly disappointed to watch as the party that I was once proud to claim as my own turned into the very bastions of greed that the republicans are.

I myself have decided that I will vote for Ralph Nader in 2008. I don’t consider it a wasted vote because it makes the democrats take notice. If they want MY vote and the votes of other Nader supporters, they’re going to have to start being democrats once again instead of republican-lites.

If my vote for Nader helps elect John McCain in November, so be it. There’s little difference left between the democratic candidates and the republican candidate anyway. If I vote my convictions and whose policies best represent my views, that candidate is Ralph Nader. If I vote my convictions, my vote has not been lost.

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By Benjamin, March 24, 2008 at 3:37 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Elections are one day affairs and although I agree that the anti-war movement should not endorse the Democrats that doesn’t mean they shouldn’t support tactical voting. The choice isn’t always Bush or Kerry sometimes its Bush or not Bush. McCain is better than Bush, Obama and HRC are better than Kerry so although I agree with most of your points I am still happier than I was in 2005.

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By cyrena, March 24, 2008 at 12:15 am Link to this comment

^ here Chris

•  “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.”

Chris, I don’t know HRC’s position on this, but Barack Obama did NOT defend this.

•  “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.”

This too, is inaccurate Chris, at least as far as Obama is concerned, and I think you need to go back and do some better research. You need to research the work and efforts that Obama did with the late Edward Said, in respect to the Palestinian cause.

Barack Obama has been to Israel ONE time, and it was to view and question the Apartheid wall, built on Palestinian land. I don’t know that he has voiced or written any lengthy opinion on it, but be careful what you write, before you do a full investigation on this.

I will admit that ONE of the things that I am disappointed in with Barack Obama, is that he hasn’t made the Palestinian cause a larger part of his campaign efforts, because he HAS BEEN active in this in earlier decades. However, I’m quite sure that you know why.

It is also incorrect to suggest that Obama has NOT spoken out about the permanent bases in Iraq, because he HAS!! You haven’t been paying attention, because that occurred recently. (I’ll have to find the transcript)

So, be careful here Chris. You generally do much better.

As for the Blackwater thing…you are not reporting his position correctly on that either, even though I don’t agree with it myself.

It is true that he has not agreed to sign on to a recent bill involving these despicable mercenaries, and I believe that he should have. However, he has said that he will not rule them out, until he can control the withdrawal of all American troops from the Middle East.

It is also incorrect, (or only half correct) to say that he supports a continued occupation of Afghanistan. What he should make clear however, is that there is no need for a full occupation of Afghanistan, but rather only what is required to deal with the ever growing presence of the radical Islamic element in that area. Even that much I disagree with, because I believe that ANY US presence makes things worse. However, THAT is his position.

I have no idea what HRC thinks about Afghanistan, though I know she’s been fine with the occupation of Iraq.

I believe it is unfair to combine these two candidates positions on these most important issues, because their positions on this war mongering foreign policy are at polar opposites. Additionally, much discussion has taken place since that first debate when none of them were willing to commit to being out of Iraq before the ends of their terms in office. That was THEN, and much has changed since.

Meantime, I’m not opposed to considering Cynthia McKinney for the office, depending on how things pan out. I wouldn’t consider Nader.

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