Top Leaderboard, Site wide
August 1, 2014
Truthdig: Drilling Beneath the Headlines
Help us grow by sharing
and liking Truthdig:
Sign up for Truthdig's Email NewsletterLike Truthdig on FacebookFollow Truthdig on TwitterSubscribe to Truthdig's RSS Feed

Newsletter

sign up to get updates


Hydropower Illuminates a Piece of History






Truthdig Bazaar
Why Americans Hate Politics

Why Americans Hate Politics

By E.J. Dionne
$14.00

more items

 
Report

Obama on the Brink

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

Posted on Jul 22, 2008
Obama
AP photo / Ziv Koren, Pool

Air Obama: Presidential candidate and Illinois Sen. Barack Obama speaks to reporters after his arrival at Ben Gurion Airport near Tel Aviv on Tuesday evening.

By Robert Scheer

Barack Obama is betraying his promise of change and is in danger of becoming just another political hack.

Yes, just like former maverick John McCain, who has refashioned himself as a mindless rubber stamp for the most inane policies of the miserably failed Bush administration. Both candidates are embracing, rather than challenging, the fundamental irrationality of Bush’s “war on terror,” which substitutes hysteria for rational analysis in appraising the dangers the country faces.

Terrorism is a social pathology that needs to be excised with the surgical precision of detective work, inspired by a high level of international cooperation, the very opposite of the unilateral war metaphor that recruits new generations of terrorists in the wake of the massive armies we dispatch. At a time when we desperately need a president to remind us we have nothing to fear but fear itself, we are increasingly being treated to a presidential campaign driven by fear.

Both candidates supported the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, which has everything to do with violating the basic freedoms of our citizens and nothing to do with making them safer. There was no shortage of alarming intelligence warning the Bush administration of the impending 9/11 attacks, but rather an utter lack of competency in evaluating the abundance of evidence.

To use the failure of the president to pay attention to his daily-briefing warning of an impending attack as an excuse for shredding the fundamental rights of our citizens is appallingly illogical. Providing legal protection to the government and the telecommunications giants for unfettered spying on the people does not represent the change we desperately need.

Advertisement

Square, Site wide
Nor does the battle of the warmongers that has dominated the discussion of foreign policy in the past week. Obama has one-upped McCain’s bluff to win in Iraq by raising the prospect of an even more deadly quagmire in Afghanistan. If his goal was to remind us that Democrats have been more often the party of irrational wars than the Republicans, he has succeeded all too well.

Whereas Dwight Eisenhower refused to wage war against Vietnam and Cuba, it was John Kennedy, that charmer of change, who launched both of those military disasters. And then there was that crafty “progressive” Lyndon Baines Johnson, who in order to defeat Barry Goldwater, the right-wing menace of his day, lied about a nonexistent attack in the Gulf of Tonkin to justify escalating a war that killed almost 59,000 Americans and 3.4 million Indochinese.

Even less noticed is the responsibility of Democrats for the mess in Afghanistan, which provided the incubator for the 9/11 attacks. It was under Jimmy Carter, highly admired as an ex-president, that the specter of modern Islamic fanaticism erupted, largely as a monster of our own creation when we supported Muslim fanatics in Afghanistan against the Soviets.

Carter’s national security adviser, Zbigniew Brzezinski, when asked in a January 1998 interview with the French magazine Le Nouvel Observateur whether he regretted “having given arms and advice to future terrorists,” replied: “What is most important to the history of the world? The Taliban or the collapse of the Soviet empire? Some stirred-up Moslems or the liberation of Central Europe and the end of the Cold War?”

I was reminded of that horrid stain on the record of Democratic stewardship of our foreign policy while cleaning out my garage last week. I came across a 1996 press release from the publisher of “From the Shadows—The Ultimate Insider’s Story of Five Presidents and How They Won the Cold War,” written by current Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates, the ultimate insider, who was on Carter’s National Security Council staff. The publisher’s book promo boasts that thanks to Gates, who ran the CIA for many years, we learn of “Carter’s never-before-revealed covert support to Afghan mujahedeen—six months before the Soviets invaded.”

In short, the Democratic president baldly lied to us when he justified support for the Muslim fanatics in Afghanistan who were battling the secular government in Kabul as a necessary Cold War response to a Soviet invasion. That Gates’ account is accurate was affirmed in a blurb for the book by none other than Brzezinski, hailing it as “a most impressive achievement ... especially pertaining to the U.S. policy on Afghanistan.”

It is hardly reassuring that Brzezinski has resurfaced in presidential politics, this time as an occasional adviser to Barack Obama, or that there is talk that Obama, in a burst of bipartisan enthusiasm, might ask Gates to stay on as defense secretary.

At this point, I throw up my hands and plead with the candidate who I hoped would be that much-needed agent of change: Please prove me wrong.

Robert Scheer is author of a new book, “The Pornography of Power: How Defense Hawks Hijacked 9/11 and Weakened America.”

Click here to check out Robert Scheer’s book,
“The Great American Stickup: How Reagan Republicans and Clinton Democrats Enriched Wall Street While Mugging Main Street.”


Keep up with Robert Scheer’s latest columns, interviews, tour dates and more at www.truthdig.com/robert_scheer.



Get truth delivered to
your inbox every week.

Previous item: No Easy Out for Obama

Next item: Who’s Paying for the Conventions?



New and Improved Comments

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

By Michael Shaw, August 28, 2008 at 2:36 pm Link to this comment

Well Tony I appreciate your kind words and like you, I also see a better chance of incarcerating Bush and his cronies if Obama is elected president rather than McCain. Also I agree with you about racism and racist remarks, no matter who they are being aimed at or where they come from! That said and at the risk of being ambiguous, I would like to add that those out there who are rationally supporting Ralph Nader are not wrong to do so, at least from a moral standpoint. In fact I’ll admit that if I believed Nader stood a chance in hell of winning this election, I would vote for him because he’s right! The democrats are under the same corporate yoke the republicans are. An example would be the arrest of that ABC News correspondent who was photographing a meeting between top corporate CEO’s and the democratic leadership at the convention. It can be seen in the way designated, controlled areas have been arbitrarily set up around the convention center to keep the Vets against the War and other anti-war demonstrators out of view. It can also be seen in the failure to fulfill the promises made in the 2006 election to end the war rather than continuously finance it and in the complete failure to hold Bush and the telecoms accountable for illegal domestic spying, which as Nader points out is a class A felony! Another example is of Waxman trying to permanently ban Blackwater from future government contracts while Obama has basically said he won’t do that. That said or should I say in spite of it, it is of my opinion that the only logical recourse is to vote for Obama to get rid of the current threat the neocons represent because this country can simply not stand another 4 years of this nonsense. I would also add there are some significant differences with the two party’s concerning both foreign and domestic policy and would point out that even if Nader became president, he would get no help from either isle of the congress, rendering him a lame duck. Bluntly Obama is the only shot we have at getting the neocons out and that can(hopefully) give us the breathing room we need to aim our support at electing progressive candidates. Once they have a stronger foothold in the house we can in fact elect progressive presidential candidates in the future and hopefully change the face of the entire democrat party and the face in fact of the entire nation and perhaps even the world.

Report this
Tony Wicher's avatar

By Tony Wicher, August 27, 2008 at 3:42 pm Link to this comment

By Michael Shaw, August 27 at 10:16 am #

As Dennis Kucinich goes, so too shall I and will put all my efforts into electing the next president of the United States, Barrack Obama.
——————————————————————————-EXACTLY!!!! Dennis is no pseudo-leftist, he’s a REAL leftist. Hurray for this great American progressive! You hear me, all you pseudo-leftists out there? So if any of you do have a progressive bone in your body, which I doubt, why don’t you follow Dennis, get your heads out of your asses and support Barack Obama? Under an Obama administration we may yet see investigations leading to the conviction of Bush and Cheney for war crimes, and Dennis will deserve most of the credit for that. 

I can’t wait to hear Bill Clinton followed by Joe Biden tonight. I expect to see them both firing at McCain with both barrels blazing!

Report this
Tony Wicher's avatar

By Tony Wicher, August 27, 2008 at 12:14 pm Link to this comment

Michael,

It sure is amazing how much anti-Semitism, racism and chauvinism of all kinds one finds on the “left”. Forty years ago I wouldn’t have believed it.

Report this

By Michael Shaw, August 27, 2008 at 11:16 am Link to this comment

You know there are times that those on the far left, or at least those portending to be on the far left are as frightening to me as those on the extreme right. Hate seems to be their center of operations. The bottom line is are we going to let hate control the discussion? Are we going to put the blame everywhere and on everyone or are we going to do what needs to be done? We can point fingers at each other till doomsday and doomsday will arrive much quicker if we do.

We need to remove the neocons from office. There is no doubt about that. We need to continue to support progressive candidates to change the face of politics. We need to end divisiveness and tackle our problems collectively. We need to rebuild this country and remove ourselves from foreign oil dependence, we need to protect and preserve our environment and we need to restore and maintain our civil liberties for future generations, heal our ties with foreign nations and get back on track. We can do that in spite of our differences because frankly we must. In spite of my anger and disappointments with Obama or even the democratic party in general, they pale by comparison to the radical right currently in charge of this sinking ship. The fact that people are threatening to kill Obama while the neocons make this an issue of race and hate has motivated me to do what I now know I must. As Dennis Kucinich goes, so too shall I and will put all my efforts into electing the next president of the United States, Barrack Obama.

Report this

By cyrena, August 26, 2008 at 4:30 am Link to this comment

By Tony Wicher, August 25 at 5:45 pm

1 of 2

Thanks Tony, but it isn’t likely to happen, (an apology from JBlack). You’ve probably missed most of the really chilling hate speech that he has directed at me for the past couple of months, but I’ve got copies of it, just because it’s so very far over the top…like even worse than rus7355 if you can imagine, because of how incredibly personal it is.
I once compared him to Clarence Thomas, and that’s apparently what really set him off. Of course I wouldn’t have done that, had he not displayed himself to be of a matching psychological profile.

And now this..I hadn’t even been paying close enough attention to know that now he’s a LaRouche fan TOO!!!

By Michael Shaw, August 5 at 7:12 pm

•  Jblack all you’re proving here are your close ties to Lyndon La Rouche. The greatest story teller of them all, his heroes were Hitler and Napoleon. Obviously his delusions in grandeur live on with his puppets.

~~~
Then we go back to some more hate speech about me.
By JBlack, August 8 at 10:48 am

•  Michael Shaw: You’re right. I was rude and obnoxious. I will apologies and I’ll tell you that, at times, I fall into the TD trap of being snide. Snide runs rampant on this sight. Please excuse my weakness. No. I don’t believe the Jews are to blame for everything. I find that type of bigoted thinking reprehensible to the extreme. It’s the type of thinking one finds in the vile bigot, Cyrena. I sincerely apologies.

And he can’t even spell.
~~~~~

By Michael Shaw, August 7 at 8:03 am

•  Since you support Saggy I imagine you also to be a holocaust denier. But if I’m wrong, please educate me. Educate all of us why don’t you. I have at least tried to do that…All I’ve gotten from you are insulting remarks and unsubstantiated innuendo so typical of those who say they oppose Bush and the neocons while they simultaneously attack the left, then tell the left they are idiots unless they support a candidate that will help the right win! I’m sure the LaRouche folk are very proud of you!
~~~~~

By JBlack, August 4 at 12:22 pm

•  “Michael Shaw:  Just as I thought. You have no idea what a neocon is. You’ll fit right in here. Tony Wicher: This site is full of hate mongers and anti-Semites.”

Here’s a good example. He’s telling Michael Shaw that ‘he’ll fit right in here’ even though Michael has been posting here for at least as long as I have, if not longer. (and that’s what, about 20 months or so now?) Only the most ignorantly obtuse and arrogant people do stuff like that. An he’s telling Tony of all people, that this site is full of hate mongers and anti-Semites!! Amazing.

Then he calls everybody an anti-Semite, but he agrees with Saggy?????

In earlier posts, he was always singing the praises of George Bush, (which tells me that he’s totally psycho) though I don’t know that he even has a clue to the real power that is destroying us, (The Dick Cheney) so he’s obviously as stupid as GW, which is probably why the shrub is his hero.

Then, here he is obsessed with me again:

By JBlack, August 4 at 8:45 am

•  “Michael Shaw: What exactly is a “neocon” and who are they? I believe you have no idea what a neocon is or who most libs are talking about. Can you clear this up for me? What is a neocon? If you ask the vile Bigot Cyrena she’ll tell you it’s anyone and everyone who happens to work in the White House today. Of course as usual the bigot is clue less and mindlessly following the crowd. She has no mind of her own. Her rhetoric changes with the latest media release.”

Kinda makes you wonder what this is all about, huh? Notice I hadn’t made any comments in all of this. In fact, I hadn’t viewed this thread in weeks until tonight. What’s up with the obsessive attacks on me?

Report this

By cyrena, August 26, 2008 at 4:27 am Link to this comment

2 of 2
This is either a very ignorant person, or a very mentally disturbed one, or both. It’s so obvious with the constant attacks on me, (as if he knows me) when he’s been posting here just a couple of months, and STARTED OUT attacking me., He’s totally oblivious to the fact that for so many of us who have been posting here for so long, his attacks on me come across as insane, since reasonable people know better, just based on the history of my posts.

He’s called me a bigot more times than I can count, and now he claims that I have no mind of my own. That is one of the many clues to his ‘issues’, because the opposite is true, and that’s what bugs the hell out of him. Lot’s of hate there…just like Clarence Thomas.

In fact, I bet if you wanted to see what he looks like, you could just look up the word misogynist in the encyclopedia, and his picture will be right there. Or, if it’s not there, just look up Clarence Thomas, you’ll get the whole psychological profile, and maybe a photo to boot. (put something on your eyes to protect them). BECAUSE, we know from earlier posts that he hates black folks, (even though he’s black himself) and he hates women even more. That makes me a double hate target before we even get to the worst of it, which is that I *do* speak my mind, and that’s enough for him to set up a contract on me. 
This reminds me of many, many years ago, when the KKK was at its most blatant; didn’t even care about trying to hide all of their murderous activity. I wasn’t much older than 7 or 8, but I can remember hearing the adults talking about how this KKK gang hated Blacks, Jews, Catholics, and weren’t too crazy about women either. I remember ticking the stuff off in my mind, and figured that as a black female and then Catholic school girl living in an ethnically diverse neighborhood, (as many Jews as anybody else) I was living on borrowed time. When I expressed my fears to my dad, I could tell that he was really troubled by it, and probably wished that I hadn’t overheard these conversations. But, he was never one to lie to us, or try to brush off legitimate concerns. So the best he could do to calm some of my fears was to explain that the KKK was mostly located in the South, and NOT ‘Southern California’. And, since he also promised to kick any of their asses if any of them *did* show up in SoCal, that was good enough for me at the time. I figured he could get away with it easily enough, since anybody who doesn’t know him thinks he’s white anyway. Of course by now, I can do that much myself. (and not just KKK’ers either)

Anyway, there’s no way JBlack could bring himself to apologize to me…a woman..the thing he hates most. Black folks and women with their own minds who expose him for the cowardly bully that he is. He’s more than willing to suck up to you guys when he figures out that he’s finally gone too far, but you’d never find this type apologizing for the same despicable behavior when it’s addressed to a black woman. Schizos and psychopaths don’t do that. Rather, they do exactly what he has done.

Oh yeah, the Obama hate is typical as well of these types. He’s in love with GW, so obviously he would hate Obama, intelligent, articulate, personable, successful, and handsome young black man!
Meantime, he obviously doesn’t have a clue to what a neocon is. Even neocons know who they are. And no, not ALL people in the white house are neoconservatives. At least there started out to be some regular republican conservatives like Colin Powell, Alberto Mora, Larry Wilkerson. In fact, Larry Wilkerson has already accused the neocons of highjacking his party, and he’s demanding that they give it back! I really like Larry Wilkerson.

Report this
Tony Wicher's avatar

By Tony Wicher, August 25, 2008 at 6:45 pm Link to this comment

By JBlack, August 8 at 10:48 am #

I find that type of bigoted thinking reprehensible to the extreme. It’s the type of thinking one finds in the vile bigot, Cyrena.

I sincerely apologies.
—————————————————————————-
JBlack

Next, you will have to apologize to cyrena for having vilely defamed this fine lady. Also to me and many others who know and like her.

Report this

By KDelphi, August 25, 2008 at 2:30 pm Link to this comment

How in hel did this become a pro-anti-Hebrew rant?

Report this

By Michael Shaw, August 7, 2008 at 9:03 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Jblack First of all I’ve never read D S Massey. But again JB, (can I call you JB?)I am yet to see your definition of a neocon, though since your first challenge to me I suspect that essentially you believe in the simple minded philosophy that the Jews are behind everything. Since you support Saggy I imagine you also to be a holocaust denier. But if I’m wrong, please educate me. Educate all of us why don’t you. I have at least tried to do that.

All I’ve gotten from you are insulting remarks and unsubstantiated innuendo so typical of those who say they oppose Bush and the neocons while they simultaneously attack the left, then tell the left they are idiots unless they support a candidate that will help the right win! I’m sure the LaRouche folk are very proud of you! I would even add I was nearly ready to throw my support to Nader and if not for people like you I would have! I actually like Ralph Nader and have for years but that notion is dead to me now. I realize what must be done.


And Tony thank you! I’ve been seeing what you’ve been up against and frankly I’m tired of it! As for my comparison to LaRouche and the neocon’s I was making an observation that these Eastern European Immigrants who were the first elements of what was later to morph into the new conservatives or neocons, were Trotsky supporters just like him and believed in the idea of perpetual revolution. But just as these new liberals morphed into radical right wingers so too did LaRouche who still calls himself a new liberal while he praises Adolf Hitler, attacks the left. In other words he’s a Nazi in the guise of a liberal. In my view they both belong in the same category, only difference is the neocons don’t pretend to be liberals, Larouche does. I consider the parallels significant, don’t you?

Report this
Tony Wicher's avatar

By Tony Wicher, August 6, 2008 at 3:12 pm Link to this comment

Michael Shaw, August 6 at 12:59 pm #

Thanks for a fascinating post. I am glad to hear you say that “They (LaRouchies) don’t support the PDA who wishes to convince the democratic party to support progressive ideology and who work to place progressive democrat candidates in non progressive democratic and republican seats!” That’s the PDA I’m a member of, not Max Shield’s “PDA” which he apparently thinks rejects both parties equally.

I don’t quite understand your characterization of LaRouche as a neocon. As you say, LaRouche is an anti-Semitic Trotskyite. Neocons are uber-imperialist Zionists. These would seem to be quite different things. They don’t seem to have much in common other than both being assholes. Am I missing something?

Report this

By Michael Shaw, August 6, 2008 at 1:59 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Who are the neocons Part 2

Of course in this mix and time frame we also have a couple of others who went along for the ride and called themselves the “new” left or “new” -neo democrats. Lyndon LaRouche is the leader and like his neocon counterparts he spent most of his time actually going after the left, even sending goons to beat up American socialists and communists. His roots in radicalism ironically came from the same place the so called new liberals of the Roosevelt Era did. Trotsky. If you know Trotsky you would know his idea involved perpetual revolution to spread socialism. Not unlike what today is the PNAC and Bush’s perpetual war on terror, only in this case socialism is the enemy as is anyone who would disagree with PAX American. I would add that LaRouche also blamed Jewry for all of the corruption of the world and even said the Queen of England had a contract on his life after he called her the biggest drug dealer in the world. He also infiltrated and nearly discredited the 9/11 Truth movement along with advocates like Christopher Bollyn who at one point shared the same offices as The Barnes Review, a right wing extremist rag financed by the American Nazi Party. If the label neocon belongs anywhere it should be crowned on the head of Lyndon LaRouche. Right down to his early advocacy of Trotsky to his admiration and praise for Adolf Hitler and Napoleon.

Today a few of his scant followers have in some cases infiltrated parts of the progressive movement just as they did the 9/11 Truth Movement. A mere fringe group themselves, they spend all of their time attacking Barrack Obama and telling us why we shouldn’t support him, knowing full well that what they do in fact helps McCain and the neocons. They say they want change and they fight for liberty but they don’t support the progressive movement. They don’t support the PDA who wishes to convince the democratic party to support progressive ideology and who work to place progressive democrat candidates in non progressive democratic and republican seats! In fact the only solution these zealots have stem in the bringing down of the democratic party who of course in their view, the same view they want you to share with them are exclusively controlled by Israel. They would tell you once the democratic party collapses all of our problems will be solved.

Their hatred of the Jews is evident though they will say they don’t hate Jews only Zionists. Duh! All Jews support Israel, even those who do not support the Likud or militarist expansion. And of course if anyone mentions this, they are immediately labeled as Zionists themselves and must be plants from the Mossad. The same strategy the right wing Likud uses on its own citizenry to keep them in line by telling them if they do not support the Likud and Israeli militarist expansion, they are not good Jews. Just as president Bush when he said resolutely, you are either with us or with the terrorists.

Now I’m not trying to say there isn’t corruption in the democratic party because clearly there is but this corruption does not extend exclusively from Jews. There are democrat Zionists and republican Zionists. Hell there are even communist Zionists and anti-Bush, anti-Sharon Zionists. But most of their argument concerning a Zionist plot to take over the world is nothing new and no, they aren’t the smartest people in the world, though if you don’t agree with them they would call you stupid, brainwashed or misinformed.

Their new ideas come from ones as old as the crusades and have been around since King Edward I threw the Jews out of England. The same folks who read the Illuminati(a prefabricated hoax) and call it their bible and who suggest since the beginning of time through the French Revolution, the Russian Revolution, the rise of Hitler and the cold war it is all the fault of Jewry. 

This is my definition of the neocons though it would take volumes to give it the full justice it deserves!

Report this

By Michael Shaw, August 6, 2008 at 1:48 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Who are the neocons Part 1

In the late 1930’s early 1940’s many Eastern European immigrants came to America. NYC in fact. Among this group were Jews though not exclusively. Many of them were anti-Stalin Trotsky supporters and were all of them anti-Hitler. So they became democrats and joined Roosevelt in his war on fascism. Someone somewhere down the road called them the “new” liberals. They had socialist leanings. They were the poor and downtrodden. They supported labor unions and they never voted republican. Then came the 50’s and McCarthyism. The red scare sending many of these Eastern bloc immigrants into a fearful tizzy. So some of them became anti-communists, a complete reversal of their original philosophy. For some it was an act in survival, for others a demagoguery. By the 1960’s many of these “new” liberals became disillusioned and did a 180. They felt the democrats weren’t being tough enough on communism and in fact looked at the anti-war movement with disdain. They became known as the “new” left counter-culture. By the time Eugene McCarthy ran for president, many of these people splintered and either switched parties and join the republicans or voted republican. This became especially evident with the latter when they supported Ronald Reagan and became known in some circles as Reagan democrats. One such person who joined in this tide was Jane Kirkpatrick a former democrat who ultimately served with Reagan. By the time people like Cheney and Gingrich got riding on the tails of blow hard ideologues like Michael Harrington, Norman Podhertz and Irving Kristol, it became a completely different animal, one that called for world domination in the collapse of the Soviet Union. So along with Kirkpatrick, Dan Quayle, Cheney, Bill Kristol, Feith and others, people who beyond Kirkpatrick were never a part of the democratic party and with Newt’s “new” contract with America, they called themselves the new republicans or new conservatives…neoconservatives. By this time what was once a large group of people from the 1930’s and 40’s that leaned to the left was now a tiny splinter group of radical right wing extremists comprised mostly of think tanks.

The American Enterprise Institute (AEI), the Project for the New American Century (PNAC), The Heritage Foundation, and the Jewish Institute for National Security Affairs

These are what came to exclusively comprise the neocons of today. Note also not only the one Jewish think tank, but the Christian Coalition think tank as well. The one in fact that helped Abramoff launder money when he was blackmailing the Indian gaming industry and flying Tom Delay to Scotland for leisure and the Marianna’s to check up on his sweatshops.

Report this
Tony Wicher's avatar

By Tony Wicher, August 6, 2008 at 9:16 am Link to this comment

By cyrena, August 3 at 2:27 pm #

That said, these people, (like Max Shields) are *not* - and I would repeat this for emphasis, *NOT* progressives, in the true context of what a progressive is. Not by any possible stretch of the imagination, or other leaps of “creative thinking.” Considering them in a ‘progressive’ vein is like calling Dick Bush a ‘conservative’ when in fact they are as *RADICAL* as we’ve seen in multiple decades.
So, we cannot make the mistake of referencing them as ‘progressive’ because that’s where the big trap lies, and it’s how they manage to suck in innocents who are, albeit in degrees, mislead by the mpersonations. Because, they DO present themselves as being ‘progressives’ and gain credibility by being opposed to the entire political system, while managing to avoid ever pointing the finger at any specific individuals in the current repug regime. So they speak in ‘broad and general’ condemnation about the ‘system’ of Democrats and Republicans, while pointing the *specific* weapons at Obama.
——————————————————————————-
So true, cyrena. Brilliant analysis. We are the real progressives, and we should not even allow these folks to call themselves such. They do not understand the nature of social progress at all. Objectively they are reactionaries and all their “radical” actions only create more reaction.

Report this
miroslav's avatar

By miroslav, August 6, 2008 at 6:41 am Link to this comment

“To ask whether this paean to Reagan was merely political calculation begs the question. Obama is largely made up of political calculation. To inquire as to where his weighing up the advantages of this or that position ends and his “core beliefs” begin is a futile undertaking.”

http://www.wsws.org/articles/2008/aug2008/obam-a05.shtml

This provides the opportunity for Obama to indulge in his specialty—empty generalities, vague commitments that commit him to nothing, “feel-good” phrase-mongering.


US presidential hopefuls are selected, vetted, molded in a complex and time-consuming process. The ruling elite faces life-and-death questions and is not about to allow just anyone to take up residence in the White House. He, or she, must be prepared to make the most ruthless decisions.


and in the event anyone has delusions about what obambi the latent masai warrior’s warring on in waziristant will mean: here’s the link to a first rate piece by tariq aziz:

http://www.newleftreview.org/?page=article&view=2713

Report this

By Michael Shaw, August 5, 2008 at 8:12 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Jblack all you’re proving here are your close ties to Lyndon La Rouche. The greatest story teller of them all, his heroes were Hitler and Napoleon. Obviously his delusions in grandeur live on with his puppets.

Report this
Tony Wicher's avatar

By Tony Wicher, August 4, 2008 at 8:42 pm Link to this comment

By jojo, August 4 at 3:15 pm #

I will say this only once. You are an anti-Semitic piece of shit. I will not speak or respond to you in any way in the future.

Report this
Tony Wicher's avatar

By Tony Wicher, August 4, 2008 at 8:30 pm Link to this comment

Oh, I forgot another one of my points: the Soviet Union is gone, thanks partly to Brzezinski’s cleverness, but Russia is still there. Putin is a tough customer who seems both competent and rational, in spite of his apparent penchant for poisoning his political opponents. Maybe we need a similarly tough but rational guy like Brzezinski to deal with him.

Report this
Tony Wicher's avatar

By Tony Wicher, August 4, 2008 at 8:27 pm Link to this comment

miroslav, August 3 at 6:14 am #

Hm, sounds like the Slavic contingent.

That’s my man Zbig you’re talking about! Yes, the guy who provoked the Soviets to intervene in Afghanistan. Clever strategy, eh wot? Fucked up Afghanistan to the max, he did - backed mujahedeen reactionaries and warlords against the progressive Democratic Republic of Afghanistan, the best government Afghanistan ever had. Soviet invasion killed millions, made millions homeless. Once Afghanistan served its purpose he left its people to the tender mercies of bin Laden and the warlords. Bastard’s going to fry in hell for that.

I’m glad to have Brzezinski on Obama’s team. In fact, I had a little something to do with it. Maybe I’m the “deep connection” you’re looking for. Last year Brzezinski introduced Obama for a foreign policy speech. Alan Dershowitz, the notorious Zionist attack dog, smear artist and torture advocate, who was advising the Clinton campaign at the time, rose up and called Brzezeinski an anti-Semite like his boss, Jimmy Carter, and demanded that Obama repudiate him. I thought this charge so outrageous that I wrote to a prominent rabbi about it. He sent a letter to Brzezinski assuring him that he thought the charge was a smear and offering the support of the progressive Jewish community. Since that time I am happy to see that Zbig continues to be a presence on the Obama team.

Why am I happy about it? Well, first, Brzezinski, though not anti-Semitiic, is not a Zionist either, and takes an objective attitude toward Israel in his assessment of American interests - which is why Dershowitz and Co. attacked him. Second, Zbig is in my estimation a great geopolitical strategist, the finest and most successful of our cold warriors. At least he’s good at what he does. If Obama sets the right policy goals, we have no better strategist for implementing them. Third, I think he feels bad about Afghanistan. I hope he wants to make amends before he dies. Just the other day I heard him say that the last thing he wants is to get bogged down in Afghanistan as he provoked the Soviets into doing. He’s a very smart man.   

Yes, I watch Mika Brzezinski all the time on MSNBC. I saw her interview her dad recently. This is something new?

Report this

By jojo, August 4, 2008 at 4:15 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

To Miroslav—here is a recent history lesson from Canada. We had a Liberial government back in the 80’s,a   a Prime Minister,who hated America,- Odd ball Trudue.He privatized most of the oil companies—except his dad’s.It cost untold $billions. Afterwards, comes Sapolla Conservative P.M Brian Malronie.Passes GST-national tax to pay for the oil debt. Now comes the fleece on Canadians by Americans and Malronie—he agrees to free trade—all Canadian products into USA—no export tax—that includes oil.Then after passage our USi scammers got Saudia Arabia to drop the price of barrel of oil to $26. @sshole Malronnie then sold all of Petro Canad assests—5 cents to the dollar back to USA oil companies. Not to be outdone the provinicial @ass kisser leader Mr. Harris sold 44% of owning Sunico,back to them.At least Ontario still might own 7%.
Now is the kicker,America gets 80% of all it’s foriegn oil from Canada at about $10.00 /barrel and no export tax.

Here is how stupid Americans are, we have Bush/Cheney/ Rise as oil agents.They ivaded two countries and killed over 1,000,000 plus for oil.
After that is a failure,they jack up the oil prices to $140/barrel. The greedy Americans are sapped again and the oil companies are using them to get more oil fields. Sad part is that all the oil companies have millions of untapped potential oil fields already—they just want more and keep it save underground—-u-suckers—go scream for the oil companies—give’um more wealth.
I suggest on the other topic—neo cons,are 99% Jews and google Hitler’s Jews. Germany at that time was very zionist ,just as is America now. They dictate the wars—when, whom,where. Wakie Wakie Wakie America,good times are gone and the piper is Jewish. Don’t like it—too bad!
:^)

Report this
miroslav's avatar

By miroslav, August 4, 2008 at 2:11 pm Link to this comment

http://www.nytimes.com/aponline/washington/AP-Obama.html?_r=1&hp;&oref;=slogin

and he takes a fence straddling position on off shore drilling. you reassure john q. that you are thinking about the problem, and you neutralize the pooplikans!
however, there is no CHANGE in any of this, it’s the same old shell game.

Report this

By Michael Shaw, August 4, 2008 at 12:40 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Jblack let me ask you a question. Do you know without a reasonable doubt that all of our problems are a part of some bizarre Zionist plot hatched ages ago to overthrow the entire world? If so you have no idea what a neocon is either. I have read the PNAC. I know who the neocons are and I see no sense wasting everyone’s time in reverberating a history lesson to you. Also I know where you’re going with this. You expect me to say Obama is a neocon just like the rest of the Zionists conspirators and frankly I won’t give you or the rest of your canard the satisfaction.

Report this

By Michael Shaw, August 4, 2008 at 4:10 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Hi Cyrena and thanks for the kind words!

We mustn’t forget who it was who really got us here and into this mess. We also shouldn’t forget all of the good legislation proposed by democrats that was either filibustered by the republicans in the senate or gunned down by Bush after the democrats seized control of the house. Here’s a guy who prior to the democratic win in 06 vetoed nothing, which was a new presidential record. Then once they did win, he vetoed more legislation than any other president, again breaking a record in the opposite direction. But I still think some of these folks have valid points, that much of the democratic party has been hijacked. You are right though when you mention most of their criticism is being aimed at Obama rather than McCain. The truth is if we do not support Obama, McCain and the neocons will once again win the White House. 

Now I can’t speak for anyone else, but the last thing I wish to see is a republic celebration in November. This neocon fest has gone on long enough!

I’ve reestablished my decision. I’ll be content with Obama at the helm because he is our only choice and I believe our job will be much easier with him than without him. The PDA is the real answer and the real change. We should be supporting them and helping them to give us the kinds of representatives we need while we steer the other less progressive democrats in the “right” direction. By that I mean as the population goes, slightly left of the ever changing center.

Report this
Leefeller's avatar

By Leefeller, August 3, 2008 at 6:34 pm Link to this comment

Cyrena

You the eternal optimist, while I seem the never ending cynic. It would be my choice your premise is correct, as I stated before we will not know until the rubber hits the road.

My cynicism derives from the dishonest and blatant opportunism prevailing from all our government,  like elite hogs running to the feed trough ,pushing aside accountability and integrity, as the people watch their games of smoke and mirrors. 

If we see real change and see our hopes answered by Obama, I will gladly eat crow.

Report this

By george in Toronto, August 3, 2008 at 6:02 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Cyrena said- Re: Kucinich and Gravel
  “I’d also point to the fact that both have been unable to move in any progressive direction to actually reach a place where they might implement them”.
FYI,you forgot to mention how the Jewish media treated them—wasted,goof balls!Did any catch the interview with Kucinich’s wife on FOX? She was asked to stick her tomgue out and show her stud.Down hill from there.
The zionist controllers aready have chosen sheepherder and the party. Media are the tools of the sleaze trade.
It’s Democrat’s and Obama’s turn-it’s in the bag honey. McCain is a front stoogie and he knows it.

Report this

By cyrena, August 3, 2008 at 5:36 pm Link to this comment

~~~~
Leefeller,

I can most certainly agree with you that both Kucinich and Gravel have been perceptibly more supportive of the progressive ideas as you’ve defined them. I’d also point to the fact that both have been unable to move in any progressive direction to actually reach a place where they might implement them. Some suggestions for the ‘reasons’ on that, might be answered by a previous post from you…explaining another ‘truth’, @By Leefeller, July 27 at 3:27 pm

•  “…Most people cannot assimilate information and think for themselves, so we have manipulators the opportunists and simpletons most of the people. ..”

Indeed, that pretty much helps explain why Kucinich and Gravel didn’t manage to propel further along in their ‘progressiveness’, and it might also explain the ‘perceived pandering’ that you reference.

I would only add that the actually implementation of a progressive posture or position does *not* require throwing the baby out with the bath water, or reinventing the wheel. In short, the ‘reform’ or promotion of innovation doesn’t mean starting from absolute scratch, (which is radical, no matter which direction one takes it) but rather using what is already sound, and basic, (which includes certain realities)  and reforming THAT to perform more efficiently and effectively. That in itself, is part of innovation.

Insofar as quarterbacking from our computers, we can make a very rough analogy there, to the 20/20 hindsight view, but that doesn’t mean that it isn’t problematic. It becomes problematic when what *should* be 20/20 (in hindsight, and at least theoretically) is actually still damn near blind. But yes, all of those various levels of ‘quarterbacking’ give truth to your statement on July 27.

Meantime, hindsight doesn’t really change all perceptions of Obama as a progressive. He has been KNOWN (and criticized for) what many call his ‘over cautiousness’. Now we can see that as a bad thing, and for those who espouse the more radical, “throw all caution to the wind” mindset, it would be bad. Or, we can see it as a good or better position, in the tune of the old wisdom that suggests that one must ‘look before leaping’.

Or, we could try to meld from both a more nuanced ability to merge them, and that involves an ability to perform complex acts of mental gymnastics, and requires excellent mental reflexes. A progressive ideology (like any other) is only as good as it can be advanced. Planning, (the look before you leap method) is a requirement, as are the abilities to be a Master Juggler, by making unknowns a part of the plan. I’m not convinced that what some perceive as ‘pandering’ isn’t part of the planning, and the more I read of ‘direct quotes’ from Barack Obama, and in context to specific positions and why he’s taken them, the more I process it as flexibility or nuance, rather than pandering. In fact, I see it as political genius in creating the framework required for anything that can actually come to fruition. He’s proven that he can get past the gridlock that freezes everything into place, or worse, encourages the decline.

In fact, busting up gridlock, and finding other entrances and exits in the machine, is pretty damn progressive in my own humble opinion.

Sometimes we call it ‘making a way none currently exists’. It’s pretty ingenious when we can use what we’ve already got, to effect a different outcome. Pretty innovative actually.

Report this
Leefeller's avatar

By Leefeller, August 3, 2008 at 4:32 pm Link to this comment

If by Progressive one uses the standard definition, of political reform of liberal ideas, favoring or promoting social reform, change or innovation.  One would have trouble placing Obama under the progressive label, I would refer the Progressive title to Kucinich and even Gravel as they were being more supportive of progressive ideas from the beginning.  In hindsight one could suggest if they had won the Democrat nomination, we would see much less pandering to the middle. 

Quarterbacking from ones computer has it’s advantages, and which we can do here on TD.

Report this

By cyrena, August 3, 2008 at 3:27 pm Link to this comment

Michael Shaw writes @July 31 at 11:39 am

Food for thought, my cousin is a committee woman for the RNC. She is simply loving the turmoil exhibited by progressives. In fact she and her colleagues are celebrating an imminent McCain victory. The only thing they haven’t done yet is crack open the Champagne. Meanwhile the swift boat Islamofacist ploy being aimed at Obama is in full swing.
——————————————————————————-
Tony Wincher responds @July 31 at 1:38 pm
Michael,
Yup, these ideologically “pure” progressives like many who post here are just helping your cousin, and it’s a serious problem, which is why I have dedicated so much time to hanging around Truthdig arguing against them.
~~~~~~~
And, I’m adding just an ‘observation-opinion’ myself. First, thanks to Tony for hanging around to argue against them. It would be honest for me to admit the same. BUT, I would change the language just a bit for myself. I’m not certain that we *can* in fact “arguer against them’ because these people are intellectually disingenuous, and emotionally motivated, so they cannot or will not engage in productive arguments based on reason, or logic. In my humble opinion, it would probably be more effective simply EXPOSE them for what they are, and Michael Shaw’s food for thought comments make that evident.

That said, these people, (like Max Shields) are *not* - and I would repeat this for emphasis, *NOT* progressives, in the true context of what a progressive is. Not by any possible stretch of the imagination, or other leaps of “creative thinking.” Considering them in a ‘progressive’ vein is like calling Dick Bush a ‘conservative’ when in fact they are as *RADICAL* as we’ve seen in multiple decades.
So, we cannot make the mistake of referencing them as ‘progressive’ because that’s where the big trap lies, and it’s how they manage to suck in innocents who are, albeit in degrees, mislead by the mpersonations. Because, they DO present themselves as being ‘progressives’ and gain credibility by being opposed to the entire political system, while managing to avoid ever pointing the finger at any specific individuals in the current repug regime. So they speak in ‘broad and general’ condemnation about the ‘system’ of Democrats and Republicans, while pointing the *specific* weapons at Obama.

It’s clever, and the epitome of perfidy. Max et al has a massive barrel of red herrings that they continue to replenish and recycle. A careful look at their posts over an extended period of time provides a clearer picture.

So no, there is not a single thing ‘pure’ in this ideological. In fact, is it rotten at the core, but that is missed easily enough, unless they can be viewed in context with everything else. And they HAVE been effective, which is why it’s necessary to keep exposing them.

I’ve previously posted the list of organized groups and the associated individuals who are behind this effort. Makes the Swiftboaters of the John Kerry cycle almost seem like amateurs. But then, they had a slightly easier job, because even 4 years ago, Internet communities were not as huge as they are now. On the other hand, the expansion of on-line communities and sites like this one, have also provided an audience and a vehicle for them as well, and they are out in full force.

Some, like Max et al, are more clever than others, (like the bozos that are claiming Obama to be a Kenyan with a false birth certificate). But, they are everywhere on this site and others. So, this is just another BOLO reminder. When we spot ‘em, we need to expose them.

Report this
miroslav's avatar

By miroslav, August 3, 2008 at 7:14 am Link to this comment

http://www.eurozine.com/articles/2008-07-17-ritz-de.html

it spells out the deep link between Obama and Ziggy Brezinsky. It’s not just that Ziggy is advising on the geo-political monstrosities to come, his son is on staff; Ziggie’s daughter a newscaster is pro Obambi.
Ziggy who has hated Russians ever since witnessing what they did in the Ukraine when he was a kid, wants to isolate Russia; i.e more missille shields, more NATO expansion east… the 1000 + year old of the West in that direction, to dominate the “wild” slavic tribes, continues under a different aegis.
You were all fooled again, what fooled ya? Hope, the worst drug of all.

Report this

By Michael Shaw, August 1, 2008 at 8:47 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

I’m sorry Saggy but I respectfully disagree. Big money is the only ethnicity and the real power. Do they support Zionism? Of course they do! War is profit and endless war, which is what Israel’s right wing government offers, is exactly what the oil corporations, security corporations and munitions manufacturers are after. It’s their wet dream ticket to an endless supply in tax dollars and immense profit! The more Israel mistreats Palestinians and her neighbors and grab more land that doesn’t belong to them, the more they guarantee a perpetual war. Dare I say the main reason the Palestinian question has never been resolved and won’t be for many years to come (if at all) is precisely for this reason. Other nations share in this, including Britain, France and Germany. Russia and China too who supply the other side. Granted Bush’s war on terror opened the floodgates for Sharon, but again simply because war is good business for the death merchants who are not all Jews. In fact I’d be willing to bet most of them are Christians. But there are Buddhists and even Muslims involved too. Their real faith, however, stems in power-wealth and the almighty dollar. Just look at Bush borrowing trillions from China while China supplies Iran with missiles, then ask yourself if all of this is merely an Israeli ploy to control the planet. Corporations from all over the world are the only real winners. And the bonus dollars come in the rebuilding process after a nation is leveled.

Report this

By Michael Shaw, August 1, 2008 at 7:19 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Well Tony frankly I’ve been rather disappointed in Obama for his FISA capitulation and have been generally despondent over the democrats in general who would take impeachment off the table and help Bush finance his illegal war. That said there are many other issues of concern, like offshore oil drilling, which will do nothing to lower gas prices and only further destroy our habitat. And if anyone believes McCain, that this move will make us independent of foreign oil, they are out of their minds! We know where McCain stands on this issue and every other canard that comes from Bush. Also Obama at least wishes to negotiate and bring everyone to the table.

The sheer arrogance of the right wing is another factor that may well sway me back to supporting Obama. This country cannot stand another republican administration and I don’t see any vast swing to Nader that would give him a speck of a chance to win.

Report this

By Jim H. 7/31/08, July 31, 2008 at 2:59 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

—————-Tony Wicher, July 31 at 1:43 pm #

—————Says: “Citizen of Kenya”, indeed!

————————The real question is,

——-why must we have Republican(s)around here—-?”

———————————-INDEED!

————————Facts do not change by

———————————“FALSE”

——————-——BIRTH CERTIFICATES!

————————————Ciao!

Report this
Tony Wicher's avatar

By Tony Wicher, July 31, 2008 at 2:55 pm Link to this comment

By cyrena, July 31 at 1:04 am #

Re: Tonstant Weader, July 30 at 8:49 pm
————————————————————————-
Tonstant,

I would like to add my thanks to cyrena’s for a very fine post.

It seems that you, like me, base yourself not so much on ideological cirteria as your judgment of Obama as a person. Human nature transcends ideology, and I judge Obama to be a man of high intelligence, political skill and organizational ability, for whom a multicultural, internationalist view is politics is, as he says, built into his DNA. If we miss the opportunity to elect such a man President, I may finally abandon hope for the future of our country.

Report this
Tony Wicher's avatar

By Tony Wicher, July 31, 2008 at 2:43 pm Link to this comment

By Jim H., July 31 at 5:55 am #
———-WHY MUST WE ELECT A CITIZEN OF KENYA

———————-PRESIDENT OF THE USA?’

————-WOULDN’T HILLARY BE A BETER CHOICE?
——————————————————————————
“Citizen of Kenya”, indeed! The real question is,
Why must we have Republican trolls around here posting inane comments?

Report this
Tony Wicher's avatar

By Tony Wicher, July 31, 2008 at 2:38 pm Link to this comment

By Michael Shaw, July 31 at 11:39 am #
(Unregistered commenter)

Food for thought, my cousin is a committee woman for the RNC. She is simply loving the turmoil exhibited by progressives. In fact she and her colleagues are celebrating an imminent McCain victory. The only thing they haven’t done yet is crack open the Champagne. Meanwhile the swift boat Islamofacist ploy being aimed at Obama is in full swing.
——————————————————————————-
Michael,

Yup, these ideologically “pure” progressives like many who post here are just helping your cousin, and it’s a serious problem, which is why I have dedicated so much time to hanging around Truthdig arguing against them.

Report this

By Michael Shaw, July 31, 2008 at 12:39 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Food for thought, my cousin is a committee woman for the RNC. She is simply loving the turmoil exhibited by progressives. In fact she and her colleagues are celebrating an imminent McCain victory. The only thing they haven’t done yet is crack open the Champagne. Meanwhile the swift boat Islamofacist ploy being aimed at Obama is in full swing.

Report this
Tony Wicher's avatar

By Tony Wicher, July 31, 2008 at 10:00 am Link to this comment

Re cyrena, July 30 at 8:25 pm

“You know our Rus is no ordinary repug. He’s Ghost writing for either the Shrub or Rove himself. He really believes that. Pretty Scary, eh? And, there’s more than one of him too.”
——————————————————————————-
cyrena,

Well, I guess Rus is one of the 28% of Americans that still thinks the Bush Administration has done a great job. But the way he talks, he really does sound like a paid Republican operative. He must watch Fox so much his brain has been scrubbed free of all intelligence.

Report this

By Jim H., July 31, 2008 at 6:55 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

———-WHY MUST WE ELECT A CITIZEN OF KENYA

———————-PRESIDENT OF THE USA?’

————-WOULDN’T HILLARY BE A BETER CHOICE?

Report this

By jojo, July 31, 2008 at 4:57 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Cyrena said:My own phraseology wasn’t nearly so eloquent at the time, (or even now). My point then, (as it remains) was that our ‘reaction’ to 9/11 needed to be a simple question of *WHY* WHY were we allegedly targeted by extremists from *anywhere*? That is the ultimate question that must be resolved.

And *NO* we certainly understand perfectly well, (even the dumbed-down among us)...

Simply My Dear Watson,we have all the clues even the answers to WHY WHY—problem is Americans too stupid to know the enemy within. The riddle can be answered very quickly,why the mostly Jewish controlled media keeps telling us it was 19 arabs with box cutters and not CIA/MOSSAD and both governing accomplices.Hello Billy Goat Clinton. Hope you get caught along with Bush.

Report this

By cyrena, July 31, 2008 at 2:04 am Link to this comment

Re: Tonstant Weader, July 30 at 8:49 pm

Dear Tonstant Weader, (love the name)

A simple thank YOU for the extraordinarily superb post/commentary isn’t really enough. But in the blog world, it will have to suffice. Just so you know how much it is appreciated, particularly by those of us who spend a great deal of time and energy thinking on this stuff.

What you say here, is particularly relevant, and is what I personally, have a difficult time conveying in my own posts, or often frustrated responses:

•  “Obama continues to confound us on every front - public policy, political persuasions and alliances, race and social responsibility. Borrowing a Buddhist description of sanity, he is neither “this” nor “that”, but instead is beyond our usual modes of definitions.”

That really does say it all. In a different sort of a language that others may more easily understand, I’ll repeat what Felicity mentioned some months back: She said, “I think Barack Obama is several steps ahead of the rest of us.” I definitely agree. There is far more to him than meets the average eye, or even the average American mentality.

The reality we are dealing with now is *not* the same reality that we were dealing with, even after the tragedy of 9/11. But the one thing that I’m certain of, which is the thought that I shared with Senator Obama at the same time that he wrote the piece that you reference, was this…

•  “…Certain immediate lessons are clear, and we must act upon those lessons decisively…We must also engage, however, in the more difficult task of understanding the sources of such madness…”

My own phraseology wasn’t nearly so eloquent at the time, (or even now). My point then, (as it remains) was that our ‘reaction’ to 9/11 needed to be a simple question of *WHY* WHY were we allegedly targeted by extremists from *anywhere*? That is the ultimate question that must be resolved.

And *NO* we certainly understand perfectly well, (even the dumbed-down among us) that it wasn’t because of our so-called ‘freedoms’ which have rapidly evaporated ever since that day. On the other hand, as I’ve also pondered many times, it ‘could’ be our ‘freedoms’ that we take with hubris on the rights and property of others throughout the globe. So, in terms of the intervention and expansive imperialism that has been a fundamental American thing, from the beginning of the founding on the backs of slaves, and the genocide of the Native people of the Americas, one might logically conclude that THOSE ‘freedoms’ are certainly resented by the victims.

Thanks again.

Report this

By Tonstant Weader, July 30, 2008 at 9:49 pm Link to this comment

Equating the responses of Messrs Obama and McCain, “At a time when we desperately need a president to remind us we have nothing to fear but fear itself, we are increasingly being treated to a presidential campaign driven by fear” is a bit far-fetched.

The recent New Yorker profile, “Making It - How Chicago Shaped Obama”, quotes from a September 19, 2001 “Hyde Park [Chicago] Herald” column by Mr Obama:

“Even as I hope for some measure of peace and comfort to the bereaved families, I must also hope that we as a nation draw some measure of wisdom from this tragedy. Certain immediate lessons are clear, and we must act upon those lessons decisively…We must also engage, however, in the more difficult task of understanding the sources of such madness…We will have to make sure, despite our rage, that any U.S. military action takes into account the lives of innocent civilians abroad. We will have to be unwavering in opposing bigotry or discrimination directed against neighbors and friends of Middle Eastern descent. Finally, we will have to devote far more attention to the monumental task of raising the hopes and prospects of embittered children across the globe—children not just in the Middle East, but also in Africa, Asia, Latin America, Eastern Europe and within our own shores.”

The piece ends with, “At this point, I throw up my hands and plead with the candidate who I hoped would be that much-needed agent of change: Please prove me wrong.”

What the post leaves out is a larger vision of America at this point in time - less divided yet deeper in the “big muddy”, with the eyes of the world now turned hopefully our way rather than suspiciously.

Yes, Obama is a politician, but he happens to be the recipient of a unique heritage bridging three continents, cultures and views of what it means to be an American. These include the immigrant experience, the experience of a person of color, the perspective of living in the world’s largest Muslim nation long before that faith became synonymous with evil in the minds of many Americans, and a brilliant mix of intellectual rigor and community activist street smarts.

The man is literate, both a reader and a writer, a skilled team builder and listener, a believer in the ability of others to do the job, and most of all someone who does his own thinking. This last quality alone is itself quite a leap from the presidents (or candidates save few) of the past fifty years, at least.

Certainly Obama is no Kucinich when it comes to being spot-on on all of the issues, but neither is he a mirror image of McCain or any of the radical neocons who greased the skids for the events of September 11th and all that was so quickly put into place thereafter. Obama continues to confound us on every front - public policy, political persuasions and alliances, race and social responsibility. Borrowing a Buddhist description of sanity, he is neither “this” nor “that”, but instead is beyond our usual modes of definitions.

Based on a his words, those about him, and his oratory, I believe that Obama is sincere in his views on civil liberties, leveling economic and social barriers and a desire to restore fairness and opportunity to the lives of all Americans. Fortunately for us, he is equally cognizant of the realities - an America dumbed down not solely by Republicans but by Democratic collaboration, a society off its tracks in values, ethics, individual responsibility and accountability, etc.

As has been the history of America since it’s beginnings - capitalism built on the blood and flesh of slaves, democracy declared by certain prosperous men for their own benefit - the way forward is not across a fragrant field of poppies but a meandering trail laden with tears, suffering and difficulty. Yet go forward we must, with a sense of confidence in our ability to create something meaningful.

Sitting in the middle of the path weeping will take us nowhere.

Thank you.

Report this

By cyrena, July 30, 2008 at 9:25 pm Link to this comment

Re: By Tony Wicher, July 30 at 5:10 pm

•  “…Islamophobia and anti-Semitism are virtually identical; in fact Islamophobia is a form of anti-Semitism since Arabs are also Semitic. Zionist extremists are spreading Islamophobia just as you are spreading anti-Semitism, and they are racists just like you….”

Tony, you explained this better than anyone has before. (at least on this forum) ‘Tis exactly what it is!

~~~~
THIS made me double over in laughter…

By Tony Wicher, July 30 at 12:44 pm #
Re Rus7355, July 30 at 11:07 am
“Breaking New: Rove indicted for contempt!”
BREAKING NEWS: House Dems, Once Again, Attempt To Overstep Their Authority!
——————————————————————————
Rus,
•  “And what are you, may I ask? A Republican? “Overstep their authority??” Congress has been a complete dormat for the Bush gang for the last eight years.”

You know our Rus is no ordinary repug. He’s Ghost writing for either the Shrub or Rove himself. He really believes that. Pretty Scary, eh? And, there’s more than one of him too.

Meantime, we’ve known for the last couple of weeks that this indictment was on the way. It’s only 8 years late.

Report this
Tony Wicher's avatar

By Tony Wicher, July 30, 2008 at 7:54 pm Link to this comment

Saggy, July 30 at 6:02 pm

No, Saggy, this is the response of any decent human being who understands you.

Report this

By Michael Shaw, July 30, 2008 at 6:24 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Hey Saggy I wasn’t talking specifically about the Iraq war. I was speaking about the corporate lobby system that is geared to allow overall political corruption via campaign finance and there is far more than only one single lobby making a killing there. Yes I realize that AIPAC is the largest and I agree they yield far too much political influence. But if there is anyone to fully blame for the war in Iraq, it is Cheney and Bush! They after all made the decision to go and to lie to us(and congress) to get there. And if you honestly believe their sole purpose in this endeavor was to simply benefit the Sharon government and Israel you aren’t realistically looking at this situation.

There is no doubt powerful lobby groups yielded influence both before and after the decision was made to go to war in Iraq. There is also no doubt they(the neocons) knew they would get no argument from the department of defense, munitions manufacturers, corporate oil or the Sharon government. 

Granted what has happened here is the result of the Project for a New American Century. I’ll also grant you that at least two of the co-authors to this horrendous doctrine, Bill Kristol and Paul Wolfowitz are Zionists, but there are also several non Jewish   entities who play a role and have just as large a stake in this.

Both Zionists and non Jews are involved in the PNAC. My one question to you would be do you actually believe that every major corporation in the world that supports this travesty and is profiting by it are owned and operated exclusively by Zionist Jews? If so then it is futile to take this any further. If not then perhaps you’ll agree that AIPAC, like all of the giant lobbies are exploiting the real problem, the corporate lobby system. Change that system and adopt real campaign finance reform and you will begin to solve many of our most detrimental problems. To get it done we’ll need to support progressive candidates rather than calling people in forums liars or aiming our frustrations and contempt at one specific ethnic group.

Report this
Tony Wicher's avatar

By Tony Wicher, July 30, 2008 at 6:10 pm Link to this comment

By Saggy, July 30 at 2:18 pm #

The WMD, the oil, democracy, the lobby .... all Zionist charades designed to divert those easily diverted.
—————————————————————————-
But a guy like you never loses his single-minded focus on Jews, Jews and more Jews, eh, Saggy?

Here’s the actual facts: In Germany the Nazis used anti-Semitism to divert the German people from the real causes of their economic problems. That is how they got into power. Today, those who would establish a military dictatorship in this country, the neocons and their backers and associates, some of whom some are Zionists and others are not are using a virtually identical tactic -Islamophobia. They corner the market on Middle East oil and rob the people blind, all in the name of the “War on Terrorism”. Israel also uses Islamophobia to justify its policy of apartheid and ethnic cleansing. Islamophobia and anti-Semitism are virtually identical; in fact Islamophobia is a form of anti-Semitism since Arabs are also Semitic. Zionist extremists are spreading Islamophobia just as you are spreading anti-Semitism, and they are racists just like you.

Report this

By Michael Shaw, July 30, 2008 at 2:42 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

And Tony we are in complete agreement. Thank you!

Report this

By Michael Shaw, July 30, 2008 at 2:39 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Congress is supposed to be one of the three equal branches of government. To allow Rove to obstruct justice would not only prove congress has the inability to enact its own constitutional powers, but that Bush has been completely successful in trashing this most precious of documents! Congress is fulfilling its mandate to protect and defend the Constitution of the United States and the Constitution is far bigger and more significantly important than any political party. Bravo to congress for finally doing what it must!

Report this
Tony Wicher's avatar

By Tony Wicher, July 30, 2008 at 2:27 pm Link to this comment

By Michael Shaw, July 30 at 10:01 am #

Michael,

First of all, thank you! It’s like a cool drink of water in the desert to hear from a REAL progressive. I hardly have anything to add. But I think your statement raises one of my favorite questions, which is to what extent the problem lies in “the system” and to what extent it lies in “the people”. Obviously it is some combination of the two. If people all had perfect integrity, society as a whole would be perfectly just. Obviously that is just an ideal. The reality is that there is in the citizenry of any country an average level of greed, ambition, and general corruptibility. There is a bell curve, if you will, going from the most honest and socially responsible to the most selfish and corrupt. The best system is one like our Constitution which is built to be as resistent to corruption as possible through its system of checks and balances. If however the level of corruption gets too high, even the best system collapses. The current administration is the most corrupt in history. No doubt there are legal changes that could be made that would reduce the influence of lobbyist money on elected officials. But it is also true that corruption can defeat any system of laws, and it may not be so much a matter of changing the laws as getting honest people into office.

Report this
Tony Wicher's avatar

By Tony Wicher, July 30, 2008 at 1:44 pm Link to this comment

Re Rus7355, July 30 at 11:07 am

“Breaking New: Rove indicted for contempt!”

BREAKING NEWS: House Dems, Once Again, Attempt To Overstep Their Authority!
——————————————————————————
Rus,

And what are you, may I ask? A Republican? “Overstep their authority??” Congress has been a complete dormat for the Bush gang for the last eight years.

Report this

By Michael Shaw, July 30, 2008 at 11:22 am Link to this comment

Breaking New: Rove indicted for contempt!

http://www.truthout.org/article/house-panel-votes-cite-rove-for-contempt

Report this

By Michael Shaw, July 30, 2008 at 11:01 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

And we call the election process a circus…...Well Tony all of this Zionist hysteria makes me believe America will never solve it’s problems. In fact it will be lucky if it can agree on the color of s**t! What I also find fascinating is the obvious banter aimed solely at Jews from people who call themselves progressives. I am no fan of Zionist expansion in the Middle East and I am frankly abhorred by the harsh treatment of the Palestinians by the Israeli government. I also believe that AIPAC, which at one time was a necessary and valuable tool to protect a then new and vulnerable state, has now become instead a hindrance to Israel’s progress and overall wellbeing. It is biting her in the ass today and many Jews in fact realize this. That said, I am no fan of anyone who blames everything on one group of people. It’s too easy to do that. It’s like Pat Robertson blaming gays and liberals for 9/11 or Rush Limbaugh blaming all of our problems on liberals and progressives. Another example is in blaming illegal immigrants for all of America’s woes or trying to point out all Islamics are non Christian radical extremists who hate America.

The real problem is our own lobby system and the way it was set up. Those who are able to effectively exploit this system are not the real problem but rather a symptom. The real problem is in creating a system that is so easily vulnerable to such exploitations, just as NAFTA and CAFTA are responsible for creating massive unemployment in Mexico, forcing people over the border in record numbers to find work here. As for the Islamics “hate us” tool, that is necessary to perpetuate a war on Islam, to steal their oil and feed the massive military machine. If the oil were somewhere else, our hatred would be directed at them,  just as it is in Venezuela where Robertson literally called for Chavez’ assassination. Either way you look at it, it all boils down to hate. That’s great for those who are running this country into the ground at our expense. We have so many targets to blame and keep us occupied while the real culprits fly safely under the radar. Multinational corporations and the politicians they coerce are the real problem and they for the most part are not Jews though of course some are. Wealth is power regardless of ethnicity or reigion. In fact money is the only religion extreme power-wealth shares or believes in. But at the same time should we blame everyone who has money too? Of course not!

Let’s take a look at the impeachment process. Even if we were to string George Bush up along with Cheney and the others(which will never happen anyway), the power behind them will still exist.

And lastly, our biggest problem is us. We are the most complacent group of people on earth. We should be en mass out in the streets taking back this country. But it is far easier to sit in here and bitch about things that will never change unless we first do. If we’re tired of getting gouged at the gas pump, stop buying gas, call your boss and tell him you can’t afford to work for big oil anymore. Just imagine if 50 million people woke up one day and did that!?! Stop shopping at WalMart and the other major chains. Stop buying foreign goods. Make your own clothing if you have to or shop at local thrift stores. This would force the captains of industry to bring work back here. Don’t pay for services or goods from corporations who illegally spy on us and don’t buy stocks that have anything to do with defense contracts, the oil and nuclear energy industries or the major telecommunications industry. If Gandhi did it, we can too!

Report this
Tony Wicher's avatar

By Tony Wicher, July 29, 2008 at 6:09 pm Link to this comment

Everbody,

Should we really provide a forum for Saggy and friends to try to rehablitate Hitler? I have personally had enough. What do you say, cyrena? Can I get an amen?

Report this

By mrmb, July 29, 2008 at 4:51 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Cyrena,

Our political process and polity have become corrupted, due to various reasons. However that doesnt mean that we cant get it back and mold a new one more in tune with our values and character and a lot more humane and responsible to the rest of the planet.

Back to Iran. I was watching Brian Williams interview with the Iranian President and eventhough he was very polite unlike Scott Pelley (60 minutes, who was handed his ass to him by Ahmadinejad) he like the rest of the press corp suffer from the same disease: ignorance and falling into the imperial mind trap. What was really interesting to me is that he (Williams) could not really break out of that mold and the premise of all of his questions was basically based around the fact that whatever he hears in Washington is the gospel and the world is shaped around that.

Thats the main reason why a lot of people here in the US are looking at alternate sources of news to replace NBC, CBS, CNN, FOX, BBC and the rest of the zionist controlled media.

This mental and intellectual disease also aflicts our average citizen. Who also accepts as truth everything and anything that is being repeated over and over by the media and it also becomes the topic of analysis and discussion by the elite which adds more credence to the initial lies and half truths.

Once this mindset prevails a major gap is created between the individual and actual reality taking place in the real world. This is the essence of mind control practiced as an art by the zionists controlled media. If you look very closely you will see it and you will also see why they react so savagely when the fundamentals of their house of bricks is challanged.
Case in point is Ahmadinejads challange of holocost and the high moral standards thats exclusively attributed to israel, jews and zionists. When they face such a challange then you can see all their lackies out in force. Be they white, black, hispanic, right, left, secular, religous and etc….. This diverse set of lackies also helps the facade and makes it even more difficult for others to get their word out.

Iran is being challanged by such massive propaganda, half truths, lies and deceptions on a daily basis. You can see that on all issues, the same tactic is employed time and time again and we just follow like ...........

Report this

By cyrena, July 29, 2008 at 1:26 pm Link to this comment

memb..

Thanks for the excellent post, (on the Iranian structure) which you certainly expounded on far better than I.

This is why of course, (in part) the West doesn’t ‘get it’.

“Going back to the constitution and the polity, there are numerous checks and balances in the system and power is deliberately dispered and there is no single dictator to deal with and it becomes very confusing for our imperial mindset at times to decipher who is who and what the policy is.>”

~~~

Nope, our own imperial mindset cannot conceive of this at all. That’s because in our US isolation, we have our own idea of what a ‘democracy’ is, and anything that isn’t like we’ve decided, must not be whatever it is.

Report this
Tony Wicher's avatar

By Tony Wicher, July 29, 2008 at 10:31 am Link to this comment

Re JoJo, July 29 at 8:40 am #
(Unregistered commenter)

Notice no-one speaks of the RedCross stationed in all of the concentration camps,since the late 30’s and none of their records showed gassing or killings.
How odd America and Israel got all the records and under lock and key.
No wonder German took action http://www.newsweek.com/id/86093
—————————————————————————-
Jojo,

Thanks for the newsweek link. It’s a fascinating story. I never heard it. It sounds quite credible. It does anything but show there was no Holocaust; on the contrary, it shows the magnitude of it, and how Jews came to feel in their guts that anti-Semites and Nazis were vermin fit only for extermination. Which indeed I myself was raised to believe, even though I’m not Jewish. You see, there is one thing that does bond Jews and Americans, and that is that we fought the Nazis together and we both despise them.

Report this
Tony Wicher's avatar

By Tony Wicher, July 29, 2008 at 10:10 am Link to this comment

Re Michael Shaw, July 29 at 6:48 am #

Michael,

It’s always nice to hear from someone who actually knows some history and has a level head on his shoulders.

Report this

By mrmb, July 29, 2008 at 10:08 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

The notion of Iran being a democratic state is not far fetched. However as a reader plainly referred to it, democracy has to fit the local culture, history, customs and has to be homegrown else it has no roots.

The Iranian constitution is actually very progressive and it combines the principles of a Republic and an egalitarian , utopian principle of Islamic governance specifically derived from Shiism. The two mixtures form the backbone of the Iranian political system.

Be advised that Iran is going through a lot of changes in very turbulent times and unlike the USA that has had the luxury of geographical protection and therefore immune to invasions and hostile powers Iran is surrounded by hostile powers including us.

The geographical isolation of the US allowed for the growth and maturity of homegrown grass roots institutions and the evolution of democratic capitalism as we see it today. We barely are threatened from north or the south.
This geographical distinction gives us certain advantages and it also helps shape our national psyche.

The Iranian landscape and geography is exactly the opposite. Hence the british, russian, and american intereference in their internal affairs that has been very detrimental to their socio-political-economic evolution as a society.

Having said that, and viewed in proper context the Iranian revolutionaries have done a really good job at forming a state, fighting off external acts of aggression (WAR), economic sanctions, acts of terror directed at them, maintaining security, establishingthe rule of law, allowing for the formation of grass roots organizations and institutions, exapnding the number and quality of higher institutions, nearly eradicating ilitracy, building infrastructure all over Iran and primarily focusing on the villages and small town, holding local and national elections, all this while fighting for their very survival.

Going back to the constitution and the polity, there are numerous checks and balances in the system and power is deliberately dispered and there is no single dictator to deal with and it becomes very confusing for our imperial mindset at times to decipher who is who and what the policy is.

Our tendency as an imperial power is always to look for a strongman that we can either buy, bribe, corrupt so we can make deals with him and establish our controls and domination. In the case of Iran we keep on searching and we are unable to find such a man.

We really dont want to deal with a system and its intricacies hence the difficulties we face in dealing with Iran.

Iran at its very core is a bi polar society. Secular and religous. The secular portion of the society is vibrant, very lively but is not in power and the religous pole will not allow it to enter the centers of power as it considers them unworthy of such trust.
The reasons are historical and deep rooted and Iranians will finally bring these two poles together after they deal with their immediate issues like survival, national independence, and dealing with the empire.

Report this
Tony Wicher's avatar

By Tony Wicher, July 29, 2008 at 9:49 am Link to this comment

By Saggy, July 29 at 7:20 am #

I believe that I can convince any rational person that the holocaust is pure phantasmagoria, a crude hoax, but I have to get the discussion beyond name calling and generalities to look at the evidence.
——————————————————————————
You know what this is like, Saggy? It’s just like arguing with people who say the moon landing was a hoax. Here is an event that, like the Holocaust, was was literally witnessed by the whole world. No one who was alive and conscious at the time could possibly take such an idea seriously. It would take more patience than I possess to seriously try to prove it wasn’t a hoax to someone determined to maintain it is. The evidence is overwhelming. It’s like arguing with creationists, another futile exercise. If you want to believe people and dinosaurs coexisted, I can’t prevent it. If you want to believe the earth is flat, I can’t stop you either. If you want to believe the Holocaust was a hoax, I also can’t stop you.  It’s your religion, your faith. Unfortunately, it’s a religion of hate.

Report this

By JoJo, July 29, 2008 at 9:40 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Notice no-one speaks of the RedCross stationed in all of the concentration camps,since the late 30’s and none of their records showed gassing or killings.
How odd America and Israel got all the records and under lock and key.
No wonder German took action http://www.newsweek.com/id/86093

Report this
Tony Wicher's avatar

By Tony Wicher, July 29, 2008 at 9:12 am Link to this comment

Outraged, July 29 at 1:18 am #

Re: Cyrena

I have never doubted that thinking people no matter what country in which they happen to reside, strive for a more fair and just government.  But to claim Iran “a democracy” is ridiculous, as it is to claim the U.S. “a democracy”.
——————————————————————————-
Outraged,

I for one did not say Iran was a democracy. I said Iran is somewhat democratic. I know they torture dissidents and repress women. Nevertheless, the people do have some limited say. I believe, for example, that Ahmedinejad is quite unpopular in Iran now, and the mullahs cannot afford to be too unpopular or they will go the way of the Shah.  I doubt if the mullahs will put him Admedinejad for election next time.  I did not say the U.S. was a democracy. I said we were also somewhat democratic. By any of your dictinary definitions, there has never in history been a pure democracy. Please tell me one state in which there has been no ruling class, and all citizens enjoyed complete political equality. There has never been such a state. If fact, the old Marxist definition of a “state” was an organization of power for the oppression of one class by another. That’s why he figured if class conflict ended, the state would wither away.

For the forseeable future, there will always be some kind of ruling class, and there will always be a people’s struggle for democracy to counter it.

Report this

By Michael Shaw, July 29, 2008 at 8:19 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Saggy…..Little to do with the oil companies? They are the oil companies! Bush and his two top aides(Cheney/Rice)are all oil people. The MIC are oil people too! Oil powers the vast war machine. Without it there would not only not be an MIC, there wouldn’t be a mechanized army either.

Report this

By Michael Shaw, July 29, 2008 at 7:48 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Iran is a nation controlled by the Ayatollahs and this is our fault because we deposed their secular, democratically elected president with the help of Kermit Roosevelt and the CIA, under the direction of Dwight D. Eisenhower who placed the brutal Shah in power so British Petroleum could exploit their oil. Iran was the first nation our country coercively overthrew. That trend has continued around the world for the last 50 years, ever since the inception of the MIC.

Also for the record, Eisenhower opened the doors to the War in Vietnam by sending military advisers there. He also planned and financed the Bay of Pigs operation. Years later when Nixon was elected for promising to stop the war in Vietnam, he instead escalated it by invading Laos and Cambodia. So the argument that democrats have created more wars than republicans is faux pa. It was a joint effort.

Report this
Leefeller's avatar

By Leefeller, July 29, 2008 at 7:29 am Link to this comment

Why would anyone want to give you one example of physical evidence,  not sure how you would do that anyway, but I am sure you would say it is a lie and not physical enough.  How do you believe in anything the way you perceive?  To argue what has been documented?  We are talking genocide here, how would you prove beyond a doubt that anything is real, all the genocide’s which have been told to take place, I personally would not want physical evidence, which would mean I would have had to been there. 

One can believe in and discredit anything if they try hard enough, your anti Jewish fetish seems to be, sadly yours.

Reversing the argument is where it should be, give us some physical evidence, since you must have some.

Report this
Outraged's avatar

By Outraged, July 29, 2008 at 2:18 am Link to this comment

Re: Cyrena

I have never doubted that thinking people no matter what country in which they happen to reside, strive for a more fair and just government.  But to claim Iran “a democracy” is ridiculous, as it is to claim the U.S. “a democracy”.

I would love to read anything you may have concerning Iran and its people.  Probably, I’ve stated this before, at least hopefully I have.  The bottom line is people are human beings, and irregardless of the conditions we are dealt, the greater majority strive for common bonds, nationally and internationally.

Report this

By cyrena, July 29, 2008 at 12:28 am Link to this comment

by Outraged, July 28 at 10:05 p
“…If you seriously believe Iran is “somewhat” democratic…....... I have a bridge to sell ya.”..

~~~

Ok, Ok, I know..you’re gonna try to sell me the same bridge too! smile

But seriously…Iran DOES have a political democracy that actually *is* quite well structured. (Maybe even better than ours) I have a really excellent source for some information on it, because quite a bit of it is accessible on line, and I could post some of those links for you. The stuff is in one of several readers that I still have from multiple comparative law studies, this one happening to be Law in the Middle East. So, while Iran’s ‘democracy’ has the ultimate overtones of a Theocracy, (based on how we view such distinctions) it is still a democracy, with a well formulated rule of law, and a structure for their parliament.

And yes, it’s definitely ‘in flux’, in order to accommodate the more modern needs of their younger society. Womens’ groups have figured out that many of their particular problems are inherent in the Constitution, so they’ll have to continue working at that. But, THEY CAN, and they HAVE. That doesn’t mean that they aren’t religious themselves, because many of them are, so they aren’t necessarily anxious to have a ‘democracy’ like the one that we allegedly have. Democracies are not the same in all cultures, but that doesn’t mean that they aren’t democracies. Democracies are what the people decide they want, and it should still be remembered that the Iranians rejected the US appointed Shah, and ran his ass out of there in their 1979 revolution. That wasn’t that long ago. And, with a population now that is comprised (by 70%) of people under the age of 30, they are still very active.

Anyway, I’ll try to dig through my stuff that’s in storage when I have a chance, and post some of the links. It was quite an eye opener for me, since we get so little information here, that hasn’t been painted with a Western perspective.

That said, I only just realized which Chalmers Johnson piece you were referencing, when I read this latest one. Remember a few months back when he had another great piece on Wolsin’s book? That’s when I bought the book, and that’s what I was thinking of, before I read this latest piece from him that is posted now.

Nikki Kiddie’s review is good as well…

Report this
Outraged's avatar

By Outraged, July 28, 2008 at 11:05 pm Link to this comment

Re: Tony Wicher

If you seriously believe Iran is “somewhat” democratic…....... I have a bridge to sell ya.

Report this
Tony Wicher's avatar

By Tony Wicher, July 28, 2008 at 10:10 pm Link to this comment

Outraged,

It seems you miss my point.  There is a point in understanding what a democracy IS, before attempting to find “degrees” of it. Maybe the problem is we don’t have enough people using mathematical reasoning to assess the actual.  The type of democracy I am referring to is not a social structure, but a political one, a government.  As such, we do NOT fall into any “degree” of democracy only the appearance of it.  To contrast, Iran holds elections also, does this mean they are “democratic”?
——————————————————————————
What can I say but that Iran is, in fact and in reality, SOMEWHAT democratic, just as the United States is. The people are of Iran, like those of the United States, are only allowed to choose between candidates approved by the ruling class, in their case the Mullahs, in our case capitalists. The existence of a ruling class LIMITS democracy, but it does not eliminate it all together. In fact, democracy is a social force which balances and limits the power of the ruling class. It’s yin and yang - without a ruling class, you don’t even need a democracy - the state has “withered away” at that point. I’m not holding my breath until then. Meanwhile, we need to make maximum use of democracy to limit the power of the ruling class and get the best deal we can for people at the bottom.

Democracy is at an all-time low in this country. Obama is leading a big recovery of democracy right now, and both the people and the more progressive parts of the ruling class are behind him.

Report this

By rowman, July 28, 2008 at 8:34 pm Link to this comment

RE: By Saggy, July 28 at 1:49 pm

Suggesting the holocaust is a hoax completely invalidates any credibility you tried to muster.
It did happen and there are mountains of evidence to prove it. Any proposition to the contrary is complete non sense.

And your summary of Night is wrong. Try reading the book. After that, catch up on some of the Nazi documentation, photos, plans, tests.

If reading something other than the sociopathic rants of paranoid conspiracy theorists, there are some good documentaries on discovery channel that ought to get you up to speed. Unless or course, you are one of the aforementioned.

Report this

By cyrena, July 28, 2008 at 8:01 pm Link to this comment

Speaking of Inversion, (or ironies?) This might make one wonder who really IS ‘on the brink’.


Editor’s Note: Some Republicans, as well as many Democrats, are scratching their heads about the harsh and negative tone of John McCain’s presidential campaign, which has accused Barack Obama of everything from wanting to lose the Iraq War to causing $4 a gallon gasoline.

In this guest essay, former Democratic congressional aide Brent Budowsky, who liked the McCain he knew on Capitol Hill and admired the independent-minded candidate he watched in 2000, is amazed at the transformation:

The man who used to be John McCain is reacting to the pressures of a campaign by becoming Meat Ax McCain with low-road attacks that raise core questions of presidential temperament.

  (I’d say these core questions were raised long ago)

On Monday, as Barack Obama hosted a meeting with financial leaders from across America, the anger-ridden, increasingly desperate McCain campaign accused Obama of creating a future depression.
The performance of the man who used to be John McCain—and his campaign which is run by foreign agents and Bush-Rove disciples—now raises grave questions about whether McCain has the temperament and stability in a crisis to be President.

In recent days McCain has accused Obama of supporting genocide, wanting to lose the Iraq war, and now possibly creating a world depression.
There is an anger to all this, an emotional and intellectual distemper, and an intolerance of alternative opinions, traits that have flared up in McCain’s behavior before and have deeply troubled his Senate Republican colleagues for many years.
More at the link.

http://www.consortiumnews.com/Print/2008/072808b.html

Report this

By cyrena, July 28, 2008 at 4:28 pm Link to this comment

According to Wolin, inverted totalitarianism has “emerged imperceptibly, unpremeditatedly, and in seeming unbroken continuity with the nation’s political traditions.”
 
This an excellent book, and I’m so glad you all are back to discussing it. As I go back to this part of Wolin’s argument, I agree with the imperceptible part of it, but I don’t agree with the unpremeditated part of it, because of things like deregulation, which is what set up the oligarchy, which eventually made it easier for a complete totalitarian coup.

But, the question of the continuity with the nation’s political traditions is a very interesting paradox, also noted by Lawrence Wexler in his excellent book, I Miracle, A Universe. In it he speaks to many of the people affected by the overthrows of *previously open/democratic* societies, by totalitarian or other fascist regimes, specifically Uruguay, Chile, and Brazil. The point, (as noted by these many ‘subjects’ is that the more ‘open’ or democratic a society is, (and I’m not sure how one goes about disconnecting any society from it’s political structure) the more likely that society is to fall victim to such a takeover.

So this ‘inverted’ totalitarianism can be seen as resulting from the nations democratic political traditions. But, this takes some serious mental gymnastics. Nothing for the feint of heart or mind. I can only think on this stuff in small doses.

Report this
Leefeller's avatar

By Leefeller, July 28, 2008 at 3:41 pm Link to this comment

Outraged,

“The United States has become the showcase of how democracy can be managed without appearing to be suppressed.” Sounds like you are onto something.  One can step back and see the control and manipulation working in all that you suggest.  Science fiction becoming real.

Sounds like we should all use our computers for target practice, Big brother is watching anyway. Mentioned this before, your post reminds me of Woody Allen’s movie “Sleeper”  Cloning fearless leaders nose to keep the status quo.

Report this
Leefeller's avatar

By Leefeller, July 28, 2008 at 3:26 pm Link to this comment

troublesum,

You talking to me! you talking to me? Once upon a time I had a critical thought, but it evades me. And I have never said Bush has done anything right. Insisting myself always being right, would be easier if everyone agreed with me.

Report this
Outraged's avatar

By Outraged, July 28, 2008 at 3:19 pm Link to this comment

Re: Tony Wicher

Your comment: “The reality always falls short of the ideal. People who don’t understand this should forget politics and take up pure mathematics or something. Societies are more or less democratic.”

It seems you miss my point.  There is a point in understanding what a democracy IS, before attempting to find “degrees” of it. Maybe the problem is we don’t have enough people using mathematical reasoning to assess the actual.  The type of democracy I am referring to is not a social structure, but a political one, a government.  As such, we do NOT fall into any “degree” of democracy only the appearance of it.  To contrast, Iran holds elections also, does this mean they are “democratic”?

This article, orginally linked to by webbedouin on the other thread and written by Chalmers Johnson is a review of Sheldon S. Wolin’s work regarding this exact premise:

“To reduce a complex argument to its bare bones, since the Depression, the twin forces of managed democracy and Superpower have opened the way for something new under the sun: “inverted totalitarianism,” a form every bit as totalistic as the classical version but one based on internalized co-optation, the appearance of freedom, political disengagement rather than mass mobilization, and relying more on “private media” than on public agencies to disseminate propaganda that reinforces the official version of events. It is inverted because it does not require the use of coercion, police power and a messianic ideology as in the Nazi, Fascist and Stalinist versions (although note that the United States has the highest percentage of its citizens in prison—751 per 100,000 people—of any nation on Earth). According to Wolin, inverted totalitarianism has “emerged imperceptibly, unpremeditatedly, and in seeming unbroken continuity with the nation’s political traditions.”

The genius of our inverted totalitarian system “lies in wielding total power without appearing to, without establishing concentration camps, or enforcing ideological uniformity, or forcibly suppressing dissident elements so long as they remain ineffectual. A demotion in the status and stature of the ‘sovereign people’ to patient subjects is symptomatic of systemic change, from democracy as a method of ‘popularizing’ power to democracy as a brand name for a product marketable at home and marketable abroad. The new system, inverted totalitarianism, is one that professes the opposite of what, in fact, it is. The United States has become the showcase of how democracy can be managed without appearing to be suppressed.”

Among the factors that have promoted inverted totalitarianism are the practice and psychology of advertising and the rule of “market forces” in many other contexts than markets, continuous technological advances that encourage elaborate fantasies (computer games, virtual avatars, space travel), the penetration of mass media communication and propaganda into every household in the country, and the total co-optation of the universities. Among the commonplace fables of our society are hero worship and tales of individual prowess, eternal youthfulness, beauty through surgery, action measured in nanoseconds, and a dream-laden culture of ever-expanding control and possibility, whose adepts are prone to fantasies because the vast majority have imagination but little scientific knowledge.”

http://www.globalresearch.ca/index.php?context=va&aid=9031

Report this

By troublesum, July 28, 2008 at 2:54 pm Link to this comment

Blindly supporting a political candidate, being unable and unwilling to admit when he’s wrong, spinning every mistake he makes into something positive, trashing anyone who disagrees with you, stubbornly insisting that you alone are right while everyone else is wrong…. this is a very good example of critical thinking to be holding up to students.

Report this

By cyrena, July 28, 2008 at 2:44 pm Link to this comment

Leefeller,

•  “Didn’t we just go through this the other day on something else?”

~~~
Yep..

The wall, impeachment, the ‘surge’, the suggestions for Afghanistan…. every day we go through this. The main culprits generally recycle old talking points. All are specious.

Tony,
I’d be delighted to have you join in. Actually, this 1st session of the summer is winding down this week, and I won’t be doing any structured courses for the rest of the year. Still, there are others you could sit in on. (maybe not as exciting as mine though). But, if you can hold out, I’m going to try to set up something similar on line, which means grabbing a few of the gang to put the thing together for us. (never do the work yourself when there are kids or students around. That’s why god made kids and students, and my parents never had any respect for child labor laws.) Matter of fact, they refused to acknowledge the Emancipation Proclamation.

Just kidding, (not about my parents, but about the students). So, I’ll let you know when we’re ready to kick it off.

OH…they’ve already figured it out about Saggy. Same with a few of the others of The Bitter Bone Marrow.

To greater and lesser degrees, (as you reponded to Outraged) we’re pretty much at a point where we can identify those in the rabbit hole, and those who are still hanging on, (albeit by the varying degrees again) to what’s left of reality.

Report this
Tony Wicher's avatar

By Tony Wicher, July 28, 2008 at 2:26 pm Link to this comment

I don’t want to argue Holocaust history with you right now, Saggy. Maybe later. Gotta get some work done now.

Report this
Tony Wicher's avatar

By Tony Wicher, July 28, 2008 at 2:11 pm Link to this comment

By Leefeller, July 28 at 12:47 pm #


Maybe Saggy should run for president of Iran.
—————————————————————————
At least he should deliver a paper like his mentor David Duke at Ahmedinejad’s next Holocaust Denial conference.

By the way, that conference did more to help Israel than anything else Ahmedinejad could have done.  It’s been one of their main talking points ever since. Even in Iran liberal Iranian students were demonstrating against him, carrying his picture upside down.  I think even Ahmedinejad understands it was a mistake at this point.

Report this
Tony Wicher's avatar

By Tony Wicher, July 28, 2008 at 1:58 pm Link to this comment

Re Outraged, July 27 at 11:48 pm #

Golly, my friend, I don’t disagree with any of those dictionary definitions, and none of them contradict my statement that democracy, like fascism, like imperialism, like oligarchy, like everything else in this world, which is not black and white, not pure, not ideal, but actual - a mixture, if you will, of yin and yang - is a matter of degree. The reality always falls short of the ideal. People who don’t understand this should forget politics and take up pure mathematics or something. Societies are more or less democratic. No society in history has ever been more than partly democratic. To progress is to increase democracy. We have a long way to go, in fact the journey is endless.

Report this
Leefeller's avatar

By Leefeller, July 28, 2008 at 1:47 pm Link to this comment

Maybe Saggy should run for president of Iran.

Report this
Tony Wicher's avatar

By Tony Wicher, July 28, 2008 at 1:36 pm Link to this comment

Re cyrena, July 28 at 12:16 pm #

As as aside, my students LOVE the comments from troublesum, the beerdoctor, and dihey, just to name a few. They always present such ‘easy points’ that I’ve had to limit the number of comments they use from these ‘sources’ in their assignments, (this is in critical thinking and research/statistics) because they’re too easy.
——————————————————————————-
Hey, cyrena, I didn’t know you were using these posts for a class! It’s a great idea! Can I sit in? I think maybe you should use Saggy’s posts to give them a good education about anti-Semitism, so they won’t end up like Saggy. Too many young people have no fundamental political education and no historical awareness that goes back to WWII and the Holocaust, so they easily become prey to anti-Semites, as they surf the Web and think they have discovered something new that accounts for all the world’s problems instead of a 2000-year-old canard being pushed by hatemongers.

Report this
Leefeller's avatar

By Leefeller, July 28, 2008 at 1:36 pm Link to this comment

Thanks cyrena,

Of course it is suspicious, we all know we can trust the media as far as we can throw them.  Your points are well taken. 

Something is going on in Congress, they seem to accept the war mental direction and we are not privy to the reasons, for the truth, real truth may never see the light of day.  Special interests, oil, Israeli, Military complex, you can add to the list,  over all money is to be made.

Even Obama seems to have changed his tune, but you are correct the cover up by the powers that be, has been on for quite some time now.  Sure the Pentagon or White House do not like to see splattered all over the news, numbers and publicity of troop injuries and vet suicides. 

You are correct when one claims that someone did not do something as an argument makes for questions of the asker. Seems McCain likes to go in that direction.  Didn’t we just go through this the other day on something else?

Report this
Tony Wicher's avatar

By Tony Wicher, July 28, 2008 at 1:23 pm Link to this comment

By Leefeller, July 28 at 12:08 pm #


Saggy suggested gas chambers may never really have ever existed or in the least, it is odd every person in Nazi hands was not gassed.  Saggy, not sure are you saying the Nazi’s did not do their job well?  Very odd indeed.
——————————————————————————
Leefeller

Sounds like it. He just wants to finish the job.

Report this

By cyrena, July 28, 2008 at 1:16 pm Link to this comment

By Leefeller, July 28 at 7:20 am #
Troublesum,
Seems Obama should have gone in anyway, he may have had to stomach his compassionate side. No cameras no show, makes sense to me. When becoming a war monger you must keep your distance or you may change your opinions and then hope to stop them.
~~~~~

Lefeller,

This is more innuendo via inference. It so common that we all just accept it as if it is so…This is a perfect exmple. (actually, a student ‘caught’ this one.)

Think about it again..

•  “…Obama backed out of a meeting with wounded American soldiers in Germany because the pentagon wouldn’t let the tv networks bring their cameras in…”

1.  How do we know that Obama ‘back out’ of anything? (no reference to such an event for us to read the details ourselves)
2.  If he did ‘back out’ (the language is very important) how do we know that it’s because the pentagon wouldn’t let the press in? Again, that’s an inference, and the use of the word ‘pentagon’ is highly suspicious, since the ‘pentagon’ isn’t *in* GERMANY literally speaking.
3.  If the ‘pentagon’ wouldn’t allow the press in, the real question from this should be ‘why wouldn’t the ‘pentagon’ allow the press/tv networks in? Could it be, (if any of the above is even true) the same reason why NO tv cameras are now, or have ever been, allowed anywhere in the vicinity of the area when our troops bodies are returning in boxes? THAT is a direct order from Barbara Bush, not the Pentagon.

So again, if all of the above were true:

~Obama ‘backed out’
~it was because tv cameras weren’t allowed (by the Pentagon)

WHY weren’t the TV camera’s allowed, and could THAT have had anything to do with Obama ‘backing out?”

As as aside, my students LOVE the comments from troublesum, the beerdoctor, and dihey, just to name a few. They always present such ‘easy points’ that I’ve had to limit the number of comments they use from these ‘sources’ in their assignments, (this is in critical thinking and research/statistics) because they’re too easy.

Report this
Tony Wicher's avatar

By Tony Wicher, July 28, 2008 at 1:12 pm Link to this comment

Saggy,

As to your Holocaust denial, this is required for all anti-Semites, precisely because people like you did in fact commit the worst crime against humanity in history, and if you succeed in popularizing your anti-Semitism in this country, it will happen again. People like you are infected with anti-Semitic disease (ASD) need to be identified and quarantined. Who knows, maybe a cure will be discovered.

Report this
Leefeller's avatar

By Leefeller, July 28, 2008 at 1:08 pm Link to this comment

Saggy suggested gas chambers may never really have ever existed or in the least, it is odd every person in Nazi hands was not gassed.  Saggy, not sure are you saying the Nazi’s did not do their job well?  Very odd indeed.

Report this
Tony Wicher's avatar

By Tony Wicher, July 28, 2008 at 12:50 pm Link to this comment

Saggy,

I should respond more fully to your last post.

Yes, Carter can be considered a Zionist, insofar as he has always supported the concept of a Jewish state, actually has Christian Zionism in his religious background, and was a very good friend to Israel while he was President. That is why Zionist charges that he is anti-Semitic are so outrageous. Here we do have a case of Zionists trying to suppress all criticism by calling opponents anti-Semitic. Carter is anything but anti-Semitic, and has historically been a good friend to Israel, but Zionists have been getting more extreme in their demands, and they are also getting more corrupt with power every day. Carter really believes in universal human rights. It was under the Carter administration that human rights became official U.S. policy, and it has remained so (if often in name only, of course) ever since. He wants Israel to live up to human rights promises for Palestinians made to him by Israel when he was President. Also, he is eighty-four, and when you get that old sometimes you don’t care what people think of you any more.

Report this
Tony Wicher's avatar

By Tony Wicher, July 28, 2008 at 12:21 pm Link to this comment

By Saggy, July 28 at 11:06 am

Well, I just hope everybody here is getting a good lesson in what anti-Semitism is. You are a beautiful specimen, Saggy. You should be preserved in a museum.

Report this
Tony Wicher's avatar

By Tony Wicher, July 28, 2008 at 9:42 am Link to this comment

By Leefeller, July 28 at 7:49 am #


Where do you guys come off using the “A” word? (apartheid) Didn’t Carter get his tits in a wringer over the same thing?
——————————————————————————
Strange post, Leefeller. Yeah, Carter’s tits were caught in the Zionist wringer for telling the truth, for writing a book, “Palestine, Peace not Apartheid” that came out a couple of years ago. It doesn’t  
tell the whole story, either, but enough of it to really piss off the Zionists, and they have smeared him as anti-Semitic. Obama has had to dissociate himself from Carter for political reasons, even if, as I hope, he privately agrees with him. That is the main reason I am glad to see Carter’s national security advisor Zbigniew Brzezinski, also accused by Zionists of anti-Semitism for remarks indicating his preference for a more neutral policy toward Israel, is still on Obama’s foreign policy team.

I think “apartheid” is a correct description of the state of Israel as it is, and I do not see how any state that is described as a “Jewish state” could be otherwise, because it really means a state in which only Jews can be full citizens. That’s why I don’t believe in the possiblity of any “two-state solution” to the conflict. The “Jewish state” came about as a result of historical necessity - 2000 years of anti-Semitism culminating in the Holocaust (which our two anti-Semites deny, of course). It was a measure the Jewish people took to protect themselves, and it was understandable that they felt they had to do it by the end of WW II. But, in my view, it is only a temporary solution, a stopgap measure, and the time has come for Israel to stop allowing “Jewish self-defense” to trump universal democratic principles. That means transitioning to a multicultural democracy.

My Zionist friends will object that my dedication to universal democratic principles is admirable, but with people like Saggy and his buddies around, the time for such a transition has not yet come, even after 60 years. That is a strong argument that I find hard to counter. The best I can do is to point out to them that as long as they are denying justice for the Palestinians and universal human rights, and as long as the Israel Lobby tries to enforce a code of silence about it in this country, they are justifying and exascerbating anti-Semitism. They are creating more Saggys every day both in this country and among Arabs and Palestinians. It is therefore in the interest of Jews to support and manage such a transition to multicultural democracy, with complete U.S. help and support.

Report this
Leefeller's avatar

By Leefeller, July 28, 2008 at 8:49 am Link to this comment

Where do you guys come off using the “A” word? (apartheid) Didn’t Carter get his tits in a wringer over the same thing?

Report this
Tony Wicher's avatar

By Tony Wicher, July 28, 2008 at 8:43 am Link to this comment

By Saggy, July 28 at 4:17 am #


re: Tony Wicher, July 27 at 10:42 pm #

....... My postition is that if Zionists insist on creating an apartheid state for Jews, the U.S. should support them.

IF ???????????  You have doubts?  Can’t tell?
—————————————————————————-
As I will repeat one last time, my postition is IF the Zionists insist on creating an apartheid state for Jews, the U.S. should not support them. In particular, they should vote against them in the U.N. They should also consider some kind of international boycott as was done with South Africa.

But if the U.S. does this, or even privately threatens to do this, Israel will give up Zionism and agree to changing Israeli law to make Israel a true multicultural democracy. Why? Because even Zionists are not crazy enough to go up against the U.S., their only ally and protector. The question is whether the U.S. will ever do this. The only way it will ever happen is if American Jewry is convinced that Israel will remain secure. The key is progressive Jews in this country. They have a long tradition of belief in democracy and human rights, and if they think Israel is violating these principles, it will create a split in the Jewish community and make it possible to criticize Israel without being thought anti-Semitic. The thing is, Zionists are right that anti-Semitism is still everywhere, and this is what makes Zionism so hard to fight. Without anti-Semitism there would be no Zionism. Your anti-Semitism and that of your soulmate and people like you is therefore supporting and and justifying Zionism. Either you don’t understand this, you’re just plain old-fashioned hatemongers and don’t care, or you could even be Zionist provacateurs, since objectively you are helping them. I don’t think so, though - your anti-Semitism sounds very sincere.

Report this
Leefeller's avatar

By Leefeller, July 28, 2008 at 8:20 am Link to this comment

Troublesum,

Seems Obama should have gone in anyway, he may have had to stomach his compassionate side. No cameras no show, makes sense to me. When becoming a war monger you must keep your distance or you may change your opinions and then hope to stop them.

Report this

By troublesum, July 28, 2008 at 8:09 am Link to this comment

Obama backed out of a meeting with wounded American soldiers in Germany because the pentagon wouldn’t let the tv networks bring their cameras in.

Report this
Outraged's avatar

By Outraged, July 28, 2008 at 12:48 am Link to this comment

Re: Tony Wicher

Your comment, originally directed at Max Sheilds, however I would like to respond.

“I can’t. Face it, we’re imperialists. but we’re also a democracy. Democracy, like imperialism, is a matter of degree.”

Is this like “partial sovereignty” for the Iraqi’s..? An oxymoron.  Or perhaps, “zero tolerance”, another oxymoron.  How is it that DEMOCRACY can be “a matter of degree”....?  This is inaccurate.  Either you HAVE a democracy, or you do not.  Democracies are NOT defined by matter of “degree”, how could they be?

Dictionary.com (unabridged): 1. government by the people; a form of government in which the supreme power is vested in the people and exercised directly by them or by their elected agents under a free electoral system.
3. a state of society characterized by formal equality of rights and privileges. 
4. political or social equality; democratic spirit. 
5. the common people of a community as distinguished from any privileged class; the common people with respect to their political power. 

American Heritage Dictionary:
1. Government by the people, exercised either directly or through elected representatives.
2. A political or social unit that has such a government.
3. The common people, considered as the primary source of political power.
4. Majority rule.
5. The principles of social equality and respect for the individual within a community.

Wordnet:
1.  the political orientation of those who favor government by the people or by their elected representatives
2.  a political system in which the supreme power lies in a body of citizens who can elect people to represent them
3.  the doctrine that the numerical majority of an organized group can make decisions binding on the whole group

Websters Revised Unabridged Dictionary:
1. Government by the people; a form of government in which the supreme power is retained and directly exercised by the people.
2. Government by popular representation; a form of government in which the supreme power is retained by the people, but is indirectly exercised through a system of representation and delegated authority periodically renewed; a constitutional representative government; a republic.
3. Collectively, the people, regarded as the source of government.—Milton.
4. The principles and policy of the Democratic party, so called. [U.S.]

Please note that in everyone of these definitions the phrase “government by the people” is the ABSOLUTE overriding COMMONALITY.  One definition accurately defines it as “the SUPREME power is vested in the people”.

There are NOT “degrees” of democracy.  There are degrees of forms of government, but there ARE NO “degrees of democracy”.  Possibly your assertion would be more accurately defined as a “degree of fascism”.....

Report this
Tony Wicher's avatar

By Tony Wicher, July 27, 2008 at 11:57 pm Link to this comment

By cyrena, July 27 at 12:03 am #


Part 2 of 2 reply to Saggy

Meantime, I’m with Tony on the subject of Zbigniew Brzezinski. He is who and what he is, and I believe him to be a smart and honest character. (very smart) What I find so incredibly ironic, (and on an almost daily basis) is how so many (uninformed) people have ‘accused’ him of both ends of the spectrum. A year ago, everybody was hollering about how he was ‘anti-Israel, and anti-Semitic.” Now all of a sudden a whole different bunch of haters, (Obama haters) are accusing him of being a Zionist.
—————————————————————————-
cyrena,

A lot of people don’t like Brzezinsky because he was the consummate cold warrior, and they also point to the damage he did in Afghanistan. You could reasonably call him an imperialist. But the only people I have ever heard call him anti-Semitic are Zionists like Alan Dershowitz, and that charge is a smear. But as to his being a Zionist, I do believe Saggy is the only person in human history to call him a Zionist. Which only goes to prove that Saggy has a crack in his head when it comes to “Zionists”.

Report this
Tony Wicher's avatar

By Tony Wicher, July 27, 2008 at 11:42 pm Link to this comment

Re Saggy, July 27 at 5:49 pm #

re: Tony Wicher, July 27 at 3:22 pm #

....... My postition is that if Zionists insist on creating an apartheid state for Jews, the U.S. should support them.

There you have it. 

————————————————————————-
Sorry, Saggy - I noticed a few minutes after I posted that I left out the word “not”. I corrected myself before I saw this post. My statement should read, .. My postition is that if Zionists insist on creating an apartheid state for Jews, the U.S. should NOT support them. This should be perfectly clear from the context.

I must admit that I was pleasantly surprised by your list of objectives, which I mostly share. If only you would stop seeing Jews, or even Zionism as being the major obstacle to accomplishing them. Zionism is a problem, but Zionists are not as powerful as you think, and Jews are some of the most wonderful people on Earth.

Report this

By cyrena, July 27, 2008 at 11:11 pm Link to this comment

Saggy…

“.. I do have a very jaundiced view of Zionists (here’s why http://www.historiography-project.org/misc/doors.html).  I think these religious fanatics, that have been at odds with the world for 3000 years, and now are sitting on a powder keg and are armed with nuclear weapons, are an extraordinary danger to the human race.”..

~~~~

I’ve read all of the stuff you recommended here Saggy, and I certainly find it all VERY informational , specifically Walt and Mersh. (I’ve never heard of Fritz Hollings).

And Saggy, at the end of the day, it’s all about how anyone (particularly anyone with such strong biases - legitimately or otherwise acquired) chooses to interpret it.

You’re right Saggy, Saddam Hussein was not removed 30 years ago, but it wasn’t for lack of trying.

You act like this thing with Israel and nukes is new. They’ve had ‘em for 30 years.

You call Chomsky a Zionist, though you don’t mention how HE became that. Does HE also connect the quest for oil to the invasion and occupation of Iraq?

In other words, is it the case that anyone who recognizes that the goal of the US in the invasion and occupation of Iraq was to secure that most strategic place as the beginning of their imperial ventures in the middle east must be a Zionist?

Is that why the US has also gone overboard in it’s attempts to remove Hugo Chavez in Venezuela? The Zionists want him gone?

Was it the Zionists who arranged for the overthown of Iran’s Mossadegh in 1954?

The way you tell it, Zionists are the most powerful critters in the history of the world. They can do just about ANY damn thing! Poll vaulting over toilets sounds like an embryonic warm up for them.

Report this
Tony Wicher's avatar

By Tony Wicher, July 27, 2008 at 11:08 pm Link to this comment

By Max Shields, July 25 at 8:20 pm #

So, Mr. Wicker, name a President in the last 60 years who hasn’t been guilty of military intervention. Come on just one.

Max,

I can’t. Face it, we’re imperialists. but we’re also a democracy. Democracy, like imperialism, is a matter of degree. Bush is at the far right end of the spectrum. He represents oil companies and defense contractors as his family has for generations. These fools have destabilized the whole economy and pissed off the rest of the ruling class more than the people. They are going to get rid of this moron and install somebody competent, at least. That somebody is Barack Obama. He has and deserves the support of all progressive elements in society at this point, from Warren Buffet on down.

Report this

By cyrena, July 27, 2008 at 8:35 pm Link to this comment

By Tony Wicher, July 27 at 5:10

•  “…Sorry folks, that’s an obvious typo, although I suppose Saggy will use it to prove that I am after all a Zionist. I left out the “not”: My position is that if Zionists insist on creating an apartheid state for Jews, the U.S. should NOT support them…”

Thanks Tony, for the clarification. The typo SHOULD have been obvious, (especially to me) but I’ve gotta admit, I’m finally willing to acknowledge that I’ve been mentally effected (though marginally I hope) by the long term insanity.

I was at Trader Joe’s a couple of weeks ago, and purchasing some items that I needed to split between two transactions. The guy rang up the 1st 4 items and ‘pronounced’ the total at $50.16. I responded with a momentary dull look, and then asked him if he was sure those 4 items actually amounted to $56.16. He said yep, and *repeated* $50.16. I then *repeated* $56.16 as my eyes bugged out, thinking, DAMN!! Just in the time it took for me to pick the stuff up from the aisles/counters, the price went up THAT much? I remember reflectively glancing around the store for a sight of Lewis Carroll or even the Mad Hatter…just for some confirmation of a point of orientation. Then I came to and said, “Well, scratch that batch I guess, and ring up the next one.” The guy replied that he’d have to get his supervisor over for that. Ok..whatever.

The supervisor came along to confirm what the ‘event’ was all about, at which point I discovered that the 4 items had actually totaled $15.16. Fifteen – NOT fifty. Where had the ‘communication’ breakdown occurred? Why hadn’t I suggested to the guy, that he might be out of his mind when he told me the stuff was that much, and then *repeated* it? I don’t know. I’m just chalking it up to the effects of sustained terror, shock, and awe.

But again, I think my affliction is probably marginal compared to others.

Anyway, thanks again. Now we’ll be prepared when Saggy calls you a *triple* Zionist, and double-double dares you to prove otherwise.

Report this
Tony Wicher's avatar

By Tony Wicher, July 27, 2008 at 8:05 pm Link to this comment

jersey girl,

Your description of this video as “entertaining” is indicative. I would call it not information but “infotainment”. I don’t know if you have seen “The Empire of the City” by an outfit calling itself “Amenstop Productions”, but it’s even more entertaining - if you’re a conspiracy buff, that is. I set no store by it at all. Enjoy!

http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=4675077383139148549

Report this

By cyrena, July 27, 2008 at 7:58 pm Link to this comment

By Saggy, July 27 at 6:14 pm #

1.  Get US troops out of nearly everywhere.
2.  Get US missiles out of everywhere.
3.  Develop tight working everyday relationships with the Russians at the highest levels. Stop the posturing, positioning, threatening, altogether.  This is truly insane.
4.  The Israel problem seems intractable, but, then, so did South Africa.  Figure out how to get to a one state solution without blowing up the world.
5. Get serious about denuclearization.
~~~
Saggy, I agree on numbers 1 and 2. No doubt you have a way of accomplishing all of that by next week. Those 700 plus military bases that the US maintains throughout the globe, many of which have been there so long they’re so permanently affixed to the landscape they’d have to be dissolved with dynamite or something. In case you can’t manage that on your own, feel some comfort in the fact that there ARE people checking into this, and have been for several years now.

McCaskill Takes On Military Industrial Complex
Friday 25 July 2008

by: Matt Renner, t r u t h o u t | Report
http://www.truthout.org/article/mccaskill-takes-on-military-industrial-complex

~~~~

On number 3…leave it alone for Christ’s sake. The Russians aren’t bothering anybody. You don’t think there’s enough other stuff to worry about?

On number 4, the problem DOES seem intractable, and it is NOT solely the responsibility of the US to fix it. Maybe THAT’S the problem. WE don’t need to figure out how to get to a one state solution or two state solution. The world community needs to figure out how to accommodate the Palestinians and the Israelis so that ALL human rights are respected. Quite frankly, with the exception of Jimmy Carter, the US has done little more than make things worse.

On number 5, we’re already serious about denuclearization. Pay attention.

The Nuclear Age Peace Foundation

http://www.wagingpeace.org/

How Obama Became Acting President
Sunday 27 July 2008
by: Frank Rich, The New York Times

http://www.truthout.org/article/how-obama-became-acting-president

Read and listen to this again, and order your absentee ballot. (if you’re a US citizen that is)

http://www.truthout.org/article/obama-delivers-soaring-call-unity-berlin

Have a great week.

~~~~

Tony, if the topic of globalization could be reduced to a cartoon, (like the link presented) none of us would be here to talk about it. But, I’ve noted your very diplomatic response. wink


“Ignorance is the most violent element of society”
~Emma Goldman

Report this
Leefeller's avatar

By Leefeller, July 27, 2008 at 7:48 pm Link to this comment

Thanks for the reply Saggy,

We all have our opinions, this is what we do.  Yours are respected by me, even if I do not agree.

Me thinks I need to get out my old bumper sticker that says. “who gives a damn about apathy.”

Report this

Page 1 of 4 pages  1 2 3 >  Last »

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

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

Like Truthdig on Facebook