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Obama on the Brink

Posted on Jul 22, 2008
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.

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.”


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By Leefeller, July 25, 2008 at 6:54 am Link to this comment

Differences between our two party system is subtle, in fact it has been so for many years. President Lincoln once stated the difference between the two parties is the same as two drunks fighting on the street and when the fight is over they have each others coat on.

Obama not protecting our rights by voting to save the telecoms, sold me on the merits of apathy.

Vote as you wish for they do as they want. Unfortunately, I have to agree with Robert Scheer, except it is not just Obama, it is the system.

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By tg, July 25, 2008 at 6:14 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

LisaN, your right about one thing ‘We can’t leave the Republicans any room to steal the election again. ‘

The Republicans stole the election, Nader had little if anything to do with the expulsion of Democrat voters from the Florida voting rolls.

Those of that read more then Democratic Party press clippings are well aware that Nader did not get W elected. Jeez I wish you pompous Democrats would read a little more than Democratic propaganda.

Your bitterness would be better served aiming at a legitimate target instead of wailing about Nader.

I’m so sick of the piety of Democrats and their hypocrisy. Why don’t they end the war? Why don’t they impeach W? Why, because they are as owned as the Republicans and too few of their devotees have the courage to face up to that fact.

The blinders-on Democrats here apparently aren’t bright enough to realize that the issues that face the country transcend both political parties and neither party has the courage to level with the American public.

As far as the Supreme Court goes, read the recent NY Times Magazine article about how the justices are picked and how corporate friendly justices are chosen by both Democrats & Republicans. This is another canard being used as a scare tactic by the Dems.

It’s sad that so many Democrats are happy to have their heads stuck in the sand and are so enamored with a charismatic yet unproven candidate. You’re like foolish teenage girls agog with the latest boy band. Grow up!

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By rybo, July 25, 2008 at 4:53 am Link to this comment

What a huge disappointment. I thought there might be some hope in this man. Does every presidential candidate have to swear loyalty to AIPAC and Israel? Has that become a prerequisite? Anyway, he did. Then he voted for the horrible FISA bill. He wants to send 10000 troops to Afghanistan and is threatening Pakistan.

He’s picked up the banner of American Imperialism and most likely will continue the drive to the Caspian Basin. Also, lately he’s been using the words terror and terrorism in his speeches. Hey folks, it’s going to be the same old politics in a new suit and in a more polished package.

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By tommot, July 25, 2008 at 1:39 am Link to this comment

In 2000 the purists on the left said there wasn’t a dime’s worth of difference between Bush and Gore. Vote for change. We got Bush and damn close to the end of this experiment in democracy.
In 2004 the same purists, ever unable to learn, said there wasn’t a dime’s worth of you know what between Kerry and Shrub. Vote for change. Show them the 3rd way. We got a second helping of Big Oil and fake stetsons, two right of right wing Supremos, and the accelerated erosion of the Constitution.
Now poor Robert Sheer is doing it again. How an intelligent and compassionate liberal can be proof against learning is difficult to explain. The definition of insanity is repeating the same thing with the expectation of different results, but I really like and respect Sheer. So? Explain.

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By cyrena, July 24, 2008 at 11:41 pm Link to this comment

By doglover, July 23 at 9:05 pm

•  “PS I suspected Obama’s predilections when he refused to help filibuster Justice Alito’s nomination. I do, however, like his approach to fundraising.”

Doglover, do you have any particular evidence of this so-called refusal on Obama’s part to help filibuster Alito’s nomination? Did ANYONE of the Democratic members of the Senate filibuster Alito’s nomination?

Let’s recall the numbers on that nomination.

Alito was confirmed by 58 to 42. 100 Senators. A margin of 16 votes. Clarence Thomas was confirmed by a margin of 4.

Of those 58 voting FOR him, were all but ONE repuglican. Chafee (R-RI) and FOUR Democrats.

Byrd (D-WV)
Conrad (D-ND)
Johnson (D-SD)
Nelson (D-NE)

The 42 that voted NO, were all of the rest of the Democrats, plus Chaffee, and one Independent; Jeffords (I-VT)

Question, of the 42 Senators that voted nay, INCLUDING Barack Obama, how did you come by the information that ‘he’ refused to help filibuster? Did any of the other 41agree to do that? Did any others refuse to do it?

Or…are you just making that all up?

Just curious.

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By Tony Wicher, July 24, 2008 at 9:59 pm Link to this comment

Since the trauma of 1968 there have been lots of embittered, alienated ex-Democrats. I think they should get over it, but they seem be so used to it that it has become their political position in and of itself. What it amounts to is that they have taken themselves out of the political process.

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By cyrena, July 24, 2008 at 9:12 pm Link to this comment

By mike112769, July 24 at 4:34 pm 1 of 3

•  “..Cyrena: I used to look forward to your input on these articles. While I disagreed with you on a lot of issues, I valued your perspective. It has become abundantly clear that you are simply an apologist for the democratic liberals. Just becuse they are not in “power” doesn’t mean that they are not to blame for the mess this country’s in. Please use your considerable intellect to see what is REALLY going on…”

Ah Mike…first, allow me to say how much I very sincerely appreciate your criticism. I honestly do mean that, and I even agree with you on one of these very important points. But, it’s also abundantly clear that you’ve either MISSED some of my input on these articles, (and that’s perfectly possible) or you’ve misperceived it. (and in that case, it would mean that I’ve apparently failed to articulate myself well enough).

I AGREE with you that the Democrats are at least partially to blame for the *continuation* of what was begun in earnest, as a Totalitarian takeover of our state. I wouldn’t deny that – ever. Nor have I ever. When the democrats gained a tiny majority in the House, (not the Senate, but the House) in 2006, and Nancy Pelosi immediately said that ‘impeachment was off the table’, I was thoroughly pissed off, and damn near heartbroken. But, I got over it quickly enough, by doing what I always do, which was to band together with likeminded people in my own community, to KEEP IT ON THE TABLE. And for us…it still is. That is the case with more people than you appear to be aware of, and yes…we will continue those efforts.

I am not an ‘apologist’ for anyone, including myself. Now you perceive that I’m an apologist for these ‘liberal’ democrats, and that is a misconception itself, beginning with the term ‘liberal’ and by innuendo, presuming me to be loyal to a PARTY, rather than the principles of democracy. That is very incorrect. I’m not a group person. In fact, my assigned ‘handle’ (from those who’ve known me all of my life) was ‘renegade’. So, I don’t attach myself to a party of dems or anyone else. I have always voted for the person, and not the party, based on what I could ascertain about that INDIVIDUAL’S commitment to the principles of democracy. I EXPECT that ALL members, or ANY party in the US, should be committed to those principles. It is clear that not all of them are. By and large, the republican party has been dismissive of those principles for multiple decades. And yes, many current members of the Democratic Party are as well. I make no excuses for any of them.

Let’s use the most recent example that seems best in as it applies to ALL of us, regardless of party affiliation, or NO party affiliation. The destruction of FISA. FISA was adopted in 1978 as a response to the abuses of the Nixon Administration. It has, to the extent of my own knowledge..worked. I saw NO NEED to change it to accommodate the continuing abuses of the regime that highjacked our government in 2000. Yeah, there were a few cosmetic type revisions that it could have made in order update it for 21st Century technology. But those were minor. What came after nearly 2 years of fighting with the thugs, was an atrocity. What made it such an atrocity? It’s an atrocity because the MAJORITY of the Congress allowed it!

Again, let’s be clear. The MAJORITY of the Congress gave in to this so-called ‘compromise’ that should never have been a compromise at all. Did each and every single house or senate democrat approve it? NO! They did not. The same congressional representative that was the ONLY representative to vote NO on the use of force against both Afghanistan and Iraq, (Barbara Lee) also voted NO on this FISA legislation, and made it very clear that it was the atrocity that it was. She didn’t ‘apologize’ for it, and neither have I.

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By cyrena, July 24, 2008 at 9:11 pm Link to this comment

2 of 3

I’m not apologizing for ANY member of Congress that has failed to live up to their duties. But I will offer the explanation, which is NOT the same as an ‘excuse’, of reality based on the way political systems operate, because they don’t operate in a vacuum.

So MY argument, is that it is NOT ‘the system’ that is totally broken, because the fundamentals of ‘the system’ itself are fine. In other words, the blueprint is a good one. Has it become corrupted by the people who are connected to it? Absolutely! Lobbyists should have absolutely NO CONNECTION to the system. NONE. (That didn’t just begin to happen by the way.) I could go on and on with how the system has become corrupted, but it is NOT the basic structure of it that is bad. That’s why this whole ‘fix’ is not as easy as some here would like to suggest..such as multiple parties.

Think on that for a minute. Do we not already HAVE multiple political parties in the system? Absolutely we do, and they frequently show up on the ballot. Are they liberal, or conservative, or moderate, or what? Do you even know? Depends on how you perceive of those terms. In pure political terms, *I* would be a conservative, to moderate, to liberal, and there isn’t a single party that purely represents those values. I’m conservative in my commitment to the rule of law, (and I’m enormously offended by the fascist RADICALS that have highjacked our system.) I’m committed to that blue print. And I will state unequivocally here and now, that it HAS been corrupted, and must be repaired, if it isn’t already too late. 

As for your suggestion that I find out what is REALLY going on…I’ve been at it, and I’m still on it, and I plan to be for as long as I can still think. However, the truth is that even when I put that stuff out there, folks aren’t listening. There are probably multiple reasons, and I’ve put many of those forth in previous posts.  But the primary reason is that there is simply not an ‘either/or’ perspective. It’s too complex for that. Even the blue print isn’t black and white. It’s blue. Yet, that is what most are demanding. Most people are impatient and frustrated with what they see as a ‘system’ that doesn’t work. So, they’re ready to toss that out and replace it with what…they really don’t know. It’s like a chronically depressed person moving from place to place, with the belief that a ‘different’ place will make them happier. They don’t realize that with each new relocation, they have to bring themselves along with them. And so, it never changes.

And now that we’ve agreed that there are democrats who are as much responsible for the mess we’re in as there are repuglicans, (if only by their lack of any attempt to persuade their counterparts to uphold the principles of democracy) let’s look even further than that. WHO PUT THEM IN OFFICE to begin with? Or, who FAILED to vet them well enough BEFORE putting them in office? Is every single US voter responsible as well? I would say NO! Why? Because as Louise has made clear enough in other posts, WE DID AS MUCH AS WE COULD, but we are not living in a vacuum either.

In the hundreds of people that post to this site, I’ve read only one single person admit to voting for the thugs. I never got a chance to respond to say how much I appreciated the honesty, and the courage to admit that. WHY were enough US citizens ‘fooled’ (despite the near frantic warnings from people like me) into voting for them? Yeah, yeah, we know they ‘stole’ the elections, but come on. How the hell would they have been able to do that, if ENOUGH Americans hadn’t voted for them, either out of ignorance or greed. And yes, I understand the ignorance, and I’m willing to make excuses for those who DID vote for these people, because they JUST DIDN’T KNOW.

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By cyrena, July 24, 2008 at 9:10 pm Link to this comment

3 of 3

But how many of them will now say that? How many will say, like that one poster did…”I DIDN’T KNOW. Now I know more, and I’m going to keep trying to learn as much as I can.?” It’s always so easy to put the blame on an ‘entity’ or on another individual, and all too often, that can be done. But we can’t always exclude ourselves. And until we assess/diagnosis where the REAL ailment is, there are no solutions.

Now, I’m going to wrap this up with a recommendation to read the two excellent posts just below mine by Louise and LisaN. They both say it far better.

By Louise, July 24 at 4:26 pm #171150
By LisaN, July 24 at 4:19 pm #171148

I’ll also include the fact that I vehemently disagree with you that Barack Obama is a ‘hack’. A better sense of judgment on the part of the “body politic” would make that clear. And so that is the dilemma that this last 8 years has wrought. A genuine leader comes along who can actually *lead* us in the REPAIR…(and I say *lead* the effort, because NO! -  one person is NOT going to do all of the work. It ain’t gonna happen, if you wanna call yourselves a democracy.) and you all don’t even *recognize* the repair person/crew chief when he shows up. If you wanna know what’s really going on…LISTEN to him instead of the chronically cynical, who will NEVER be satisfied, no matter what. No, that should be revised. The people on this site who have consistently incited this mantra are basically NO DIFFERENT than the radicals who thrive on chaos and instability. If ever things actually *were* in any measure of balance, they would be miserable.

As my mother used to say, ‘some folks just can’t stand prosperity’.

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By Michael Shaw, July 24, 2008 at 9:02 pm Link to this comment

CJ up until now Reagan put more people on the streets than anybody excluding bush and Hoover. There was no cultural revolution there, just another example of voter ineptitude. It was also the beginning of the insurmountable debt we are now in, consolidation of media by the major communications giants and the first time in US history a president fell asleep in most of his meetings. It wasn’t Carter who busted down unions either. It was Reagan.

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By Michael Shaw, July 24, 2008 at 8:53 pm Link to this comment

For those of you who think we still have a chance with the democrats, read this:—E-by-Cheryl-Biren-Wrigh-080724-201.html

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By Tony Wicher, July 24, 2008 at 8:53 pm Link to this comment

By CJ, July 24 at 8:42 pm #

I remember Carter. Sure he was a disappointment in many ways, but still, it was under his presidency that universal human rights first became part of U.S. policy, and recently he wrote a book, “Palestine: Peace not Apartheid”, from which Obama has had to publically distance himself. There could be a lot of worse things than Brzezinski, too. He’s no neocon and no Zionist. I’m glad to see him on Obama’s foreign policy team, and I have supported him and Carter against Zionist charges of anti-Semitism.

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By webbedouin, July 24, 2008 at 8:47 pm Link to this comment

Think you guys are confusing Zionism & Judaism.  One is a religion, the other is a political ideology.  In Israel, very much like here in America, public opinion is vastly different than governmental actions.  Obama is courting the Zionists, who are the neocons. 

As it happens, many of the Bush Cheney advisors hold dual American - Israeli citizenship.  Which helps explain why the US pursues such stupid foreign policies that benefit another country.  Take a look at this:
Dual Citizenship—Loyal to Whom?

And should you have missed it:
The Israel Lobby

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By CJ, July 24, 2008 at 8:42 pm Link to this comment

I was never optimistic, Robert, regarding Senator Obama. As you note all through, there’s little reason to feel optimistic because a Democrat might wind up in charge. Few seem to remember who Carter was back then, and far fewer who Kennedy actually was. Thanks for reminders, especially of whom Carter really was, also ardent opponent of Sandinistas; thus, opponent of people’s democratic movements. Johnson was known to be “crafty.” He does deserve a smidgen of credit for allowing himself to be convinced by King and then pushing through (craftily, no doubt) Civil Rights Act. Not to excuse the excuse that was Tonkin Gulf “incident.”

We’re doing even worse by now, not too surprisingly after the so-called “Regan Revolution,” which lead directly to Bush Dynasty, Clinton having been only an interloper with nothing new to offer up. Obama for some time has struck this reader as being very much like Bill Clinton. All four—Reagan to W—were ardent free marketeers—Four Marketeers, hardly Musketeers. Historical results—from first to latest—were S&L;collapse, NAFTA, Enron and now home-mortgage crisis. All these and more costing tax-payers countless billions, such that billions spent killing Iraqis and Afghanis don’t compare.

Busted unions and busted-down wages and salaries since Carter took office. Nixon is looking more and more admirable with every passing day, despite having been “crook,” as well as McCarthyite, as was Ronald Reagan, incidentally. Another fact no one seems to remember.

Otherwise, Reagan represented a serious shift—mostly of wealth from lower and middle-classes to upper class, if not so much in the case of foreign policy. That’s hardly changed since James Monroe (possibly not since Jefferson, some would argue), except to become ever more viciously, perniciously, insistently persistent. Now in the interest of waging “war on terror.” Of course—to any rational person—the only way to be done with that is to excise it surgically. But what if an entire military is perpetrator of terror?

Now, McCain and Obama looking to represent right-wing Americans in their never-ending (Who? Not me!) reach for global domination. (U.S. of Amnesia, indeed. Except not amnesia by accident, unlike in the case of an individual amnesiac whose amnesia is the result of an accidental bump on the noggin).

Long gone is Samantha Power, who’s not exactly a flaming radical, for having made a remark the substance of which I can’t even recall, except that it was something about with Hillary. Now firmly ensconced is Brzezinski (also Mika’s pop, which is of note only because daughter appears daily as co-host of “Morning Joe” on MSNBC. There’s the nepotism thing too).

Zbigniew is “liberal” compared only to Henry. Or maybe not, since I’m not too sure Kissinger isn’t to Brzezinki’s left, especially after reading Scheer’s citation of blurb re Gates’ book back then.

Just today, Obama thought to deliver up a not-too-badly written speech in Berlin. Problem with the speech was that it was Obama who delivered it. Had, say, Mandela delivered it I’d have been okay with it. Stuff about tearing down different walls than the one Reagan demanded be torn down. (No mention of tearing down the actually concrete wall still under construction by the Israeli government, to which Barack was last seen pandering. Not that McCain has any business whatsoever talking about who’s pandering, after having spent decades doing exactly that on his own behalf.)

Obama has gone over the brink into the tank, along with his senatorial colleague. Presidents and candidates for president have been doing that since long before my time. They always do when push comes to shove, when it’s really about global reach—invariably in the name of democracy and/or humanism, tragicomically enough. Would Obama were to prove Scheer wrong. Not a snowball’s chance in the Middle East.

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By Tony Wicher, July 24, 2008 at 8:18 pm Link to this comment

By minemule, July 24 at 7:16 pm #
(Unregistered commenter)

The only thing wrong with Obama is that he is scared shitless of Israel.  Other than that,his heart is in the right place. Unfortunatly (for the average American)he knows full well that unless he makes a special effort to kiss Israel’s ass, and bow to their every demand, he has no prospect of being elected president. As long as Jews control this country as they presently do, do not expect anyting other than what you have.

Here’s a more optimistic view: Obama is not “scared shitless” of Jews; on the contrary, Obama knows that Jews themselves are “scared shitless” of a return of anti-Semitism, which is why they think they need an “Israel” to begin with. Israel cannot exist without U.S. support. What you have been seeing is therapy. Obama is reassuring American Jews that he will not abandon Israel, that the United States will always guarantee its security. If he is successful in thus gaining their trust, their level of paranoia will go down and they will accept him as a mediator in negotiations with Palestinians, even if he requires them to make some difficult compromises.

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By Tony Wicher, July 24, 2008 at 8:02 pm Link to this comment

By KDelphi, July 24 at 2:23 pm #

I sure as hell wish you guys hadnt in 2000-Gore shouldve fought! Now, the Dems should cease to exist…

I think you’re very wrong. This is the most critical election since I started paying attention. Obama is the best candidate for President the Democratic party has nominated in a long time.

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By samosamo, July 24, 2008 at 7:29 pm Link to this comment

I know I will not vote republican and I what I have seen of obama does not make me want to vote for him either. I will just have to see who else is on the ballot.

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By minemule, July 24, 2008 at 7:16 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

The only thing wrong with Obama is that he is scared shitless of Israel.  Other than that,his heart is in the right place. Unfortunatly (for the average American)he knows full well that unless he makes a special effort to kiss Israel’s ass, and bow to their every demand, he has no prospect of being elected president. As long as Jews control this country as they presently do, do not expect anyting other than what you have.

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By enoughofit, July 24, 2008 at 5:50 pm Link to this comment

since when do the German people get to vote in an American election?

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By Max Shields, July 24, 2008 at 5:49 pm Link to this comment


I think the reason Obama is doing relatively poorly in the polls is that he’s done what all DLCers do act like Republicans (Repub-lite).

They never learn because their reason for being is to BE Repub-lite. That’s what Obama is made of. He’s about adapting to the power structure NOT challenging it for CHANGE. Lack of spine is what leads DLCers like Obama to gravitate toward the Powerful - the right rule in the little world of DC far away from where the people of America actually live and breath.

Obama’s short history in politics comes from his life story. He’s not a leader. He’s no MLK, for example. His is about learning the ropes which is why he chose Joseph I. Lieberman to be his mentor. Tells you a whole lot about the man - who he chooses to mentor him when he get to the Senate.

Given the history of the Dem presidential candidates and their use of DLC Repub-lite tactics, Obama’s chances are growing dimmer because he’s more pol than authentic change agent. He’s pulled the trigger at progressives and ultimately African Americans (I’m not talking about progressive African Americans who long ago saw through O) will start walk or just not showing up.

Obama not only moved to the right, he did it with total abandon. He’s beginning to look like another DLC loser.

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By webbedouin, July 24, 2008 at 5:39 pm Link to this comment

Yeah, Louise, where are the Truthdig articles on Ralph, Cynthia & Cindy???  For that matter, Ron Paul.  Thought this was sposed to be a progressive site.  All ya hear about around here are McCain, Obama & Barr.  The same people they talk about on the MSM.  What up wid dat sh*t?

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By Kevin James, July 24, 2008 at 5:00 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

The reason many of us didn’t vote for the Democrats in at least the 2000 election was because the VP was Lieberman. At the time it wasn’t so apparent to many but in hindsight you see what he is!
Things wouldn’t have been much different you would have had another Cheney in the WH running the show behind the scene with a puppet president..

This is funny:;=/uclickcomics/20080724/cx_tr_uc/tr20080724

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By mike112769, July 24, 2008 at 4:34 pm Link to this comment

“Becoming” a hack? He’s always been a hack! Obama is a joke and if, by some miracle, he is allowed to win, I really look forward to laughing at your disappointment in him. ANYONE (Cyrena) who makes an argument in support of this man is in a state of denial regarding what this country’s political process has become. The system is broken, and we need an overhaul!
Cyrena: I used to look forward to your input on these articles. While I disagreed with you on a lot of issues, I valued your perspective. It has become abundantly clear that you are simply an apologist for the democratic liberals. Just becuse they are not in “power” doesn’t mean that they are not to blame for the mess this country’s in. Please use your considerable intellect to see what is REALLY going on.

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By Louise, July 24, 2008 at 4:26 pm Link to this comment

I love Ralph Nader. And I love Cindy Sheehan. And I feel bad everytime I think about how quickly they were converted to the insanity of politics when change didn’t come quick enough.

Nader did in fact bring about major change. A lot of which has been undone or ignored as the criminal cabal serviced by the political parties has marched on.

Cindy managed to bring many thousands together calling for an end to the war. Thanks to her, a lot of folks who never knew the truth about the repub/Bush march to rule the world, now know the truth. But we hardly hear her voice anymore.

It’s hard to be propelled into the conscience of society. There are so many blind ass-wipes who will try to silence that voice. That’s the problem with always fighting for change for the better. If you win a battle, it’s easy to feel you won the war.

Evil never concedes victory. Just slides into the shadows until the attention is gone, then slides out to begin the assault all over again. And evil sneaks in under the blanket of “caring” and convinces the voice of reason to be silent ... and run for political office instead.

Political science is a bit of a misnomer. There’s nothing scientific about playing peoples integrity off of greed. At least I don’t think that’s scientific. I think that’s, uh ... well politics. I like the definition found on,

~~~ Only in America do we use the word ‘politics’ to describe the process so well: ‘Poli’ in Greek meaning ‘many’  and ‘tics’  meaning ‘bloodsucking creatures’ ~~~

We don’t need Nader and Sheehan lost in the din of campaign rhetoric, we need them out in the street screaming instructions!

Obama is a politician, so he’s well qualified to banter with the tics. And being a politician he knows what has to happen to put him one bite above the other tics. And like it or not, right now that’s the only way to pry open the front door of the White House. And even then there’s no guarantee that he will be able to find every blood sucking tic still crawling in the woodwork. But given he ISN’T a republican, perhaps our chances are better with him.

I like Cynthia McKinney. I like the Green Party. I like the notion that the Green Party is international and has a slew of internationally recognized names heading the winners list across the world. But at the same time, like most fruitcakes who try to understand politics, I have a problem with the international thing. Will we ever grow up enough to get along with all our international brothers and sisters? Maybe a better question is, do they want us in there, mucking things up?

The investigation of natural phenomena through observation, theoretical explanation, and experimentation, or the knowledge produced by such investigation. Science makes use of the scientific method, which includes the careful observation of natural phenomena, the formulation of a hypothesis, the conducting of one or more experiments to test the hypothesis, and the drawing of a conclusion that confirms or modifies the hypothesis.

Therefore, the natural hypothesis one might develop after studying and observing [experimenting with] the things that drive people to vote might be, 1) People like to be lied to. 2) People like to be fooled. 3) People respect and want to emulate insanity. 4) The ideal candidate for political office must be able to expound, but need not be able to think. In fact the less thinking the better.

Thinking only confuses the voter.

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By LisaN, July 24, 2008 at 4:19 pm Link to this comment
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Tg, I don’t need to do any research into the 2000 election because I was there.  It’s not a canard. Nader supporters wish to avoid their irresponsibility and culpability in these subsequent disastrous eight years.  Many so-called “progressives” sound as cold-hearted, arrogant and self-righteous as the far right.  “My way and screw everyone else.”  While they were screaming and jumping up and down about the sameness of the parties, the fascists walked right in the front door.  This will also be a very, very close election.  We can’t leave the Republicans any room to steal the election again. Just look at our Supreme Court now! You thought it was bad back then!  How many justices will the next president nominate?  Everyone THINK - think about the real world consequences of your vote.

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By webbedouin, July 24, 2008 at 4:05 pm Link to this comment

Oh yawn, cyrena, of course you have no idea of what i’m talking about.  Sounds to me like somebody needs an education in economics.  Suggest you get out of the Friedman School and take a look at the Austrian Economists.

Compared to what W did, his rhetoric sounded pretty darn good.  Remember that “No nation building” routine?  That was a good one.  Ha Ha Ha. 

Of course I knew he would empty the treasury.  That’s what the Bush family does.  They’d like you to think that their business is banking (BCC) and oil, but going back to WW1 and Sam Bush, their real business has been getting their hands on that treasury money.  And W’s presidency has been a resounding success in treasury emptying.  Exceeded my expectations by a long shot.  But then the family has had 90 years of practice.

When the dollar is worth nothing, the banks have failed and the people who got us into the mess have brought on a hyperinflation wave that will make Weimar Germany look like a picnic, perhaps then you’ll know what i’m talking about.  Relax, it won’t take you but 6 months to find out.  The ball is in motion and the wave is building.  Hope you’re ready and wish you all good luck.

And yes i think it is fortunate for the rest of the world (and ourselves) that the empire is about to fail.  It will end the War Of Terror and put and end to US military ambitions.  It will destroy the self feed myth of American superiority.  It will end the fascist domination of our country and bring a whole new paradigm to government for the people, by the people.  I see brighter days, but it ain’t gonna be easy.  And, once again,  it’s on the way…

In the spirit of Thomas Jefferson, i say tear it down, start all over again and make a more perfect union.  There’s change i can believe in.

Anyway, i was about to suggest a look over at information clearing house for their comments on this very Robert Scheer awakening column, you can find it at: and then you have to click on the comment button.  Much more radical group over there, it would be a good place for cyrena to sing her Obamalama Gospel.

While your at it and if’n you have some questions about the economy, here’s a guy that has been both way ahead of the curve and quite right on:

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By GW=MCHammered, July 24, 2008 at 3:58 pm Link to this comment
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re: By cyrena, July 24 at 10:06 GW=McHammered

Soap opera drama and team cheer leading are the masses’ soup du jour de politik? Then they still be high on credit candy pie. But who pays when the confection’s consumed and the high an unending megrim? Not taxpaying INTJs. No. Leave that reckoning to the corporate beau monde.

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By Kevin James, July 24, 2008 at 3:24 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Rus 7355,
you live in your own world don’t you?!
You actually believe that the world approves of US since 911 and the Iraq occupation!!!;=&id;=
go here and read a bit and if you think that is just news media then tell us where you are getting your favorable data!!!

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By KDelphi, July 24, 2008 at 2:58 pm Link to this comment

Amen, Jersey Girl. I wish I could believe I was wrong about O—I really do. Itd be fun to be asl excited again—and, of the two—of course, I’;d rather have Obama. But I’m not going to pretend he;s this big “change agent”—he’s not. He “loves the free mkt”; “helping people with the moprtgage crisis is a moral hazard”; “universl healthcare is only a goal”—WHAT exactly is he goin to change?? How?When? With who? Sigh—-it really gets tiring when people fal into this “cult of perasonality” (its oK with musicians) and refuse to aquestion anything they say..robots…and we’kll all pay the price.

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By quixotic, July 24, 2008 at 2:51 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

mr sheer analyisis is not narrow he making the point that obama will continue to implement bad polocies that have proven themselved ineffective and in fact have been reckless and are not worth the costs. You response sounds like the typical talking points that the policy shapers and implementors have been feeding us for years. You seem to continue saying awe to the pitcher of coolaid.

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By KDelphi, July 24, 2008 at 2:48 pm Link to this comment

The Am. peole have been sorely abused by this govt and if they’re “stupid” its the fault of our crappy, segreagated (further enhanced by charter schools), school system. Bush cheated in 2000 and 2004—the “people: were helpless to sto it—the CBC (Tubs jones and others) filed a lawsuit in 2000 and 2004—Dem Party wanted to “move on”. Maybe you dont remember that life in the US didnt always SUCK—it really IS the govt. And we , sadly, in my opinion, need more than an election between Tweedle-dumb and Tweedfle-dumbass to fix it…if you think its the “people”—how do you explain that everyone in the world HATES our govt??

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By KDelphi, July 24, 2008 at 2:42 pm Link to this comment

I dont think they were saying that “W"s rhetoric “sounded good to them”—I think they meant that the Am. peole fall for this blue-blooded crap all the time—at least, that’s what i mean! Why dont we get somebody that di not go to Ivy League for a change? Havent had much luck with them so far..have we? Well…...??

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By KDelphi, July 24, 2008 at 2:38 pm Link to this comment

You wanna settle?? Fine. D o it for yourself. Is anybody on here gonna die in the streets if we dont get health reform, housing reform, equality reform?? No, I’d bet! But other peole will! I am not well and wont be around that long—but i’ll tell yuo this—I’m TIRED of settling! I want to see this country make progress towards its potential—not stay static. If, after 8 yrs of Dubya, we cant do any better—HELL with the Dems. It’s Pathetic.

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By cyrena, July 24, 2008 at 2:36 pm Link to this comment

webbedouin, July 24 at 1:23 pm #
wbee quotes me..

•  “Max Shields routinely refers to Obama as a militarist interventionist. These labels are outrageous of course,”

And then proceeds to prove my point:

•  “Oh yeah, totally absurb concept.  Let’s see so far Obamalama wants to Attack Iran, Attack Pakistan, Move the troops that he takes out of Iraq to Afghanistan AND in the meantime his puppet master ZB really wants to go after Russia & China.  And what president can stop the US from selling arms, our #1 industry.”

Reality: Obama has not suggested that he wants to ATTACK Iran, but rather the opposite. He’s been recommending direct dialogue/diplomacy for how long now??? He’s not suggested ATTACKING Pakistan either. He IS aware of the dangers of religious extremism, and even a moron should be aware of the dangerous of nuclear proliferation.

There is NOTHING to suggest that Barack Obama is a ‘puppet’ for anyone, so the reference to Brzenski is just the standard bullshit technique that straw people employ. It’s just that when the rubber meets the road, the straw burns. Even if ZBig had that much input, you have zero proof or even the vaguest accumulation of grains of sand to support such a claim as “ZB really wants to go after Russia and China.” You KNOW that….how? Did he whisper that in your ear, or you checked it with your astrologer, crystal ball? You and Max use the same crystal ball?
That’s what I mean about people who hear something different than what is actually being stated. YOU obviously don’t bother to actually listen to the words that come from the person saying them, and it’s NOT because he’s not talking. The link to his speech today is very conveniently posted here.

Here’s another example of how you don’t hear or comprehend so well..

•  “..As i recall W’s rhetoric was pretty darn good in 2000.  Of course it had nothing what so ever to do with his presidency after he stole the election. ..”

If you ‘recall’ rhetoric from W in 2000, that sounded ‘pretty darn good’, then either you have really poor ‘recall’, or you just have really poor judgment to begin with. There was NOTHING about the shrub’s rhetoric that sounded ‘pretty darn good’. You must have been hearing other voices again.

Maybe you all have some special ‘decoder’ that turns language into some other meaning than what it actually has. This is a common occurrence for people who hear voices that others don’t hear. It’s *NOT* necessarily a ‘good thing’. Matter of fact, it has a tendency to cause great disasters.

Why is it so difficult for folks to just listen to whatever it is that the other person is actually saying? Seems to me like the obvious disasters that result from a failure to hear and comprehend, would be enough of an encouragement to do that. But hey. What do I know? I’m too busy paying attention to what’s actually being said, and connecting it to what’s actually happening outside the rabbit hole, where folks can just make up whatever they want.

And finally, you suggest this:

“..Fortunately the US is going to hell in a hand basket over the next six months and we will be unable to afford keeping our troops in Japan, much less Iraq & Afghanistan.”

FORTUNATELY the US is going to hell in a hand basket over the next 6 months???

Gee, so that’s how you feel about it, eh? In reality, the US has been headed that way for years, but it’s more than a little bit frightening that you find some ‘fortune’ in that. Ah but then, you’re the one with the recollection of darn good rhetoric from W in 2000. Can you remember what Cheney was saying? If not, it’s because he WASN’T. Do you really believe that W is actually running the destruction machine? W can’t tie his own shoes.

So W didn’t even steal the election. He’s too stupid for that as well. Cheney DEMANDED that the operatives “just get the Oval Office”.  His instructions were, “I don’t care how you do it, just get the Oval Office.”


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By KDelphi, July 24, 2008 at 2:32 pm Link to this comment

I’ve held my nose and voted with this “party” since 2000 (I left the SP-USA to vote against Bush—for Gore—in 2000—my brother-in-law went to yale with him and i knew we were in trouble if he won)and I’m SICK of it! None of the stuff o is ognna do is gonna make a diff to me!! He MIGHT get us out opf ONE lousy war—a little faster—but not mUch! NO univ. health care! NO"back to old FISA” law! NO doing away with “faith-basesd” crap! NO end to death penalty! NO to new gun restrictions! Obama supporters are SO selfish, and the older ones think theyre’ gonna be “friens with thekr kids” if they supprt him
.I have TRIED o like him!He is NOT my “friend”, he’s not gonna play basketbal here—he reminds me of my college varsity basketball jock and im SICK of it!! IOf, after 8 yrs.l of a total fascist tyrant, the Dems cant nominate a progressive—HELL with them!! They dont deserve my vote!I know you dont care—but you should! Dont get hit by any drunk drivers who have good attornies! YOYO!

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By mrmb, July 24, 2008 at 2:23 pm Link to this comment
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Is it possibel for all of us to look beyond party lines for a second?

The neo-crazies have gotten us in a whole lot of mess, which is where empires and emperors end up. But to be fair the empire was created before these neo crazies came to power over 30 years ago.
We took over the remnants of the french and british colonies and continued the plunder and formed a formidable empire.

The democratic administrations have contributed in a large way to the expansion and maintenance of the empire. Not to mention how congress performed its duties in promoting the cause of empire.

The key question for me is the following:

Does the system that we all agree is corrupt and broken allow for the emergence of a reformer?
Or is this an exercise that we will live to regret? Or better yet an exercise in our social and political evolution that we have to go through no matter what Obama turns out to be?

The public is looking for a reformer and Obama seems to fit the bill. People are willing to turn a blind eye to signs that under normal circumtances would raise serious questions and doubt.

However we are being asked to have faith that Obama is genuine and an honest reformer and the political process which is so corrupt is actually able to deliver such a man and creat the necessary space for him to operate as a candidate and later on as president.

I am not sure that the system allows for such grand historical occurances to take place unless its in the interest of the elite to allow a moderate level of reforms that are superficial and manage to silence the massess.

Whatever the case maybe if Obama turns out to be a pretty face of the empire to buy time and fool the people for 8 years there maybe hell to pay both domestically and internationally.

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By KDelphi, July 24, 2008 at 2:23 pm Link to this comment

On the backs of poor people of every color; what a lame “revolution”—I heard an Obamaniac say, “The revolution will not be televised—it will be downloaded”...moan—Their naivete is truly amazing…reminds me of how I felt about Bobby (RFK)—lol—I was to young to vote—but we’ll never know, will we? The Dems have sucked for quite awhile. But, this time, they REALLY through the working classes under the bus! The media startesd it and Obamaniacs went right along—Roy Secuff (shamne on Arianna!), Matthews (he is NOT goin to DATE you, Chris!!), Olbermann (who I admired, although thought melodramatic—now he’s a “buffon for obama”). Randi Rhodes (really thought Hillary—who i didnt liek either—was a “prostitute”? Youre not helping with older women!); Edwards and Kucinich were “too angry” (Yes we cant!!). If youre NOT—youre a selfish rich person or a fool.And O and the “disloysl opposition” will let Bush & Co. leave office without charges, liek the fascists they are. Move on!! I sure as hell wish you guys hadnt in 2000-Gore shouldve fought! Now, the Dems should cease to exist…

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By Tony Wicher, July 24, 2008 at 2:16 pm Link to this comment

Re tg, July 24 at 1:35 pm #


The older I get the fewer illusions I have so the harder it is for me to get disillusioned. I was somewhat disappointed by Clinton, whom I voted for twice, but considering the alternatives I am still proud of those votes. My disappointment with Clinton was such that I backed Obama against Billary this time. So far, I am patting myself on the back about it. If Obama turns out to be the next Caligula, I’ll be eating humble pie, but my realistic hope is that he will be at least somewhat better than Clinton, and that the times and the public mood may be such that Obama may be able to accomplish many things, such as universal medical care, that Clinton could not, and I also expect to see a major improvement in our international relations.

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By Kevin James, July 24, 2008 at 2:15 pm Link to this comment
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Well here is another “nattering nabobs of negativism”: Until Americans realize the regime in charge in Washington don’t give a rat’s ass about them and only represents the few elite they will keep doing the same as they have done for most of the last century. They are once again being duped into believing that something good is happening. I remember feeling that when Clinton was about to take office. This phenomenon in America that our shit don’t stink and even if it did for 8 years it was temporary has Americans believing in crap like: we save the world and we are the policeman and we are the most civilized along with our European cousins, has them falling for their corrupt political system that have wreaked havoc on the entire glob. These are the same people who will tell you to love it or leave it and that they have to protect their interests half way across the world, that see Mexicans as second class worker bees, see no fault in standing so staunchly behind Israel and support all the undemocratic regimes just because they are friends of US. Oh boy ... the low level of high school education for average Americans has really paid off for the elite master class and the Ivy league graduates!

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By jackpine savage, July 24, 2008 at 2:03 pm Link to this comment

Ok, ok…

Obviously not all of us here are enamored with Barack Obama (or not anymore).  That’s understandable.  A disgust with the two party system (or at least how it is run) is the healthiest thing for you, in my opinion.  Yes, the average American voter is as dumb as a box of rocks.  And unfortunately, there isn’t much left besides negativity.

But that was quite a speech.  And as someone who’s had to hang his head in shame of his nation when out in the world, it means something to me.

The Europeans will find the same things as many of us have, things that patina the Obama mystique.  He is a politician trying to get elected and it does equal liar. (Shit don’t change that much, it will always stink.)

But maybe the point is being missed entirely.  He’s not the worst that we could do.  And if We the People get up off of our asses and shoulder our responsibilities as citizens of this nation and the world then Obama doesn’t have to be a savior.

My biggest beef with him is not his moving to the right for the general election, nor his recycling of Clinton appointees, or even the eerie resemblance he has (as a politician) to Bill. (Though that last one scares me pretty bad.)  My biggest beef is that he has not been organizing the people attracted to him for change, but for Obama.  No matter, we can still take the underlying message and run with it.

The only question is: will we? (Probably not, and then he can be crucified for not being the savior that he was supposed to be.) We don’t need someone to save us, we need to save ourselves.  And if we don’t do it, no one else will.  But if you figure that the most important thing you can do is vote for a president, then you’re probably beyond saving anyhow.

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By troublesum, July 24, 2008 at 1:51 pm Link to this comment

According to polls released yesterday, Obama has a six point lead over McCain.  Given that the margin of error is + or - 3%, his lead could be as small as 3%.  That’s embarassing for the candidate of the opposition party after 7 1/2 years of the Bush “dog house.”  Obama is clearly not exciting the voters.  He is a great disappointment.  The democratic candidate ought to have a 20 point lead at this stage given Bush’s 24% approval rating.  What’s the problem?

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By Kevin James, July 24, 2008 at 1:49 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

It is quite pathetic that most in the US who want change have given up to the idea of freeing the US government from the claws of Israeli Lobby and the Zionist and their Neocon agents. Everyone says that it can’t be done, that in order to win the presidency the candidate has to cave in to this group. Another excuse the apologists have is that in order to win the election Obama has to move to the right to get votes but before his nomination and still today the poles reflect a different reality. They show that Americans want change from the status quo. If he alienate people like us who want true change then he is loosing our vote which could reach up to 10% this year so why won’t he pander to the left of his own supposed party and try to move the right wing policies of this country more to the left before he rushes to the Israeli Lobby or the Right wing Republicans. Why doesnt he try to solidify his base first at least before sucking up the the warmongers and the elite ruling class. That is also so pathetic! definitely not voting for him.

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By tg, July 24, 2008 at 1:35 pm Link to this comment
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Tony, I’m old enough to remember many many political campaigns and it never ceases to amaze me how excited people get over the promises of any given politician and how they are invariably disappointed or disgusted (Clinton ring a bell?).

Obama’s FISA vote, the sucking up to AIPAC and Israel, his veering to the right, are just several instances of where I see more of the same. Say what it takes to get elected. He may look good compared to the incomparable failure we currently are cursed with, but that’s setting the bar pretty low. Hell I’d look good next to him.

IMHO the two primary political parties in this country are corrupt beyond redemption. They are both owned by corporate interests. I’m afraid true change will only occur after very hard times have hit the majority of the people in this country.

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By troublesum, July 24, 2008 at 1:35 pm Link to this comment

By promising to keep the war going in Afganistan Obama is sending a message to the elitists who run the country that he will keep money tied up in the war machine and not let the democratic majority in both houses of congress get any ideas on spending for human services.  He will keep pouring money down the rat hole of Iraq/Afganistan and into the coffers of Haliburton, Bechtel, GE, etc.  They know their boy.

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By webbedouin, July 24, 2008 at 1:23 pm Link to this comment

As i recall W’s rhetoric was pretty darn good in 2000.  Of course it had nothing what so ever to do with his presidency after he stole the election.

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By Tony Wicher, July 24, 2008 at 1:23 pm Link to this comment


You’re talking my language, friend!

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By Tony Wicher, July 24, 2008 at 1:18 pm Link to this comment

By tg, July 24 at 11:39 am

Naw, I just like the “nattering nabobs of negativism” phrase. It characterizes the way a lot of the leftists on Truthdig sound to me when they talk about Obama and our whole political system. I think Obama has built a majority coalition for progressive change in the United States and he is out to do the same thing on the international level. I wish him the best and I think we all should.

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By Kjeld, July 24, 2008 at 1:17 pm Link to this comment

mostly, pretty funny. Curious tho, do many of you live in the US?despite a dicussion of American politics, I have to assume most of you live in Europe. You probably don’t know much about the electorate here. Who these people are. Suggest you take a look at who they have voted for in the past. Hell,how tgey live, what they eat, how they entertain themselves. This is a scary place and it I us not the boogyman corporations that make it so.

The prospect that a relatively young African American could be elected staggering, especially in a country that handed the reigns of power to moron and criminal cabal TWICE! And now you people whine because Obama moves to the middle?

Get out your checkbook and write a check to this campaign right now and stop whinning. This electorate does not really deserve a well educated, well spoken,  multi cultural President. Let’s act like we have a chance this time.

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By cyrena, July 24, 2008 at 1:04 pm Link to this comment

Re: By Tony Wicher, July 24 at 11:18 am #

•  “…All you nattering nabobs of negativism can just bite me!..”

I love it!!! And the speech as well. DOES feel good. A colleague, (not the first of them) mentioned the same thing the other day, which was basically a take on what Michelle had said, (and actually MEANT)..Americans ARE perked up at the thought of getting out of the dog house, and actually joining up with the rest of the world.

As for the nattering nabobs of negativism, they are what they are, and won’t go away. NONE of the hate rhetoric is based on logic or reason. It’s 100% pure gut reaction spewed by a cancerous ideology. Even chemo won’t help. You can’t say you didn’t try.

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By miroslav, July 24, 2008 at 12:54 pm Link to this comment

who is going to send two brigades into a’stan on taking office and who threatens to bomb the bejesus out of a country with 175 million people that has “the bomb”... and who’s in ziggie’s bag! really people, if you think you had it good under bush II you’ll love the coming of “the one”. have no hope. clean your brains of that depraved drug.

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By jersey girl, July 24, 2008 at 12:09 pm Link to this comment

Tony: Obama is good at speeches.  If you are gonna vote for someone just because of that then I guess Reagan was your man too then?

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By tg, July 24, 2008 at 11:39 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Tony are you lumping Saint Obama’s critics with those scorned by Spiro Agnew???

I’m 56 and realize Obama’s little more than another corporate tool.

It’s the failure to recognize this that allows the mess this country is in to continue.

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By Tony Wicher, July 24, 2008 at 11:37 am Link to this comment

OK, here is the speech folks, shut up and listen to it. You can say it’s “only a speech” but it’s a speech that expresses the progressive ideals I have always believed in. We should all be glad to hear our next President saying these things, and doing our best to help him accomplish them in the coming years.

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By Tony Wicher, July 24, 2008 at 11:18 am Link to this comment

Did you guys hear Obama’s Berlin speech? It was great! I was cheering my head off. I’m sixty-two, and I have to agree with Michelle’s statement a few months back that for the first time in my life I feel proud to be an American. It feels GOOD. All you nattering nabobs of negativism can just bite me!

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By mrmb, July 24, 2008 at 11:13 am Link to this comment
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By webbedouin, July 24, 2008 at 10:30 am Link to this comment

“Max Shields routinely refers to Obama as a militarist interventionist. These labels are outrageous of course,”

Oh yeah, totally absurb concept.  Let’s see so far Obamalama wants to Attack Iran, Attack Pakistan, Move the troops that he takes out of Iraq to Afghanistan AND in the meantime his puppet master ZB really wants to go after Russia & China.  And what president can stop the US from selling arms, our #1 industry.

Now that Bush has done such a grand job re-igniting the cold war, soon Russia & China will be coming after us.  Russia with long range nuclear bombers in Cuba & Venezuela, China needs only sell off their dollar holdings to wipe out the U.S…  And Obamalama ding dong is taking his advise from Russia & China’s chief protagonist.

Fortunately the US is going to hell in a hand basket over the next six months and we will be unable to afford keeping our troops in Japan, much less Iraq & Afghanistan.

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By cyrena, July 24, 2008 at 10:06 am Link to this comment


•  “..Perhaps we should bring discipline back to politics. Its study is called political science after all. What if candidates first had to prove their statements true or announce them as opinion, labeling, or outright guesswork? That simple change would bring clarity to their now misleading campaigns…. And the American people deserve unambiguity from their chosen leaders. Besides, it would give lawyers something useful to do…”

Ouch! The irony here is sooo painful. Of course you’re correct. There *is* that study of political science. But, just a read through some of the comments here, should be *PROOF* that much of the body politic is definitely not interested in anything the least bit scientific. Far too much of the political body doesn’t WANT clarity, and they seem to actually *enjoy* the ambiguity, because it gives them a chance to wax ideological, and whine.

The reality is people don’t WANT the facts explained to them. Obama noted this at the beginning of his campaign, when he was doing a lot of Town Hall meetings. In trying to explain some of the conditions of reality in terms of political science, all he got were complaints that he was being ‘too professortorial’.

Without fail, (there are examples all over these threads) the man says ONE thing, and very, very clearly – with NO ambiguity, and somebody will immediately change the wording of whatever it was, to mean whatever they decide that it means. So, they’re engaged in an ideological free-for-all, and it goes without saying, that there is no DISCIPLINE in chaos.

LisaN points out the results of this on-going chaos. Too much of the body politic have short memories, and they can only think of one thing at a time. They serve their ‘gut feeling’ interest, which no view to the results. Examp…vote for Nadar, ‘just because’ he isn’t a D or an R.  Wind up with Dick Bush.

Anyway, in response to your suggestions about candidates needing to prove their statements as true, or opinion, or outright guesswork, I agree. But any genuine Statesman OR administrator operates from a collection of ALL of those things, so they simply need to break it down clearly as such.

1.  Here are the facts. Here is the law that has been established.
2.  Here is my opinion about those facts, and how they can be effective managed to maintain the rule of law and a system of democracy based on that.
3.  Some of this is pure guesswork, because there are always ‘unknown’ values that must also be factored in. Or, we can’t control absolutely everything.

Example, the sun IS going to rise and set on a fairly regular schedule, and we can’t do a damn thing about that. BUT, we can use it to get some energy. This is how I think that might work.

There’s another example of exactly what you’re saying here, on the thread for the ad that McCain is running about Obama being responsible for high gas prices, because he’s opposed to off-shore drilling. How stupid is that?

Chris (former campaign manager for John Edwards) clarifies what you’ve already said. Campaign ads need to be FACTUAL, and they need to be LOGICAL. But if members of the body politic as opposed to facts and logic when it doesn’t fit their own ideology, then they’ll reject that. They reject it in blanket terms of broad accusations that have zero basis in any sort of substance or…FACT, or logic.

For instance…Max Shields routinely refers to Obama as a militarist interventionist. These labels are outrageous of course, because there’s nothing to indicate that, even from a rabbit hole perspective. But, it doesn’t stop people from saying it. Look at Rush Limbaugh and Bill O’Reilly. They have audiences, so that’s proof that the body politic (or a large portion of it) cares nothing for the science, or the facts, or the logic that should be employed connecting any of them.

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By Gfernandez, July 24, 2008 at 9:26 am Link to this comment

and know Sheer has just conceded to Nader’s premise that we need to challenge to two party system and get a third party candidate elected. you stubborn mules are just as blindly passionate about a Obama win as the republicans were about bush in 2000 and 2004. PLEASE VISIT VOTENADER.ORG AND SEE THE DIFFERNCES BETWEEN NADER/MCCAIN/OBAMA. NADER IS AT 5-6 % THAT 5-6 MILLION PEOPLE OF 100 MILLION VOTING. HE NEEDS TO BE AT 10% TO GET INTO DEBATES IN SEPTEMBER THEN ITS PREDICTED LIKE PEROT HE WILL SHOOT TO 20% THEN ITS A THREE WAY RACE AND ANYTIHNG IS POSSIBLE, SHEER JUST REACHED HIS BREAKING POINT WHEN WILL YOU?

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By Michael Shaw, July 24, 2008 at 9:25 am Link to this comment

webbedouin that was a great point in that article. The electorate knows little to nothing about anything and rarely votes outside of the traditional party of their parents. That tells me Obama’s move to the “center” as he calls it, going after red states and the more conservative elements is an act in folly. Someone earlier, either in here or another blog, mentioned that perhaps the democrats wish to lose this election rather than inherit the Bush mess which is yet to unfold. That could very well be. Surely they are as aware of these election statistics as those who wrote them and studied them. Of course capitulating to the republicans on every turn since 2006 doesn’t help their chances either. Neither does sucking up to the telecommunications industry after giving them a free ticket from prosecution. This makes me believe the dems have taken it a step further by not only going after conservatives who will continue to vote conservative no matter what, but to alienate its own core support, the progressives. Of course that leaves Nader without a chance in hell too and it will give us McCain. But who knows, perhaps it is fitting to see the complete failures and economic collapses brought on by the extreme right happen when the extreme right retains its power.

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By tg, July 24, 2008 at 9:22 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

LisaN needs to research the 2000 election a little better instead of throwing out the Nader ruined it canard. I’m sick of reading comments by the uninformed that aren’t aware of the irregularities discovered by, among others, Greg Palast.

I’m sick of both corporate parties. Anybody that thinks real change will come from the Democrats or Republicans is a fool.

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By Virginia, July 24, 2008 at 9:12 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

I think we need to look beyond the candidate, the man, and think about ourselves and what we can do. Change is in the air, the country is sick of what has been going on. But the left, which has been far more disappointing than Obama, needs to step in gear and become a much greater force in correcting all of the wrongs we are left with by the Bush legacy.

This is going to not only take hard work, its going to take plenty of courage and even putting oneself on the line.

I appreciate the words of Robert Sheer, but to think that we can rest all of our hopes on one man is impractical. A movement has begun and the Left needs to take full advantage of this to re-assert itself in this country. Obama is a politician with roots in liberalism. He will listen to a strong, motivated Left.

I am not talking about the Left of too many compromises, like we have seen far too much of for far too long. I am talking about the Left that makes (and insists on!) fair solutions for our country, our communities and our world.

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By Michael Shaw, July 24, 2008 at 9:04 am Link to this comment

Frankly at this point I’m not even sure if I’ll ever vote again. If the bulk of the democrats in the congress and senate were to make a serious move to impeach, that might be enough to sway me to stay on board. But frankly I am tired! Very tired and today’s democrats look more like Goldwater republicans than did the Goldwater republicans.

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By Julius Seizer, July 24, 2008 at 8:34 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

One of the first things Obama did after Hillary quit was suck up to AIPAC.  Of course, the Senator from my town is on the Appropriations Committee that gives Israel $2-3 billion every year.  That same Senator (the one who has declared “money is speech”)has received $412K in contributions from AIPAC over the years.  So it would seem that Obama wants to suck from that trough. 

Israel buys a lot of weaponry from us.  Some of it they use to kill Arabs, making us very popular in the Middle East. Israel also sells weaponry, apparently some of it to China and India. 

If we are to have any hope, elections must be federally funded, with no contributions at all.  Every candidate should get the same small amount, and that would be all they can spend on the campaign.  But we know the corporations in charge are not about to let that happen.

So where do we turn?

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By LisaN, July 24, 2008 at 7:32 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

People, let’s try to refrain from eating our own as Democrats tend to do.  This is so reminiscent of the whining that went on before the 2000 election.  Please grow up and see that, YES, there is a difference between Democrats and Republicans. How many people died because Nader supporters kept insisting there is no difference? Let go of the ideology and realize real human lives are at stake.  We cannot afford another four years of the merchants of death.

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By felicity, July 24, 2008 at 7:18 am Link to this comment

msgmi - In fact, when Russia began her war with Afghanistan, Brzezinski told Carter that it had now become possible to ‘give’ Russia its Vietnam.  And indeed it was and indeed it eventually became Russia’s undoing.  But that was 28 some odd years ago and who pays attention to or learns from the past.  Obviously, we don’t.

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By Max Shields, July 24, 2008 at 7:15 am Link to this comment

This lessor of two evils has been the bane of US governance for decades and we get “evil” results however its cloaked.

To think that voting for Obama will move us away from the neocon and zionist agenda is delusional.

If the Dems have completely capitualed with an unpopular and imbecilic POTUS, what makes anyone think they’d be moving in a non-interventionist direction with Obama who’s made clear he is an military interventionist.

No, the people Obama is supplicating to will rule because, if he’s elected, he will have made clear to all his positions and it would be THAT which is reinforced by an election win, not some other “wishful thinking” agenda. To miss that is really not to understand American politics.

(btw, there’s a counterpunch argument for every position this.)

Vote Nader. Don’t be snookered that there’s only two choices bad and worse. Both lead to evil results for the people who are victims our US neo-lib/con, zionist inspired, and corporate imperialist driven goals.

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By webbedouin, July 24, 2008 at 7:08 am Link to this comment

I’ve said it before & i’ll say it again, “We are freakin’ doomed!”

Another Peek Inside the Brain of the Electorate:

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By GW=MCHammered, July 24, 2008 at 7:04 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Perhaps we should bring discipline back to politics. Its study is called political <u>science</u> after all. What if candidates first had to prove their statements true or announce them as opinion, labeling, or outright guesswork? That simple change would bring clarity to their now misleading campaigns. They certainly have the budget and staff to provide the truth. And the American people deserve unambiguity from their chosen leaders. Besides, it would give lawyers something useful to do.

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By Greg Bacon, July 24, 2008 at 6:32 am Link to this comment

Most people labor under the delusion that there are two major political party’s in America, the Dems and Republicans.


There is ONE party, the Corporate War Party that has two wings; the Dems and Republicans.

A vote for Obama will continute GW’s mad wars for Empire and Israel.

Until we take our country back from the Neocons and Zionists who have stolen our government, expect a never ending series of wars fought for Empire and Israel.

Until we go completely broke from fighting these wars for Empire and Israel and that ain’t long in coming.

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By Pacrat, July 24, 2008 at 6:31 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

What does Sheer expect - both Obama and McCain are politicians!

After spending 25 years in Washington as a congressional aide and lobbyist I can assure you - they all exagerrate and lie! Some just do less than others. Unfortunately - politician = liar!

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By Johnny, July 24, 2008 at 6:19 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

I’ve read the narratives on both sides of why we should forgive Obama for playing to the middle or why we shouldn’t. I’ve read how he has to play the middle to get elected, even though the Republican candidate always appeases his base first.

I don’t know about the rest of you but this is how I’m going to vote. I’m going to look at ALL of the candidates, not just the lesser of two evils scenario. Of ALL of those candidates from EVERY party, I will pick who I think best represents MY views and political philosophy. I will no longer consider myself a Democrat just because I cannot in good conscience vote for a Republican.

The candidate whose philosophy at this time best represents my own is Cynthia McKinney. As a representative, she didn’t mind sticking her neck out for progressives and, like Dennis Kucinich, she fought to bring articles of impeachment against George W. Bush. In other words, she’s defended the constitution where other unnamed candidates haven’t.

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By Johnny, July 24, 2008 at 5:44 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Speaking of FISA and how Corporate America is now controlling both parties, there is a way we progressives/liberals can make a difference. Change your long distance plans to Credo and your mobile to credo mobile. They’ll pay your penalty for early withdrawal from your current plan and they support PROGRESSIVE candidates instead of conservative ones. While AT&T;and their brethren were supporting Bush in the last two elections, Credo has given $60 million to progressive causes since 1985. If you’re worried about your coverage, they use the same landlines that the other long distance carriers use and the same mobile access that Sprint uses.
Go to:


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By Big M, July 24, 2008 at 5:34 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

“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.”

Good God, this is why this country is so f***ed up. What is it about Americans that they have no clue about how their own lives should be run? Why do they run after these crooks and adore them, much less vote for them, the way a baby runs after its mother’s breast?

I don’t know about any of you, but I will never “need” a president.

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By richard vajs, July 24, 2008 at 4:02 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

The only change that I can believe in is a program that neither the Dems or Reps would touch with a 10 foot pole:
    1. Downsize the military
    2. Tell Israel to p-ss off
    3. Raise capital gains and inheritance taxes
      to equity with income plus payroll tax
    4. National health care
    5. Get rid of the Republican “debtor prison”
      bankruptcy law
Obama, by his actions lately, has become not the “black Kennedy” but the “black Nixon” in my view

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By george in Toronto, July 24, 2008 at 3:25 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Please Robert,STOP, referring in most of your articles that arabs hate us because of american’s policies. Why is it A.O.K to admit that TOMKEN AFFAIR was a blackflag operation but not the 911 attacks? I have come to the conclusion that most of reporters/media and politicians refuse to admit 911 was a inside job,because it will connect Jewish Americans and Israel.
I do not blame Obama for going with the flow—he has 2 daughters and they need a father.Needs to stay alive and get elected.Notice he has a black lady named Rice. No change-just more of the same—another sheep herder.

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By Matthew, July 24, 2008 at 2:47 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Obama’s latest and craven display of obeisance to Israel ( a true terror state, if there ever was one)ends his viability as a “change” candidate.

Dennis Kucinich will introduce his article(s) of impeachment on Friday July 25 to the House Judiciary Committee. If obama were a true mench he would be there supporting Kucinich and standing up for America instead of swilling for Israel.

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By Michael Shaw, July 24, 2008 at 12:46 am Link to this comment

As for the corporate talk about Obama’s move to the middle, that is a lie. It is a move to the right, in fact the far right, not the middle. There is no real middle, only a well crafted perception. The middle has been consistently and deliberately pushed to the right for decades(by corporate media) while the New Deal has been consistently whittled down in the same time frame. It’s why unions have been abandoned and anything that has to do with the wellbeing of the working class is set aside for the benefit of the few. Now that the unions have been effectively stigmatized as disguised socialism, corporate socialism reigns in their place. Thus the bail outs of the financial institutions and the cuts in social spending, the loss of benefits at work and the stagnation of median wages for the past thirty years, a time when America experienced the biggest economic boom in its history. Then comes NAFTA and CAFTA, the WTO and the so called free market. None of these benefit the working class who are supposed to be the middle class. They aren’t! They are in fact for the most part the working poor.

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By Michael Shaw, July 24, 2008 at 12:08 am Link to this comment

Cyrena you may find my move away from Obama as a surprise but frankly I don’t see why? The idea in biting the bullet for Obama ended the moment he capitulated on FISA. Call it practical politicking on his part if you wish, but that move in itself proved beyond a reasonable doubt that the two party system, beyond a few scant exceptions are really one and the same. It is the straw that finally broke this camel’s back!

Isn’t the FISA capitulation enough for you? How about the never ending military presence in Iraq? That’s right, never ending! There was never a plan for total withdraw. How about no real change in the so called war on terror? The privatization of social security that Obama’s been hinting at? Absolutely no talk whatsoever on Obama’s part about the constitutionally illegal aspects of the US Patriot act or executive privilege and now getting slapped in the face by witnessing AT&T;, Comcast and Verizon sponsoring the democratic convention after they helped Bush illegally spy on us? How about every capitulation by the democratic party since we voted them in to affect positive change? The first thing they did was take impeachment off the table. Since then they have handed Bush everything he’s asked for! Then there’s the attacks on progressive candidates within their own ranks and as Sheer rightly mentions, a complete betrayal in the cause for change!

Obama has remained in lockstep with every one of these moves and capitulations. So really who is being naive here, the people who see the two party system as an elitist tool of control or the people who continue to blindly support this facade hoping and praying things will be fine the moment either of the two corporate picked candidates takes office?

I have lost all faith and hope in this system and Obama has generously contributed to this end. At this point, I see virtually no difference in the two candidates. They don’t represent me, or even you! And they certainly don’t represent the left. They represent the people who give them oodles of campaign finance and see to it this election circus is played out as long as possible. Once the show comes to an end it will be business as usual. Cater to the lobbyists and see to it that whatever they do doesn’t offend their corporate meal ticket.

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By kath cantarella, July 23, 2008 at 11:55 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

NO, MR O, DON’T!!!

The mark of a true statesmen is who he chooses to head his depts, and who he chooses as his advisors. Choosing his team wisely is the most crucial thing Obama can do for the USA as President. No Gates! No holdovers! Clean them all out!

Why is this happening? Who’s the serpent in his ear?

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By adamjohn12, July 23, 2008 at 11:20 pm Link to this comment

Robert Scheer must be finally reading Chris Hedges’ column (One of the best on the net)...

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By cyrena, July 23, 2008 at 10:38 pm Link to this comment

Kevin E..
•  “…the worst problem he’s going to have, if he’s elected, will be the intense disappointment of his naive admirers.

I don’t think this will be his worst problem Kevin E, because not all of his so-called ‘admirers’ are the least bit naïve. In fact, most of those who support his candidacy and will vote for him, are realists, rather than naïve.

I’m not sure, (now that I re-read Scheer’s piece) why he believes that Obama has somehow ‘betrayed his promise of change.” In fact, it sounds like just so much more rhetoric, but I suppose that’s relative, which is of course my own consistent theme.

Is it not a ‘change’ to get the hell out of Iraq, and give that sovereign nation state back to its people? Is it not a change, after nearly 8 long miserable years, to return to the rule of law, which is what our system has always claimed to be established upon? Is it not a change to consider all voices, and respect all opinions, and try to regain some balance instead of the hopeless gridlock that has been created by radicalism? I mean come on, let’s be a little bit more circumspect here.

And, I’m now surprised at Scheer, for not being able to view the larger picture himself. And where has Obama ‘changed’ his position on choice, if we’re talking about the same ‘choice’ that I’m thinking of here?

Extremes have done us in so very badly. Thinking in black and white just doesn’t cut it in a society human beings.

No, I don’t suspect that anyone with the capacity to see the forest as a collection of the trees is ever naïve, and I don’t see those among us being at all disappointed in the fact that Obama can see that as well. Certainly we may not all agree with each and every decision he makes, or position he takes, but that has everything to do with our *individual* interests, and we aren’t all privy to the same information that needs to satisfy the interests of all other *individuals* (the trees) as well as the whole, (the forest).

In reality, I’d hope you’d admit that Barack Obama, (as a Senator or as a President) has NOT made any hand-gun legislation. And even when the current Sen. Obama becomes President Obama, he cannot rule the Supreme Court, or otherwise influence their decisions. I know that whole separation of powers thing is hard to remember, since we haven’t seen any of it in so long. But, that really is the original set-up. I personally don’t agree with that SC decision, but I’m not on the SC either. And, it’s just one of the trees.

Michael Shaw, I’m curious about how you define ‘the left’ that you feel Obama has betrayed. What do we really think of in terms of ‘left’ these days? Or even liberal and conservative? Just interested in finding out what these things mean to different people. What is even ‘the center’, and why is that not a good place to be, at some points in time, dependent upon the objectives of that part of the course? Again, just your thoughts on the ‘left’ I guess, since that’s what you’d mentioned, and is the position that most of us presumably hold, in so far as this forum goes.

Has anybody had time to read or listen to the interview Sheer’s done with John Dean on the old Goldwater brand of conservatism? I couldn’t get it to load earlier, so I’ll try again.

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By cyrena, July 23, 2008 at 10:36 pm Link to this comment

By bc41, July 23 at 8:52 pm

•  “Working smarter sometimes is better than working harder.”

You’ve got the ‘key’ here bc41. I’m even inclined to believe that working smarter is ALWAYS better than working harder, even though working smarter does involve hard work.

Same here..

•  “What the Obama points out, my past and future criticism of him aside, is to work smarter—I don’t know where he gets his material but he does have perspective.”

I think he gets his ‘material’ from lots of sources, and uses his own common sense (perspective) to carefully consider it all, to accomplish the overall goal. That’s what working smarter is all about.

And, I think criticisms are good, when they are a result of us thinking about the issues, and questioning the legitimacy of anything as it relates to the reality of changing circumstances. Change of course it constant and absolute.

I agree that the issue of Pakistan should be in the dialogue. I’m not comfortable with ANY regime hoarding nuclear weapons, and I make no distinction about which regime that might be. The US is the biggest offender of this. All nukes need to be wiped out. There’s no place for weapons that can produce such massive destruction on a plant with living beings.

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By cyrena, July 23, 2008 at 10:04 pm Link to this comment

You’ve got the ‘key’ here bc41. I’m even inclined to believe that working smarter is ALWAYS better than working harder, even though working smarter does involve hard work.

Same here..

•  “What the Obama points out, my past and future criticism of him aside, is to work smarter—I don’t know where he gets his material but he does have perspective.”

I think he gets his ‘material’ from lots of sources, and uses his own common sense (perspective) to carefully consider it all, to accomplish the overall goal. That’s what working smarter is all about.

And, I think criticisms are good, when they are a result of us thinking about the issues, and questioning the legitimacy of anything as it relates to the reality of changing circumstances. Change of course it constant and absolute.

I agree that the issue of Pakistan should be in the dialogue. I’m not comfortable with ANY regime hoarding nuclear weapons, and I make no distinction about which regime that might be. The US is the biggest offender of this. All nukes need to be wiped out. There’s no place for weapons that can produce such massive destruction on a plant with living beings.

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By albertchampion, July 23, 2008 at 9:49 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

look, zbig was a creation of david’s trilateral commission. just as henry kissinger was the creation of his brother[nelson].

in a very real sense, both of these men are/were/will always be the rockefeller courtiers.

as was wee jimmy. as have been the bushits. as were all the amerikan presidents since ww2. yes, even jfk.

the russian invasion of afghanistan was a rockefeller/zbig-orchestrated chapter in the “great game”.

if you were a subscriber to aviation week and space tech back then, you would have been able to see the satphots of the massing of russian military assets on the russian/afghan frontier. and wee jimmy, on the counsel of his national security adviser[zbig], let that russian invasion happen.

zbig’s plan was that we would use this russo-muslim war to inflame the islamic states of the ussr, so as to accelerate the destruction of the ussr.

the most astonishing aspect of this project was the establishment of the false ayatollah khomenei. and to perfect that, wee jimmy has required to fall on his sword…appearing to be incompetent, ineffectual. and losing his incumbency.

but, never forget, wee jimmy was a good naval officer. and though president, he still took orders.

so, under wee jimmy’s regime, following the instructions of zbig[rockefeller courtier/lackey] we established a false ayatollah in iran. and created the idea of resurgent islam.

now, why do i say that the exiled ayatollah returned to iran was a false ayatollah? well, you had to have known the real ayatollah. oriana fallaci knew the original exile. and she wrote about him. she revealed that he would only speak farsi. and that he was missing part of a finger[removed by the shah’s torturing?].

oriana fallaci interviewed this ayatollah prior to his return from france to iran. her interview appeared in the iht. i think it has been “disappeared”. but i shall never forget it. she described her quandary interviewing this mullah who now preferred to conduct the interview in english[no farsi spoken]. and her puzzlement at that missing part of a finger that seemed to have been renewed.

there was no question in that interview that oriana fallaci thought that she was dealing with a fraudulent ayatollah - that she had seen a “player” in an episode of the great game.

now, some may think that such stratagems are not employed. hah. one of my favorite movies deals with just such a stratagem. kurosawa called his movie kagemusha[the shadow warrior]. it is a movie based on historical reality.

the usage of “doubles” is a long-running aspect of state security. and these “doubles” are used offensively and defensively.

just to reflect on this usage of “doubles”. who really died at parkland in november 1963? jfk? or a double? we really don’t know. why? one thing that was never done at any stage during this victim’s analysis prior to burial was a fingerprinting.

in a very real sense, the chain of custody was so lax that the identity of the decedent was never established according to normal legal requirements.

there are many mysteries in the operations of the secret state.

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By Bud King, July 23, 2008 at 9:44 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

I have never before seen such a fast slide to Center-Right that Obama has accomplished.

At one point in my decision-making process (Who to Vote for?) I thought Obama was truly the candidate who would bring some leadership and rationale back to the Oval Office.

I can’t recall now just how many times he has Flipped-Flopped since those days of the Primaries…..why, I even think he now outnumbers John McCain.

After some very careful thinking, I have come to the decision that I will NOT VOTE for Obama for President.  That does NOT mean I will vote for McCain though.  I will probably vote INDEPENDENT - who knows - even Ron Paul and Bob Barr might be better. 

In the last several years, the Democractic Party in Washington has convinced me of one thing:  They ARE ALL A BUNCH OF WHIMPS - maybe with the exception of Dennis Kucinich.  The leadership in both houses is deplorable.  Most members of Congress are too busy covering their ASSES and ensuring that their tenure in their respective houses will continue.

I have NEVER been more ashamed of being a Democract as I am at this time.

Having a Democractic President in the White House is really NOT that relevant as long as the DEMS can control both houses of Congress.

WHERE IS AL GORE now that we truly NEED HIM???

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By Ken, July 23, 2008 at 9:34 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Obama has to win over the establishment of this “democracy” if he’s ever to make it to the white house.  I’m sensing that many are expecting they had a champion who would “rail against the machine” at all costs.

Don’t you want change?  Many times that begins with compromise.  He needs the mantle of power before he can move forward.

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By doglover, July 23, 2008 at 9:05 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

I think your comment about Carter is somewhat inaccurate. Although Carter and Brzezinski began helping the Afghan resistance,  it was Reagan that sent billions in to that region.

“During most of the 1980’s, the CIA secretly sent billions of dollars of military aid to Afghanistan to support the mujahedeen–or holy warriors–against the Soviet Union, which had invaded in 1979.”


PS I suspected Obama’s predilections when he refused to help filibuster Justice Alito’s nomination. I do, however, like his approach to fundraising.

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By bc41, July 23, 2008 at 8:52 pm Link to this comment

Obama was at his best in the whole trip, he asking questions of the Prime Minister and tribal leaders with no misinterpretation from Maliki as the Bush people claimed about withdrawal.  Let’s get on with it, we’re not going to make Iraq a base for future incursions.  That’s what we fear more, no control of our own government.
    Why Iraqi leaders agree, what they infer, is that the presence of US troops stirs up more trouble than it puts down, money and force doesn’t always equal victory, commonly said, “it’s political.”  Working smarter sometimes is better than working harder. 
    I think with a switch of forces to Afghanistan we will also be faced with the same problem we had in the beginning, Pakistan—a country that will not allow US forces on its soil, has a huge population, and a nuclear bomb.  Think that should be in the dialogue.  What the Obama points out, my past and future criticism of him aside, is to work smarter—I don’t know where he gets his material but he does have perspective.

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By sammscript, July 23, 2008 at 8:37 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Mr. Scheer writes:  “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.”

It wasn’t incompetence.

Do you not yet realize that the “dismissing of FBI investigations on Arabs learning to fly,”  the August 6th Presidential Daily Briefing “Osama determined to strike US”,  the planned Military exercises on the day of 9/11 were all part of the ( as 25 year career CIA Robert Baer suggests) “most successful intelligence operation in the history of the United States?” 

good heavens.  Once you unlock the truth - 102 story steel buildings pulverized to micro particles within gravity speed,  the President sitting in the chair for minutes reading a goat story,  Cheney’s stand down order for the incoming missile to the Pentagon 
and so so so much more -  we may not know the names of all the traitors, but we can certainly see that it wasn’t incompetence,  but systematic coordination -  Visas for the “hijackers”  - of course the manifests of the passengers show no Arab names - and at least 6 of these folks are alive today -  anyway,    just a cursory look at the evidence in plain sight and you can see that the events of 9/11 were planned, coordinated and executed - and the preparation for the shock and awe   ( Weaver, Waco, Oklahoma City, Trade Center 93) was social engineering and systematic evil.

Don’t think “incompetence”.  Just call evil evil.

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By bg1, July 23, 2008 at 7:44 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Robert, you seemed to be so taken by Obama this spring. Only now do you seem to be wising up, now that were stuck with this guy.  And the funny thing is, he’s even less electable than Hillary Clinton.  The Democrats have turned a slam dunk into a long shot, and you had a part in this!  The tacit alliance between Wall Street who wanted a Republican in the White House and knew that this year that could be won only against a really weak Democrat, and the pony tails like you with apparently no street smarts or political saavy.  Very sad and very predictable.

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By Kevin E., July 23, 2008 at 7:30 pm Link to this comment

I’m surprised that Robert Scheer, whose astuteness I so admire, is surprised about Obama. It was pretty clear as far back as Iowa that the Emperor-to-be had few clothes: so much empty rhetoric!  And a lot of Chicago compromises.

I always thought that with Hillary, we knew what we were getting, good and bad together; the hatred she inspired in the right was honest and forced us to deal with our historic divisions.  Whereas this whole Obamacan phenomenon was always a pipe dream.  Obama is talented, he could even be a good president, but at this point, the worst problem he’s going to have, if he’s elected, will be the intense disappointment of his naive admirers.  A million people coming to see him in Germany!  For what?  What policies does that lead to? Lowest common denominator, probably.  In other words, the mushy middle, even if Obama thinks he’s going to outsmart the conservatives once he’s elected.  Maybe he even is one….recent decisions on guns and choice indicate he may actually be.  Great: the candidate as Trojan Horse!  Beware of candidates who offer impossible mixtures: Compassionate Conservatism; Politics without Politics. Feh.

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By William Lewis, July 23, 2008 at 7:22 pm Link to this comment

It seems that Robert Scheer can’t seem to get his reading glasses off and look at the bigger picture. My Question to you Mr. Scheer is this. Who are you going to vote for when the election comes? If your answer is McCain. Well then I would say that you are very much on the right track with your article. Considering the vulnerability of a vast number of Americans who are highly impressionable. You may very well be helping to lose Senator Obama the edge that he needs in order for him to win the race. I’m not saying that you are wrong in your piece regarding Barack Obama, however I think the big question is, would you want to have McCain as your President? If your answer is that it would be worse than our worst collective nightmare, then I know that you must save your criticism until after the election. Senator Obama is the best and only choice we have, even with his imperfections.

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By webbedouin, July 23, 2008 at 7:17 pm Link to this comment

Was reading about and found this “agreement from nature” in a column by the Austrailian economics writer Brian Bloom, he was speaking about cognitive dissonance in the markets

“No, dear reader, I’m afraid that our “real” problem is the inappropriate calibre of people whom we have elected into positions of political power. The issue devolves to “eligibility” as opposed to “competence”. Politics is the only profession in the world where practitioners do not have to pass any “eligibility” tests. We vote for the most plausible, charismatic, silver tongued salesmen, regardless of their personal eligibility.

A long as we keep doing that, nothing is going to change.

The definition of insanity is when you keep doing the same things over and over again and yet you expect a different outcome. We need to change our perspective on life. We need to start managing our affairs differently.”

As for the sudden drop in oil prices, you need only go to some long term charts to see that gas & oil, in 2004 & 2006, were at its lowest price of the year during the first week of November. 

What a coincidence!

Same game plan for 2008 sport fans…

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By Xntrk, July 23, 2008 at 5:47 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

webbedouin said:
In any event, one of the definitions of insanity is doing the same thing over & over again and expecting different results.  I would submit that voting Repugnican or Democrap will not prove to be the exception to that definition.

I won’t argue with your definition - but I will argue with the limitation… Voting at all, for any party is a drill in futility. Over and over again, we go to the polls, vote, and go home hoping we accomplished something.

1st, 2nd, or 3rd Party, it doesn’t matter, because not only is voting in the current situation crazy, but we seem to have forgotten another important quotation. I think it is by Stalin, but it could be by any dictator - Mugabe, Musharraf, pick your poison:

“It doesn’t matter who is on the ballot, what matters is who counts the votes.”

I may have messed up the quotation, but the meaning remains, and that why this whole campaign mania is so foolish. We spend billions on propaganda for one Party or another. We dutifully follow the campaign events and check out the Primary results. We calmly note the Media murder of any real Candidate who threatens the status quo - Left or Right.

And then we are stunned when the polls are skewed and the ballots aren’t counted, and people are denied the Right to Vote at all. Then, if necessary, the Supreme Court decides who has been anointed. Angered, we blog about the disappointing outcome, and rave about the erosion of our Democracy - As if we ever had one. We even create cute tee shirts and bumper stickers about “No complaints from non-voters”, as if voting were the hall-mark of the Democratic process.

There is yet another applicable saying: “We’ve been screwed, blued, and tattooed!” I think that pretty well describes the condition of the political process in the US. It is time for those of us who give a damn to come up with some other course of action rather then continue down this road wasting our time and money on a system that is no longer working. Revolution comes to mind, but being Americans, we seem to think that is a one-off event. Cuba has shown that Revolution is a process that is never completed and demands the energy and attention of those all who believe in it.

So far, signing a web petition seems to satisfy most of the whiners on the Left. The Right spends its time sending out ignorant letters defining all governments as evil. Neither side makes many converts, although ignorant people are always happy to blame the government…

Think about it…

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By Ron Ranft, July 23, 2008 at 4:47 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

A week or so ago the latest poll had Congress’s approval rating at 9%. Bush and Cheney both have higher ratings then that. And yet I see people cheering and waxing enthusiastic about 2 candidates from among an institution that people hold in such low esteem. And they wonder why year after year things go on pretty much as they are.

Imagine that People are riding on a train and the conductor announces that if the train arrives at its destination everyone will die. So what happens is that all the People begin to argue over whether it is better to sit on the left side of the train or the right side. Logic should make it evident that where the People sit will not make any difference as to the outcome. What is needed is for someone to stop the train and get out and lay new track to some new destination.

What should be absolutely frightening to the People is that der shrub has gathered almost unlimited power to the office of the President. The Democrats could have and should have done something to deter his power grab but they haven’t. Why? Could it be because they know that after this election they will wield so much power that they too can feast at the trough. And the power that the office of President now holds is almopst absolute and that kind of power is never given up volutarily. Anyone who is knowledgable of the history of Rome, and it isn’t the only example, knows that once this kind of power is in the hands of even the person of good intent, it corrupts.
Obama has already been corrupted. His whole history of how he got to be where he is should tell People what he intends.

Again, there are other alternatives but you have to really search for mention of them. Nader, McKinney, Barr, Paul all have experience and platforms that are such a better choice for the People. Choosing one of them is so much more desireable. For me, Nader has all the creds one needs to take this train somewhere else. He has laid new track over and over again. The People owe him big time for the safety of automobiles, their air, their water that they would not have without him. For me it is a vote of conscience. For me it is anyone but McBush or Obama. I have gotten off the train!

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By Kevin James, July 23, 2008 at 4:42 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

It is amazing how the left and that specially includes the author have bought into the terrorist labeling and can not see what is driving fundamentalist Islam? Detective work and surgical strikes? are you kidding?! that seems to be the same BS we’ve been hearing from the Generals and the Neocons!!
So if voting Democrat or Republican means this crap or what the center in this country wants, and this is a center of a very conservative religious and war mongering public as it was proven by the past two elections, then why not vote for the third choice? why not think about the future and do the right thing?

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By Apostle Gideon, July 23, 2008 at 3:23 pm Link to this comment

Two things, have me really upset about, Obama’s campaign tour of Afaghanistan. One, I really do think I caught him, in TV coverage, more than once, giving dirty looks to people in Afghanistan, for not appearing to look like they knew who he was. What did he expect, everyone in Afghanistan, would already know who he is?

Two, his comment to Katie Couric, “I think perfect peace eludes all of us on earth.”

Um, look Obama, you came from a Satan Slave, pseudo-church, run by a Satan Slave, pseudo-christian, false prophet behind a pulpit, who you only recognized as such, when he finally spoke publicly, something; not recited from a bible. Just because you went to such a church, for so many years, and now are starting, I presume from scratch, does not mean the rest of us believers and followers of Christ, with Christ as head of our chapels, have not found perfect peace; on this earth.

Please read my blogs:

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By troublesum, July 23, 2008 at 2:50 pm Link to this comment

What is needed in the short term are massive anti-war (anti-Obama) demonstrations at the Denver conventon.  Obama is not the nominee yet and it may be possible to get someone else since he is running away from democratic principls and losing the support of the party base.

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By rowman, July 23, 2008 at 2:18 pm Link to this comment

In all fairness, he was never really specific on the change he was referring too. After all, “change” can be good or bad. If you were to take a fair look at his past dealings in Chicago, one would realize that he is in fact, cut from the same cloth. If you held on to some visionary dream of his messiahship, this would clearly cloud your judgment putting you in the predicament you are now… Coming to the realization that he is no different and is just trying to repackage the same ol b.s.

If you have bought into his crap of saying anything to get elected, you are a gullible fool.

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By Tony Wicher, July 23, 2008 at 2:16 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Well, I think it’s awfully early to talk about “betrayal” by a candidate who hasn’t even been elected yet.

Brezinski is an old cold warrior and a brilliant geopolitical strategist. Moreover he is no Zionist, but has a neutral attitude toward Israel, and for that Zionists have called him “anti-Semitic”, which he is not. He used to be Jimmy Carter’s foreign policy advisor. Carter now also stands accused of anti-Semitism for his book, “
Palestine: Peace not Apartheid”. Compared to the neocons who have been running U.S. foreign policy, Brzezinski looks like Jesus Christ. I am very glad to see him on Obama’s foreign policy team.

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