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Obama on the Brink

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

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

By Robert Scheer

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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



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By Washington Bubble, July 23, 2008 at 3:15 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

I have to say that even though I wasn’t the biggest Obama supporter, once it wound its way down to the primaries I looked at the canidates that were left and thought that he might have the best shot not to be like what we’ve seen for the last 7.5 years.  What I’ve seen since the primaries from him just wires me up..not sure what happened to “Mr. Change” that we heard about so much during the primaries but what I see now is someone that isn’t all that much different than McCain.  Reading today how he speaks of Iran being a threat to the world and all that just pissed me off…one more politician sucking up to Israel telling us who the next threat is.  We’ve been dealing with who the politicians tell us the next threat is for the last 8+ years. Can we stop it now that we’ve managed to put the US into a tailspin?  I’m not looking for a politician that I could sit down and have a beer with, who looks good, has a good looking wife, kids have straight teeth..I’m looking for a canidate that actually has a set of brass ones to straighten out_this country.  I can’t believe what a trainwreck this election is so far with no relief in sight.  It’s a bummer that we still use this half-baked primary system at this point in time.  Basically what we had happen is the media kept talking about Clinton and Obama instead of what all the canidates had to offer…*sigh*, when will we learn?

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By Dr. Knowitall, PhD, PhD, July 23, 2008 at 2:54 pm Link to this comment

I see a kind of similarity between this election and what’s happening with the “energy crisis.”

Repugs were resoundingly rejected in 2006.  Consumers cutting back 2-3% in their purchase of gasoline, I think, is a significant rejection of Big Oil.  Both Democrats and Big Oil have a choice.  Answer the “mandate” or suffer the consequences.

In the case of Obama, who promises “change we can believe in (if that’s not too vague a slogan)” he has little choice but to recognize that the future of the democratic party as the party of the middle class may well be at stake. He has to honor his pledge. 

Big Oil, as evidenced by recent price drops, has been “warned” by consumers that $4/gl is the limit, not only because that’s all we’ll pay, but that price has prompted alternative energy sources and technologies to speed up their work. 

I have to wonder if what I long thought was the greatest power in the nation, that of the middle class, is finally becoming mobilized, i.e., we’re walking softly and carrying Teddie’s Big Stick.  The best thing we could do is to even further curb our use of gasoline and give Big Oil what it deserves.  Don’t think for a second that speculators aren’t very aware of our conservation efforts and that alternative technologies sources haven’t been awakened.  Big Oil doesn’t want the competition.  It will be world-wide.

The democratic party will be making a huge mistake if it doesn’t force Obama to toe the middle class line. There will always be Naders waiting out there and someday, the electorate will be forced by their wallets to listen.  If Big Oil and the Dems want to continue to play the game, they’re going to have to listen, sooner or later, to the middle class. Might as well be now and I’m beginning to think it is.  “Change we can believe in” may come slowly, but it will come, just the same.

I think it’s the beer, beerdoctor.

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By troublesum, July 23, 2008 at 2:54 pm Link to this comment

The public has been betrayed by the candidates.  There was so much hope a year ago that real change could happen.  Now it seems that whomever wins, we will have a third Bush/Cheney term.  I think Malcolm Martin (9:27am) is right - Obama is “auditioning with the ruling class.”  With the general public, the candidates never get beyond “auditioning their hair styles” as Lewis Lapham put it.

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By webbedouin, July 23, 2008 at 2:20 pm Link to this comment

Obama: The real power behind the throne-to-be
http://globalresearch.ca/index.php?context=va&aid=9649

An article worthy of note at a site worthy of note:
http://globalresearch.ca

Sorry cyrena, no disrespect intended, but that gut screed seems more like pure projection.  Learned more about you than other posters around here…

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.

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By Big B, July 23, 2008 at 2:04 pm Link to this comment

I must echo the sentiments that Americans would rather vote for a “joe six pack” than an other FDR. A representative government is a reflection of the values and intellect of it’s voters. When given a choice, americans will always choose the guy they think isn’t smart enough to rip them off. It’s sad we have that low an opinion of ourselves.

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By Joe R., July 23, 2008 at 1:54 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

The real test of Obama’s presidency if he is elected will be if he turns his justice department on to the Bush administration for the high crimes it has committed.  If Obama does not prosecute Bush and his cronies Obama himself will have failed in his duties to protect the constitution and should himself be impeached.  Time will tell.

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

The real conversation is about Obama’s policies, not about his hot air. Can anyone prove that his proposed policies for Afghanistan are NOT an escalation of Bush’s policies? Can anyone deny that Dennis Ross, Obama’s Middle East adviser, is a saber rattling hawk? Can anyone deny that Obama will remove from Iraq 32 combat units that is a total of about 100,000 soldiers, leaving some 30,000 behind? Yes, thirty thousand and if “things go wrong” he will send combat units back in. Obama will not be the anti-war President his gullible supporters still believe him to be. The so-called “war on terrorism” will transmute from a Bush- to an Obama-war. Long before 2012 the American people will be as disgusted with this man as they are today with Bush. I have been correct by consistently calling Obama a neo-imperialist more than one year ago but I will not run for the US Senate.

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By jersey girl, July 23, 2008 at 1:15 pm Link to this comment

omniadeo: I’m with you. Down with the nwo.  What these foolish apologists for Obama don’t understand is that he was chosen by those that rule simply because he will do their bidding just as McCain will do.  It matters not which one the sheeple chooses. The shadow government, once again, wins.

loveinatub: We can’t elect a liberal because the brainwashed dems such as cyrena, purple & bob are running around in circles making excuses for Obama and hating McCain when there isn’t a dimes worth of difference between the two!  Now if all these obamatrons would instead take that wasted energy and put it towards getting the word out to vote for Nader, we could see a revolution.. the type this country has never known.  Imagine the abject horror of the democrats when their faithful desert them for Nader? Oh, and what will the msm have to say!  I’d advise the republicans who can’t bring themselves to vote for a liberal to vote for Ron Paul or Bob Barr. 

It’s time the duopoly is taught a lesson. We will no longer be their patsies and fools. We are tired of being used and abused and ignored.  They are OUR employees and as their employers we need to let them know by sending an indisputable message to them loud and clear at the polls in november that…  we are mad as hell and not gonna take it anymore !

There is still plenty of time to at least start the revolution of change by not voting for the status quo and encouraging others to do the same. There is already a huge movement online to do just that.

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By Dr. Knowitall, PhD, PhD, July 23, 2008 at 1:10 pm Link to this comment

I was about to challenge: who was the last person to be elected president by being himself and then I thought a little longer and, Bingo!!, George W. Bush got elected—twice—by being exactly who and what he is.  Simple, very simple. 

There went that theory. 

The sad reality is that who you are that you can be to get elected president doesn’t speak well of you, at least not IMHO.  Few want Nader because they don’t want who he is and he won’t attempt to deceive them into thinking he’s someone else.  EVERYONE knows who Bush is and that worked to Bush’s advantage in this gawd blessed country—twice.  Bush couldn’t carry on an intelligent conversation with Nader for more than a minute and if he could, it would have to concern weed-whacking. 

Watch.  History will bear out that Nader is right.  But that won’t make a shred of difference in any future election.  This country wants folksy, little boy weed-whackers to be their leaders.

As it turns out, Clinton has pretty much shown his real self (I’m disappointed) during the primary campaign, kind of a little boy-type. 

RayGun was a little boy-type who whacked people.
That’s easy to do when you’re a delusional, narcissist who could never see himself except as the hero character in one of his B roles.

I’ll never figure out how he rose to power, except people thought he could transfer his hero ability from the screen to reality.  He sure saved the day and triumphed over evil, evil, of course, personified in the American Middle Class Worker.

I apologize; I’m rambling and ranting.  Forgive me.  It’s not fair.  Just because so many recently have been caught on a live mike or camera doesn’t mean that I should feel free to vent and say nasty things about others.  How crass.  Rude.  No. Wait.  My apology should be something to this effect, “There is no excuse for saying such things.  If anyone was hurt by privately made, recent remarks, those people deserve an apology.”  Then my spokesperson comes forth to do damage control by saying that I have often said before what was said in recent private remarks that were not intended to be generally heard.

You know, I feel like I could go on for about a month.  They give me so much to write about.  I’ve got to throw out my computer and my TV and the newspaper, put on my Tin Hat and head for the woods. 

I apologize for this. You’ve probably already figured out I’m on vacation.  Not only that, I’m retired.  You can just skip over anything headed Dr. Knowitall, PhD, PhD in the future, especially if you don’t have a lot of time. 

One more thing:  Does anyone have any suggestions for how to survive Bush, Congress, the MidEast and Big Oil?  beerdoctor, I do love beer.  No wonder there’s rampant substance abuse in this country.  How can anyone stand to witness with a full deck what goes on??  I could try Jesus, I guess.

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By msgmi, July 23, 2008 at 12:56 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Interviews of Soviet officers following the Soviet abandonment of their crusade in Afghanistan in support of the communist proxy government indicated that the inner circle of the Politburo believed that Soviet military power would crush the mujahadeen and victory would be assured. These officers offered their personal experiences and all were convinced that the invasion was a folly and had no chance of success as long as the population resisted the occupation and supported the mujahadeen.

In the 1980s it was the Soviet occupier whose tactics and strategic mission was based on a Politboro mirage perception. The basic similarities persist today.

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By cyrena, July 23, 2008 at 12:46 pm Link to this comment

Part 1 of 2 response to Purple Girl #170832

Dang Purple Girl..

You’ve hit the bulls-eye again, as you consistently do in these posts. Thing is, none of them ‘get it’. Including these so-called lefties.

•  “…The extremeist on both sides have done nothing but blocked real conversations and solutions, allowing the Corp Run Gov’t to utitlize their ‘Divide & Conquer’ long time stratedgy to run this country into the ground.While the fringe of both sides have demanded Everything to be their way or no way, The corps have run wild with unbridled freedoms.
Haven’t you figured out this tactic has been being used for decades. Does the ‘left’ not see how they too have fallen for the Con?”

The cruelest of ironies is that they DON’T see it. They call themselves ‘left’ and ‘liberal’ without having an iota’s worth of real insight as to what this really means. Even some of the more astute among us occasionally fall for the trap, because of these ‘labels’ of liberal and conservative. Those ‘designators’ may have actually meant something at one time, but most have failed to understand what either really mean, in the face of RADICAL EXTREMISM.

In other words, life-long democrat and ‘liberal’ that I might be labeled myself, is really a misnomer in the face of any radicals. Anyone actually committed to the rule of law as a way to run this operation (and I am) is actually closer to a conservative ideology. But, we have had NEITHER conservative or liberal in these past decades, because we’ve only had RADICAL. These ‘fringe’ groups from either side have fallen right smack dab in the center of the TRAP.

This is one of the rants I’ve been at for what seems like forever, trying to explain it by various examples for various ‘learning curves’. I’ve pretty much given up.  The severe frustration lies in the fact that this is SUCH an old trick, that it would seem like even the leaning impaired would figure it out. This paralysis/gridlock that they put themselves in by clinging so hard and fast to the edge of wherever they are, is exactly what allows the evil doers to proceed about their destruction, and their GRAND HEIST, while kids squabble over who’s right, and who’s wrong, and who should have the pink toy instead of the yellow one. On the fringes, and consistently pushed further away from the stability of the center, where the balance begins. So yeah, the ‘lefties’ lose again, as do the righties, if you think about it. We ALL lose, while the oligarchy, (which is relatively small in terms of the whole) rips off EVERYTHING.
Meantime, you offer this sanity to the blind deaf-mutes:

•  “…It is going to take both sides to clean up the mess and begin to ALLOW both sides to talk again!Without a willingness to listen and compromise Nothing will ever get resolved.The ‘left’ has become as unrealistic and childlike as the Relgious Right has been- guess what it’s the same people yanking your chains and eliciting the same mindless gutteral responses!..”

Yep…the same mindless guttural responses. None of these responses are based on any sort of reason, or any sense of logic. It’s all from the gut, and these guts are seriously compromised. They need an ideological version of a gastroenterologist. Can’t treat the afflicted though, if they don’t know they’re ill.

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By cyrena, July 23, 2008 at 12:45 pm Link to this comment

Part 2 of 2 response to Purple Girl #170832

Meantime, Purple Girl, if it’s of ANY consolation to you, (as it must be to me) there actually ARE still some sane ones within both parties, who have rejected the radicalism of the current regime. Even the ‘staunchly republican’ or so-called conservative right have made their own voices heard against the radicalism that has brought us to this dire cliff-hanging edge. So we can hope that some measure of sanity can prevail, in the midst of the extremes from both sides. I agree that Chuck Hagel would be the ideal person for that as a VP, and he’s made it clear that he’s actually willing to accept the job. I hope that’s how it works out.

But, I don’t see much of a move to that from the majority of ideologues here, still playing by their guts, not unlike the same character who has claimed the same ‘governing’ technique himself. The shrub isn’t much different from the same ideologues that post here, (from the gut and from the extreme radical side of whatever position they hold.) He has been as manipulated by the evil oligarchy as any of the rest of them. But, what else would we expect? These are always the ‘types’ that are used to achieve those purposes.

In fact, I’ve watched with increasing horror, the posts that decry all that has come about, and NEVER mention any of the real sources of the destruction. It’s like they’re in a burning house, and when a fire person shows up to try to help, they fight ‘em off, and keep pouring fuel on the fire they’re in.

And of course, it takes the rest of us down with them. But then, that’s the age old plan, eh? Seems to keep working too. To the final destruction of us all.

But, just for the heck of it, I’ll say this again…the balance is at the center folks. Unless we are willing to start moving some of the weight back to the center, and away from the fringes, the thing does a fatal crash.

As an aside, this policy on Afghanistan is exactly that. This whole war posture is one of MANY elements of what we need to address to save our own asses. So, while the ideologues here may be focusing on FOREIGN POLICY ALONE, in the discussion or our own survival, that isn’t the case with Barack Obama, and for that I am grateful. Chuck Hagel happens to be quite balanced as well.

Whatever Obama’s thoughts may actually be in this so-called fight of terrorism, I trust that he is not myopically focused on it, to the exclusion of all else.

In fact, I’m actually certain of that much.

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By Max Shields, July 23, 2008 at 12:45 pm Link to this comment

BobZ,
Just like purple girl, you think you’re so wise by spouting this elementary schools stuff about the compromising.

I’m pretty sure Jersey Girl gets it and I know I do, time to take you’re head out of the sand, look at the endless war this country’s been in regardless of party. Now that may be “compromise” to you, but it’s holly hell to the victims.

You guys (I don’t know about you Bobz) were all crazed with Obama and real change. As soon as that is so clear that you can’t deny it, you start talking about compromise and being non-ideological.

Since you call yourself “progressive”, what the hell do you think that means - void of ideology???

Obama is not the fraud it’s his apologists who came making up excuses why this guy is doing what he’s doing. Turn a deaf ear at your own (and the rest of us) peril.

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By loveinatub, July 23, 2008 at 12:43 pm Link to this comment

You’re preaching to the choir, Robert.

Obama’s voting for the FISA act as it was written was an atrocious display of political expediency.

And now, with this much ballyhooed trip to the Middle East, Obama is burning is hawk credentials (more than the dove) and he most certainly will not get us out of Iraq, UNLESS the American people thwart him and spark the next American revolution!

Obama is a major disappointment to the liberal community already and he hasn’t even been officially declared the democratic nominee for president!

Obama is running like “McCain lite”  and frankly, the less republican party instrusion into American politics, the better.

We’re doomed no matter what. It’s just a shame and a tragedy that this country can’t elect a truly liberal candidate. No wonder this country is f-cked.

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By geronimo, July 23, 2008 at 12:42 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Action Alert for this Friday posted on

grassrootsnetroots.org/impeach.cfm


The call is for mass rallies at the district offices of every congressperson this Friday while the House Judiciary Committee holds its hearing on the impeachment of George Bush.  What could such rallies possibly accomplish?  The impeachment of President George Bush, that’s what, and who could ask for anything more?

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By omniadeo, July 23, 2008 at 12:26 pm Link to this comment

We are allowed to play here in the sandbox. The elections are our toys. They keep our attention while the real decisions are made elsewhere. This is not just whining, folks. It’s really true.

Forget ideology. Investigate 911.

PS: and Northwoods, the Kennedy assassinations, the REAL Watergate, Iran Contra, October Surprise, PROMIS softwarea and the rise of the Intelligence State

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By BobZ, July 23, 2008 at 12:21 pm Link to this comment

Replies to Jersey Girl and Russ,

Politics is the art of compromise. Neither Obama nor McCain can win by just appealing to the most liberal or conservative constituencies. As a progressive I want my candidate to win, but not stuck on an ideological platform that will guarantee defeat - what does that accomplish, except to guarantee 4 more years of Republican rule - no progressive in his right mind could possibly want that. I would love to see Obama take a more enlightened view on Cuba and Israel but I know that will never happen unless a Democrat actually takes office. As for third party candidates, we should have learned from Teddy Roosevelt who could not win even though he was extremely popular and had broad support. As progressives we don’t need to start cutting off our nose to spite our face.

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By Michael Shaw, July 23, 2008 at 12:15 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

I would point out purple girl that the left hasn’t even been invited to the conversation even though they are the most responsible for Obama being where he is and the so called middle is forever shifting to suit whichever “right wing controlled” candidate we get.

Blaming the left for causing these problems is simply nonsense! If Obama didn’t abandon the left as did most of the democratic party he’d have nothing to worry about. If he loses this election it’s his own damn fault, along with the DLC who have time and time again capitulated to King George at our expense. Plain and simply if Obama doesn’t turn around soon he won’t get my vote and I’m not alone either. I’d be willing to bet the biggest bulk support of the democratic party(the progressives) feel the same as I do. Like you I supported Kucinich in the primary and he may well become my write in candidate unless Obama quickly changes my mind.

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By BruSays, July 23, 2008 at 12:13 pm Link to this comment

It’s a Circus.

The candidates are the performers, pulling rabbits from their hats, impressing us with their feats of strength and daring. Pay no attention to the smoke and mirrors.

The Emcee is the Corporate Media spotlighting the acts as they’re preformed, hyping the Big Top acts and reminding us what a fantastic time we’re having. Look here, see that, marvel at this, cheer at that.

The usual freak shows and mindless exhibits are present, too, courtesy in large part to FOX News, O’Reilly, Hannity, and Limbaugh.

Clowns, of course, are in no short supply.

And we, the audience, are looking for blood and failure. A fall from a trapeze, a bite from a lion.

And high above the circus tent, a giant neon sign flashes the word, “DEMOCRACY.”

(Problem is, this is the only circus in town!)

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By jersey girl, July 23, 2008 at 12:03 pm Link to this comment

webbedouin:  Here here ! I am voting for ralph because he already has 6% of the vote, soon to be the all important 10% which gets him in on the online debates. He will then proceed to shred McCain & Obama to pieces with the truth.

I love Cynthia as well and have no problem voting for her either but if we all get behind Ralph now, we can make a difference because he is already on the radar screen.  This third party thing is totally do-able.  I already know moderate republicans who are voting for him.

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By webbedouin, July 23, 2008 at 11:57 am Link to this comment

It occurs to me that this site is not terribly unlike the MSM in the regard that it carries nothing at all about the other two candidates in the race.  Which is a shame because both Ralph & Cynthia have terrific platforms and neither have been co-opted by corporate control. 

Both of them:
Get out of Iraq now
Renewable energy
Single payer health care
Restore human rights & liberties
Fair trade, not “free” trade
And Ralph would even go as far as to diminish corporate control of the country & the economy.

Frankly, my dears, that is the kind of change i can believe in…

And if these platforms were brought to the attention of the people of this country and progressives at large, there would be an entirely different outlook on this whole election. 

Therefore those platforms are completely excluded from this election’s discussion.

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By jersey girl, July 23, 2008 at 11:45 am Link to this comment

BobZ: He’s losing progressive voters in droves.  What’s that tell ya?

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By Aiken Blue, July 23, 2008 at 11:27 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Obama is a great candidate. He is inspiring and a man of integrity. I am supporting Obama. Please for him. VIsit WHYOBAMA08.org!!

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By BobZ, July 23, 2008 at 11:20 am Link to this comment

Obama is tacking toward the middle so what else is new. He won’t get elected otherwise. So he has to play the political game, such as kissing up to Israel, and talking tough to appeal to the right wingers who won’t vote for him anyway. Still he is light years better than McCain who could turn out to be Bush cubed. I would rather take my chances with Obama than McCain. I voted for Bush the first time around but realized I made a huge mistake. I won’t be voting for another Republican anytime soon unless they start talking about Ike and Teddy rather than St. Reagan.

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By kanuear, July 23, 2008 at 11:19 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Vietnam? Eisenhower/Nixon yes…. France/Mao Tse Tung/ Chow En Lai from 1949 ....yes… Kennedy/Johnson inheritors….. Lying Wesmoreland… 60000 dead many more wounded and still homeless. PTS,frendly fire, agent orange, mutations in child birth… The cost is very visible… The justification was??????  And the gain was ??????

THINK….........!!!

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By jersey girl, July 23, 2008 at 11:19 am Link to this comment

Hey Max Shields..good to see you back smile

purple: You started out on the right track and veered right off it when you blamed the “left” for screwing things up.  My god, the left are the ones who are anti war, pro civil liberties, pro working class & labor, pro human rights, pro choice. 

What you should be fed up with is your own “middle of the road” party. They’ve taken all of us for granted. I don’t understand then why so many dems have become unthinking little robots chanting over and over..“I must vote democratic, I must vote democratic” no matter what their candidate does or says.  Obviously middle class republicans have been used by their party for decades.  I suppose now it’s the dems turn to take advantage of a gullible electorate. Or is it an electorate so desperate for change that they don’t see they are again being used? That when he tells them he wants more war they think he really means less, when he votes to take their civil liberties they think he will give them back?

Obama is not going to change anything.  He keeps showing you what he intends to do.  Why on earth don’t you believe him?

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By Max Shields, July 23, 2008 at 11:13 am Link to this comment

You floundering Dems really miss the whole point of Sheer’s post. He’s not singling out the Repugs, in fact he’s made it abundantly clear that the Dem history is even worse with regard to irrational war making(I think all war is) than the Repugs.

If your memory or history begins with GWB than you really need to read Sheer carefully. If you think LBJ was ok because we got Medicare and the Civil Rights Bill signed, just think about the world being on fire do to his militarist aggression. This is not about TRADE OFFS, unless your either a racist or a chauvist that believes that an American life is superior to any other on the planet.

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By WriterOnTheStorm, July 23, 2008 at 11:07 am Link to this comment

I know that Mr Scheer, a seasoned political commentator, can’t possibly be naive enough to think that Obama represents, or has ever represented any possibility for meaningful or significant change. The change candidates, mentioned by other commentators here, have been skirted off the political stage like court jesters. So the premise of this article strikes me as odd to say the least. Is Scheer mocking Obama’s supporters?

As far as Islamic terrorism and the mess in the middle east goes, both are largely the results of generational and BI-PARTISAN greed, imperialism, and cultural-centrism. The western mindset that created fertile ground for al qaeda, hezbollah, hamas et al, has not changed in 100 years. It’s disingenuous to now suggest that it is simply a matter of ‘detective work’ to rid ourselves of this scourge.

One can see parallels between the Roman Empire’s struggle with Christian fanatics and our own conflict with Muslim fundamentalists. But if history is any indication, the fanatics will win in the end.

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By Buzz Wilms, July 23, 2008 at 11:05 am Link to this comment

Thank you.  How would it be to have a president who could truly lead public opinion in a truthful way.  Maybe Obama reasons that the costs are too high and the risks are too great.  Worse, maybe he doesn’t see what you have laid out so persuasively.  After the Iowa primary I felt my spirits lift, and now, well, all we can do is keep the pressure on and hope.

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By Big B, July 23, 2008 at 11:00 am Link to this comment

Jersey Girl is correct. Whoever our next president is will be stuck with a floundering economy and a police state in it’s awful infancy. This year is reminisant of 1976 when the RNC crowded into the smoke filled room and decided that it would be advantagous to throw the election. The U.S. was in similar dire straights compared to today’s mess (it wasn’t as bad back then though, we were not all in dept up to our eyeballs) We were coming off a disasterous war, watergate, and the arab oil embargo. The repugs then served poor Jerry Ford up for slaughter. The irony of that was the the dimmo’s chose the unknown peanut farmer and almost lost an election that should have been a slam dunk. All this sounds incredibly familiar to today. There is NO WAY that even a mediocre dimmo should not win in a landslide! The repugs are trying to lose again! for crissake, they gave us McCAIN! They are hoping that the nation will blame the dimmos for the next 4 miserable years, and waltz back into the white house in 2012 with all the Bush mistakes being forgotten and forgiven. We did it in 1980, and judging from america’s short attention span, we’ll do it again.
Maybe the Mayans were right, and the world will end in 2012. It certainly looks that way in America. The only question is will we take everyone down with us?

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By sophrosyne, July 23, 2008 at 10:55 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

We need to still vote for Obama to get the least bad option.  Osrael and Corporatist America will not allow us any hope for chnage.  They have too much money and power.  McPain is a dangerous old codger with a temmbling finger on the atomic bomb.  He is utterly terrifying. He is no hero.  He is a disgrace.  He showed “bravery” bombing women and children in Vietnam and bravery keeping his mouth mainly shut after the rag-tag peasant army shaking their brooms at his jet somehow blew the fool out of the air.  I would go after his bad war record and his bizarre, dangerous foreign policy ideas in a very direct way.  Attack his strength.  Pray that once elected Obama will not make things worse.

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By Robert, July 23, 2008 at 10:54 am Link to this comment

July 23, 2008

The Greatest Threat America Has Ever Faced: the GOP?
The Mother of All Messes

By PAUL CRAIG ROBERTS

“Republicans are sending around the Internet a photo of a cute little boy whose T-shirt reads: “The mess in my pants is nothing compared to the mess Democrats will make of this country if they win Nov. 2nd.”

One can only wonder at the insouciance of this message. Are Republicans unaware of the amazing mess the Bush regime has made?

It is impossible to imagine a bigger mess. Republicans have us at war in two countries as a result of Republican lies and deceptions, and we might be in two more wars—Iran and Pakistan—by November. We have alienated the entire Muslim world and most of the rest.

The dollar has lost 60% of its value against the euro, and the once mighty dollar is losing its reserve currency role.

The Republicans’ policies have driven up the price of both oil and gold by 400%.

Inflation is in double digits. Employment is falling.

The Republican economy in the 21st century has been unable to create net new jobs for Americans except for low wage domestic services such as waitresses, bartenders, retail clerks and hospital orderlies.

Republican deregulation brought about fraud in mortgage lending and dangerous financial instruments which have collapsed the housing market, leaving a million or more homeowners facing foreclosure. The financial system is in disarray and might collapse from insolvency.

The trade and budget deficits have exploded. The US trade deficit is larger than the combined trade deficits of every deficit country in the world.

The US can no longer finance its wars or its own government and relies on foreign loans to function day to day. To pay for its consumption, the US sells its existing assets—companies, real estate, toll roads, whatever it can offer—to foreigners.”

http://www.counterpunch.org/roberts07232008.html

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By Max Shields, July 23, 2008 at 10:54 am Link to this comment

Purple girl, you don’t get it. It’s the kind of “thinking” you describe that got us here. In fact it is the dominant narrative.

You’ve won (been winning). And know it’s time we take this duopololy and the corporatist who feed it and make it history.

Given where we’re at handing this over to the “two parties” (you know the war party) is not “sensible”. In fact, it’s down right insane!!

Don’t worry about the “left”, the problem is not the “left”, it’s the kind of thinking that’s been keeping this non-stop war going for decades.

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By Purple Girl, July 23, 2008 at 10:42 am Link to this comment

Having voted for Kucinich in the fraudulant MI primary, I was well aware of the middle of the road stratedgy of Sen Obama. Since Kucinich and Gravel were never allowed to truly compete and Nadar as the Same Red herring he has always been, I have now volunteered to help the Obama campaign.
I am dismayed and disgusted by the same self rigteous attitude coming from th eleft that has been so long associated with the Religious Zealots on the Right. Get a clue, the real lefties Lost Again. the nation has been brainwashed so far to the fear mongering Right- there is no way any immediate ideological changes can be made!
The extremeist on both sides have done nothing but blocked real conversations and solutions, allowing the Corp Run Gov’t to utitlize their ‘Divide & Conquer’ long time stratedgy to run this country into the ground.While the fringe of both sides have demanded Everything to be their way or no way, The corps have run wild with unbridled freedoms.
Haven’t you figured out this tactic has been being used for decades. Does the ‘left’ not see how they too have fallen for the Con?
Frankly I have gotten so sick of this Selfrighteous arrogant bullshit and the effects it has had on Our Democracy, I feel the only way to regain some sense of balance in this country is for Sen obama to name Sen Chuck Hagel as his VP.It is going to take both sides to clean up the mess and begin to ALLOW both sides to talk again!Without a willingness to listen and compromise Nothing will ever get resolved.The ‘left’ has become as unrealistic and childlike as the Relgious Right has been- guess what it’s the same people yanking your chains and eliciting the same mindless gutteral responses!Pit the Far Right against the Far left and everyone else gets the shaft!Wake Up & Grow Up, we need solutions, not more BS indignation!
Win or Whine? keep up this crap and McCain will be our next non elected president.

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By Paul_GA, July 23, 2008 at 10:36 am Link to this comment

Jersey Girl:

A police state ... or outright civil war.

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By Malcolm Martin, July 23, 2008 at 10:27 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Have no illusions about Barak Obama. He is auditioning with the ruling class in this campaign for president, and judging by Rupert Murdoch’s kindly pat on the head, he is giving a credible performance. The candidate is desperately trying to convince them an Obama Administration would be business as usual, his empty rhetoric about change notwithstanding. That’s why he is willing to throw his pastor of 20 years and spiritual mentor over the side on command, abandon his anti-Iraq War stance, side so completely with the Zionists, vote for the FISA bill and on and on.

But even Obama’s boot licking and groveling will do him no good. Obama is a Black man and so something the ruling class can never permit must happen before he is elected president. In the general election, if one is permitted, Obama will win 95-plus% of a record turnout of Black voters. But he will win the nomination and then the presidency only with a substantial number of white working class votes. This would constitute a level of working class unity like we have never witnessed in US electoral history.

Such unity would shake this county’s ever constricting capitalist bourgeois democracy to its foundation. One of the main engines of that capitalist economy is racism. For the sake of profits racial divisions and the super exploitation of workers of color must be kept intact—at all costs.

The reason that chattel slavery came into existence in the semi-feudal agrarian US economy of the time was that it was very profitable for the masters of that economy.

The reason that racism is so pervasive in the United States today with its developed industrial capitalist economy is that it is very profitable for the masters of that economy.

It took the bloodiest war in US history and hundreds of thousands of white workers willing to fight to the death to end chattel slavery. No election and no candidate for office will end racism in this country. As long as capitalism exists elections will only produce racist results.

Barak Obama is not being eyed with suspicion right now for fear of his empty rhetoric about change. The ruling class chuckles over such nonsense. What they are stricken over is the possibility that working-class whites might make their first halting steps toward an effective political relationship with their brothers and sisters of color. They know their history. They know that was the dynamic that brought down the slave economy. They know that would be the beginning of the end for them.

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By Max Shields, July 23, 2008 at 10:18 am Link to this comment

ocjim,

Let’s see if the Afghanistan children and their parents care about whether a genius is dropping bombs on them or a dunce?

Yea, I expect a whole hell of lot more.

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By Ed, July 23, 2008 at 10:07 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Obama is a skilled political operative and he’s doing everything he can to become the next President of the United States (as did our current “education president”). Who knows what direction Obama will take if he does indeed acquire the office.

The establishment is in firm control; the airwaves, printed media and soon the internet. The likes of Jerry Brown and Dennis Kucinich are smeared and cast aside. And don’t be surprised if the voting machines are manipulated to steal the election for McCain.

Social justice and an end to the military industrial complex will only come about when a critical mass of people are willing to risk their lives to overthrow the government. The oligarchy will smear, deny, brainwash and kill any credible threat to their power and property.

In any case, Senator Obama has my vote. Perhaps he will prove me wrong.

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By ocjim, July 23, 2008 at 9:51 am Link to this comment

In spite of the admiration that Barack, an intelligent and charismatic candidate gets, especially when compared to the dunce we have for president, don’t we expect moderate stances when the general election hits?

When Scheer says, “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,” isn’t he expecting too much?

Remember that Barack is a genius compared to the embarrassment, Bush. Eight years of total incompetence and idiocy have worn us down and puffed up our expectations from an above average guy.

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By miroslav, July 23, 2008 at 9:47 am Link to this comment

do you really think we get more of a choice than ‘tween paper or plastic at the checkout? “real change” is the name of a rag sold by the destitute in Seattle. but i am glad you bring up the origins of the disintegration of a’stan - oh yea, destabalize a country of 25 million to draw in the stupid russian bear! oh how humanitarian of the clevrerer of the two evil empires that was!

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By Max Shields, July 23, 2008 at 9:32 am Link to this comment

Anyone who still holds out “hope” for Obama is just not paying attention.

I tend to agree with Obama’s camp on one point - he has not changed his positions. It’s only the blind/deaf and those who want above all else to believe ever gleaned he was an anti-war candidate or a real change agent of any kind. He’s always been Bill Clinton on steroids - pretty scarry.

It’s good to read that Mr. Sheer finally sees the light on this. He has given Obama the benefit of the “doubt” for too long already.

Just look at how Obama got into politics and how he has moved around the terrain. He is all about his own advancement and never has that meant thinking outside of conventional boxes but there by the white power structure (sound a little like Nader was very correct about Obama? That’s because unlike the fawning Obama crowd, Nader actually using critical thinking to assess his opponents.)

Obama cannot get “off the hook” by making a quick feignts just to bring in the progressives who are seeing through his scheme. Even Bush never deceived his base.

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By jersey girl, July 23, 2008 at 9:24 am Link to this comment

IMPEACHMENT hearing this Friday. Brought to you by the man who SHOULD be the nominee AND president.  A man who is not a shill for the coporations and the military industrial complex as the two candidates that have been foist upon us are.  A man who would bring REAL change for the betterment of “we the people”. DENNIS KUCINICH

http://www.kucinich.us/

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By jersey girl, July 23, 2008 at 8:56 am Link to this comment

Jack & Paul: Looks like economic collapse and a police state, regardless of who becomes president, is what is in store for us.

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By webbedouin, July 23, 2008 at 8:52 am Link to this comment

Obama has been approved by the Military Industrial Entertainment complex, as well as, AIPAC.  It is sad but true, Obama will not bring the change we seek.  McCain & Obama will only bring more of the same.  Thanks for spelling it out Robert - Obama is just another political hack.

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By Paul_GA, July 23, 2008 at 8:45 am Link to this comment

If the US economy continues to slide down the greased skids, Jackpine, economic considerations may yet be what breaks the “Manichean political structure”. It just won’t be sustainable any longer.

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By jackpine savage, July 23, 2008 at 8:40 am Link to this comment

You know, i would have proudly gone to the polls and voted for a Kucinich/Paul (or vice versa) ticket.  Failing an American Gorbachev, i think that the next best thing would be a truly bi-partisan ticket with two people who see eye to eye on the biggest of issues and who are able to rationally debate their disagreements on the smaller issues.

The most important thing is to break the Manichean political structure.

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By popevalleyboy, July 23, 2008 at 8:39 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

All of us on the progressive left should just shut up until after the election.  Don’t pay so much attention to how he runs, but rather focus on how he governs after he’s elected.  Would you rather have McCain?  The USA is a profoundly conservative country.  To get elected candidates have to appeal to that great middle swath of the electorate.  That’s what he’s doing.  If he sounds like Dennis K. on the campaign trail, he’ll lose the election.  So button it up until after Nov.  Then you can say whatever you like.

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By jersey girl, July 23, 2008 at 8:28 am Link to this comment

Paul_GA:  Actually the best person was Dennis Kucinich.  The only man brave enough to draft articles of impeachment and stand for a real investigation into 9/11.

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

For over 70 years the power elite have run the country.They select both partys’ candidates ,who represent them. The masses will have influence only if they become organized and energized . Meanwhile,  the few of us can lament and vent our displeasure.

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By jersey girl, July 23, 2008 at 8:18 am Link to this comment

“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.”

Yea, this is what has concerned me about Obama all along. The only part in this article that I disagree with Scheer is when he refers to Brezinski as an “occasional” advisor.  The grand chessboard master Zbignew Brezinski, has his imperialist stamp all over Obama.

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By jackpine savage, July 23, 2008 at 8:17 am Link to this comment

Unfortunately, i don’t have anyone in mind.  I have a model: an American Gorbachev.  But i can’t think of a person who fits the model.  This is probably because we don’t get to hear about the kind of people that we need.  I will bet that there are people within the State Department who fit the model (not political appointees, but career civil servants).

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By felicity, July 23, 2008 at 8:12 am Link to this comment

Most would agree that one who had an inordinate fear of being killed by a meteorite was in the grip of some sort of a pathology.  Yet, the chance of that happening is greater than the chance of me or mine being killed by a terrorist. So who’s gripped by a pathology?

An irrational fear, like today’s fear of ‘terrorism,’ is not curable because there’s really nothing to cure.  I’m in hopes that Mr. Obama’s seeming to be joining in the pathology is because he recognizes this. At this point, for him to deny its reality to too many Americans might be political suicide.

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By joannaV, July 23, 2008 at 8:09 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Hey Robert Sheer; here’s an idea; why don’t you spend just one day; ONE DAY; not finding something wrong with somebody, somewhere. Your newest set of negatives on Obama read like you are channeling Ralph Nader. Yuk!!

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By Paul_GA, July 23, 2008 at 7:55 am Link to this comment

I think that “best person” was Ron Paul. But the American people refused to listen to him, and now it’s too late.

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By Michael Shaw, July 23, 2008 at 7:08 am Link to this comment

jackpine I think you’re right. But who is this best person you have in mind?

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By jackpine savage, July 23, 2008 at 6:40 am Link to this comment

Perhaps the golden rule is that we should never elect someone who actually wants to be president, but rather “draft” the best person that we have. (No, not Al Gore because he wanted to be president.)

We can sit around all day and blame the politicians and the parties for being what they are.  But who is really to blame?  We are.  We keep electing the stooges, the corporate whores, and the unprincipled of all political persuasions.

What makes (made) this country great is (was) that We are supposed to be in charge.  We’ve neglected our responsibilities.  And today is the logical outcome of that neglect.  We expect to maintain our rights and our privileges without maintaining the responsibilities.

So long as we keep on deserving “this”, we’ll keep on getting it.

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By KISS, July 23, 2008 at 6:05 am Link to this comment

The great man of change?...only it should be noted that we are being short-changed by Obama and his cabal of grifters. We know where McCain stands, same ol same ol.
Again, maybe a multi-party system could alleviate this cauldron of corporate control.
Mr. Scheer you were a long time in discovering that from JFK to present dimmos not much real difference between the repugs and dimmos. Yet you offer no solution: multi-parties?, the equation of free speech to money?, Lobbyists doing the ground work for the elected? Well at least you can smell the coffee and the graft.

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By Paolo, July 23, 2008 at 6:00 am Link to this comment

About the only good thing about an Obama administration is that it is hard to conceive of it mucking things up as badly as the Bushies have. Hard to conceive—but not impossible.

Bush started two wars based on complete lies. Obama merely promises to shift the focus from Iraq to Afghanistan and Pakistan. This could conceivably be even worse that the quagmire in Iraq. I only hope Obama is lying for political purposes and really will get us out of the Middle East once he becomes president. I am not optimistic, however.

Bush openly broke the law by spying on Americans through wiretaps. Obama went along with new, nauseating FISA law that grants immunity from prosecution for these illegal acts.

The earlier post that said the Dem’s and Rep’s are just two wings of the War Party, was correct. My only hope is that Obama might not be able to muck things up as badly as Bush. Not much to hang your hat on.

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By Michael Shaw, July 23, 2008 at 5:55 am Link to this comment

The left has been sold down the river long ago. In fact the only time it was appreciated in the last century was when FDR became president and enacted a new deal to save this nation from itself. And Obama is no FDR. One need only to have seen Democracy Now yesterday about the corporate sponsors of the democratic convention to realize where all of this is going. AT&T;logos everywhere and right after our heroes in the congress and senate gave them immunity for spying on us illegally and without warrant.

This nation is finished as a democracy if in fact it ever was one. When a nations largest export is munitions, where else would we think the politicians would go? War is profitable for the politicians and the mere handful of corporate wags they support. The best thing the American people can do at this point is come to the realization all we have are ourselves. The politicians of both parties have sold us down shits creek a long time ago.

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By bamba, July 23, 2008 at 5:45 am Link to this comment

skulz fontaine: “Warmonger red, warmonger blue. There is ONLY one political party in Amerika, that’s the war party. Democraps are one side of that coin and the Repubs are the “flip” side. NOTHING will change in Amerika until the two party strangle hold on the body politic is broken. The scary part of the ‘one political party’ scenario, is AIPAC. Amerika pledges it’s allegiance to the Supreme Nation of Israel and guess where Barack is at this fine morning. Nauseating and subservient in that ‘get your kid killed for Israel’ sort of banality.

In other words, a small cabal of uber-powerful Jews controlling America.

Yeah, that’s an original idea.

Congrats to Truthdig for hosting yet another moronic Jew-hater who gets his information from David Duke and Aryan Nations. Good job, Scheer.

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By Johnny, July 23, 2008 at 5:38 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

I used to criticize anyone who would vote for a third party candidate as wasting their vote, as either a Democrat or Republican would be elected. This election, I’m becoming one of them. Obama got my hopes up during the primary, that he was a modern-day John Kennedy. How wrong I was. Since winning the nomination, he’s become nothing more than just another politician that will do or say whatever he feels is necessary to win in November; the same strategy Al Gore and John Kerry implemented. Obama needs to ask himself what the political ramifications are in trying to woo a few moderate Republicans by spitting in the faces of the liberals in his own party. We DO have other choices.

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By Big B, July 23, 2008 at 5:28 am Link to this comment

We may be witnessing yet another dimmocratic candidate fly into the goddamn mountain. Obama and his cronies won the primary season by mobilizing the disgruntled left wing of the party and combining it with the new young idealistic block of potential dimmocrates that think the idea of a minority in the white house is keen. But they will learn what all of us liberals have known since the Chicago convention of 1968, that once the convention gavel is pounded, the DNC will make it’s predictable move towards the “middle” in yet another attempt to appeal to “moderate” republicans all the while taking for granted and ultimately forsaking those left wing liberals and new young voters that energized the party during the primaries.
There is a scene in the movie “Full Metal Jacket” where an enemy sniper shoots two Marines and then waits for their buddies to come to their rescue, and picks them off one at a time. The corporal in charge of the squad (Arliss Howard) utters the line “I’ve seen this before, man!” That is how many liberals feel again this presidential election year. The sell-out of Barack Obama has begun. I’d like to say how sad it is, but I have indeed “seen this before, man.”

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By Joe, July 23, 2008 at 5:14 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

One can never know. I wonder if the DNC hasn’t taken the RNC’s playbook from 2000. Just as Bush appealed to his right-wing conservative based and then moved to the center to get elected, only to press a right-wing agenda; Obama’s centrist remarks have the liberal base worried. Is it an election tactic? Or is it a change of policy? I don’t know, but what I do know is it is impossible for each candidate to appeal to the majority of Americans without this flip-floping on the issues.

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By heavyrunner, July 23, 2008 at 5:08 am Link to this comment

Obama does not understand the geography of Afghanistan.  We expect stupidity and ignorance from Bush, but Obama is an intelligent person, and someone needs to explain to him that Afghanistan is not a place that can be dominated by an outside military power because of its unique geography of huge mountains and fiercely independent tribes.

I agree with Cyrus that the basic flaw in the reasoning of Mr. Scheer’s essay is that he accepts the unsupported by evidence official conspiracy theory of 9/11.

I would add that since Atta came to the U.S. after living in Germany, and that most of the claimed hijackers were from Saudi Arabia, and that Bin Laden has never been linked through any evidence to the 9/11 crimes it would make little sense for the U.S. to be militarily involved in Afghanistan, even if the official conspiracy theory was substantiated, which, I repeat, it is not.

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By paul easton, July 23, 2008 at 5:04 am Link to this comment

Thanks for making sense on this. I am dumbfounded by the almost universal unwillingness of progressive Americans to give up their desperate HOPE for OSameA.

Lets look at it this way. Anyone who wants to be president today is trying to be captain of a sinking ship. The problem is systemic. Even if Jesus was elected he could never get his program thru Congress. So why do they even try? Only because of overwhelming craving for glory and power.

They say that people dont change when they see the light, but only when they feel the heat. This country has not yet felt the coming heat, and there is no hope until it does.

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By skulz fontaine, July 23, 2008 at 4:30 am Link to this comment

Warmonger red, warmonger blue. There is ONLY one political party in Amerika, that’s the war party. Democraps are one side of that coin and the Repubs are the “flip” side. NOTHING will change in Amerika until the two party strangle hold on the body politic is broken. The scary part of the ‘one political party’ scenario, is AIPAC. Amerika pledges it’s allegiance to the Supreme Nation of Israel and guess where Barack is at this fine morning. Nauseating and subservient in that ‘get your kid killed for Israel’ sort of banality.

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By cyrena, July 23, 2008 at 2:06 am Link to this comment

OK. Robert is proving himself to be that professional journalist that Hedges spoke of in his current piece on this site..the journalist who tells us what we don’t necessarily want to know or regardless of how we ‘feel.’

So yeah, I’m worried too. I’m not as worried about the same things that he is in the same priority, but I’m worried. An example of my priorities in this are the FISA legislation, which is of course yet another criminal assault, but the reality of that latest assault to our rights doesn’t put Obama as responsible for it…as it began long ago, and still allows for criminal and civil response actions from the US public. I also take exception to the suggestion that Obama ‘supported it’. But, that’s semantics and real politick.

I’m far MORE alarmed by what is painfully noted here though, about what seems to be Obama’s willingness to continue to chase ‘terrorists’ on the other side of the world. But then, I’ve ALWAYS disagreed with Obama’s take on chasing down the people who supposedly attacked us on 9/11, because it means that he’s bought into the official conspiracy of how THAT all happened. And in THAT case, it means that I disagree with Mr. Scheer as well. Both of them, (along with nearly ALL academics/scholars/authors/other professionals) have basically accepted the official conspiracy of the 9/11 Commission. Mr. Scheer suggests his own commitment to that here:

•  “..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…”

There may have been no ‘shortage’ of intelligence warning, but the Cheney Admin didn’t ignore it due to any utter lack of competency in evaluating that ‘evidence’. Rather, they helped CREATE it!!  Let’s remember that Osama bin Laden has made similar ‘plans’ or at least had similar ‘grand designs’ before…like when he was planning on waging a war against Saddam Hussein, who at the time had the 4th largest military in the world, as pitted against OBL’s 300 holy warriors. It was of course an ideological pipe dream, (not unusual for OBL) and he was immediately advised of how stupid it was. So, after 7 years, there’s STILL nothing more than the ‘evidence’ that OBL thought it was a good idea for his operational goals. There’s NOTHING to prove that he or 19 Islamist highjackers actually carried it out.

Still, Obama obviously believes it as well, and buys into the thing about fighting these terrorists, instead of finding out why they planned to target us, BEFORE the Cheney Admin could arrange to do it first.

I don’t think the escalation in Afghanistan is a good idea at all, even though I do have worries about the nukes right next door.

But, the bottom line is that I AM worried, and Obama needs to have his coattails sharply pulled. Unfortunately, there STILL is NO alternative to him as the next president. I don’t expect a major clean-up from him to the fundamental crises to be accomplished over night, or even in one term. That fundamental crisis is the complete breakdown of the rule of law. He would do much better to begin addressing that first, rather than continuing any elements of the so-called ‘war on terror’.

And what’s this about keeping Robert Gates on? What the hell is he thinking?

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