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Risk, Ambiguity and Decision

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Yes He Can

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Posted on Aug 29, 2008
AP photo / Ted S. Warren

Fireworks and flag-waving greet Democratic presidential nominee Barack Obama on Thursday at Invesco Field in Denver.

By Bill Boyarsky

DENVER—There is a ritual to attending a sports event in a big stadium. The fans arrive with great hope. Crowded together, they revel in the contest. Finally, they leave, either celebrating or glumly demanding that the coach be fired.

The 85,000 Democrats leaving Invesco Field on Thursday night loved their coach. In a speech that rose beyond the occasion, Sen. Barack Obama changed the dynamics of the presidential campaign. With fire in his eyes and politeness thankfully forgotten, he finally put Sen. John McCain on the defensive, most notably mocking the Republican’s claim that he’s best suited to be commander in chief.

“If John McCain wants to have a debate about who has the temperament and judgment to serve as the next commander in chief, that’s a debate I’m ready to have,” he said.

“John McCain likes to say that he’ll follow bin Laden to the Gates of Hell—but he won’t even go to the cave where he lives,” he declared. “And today, as my call for a time frame to remove our troops from Iraq has been echoed by the Iraqi government and even the Bush administration, even after we learned that Iraq has a $79-billion surplus while we’re wallowing in deficits, John McCain stands alone in his stubborn refusal to end a misguided war.”

On the final night of the Democratic National Convention, I walked the two or three miles from the 16th Street Mall in downtown Denver to Invesco. I didn’t want to be jammed on a shuttle bus on my way to witness this historic moment. Many others felt the same. Sidewalks and streets were packed with happy-looking men, women and children. At Invesco the line of men, women and children waiting to get through security stretched far beyond the stadium.

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The stadium filled slowly. It takes time to go through metal detectors. At 2 p.m. I was alone in a row of seats just beyond what would be the football end zone. Four hours later, Invesco was filled, except for a few seats in the farthest reaches. 

I was the only reporter in my immediate area. Thankfully, my credentials weren’t prime enough to allow me to sit with the media horde. My companions were a Democratic Party official, a father and son there to share history and a bunch of young Democratic congressional aides. They shot pictures of each other, sent out text messages and e-mails, waved American flags, danced, waved their arms, listened to speeches—some good, others tedious—while waiting for the big moment.

The sense of history was reinforced by the date, the anniversary of Martin Luther King Jr.‘s speech at the Lincoln Memorial on Aug. 28, 1963. “I have dream,” Dr. King said. But it’s doubtful whether Dr. King or the millions watching him in person and on television that day dreamed that an African-American would be accepting the Democratic nomination for president on Aug. 28, 2008.

Obama’s task was to show he was tough enough to humble the Republicans, who have beaten the Democrats skillfully and unmercifully in the last two presidential elections.

In a way, it was like the job facing President Harry Truman when he and his vice presidential nominee, Sen. Alben Barkley, had to rally worried and dispirited Democrats at the 1948 convention. In a crisp, confident voice, Truman proclaimed, “Sen. Barkley and I will win this election and make these Republicans like it—don’t you forget that. We’ll do that because they are wrong and we are right. ...”

Thursday night, Obama was almost as tough as Truman. His Democrats are not dispirited, but many of them are worried and need reassurance.

First of all, Obama didn’t waste time being defensive over his race, his background or his name, all of which were dealt with earlier in the convention. Instead he relentlessly focused attention on McCain.

He met head-on the McCain insinuation that he somehow wasn’t a real American. “I’ve got news for you, John McCain. We all put our country first,” he said.

And he sought to put McCain on the defensive for one of the Republican’s great weaknesses, his age. He did it indirectly, but the message was clear: Obama is the future; McCain, celebrating his 72nd birthday today, represents the past. “We need a president who can face the threats of the future, not keep grasping at the ideas of the past,” he said.

The age issue will grow as the campaign goes on. The Winston Churchill who was Britain’s prime minister from 1951 to 1955 was not the dynamic leader of 1940 to 1945. Anyone past a certain age—even if he or she doesn’t drink as much as Churchill did—knows about a decline in energy and sharpness as the years increase.

McCain’s choice of vice presidential nominee, Gov. Sarah Palin, will exacerbate the age issue. For the last two years, she has been governor of Alaska, a great place to visit but a state owned by big oil companies. Before that, she was mayor of a town [Wasilla, population 5,470 in 2000]. If anyone is inexperienced in this race, she is.

Facing an aging opponent, with the prospect of Palin being a heartbeat away from the presidency, Obama should be saying, “Thank you, John McCain.”

But a presidential nominating convention is not an election. Harry Truman’s convention speech was great, but it was with a fighting campaign that he won the election, tirelessly traveling the country and winning the support of hesitant voters.

This convention was a beginning for Obama. Now he must continue with the message he expressed so well in his acceptance speech and convince voters, many of whom met him for the first time when they watched him on television Thursday night.


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By nestoffour, September 1, 2008 at 10:35 pm Link to this comment

interview with Amy Goodman right as she was released from jail:

http://www.salon.com/opinion/greenwald/2008/09/01/protests/index.html

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By Tony Wicher, September 1, 2008 at 9:53 pm Link to this comment

moineau, September 1 at 4:36 pm

Our countries have always been friends. Why, oh why did we not listen to the well-meaning advice of our good friends before we invaded Iraq? Well, we have all done stupid things, and soon, I hope, our blindness and stupidity will end. No thanks to Max Shields and the others stuck in their alienated 60’s time warp.

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By moineau, September 1, 2008 at 7:22 pm Link to this comment

if anyone is yet unaware, sharif abdul khouddous and nicole salazar for “democracy now!” have been arrested and charged with felony conspiracy. amy was also arrested and manhandled but was very recently released. the female reporter was dragged by her leg on the floor of the jail and her face was bloodied.

this follows a rash of “pre-emptive” arrests by the st. paul police, aided by the fbi, and the $50 million security apparatus of the republican party and city of st. paul. they have raided the houses where these reporters are staying and confiscated everything in them. targeted especially are the folks who videotaped the police during the nyc republican convention and succeeded in getting 400 cases dismissed due to the videotaped evidence they obtained, showing the police reports to be lies. so it seems they are arresting the people who might document the police arresting people!

if you would like to assist in getting sharif and nicole out of prison (yes prison), call Chris Rider from Mayor Coleman’s office at 651-266-8535 and the Ramsey County Jail at 651-266-9350 (press extension 0).

i just got through to the jail and was hung up on for merely saying sharif’s name. i called back and demanded to speak to the supervisor and wound up leaving a voice msg on her machine. i said they only expect to get calls when they arrest our reporters whom we have been relying on for years of truthful reporting.

waz up with this world? democracy now!

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By Outraged, September 1, 2008 at 6:34 pm Link to this comment

Re: Cyrena

Your comment: “Theoretically, you are saying that any person attending the Law School at Santa Clara University, (one of the best in the nation I might add) should not be apply to apply for federal student loans, since it is a Catholic institution, and is taught primarily by Jesuit Priests/Lawyers. (Jesuits just happen to be legal scholars..not all of them, but it is a ‘characteristic’ of that order). That’s what I mean by the wild generalizations that you make in reference to this stuff.”

This isn’t correct.  Students can use their financial packages at any accredited school.  So it is not a wild generalization to say that we should NOT fund religious organizations.  Obama was speaking of anti-poverty programs, this I feel IS dangerous.

According to CBS News:
“Reaching out to religious voters, Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama called for expanding President Bush’s program steering federal social service dollars to religious groups.

Obama unveiled his approach to getting religious charities more involved in government anti-poverty programs during a tour and remarks Tuesday at Eastside Community Ministry, which provides food, clothes, youth ministry and other services.”

http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2008/07/01/politics/main4222238.shtml?source=RSSattr=HOME_4222238

Did you catch that: “expanding President Bush’s program steering FEDERAL SOCIAL SERVICE DOLLARS to religious groups.”

When food and shelter are in the hands of “religious groups” there is an undermining of the church and state premise of our constitution.  This is dangerous.  And the similarities, especially when we see our government is currently being undermined, questionable at best.  This is the SAME M.O. those criminal elements have used before, as aforementioned.

Your comment: “Maybe we don’t NEED them Outraged. And then again, I’m personally damned sure glad that we have them. I’ve been through some pretty hard times this past decade, and the state had ZERO help to offer.”

> We don’t need them.  Now, why funnel funds into these private entities when we can readily fund and expand needed services through channels which already exist.  Religious organizations should fund themselves.  They have the money, it is how they choose to ALLOCATE their funds, but that is their choice.  I don’t say they “should” do it one way or another. Also, when religious organizations offer services to the disenfranchised, I think it a kind and caring thing to do.  I just don’t think THE STATE should fund them.

Remember, fund one religion, and then you will have to fund them all.  Radical right included.  It would be against the law to discriminate.

Your comment: “True, none of these organizations that have provided assistance to me or to any of the hundreds of others have been funded by the State, so obviously, they are getting the funds from private entities, and NOT the tax payers. I contribute a great deal of TIME myself, since I don’t have any money.”

> This protects THEM as well as THE STATE.

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By moineau, September 1, 2008 at 5:36 pm Link to this comment

i still see this discussion regarding obama dwelling almost solely on this government’s past sins. mon dieu, isn’t it time to look forward, resurrect some decency for the american people, work for peace? this recounting of the government’s past sins does not move us in a new direction. why bother to get drawn into the argument that america has failed, that our leaders have failed? i mean, that’s obvious. the question is what are you going to do about it now?

i believe that on august 28th, obama presented a comprehensive vision of where america can go from here. he mentioned israel, oh my god! as an antizionist and a jew, i did not hear words against the palestinians. i heard that the world is hungering for peace. obama is going to have to work to regain the trust of the arab world. given his past trips abroad, i believe he will be able to achieve that trust.

so i’m putting my money on the future, not the tormented world as we’ve known it. like others here, i think we’ve seen our best hope for peace in obama; kucinich thinks so too. perhaps we won’t get everything we want, but i believe that obama drew a line against corporate lawlessness and against the neo-con ideology. i’m not sure what more one could want as a new beginning. so we’ll have our work cut out for us, that is nothing new. but so will obama. allons-y! let’s get started now.

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By cyrena, September 1, 2008 at 5:20 pm Link to this comment

Outraged,

I get your point, and the history of the US funding the Mujahideen in Afghanistan isn’t new. We funded bin Laden, Mr. Wahhbism himself, back in the day. I see about zero connection between that and allowing private social organizations to apply for funding.

You write here.

•  “Consider what it means to FUND religious based groups who offer food and shelter again.  We don’t need to utilize faith based groups in order to distribute food and shelter to America’s poor and disenfranchised.  We have all structures in place currently which ALREADY do this, and could accomplish it more easily if more funds were directed to them.  We do not need to fund PRIVATE groups to accomplish this.”

Maybe we don’t NEED them Outraged. And then again, I’m personally damned sure glad that we have them. I’ve been through some pretty hard times this past decade, and the state had ZERO help to offer. That remains the case today, as more and more and more people become disenfranchised, and are relegated to the streets. True, none of these organizations that have provided assistance to me or to any of the hundreds of others have been funded by the State, so obviously, they are getting the funds from private entities, and NOT the tax payers. I contribute a great deal of TIME myself, since I don’t have any money.

Meantime, while you might not be an hysterical person, it’s still seems like the wrong OCD knit to pick. There are literally hundreds of thousands of hospitals and other such providers of very basic human services that have religious affiliations, dependent on where they might be located, among other things. For instance, you’d be hard pressed to find a hospital, hospice, or similar institution ANYWHERE in Southern Louisiana, that does not have a religious affiliation, because that’s just the way it is. It’s the culture and tradition of the area. What you are suggesting is that none of those institutions should be able to apply for any sort of state funding, for any purposes, including the training of future medical practitioners. Theoretically, you are saying that any person attending the Law School at Santa Clara University, (one of the best in the nation I might add) should not be apply to apply for federal student loans, since it is a Catholic institution, and is taught primarily by Jesuit Priests/Lawyers. (Jesuits just happen to be legal scholars..not all of them, but it is a ‘characteristic’ of that order). That’s what I mean by the wild generalizations that you make in reference to this stuff. Now you and Scalia, and Ron Paul would be in perfect agreement on this, but I would not. I think there’s a way to maintain the separation of Church and State less radically, and history has proven that to be the case.

Quite frankly, I’m adamantly OPPOSED to all of the privatization that has developed over the past few decades, because it is exactly that, which has created this huge difference between the haves and the have nots.

Meantime, based on a text message request from Senator Obama, I have just sent $5 dollars to the Red Cross as part of my very small contribution (that’s what the message requested..$5.00) to the relief efforts in the Gulf Coast region. It would be better if the STATE could do that, but as usual, and has been for the past few decades, they don’t.

Fortunately, the Red Cross doesn’t have any religious affiliation. If anyone employed by that organization happens to be of some religious belief, we’ll just hope they don’t tell anybody about it. Heaven forbid there should be any sort of mixing going on there.

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By Outraged, September 1, 2008 at 3:01 pm Link to this comment

My post, By Outraged, September 1 at 1:49 pm is directed to Cyrena.  I forgot notate that.

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By Outraged, September 1, 2008 at 2:49 pm Link to this comment

I forgot. Your comment: “As for the plan to allow social service groups and other very critical organizations to apply for federal funding, even if they happen to be associated with a religious organization, your hysteria is over the top there as well.”

I am not a “hysterical” type person, actually.  Anyway, let’s look at our government’s track record here.  Take for instance this:

“Pakistan’s ISI was used as a “go-between”. CIA covert support to the Mujahideen in Afghanistan operated indirectly through the Pakistani ISI,—i.e. the CIA did not channel its support directly to the Mujahideen. In other words, for these covert operations to be “successful”, Washington was careful not to reveal the ultimate objective of the “jihad”, which consisted in destroying the Soviet Union.

In December 1984, the Sharia Law (Islamic jurisprudence) was established in Pakistan following a rigged referendum launched by President Muhammad Zia-ul-Haq. Barely a few months later, in March 1985, President Ronald Reagan issued National Security Decision Directive 166 (NSDD 166), which authorized “stepped-up covert military aid to the Mujahideen” as well a support to religious indoctrination.

The imposition of The Sharia in Pakistan and the promotion of “radical Islam” was a deliberate US policy serving American geopolitical interests in South Asia, Central Asia and the Middle East.  Many present-day “Islamic fundamentalist organizations” in the Middle East and Central Asia, were directly or indirectly the product of US covert support and financing, often channeled through foundations from Saudi Arabia and the Gulf States. Missions from the Wahhabi secto of conservative Islam in Saudi Arabia were put in charge of running the CIA sponsored madrassas in Northern Pakistan. .

Under NSDD 166, a series of covert CIA-ISI operations was launched.

The US supplied weapons to the Islamic brigades through the ISI. CIA and ISI officials would meet at ISI headquarters in Rawalpindi to coordinate US support to the Mujahideen. Under NSDD 166, the procurement of US weapons to the Islamic insurgents increased from 10,000 tons of arms and ammunition in 1983 to 65,000 tons annually by 1987.  “In addition to arms, training, extensive military equipment including military satellite maps and state-of-the-art communications equipment” (University Wire, 7 May 2002).”

http://www.globalresearch.ca/index.php?context=va&aid=7746

This article illuminates the fact that OUR GOVERNMENT has funneled money into Islamic Fundamentalist groups.  One of which, Wahhabism, is extremely radical.  These groups gain their “followers” and “converts” by offering them food and shelter.  We know this.  I realize this is NOT everyone connected to government nor ALL of our public servants.  However,  we do have “factions” in our government which endorse these tactics and have supported their goals.  The thing is, criminals tend to use the same MO’s over and over again, and this “funding of religious based” groups is questionable.

Consider what it means to FUND religious based groups who offer food and shelter again.  We don’t need to utilize faith based groups in order to distribute food and shelter to America’s poor and disenfranchised.  We have all structures in place currently which ALREADY do this, and could accomplish it more easily if more funds were directed to them.  We do not need to fund PRIVATE groups to accomplish this.

Aside from that, IT IS AGAINST THE CONSTITUTION’S PROTECTION regarding separation of church and state.  This law protects religion AND state interests.

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By Tony Wicher, September 1, 2008 at 2:38 pm Link to this comment

Speaking to any real progressives out there, the way I see it, this is our golden opportunity. Finally, a president who is on our side. The president is not God. His powers are constitutionally limited and limited by all sorts of political and economic circumstances. The president can only do so much, but he will work with us to accomplish our objectives. The rest is up to us.

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By Tony Wicher, September 1, 2008 at 2:24 pm Link to this comment

By troublesum, August 29 at 6:51 pm #

“Obama is a blank slate - he seems determined to remain such - and people are simply projecting their hopes onto him.  Is it possible that intellegent adults still believe that speeches mean anything?”
——————————————————————————
troublesum,

You don’t understand what Obama said in his speech. “This election is not about me - it’s about you”. Meaning us, the American people. It doesn’t mean he’s a blank slate; it means that he gets his power from us, the people, and will do what we the people want him to do. He will be able to bring the troops home from Middle East, to provide universal health care, and all the rest of the things he promises in the speech if and only if we the people want it enough to make it happen. He cannot do such a thing as break the grip of the military-industrial complex on the country without massive popular support. The first thing we have to do is get him elected, but this is only the first step. Progressive organizations of all sorts that want peace and social change must support him and seek his support. The more active the people are in their support, the more he will be able to do.

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By Outraged, September 1, 2008 at 1:55 pm Link to this comment

Re: Cyrena

Your comment: “And, you are WRONG. He did NOT – let me repeat – he DID *NOT* vote for telecom immunity. In fact, he specifically voted AGAINST that provision of the compromise FISA bill, along with a handful of others. It DIDN’T PASS EITHER!! Do your homework.”

> Obama voted against the provision, BUT FOR the legislation, which in turn was dubbed “a compromise”.  It was a CAPITULATION, not a compromise.  He should have voted no, ON BOTH.  As should have the rest of those members of congress who “compromised”.

In addition, your comments:

“You’re beating a dead horse here, and you won’t let this go, (because of being ideologically driven and recently, driven by some sort of hysteria) because YOU have these PERSONAL issues with Barack Obama, because you disagree with his positions, - as YOU perceive them, on Israel, and your obsession with anything religious, again – as YOU perceive it.”

AND, “So, get over yourself about the FISA thing Outraged.”

AND, “Meantime, in all of your hysteria, you have failed to note that while it is obviously a travesty that ANY member of Congress passed this legislation,”

AND, “Collect yourself Outraged,”

AND, “You can holler you argument from you ideological island as loudly as you please,”

BUT this one takes the cake, “You seem to perceive Barack Obama as God.”

LOL….  Just stating the facts.  Attempting to “kill the messenger” doesn’t help your position.

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By cyrena, September 1, 2008 at 1:21 pm Link to this comment

Outraged,

You write (of Obama)


•  “Voted FOR telecom immunity.  This legislation allowed offenders a “get out of jail free” card and allowed continued spying, using language so generic that almost anyone could be included, if not everyone.  A direct violation of our CONSTITUTIONAL RIGHT TO PRIVACY.”

And, you are WRONG. He did NOT – let me repeat – he DID *NOT* vote for telecom immunity. In fact, he specifically voted AGAINST that provision of the compromise FISA bill, along with a handful of others. It DIDN’T PASS EITHER!! Do your homework.

I’m not having this conversation with you again on the FISA compromise bill. You’re beating a dead horse here, and you won’t let this go, (because of being ideologically driven and recently, driven by some sort of hysteria) because YOU have these PERSONAL issues with Barack Obama, because you disagree with his positions, - as YOU perceive them, on Israel, and your obsession with anything religious, again – as YOU perceive it.

So, get over yourself about the FISA thing Outraged. You claim that Obama had an opportunity to ACT, and I’d like to know just exactly what the hell it is that you thought he should do. Hold the other 500 or so members of Congress at gunpoint until the voted no on that bill?

Here’s the deal Outraged. He said he didn’t like the legislation. It was not what he wanted. He wrote a correction/provision to that legislation, that would specifically NOT – let me repeat this for you – would NOT give the telecoms retroactive immunity. There was a vote on this, in the Senate. I don’t remember the numbers, but you can find this. Less than a dozen Senators supported Obama on that portion of it.

Meantime, in all of your hysteria, you have failed to note that while it is obviously a travesty that ANY member of Congress passed this legislation, (IOW, as much as you would like to make this ‘all about Obama” it’s NOT) which for now at least, prohibits any citizen from moving on any CIVIL suits against these telecoms, it does not…Let me repeat this for you, it does NOT prevent CRIMINAL charges/indictments from being filed against any one of these corporate entities.

Collect yourself Outraged, and take some time to review the reality of that legislation, and match it up with the real politick of parliamentary procedure and the way bills are passed in the system that is the US Congress. Check how the votes went down. How did YOUR Senators vote on that? How did YOUR House rep. vote on that?

As for the plan to allow social service groups and other very critical organizations to apply for federal funding, even if they happen to be associated with a religious organization, your hysteria is over the top there as well. If an organization, (hospital or other social service provider) can prove that they do provide a needed service to a community, and that they are NOT in violation of discrimination within their organization, there is no reason why they should not be able to apply for federal funding, specifically when it includes the training of medical and other health care providers that we so desperately need.

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By cyrena, September 1, 2008 at 1:20 pm Link to this comment

2 of 2

So I’m not arguing with you about that again either. You can holler you argument from you ideological island as loudly as you please, but it doesn’t change the facts on the ground, or in the day to day lives of Americans.

Ideologically motivated positions have a tendency to be very radical, whether it’s to the right or to the left. My personal experiences have proven to me that RADICAL and EXTEME positions never accomplish anything than a destruction of the balance.

Now if your position is that THE AMERICAN PEOPLE were betrayed by the FISA legislation, (and I’m pretty much in agreement with that), then THE AMERICAN PEOPLE need to find out why THEIR CONGRESSIONAL REPRESENTATIVES voted in a manner that would do that. And if they don’t like the fact that their representatives allowed for this, then THE AMERICAN PEOPLE need to deal with their representatives.

You seem to perceive Barack Obama as God. Last I checked, he was still a Jr. Senator from Illinois, and now on a trajectory to become the next POTUS. But, he isn’t yet. Even if he WAS already the President, the best he could do would be to VETO that legislation if it were presented to him. And if THE AMERICAN PEOPLE would like to undo that piece of legislation, they should get to work right now, so that they have something better for him to sign when he DOES become president.

And if Ralph Nader wants to run for the House or the Senate from ANY STATE, I’ll send him a $5.00 donation to the effort.

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By Outraged, September 1, 2008 at 12:10 pm Link to this comment

Re: Cyrena

Your comment: “Let me repeat this for about the 8th or 9th time Outraged. Ralph Nader is a smart man, and a superb scholar.”

>  The “8TH OR 9TH” time?  Really…  I certainly haven’t seen your posts in this regard.  I did see ONE, but 8 or 9…?  Is it that you are attempting to make me APPEAR “ideologically driven” with this misstatement?  In order to supposedly enhance your false accusation that “I” am “ideological”.

In reference to that, your continued stance that Obama has upheld the constitution is questionable at best, given the information available.

1. Voted FOR telecom immunity.  This legislation allowed offenders a “get out of jail free” card and allowed continued spying, using language so generic that almost anyone could be included, if not everyone.  A direct violation of our CONSTITUTIONAL RIGHT TO PRIVACY.

2. Obama is endorsing FUNDING faith-based groups.  Another direct violation of the CONSTITUTIONAL SEPARATION OF CHURCH AND STATE.

Your comment: “In fact, it would appear that people being people, choose to be very selective in what they use to determine the OVERALL posture of any given politician or political figure.”

> While I can agree that Obama has made some “overall” POSTURES concerning the constitution, when given the opportunity to ACT on them, he caved.  The FISA vote was paramount here, since he had THE OVERWHELMING SUPPORT of the American People and a huge outpouring of this support was realized, via letters, emails, phone calls and the open debate he sponsored on his web site.  Yet, he STILL voted against the wishes of the American People.

Your comment: “I’ve actually taken the time to study his positions on the things that matter most to me as an American citizen, and I’m particularly protective of the Constitution, even in all of its flaws. Obama comes through in that regard each and every time.”

> He doesn’t “come through in that regard each and every time”.  This is false, and there is PROOF of that.  Simply because Obama claims to support the constitution, does not make it so.  He talks the talk, but he doesn’t walk the walk.  Ignoring the facts and supporting someone who has talks a good story but has not shown support for the people he claims to support IS IDEOLOGICAL.  Obama has NOT stood for the rule of law, he stood for the corps. and let criminals go free, spying on American Citizens is a felony crime.  With “three strikes and your out laws” these criminals would have been in prison for life.  This is how serious these crimes are, in addition Obama voted to allow them to CONTINUE these acts.

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By Max Shields, September 1, 2008 at 12:10 pm Link to this comment

By troublesum, August 29 at 6:51 pm #

“Obama is a blank slate - he seems determined to remain such - and people are simply projecting their hopes onto him.  Is it possible that intellegent adults still believe that speeches mean anything?”

Obama is FIRT and FORMOST a PERFORMER. As long as he’s by himself, on a stage with a crowd, he pumps himself up and performs like hell. He’s pretty good at it. But it is ALL about the performance.

When in debates or in small groups he stammers and shrivels, equivocates and mumbles. The performer RISES to the occasion of the performance. After he is thoroughly and completely depleted. His job is done. On to the next performance.

He has “mastered” this part of being a politician. It’s a gift, limited to the arena, but a very public gift. In the end it has little to do with much of anything - except, troublesum, you are absolutely right, far too many adults, like the overused food sweetners we’ve grown accustom to in our food, still buy this one trick pony stunt.

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By moineau, September 1, 2008 at 10:35 am Link to this comment

the quote, btw, is jefferson airplane, an era from which you appear to belong, max. you are not living in the present at all, you live in a teenage wilderness. you and nader belong to the past, an uncompromising close-mindedness which could never get anything done in this wide-ranging country, half of which is extremely conservative. you’ve been reading me for a while on truthdig, you know i (like cyrena) have concerns about many of obama’s statements. we do, however, find in him a man who hopefully (yes, hopefully) offers this country an shred of decency and progressive vision, and who can and does reach over to work with others who are not like-minded. you and nader will NEVER compromise and that is why you will never win. xoxoxo (my usual close for which i owe no one an apology) you are so filled with hate and despair, you wind up appealing to bleary-eyed, angst-filled teenagers whose naivity is only equaled by their hubris.

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By moineau, September 1, 2008 at 10:25 am Link to this comment

screw you, max. if you think you can get me to shut with this you, are mistaken. xoxoxox

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By motherearthnews, September 1, 2008 at 9:21 am Link to this comment

I see no reason for me to engage in any further discussion of this article, except to point out a couple of things I have not seen discussed as yet.
In Al Gore’s speech at the Dem’s convention, he stated, “After they abandoned the search for the terrorists who attacked us and redeployed the troops to invade a nation that did not attack us, it’s time for a change.”
Somehow, this part of Mr. Gore’s speech was never discussed by anyone, as far as I know. If a media outlook did discuss this, I’d love to know what they said. Anybody?
This line from Mr. Gore’s speech clearly shows the U.S. was in violation of Principle VI of the Nuremberg Tribunal and this makes war criminals out of all those. 1. Who planned, perpared and initiated the waging of a war of aggression or a war in violation of international treaties, agreements or assurances;  Participation in a common plan or consciracy for the accomplishment of any of the acts mentioned under (i).
2. War Croimes:
Violations of the laws or customs of war which include, but are not limited to, murder, il-treatment or deportation to slave-labor or for any other purpose of civilian population of or in occupied territory, murder or illtreatment of prinsoners of war, of persons on the seas’ killing of hostages, plunder of public or private property, wanton destruction of cites, towns, or villages, or devastation not justified by military necessity.
I’ll skip to Princilple VII to make my point.
Complicity in the commission of a crime against peace, a war crime, or a crime against humanity as set forth in Principles VI is a crime under international law.
Complicity in a war crime would include the congressioanl funding of a continued crime, which is why the speaker of the house took impeachment of this administration off the table. Since to impeach Bush/Cheney and the rest of that criminal organization, would also mean the democrats would fall under the same investigation, as those that voted to fund this illegal war and those that continue to vote for it’s funding, would also be guilty of war crimes under the above mentioned principle, so that’s not going to happen.
So here is the rub. NcCain and Obama have continued to vote to fund an illegal war and that makes them both, WAR CRIMINALS! Therefore, no matter who is elected is a war criminal according to international law that our country signed onto after Nuemberg was completed.
We have a choice of which criminal we would like in the White House and with their expanded powers, who knows where we might go from here.
I know this has to stick in the craw of supporters of either candidate, but I didn’t write the Nuemberg Principles, but I do accept that this is the law of the land and those that violate it should be brought to justice.
It’s not going to happen though, since American exceptualism and complete lack of morallity concerning American actions, simply do not apply anymore, especially to the politicians we like. We now turn a blind eye to barbarism, murder, torture, etc., as long as it’s our guy that does it.
If one believes in the rule of law, I don’t see how they can vote for either candidate, but then rationzation is something we do quite well and will continue to do. Otherwise, no one would vote and then we would have to take care of ourselves. Would that be so bad? Communities coming together to solve common problems, without the interference of a government. Imagine that! Self rule. You might even learn your neighbors names.

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By Max Shields, September 1, 2008 at 7:45 am Link to this comment

By moineau, September 1 at 5:23 am #

Incredibly well said. The depth and breadth of your anlysis is only matched by the XOXO you provide…how sweet and terribly “cogent”!!!

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By moineau, September 1, 2008 at 6:23 am Link to this comment

“cyrena your diatribes are always amusing if incredibly time consuming.”

and time well spent in my opinion! ty, cyrena. while you lay out so well intelligent and cogent arguments, i’m afraid you waste your valuable time with these “want a revolution. got to revolution!” guys.

however, there are probably other people who are reading and lurking who may not be as closedminded as those we find here. i read both sides. i’ve learned a lot as result. but i lean more toward your arguments as they seem to me to be more mature and tempered with live experience. xoxox ~lt

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By Max Shields, September 1, 2008 at 5:46 am Link to this comment

cyrena your diatribes are always amusing if incredibly time consuming.

I’ve been reading many of Outrages posts and quite frankly I can’t think of one that doesn’t reflect my thinking on the issue of the system and what it produces for candidates and why.

So, I wouldn’t find it a bit “ironic” that he should see in my posts, common ground.

The arguments the Dem Progressives give for Obama are essentially the same they’ve given for every Dem Presidential candidate. Clinton did the same in 1992. Superb speech, contrasted just enough with GHW Bush and the Dems all went gaga.

Look at Clinton’s policies and how they set us up for the invasion of Iraq in 2003. But the history is clear and easy for anyone to get a hold of. I don’t think you need a reference footnote for every post.

Foreign policy IS domestic policy. You can’t split the baby in half. Both McCain and Obama may give a slight variation - but their foreign policy, at bottom, is motivated by the same forces and ideology - American Exceptionalism. It is a belief that has given license to endless war, conflict and intervention. Corporations fueled it before the Depression and they came back with a furry after WWII.

Obama is a product of this ideology as he has made his way through the political process.

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By cyrena, September 1, 2008 at 1:56 am Link to this comment

y Outraged, August 31 at 9:45 pm #
Re: Cyrena
Well, as it is…sometimes wording is everything.  And in politics, a slippery slope indeed.  I do not wish to engage you as to throw verbal mud-slings at each other, but I can…if you insist.  (That’s not a “bring it on”, just a fact) I prefer to deal with people concerning ISSUES, personal attacks do nothing to address ISSUES.  It divides instead of solves, it creates hatred instead of understanding.
In addition, it is hard line, a neocon tactic, stalinish, nazi-ish, or whatever term you prefer.
~~~~~~~~~

Help me out here Outraged. My interpretation of this portion of your post leads me to believe that you have decided that I’ve attacked you personally on something other than issues. If you’re ‘bringing this on’, might you direct me (all of us actually) to such a posting that I’ve made, where you might have had reason to come feel that I’ve attacked you on something PERSONAL, that has nothing to do with ISSUES?

And while we’re at it, would you be willing to provide some basis for your now constant refrain that Obama plans MORE WARS? I’m pretty open minded. Not easily put off of by ANY ‘legitimate’ argument. But when anybody throws out such inflammatory rhetoric, it really wouldn’t hurt to point to a set of remarks that Obama has made, or a series of actions that he’s taken, say in his Congressional presence in the Senate, or things that he has said in the course of this exceedingly long campaign.

Now, I’m speaking here, ABOUT ISSUES!!!!! Not YOU!. Because, the ISSUES, are not ABOUT YOU!! Wanna help me out here Outraged. Because reading this from you is starting to make me just a tad bit OUTRAGED myself.

I don’t take kindly to these types of accusations:

•  “In addition, it is hard line, a neocon tactic, stalinish, nazi-ish, or whatever term you prefer.”

So, what the hell is your problem exactly? You’ve done a pit bull number here on me, on Tony, and it would seem pretty much anybody else that supports Obama, but you’ve yet to address any real ISSUES.

Get a grip or take a pill, or whatever you think it might take. But you’ve picked the wrong person to lash your tongue at, and if you’re into ‘defending’ somebody, speak for yourself. Speaking for Max Shields doesn’t assist your own argument.

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By moineau, September 1, 2008 at 12:30 am Link to this comment

tony, it wasn’t me who said that. it was max. i was refuting him.

By Tony Wicher, August 31 at 5:08 pm #

By moineau, August 31 at 1:10 pm #

“motherearthnews, you can expect that Tom Wicher has an inside track to the Obama campaign and will never fail to post 20, 30 times a day (a long with cyrenda) to ensure that all injuries to Obama are promptly tamped down.”
——————————————————————————-

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By cyrena, September 1, 2008 at 12:14 am Link to this comment

Part 1 of 2

I agree with this 100% Outraged.

“…Never say, never. Think twice.”

I do my very best to remember to ‘never say never’. I nearly always think twice as well. (usually far more times than that).

I told you before, that I am very familiar with Ralph Nader. Seems a little bit difficult for anyone over the age of 40, who is even 20% politically conscious, to have NOT heard of Ralph Nader.

Let me repeat this for about the 8th or 9th time Outraged. Ralph Nader is a smart man, and a superb scholar. He has brought much to the average American when the average American would otherwise have been gobbled up by the monster. (which still happened anyway, but not because he didn’t do a whole lot of good).

He is also totally inflexible on all of his positions, which doesn’t work in real life. Ideologues have their place, but not in the White House.

I don’t believe that I’ve gauged the American public any more or less correctly than you have. We all have opinions, based on how we interpret and/or process information, which are informed by our individual experiences and exposure to a variety of life’s circumstances. I don’t know what yours are, but I know what mine are.

I find it highly ironic for you to come along in defense of Max Shields, demanding that *I* have no basis for what I post here. I’ve yet to ever come across any post from Max where he provides any basis for anything he says, which is identical to folktruther, (leading me to believe they were either the same, or ideological Siamese twins). Folktruther claims not. So, no matter. Whatever. We’ll leave it to the intelligence level of the readers to figure that out.


The ‘crabs in the barrel’ analogy is one that’s been around a long time – within my own particular family tradition. You might almost think of it as part of a bible in certain cultures. I didn’t use it to reference “The American Public”, or even you. Same with the story of the donkey who used the dirt that was consistently being dumped on its back, to take some steps up. Some people are like that as well. They find ways to turn negatives into positives. Others don’t.

I guess it is what it is. Speaking of which, I’ve had 2 full years now, of paying the closest attention to Barack Obama. He’s been vetted far more than any other politician in the history of US politics, to the extent that I am aware. That’s an example of using the dirt heaved on the back to ones advantage. More than that however, (the dirt that is) there is a substantial amount ON THE RECORD, from which to judge Barack Obama’s positions, and those are things I pay attention to. It would appear that not everyone does. In fact, it would appear that people being people, choose to be very selective in what they use to determine the OVERALL posture of any given politician or political figure. That’s unfortunate.

In that vein, you’ve chosen to zero in on one speech that he made, that I admittedly found fault with myself. After that, it was all over for you. I’m not so easily distracted, nor am I ever motivated by hate. Anger maybe. But not hate. Consequently, I’ve actually taken the time to study his positions on the things that matter most to me as an American citizen, and I’m particularly protective of the Constitution, even in all of its flaws. Obama comes through in that regard each and every time. And no, I’m not going to post all of those remarks, because they’re too easy to locate. You can google Obama and torture, Obama and the MCA, Obama on habeas corpus, Obama on unions, Obama on Veterans care, Obama on just about anything you want to know his position on. And there, you will find it in his own words. I’ve done that, and I’m quite satisfied.

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By cyrena, September 1, 2008 at 12:12 am Link to this comment

2 of 2

And, nope. I’m not gonna duel with you either. I’m sorry that you’ve lost a sense of neutrality, and seemed to replace it with pure emotionalism, but that’s been the tone of your posts of late. Ideology unrestrained by any sense of reality generally leads to that slippery slope you referenced.

The ‘crabs in the barrel’ analogy is one that’s been around a long time – within my own particular family tradition. (so call it a passed-down oral tradition) You might almost think of it as part of a bible in certain cultures. I didn’t use it to reference “The American Public”, or even you. Same with the story of the donkey who used the dirt that was consistently being dumped on its back, to take some steps up. Some people are like that as well. They find ways to turn negatives into positives. Others don’t.

We seem (at least this is my sense) to still be in agreement on a few of the fundamentals though Outraged. We seem to share a concern for the common good, and the well being of our fellow citizens. For me, that includes the rest of the world as well, since I’m a global citizen. But, even if it’s just restricted to our shared concerned for Americans in general, that’s at least one thing we can agree on.

Forgive me if I don’t provide a ‘basis’ for that. Like I said, it’s just a sense, and it’s not something I’m prepared to argue before the High Court.

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By Outraged, August 31, 2008 at 11:32 pm Link to this comment

Re: Tony Wicher

Your comment: “What “inside track”? In February 2007 I watched Obama’s campaign kickoff speech in Sprinfield. I immediately decided he was my man.”

>  Sure.. I understand…“you IMMEDIATELY DECIDED HE WAS MY MAN”...  why would ANYONE have a problem with that?  I’m quite certain that there are those who upon hearing Palin…“IMMEDIATELY DECIDED SHE WAS THEIR GIRL”... what have I missed here?

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By Outraged, August 31, 2008 at 11:22 pm Link to this comment

Re: Tony Wicher

Your comment: “My bad. But still, not a lot of money. I don’t think Obama is going to sell out for $300,000.”

Sorry…I meant to put this in my last post but I forgot.  So…  My question is: how much money would it require for Obama to “sell out”?  You claim to be “in the know”, so…how much?

He DID capitulate concerning FISA, and what dollar value was that…?  I’m confident I could “dig it up” so to speak, but possibly you know.  How much was that?

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By Outraged, August 31, 2008 at 11:05 pm Link to this comment

Re: Tony Wicher

Your comment: “Just watch Obama’s policy on Afghanistan. As soon as he takes office,”

I, for one am curious…. How SOON after he takes office does…“just as soon as he takes office” mean?

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By Outraged, August 31, 2008 at 11:02 pm Link to this comment

Re: Max Sheilds

Your comment: “You see Obama is just bothered by the failure of Iraq, not the imperial aggression of the US foreign policy. He wants to “bring us back” to a time when the US could do this with total impunity, and bring in NATO (a stooge of the US) rather than do it the way George W. did it.

Endless war. Our foreign policy trumps domestic. We don’t vote for these policies and then when we say NO MORE, the Dems/Obama just soft-peddle it.”

> Well put.  And most especially I’d like to emphasize, OUR FOREIGN POLICY TRUMPS DOMESTIC.  In addition, I aver, “PROVE US WRONG….”!

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By Tony Wicher, August 31, 2008 at 10:55 pm Link to this comment

Just watch Obama’s policy on Afghanistan. As soon as he takes office, he will halt all bombing. Why? Because he knows it is accomplishing nothing but turning the Afghan people against us and driving them into the hands of the Taliban. Also, on 60 Minutes today Hamid Karzai spoke directly to the American people and demanded that it stop. Obama will do this. He will continue the fight against the Taliban and narcoterrorism, all right, but his primary strategy will be to win over the people of Afghanistan.

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By Tony Wicher, August 31, 2008 at 10:46 pm Link to this comment

Oh, yes, I would also note that most of the money (213,000) came from individuals who work for oil companies. Guess what, Democrats work for oil companies too. That leaves only the 50 to 100 thousand that were “bundled”. So maybe 66,000 wasn’t far off at that.

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By Outraged, August 31, 2008 at 10:45 pm Link to this comment

Re: Cyrena

Well, as it is…sometimes wording is everything.  And in politics, a slippery slope indeed.  I do not wish to engage you as to throw verbal mud-slings at each other, but I can…if you insist.  (That’s not a “bring it on”, just a fact)  I prefer to deal with people concerning ISSUES, personal attacks do nothing to address ISSUES.  It divides instead of solves, it creates hatred instead of understanding.
In addition, it is hard line, a neocon tactic, stalinish, nazi-ish, or whatever term you prefer.

Anyway.  In regards to you post to Max Shields, you take his comment, which was:

““I’ve learned that loyal party members are a dangerous and close minded bunch.”

And in return you say: “That’s why you lump all politicians from both parties into the same batch, determined to do your best to convince people of that, even when their own experiences and exposures provide far better insight.

>  My premise, is Max has done nothing of the kind.  He said, “LOYAL PARTY MEMBERS”, which is very different from your accusation of “LUMP ALL POLITICIANS FROM BOTH PARTIES…yadda, yadda.  In addition, you claim others to have “FAR BETTER INSIGHT”.  To this I can only say, where’s the PROOF of your assumption?  What is it that allows you the position of EVEN determining such a premise?  You HAVE NO BASIS.

As per you comment: “It’s the ‘you can’t do that’ or the ‘*they* won’t let you’ mantra. It’s the way to keep people down. It’s the way of the ‘establishment’ to diminish all hope that things are not somehow ‘preordained’. So in other words Max, you’re no different than the so called ‘establishment’ that you so claim to abhor.”

Maybe you gauge the American People wrongly…  How is it that standing up for THE PEOPLE is “the way to keep people down”?  Qualify that.

From several past posts of Max Shields, I do not feel that this is his/her position.  Yet, in the vain attempt to detract from the issue and instead attack the PERSON, you claim it.  Qualify that.

In keeping with your analogies of the “dirt donkey” or the “crabs in the barrel”.  I challenge you this.  Could it be that you are the frog in the cool water who as it is heated doesn’t realize that very shortly he will be COOKED.

You can “play” “syndromes” all you like.  But the old adage is “the PROOF is in the pudding”.

Never say, never. Think twice.

Investigate Nader/Gonzales BEFORE casting your vote.

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By Tony Wicher, August 31, 2008 at 10:43 pm Link to this comment

BD,

Sorry, I don’t know where I got the 66,000 figure. This is what the fact check link says:

Obama has accepted more than $213,000 from individuals who work for companies in the oil and gas industry and their spouses.


Two of Obama’s bundlers are top executives at oil companies and are listed on his Web site as raising between $50,000 and $100,000 for the presidential hopeful.
—————————————————————————-
My bad. But still, not a lot of money. I don’t think Obama is going to sell out for $300,000.

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By Tony Wicher, August 31, 2008 at 10:37 pm Link to this comment

Re yours truly, August 31 at 2:31 pm #

Seems to be that most (or some) contributors to this thread would agree that we’re getting ever closer to the abyss and that to pull back we need a president who’s going to work with Congress and with us to dismantle Empire-USA plus turning things around here at home.  Now we know that John McCain will stay the course (or worse) in Iraq as well as everywhere else.  Yes, Ralph Nader &/or Cynthia McKinney would move us in a different direction, but neither of these nominees has a chance of winning.  Which leaves us with Barack Obama, But considering his steady righward drift, can we trust him to take on the military-industrial complex, financial institutions, etc. etc., rather than cave to their demands?  Maybe not but he repeatedly says that change has to be brought from the outside to Washington D.C. and not vice versa.  Words only?  Perhaps but why not find out for sure by testing him.  For starters we might pressure him to call for an investigation into the Bush administrations role in the sneak (Pearl Harbor-like) attack upon South Ossetia by the U.S. armed and trained troops of the Republic of Georgia.  Why challenge him on this?  To avert a nuclear war, that’s why.
——————————————————————————
I am all in favor of such investigations. Perhaps we need to restore the independent special prosecutor law to pursue them.

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By yours truly, August 31, 2008 at 10:16 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

re:  Outraged

By no means a happy camper but, before giving up on Obama why not challenge him on this latest threat to life on earth, a possible nuclear war with Russia.  If he continues to back the warmongers (indeed, signs on to their madness), then he’s a lost cause.  The reason I’m reluctant to give up on him just yet is that, while time’s running out, what with these perpetual wars, not to mention global warming, he seems to have some populist tendencies; specifically, his acknowledgement that change comes from the bottom up, not from the top down.  So why not take him up on that, & what more revealing way to test his beliefs than our calling on him to oppose the powers that be in their revival of the Cold War.  Failing to move him what’s left for us?  A mass peaceful uprising in which everyone’s a leader.  In this endeavor, our knowing that we rode the system for all that it was worth (nothing) and for as far as it would take us (nowhere), can’t help but serve us well as we set out to save the world by changing it.

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By Max Shields, August 31, 2008 at 9:34 pm Link to this comment

By Tony Wicher, August 31 at 5:08 pm #

The difference between McCain and Obama, in terms of war and corporatism is less than between Nader and either of the establishment candidates.

I don’t question your loyalty. You’ve invested in a candidate that I find tied to big corporate interests; and who’s backbone is not defined by standing up to these interests in substantive ways, other than baked-over speechifying.

If that’s raining on some people’s “hope” than I can only say your “hope” is very shallow.

Bottom line, some of us have been radicalized by what the Democrats will never be - much different than the Republicans. We’ve seen the 2006 Dems and Obama vote time and again to subsidize this war.

We hear Obama say US aggression (invading a nation when it has not threatened the US is aggression) is ok. Iraq may have been wrong, but the foreign policy which gave us regular bombings of Somalia, Iraq and the Balkins is ok. Perhaps Granada was ok, or Panama, was ok, or Korea was ok, or the Philipines was ok, or arming the Contras and the death squads in Central America was ok, or Vietnam, Cambodia and Loas were ok, or the 800 bases throughout the world are ok.

You see Obama is just bothered by the failure of Iraq, not the imperial aggression of the US foreign policy. He wants to “bring us back” to a time when the US could do this with total impunity, and bring in NATO (a stooge of the US) rather than do it the way George W. did it.

Endless war. Our foreign policy trumps domestic. We don’t vote for these policies and then when we say NO MORE, the Dems/Obama just soft-peddle it.

If you think you can pressure this guy to be what he is clearly not - a real change agent - and stand up to the Corporate Military Industrial Complex - you’re smoking something that will continue to be illegal if Obama is elected.

Wake up. Demand the end to American Imperialism and Corporate paid for government. Create a real movement, not the phony TV show that makes you think we can just sip coffee and watch Obama speeches/interviews on game shows like 60 minutes and that’s all we need to do.

Tony, from what I gather you are a neoliberal who thinks our foreign policies have been generally ok. George Bush is just a f*ck up who can’t pick the right country to invade. And so, Obama fits the bill.

On that we are in total disagreement. I suspect, your tag team - cyrena would not be in agreement with you, but as they say my enemies enemy is my ally.

Nighty nite.

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By Outraged, August 31, 2008 at 8:54 pm Link to this comment

Re: yourstruly

Your comment: “Yes, Ralph Nader &/or Cynthia McKinney would move us in a different direction, but neither of these nominees has a chance of winning.  Which leaves us with Barack Obama, But considering his steady righward drift, can we trust him to take on the military-industrial complex, financial institutions, etc. etc., rather than cave to their demands?”

> Obama has ALREADY caved to their demands.  Obama’s “signature” vote regarding FISA is proof of that.  Aside from OVERWHELMING PUBLIC SUPPORT against telecom immunity, Obama voted FOR immunity for the telecoms.  It appeared to be a vote meant to send a message, and the message has been received, loud and clear.  Obama is NOT ON THE SIDE OF THE PEOPLE.  I’m beginning to see why Cyrena called Obama “an enigma”.

Think about it.  In all seriousness.  Would big business interests even allow the voice of the people at an extravaganza the size of the pageantry that was the “Democratic National Convention”?

What was the message…?  We have to “stand up” for this or that country…and how will we do that….by sanctions, war and warriors!  That WAS the message.  Not to worry….we’re going to be “diplomatic” about it all.

Doesn’t sound “diplomatic” to me….does it to you..?  Put it this way, I’m GOING TO DO THIS THING, whether you agree or not.  But, you needn’t worry….I’m going to be “diplomatic” about the fact that I’m issuing my ORDERS to you.  Now tell me, does this make you a happy camper…?

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By Tony Wicher, August 31, 2008 at 8:52 pm Link to this comment

By jackpine savage, August 31 at 5:04 pm #

I’m certainly with you on the difficulty of breaking the grip of the MIC. It’s a Herculean task, and whether Obama is equal to it remains to be seen.

I think the Democratic Party has been making progress since 2004 when Howard Dean became party chairman. I backed Howard for that nomination. I identified with his characterization of his supporters as “the Democratic wing of the Democratic Party” I was very disappointed with Kerry. But as Party chariman he changed the strategy of the Democratic party to a 50-state strategy and brought in many young progressive Democrats. I see Obama as representing this same wing of the Democratic Party, as opposed to the centrist, Clinon-DLC wing. This deep split was played out in the nomination struggle with Hillary, and the Democratic wing won by a hair. Now if the Democrats win big in November, Dean’s strategy will be vindicated and we will see the most progressive Democratic party coalition since Roosevelt, I dare to hope.

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By yellowbird2525, August 31, 2008 at 7:47 pm Link to this comment

well ronald reagan laid it out: you’ve seen 1 tree you’ve seen them all; cut them all down & build; and another: Corps shouldn’t have to pay taxes; America politicians were bought & paid for by Big Business years ago: CHANGE! yes: back in the states “rebuilding and renewing America” forums; they have declared that the laws protecting Oregon’s water have “expired” this year; and are busy forcing thru all kinds of new ones from Fed; St; County; City; also on THEY own the land & will determine what will be done; but keep talking politics & pro choice blah blah blah; YOU are not even RECOGNIZED by the US Gov UNLESS you are a Corp; THEN you have rights; (as told by lawyer); claiming land of law: yet they are lawless; and have been for years; think of usury laws: think of Corp laws; think of banned toxins being used and “no longer need to label”; think your health coverage STOPS the moment you get ill; gosh, aren’t you glad YOU live in a “democracy?” it is a dictatorship following long laid out goals & plans: going global to bring other nations under this ungodly enslavement plan; got ignorant American’s to for years: they STILL haven’t ‘figured out it is no longer “citizen” run; all power to the politicians; who can never be prosectuted for any wrongs!

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By Tony Wicher, August 31, 2008 at 6:58 pm Link to this comment

The 60 minutes interview with Obama and Biden starts at 7PM. I’ll be back afterwards.

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By Tony Wicher, August 31, 2008 at 6:39 pm Link to this comment

By thebeerdoctor, August 31 at 4:30 am #


re: Tony Wicher

“It’s totally ridiculous to write Obama off as a puppet of Big Oil. He is their worst nightmare.”

That is a joke, is it not?
http://www.factcheck.org/elections-2008/obamas_oil_spill.html
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According to Fact Check he has received $66,000.  Out of several hundred million in total contributions, this seems like chump change to me. Hell, in that case I’ve contributed almost 2% as much as the entire oil industry! I feel empowered! Only 50 more people like me, and the influence of oil money on Obama has been countered!

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By Tony Wicher, August 31, 2008 at 6:08 pm Link to this comment

By moineau, August 31 at 1:10 pm #


“motherearthnews, you can expect that Tom Wicher has an inside track to the Obama campaign and will never fail to post 20, 30 times a day (a long with cyrenda) to ensure that all injuries to Obama are promptly tamped down.”
——————————————————————————-
What “inside track”? In February 2007 I watched Obama’s campaign kickoff speech in Sprinfield. I immediately decided he was my man. I have been blogging for him ever since. I have also contributed about $1000 to his campaign so far. I have done this solely because I believe he is the last best hope of this country, not because I have expected any favors, nor have I been offered any. In fact, a few months ago I was kicked off the Obama for America site for my anti-Zionist posts, which angered enough of his Zionist supporters to have the site administrator ban my posts. I have gone right on contributing and blogging on Truthdig and elsewhere with undiminished enthusiasm.

My mission here on Truthdig is to set straight political idiots who are saying there is no difference between McCain and Obama. Ralph Nader? If he really wanted to help, he would support Obama and get a job in his adminstration as a consumer advocate. He used to be good at that.

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By jackpine savage, August 31, 2008 at 6:04 pm Link to this comment

Tony,

My point was not to snuff out hope that things will get better in my post about the MIC.  Hell, i hope for it all the time.  Unfortunately, a single election is not going to break the grasp of that institution’s slimy tentacles.  A slew of elections might; and perhaps this election will be the beginning of an American Awakening.

But there is a fundamental stumbling block in that the MIC has purposely spread into every state and as many districts as it can.  Which means it would take a massive change in the kind of politicians we have - across the board - to reign it in.  Furthermore, our economy is so integrated into the MIC that it will be hard to extricate one from the other.

Bill Clinton had the best opportunity…if he had played his cards right.  With no major enemy to scare the American people, he might have shifted money from defense to space.  That’s the only way i see the grip of the MIC being broken, because the companies involved are generally involved in both.  It wouldn’t save us any money in the long run, but at least we might get something cool and usable out of the deal.

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By cyrena, August 31, 2008 at 5:43 pm Link to this comment

•  “I’ve learned that loyal party members are a dangerous and close minded bunch.”

Well Max, you may be correct on this. In fact, I could agree with you here. The really major problem you have though, is that you can’t discern the difference between a person acting and thinking independently of a ‘party’ and what they believe to be best, REGARDLESS of the ‘party’. That’s why you lump all politicians from both parties into the same batch, determined to do your best to convince people of that, even when their own experiences and exposures provide far better insight.

Meantime, moineau has said it better than I could…

“…By moineau, August 31 at 1:10 pm #
•  “and we can be just as assured that you will be there with your closed mind to shut off the way of hope for anyone who dares have any. way to go, max. go nader.”

She’s right on the mark of course. This is all we’ve ever heard from you and those of your ilk on this thread for months. It’s not new or original though, because so many of us have been hearing, (and ignoring) this same thing for most of our lives. It’s the ‘you can’t do that’ or the ‘*they* won’t let you’ mantra. It’s the way to keep people down. It’s the way of the ‘establishment’ to diminish all hope that things are not somehow ‘preordained’. So in other words Max, you’re no different than the so called ‘establishment’ that you so claim to abhor.
The elders, (at least among people of color) had a term for this back in the day. They called in the ‘crabs in the barrel’ syndrome, and applied it…at least at the time, to mostly people of color…all crabs stuck at the bottom of the barrel, no unlike the title of an excellent book by Derrick Bell, “Faces at the Bottom of the Well”.

But in the ‘crabs in the barrel” syndrome, it’s a bunch of disenfranchised people of color, who are determined to maintain the misery among them. So, if any one of the crabs starts to climb out of the barrel, to maybe get a leg up, and out of the trap, the others quickly tug that crab back down. Never mind that if just that one crab can climb out, they might then be able to reach a hand or several down to the others, to help them out as well. Nope, nobody thinks of or considers that. Better to just keep that crab down there with all of the rest of them, so as to continue to be at the mercy of those who have put them there, and kept the lid on in the first place.
And then there’s the donkey who fell in the well, and was just gonna be too much trouble for the ‘owner’ to dig him out, because the ‘owner’ didn’t need the well anymore anyway, and had already planned to pave it over, to get some other more profitable use from it. So, the plan was just to leave the donkey there. Why bother to try to get him out?

And so they just started throwing dirt down in the well, which would both fill in the hole, and presumably bury the donkey, and kill a few birds with one stone. So, they proceeded to toss in the dirt, which landed on the donkey’s back. The donkey shook it off, and…TOOK A STEP UP. They kept throwing the dirt in the well, and the donkey kept shaking it off of its back, and taking yet…ANOTHER STEP UP.
I guess you know how the story ends. After several shovels of dirt, and several shakes of the dirt and even more ‘steps up’..the donkey reached the top of the well, kicked all of their asses, and proceeded off into the dawn of a new day.

I’m a donkey. And, all I need to hear, is for somebody to tell me that “I can’t” or that “*they* won’t let me” for me to know that I CAN, and that I WILL.

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By yours truly, August 31, 2008 at 3:31 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Seems to be that most (or some) contributors to this thread would agree that we’re getting ever closer to the abyss and that to pull back we need a president who’s going to work with Congress and with us to dismantle Empire-USA plus turning things around here at home.  Now we know that John McCain will stay the course (or worse) in Iraq as well as everywhere else.  Yes, Ralph Nader &/or Cynthia McKinney would move us in a different direction, but neither of these nominees has a chance of winning.  Which leaves us with Barack Obama,  But considering his steady righward drift, can we trust him to take on the military-industrial complex, financial institutions, etc. etc., rather than cave to their demands?  Maybe not but he repeatedly says that change has to be brought from the outside to Washington D.C. and not vice versa.  Words only?  Perhaps but why not find out for sure by testing him.  For starters we might pressure him to call for an investigation into the Bush administrations role in the sneak (Pearl Harbor-like) attack upon South Ossetia by the U.S. armed and trained troops of the Republic of Georgia.  Why challenge him on this?  To avert a nuclear war, that’s why.

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By Max Shields, August 31, 2008 at 2:56 pm Link to this comment

Just one more thing and I’ll move on from this Boyarsky/Obama thread (aka the new center).

I could ignore all of this if there was really a chance that Obama would ever be a non-military interventionist. He has said he’s a die hard interventionist (adjectives/adverbs aside); that he’ll follow the various paths of his predessors. He believes in the Monroe Doctrine, and American Exceptionalism.

If you took a vote on those two positions - that America should be the world’s leader and intervene wherever and whenever to fight and expand democracy - I think you’d have one of the largest consensus of NO this country has ever seen.

Yea we have some cowboys out there but I don’t think if you put domestic issues against American imperialism (however dressed up - neocon or neolib) you wouldn’t find many willing to spill blood for this kind of self-absorbed notion of the supreme United States of America.

I could be wrong. But I suspect I’m not.

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By Max Shields, August 31, 2008 at 2:47 pm Link to this comment

cyrena, we all know that frick and frack (Obama/McCain) play move to the right, with McCain leading. So, Obama is never as wacko as McCain, just plain wacko.

Of course Obama has been a supporter of drilling, but not as much as wacko McCain. Of course Obama is for the Death Penalty, but heavens not to the degree McCain is. And yea, Obama is for nuclear energy options, but hell not a dozen a year or so like McCain is. And yea Obama is for using military force to fight the “war on terror” but not so much in Iraq like wacho McCain, but rather in Afganistan and Pakistan. And of course, Obama will protect and defend the 51st state - Israel…well maybe even McCain hasn’t been able to right-wing best him here. And than there’s NAFTA/Free Trade, well we know Obama is for Free Trade (neoliberalism) but maybe he’d use a little more discretion in the treaties - but FREE (damn it) they’ll be!

Now there’s the speech at the Convention. Holy shit…Obama’s a progressive, kinda, but what about all that other stuff? Well he says that too, but but but….Tony Wicher will fill in the blanks.

I feel a straight talking express moment coming on….

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By Max Shields, August 31, 2008 at 2:31 pm Link to this comment

By moineau, August 31 at 1:10 pm #


“and we can be just as assured that you will be there with your closed mind to shut off the way of hope for anyone who dares have any. way to go, max. go nader.”

Perhaps, but I’ve yet to find cause. Nader never equivocates or bends to power. Whether he could ever be POTUS is quite another issue. Nevertheless, for me, better to vote for someone who is authentic and right on the core issues, than to play the game of making up whole cloth posting spins to prop up you Party candidate.

I’ve learned that loyal party members are a dangerous and close minded bunch.

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By moineau, August 31, 2008 at 2:10 pm Link to this comment

“motherearthnews, you can expect that Tom Wicher has an inside track to the Obama campaign and will never fail to post 20, 30 times a day (a long with cyrenda) to ensure that all injuries to Obama are promptly tamped down.

Beware you willingness to have such an “open mind” and willingness to give the benefit of the doubt. Politios will capitalize on your slight uncertainity to fill it with their “inside knowledge”.”

and we can be just as assured that you will be there with your closed mind to shut off the way of hope for anyone who dares have any. way to go, max. go nader.

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By cyrena, August 31, 2008 at 2:01 pm Link to this comment

By thebeerdoctor, August 31 at 4:30 am #

re: Tony Wicher

“It’s totally ridiculous to write Obama off as a puppet of Big Oil. He is their worst nightmare.”

That is a joke, is it not?
http://www.factcheck.org/elections-2008/obamas_oil_spi ll.html

~~~~~~~

No, but fact check is a joke beerdoc. You hadn’t figured that out yet?

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By Ed Harges, August 31, 2008 at 1:02 pm Link to this comment

Obama’s acceptance speech is perhaps what prompted McCain, in a flash of anger and desperation, to pick Palin.

That looks like a major misstep on McCain’s part.

Did Obama decide to make this a tough, pointed speech specifically in order to goad the erratic McCain into making a mistake, reminding voters that McCain is a hothead who has gotten flakier with age?

If so, it was very clever of Mr. Obama indeed.

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By Max Shields, August 31, 2008 at 11:33 am Link to this comment

motherearthnews, you can expect that Tom Wicher has an inside track to the Obama campaign and will never fail to post 20, 30 times a day (a long with cyrenda) to ensure that all injuries to Obama are promptly tamped down.

Beware you willingness to have such an “open mind” and willingness to give the benefit of the doubt. Politios will capitalize on your slight uncertainity to fill it with their “inside knowledge”.

Obama has repeatedly given unrestrained support to Israel and made it clear, beyond a shadow of a doubt he would do whatever to defend and protect the state of Israel against anyone and everyone.

Assassinations of POTUS are done by crazies. Obama has shown time and again, he’ll bend to the will of the power elite.

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By motherearthnews, August 31, 2008 at 11:11 am Link to this comment

I appreciate your thoughts on Obama’s clarification on Israel. I missed it somehow. Things like this usually run across my news sources, but I did take a break during a recent illness, so it’s possible I missed this and likely, a few other things of importance. Thank you for pointing this out.
I still have questions, such as, the Georgian/Russian conflict and increasing our troop levels in Afghanistan. Every country that has become embroiled in a military confict in that counrty, has always ended up regretting it. I believe that the Afghan’s will eventually sort things out for themselves, just as the Iraqis will. It might not end up as U.S. planners would like, but what goes on in those countries are not our business. At least, not unless your really invested in the oil industry or the military contractor’s companies.
I also get why Joe Biden was selected as a running mate. That puts those who worry about a weakening defense industry fears to rest. I seriously doubt Biden will have any say in the Obama administration.
However, I think what worries me most is that, if Obama does begin the process of making the U.S. into an instrument for peace, instead of world domination as envisioned by the folks responsible for PNAC, amoung many others, begins reducing our military footprint around the world and using that money to reduce the debt and bolster our speeding on our infrastructure, such as education, healthcare, etc., then he could end up dead.
He would be taking on many of the multinationals, from weapon makers to drug and insurance giants. and I doubt they will be satified with this and be patient enough to wait for their media attack dogs to ensure he is not re-elected. After all, the powers that Bush has claimed for his imperial presidency will be in place for the next president and he can change much by decree, especially when it comes to the military.
With the powers the president now enjoys, he can do about anything he wishes by using terms like national security and the war on terror. He could even have Bush and Cheney arrested for their war crimes and the list just goes on and on.
As I said, one of my main concerns is for Obama’s safety. He may well be in a position in January to do a great deal of good and I hope he is. I just hope the secrete service does their job.
History clearly records that when anyone attains real power and is in contradiction to the ruling elite, something bad always happens to them. From Debbs, who was the leader of the labor movement in the early 1900’s who they imprisoned out of fear, to Dr. King, who they also feared and murdered and the many others in between who met similar fates.
Since this may very well be the most critical time in our countries history, it is imperative that the fate of past leaders that promoted justice and the rule of law does not happen again. If it does, it might be a very long time before we see another true leader have a whiff of an opportunity at changing the status quo. I firmly believe that this election may be our last chance to stop the evil that exists in the congressional/military/industrial complex. I hope we make the most of it.

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By Max Shields, August 31, 2008 at 10:08 am Link to this comment

“The MIC is the real power structure in this nation, and its influences creeps into every facet of American life.”

Dead on! which is why it is the system “stupid” and all that that system represents in terms of centers of power that ensure there will never be a “televized” replay of 1968 in any way shape or form. It is the sanitization of progressivism into a duopoly that is controlled by the power elite and answers to them, FIRST, and LAST regardless of which side of the coin is flipped.

The rest is just meaningless chatter.

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By Tony Wicher, August 31, 2008 at 9:53 am Link to this comment

Re motherearthnews, August 31 at 6:00 am #

Mr. Wicker,

Perhaps I do seem cynical, and I know that he has proclaimed to be for those very things we both mentioned.
However, he has said the things in my preceeding paragraph as well and I would like his camp to explain that. I’ve asked for clarification, but instead, I receive a request for funds.
This does raise the valid question of which positions is this amazing man going to take and wotk toward? Do we have to wait until after the election to find out? I hope we will find out in the debates.
I realize that, if Obama didn’t say certain things, the press would crucify him and I’m sure he understands that. However, Justin Raiminudo, over at Anti-War.com, seems to have the same concerns I do.
Justin and I both, were vocal supporters of Obama until his speech about the middle east, in which, he stated his support for the capitol of Israel to be Jeruselum, (which by definition means war with the Palestinians), his commitment to protect Israel from Iran by any means, (Iran is not about to attack a nuclear Israel) and expand an unwinnable war in Afghanistan. Would you not also, like some sign that this speech was simply about getting elected, instead of it becoming policy?
I think we both want the same things Tony, but it’s the duty of a citizen to ask hard questions of those that seek office. Especially the ones we like and I like Obama, but so far, the questions I have asked, remain unanswered and I believe we have a right to know these answers…
——————————————————————————-

motherearthnews,

Thanks for your thoughtful response. I will try to reply in kind. Let’s take your primary reason for doubting Obama:

“Justin and I both, were vocal supporters of Obama until his speech about the middle east, in which, he stated his support for the capitol of Israel to be Jeruselum, (which by definition means war with the Palestinians…”

I was also shocked when I heard that speech to AIPAC. However, he has repeatedly stated since then, starting with the very next day, that by an “undivided Jerusalem” he meant a shared Jerusalem without checkpoints and barbed wire where everyone has free access to all religious sites. He did not mean 100% Israeli control. He has said he wishes he had said it differently so as not to be misunderstood. He has not repeated this alleged promise since, but he has repeated that he did not mean what AIPAC supporters first thought or hoped he meant. Moreover, all the AIPAC supporters who were cheering when they first heard him say it were saying “I knew he didn’t mean it” by the next day. It is only left-wing detractors of Obama who continue to be fixated on this statement and ignore Obama’s repeated clarifications.

In general you appear to be most disturbed by Obama’s strong support of Israel. I understand and share your concern, because the U.S.-Israel alliance is a big cause and pretext for continued U.S. military involvement and hegemonism in the Middle East. I have opposed it for years and I have been disappointed to see Obama saying nothing critical about it. However, I have come to understand that Obama has another purpose. That purpose is to restore the African-American - Jewish civil rights coalition that existed in this country during the fifties and sixties but which has disintegrated in recent decades. I think the main reason for this is Israel’s apartheid policies against Palestinians, to which African-Americans are sympathetic and which has put the Jewish supporters of Israel in this country on the wrong side of the civil rights issue. As an African-American candidate for President, Obama is trying to reassure Jewish voters that their legitimate concerns for Israeli security will not be ignored. Ultimately, this will make the American Jewish community more likely to be accepting when he takes what I will believe will be a tough and even-handed role in the peace negotiations.

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By Tony Wicher, August 31, 2008 at 9:22 am Link to this comment

By jackpine savage, August 31 at 7:42 am #


No politician of either major party is going to take on the MIC.  The last one who did was Eisenhower, and even he had to do it rather obliquely…even considering his status as a military man.

The MIC is the real power structure in this nation, and its influences creeps into every facet of American life.

By choosing not to decided and act a long time ago (i.e. not following Eisenhower’s warning/advice), We the People gave up our power.  Only collapse or a massive upheaval instigated by the people of America will change things now.

There are 537 elected, federal officials in D.C., but there are basically 6 times as many officers in the US general staff.  All the neo-classical, masonic architecture in our fair capitol is so much facade for where the real power sits…across the Potomac in an ugly, five-sided building.  That building has never reverted from its standing as the War Department of WWII.

(It was dedicated on 9/11 at 9:30ish in the morning…get the picture?)
—————————————————————————
I know what you’re saying, Jackpine, and you may be right. In fact you probably are. However, I continue to nourish the hope that you are not, and even if this hope is dashed when Obama takes office, now is the time to hope for the best, not assume the worst. I think this is a watershed election and in the next four years we may well see a significant losening of the grip of the MIC.

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By jackpine savage, August 31, 2008 at 8:42 am Link to this comment

No politician of either major party is going to take on the MIC.  The last one who did was Eisenhower, and even he had to do it rather obliquely…even considering his status as a military man.

The MIC is the real power structure in this nation, and its influences creeps into every facet of American life.

By choosing not to decided and act a long time ago (i.e. not following Eisenhower’s warning/advice), We the People gave up our power.  Only collapse or a massive upheaval instigated by the people of America will change things now.

There are 537 elected, federal officials in D.C., but there are basically 6 times as many officers in the US general staff.  All the neo-classical, masonic architecture in our fair capitol is so much facade for where the real power sits…across the Potomac in an ugly, five-sided building.  That building has never reverted from its standing as the War Department of WWII.

(It was dedicated on 9/11 at 9:30ish in the morning…get the picture?)

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By thebeerdoctor, August 31, 2008 at 8:05 am Link to this comment

I think anyone who uses even half a brain knows that John McCain is a prime example of a whacked out defender of the old guard. But it in the zeal to be against all things McCain have you really looked at what exactly you are supporting from the opposition? Take Barack Obama’s choice for Vice-President. Do you actually consider what he stands for, or do you just tacitly accept the tendered hype?
“Senator Joseph Biden, a Delaware Democrat whose state was headquarters for MBNA, America’s largest credit-card company, received $147,700 between 1999 and 2004 from MBNA’s political action committee, the company’s subsidiaries, and its employees. Anticipating eventual passage of the bill, MBNA had also contributed generously to George Bush’s 2000 presidential campaign.”
John R. MacArthur,
You Can’t Be President: The Outrageous Barriers to Democracy in America, 2008.
The passage of the bill he is speaking of, was the new bankruptcy law now enacted. One of the most glaring examples of pro business, anti citizen legislation ever passed. We all know that Senator Biden has regretted his vote to authorize the war in Iraq, but has ever apologized for this disgraceful bill, which he helped champion? Of course not.

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By motherearthnews, August 31, 2008 at 7:00 am Link to this comment

Mr. Wicker,
Perhaps I do seem cynical, and I know that he has proclaimed to be for those very things we both mentioned.
However, he has said the things in my preceeding paragraph as well and I would like his camp to explain that. I’ve asked for clarification, but instead, I receive a request for funds.
This does raise the valid question of which positions is this amazing man going to take and wotk toward? Do we have to wait until after the election to find out? I hope we will find out in the debates.
I realize that, if Obama didn’t say certain things, the press would crucify him and I’m sure he understands that. However, Justin Raiminudo, over at Anti-War.com, seems to have the same concerns I do.
Justin and I both, were vocal supporters of Obama until his speech about the middle east, in which, he stated his support for the capitol of Israel to be Jeruselum, (which by definition means war with the Palestinians), his commitment to protect Israel from Iran by any means, (Iran is not about to attack a nuclear Israel) and expand an unwinnable war in Afghanistan. Would you not also, like some sign that this speech was simply about getting elected, instead of it becoming policy?
I think we both want the same things Tony, but it’s the duty of a citizen to ask hard questions of those that seek office. Especially the ones we like and I like Obama, but so far, the questions I have asked, remain unanswered and I believe we have a right to know these answers. After all, my questions come from Obama’s own words, not some right wing pundit.
Don’t you agree?

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By thebeerdoctor, August 31, 2008 at 5:30 am Link to this comment

re: Tony Wicher

“It’s totally ridiculous to write Obama off as a puppet of Big Oil. He is their worst nightmare.”

That is a joke, is it not?
http://www.factcheck.org/elections-2008/obamas_oil_spill.html

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By moineau, August 31, 2008 at 1:26 am Link to this comment

“and, Cyrena, is it not totally laughable that there exists a woman who was planning to vote for Hillary, and was until yesterday considering voting for Obama, but will now switch to McCain because Palin is on the ticket?!”

it will be a mistake for the dems to underestimate the attractiveness of this woman, a huge mistake. there are enough women who think that they could do a better job running this country than those in government; so that they will identify with her inexperience and bravado and vote for her. just because you think palin is a joke, there are lots of women treated as jokes who will find her a brave sister. (yuck)

fortunately, i hope there are enough men and women who will see clearly that she is inexperienced (as well as radical, right-wing and truly anti-life, as meaning pro-war, anti-choice) and thus dangerous and will vote against her. our job is to register as many people who are for obama’s vision but too lazy to vote. (my youngest son said, “he’ll win anyway. i don’t have to vote.” knowing what we know from 2000, 2004, we must counter this attitude.) we need BIG NUMBERS at the polls.

yes, outraged, maybe not ALL of them, but enough of them. we can win. may it be so. obama has indeed soothed many of our anxieties and i believe that he is a man of peace who sees a world hungering for peace.

keep it hot, obama. let’s fry mccain.

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By Outraged, August 30, 2008 at 11:53 pm Link to this comment

Re: Tony Wicher

Your comment: “Thank God there are still millions of Amercians who believe change is possible. They are the hope of this nation. They are all voting for Obama this November.”

> Not ALL of them.

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By Outraged, August 30, 2008 at 11:50 pm Link to this comment

Re: Cyrena

Your comment: “So, I reject your interpretation that he’s attempting to ‘connect’ terror to terror, because of where it happens to be placed in the narrative.”

I would say we definitely disagree on this.  To me, invoking the names of other countries in the same short paragraph, directed at, let’s face it, a NATIONAL audience, does “paint a picture” in people’s minds.  I believe Obama knows the facts or at least has a realistic interpretation of them.  For him to engage in this type of deception is questionable.  I will admit that Obama’s speech was “creatively” crafted, so as not to enrage the folks who might be more knowledgeable in this regard.  Do I think Obama knows this….you bet I do.

Your comment: ” Whether bin Laden and al-Qaeda were anything more than patsies in the 9/11 operation is irrelevant to this conversation, because Obama at least, believes that they *were* responsible for it, and he’s not alone in that belief. So as far as he’s concerned, they did it, and the appropriate response was to go after them;”

I disagree.  It is absolutely relevant to the whole shabang.  In addition, you claim Obama “believes” this or that concerning Bin Laden, but Obama is a politician.  That fact alone makes “his belief” specious.  Further, you don’t know WHAT Obama truly knows or believes, nor do I.  But to take what he says at face value, when his mantra as well as Biden’s, is MORE WAR, has no legitimate basis.  Again, I agree with Prof. Chossoduvsky.  Personally, I would succinctly holler, BULLSHIT!

Your comment: “I equally reject the suggestion that this has been an ‘integral part of his campaign” and maybe it’s because Chossudovsky is NOT an American, and/or because his expertise is formed by a global political perspective, that he would suggest that.”

>  If Obama/Biden enhance those whose business is war, it HAS to be an “integral part of his campaign”.  What has Obama suggested in the area of stopping the war wagon…?  Nothing.  He is finding NEW areas to engage along with Biden, and the mantra is CERTAINLY not to END IT.  It is only to shift it to some other area, I don’t think this is the change the American People had in mind.

Yes, Chossoduvsky is NOT an American.  So odds are he sees the “forest through the trees” more readily than others.

Your comment: “Iraq, Afghanistan, Georgia, and pretty much any other place outside the parameters of the US are out of sight and therefore out of mind to at least half of a population struggling to survive right here in the US of A. For THEM, Barack Obama offers some hope for the enormous challenges that they face 24/7.”

> I understand that.  My concern is that Obama/Biden will shaft these hard-working, trusting folks via corporate power in the end.

I admonish anyone considering sending a donation to Obama/Biden, instead send it to Nader.  Let’s have a debate, let’s let ALL voices be heard.  It’s easy to corner McCain, but how would Obama/Biden’s positions fair in a debate with Nader/Gonzales..?  I think….not well.

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By Tony Wicher, August 30, 2008 at 11:45 pm Link to this comment

Re motherearthnews, August 30 at 8:58 p

Who does Obama represent? Polls clearly show Americans are for the U.N. Charter, for healthcare for everyone, for closing umneeded military bases outside our borders, for speeding on education, infrastructure, such as, education, healthcare, social programs like, social security, medicare, medicaid and the elimination of using fossil fuels.\———————————————————————————
motherearthnews, 

Yes, and those are precisely the stated objectives of the Obama campaign, stated over and over and over again, in case you weren’t listening. You may think it’s all a toothpaste add. No one can stop you from being cynical. I think you are blinded by cynicism, Thank God there are still millions of Amercians who believe change is possible. They are the hope of this nation. They are all voting for Obama this November.

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By Tony Wicher, August 30, 2008 at 11:29 pm Link to this comment

By yours trulyj, August 30 at 9:00 pm #
(Unregistered commenter)

It’s easy to write off Obama as just another puppet of the oil & Israeli lobby, but what if we took him up on his statement that change has to be brought to Washington D.C. from outside, not vice versa?  How would we do this?  Mass mobilizations, that’s how.  And then what sort of world?  It’ll be up to us.
—————————————————————————-
It’s totally ridiculous to write Obama off as a puppet of Big Oil. He is their worst nightmare.

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By Tony Wicher, August 30, 2008 at 11:26 pm Link to this comment

Re dihey

The constitutional role of CIC is just one aspect of a CEO of America, nothing more. The role is important but should not be independent of the will of Congress.
—————————————————————————-
I agree that Congress has the power to declare war under the Constitution and this power has been unconstitutionally yielded by Congress. But then, if the military makes all the military decisions, and the Congress makes all the political decisions, what does the Commander in Chief do? I don’t think he’s just a figurehead. At the highest level, military strategy follows from political decisions. The Commander in Chief hires and fires generals and gives them their over-all miltary objective. The military only carries it out. As Commander in Chief, Bush could order his generals to withdraw troops from Iraq. He has ordered them to stay and fight and die. Petraeus’ “surge” was a military strategy, but the decision to have a surge rather than develop a strategy for speedy and safe withdrawal was political. Bush has the power to order the troops home from Iraq or to keep them there. It’s his decision, the buck stops with him, but he hides behind his generals and says it’s up to them. At this point it seems that Congress has nothing but the power of the purse, and of course the power to impeach, neither of which it has been able to use effectively.

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By yours trulyj, August 30, 2008 at 10:00 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

It’s easy to write off Obama as just another puppet of the oil & Israeli lobby, but what if we took him up on his statement that change has to be brought to Washington D.C. from outside, not vice versa?  How would we do this?  Mass mobilizations, that’s how.  And then what sort of world?  It’ll be up to us.

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By motherearthnews, August 30, 2008 at 9:58 pm Link to this comment

I find your comment about the greatness of Truman scary. Your tslking about the first President who went to war without a declaration of war by Congress and this practice had been repeated over and over again ever since.
Likewise, and this is a position I caught all kinds of flack about when it was published in the Roanoke Times, that Truman was the first and so far, the last person to use the ultimate weapon of terror against innocent civilians. Two little atomic bombs!
The argument was that it ended that war faster, and saved American lives, but the fact that, Japan had already offered to surrender, as long as they could keep their Emperor, was rejected outright. They were allowed to keep their Emperor anyway, but this is meaningless to people who actually believe killing hundreds of thousand of innocent people, including South Korean slaves and American POW’s was perfectly OK. It ended the war more quickly, they seem to believe and the facts do not stand in the way of those who have swallowed this line of propaganda.
Democrats have no more been agaist the use of force than republicans and the record clearly shows, the democrats have killed more innocent people than republicsns and the only reason the public thinks otherwise, is because our one party system has encouraged this perception. Shifting blame is part of the great and successful shell game that has been going on since Andrew Jackson perfected this art of having a two party system that was one party in prectice.
For those that think Obama is going to change the rules now, after over two hunfred years of the ruling elites’ corruption, are either fooling themselves, or have no or little knowledge of our own history.
Does anyone really believe that, any President is going to dismantle the K street lobby brigade, begin to close most of our 900+ unneeded military bases outside the U.S., buck the Congrssinal, Military, Industrial, Offence/Defense complex that forms the basis of our economy for the rulling class, or end the criminal influence of the Israeli lobby and seek justice for the Palestians. If you do, then the marketeers of toothpaste, cars, Ipods, etc., have been successful in their craft and the status quo will remain intact.
I don’t mean to rain on the democrats’ parade, but while McCain is worse, Obama has made it clear that he will make Afghanistan a bigger war, rid Iran of their legal ability to produce atomic energy, even though their in compliance with the NPT and the U.S. is not, support Israel and their 200 or so nuclear weapons, continue the lie that Russia attacked Georgia, instead of the fact Georgia attacked South Ossetia and Russia defending a province they had a treaty obligation to defend and this is called change?
Who does Obama represent? Polls clearly show Americans are for the U.N. Charter, for healthcare for everyone, for closing umneeded military bases outside our borders, for speeding on education, infrastructure, such as, education, healthcare, social programs like, social security, medicare, medicaid and the elimination of using fossil fuels.
The will of the people are not represented by Obama or McCain, since we don’t count. You and I have no meaningful representation. If we did, the issues Americans believe in would be debated all the time and something would be done about it.
Sorry, but that’s the way it is. As one of the last Journalist used to say,(Not Keith Oberman) “Good night and good luck”.

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By cyrena, August 30, 2008 at 9:43 pm Link to this comment

Outraged.
1 of 2

•  “In addition, during Obama’s speech he speaks of terrorism and then directly after speaks of Georgia, Israel and Iran.  He thereby attempts to “connect” all of this into one big “terror, terror, terror” mantra.  We’ve been here before.  It’s the same old line, invoke 9/11, talk about TERROR and then rattle off the name of some country you’re going to invade real quick, as if it’s all the same thing.”
This is of course what Obama said, DURING his speech. I have no argument with that. I have an argument with this:
•  “9/11 constitutes for Obama the main justification for waging a humanitarian war in the Middle East and Central Asia.”

And an even larger problem with this:

•  “The “Global War on Terrorism” is an integral part of the Obama campaign. “Islamic terrorists” threaten the American way of life. Al Qaeda and its alleged State sponsors are portrayed as the main threat at home and abroad. “

For starters, Obama hasn’t come up with any suggestions for waging a humanitarian or any other kind of war in the MIDDLE EAST, and there is no such thing as a ‘humanitarian war’. Military intervention in the affairs of a sovereign state for the supposed purposes of humanitarian assistance is what Bill Clinton did when he unilaterally attacked the Balkans, and that was illegal. That is NOT what Obama has been sprouting for the past 20 or more months.
So, let’s be clear here. The Middle East is the Middle East, and Central/South Asia is Central/South Asia. Afghanistan and Pakistan are Central Asia/South Asia, depending on the political persuasions of the editors of whichever atlas one references. Iraq is the Middle East. We have no business in the Middle East, and that’s not where the so-called terrorists were operating from when they planned their attacks on the US.

Now that we’re good on the geography, Obama has not been hollering about humanitarian war on any front. Rather, true to his *own* belief, extremists such as al-Qaeda and bin Laden are hanging about in the area of Afghanistan and Pakistan, and are intricately connected with the Taliban so he wants to route them out. Period.  And yeah, we’ve definitely been here before because again, whether or not we agree with it, that’s where the initial US defense response was directed: Afghanistan.

Why Afghanistan? Ostensibly because that’s where bin Laden and his al-Qaeda organization were headquartered, and assisted/protected by the Taliban. 9/11 had been blamed on bin Laden and al-Qaeda. It doesn’t hurt to mention that Afghanistan too, has a big fat long pipeline that is crucial to the oil operation in that part of the globe. (specifically in terms of it’s connection to the Caspian Sea). All of this is fact. So let’s not deny that part. Whether bin Laden and al-Qaeda were anything more than patsies in the 9/11 operation is irrelevant to this conversation, because Obama at least, believes that they *were* responsible for it, and he’s not alone in that belief. So as far as he’s concerned, they did it, and the appropriate response was to go after them; WHERE THEY WERE KNOWN TO BE! The Cheney Admin fucked that up, since it was never really their intention to ‘go after’ bin Laden anyway, and they turned their sights to Iraq, which is where there sights had been set all along anyway.

So here’s Obama, (and you can call him naïve in this posture if you choose) saying: “Wait a minute! Why aren’t we looking for the dudes that attacked us? Why aren’t we dealing with the terrorists in their headquarters? Again, call it naïve, or choose to disagree with the decision to respond at all, but it’s not any more complicated than that. There continues to be the overwhelming percentage of people who believed the action in Afghanistan to be legitimate, even while disagreeing with the invasion and occupation of Iraq.

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By cyrena, August 30, 2008 at 9:42 pm Link to this comment

2 of 2
That was the entire argument behind Ehren Watada’s whole ordeal. Now I’ve since begun to question even the Afghanistan assault, because of so much else that has developed from it, since it was with that very invasion that the Gangster regime began their global law breaking.

Be that as it may, the response to 9/11 in the form of a military aggression in Afghanistan, and the fact that Obama still feels that it was the appropriate response, does *not* suggest that he’s in lockstep with the farce that has become the so called ‘war on terror’. And, it has nothing to do with humanitarian law. It has to do with him believing that going after the attackers of 9/11 was the appropriate response. If any measure of ‘humanitarianism’ has entered the picture, it’s only in response to the incredible humanitarian disaster that has been created in Afghanistan (already a failed state) as a result of the US presence there, over the past 7 years. Because instead of just going in there and tracking down OBL and his associates, the US has destroyed that country as well, and created untold grief for the people there, just as we’ve done in Iraq. In the 7 years since, the whole terrorism thing has become far worse, (check Mother Jones for an excellent report on that) and OBL is still (at least as the story goes) at large. (I think he’s either dead or at the Bush mansion in Kennebunkport).

So, I reject your interpretation that he’s attempting to ‘connect’ terror to terror, because of where it happens to be placed in the narrative. I didn’t appreciate him even mentioning Israel, because I don’t care about Israel, and far too many of us believe Israel to be the reason for all of the terror to begin with. But if you or anybody suspects that he was going to say such a thing, then that would be unrealistic. He didn’t need to mention Iran either, and Georgia has nothing to do with terror, so that can’t have been the ‘connection’ that he was making. It STILL doesn’t mean that he’s planning on signing on to the farce that is the so-called ‘war on terror’.

I equally reject the suggestion that this has been an ‘integral part of his campaign” and maybe it’s because Chossudovsky is NOT an American, and/or because his expertise is formed by a global political perspective, that he would suggest that. But the bottom line is that foreign policy is only ONE part of a potential candidates’ platform, and a very significant portion of the US population doesn’t give a rat’s ass about foreign policy. To the extent that more Americans are now aware of the connection between the jillions being spent on Iraq, and the fact that their own lives and general well-being have fallen into rapid decline, they may certainly want to believe that we’re getting out of the war-making racket, specifically in Iraq. But otherwise, people are too broke to care about the “war on terror’ and that has NOT been the motivating factor in the selection of Obama to be the democratic candidate for President. He didn’t manage to talk to millions of citizens in all 50 states, just to tell them about foreign policy, and foreign policy did not make up the bulk of his 27 minute address to the US public when he accepted that nomination.

Iraq, Afghanistan, Georgia, and pretty much any other place outside the parameters of the US are out of sight and therefore out of mind to at least half of a population struggling to survive right here in the US of A. For THEM, Barack Obama offers some hope for the enormous challenges that they face 24/7. Jobs, housing, medical care, education, an intact social security program, freedom from oil dependence, and the reassurance that somebody who actually can do something about the climate crises, is willing to. For millions of Americans, that’s about as far as their attention span stretches, and I suspect that’s pretty ‘normal’.

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By Bukko in Australia, August 30, 2008 at 9:23 pm Link to this comment

You’re right about Obama being the MIC’s man, Outraged. FISA (aka “The George Bush Immunity from the Constitution Law”) was one example, but Joe Biden is another. Biden’s the point man of the banking interests. By selecting him to be VP, Obama has said “I’m on your team, financiers. I’m not going to do anything revolutionary that will upset the system.” People who believe he’ll be some great reformer are deluded, unless he veers from type. On the flip side, if Obama did show signs of getting out of line, the corporate media would criticise him into a national laughinstock, which is easy to do in a sheeple nation like the U.S.

Not to say that McCancerface should be elected. He will destroy the economy and get the U.S. into wars which will result in millions of deaths—IN AMERICA. The Babykiller is the true radical. Even the MIC knows this, which is why Obama has permission from the Powers That Be to win the eelction. He will do what he can to keep the game going. McInsane will turn the table over the spill all the pieces on the floor, and those pieces are the people in the U.S. He’s too crazy even for the venal banker bastards of Wall Street.

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By Kashilinus, August 30, 2008 at 9:11 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Upon watching the speech a second time today I find myself thinking it would be a good idea to keep airing it right up to election day. Formidable.

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By Outraged, August 30, 2008 at 7:03 pm Link to this comment

Correction

“The MIC is really just a bunch of corporations,”

I guess what I should have said is, “The MIC is really just a bunch of corporations and their crony crooks in our various government entities.”

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By Outraged, August 30, 2008 at 6:54 pm Link to this comment

Re: Cyrena

Your comment: “Afghanistan is a different deal, and I’m tired of talking about what he’ll do with that, because there is nothing to be certain of, until he actually gains the position and the power to do anything, and can only happen with the approval of Congress anyway.”

This is exactly it, at least to me.  I see this very differently.  Obama with overwhelming support from Americans and even while extra pressure was exerted on him before the FISA vote, capitulated.  He had the option and the position to vote in the interests of the American People, but he didn’t.  Why…?  In response, he claimed it wouldn’t have made a difference anyway.  That’s lame AND suspicious.  The masses were ON HIS SIDE.  I realize this wasn’t only Obama, but he’s the one we’ll be casting our votes for or against.

You, I believe, feel confident “trusting” Obama, as least to a certain degree.  I do not.

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By Outraged, August 30, 2008 at 6:38 pm Link to this comment

Part 2
Re: Cyrena

In addition, during Obama’s speech he speaks of terrorism and then directly after speaks of Georgia, Israel and Iran.  He thereby attempts to “connect” all of this into one big “terror, terror, terror” mantra.  We’ve been here before.  It’s the same old line, invoke 9/11, talk about TERROR and then rattle off the name of some country you’re going to invade real quick, as if it’s all the same thing.

From Obama’s speech: “You don’t defeat a terrorist network that operates in eighty countries by occupying Iraq. You don’t protect Israel and deter Iran just by talking tough in Washington. You can’t truly stand up for Georgia when you’ve strained our oldest alliances.”

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2008/08/28/barack-obama-democratic-c_n_122224.html

Biden also eviscerated this mantra during his speech at the convention when he said: “The challenge of climate change and the resurgence of fundamentalism in Afghanistan and Pakistan, the real central front in the war on terror.

Ladies and gentlemen, in recent years and in recent days we once again see the consequences of the neglect, of this neglect, of Russia challenging the very freedom of a new democratic country of Georgia. Barack and I will end that neglect. We will hold Russia accountable for its action and we will help Georgia rebuild. I have been on the ground in Georgia, Iraq, Pakistan, Afghanistan,”

> Yes, they are both “beating the war drums”.  9/11, terror, invade!  There is nothing different here, and whatever EXCUSE they end up using for it, matters not.  We know this is about oil and wars of aggression.  And these in turn fill the coffers of the MIC.  The MIC is really just a bunch of corporations, and while they are only a portion of the corporate crime conducted using taxpayer dollars, they are one of the worst because they perpetuate war.  And until this is stopped, we will have war.

I realize that there is SOME political rhetoric to this whole fiasco.  On the other hand, you have A NATION OF PEOPLE, overwhelmingly against more war, yet still they are beating the war drums.  So…are they just giving us a “heads up” as to what they propose to do…?  Because if they are interested in votes, then obviously this beating the war drums mantra is NOT in their interests.  Who’s their daddy…?

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By Outraged, August 30, 2008 at 6:35 pm Link to this comment

Part 1
Re: Cyrena

Your comment: “• “9/11 constitutes for Obama the main justification for waging a humanitarian war in the Middle East and Central Asia. In this regard, his position does not differ from that of the Bush Administration.”

I think most of us would agree with the first portion of this, (as far as how Obama perceives 9/11) but then it blows itself to hell by suggesting that his position does not differ from that of the Bush Admin. That’s when credibility departs, because it’s ridiculous to assert that there are no differences,”

> Prof. Chossoduvsky doesn’t claim there are NO differences, look at it again.  He says: “9/11 constitutes for Obama the main justification for waging a humanitarian war in the Middle East and Central Asia.”  This is true.  He then goes on to say: “IN THIS REGARD, his position does not differ from that of the Bush Administration.”  This is also TRUE.  We know that the MAIN JUSTIFICATION “WAS TRUTHFULLY NOT” FOR WAGING A “HUMANITARIAN WAR…ETC”.  This war was about oil.

Your comment: “HOWEVER, that does not and cannot lead to the conclusion that there is ‘no such thing’ as global terror.”

> No one is claiming as much though, so your point here eludes me.  As a matter of fact, Prof. Chossoduvsky has also written a book on GWOT, called “America’s War on Terrrorism, In the Wake of 9/11”, and although I haven’t read it, it does seem that Prof. Chossoduvsky has some knowledge of the GWOT.  He isn’t claiming there aren’t any terrorists, just that the GWOT is not about “getting terrorists”.

As in this article he wrote:
“Counter-terrorism and war propaganda are intertwined. The propaganda apparatus feeds disinformation into the news chain. The terror warnings must appear to be “genuine”. The objective is to present the terror groups as “enemies of America.”

Ironically, Al Qaeda—the “outside enemy of America” as well as the alleged architect of the 9/11 attacks—is a creation of the CIA.

From the outset of the Soviet-Afghan war in the early 1980s, the US intelligence apparatus has supported the formation of the “Islamic brigades”. Propaganda purports to erase the history of Al Qaeda, drown the truth and “kill the evidence” on how this “outside enemy” was fabricated and transformed into “Enemy Number One”.

The US intelligence apparatus has created it own terrorist organizations. And at the same time, it creates its own terrorist warnings concerning the terrorist organizations which it has itself created. Meanwhile, a cohesive multibillion dollar counterterrorism program “to go after” these terrorist organizations has been put in place.

Portrayed in stylized fashion by the Western media, Osama bin Laden, supported by his various henchmen, constitutes America’s post-Cold war bogeyman, who “threatens Western democracy”. The alleged threat of “Islamic terrorists”, permeates the entire US national security doctrine. Its purpose is to justify wars of aggression in the Middle East, while establishing within America, the contours of the Homeland Security State.”

http://www.globalresearch.ca/index.php?context=va&aid=7718

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By yours truly, August 30, 2008 at 5:48 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Obama’s Speech Was An Incomplete Outline Of What Sort Of World Is Possible

“Who’s going to complete said outline?”

“Us?”

“How?”

“We elect Obama president, after which, he goes on to work with Congress and with us to dismantle Empire-USA plus turning things around here at home.”

“And then what sort of world?”

“It’ll be up to us.”

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By cyrena, August 30, 2008 at 5:38 pm Link to this comment

Response to Howard Zinn..

This is pretty much in line with what he’s always suggested, and fortunately, Obama has shown this boldness that Zinn recommends, most recently in his address at the convention. He has committed to leaving Iraq. Afghanistan is a different deal, and I’m tired of talking about what he’ll do with that, because there is nothing to be certain of, until he actually gains the position and the power to do anything, and can only happen with the approval of Congress anyway.

One thing that Zinn doesn’t mention here, but that he went into great detail on when I last had to opportunity to hear him lecture, and to sit on a panel with him, was the political choices facing the American public today. This was a couple of years ago, but when I last spoke with him at yet another event, the message was the same, and he was emphatic about it…

WE MUST SUPPORT THE DEMOCRATIC PARTY!! He didn’t mutter or stutter or mumble on this. He was very clear.

I would also argue with him on this statement..

“... Obama is calling for a strong military - big military - he should stop doing that!...”

If I heard Obama correctly, he is calling for a rebuilding of our military. For anyone who didn’t catch the speech, he mentioned what most of us already know. The US military, in terms of it’s human component..the most important component, is totally BROKEN!!! Fancy warships and an arsenal of deadly weapons does not a military make.

Now when the US public decides that we can be like Costa Rica or some other country who doesn’t HAVE an armed forces, then we can talk about NOT HAVING A MILITARY!! Humor me if I don’t expect that to ever occur.

Meantime, for as long as the US believes itself to need a military, (which is the case with nearly every single other nation on the globe), it’s not gonna work to keep staffing it with the same people for now until the end of time.

Obama has said that he will rebuild the military which is now about as broken as a worn out donkey’s back. This administration has used and abused the same small portion of our population, over and over again. If the US decides that they don’t want a defensive force to protect them, so be it. Somehow, I don’t believe that to be the case either.

In fact, it would be downright STUPID, to decide that we just won’t bother to have a military, or to fix the one that has been destroyed in the stupid inefficiency of this administration, because we aren’t exactly the world’s favorite country right now. And when one is inclined to piss off a bunch of people, and/or CREATE enemies everywhere one can possibly create them, it’s equally stupid to assume that there would be no retaliation, or need to defend oneself.

So ask the people in New Orleans if they wouldn’t have preferred to have their own NATIONAL GUARD there, to protect them and keep order during the disaster of Katrina. Or, let me speak for them on this issue. OF COURSE they would. But instead, their national guard was off in Iraq or elsewhere, and so they got Blackwater.

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By MAR, August 30, 2008 at 4:41 pm Link to this comment

Hey, dhey. To say nothing by that great war leader, Churchill -“Gallipoli,” and what about the “soft underbelly of Europe - viz Greece, Albania, not to mention Italy itself and that other waste of resources, the landings in Southern France. Canadians fopught and died in Italy, too, because of these huge politico-military blunders. The Greece operation drew essential equipment away from the war in the desert and wasted lives and materiel, much to Rommel’s glee as he read the all the messages sent by the American Naval Attache in Cairo on Allied positions and desert operations in a ridiculously simple code - the real secret to Rommel’s victories.

Anyway, as a non-American, I thought that Obama’s speech was great, almost in the Truman tradition, who in my humble opinion was one of the great American presidents. He did well to keep his powder dry until the time was nigh.  Can McCain’s vice president nominee have any such capability as Truman in reserve? I think not; I don’t think she has ever sold ties in Missouri. McCain certainly has not shown anything but the same white hair I have.

Have a great election.

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By dihey, August 30, 2008 at 3:10 pm Link to this comment

Tony Wicher:  Sorry, dihey - this shows you do not understand the role of the commander-in-chief. The most important, high-level military decisions, starting with the decision to go to war, ARE political decisions.

Yes the the decision to go to war is always a political decision. According to our constitution this decision can NEVER be made by the commander-in-chief but only by the Congress (unless we are attacked/invaded). Why? Because the CIC is not the commander-in-chief of the American people but only of the armed forces. When you go to war you commit the whole nation to it, not merely your armed forces. So who has the better understanding of the issue-you or me? In fact, the constitution also charges the Congress to define the objectives and limitations of a war and charges the CIC to carry out the will of our chosen representatives (read the Federalist Papers about this and wonder again who has the better insight, you or me). Contrary to President Bush’s opinion the Congress has the constitutional power to order him to withdraw all troops from Iraq and Afghanistan regardless of whether that is wise or not. The constitutional role of CIC is just one aspect of a CEO of America, nothing more. The role is important but should not be independent of the will of Congress.

Speaking about high-level military decisions.
Marshall advised President Roosevelt to land too far to the south of Rome which, according to experts, turned out to be a colossal blunder which led to the hell of Monte Cassino.
Eisenhower advised President Roosevelt not to “go for Berlin” but attack the non-existing “Southern Redoubt”. Roosevelt agreed. Numerous analysts think that this was a major blunder. That is what I had in mind when I wrote that past Presidents have ordered high-level military blunders and future Presidents will also make them regardless of how much they know about actual warfare.

However, that was not the purpose of my comment. It does not matter much whether a President knows anything about actual warfare (and neither Obama nor Palin know much if anything) as long as he/she is honestly served by persons who do. Example: President Roosevelt - Marshall/Eisenhower! Need I say more?

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By cyrena, August 30, 2008 at 3:03 pm Link to this comment

Outraged,

Some thoughts on at least some of the info you’ve posted here, although since I agree with elements of if, it will probably just be blown off by rus numbers with me responding to myself. (rus and jblack are still convinced that we are the same person). But, I admire Prof. Chossudovsky, and I find him to be illuminating and knowledgeable on the enormous topic of globalization. Most of the time, I agree with him, though certainly there are other equally qualified experts IN THE *WHOLE* do not. That’s the whole point of academic inquiry. We can agree on PARTS, and oftentimes, even the most fundamental of the parts, (which is the most important), but in nearly any avenue of academic inquiry we can possibly imagine, there is more than one ‘right answer’.

On this:

•  “9/11 constitutes for Obama the main justification for waging a humanitarian war in the Middle East and Central Asia. In this regard, his position does not differ from that of the Bush Administration.”

I think most of us would agree with the first portion of this, (as far as how Obama perceives 9/11) but then it blows itself to hell by suggesting that his position does not differ from that of the Bush Admin. That’s when credibility departs, because it’s ridiculous to assert that there are no differences, based on the realities of global terror, and it’s another display of the either/or mentality.

The GWOT as initiated and perpetrated and *defined* by the Bush admin is a farce, and I don’t know a single academic who would disagree. (there may be some, but I don’t know ‘em). The GWOT is a creation of this administration, bent on using it as a justification to force US hegemony throughout the world, via aggressive militarism. We know that, and one needn’t be an academic to know it. One needs only to have paid semi-attention to the events of the past 7 years.

HOWEVER, that does not and cannot lead to the conclusion that there is ‘no such thing’ as global terror. Even Chossudovsky doesn’t go that far! And in the recognition that such a phenomena DOES exist, and that it HAS become more prevalent in the past 8 years, (in part BECAUSE of the so-called ‘war on terror”) we cannot afford to DO NOTHING. Rather, the US HAS to acknowledge the existence of terror and terrorist organizations, if for no more important reason than to understand and resolve the reasons WHY it exists to begin with.

Now I disagree with the ostensible or the logistical aspects of 9/11 being the reason to for the launching of any fight against so call extremism, because I don’t believe that al-Qaeda or bin Laden were responsible for the events of 9/11. I don’t believe that they could have managed such a feat, with standard security protocols, (of the past several decades) in place. But it doesn’t mean that they haven’t long expressed a *desire* to do exactly that or more! Obama wasn’t making up the fact (in his address Thursday) that there are terrorists/extremists active in 80 countries. There ARE!!

So while I might disagree with Obama (in part) on the best ways to address this particular 21st Century crises, IGNORING it isn’t one of them. So yes, Obama does connect 9/11 to his justification for whatever action might be required to stop it, just as he is committed to the elimination and/or proliferation of nuclear weapons, and you can rest assured that he isn’t alone. In fact, MOST academics, (obviously excluding Prof. Chossudovsky, me, and a handful of others) ALSO believe that al-Qaeda was behind that attack. And even those who can be otherwise convinced are not likely to ignore the fact that al-Qaeda certainly could have, and would have attempted it, because they have before.

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By cyrena, August 30, 2008 at 3:02 pm Link to this comment

2 of 2

Meantime, the language here is equally inflammatory:

•  “The “Global War on Terrorism” is an integral part of the Obama campaign. “Islamic terrorists” threaten the American way of life. Al Qaeda and its alleged State sponsors are portrayed as the main threat at home and abroad. “

This is bullshit, because of the ‘integral part of his campaign’ part. He hasn’t claimed that ‘Islamic terrorists’ threaten the American way of life, but extremism and political acts of terror threaten GLOBAL life, and again…ignoring that isn’t an option. So at least in this writing from Chossudovsky, he seems to have ignored both the full language and the context of the address that Obama delivered.

To say that there is no shift in direction, when Obama has consistently advocated for direct diplomacy in lieu of military aggression is flat out wrong, and although this is only an OPINION from Chossudovsky, which only addresses one small aspect of globalization, I would still argue with him this particular opinion, because this issue calls for expertise not just on Globalization, but on international law and domestic polities, to name just a few.

I recommend some other reading:


From Richard Falk, (also authored “The Great Terror War” among several hundred others on the topic).

Professor Richard Falk is the recently appointed Special Rapporteur on Human Rights in the Palestinian Territories for the United Nations High Commissioner

A Just Response
By Richard Falk
This article appeared in the October 8, 2001 edition of The Nation.

http://www.thenation.com/doc/20011008/falk


“Terror in the Mind of God”
Mark Juergensmeyer
http://www.ucpress.edu/books/pages/8874/8874.ch01.php


Jus Ad Bellum After 9/11:
A State of the Art Report
Mark Rigstad
Oakland University

http://international-political-theory.net/3/rigstad.htm

Lastly, as I’ve continued to recommend, the most recent work of Sheldon Wolin:

“Democracy Incorporated, Managed Democracy and the Specter of Inverted Totalitarianism”

Sheldon explains in clear language how the Bush Admin ‘war on terror’ has assisted in the undermining of American Democracy, or even what has always been a Republic, more so than a Democracy. That’s not *even* what we’re talking about, in any genuine discussions about the threat of global terror, or Humanitarian Law/Intervention, which is for the most part only acceptable under the terms and conditions of the Genocide treaty.

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By kath cantarella, August 30, 2008 at 2:54 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Obama!

This guy knows change is a community effort. What an opportunity lies here. C’mon USA!

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By Outraged, August 30, 2008 at 2:36 pm Link to this comment

Anyone interested in Howard Zinn’s take…?  Well…for those who might be, there’s this from “Op-Ed News”, an excerpt:

“R.K. -Do you have any advice for Obama? 

H.Z. -Yes. I have advice for Obama. You want to win? - Speak boldly to the American people, the American people want to get out of Iraq. Speak boldly and say, “I’m going to withdraw from Iraq as fast as ships and planes can carry them”- , and I think that Obama will have a much better chance of winning the election because he will be speaking to the hearts of the American people, who really are sick of the war. And instead, he gives us these half-baked solutions about “I will withdraw in 16 months and will send some troops to Afghanistan and keep some troops in Iraq for security purposes.”

Now that’s - you know—that’s not what the American people want. And if he thinks he will win more votes by being moderate and centrist, I think he’s wrong. So my advice to Obama, not just from the standpoint of being right, but even from the standpoint of being pragmatic and winning, is be bold - be bold on the war - be bold on having a single payer, government financed health system. Be bold on ending our position as a militarist nation. Obama is calling for a strong military - big military - he should stop doing that!

http://www.opednews.com/articles/Howard-Zinn-s-Advice-to-Ob-by-Rob-Kall-080828-806.html

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By BobZ, August 30, 2008 at 12:07 pm Link to this comment

McCain blew his chances with his first major decision as his party’s nominee. To pick Governor Palin was not only an act of desperation, it is irresponsible. It makes massive hypocrites of the Republican Party as the party best able to protect the American people. Before yesterday, nobody had heard of Palin outside of Alaska. I know McCain is ambitious but why put your ambition ahead of picking the first or second best candidate, not the least qualified candidate. He doesn’t even know her and seems to have been taken in by her just folks demeanor. Well at least that confirms McCains decision making style as “shoot from the hip”.

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By G.Anderson, August 30, 2008 at 11:30 am Link to this comment

When I listened to Obama’s speech I couldn’t help thinking, that for the last 8 years, there have been few moments when someone has so eloquently stood against the right in this country.  Calling out the lies and half truths that have been the rights bread and butter, into the light of day.

It’s time for everyone to un cross their eyes, and take a good hard look at the last 8 years, and imagine where America will be with 8 more years, of conservative kool aid.

I know it’s hard to look at a fatal freeway crash, to see bloody bodies being taken away by ambulance, and even harder to feel in your bones the suffering of the families. But that pain must, on some level must be acknowledged, for what it is.

No one else, has been willing to do it.

So go head pull your covers back up over your head, and lower your voice to a whisper, and turn away one more time, to the comfort of your easy chair, and those other arm chair experts, whose make believe you rely on.

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By jackpine savage, August 30, 2008 at 8:59 am Link to this comment

My thoughts on the convention and the American political system in general:

http://exiledonline.com/rachel-maddows-post-idiotic-commentary/#more-421

And, Rus, history doesn’t decide anything.  If it is history then it has already been decided.  History interprets decisions.

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By Outraged, August 30, 2008 at 12:54 am Link to this comment

More reality checks involving the DNC convention.  From “The Largest Minority”:

“When the constantly humming crowd hasn’t been using Evan Bayh’s speech time as a collective bathroom break, they’ve been parading around with AT&T;swag. The tote bags given to DNC participants read “Denver2008″ and beneath that rests the iconic AT&T;globe. That is the same AT&T;that willingly eavesdropped on American citizens and received immunity for the deed.

Now, AT&T;is sponsoring the entire DNC for the same politicians that gave them their Get Out Of Jail Free cards. That is the same DNC that built this three-day PR charade on the premise that they are the new and improved Democrats - the Progressives - those blue knights on their stallions of “Hope” and “Change.”

The conventions was billed as a “coming out” party for new, exciting political figures, their accessories, and some old Democratic dogs, who have learned new tricks, including Barack Obama, the suddenly anti-war Joe Biden, Michelle Obama, and the barely-repressing-their-rage Clintons.”

In addition: ” It’s about creating a $50 million security fusion center in the heart of Denver complete with presences from the Secret Service, FBI, State Department, and local law enforcement officials. The DNC is about keeping protesters in cages and beating the hell out of them if they escape. The DNC is about throwing the Blue Dogs a fundraising party at the Mile High Station where journalists, including Salon.com’s Glenn Greenwald, are forcefully ejected by private security.”

It continues: “The 2008 DNC is about rebranding “Bad Wars” (Iraq) as “Good Wars” (Afghanistan). The DNC is full of National Security Democrats like Joe Biden, who are so terrified of looking weak on defense that they can’t even acknowledge that maybe we should bring home soldiers from Iraq AND Afghanistan because both wars are pointless and based on lies. Just as Iraq never attacked us on September 11, 2001, neither did Afghanistan.

To harp on this point for the eight millionth time: terrorists within a country’s borders attacked us, not the country itself. Fire-bombing Afghani citizens is sort of like if the National Guard had invaded Pendleton, New York and bombed the hell out of it in the wake of the Oklahoma City bombing. Sure, Tim McVeigh was born in Pendleton and may have even began his love affair with explosives there, but that’s not the citizens of Pendleton’s fault.”

Another illuminating article of the reality that is America.  Thanks Allison Kilkenny, for this shameful truth.

http://www.jwharrison.com/blog/2008/08/28/lies-my-dnc-told-me/

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By Bukko in Australia, August 29, 2008 at 11:55 pm Link to this comment

Obama’s acceptance speech reads better than it sounds. It aired on SBS, the government-run channel Down Under that shows foreign news programmes. Not long before, I was listening to Randi Rhodes’ political talk show on Nova-M radio (we download podcasts to keep abreast of U.S. politics) and she played most of Martin Luther King’s “I Have a Dream” speech (not just the sound bites you usually hear.)

King was eloquent, sonorious, sweeping, speaking of eternal matters and the Big Picture. He made a speech for the ages. Because it was the 45th anniversary of that speech, and it was a historic occasion, a black man getting a major party’s nomination for president. (And Obama WILL be president; a cancerous mug like McCain from a discredited party of criminals doesn’t stand a chance.)

Obama gave an OK campaign speech. But it was a laundry list of typical promises, delivered in an everyday voice. Not the great oration Boyarsky makes it out to be. It will be great if Obama turns his oratorical skills loose. I’m afraid he’s hiding his light under a bushel basket in response to Repiglicans saying “Oh, he’s too popular. He’s too inspiring. That’s a baaaaaad thing.”

Like hell it is! Bring it, Barack! You can do it. Squash these Rethuglican bastards like the cockroaches they are.

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By Outraged, August 29, 2008 at 10:45 pm Link to this comment

Re: Tony Wicher

Attacking the messenger only illuminates the weakness of your argument.  But thanks, I would be honored to be thought of in the same capacity of Prof. Chossoduvsky.

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By Unapologetic Liberal, August 29, 2008 at 10:27 pm Link to this comment

I’d like to believe that the still-angry Hillary supporters won’t fall for such a brazen, cheap move - let’s put a chick on the ticket to sew up the Hillary vote - but my inner cynic is winning.

After the obscenity of “Security Moms” - driving their Suburbans all over with the requisite yellow-ribbon magnet, speeding home to watch The View - I’m bracing myself for a stampede of self-congratulaory, smug new “feminists” hightailing it over to Camp McCain-Palin, ready to teach those MEN a lesson about messin’ with a girlfriend - the lesson being, unfortunately, that b*tches iz craaaazy.

Gather ye rosebuds while ye may….

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By Tony Wicher, August 29, 2008 at 10:19 pm Link to this comment

Re Outraged, August 29 at 9:04 pm

So, do I have to add you and Prof. Chossudovsky to the list of people needing a political seeing-eye dog because they can’t tell the difference between Obama and McCain?

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By Outraged, August 29, 2008 at 10:04 pm Link to this comment

Well…Mr. Boyarski, that’s some political spin.  How about another perspective regarding Obama’s speech…?  This one from Prof. Michel Chossudovsky, a renowned scholar on Globalization.

“The Big Lie

The Obama lies are perhaps more subtle than those of George W. But again in substance, we are dealing with a continuum. 

The “Global War on Terrorism” is an integral part of the Obama campaign. “Islamic terrorists” threaten the American way of life. Al Qaeda and its alleged State sponsors are portrayed as the main threat at home and abroad. 

The corporate media applauds. 

No shift in direction.

The doctrine of preemptive war directed against “Islamic terrorists” and their State sponsors remains functionally intact.

The same applies to the post 9/11 nuclear weapons doctrine as first formulated in the 2002 Nuclear Posture Review (NPR). Nuclear weapons are on the drawing board of the Pentagon, for use in the Middle East war theater. And the Democrats are fully supportive of preemptive nuclear weapons as a means to protect the American Homeland. 

Under the “Global War on Terrorism”, the Homeland Security apparatus, not to mention the anti-terrorist Patriot legislation, the Big Brother surveillance apparatus would, under a Barack Obama administration, remain intact. 

9/11 constitutes for Obama the main justification for waging a humanitarian war in the Middle East and Central Asia. In this regard, his position does not differ from that of the Bush Administration. 

Withdraw from Iraq, but remain in Afghanistan. 

Bring the troops back from Iraq. Move them to Afghanistan.

Confront Iran, challenge Russia: 

“I will end this war in Iraq responsibly, and finish the fight against al Qaeda and the Taliban in Afghanistan.  I will rebuild our military to meet future conflicts.  But I will also renew the tough, direct diplomacy that can prevent Iran from obtaining nuclear weapons and curb Russian aggression.  I will build new partnerships to defeat the threats of the 21st century: terrorism and nuclear proliferation; poverty and genocide; climate change and disease.  And I will restore our moral standing, so that America is once again that last, best hope for all who are called to the cause of freedom, who long for lives of peace, and who yearn for a better future.

These are the policies I will pursue.  And in the weeks ahead, I look forward to debating them with John McCain.” (The American Promise, August 28, 2008, Democratic Convention. Denver, emphasis added)

“Finishing the fight against Al Qaeda and the Taliban”  means extending the “Global War on Terrorism” (GWOT) into new frontiers.

Concretely, the GWOT, which is central to the Obama campaign, provides a pretext and justification for waging a war of conquest, for expanding US influence in the Middle East, Central Asia, Sub-Saharan Africa and South East Asia.”

> An excellent and realistic article by Prof. Chossudovsky, I sense that if he were an American, his very accurate admonition would not be “allowed”.  But please don’t stop with this excerpt, there’s much more.

http://www.globalresearch.ca/index.php?context=va&aid=9995

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By Tony Wicher, August 29, 2008 at 9:40 pm Link to this comment

By dihey, August 29 at 5:19 pm #


The issue of commander-in-chief is a red herring both in the cases of Senator Obama and VP-nominee Palin. I cannot remember exactly who the last President was who actually “commanded” the troops in the field. Washington? Jackson?
——————————————————————————-
Sorry, dihey - this shows you do not understand the role of the commander-in-chief. The most important, high-level military decisions, starting with the decision to go to war, ARE political decisions.

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By Tony Wicher, August 29, 2008 at 9:36 pm Link to this comment

The Palin choice seems incredibly weak strategically to me. She’s going to be a hearbeat away from the Presidency? Are you joking? What a vulnernability on national security that is! And fanatically anti-abortion as well? This is not going to attract a single Hillary supporter. David Gergen was callin it an insult to the intelligence of American women.

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By Aster, August 29, 2008 at 7:57 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

And the democrats are worried because Barack Obama is inexperienced?  Who the hell is Palin????

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By troublesum, August 29, 2008 at 7:51 pm Link to this comment

If Hitler filled a stadium with cheering, flag waving fans he’d be at 60% in the polls too.  It’s bread and circus entertainment.  Obama is a blank slate - he seems determined to remain such - and people are simply projecting their hopes onto him.  Is it possible that intellegent adults still believe that speeches mean anything?  How different this convention was from those in ‘48 and ‘68 when we stll lived in a free country and dissention was still possible.  Today you can either be a cheerleader or you can get the fuck out.

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By Ed Harges, August 29, 2008 at 7:42 pm Link to this comment

re: By cyrena, August 29 at 3:23 pm #

Cyrena writes: “McCain could kick the bucket at any moment, and we’d wind up with a far right fundamentalist with no experience as a president.”

And, Cyrena, is it not totally laughable that there exists a woman who was planning to vote for Hillary, and was until yesterday considering voting for Obama, but will now switch to McCain because Palin is on the ticket?!

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By BlueEagle, August 29, 2008 at 7:19 pm Link to this comment

“I will rebuild our military to meet future conflicts. But I will also renew the tough, direct diplomacy that can prevent Iran from obtaining nuclear weapons and curb Russian aggression,” Obama said.

End Russian aggression? How about ending US aggression! Any conscious American knows the US started the conflict in Georgia. The Hope Train is leaving the station and heading right into another war. You still have time to jump off.

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By dihey, August 29, 2008 at 6:19 pm Link to this comment

The issue of commander-in-chief is a red herring both in the cases of Senator Obama and VP-nominee Palin. I cannot remember exactly who the last President was who actually “commanded” the troops in the field. Washington? Jackson? The issue of course is: will the President give the correct instructions to the armed forces in a given situation? The President as active commander-in-chief of the armed forces makes only sense when our country is invaded by a foreign army and then only if the President has the military training to lead. If we are invaded the only correct instruction is: “kick them out.” Does anyone believe that a President Palin would command: “surrender?”
When our country fights wars abroad the President must rely on advice from experts because the President cannot know the precise situation in every damn country that we have invaded or are about to attack. Presidents have made terrible mistakes in the past as commanders-in-chief and it is frightening to know that they will make terrible mistakes in the future. McCain/Palin will and Obama/Biden will too. Nothing from their past experience will save them as the blunder of John F. Kennedy, a WW2 veteran, on the Bay of Pigs Invasion/Vietnam demonstrates.

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