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Earning His Nobel Prize

Posted on Apr 7, 2010
AP / Pete Souza, White House

President Obama discusses the START treaty during a phone call with Russian President Dmitry Medvedev last month in the White House Oval Office.

By Robert Scheer

At last, a believable sighting of that peace president many of us thought we had elected. Give Barack Obama credit, big time, for the startling progress he has made in tempering the threat of nuclear annihilation.

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The Obama administration’s Nuclear Posture Review Report for the first time prohibits “first use” of nuclear weapons against nations complying with the nonproliferation treaty. It also pledges a halt to U.S. efforts to modernize such weapons, as had been proposed by then-President George W. Bush in his call for new nuclear “bunker busters.”

Whereas his predecessor succeeded only in eliminating the nonexistent Iraqi nukes, this president has forged a treaty with the Russians that will reduce the world’s supply of the devil’s weapons by one-third. But it was essential to follow that up with a clear departure from the always-insane policy that the U.S. has a right to develop and use such weapons as conventional tools of war.

That is the right that Harry Truman acted on in perpetrating the most atrocious act of terrorism in world history when he annihilated the civilian populations of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. That is what spawned the nuclear arms race that so troubles us today, especially regarding North Korea and Iran.

Yet until Tuesday no American president had renounced the immoral claim that our nation had some God-granted right to use those weapons again. While we consistently insisted it was morally repugnant for any other state to follow in our footsteps, we continued to build ever deadlier versions of these intrinsically heinous weapons.


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But that madness ended when Obama on Tuesday affirmed an all-important distinction that Bush, more than any other president, had insisted on blurring—the distinction between nuclear and all other weapons, including the chemical and biological varieties. Lumping them together as weapons of mass destruction denies the global life-ending threat that nukes alone present.

Ironically, the most important section of Obama’s strategy statement, instantly attacked by his knee-jerk critics, could help fulfill the penultimate goal of Ronald Reagan. Because of Obama’s declaration that the “United States will not develop new nuclear warheads ... or provide for new [nuclear] military capabilities” there is now a plausible case to be made for anti-missile defense. Reagan always insisted that his Strategic Defense Initiative program was a means toward nuclear arms cuts and ultimately the abolition of these horrific implements of mass death. But SDI could be properly criticized as a cover for aggression unless we cut the arsenals as opposed to refining and expanding them.

In his historic meeting with then-Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev, Reagan embraced the goal of eliminating all nuclear weapons—just as Obama did in his April 2009 speech in Prague. It is a position that commends itself to all who honestly confront the threat these weapons pose to human existence. We have indulged the luxury of not confronting that ultimate horror because of the time that has passed since the explosion of those now relatively small nuclear bombs over Japan. As Henry Kissinger puts it in the documentary “Nuclear Tipping Point,” which was screened at the White House on Tuesday night: “Once nuclear weapons are used, we will be driven to take global measures to prevent it. Why don’t we do it now?”

The answer is that we have become inured to the danger and lulled into accepting these weapons as usable implements of war, an attitude reflected in Tuesday’s reaction by Arizona Republican Sens. Jon Kyle and John McCain, who in a joint statement denounced Obama’s policy as limiting the nuclear “option.” They repeated the old canard that nuclear weapons are a legitimate choice in response to a non-nuclear threat.

That will be the line of those who oppose the Senate’s ratification of the new START agreement with Russia and the long-overdue passage of the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty. If they win in that debate there is no serious possibility of progress in preventing the further proliferation of nuclear weapons and breaking the death wish of those who still toy with the idea that such weapons are legitimate. Those in the peace movement who think Obama should have gone further in his efforts to put the nuke genie back in the bottle should tread carefully here. Instead of demanding perfection, they should be gratified that we finally have a president who has at least laid down some important markers of progress.

After decades of both Republican and Democratic administrations indulging the absurdity that “nuclear war fighting” could have a humane outcome, Obama has reversed course. It took 150 meetings, including 30 at the White House, and the president’s frequent direct intervention. The outcome is a bold statement of nuclear sanity, and for that President Obama should be applauded.

On Thursday, April 8, Robert Scheer joined readers for a live chat to discuss this column. Read the full transcript here.

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By Inherit The Wind, April 13, 2010 at 3:58 am Link to this comment


The Great American political pastime enjoyed by Conservatives and Progressives alike!

“Me, Too!” should be our national motto, along with “There oughta be a law….”

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Aarby's avatar

By Aarby, April 11, 2010 at 9:22 pm Link to this comment

There’s the Left. And then there’s the great, mushy mainstream Left.

Robert Scheer shouldn’t be selling us Obama.

The corporatocracy - the elites, most ruling classes, the capitalist classes, many and most large institutions and organizations (often funded by governments as Joan Roelof explains) - is comprised of macho people who follow the paradigm, or operating principle, of ‘riches for the strongest’. That doesn’t mean that they will be rational ‘all of the time’. And it doesn’t mean that they will be irrational ‘all of the time’. It does mean that, overall, they will pursue an irrational, antisocial and anti-environmental course. If corporations are people, it has been demonstrated, then they are psychopathic people. They, and the individuals who worship and support them, are deserving of censure, for which reason this world, including fake progressives, rewards them. (Joan Roelof -

Here’s how the corporatocracy sees the global economy for example. It views it as a rickety mansion in which it’s members are, collectively, the master. The mansion is unsafe and could collapse on everyone’s head at any time, but the master would rather, in true macho, Darwinian fashion, risk that disaster than abandon the mansion and, together with all the servants within who have slaved for the master and received, at best, mere survival for their efforts, work with those servants to build a safe, intact mansion in which no one is exploited and in which everyone contributes ‘and’ benefits.

While that is the case, There is no doubt that the master will sometimes, in regard to particular actions, show a little restraint and push a little less, if he happens to notice that there is no personal gain to him and only the risk of losing a system which he and his benefit from personally and greatly. That he demonstrates that he is capable of being rational, relatively, now and then DOES NOT negate the irrationality of his maintenance of an exploitative system of oppression.

Or you could just consider a current development as an example of the rickety mansion approach to socio-economic organization. Eskom, who South African environmentalists and poor South Africans cite as being a bad corporate citizen, has asked the World Bank for a whopping multi-billion dollar loan to build a coal-fired energy plant. (How did that come about? Clearly, Eskom sees the pernicious WB as a partner, and vice versa. See the Democracy Now! report about that here: World Bank, supported (in effect) by the American government (and it’s prize-winning leader)which could have voted against this proposal but didn’t, is sponsoring a big, polluting, anti-poor mega coal plant project in South Africa, of the sort that John Perkins used to help set up for soon-to-be fleeced, by corporacrats, nations before he blew the whistle on the whole practice.)

“Economic hit men (EHMs) are highly paid professionals who cheat countries around the globe out of trillions of dollars. They funnel money from the World Bank, the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), and other foreign “aid” organizations into the coffers of huge corporations and the pockets of a few wealthy families who control the planet’s natural resources. Their tools include faudulent financial reports, rigged elections, payoffs, extortion, sex, and murder. They play a game as old as empire, but one that has taken on new and terrifying dimensions during this time of globalization. I should know; I was an EHM.” John Perkins, in the Preface to “Confessions Of An Economic Hit Man.”

It’s bad enough that South Africa has had to deal with the negative consequences of the betrayal of their democratic hopes by their heroes, Nelson Mandela and Thabo Mbeki, as recounted by Naomi Klein in her book, “The Shock Doctrine.” And there’s those who idolize the traitorous heroes…

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By samosamo, April 11, 2010 at 7:08 pm Link to this comment

By T. A. Madison, April 11 at 9:13 pm

You mean like this?

Radioisotope       Half-life
BPolonium-215   0.0018 seconds
ismuth-212       60.5 seconds
Sodium-24       15 hours
Iodine-131       8.07 days
Cobalt-60         5.26 years
Radium-226       1600 years
Uranium-238     4.5 billion years

or this

Pu-238 - 87.74 years
Pu-239 - 24065 years
Pu-240 - 6537 years
Pu-241 - 14.4 years
Pu-242 - 3.76E5 years
Pu-243 - 4.956 hours
Pu-244 - 8.26E7 years

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By Steve E, April 11, 2010 at 6:30 pm Link to this comment

Excellent samosamo, “unfettered proliferation of humans”. Corporate thinking
wants as many humans as possible on this planet consuming products and
services. You can live as long as you can pay. Screw the carbon footprints made by
the sweaty masses.

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By T. A. Madison, April 11, 2010 at 6:13 pm Link to this comment

The point here is that when talking about nuclearism we are not referring to “big bombs” we are referring to genetic poisoning.  We exist in an interacting web of life.  Just the radiations from the production of these weapons proliferate and affect the gene pool of all life.  It doesn’t only affect one generation.

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By samosamo, April 11, 2010 at 4:43 pm Link to this comment

By T. A. Madison, April 11 at 5:22 pm

It does give pause for thought on the extinction of humans by
nuclear weapons, rightfully so, but why is the issue of the
‘unfettered’ proliferation of humans and the affect it incurs on
the planet and humanity not considered a pause for thought?
Why can’t there be an effort to control the number of people
without resorting to wars and political and religious repression?

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By T. A. Madison, April 11, 2010 at 2:22 pm Link to this comment

“The Fate of the Earth” by Jonathan Schell 1982 Knopf, New York
In case we forget, the issue in the midst of all our side discussions, this may help. This is the best book written to describe the terrible threat of nuclear policies still active in the United States to this day.  Culturally and individually, we simply do not have a grasp of what these weapons mean. “Human extinction assumes awesome, inapprehensible proportions,” Schell writes.  With the exception of the books by Dr. Helen Caldicott, this is arguably the most important book to be written on the terms and consequence of the nuclear weapons polices we are subject to.  It corrects decades of secrecy and immense state propaganda that democratic elements of our society have had virtually no hand in shaping.  This extremely important book should be a part of the literacy and conscience of every thinking person.  “The most important book of the decade, perhaps the century.” – Harrison E. Salisbury

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By samosamo, April 11, 2010 at 2:16 pm Link to this comment

By gerard, April 11 at 5:08 pm

And when a bunch of ‘people behind the curtain’ can gain
control of the system that informs and in this case, directs
critical thinking (read mainstream media) that will control those
not able to see a ‘tree in a forest’, it becomes even harder to
gather a consensus of what is a problem or not, before it is too

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By gerard, April 11, 2010 at 2:08 pm Link to this comment

One more comment on the noble/ignoble Peace Prize:

The awarding committee, unaware of the vindictive nature of American politics, and, moved by a feeling of hopefulness, plus realizing the need to both give American “liberals” a lift and encourage Europe and Asia not to give up on the U.S. entirely, gave Obama the prize in a spirit of goodwill.

Naturally, American “liberals” were not prepared to acknowledge the prize graciously, even though Obama himself was in haste to state that he did NOT deserve it. When complainers did not get huge reforms within several months, the surly side of the American disposition began to show itself, and is still going strong among both Left and Right contingents.

Here’s a list of places where the prize money went—all agencies who probably are better off because
of Nobel’s noble gesture:
$250,000 = Housing for families of patients receiving medical care at major military and VA hospitals
$200,000 Clinton-Bush Haiti Fund
$125,000 College Summit Partners with elementary/secondary schools to strengthen and increase college enrollments.
$125,000 Posse Foundation to identify public school kids with extraordinary academic and leadershiop potential - 4-year full tuition scholarships
$125,000 United Negro College Fund
$125,000 Appalachian Leadership and Education Fnd.
$125,000 American Indian College Fund
$100,000 Afri-Care Health, Med. and Food Security,
      Agricultural and water resources
$100,000 Central Asia Insttute for community-
      based education and literacy for girls in
      remote Af/Pak regions.

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By samosamo, April 11, 2010 at 2:01 pm Link to this comment

By gerard, April 10 at 6:00 pm
““No, as long as we can complain, and blame it on presidents
hamstrung by a system that feeds itself at the expense of
everybody who can’t fight back—
sorry, folks.  Cowardice is us.  Blind neglect is us.
We are the ones who are responsible, and we are the ones who
can fix it.”“
Correct and what most people leave out of their thinking
because it just my label them as ‘conspiracy theorists’ by their
friend and others, that the real causation and reason for this
‘mess’ the world is in is because there ARE people behind the
curtain dealing out orders for the cherubim and seraphim to
carry out that will benefit and protect those ‘hiding’ behind the
curtain because when an antagonist or enemy can’t be named or
seen, it is hard to combat that entity, where as when they do
have a name(i.e rothchild, rockerfeller, chase) then it would be
just a matter of bringing them to light to deal with them.

For those questioning the use of ‘cherubim and seraphim’, look
them up in the dictionary, both being of the ‘celestial hierarchy’
which is the order of angels basically attending to the

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By ofersince72, April 11, 2010 at 12:20 pm Link to this comment

I really don’t like attacking anyone, however I feel
our republic is at stake right now and so do many, many
others.  All the mainstream journalist that have the
access to reach millions that don’t see what is going on,
or, more likly, know what is going on , then keep the
dialogue to petty issues such as Badu’s body, or Mike
Steel’s troubles with the RLC,  is doing a big injustice.

No ,  I really don’t know how much difference Nader
could have made since now, we are in a position that not
even Capitol Hill or the White House is in control, but
I am sure he sure would have tried rather than thumbing
his nose to the American Public and giving the
corpostacracy every little thing they want.

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By Leefeller, April 11, 2010 at 9:14 am Link to this comment

Obama does seem the peace prize war hawk, is it possible Obama is not what he seemed? I mean he has turned out to be more of a war hawk then what he seemed even when he was running, I should have voted for Nader then things would have changed?

This peace prize thing seems to demand a clear defining of the word “peace”?  This seems to really be stuck in some peoples craw!

Not being an expert in many things, especially this one, attacking Sheer and Obama does not seem productive except maybe to make me want to vote for Palin, after all she has a plan (in addition to lining her pockets) and can see Russia from her front porch!

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By gerard, April 11, 2010 at 9:06 am Link to this comment

Thing is, people have heard so much about (and accepted the idea of) the need for “surveillance” electronically and otherwise, for fear of “terrorists” that they are caught in their own trap - themselves afraid of themselves. Bear in mind this possibility, also—that government may itself be confused and afraid of itself as well. Therefore it will easily over-react.  People who are frightened are more apt to react with violence than those who are not frightened. Violence gives an excuse for more violence, always, without exception.
  Time and worsening crises will gradually overpower this fear in favor of the grinding necessity to bring about change for the better, and people will act.  The question is not only when? but even more importantly, how?  Studying and learning together, discussing, planning, developing wise leadership,keeping governmnent informed, realizing that threat and rage are counterproductive and stupid—all this and more can and will take place. If it has intelligent leadership (not rabble-rousing) and Constitutional goals, it will probably succeed. 
  Intelligence and vision plus self-discipline. No violence. Numbers is key, too; it will require millions. Could happen.  It’s possible.

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By ofersince72, April 11, 2010 at 5:08 am Link to this comment

Mr. Obama,  under your watch,.....

Pakistan is coming unraveled
Iraq   is coming unraveled
Afghan   is coming unraveled
You have created much more tension with Iran, contrary
to your campaign promise.
We have know idea what you are going to do with the
radio active material in the bombs you are retiring.
much more unrest at home..Sir, do you feel you have
earned the Nobel Peace Prize???

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By ofersince72, April 11, 2010 at 4:52 am Link to this comment

I don’t know , I was wondering if any one knows…..

The radio active material in the nuclear warheads that
Russia and the U.S. are dismantleing…...

Will this be used to make other nuclear weapons???
Will the treaty tell us?
Will they share that part of the treaty with the public?
Or, will they do what they usually do, say it is none
of the publics business, another state secret.
We have way too many state secrets, and way too many
intelligence committees keeping secrets about things that
are our business just as much as theirs.
So please Mr. Obama , are you making new bombs out of
old bombs, huh?????????

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By teadrinker, April 10, 2010 at 8:39 pm Link to this comment

I really appreciate Gerards last comment about action committees. The big if. If people formed action committees not under the umbrella of a party, the FBI and Homeland Security would put the names of the those spearheading the project on a “persons of interest” list. Your group would probably be infiltrated, a standard course of action done for most groups. It’s always good for groups to retain a lawyer who can work pro bono in case illegal arrests or other types of legal issues arise. In spite of all this, action groups en masse are the only solution. BTW, in my religious comment, I tried to convey the the idea that peoples actions come back to them (karma),a universal idea.

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By Inherit The Wind, April 10, 2010 at 8:36 pm Link to this comment

As so-called “progressives” trash the fourth Democratic President in a row, the virulent neo-Cons and tea-baggers are chortling in their beer watching the circular firing squad.  Let the “progressives” do the Right’s job for it!

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By Tennessee-Socialist, April 10, 2010 at 7:42 pm Link to this comment


Oh by the way and Obama the nobel peace prize just ordered the assasination of a US citizen. You can read it here:

OBAMA ORDERS THE ASSASINATION OF A US CITIZEN. FOR THE FIRST TIME IN HISTORY AN AMERICAN PRESIDENT HAS OFFICIALLY ORDERED THE ASSASSINATION OF A US CITIZEN. President Barack Obama has approved the targeted killing of Anwar al-Awlaki, a US-born Muslim cleric who is reported to be in hiding in Yemen


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By Bill Carson, April 10, 2010 at 3:16 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

More progressive moonshine from Robert Scheer. Obama is NOT a peace
president and campaigned on intensifying the war in Afghanistan and rattling
sabers and many times even more more deadly, sanctions, at Iran…

From Yahoo news: “Obama this week announced a new US nuclear posture
under which the United States would not stage an atomic attack against a
country that does not have nuclear weapons. He pointedly said however that
this would not include Iran or North Korea.”

Of course Obama appreciates that using nukes is messy and presents big PR
and international law problems so they are best left as a threat or distant
option. The “smart” “genteel”, “civilized” way of destroying a society and even
in many cases killing hundreds of thousands of innocent civilians (i.e. Iraq
during the 1990’s) is international sanctions. No dramatic and disturbing
pictures of destruction and death, the people who are the victims of sanctions
are mostly old people and children who die quietly and out of sight of TV
cameras. So….

“The two presidents warned Iran to expect sanctions if it maintains its refusal
to halt uranium enrichment and cooperate with UN atomic watchdog inspectors
amid Western suspicions that it is seeking a bomb.
Obama called for “smart” and “strong” sanctions by the United Nations, which
in May will hold a review conference on the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty
Medvedev said: “Unfortunately Tehran is not reacting to an array of constructive
compromise proposals. We cannot close our eyes to this.”
“I have said many times that sanctions very often do not work, but sometimes
they are necessary… These need to be smart sanctions, capable of prompting
the right behaviour,” Medvedev said.

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By gerard, April 10, 2010 at 3:00 pm Link to this comment

Speaking of the “lack of objective reality” for a second:
  What about the lack of objective reality in a bunch of people well enough educated to know what has been going down for decades and doing nothing about it? 
  What about the pursuit of business as usual around the world, all the while keeping the earth on a knife-edge of annihilation, prowling the jungles for oil, peeling off the mountains for coal, and other “resources,” cheating the “lesser breeds” of their rights. And nobody don’t do nothin’!  How come?  Who do we think we are, we Americans—free and equal and all that nonsense?
  No, as long as we can complain, and blame it on presidents hamstrung by a system that feeds itself at the expense of everybody who can’t fight back—
sorry, folks.  Cowardice is us.  Blind neglect is us.
We are the ones who are responsible, and we are the ones who can fix it.
  How?  Can you believe that if, in an orderly way and as quickly as possible, study/action groups of ordinary peole with ordinary brains sprung up all over the country, nobody would pay any attention?  Or they would be pepper-sprayed and put in prison by the millions for having nation-wide discussions leading to recommendations and demands? What if we picked up our phones every night at 8 p.m and jammed the lines with calls to our Senators?
  If newspapers and media people suddenly started to do what they are supposed to do, everywhere, by the hundreds?  If people all invited their neighbors in to see an important video—and there are many? 
  Maybe these things don’t appeal to you.  Maybe there are other ways. I suspect there are many avenues that could be tried, many ways to bring constructive change.
Blaming Obama is a way out of “objective reality”, not in.

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By Cole..., April 10, 2010 at 1:59 pm Link to this comment

What rankels me is the lack of objective reality in this Sheere colmn. First you don’t get to ‘earn’ what you already got. And if yu got it before you’ve earned it, it ain’t worth anything1 Of course there is a bundle of cash that goes with it, and that is already banked it too was unearned.

Second it this nonsense picture of O’bama “ON The Phone”—what is that? A hero’s action pose, A crisis? Get on the Phone quick and get your pic taken.

Reminiscent of the hero of the past—yep g.W himself on AF1 running about the skies of the country at 20,000 feet looking out like any hero would do, on the phone, running to Omaha on 9/11. A bit far from N.Y. but his answer was clear, he was getting out of harms way! A true hero.

O’bama, on the phone, however, was doing (we are to think) something ungeorge—he was after 15 months doing a soft shoe trivial dance with nuclear bombs.
Decreasing the earth death potential somewhat and retaining our safety net, the use of those bombs to anihilate some other nation—and that, of course, shows he has earned his “distruction is Peace” Prise.

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By ofersince72, April 10, 2010 at 12:12 pm Link to this comment

Thanks for tht samo, on the injun about the europeans

Glen Grenwald noted that in Os recess nominations,
absent was Dawn Johnsen.
O had picked her a year ago for Office of Legal Council,
he noted that she never would have deemed it legal for
While they had sixty senators they didn’t vote.
He didn’t do the recess thing with her.
So she finally, after a year pulled her name.

Obama, of course the new Bush, really didn’t want her.

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By samosamo, April 10, 2010 at 11:07 am Link to this comment

By teadrinker, April 10 at 11:54 am

Tuocha means brick tea, most probably from the Yunnan
Province. The link above will take you there. And if you have any
asian supermarkets in your area, it is possible that they may
have some or you can order direct from this site, though the
times I did, the shipping was about the same as the cost of the
tea, but worth it. Check out the site, truely interesting for

It was unfortunate that the native americans were so honest
because when the white devils from europe asked about buying
some land the indians said that no one owns the land, just as no
one owns the air or water or wildlife, trees. Real bad mistake as
then the white europeans claimed it for their own which is what
the rulers of all those countries back home in europe told their
‘explorers’ to do anyway as it was a bonanza for the upstart
european invading land grabbers.

As for the ‘missionaries’ sent to instill their special brand of
mind control on those poor ignorant savages, once again, as a
child can tell when he is lied to the native americans saw
through that veil of BS:

““Their wise ones said ‘we might have their religion’ but when
we ?tried to understand it we found that there were too many
kinds ?of religions among white men for us to understand, and
that? scarcely any two white men agreed which was the right one
to ?learn. This bothered us a good deal until we saw that the
white?man did not take his religion any more seriously than he
did his ?laws, and that he kept both of them just behind him, like
?helpers, to use when they might do him good in his dealings
with ?strangers. These are not our ways. We kept the laws we
made ?and lived our religion. We have never been able to
understand ?the white man, who fools nobody but himself.”“?
Plenty Coups
?Absaroke Crow Indian

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By gerard, April 10, 2010 at 10:07 am Link to this comment

Destiny?  Purification? Ideas based on religions.

Choice? Deciding between two or more alternatives.

Logical or inevitable results of choices?  An idea
  based on actual human experience/observation.

History?  The logical results of many years of  
  human experiences resulting from human choices.

Common sense?  Acting on the basis of observation
    of the results of history.

Morality:  The wise choice of alternatives.

Nutshell philosophy from an old nut.

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By teadrinker, April 10, 2010 at 8:54 am Link to this comment

Hey Samosamo: What does tuocha mean? Yes, I do drink tea.

To EHJ: Good thoughts btw. We really don’t know how Gore would have acted. Our challenge is how can we be focused enough in our actions to chip away at the Capitalistic edifice of America and really make it a Democracy. I write my Reps and get these B.S. form letters singing their own praises, but no action on what I ask for. Many people think ideas like Manifest Destiny are simplistic associations with our countries behavior and history. I didn’t write history I just see it. Our first power grab was the Native Peoples’s real estate, real cheap! Our very special American Holocaust. Then the Christian Missionaries preaching bullshit to the Natives People and punishing them for practicing their Medicine Way of life. The gov broke every treaty (a legal contract) Our gov demonstrates that it is not civilized. Hey, Christ said, “As ye sow, so shall ye reap.” I believe Christ is true but the Missionaries did not preach the Word of God. America will yet be purified by fire and conflict. Despite my bitterness, I do believe America has a better destiny ahead, following its purification.

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By EJH, April 10, 2010 at 8:04 am Link to this comment

DasBoot, April 10 at 10:46 am #

“Who among you would argue that America would have
responded in the exact same way after 9/11 if Al Gore
had claimed his election victory and become

There is no question Gore would have handled the
situation differently.  He likely would have done the
sort of thing that Clinton did during his time as
president when half a million Iraqi children died as
the result of sanctions and almost daily bombing in
the “no fly zone”.  Then people like you would not
have known about the American murders and could have
lived quite happily believing that your leaders were
good, moral people.  But the results would have been
basically the same—hundreds of thousands of
innocents dead and American power projected deep into
the Middle East. 

That is the whole point, Democrats differ from
Republicans only in style.  The problem is not the
party; the problem is America.

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By DasBoot, April 10, 2010 at 7:46 am Link to this comment

I agree with Scheer’s sentiment.

For all of you arguing over Hiroshima/Nagasaki, I highly recommend the book “Prompt and Utter Destruction” by Samuel Walker. It’s the most fair-minded, careful, scholarly book on the issue.

For those of you who argue that America is the problem and that it doesn’t make a difference who’s president: Have you heard Liz Cheney’s response to the treaty???

Who among you would argue that America would have responded in the exact same way after 9/11 if Al Gore had claimed his election victory and become president?

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By samosamo, April 10, 2010 at 4:17 am Link to this comment

By teadrinker, April 10 at 4:19 am

Looks like the msm… no the dumbstream media really have
their act down by disinforming, no information, fluff, celebrity
BS and the never ending empty stories and never ending year
long sports spectaculars that… well I gave up trying to find
substance in that.

By the way, what teas do you drink or do you even drink tea?


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By thebeerdoctor, April 10, 2010 at 1:46 am Link to this comment

Since this thread seems to be going on forever, I think it is best to consider the situation from a peoples perspective, rather than the same old tiresome idea of elite leadership being the ultimate arbiter of our collective fate. (Isn’t that in essence what A Peoples History Of The United States was all about? The late Howard Zinn could see the blindness of this “from the top down” approach, where Lincoln winds up being worshiped as a demigod, and the Atomic Terrorism committed against the civilians of Japan is simply seen as collateral damage, necessary to shorten the end of World War II.)
It might benefit us who are living, to remember what Kurt Vonnegut Jr. said about those first two incidents of the atomic terror era; where he could see how Hiroshima might have happened to see if the ‘gadget’ did actually work, but could not seen any reason for Nagasaki, other than a demonstration of ruthless terrorism, which of course is exactly what it was.
The recent pressure on Iran for their nuclear ambitions seems rather hollow when you consider that it is Israel, with its nuclear stockpile, that the U.S. refuses to officially acknowledge, which is the main reason for those ambitions in the first place. Back in time, in a galaxy far far away, that was called deterrence, via mutual assured destruction. So now any talk of a nuclear free Middle East, never includes the beloved U.S. ally Israel.

For those who think that pointing out these glaring contradictions is pessimistic, I would say that denial of these facts, is far more hopeless, where you consign the fates of the global majority to the whims of political trash.

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By teadrinker, April 10, 2010 at 1:19 am Link to this comment

A correction to the 2010 classified defense budget. In one post I mentioned 80 billion, which is incorrect and in another, 56 billion which is correct. Aviation Week’s Bill Sweetman, a longtime black-budget investigator, mentions that 2010’s classified defense budget is a three percent increase over last year’s total. Just remember, Mr. Sweetman and others are estimating. Often government auditors find the budget figures higher due to clever accounting, but by that time the trail is cold and some Joint-Chief of Staff mentions that, well, we made a mistake, which is a code word for you better not dig any deeper or heads (like some congressmen will not get re-elected etc.) will roll. The other side of the issue is that Americans are so divided on issues. An out of work autoworker from Michigan might have supported Bush and the war in Iraq, but not see the connection between how much money is being poured into the war effort (and out of the country) and our governments lack of focus on remedies for the domestic economy. That out-of-work individual from Michigan, a Republican, will get a part-time job that does not provide insurance (because of the law). At the same time, he will curse those Socialists who want health care for all Americans because Rush said so, not because he’s a thinking man. Does his family and children need health insurance? Yes, indeed. There is a connection between lack of education and the ability to make logical connections between ideas. His pastor at church and his community reinforce the ideals of the Rush’s of this society. People in power love this kind of division because it works to their advantage. I’m an independent voter, but I think our parties have become two sides of the same coin.

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By ofersince72, April 10, 2010 at 12:51 am Link to this comment

good feed on the subject


  scott horton interviews Dahr Jamail   07/Apr/10

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By samosamo, April 9, 2010 at 9:36 pm Link to this comment

By gerard, April 9 at 9:53 pm

I was born not long after that event and it wasn’t until in the last
15-20 years that I saw the documentary ‘Trinity and Beyond’,
that I saw the absurdity of this whole idea of atomic weapons,
much less lobbing them at other nations, to what end, surely the
radiation would render lands and natural resources
uninhabitable and unusable, so what is gained other than killing
off more and more people and creating less and less space
which does seem to be an insanity but we are humans and there
is a collective insanity that may just end it all for everybody.

And we have one or more of these contraptions, but imagine
and field artillery gun that lobs nuclear war heads over many
miles or mountain ranges, or the lunacy of a general close to
time of d-day who knew about the atom bombs or nuclear
device was supposedly quoted as ‘wished we had a couple of
those to soften up the beaches at normandie’. NUTS PURE NUTS.

And I don’t know how much this matters but I suspect that
russia has somehow remained a deterrent to a decision once
again using nukes to quickly settle things.

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By samosamo, April 9, 2010 at 9:20 pm Link to this comment

By teadrinker, April 9 at 10:52 pm
““So my conclusion is that sometime back in history, right
around the 60’s there was a bloodless military coup in the USA
and the NSA/CIA/Pentagon consolidated their power.”“

Sounds reasonable because Chalmers Johnson has already
stated that according to article 2 of the constitution, congress or
the government will provide and accountinf, for all monies
collected by the government, to the people. But since the
manhattan project that has not happened and more so every
year that comes around, and some accounting(budgets) are so
secret(military) that only a couple of congressmen are allowed to
see a little of it and under oath of secrecy which still everything
just keeps getting more and more secret ‘due to national
security’,  and that brings up a pretty much an infallible
possibility(I know mixed metaphor or something) of ‘skeletons
in the closet’ politics’ where everyone in the government knows
about some devious or criminal act perpetrated by someone
that keeps the one who knows from being fired or arrested
because the other one would get arrested, which could be
accurate and if so, what a domino effect if it all came at once,
but it really is watch each other’s backs or you could even wind
up dead.

Chalmers Johnson has that ‘Blowback’ trilogy with ‘Sorrows of
the Empire’ and ‘Nemesis: Last Days of the Empire’ which
Johnson is a very well place person to know of a lot of the
goings on in the government being an East Asia specialist on
particularly Japan and China and the whole of South East Asia.

I know, most have probably even read those books.

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By teadrinker, April 9, 2010 at 7:52 pm Link to this comment

Here’s an example of a practical idea:
Lets write our Representatives and link a Congressman’s investment portfolio to his voting record. Let’s ask for legislation that requires them to reveal this information for our Congressman. For example, if he’s invested in an insurance company, and he votes in favor of insurance companies on certain legislation, then we see conflict of interest. Or if he/she is voting on defense procurement contracts, we see a conflict of interest. After all, our Congressman are Public Servants who get very good insurance policies and a good retirement packages.

The crux of the problem is the gravy train defense budget. There’s the classified, so-called,Black Budget which is currently (2010) around $56 Billion dollars. You can see the fun facts at: If anybody wants to know what their doing, including our rubber stamp Intel Committees, the answer is we can’t say because of National Security Issues. So my conclusion is that sometime back in history, right around the 60’s there was a bloodless military coup in the USA and the NSA/CIA/Pentagon consolidated their power. Why do I conclude this? Even Truman wanted to break the CIA in two because they were not just gathering info for the President; they began carrying out covert operations. Truman wrote at least two op-ed pieces suggesting that the CIA be changed. Of course, now the CIA/NSA is directly involved with the Drones over Afghanistan. The military budget is a Sacred Cow and no Congressman in his right mind will really challenge it. 

I would be interested to see a public disclosure of each Congressman’s portfolio. It is true that defense related industries create jobs for many Americans, so this helps our economy. Is war good business? If you know what goes on between the military and private defense industries with regard to contract procurement, you would want to see,1. complete transparency because it’s our tax dollars, and 2. you would want it to be very competitive bidding to get the best quality for the lowest price.

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By EJH, April 9, 2010 at 7:39 pm Link to this comment

gerard - I do not care a bit about Obama or any other
politician.  The problems that concern me have
nothing to do with individual politicians or parties. 
From outside the US, party politics do not mean a
thing.  The problem is America. 

The Democrats are not better than the Republicans. 
They are the same, except for style.  The Republicans
are straightforward about wanting to dominate the
world.  They are easy to hate.  The Democrats put on
pretty smiles and tell us they are not interested in
world domination, and then they go out and, in a more
subtle and more difficult to criticize manner, rape
the world just the same.  The problem is America and
it goes back a lot farther than Hiroshima and
Nagasaki and the Tokyo firebombing.  Try the Monroe
Doctrine or the slave trade for starters.

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By ofersince72, April 9, 2010 at 7:26 pm Link to this comment

That argument doesn’t hold one bit of water Gerard..
Obama underestimated the damage done by republicans..
This has never been just a republican mess.

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By gerard, April 9, 2010 at 6:53 pm Link to this comment

I’ve been thinking:  For what it’s worth, many of you have cited again and again the fact that our country’s problems have been going on for a long time, recently intensifying.  Obviously we are reaching a critical point; we turn the corner on violence and exploitation, or we deteriorate, or ... something else unexpected happens which we never expected and can’t predict.
  I’m cracked on the enormous significance of our having dropped the A-bombs on Japan. That may well have been the beginning of our decline. Nothing as horribly immoral, and totally avoidable, has happened in history except (depending on points of view) Ghenghis Khan, the Crusades, Siberian prison camps, the Holocaust, and worldwide starvation and grinding poverty of millions in what we so glibly call “The Third World.” We have a heavy hand in most of this latter economic holocaust, and some here have pointed out this factor as a way of explaining what is happening to us now. I agree.
  I suppose it’s because I put so much weight on Hiroshima and Nagasaki (and firebombing Tokyo) as a turning point for the USA that I am glad Obama has at least begun to address nuclear weapons controls.
  But another aspect of our discussions has been the eagerness to criticize Obama for practically everything, on the basis that he promised this and that.  Setting aside the fact that campaigns are about promises, regrettably, my observations lead me to believe that Obama (along with most of us) underestimated the enormous damage done by Republicans and corporate power in the previous decades.  Only when the Obama administration actually began to try to unwind the problems did they begin to realize what they were facing.
  To get anything at all through the Senate they had to placate Republicans and this began the over-emphasis on “bipartisanship”, the conservative appointments, etc.  The Senate Republicans, realizing their inordinate power to defeat reform and avoid responsibility for Bush/Cheney, jumped on the situation, and right-wing obstructionism increased, the intent being to hamstring “liberal” change.
  Of course the wars in the Middle East were and are a huge mistake, but if I remember correctly only the pacifist minority objected strongly from the beginning. Even now, Conservatives and Democrats tend to favor war as a justifiable modus operandi of powerful nations, if this, and if that.
  I have to admit that I don’t concentrate on politics and there is much I don’t know.  Also, I go by the “feel” of situations, which probably sets guys crazy.  Anyhow, that’s my basis for judgments and it’s usually not too far off reality.

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By radson, April 9, 2010 at 5:52 pm Link to this comment

Hokahey, S.T ,Tabarnac!

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By T. A. Madison, April 9, 2010 at 5:17 pm Link to this comment

Are we really going to let cynicism hold sway over subtleties?  It is simply not good enough to walk away and with a shrug writing “All Presidents are the same since…” “I gave up after…” Something can always be done, however small the gesture. Each of us has something to contribute beginning with responsible speech and doing the least harm, if nothing else. It ought to be sobering to bring to mind that there are children who need our compassion and best judgments.  After all, what seeds do we plant and what do we weed?  It is unmistakable that the common good, fairness, and justice are nurtured in the way we share information and in the civility with which we agree and disagree.  When we emphasize shared values deeper than momentary disagreement, values like… life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness, we highlight that to have justice there are universal rights that we find a way to express in our own lives toward others.  Then due process has a personal meaning and we establish democratic ground where we express a kind of faith that if we site the Constitution, citizenship and Rule of Law, we strengthen it and that it is something to build upon and rally around together.

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By gerard, April 9, 2010 at 4:18 pm Link to this comment

1.  I’m not telling you.  I’m asking you.
2. Your online moniker tipped me off early on.
3.  However:  “If the youngsters are too brain-dead to take the country back, not my problem.” That’s sad.  I think you are underestimating yourself.  You owe the “youngsters” whatever you have to give, and my main point in following these lines is to try to combat the vast amount of defeatism expressed. For one thing, it is a drag on any drive toward a better world.  It’s an admission of irrelevance.  For another, it turns young people off. You never know where the next move will come from, or what strands of whose ideas and work went into it.  We never can see the whole picture.  You feel you didn’t succeed, (but because of lack of obvioius access to power) you assume the worst.
4.  It’s a choice, of course.  I understand fully your disappointment and anxiety—same as mine.
But I don’t want kids to be disabled by having to drag behind them the psychic and social weight of a bunch of disillusioned old cranks.
5. Tomorrow will come, and it will be made better or worse by the attitudes and actions of every living soul.  The entire universe is an implausible wonder, and every day offers thousands of miracles. Thing is, you can’t see them coming.  Be well.

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By ofersince72, April 9, 2010 at 3:26 pm Link to this comment


Thats all I care to be. If the youngsters are to brain
dead to take this country back, not my problem. If
jounalists like Sheer, Robinson etal, who know damn well
what the problem is and keep writing the trash they do,
it only makes for more fun.  I started informing people,
writing letters, informing Senators ect. about the C02
why back in the eighties , got laughed at and humiliated.
No more. It’s funny, funny stuff now except for carnage
that ur man Obama, Bush , Clinton, BushI, Reagon, Carter
Nixon, Johnson and Kennedy all contributed to.
Since we have passed the point of no return, I will have
fun with it, and hope I get a ton more slurs thrown at me.

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By ofersince72, April 9, 2010 at 3:06 pm Link to this comment

Gerard, I threw in the towell believing organizing,
sending money to well intentioned ogranizations, ect.
after the blow job impeachment.
I sent money to Common Cause for at least twenty years,
wrote meaningless letters to editor that usually got
published ect. (money controls polititcians more than ever
I am just out being obnoxious, and by the names that I
have been called, am doing a pretty good job.
This country is long lost, we gave it up years and years
ago.  What is comical to me, are those of my age that
blame everything on George Bush and the Repubs.
There is no taking our country back from the international
industrialists now.  The Democrats have proved this.
Tell me just how you believe Americans can vote themselves
out of this fascist state.  Grass roots Progressivism???

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By gerard, April 9, 2010 at 2:23 pm Link to this comment

Just to clear the air a bit—and I’ll stop with this:  I am not a supporter of any party.  I acknowledge the shortcomings and lack of action of Democrats, (promises unfulfilled, financial cheating, moral weakness, ignoring needs of ordinary people, corporate toadying, etc.),regret the powerlessness of third parties under the present system, and abhor the policies of Republicans.
  I support the right of anybody to say anything within the law. What I object to is constant bad-mouthing criticisms which do nothing but demoralize. They may relieve tensions, which is okay. But after a certain point they become repetitious and inane. 
  Broad understanding of serious problems, and organizing for peace and justice are more needed every day. At its best, criticism may indicate finely tuned political/historical knowledge, but it does not help people to find ways to move toward the liveable world that we all want, and which we see disappearing by the hour. It’s enough to create panic, but—panic is not a desireable place from which to act or in which to live.
  Articles appear on Truthdig and other sites every day that are worthy of judgments both from the standpoint of reasoning and emotional content. They often reveal specific issues in need of determined political actions.  The void is in regards to suggestioins of what could be done and how it could be done. If some of the invective could be turned into thinking, proposing new ideas, hopeful strategies—anything like that.  But just to bat invectives back and forth until the string is taken down—what’s the use?

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By Cole..., April 9, 2010 at 1:35 pm Link to this comment

Well Mestizo and Gerard—-
You two have his on the roots of the mess we are in, first Mestizo, you recognized that the DP for what it is but your answer was to jump to the sidelines. So y9u can sit there next to O’bama and yell ‘pathetic’. you can pick up your prize for ‘laudible recognition’  of the mess but let the mess perpetuate from inaction. 

Gerard, I don’t know how you can evaluate the item of ‘common sense’ and conclude that ‘ordinary’ people have it.

Common sense can guide you when you think of putting your hand on a hot stove burner but even ordinary folks often have to have a burn first.

The last election was decided by folks who fell for the election hype of electing Democrats who would put an end to the Govt which was billed as going in the wrong direction—it was expected that there would be ‘hope and change’—-we got burned.

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By Cole..., April 9, 2010 at 12:48 pm Link to this comment

The heading of Sheere’s piece—-
“Earning his Nobel Prize”—goes contrary to logic, if logic applies to anything a poitician does or says.

Used to be you had to be first across the finish line to ‘win’ the race, so O’bama ‘wins’ the Nobel twice. First time by just mentioning the word. Despite enlarging wars, by increasing funding for wars, despite applauding the virtues of ‘just’ wars, he didn’t have to even leave the starting block. Gosh why didn’t I think of that in high school track?
I wouldn’t have had to run four laps, break the string at the finish line, all I should have had to do is say “Win”.

Scond time O’bama gets the Nobel is not by ending the ‘nuclear’ threat but by mentioning a trivial reduction in earth killing potential and he still compromises even that by reserving the threat of dropping the ‘bomb’ on selective audiences and/or when the whim strikes him.

O’bama is a man in mental conflict. He knows that he can find the right words to justify anything. And he uses those words to not look into the misdeads of his beloved bush/cheney gang and to pick up his hard earned War is Peace prize—-he ran so hard to get it surely he can be allowed to sit out the race and watch form his seat of honor.

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By gerard, April 9, 2010 at 12:37 pm Link to this comment

FYI:  I am a woman, probably twice as old as most of you, who has been politically active, more or less, for sixty years, including the period of the development and the horrendous dropping of two A-bombs on Japan.  Quite probably, the overwhelming reason was merely “to see what would happen.”
  I’ve seen a lot of the good and the evil of this country and the world, and I still believe in the common sense and tenderness of ordinary people.  Their main problem is that (for a variety of reasons) they don’t, can’t or won’t organize for a better world until it is almost too late. 
  They like to blame others to avoid having to take action themselves, so things get very crazy because too much power is in the hands of too few people—and too many of those in power are short-sighted. Nevertheless, I have hope.

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By Mestizo Warrior, April 9, 2010 at 12:34 pm Link to this comment

How ridiculous some of the comments have become! Instead of reading and analyzing the comments, some people are trying to stereotype others because of their criticism of the Obama Administration. One has to wonder why some people are so attached to a political party that is almost as conservative as the Republican party? While the R’s see commies or terrorists under every rock, the dimwits from the DP jump on board as if not to be outdone or to show the RP we are as blind, red, white, blue and reactionary as YOU! How pathetic.

I for one am so glad that I severed my ties to the DP many years ago. They were bad then, and have only gotten worse!

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By T. A. Madison, April 9, 2010 at 10:05 am Link to this comment

“Well, my worst suspicions are confirmed.  Most of the comment on this line is coming from people who are actually right wing posing as lefties in order to give the impression that not only the right, but also the left is against (or more like, hates) Obama.”  I think that this comment by Gerard is relevant to what we see here and should be kept in mind as we review these contributions.

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By gerard, April 9, 2010 at 9:53 am Link to this comment

Hello, all.  Looks like I turned over a rock or something. Stuff to do.  More later.

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By independentthinker, April 9, 2010 at 9:24 am Link to this comment

There are too many factual errors in this post to even respond too. I would suggest Mr. Scheer spend some time in the library instead of the internet……………

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By samosamo, April 9, 2010 at 8:16 am Link to this comment


I wholeheartedly agree with you on the indigenous people and
what a piss poor way to treat them by almost total genocide,
throw them on reservations not like anything they were used to
and now about to pulverize the world as a last parting present
from the great white gods, but one has to figure in the race
factor and cut the crap about blacks and latinos, native
americans are more hated than the others by a long shot.


I am curious about this ‘quantity’ thing and have expressed it in
my comments by asking, ‘how do we know that anyone of the
card carrying members of nuclear weaponry are telling the truth
about what they/we have’, especially since americans are
verifiably a bunch of liars, most probably the russians too and
israel leads the pack of all liars. Besides it is supposed to be a
national security secret about the quantity.

So, they say they will ‘eliminate’ 1/3rd of the stockpiles, 1/3rd of
how much? Or, how much in your case of ‘30 times over’ would
that amount too? Or, should I assume that it will be down to ‘20
times over’?

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By samosamo, April 9, 2010 at 7:54 am Link to this comment

By EJH, April 9 at 4:21 am

o articulates so well and so patently perfect I feel sure it makes
some people think that what he says is absolute and that there
can be no repudiation of what he says, plus he is a politician
and they all love to hear themselves talk.

I also find it much like the institutional hospital food one gets
when hospitalized. Sometimes I think he tries to mimic James
Earl Jones’ deep bass vibrato but he’ll never get that good,
unless he keeps smoking them cigarettes.

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By teadrinker, April 9, 2010 at 7:20 am Link to this comment

Obama’s action may be a step in the right direction. However, there’s the next generation of EM type of weapon systems that are being phased in by both Russia and the US. These are not covered under the Geneva Convention. They can cause great destruction w/o the radioactivity. If people think it a fantasy, they will witness the reality of these weapons in future wars. It’s so sad to see America’s government with no moral compass. I think original native populations of indigenous peoples were more civilized because they had their mini societies with a local governments. Our developed governments enslave their populations and make the people fight their wars. People, demand from your Representatives to have the fat cut out of the military budget, especially the Black Operations Budget which is around 80 billion now. This is bleeding our nation.

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By thebeerdoctor, April 9, 2010 at 4:18 am Link to this comment

As someone who pays little attention to politics and foreign affairs said to me recently: The U.S. and Russia use to be able to blow up the world 60 times over, now that has been reduced to 30 times over.
There is no objection to this deal from this camp, but it would be helpful to remember that the “30 times over” is still firmly in place.
But what is much more troubling is the recent demands from the Pentagon to develop conventional missiles that can strike within an hour, anywhere in the world. Apparently President Obama is cool with that idea, which, according to the Washington Post, would cost $2 billion a piece, which according to them is “relatively cheap” in Pentagon standards.
One more question, for those who cling to the idea of BHO as the peace president, why is military spending, under his benevolent watch, been the highest ever in the history of this country?

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By Steve E, April 9, 2010 at 2:15 am Link to this comment

Getting back to this overhyped shell game that Barry and Emanuel have decided to
showcase with the Russians and all nations included in the floor show as they pay
homage, this could be, with everything considered, the beginning of the push to
invade Iran. Go back to Obama’s speech and realize he is banding nations
together regarding nuclear proliferation.

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By ofersince72, April 9, 2010 at 1:41 am Link to this comment

When I unload this property,  I am long gone tooooooo!
Too many see black being white and white being black,
and with media we have, that ain’t gonna change before
things get much worse.

Obama, that is one of the things that makes him so
dangerous,  he is one of the best at delivering a speech.
They are easy to read through the crap, however, so many
wanted to believe in him, they are forceing themselves
to, desperate trying to find something to believe in,
in this country.  It is really sad.
I do believe that some of the ones that endorsed him may
be coming to help, it seems Tavis Smiley and Dr. West are
starting to speak out a little.

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By EJH, April 9, 2010 at 1:21 am Link to this comment

ofersince72 - I had no idea gerard was a woman.  It
doesn’t much matter, but I will correct the vague
mental image I had been carrying of this gerard
character.  If you are aware of any other gender
issues on this thread, please let me know.  Thanks. 

By the way, I live in a faraway land and I rarely
watch television or listen to news radio (in English,
at least) and, as amazing as this may seem, I have
never heard Obama’s voice.  I have been told that he
is a very impressive speaker, but I have not heard
him.  I have read his words, though, and I must say I
have not been impressed.  From the beginning of his
campaign up until today, he has seemed to me to be
nothing more than an typical politician.  He has said
what many people have wanted to hear and he is a
good-looking guy, but his is no savior.

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By ofersince72, April 9, 2010 at 1:09 am Link to this comment

had me confused a while back

I believe she is good woman, just new to this
American Political Scene, or whatever you call this mess

Which is bad because Obama is such a handsome mutha
with a silver tongue….dazzels them women

But he has ICE WATER running through his veins.

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By ofersince72, April 9, 2010 at 12:32 am Link to this comment

As a lefty, I am damn right disgusted and sick to my
stomach for a long time
Desert Storm was lied about
the Food for Oil under Clinton, was lied about
500,000 lives lost, mostly children for lack of medicine
and food then blamed it on Iraq.
Lied to get in there again, 4,000,000 people displaced
at least 600,000 dead, poverty and unemployment all over
the country as we ship laborers there to build Taco Bells
(I know this for fact, have talked to Vets and contractors), permanent bases all the time while ratcheting up the devestation and war crimes in Afghanistan,  while piling on to our world’s largest
debtor nation debt, watching our cities crumble as we
privatize schools saying public education doesn’t work
after we starved it and underfunded it for years to
resource money for the industrialist’s wars all at the
same time that we destroyed our manufacturing jobs in this
country so that now we are completely dependent on war
to maintain what little economy we have now and give lip
service to clean drinking water while funding the most
poisonous agriculture system in the world,
But you don’t have to watch all the blood and guts thanks
to your friends at MSNBC.  No Gerard, you are the
right winger !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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By EJH, April 9, 2010 at 12:17 am Link to this comment

I was beginning to wonder when ofersince72 was going to
show up with onne of his multi-post jobbies and set
that gerard fellow straight.  Thanks, Dude.

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By ofersince72, April 9, 2010 at 12:14 am Link to this comment

I never took you to be that shallow Gerard,
if one doesn’t agree with Obama and the Dems then they
must be right wingers…

Obama and the Capitol Hill Dems are the right wing.

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By ofersince72, April 9, 2010 at 12:08 am Link to this comment

A few weeks ago that had a vote on the War Powers Act.

Obama’s and Bush’s policies won 356 to 65.

Gerard, with what you are supporting,
they might as well have given the
Nobel Peace Prize to
Bush and Cheney…..the same difference.

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By ofersince72, April 8, 2010 at 11:53 pm Link to this comment

As a lefty,  I value the Democracy Now news service.
Maybe you should revisit or visit their interview
with John Schell.  This was a very insignificant
signing with loads of media and industrialists present,
scoring undesrved political points for both presidents.
What more do you need to see of our president going
lock and step with all Bush policies to understand who
really has control of our government?

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By ofersince72, April 8, 2010 at 11:44 pm Link to this comment

Gerard, I will garantee you,  I have never voted for
any president right of McGovern.  I am sorry that you
view those that aren’t drinking the Obama and Democrat
Kool-Aid as right wing fanatics.

There are several issues that Russia and the U.S. are
in bed with. One, removing the Natural Gas and Petro
from the Caspian Sea, it has sparked all the violence in
Afghan for over twenty years.
After the fall of the Soviet Union, all Russia’s
resources were sold to international industrialist for
a song and a dance.
To you and many others, Obama is teflon. Not to this lefty

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By gerard, April 8, 2010 at 10:04 pm Link to this comment

Regarding nuclear proliferation, this is perhaps the most important life-and-death issue of our time.  For decades no American president has even dared to venture into this sticky wicket.
  Now when relations between the US and Russia have improved enough to talk sense, and before Israel goes wild and Iran gets their noses out of joint sufficiently to flex their muscles, what happens?  A modest reduction is actually achieved, and in spite of the fact that we will have to fight like crazy to get it through our own reactionary Senate in the near future, nine out of ten of these commentators insult Scheer, Obama and everyone else withint range as hoodwinked, stupid and/or cowardly. 
  It can’t be that, on the eve of the Senate battle, sincere “liberals” or whatever they are would so feed the right wing by viciously tearing into people who support Obama on this issue which has at least some potential for incremental advancement. 
  These people don’t realize the meaning of “nuclear holocaust.”  It’s just words to them.

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By samosamo, April 8, 2010 at 10:03 pm Link to this comment

By T. A. Madison, April 8 at 9:14 pm

Very good articulation of the sewage flowing through the
nations pigsty, just so happens 99% of it is criminal but hey
what the crap, those poor ‘elite’ wannabes need your and my
money more than you and me.

For curiosity here are some origins of, to me as it happens in
washington today, the criminal act of bribing an elected official:

As necessary as both links portend lobbying to be for my money
and MONEY is the key here, it has gone way past the boundary
of ‘ethical’ for the plain and simple reason that ‘do you as
average joe citizen have the resources to ‘influence’ your elected
representatives or any elected representative and not only that,
produce that coveted piece of legislation you wrote for them to
read(that is really a joke in on us citizens) and get it sent
through congress?

Even if you tried to produce the money, being a bidding game
now, you would have to keep raising the ante and perchance you
lose, do you thing congressman frick or frack would give your
money back?

No question, it is something that need redress, and NOW!!

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By gerard, April 8, 2010 at 9:35 pm Link to this comment

EJH:  I’m not paranoid—I’m disgusted!

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By EJH, April 8, 2010 at 8:15 pm Link to this comment

gerard - You sound paranoid.  There are plenty of
reasons for a non-conservative to criticize Obama.  Go
back and read through these comments more carefully and
you will find quite a few.

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By gerard, April 8, 2010 at 8:07 pm Link to this comment

What makes me suspicious?
Because so many of the comments are both abusive and lacking in common sense—two universal characteristics of right wing enthusiasts.

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By gerard, April 8, 2010 at 6:19 pm Link to this comment

Well, my worst suspicions are confirmed.  Most of the comment on this line is coming from people who are actually right wing posing as lefties in order to give the impression that not only the right, but also the left is against (or more like, hates) Obama.

That is a problem for comment columns like this where nobody signs his/her real name and therefore takes little or no respnsibility for what is said.
Therefore, comment is gradually reduced to nothing more than an opportunity to blow off meaningless steam.  Too bad.  Another missed opportunity to deal honestly and reasonably with one another.

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By T. A. Madison, April 8, 2010 at 6:14 pm Link to this comment

A wise man once told me, “politics is always about syndicates.”  OK, so you are President Obama for a day or month.  What are you going to do when everyone from Generals to Senators are making millions doing what they are doing, damn the collateral damage?  Do you say, “I am your President, your Commander in Chief. You must listen to me.  It’s the Law!”  How far do you think that would get you?  Everybody you consult, EVERYBODY, is going to say: “Make it worth my while.” These are Interest Groups, within the White House, within the Congress, among the Lobbyists and among all the groups and sub-groups of Nations, vested businesses and interest groups and the all so profitable “military interests”. So what would you do if you were President Obama?  What would you do when a score of the officials you tasked for a job ALL come back in boxes or when your Generals tell you Sorry just can’t do that…send me 30,000 more soldiers or we will have no more politically embarrassing “accidents”.

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By Hammond Eggs, April 8, 2010 at 5:44 pm Link to this comment

Scheer’s recent articles on Obama read like future prose that some standard corrupt, chickenshit bourgois liberal will write about the Obama presidency. It will take a Bill Hicks or a Hunter Thompson to tell the truth.

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By Bill Owen, April 8, 2010 at 4:36 pm Link to this comment

Can Robert Scheer actually be so naive as to write this kind of fatuous nonsense? No, I don’t think so. I don’t care what his motivation is, but only a schoolgirl writing for her high school newspaper could be this uninformed and credulous.

Earned his peace prize for weapons modernization program did he?

Does he lose it for reversing his Domestic Assassination Program? No of course not, that wouldn’t be pragmatic would it. Palin might get in and do REALLY bad stuff, like starting a Domestic Assassination Program.

Call us when your alarm goes off Bobby.

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By ofersince72, April 8, 2010 at 4:18 pm Link to this comment

Signing a treaty to end Nuclear weapons while you
are still building and updating others…still doesn’t
hold much water to me, call me left, right or anything

It is the Centrists that is doing all the damage and
causing all the resource wars.
I also still don’t believe they should hand the   Nobel prize and say, “now go earn it”.

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By radson, April 8, 2010 at 3:45 pm Link to this comment

Robert Scheer

The START of common sense is long overdue and the possibility of reducing tensions and anxiety also .The ‘first use ’ of Nuclear Weapons against a conventionally armed opponent who complies to the Non Proliferation Treaty is meant to ‘mean’ what ?Does it mean that the USA will no longer threaten with Nuclear blackmail ,nations that never had these weapons to begin with.I must agree with you on the
intentional nonsense that was promoted by Bush and his clique with regards to Iraq and the lack-of WMD witch STARTED the infamous war .Harry Truman and his Japanese ‘dart game ’ will forever remain
controversial in the annuls of Humanity or lack there of ;it is no doubt an act of mass murder ,however ,your mention of Iran with North Korea in the same sentence is rather ill-founded -with regards to Hiroshima and Nagasaki-.First of all because neither has committed such a crime and North Korea may posses a nuclear device and Iran does not ,as far as reported ,but then again it could amount to a valid question.America is not alone in developing these ‘repugnant weapons ’ and since when is the US the moral ‘voice ’ in their propagation -somehow India ,Israel and Pakistan -come to mind .The NBC weapons clumped together do lead
to a serious mixture of insanity and making a distinction between them is an important step ,although any of the three are heinous in their own right.A reduction in Nuclear Weapons should be implemented to
‘reduce ’ the threat to mankind and not redirect tensions in a far fangled ‘missile defense shield’ especially in someone else’s country,Pres. Ray-gun supported SDI ,yet President Obama is promoting a defense shield in Europe ;something that Dubya called the other Europe,but against whom?There is no ‘luxury’ in Nuclear Weapon use ,however small they may be ,whatever Henry thinks ,the problem is in the Military ‘lingo’ ,where tactical becomes a normality to achieve a decisive conclusion however abhorrent it may be.John McCain and his choice of words are nothing less than ‘gun boat diplomacy’ and a promotion of the
Status Quo ,which all Nations should take seriously.Although I agree with your assessment that the opposition will be fiercely countering President Obama ,there may be some positive aspects to the debate with
regards as to who these people are -let them display themselves-.The world is a witness to ‘Unipolarity’ it has proven to be a Bloody Expensive and up to now a conclusive Failure ,the rise of a multi -polar world
is in the process of taking shape as we speak and accountability is going to be on the agenda ;even if Yankee Bankers forgot how to count .

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By Pepe, April 8, 2010 at 12:55 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

I applaude Obama’s efforts in this and agree with most of Scheer’s article.  But the left wing nonsense I read in the comments here is nauseating, and frankly, stupid.  Right wingers are utter fools, but left wingers are totally silly. 

Fine, left wingers, rail against this treaty, undercut public support for it, and therefore give cover to the right wingers in the senate to vote down the treaty (which requires 67 votes for ratification).  Go ahead and cut your nose off to spite your face.

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By Flummox, April 8, 2010 at 11:28 am Link to this comment

Hooray, Barak “Assassination Program” Obama takes a few nukes off the table.

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By MeHere, April 8, 2010 at 9:54 am Link to this comment

I wish R. Scheer had addressed the issue of credibility which is central to any
agreements and commitments. I also wish Obama had addressed it as
well. US foreign policy is known for the disregard of commitments whenever it’s
convenient. Why should anyone believe that this is meaningful, or that it is a step
forward?  First show us that there is policy we can trust. If you can’t do that, don’t
waste taxpayer money with 150 meetings and the costs that are involved. The last
thing we need is peace propaganda from Obama.

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By Night-Gaunt, April 8, 2010 at 9:51 am Link to this comment

Well Mr. Scheer don’t forget the knee jerk supporters of Obama too. This is a small, very small action about 13% of stockpiles. But just how active are they? Are they on missiles or rotting in bunkers? Obama is carrying on like what Clinton did in the interim between obvious fascists in office since 1980. They are bridge presidents that look nicer but still have hearts of stone. What the obvious ones would have more trouble passing, the fake liberals can. Wake up and see the shit that smells like roses! Its in a different package but acts mostly the same. So even if the poison has sugar in it it will still kill you in the end won’t it?

Even after 2013 all troops will not come back from Iraq. A caretaker garrison (under another name and at least 50,000) will be there to make sure Iraq tows the line of its Master. The same with Afghanistan. Then on to Somalia, Pakistan and Yemen. Military evangelicalization of the earth one country at a time.

I agree that we need to press Obama to go even farther because as long as there are so many nukes we could end the world as we know it. Cormak Macarthy‘s “The Road” is a good example, even if it wasn’t caused by such the depictions are mostly the same. Just it would be more dangerously radioactive.

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By ofersince72, April 8, 2010 at 4:25 am Link to this comment

Mr. Sheer , here is another thought should be discussed

Since the corpostocracy controls all the media, they aren’t going to let anything that might ching their
armor out on mainstream, or let anything at might infringe upon their power   SO…................

I can go to anybody in the streets and just about
everyone knows or has heard of Kristol, Limbaugh, Hanitty
Beck and so on and so forth…Believe me,  if they offered
any threat to the status quo, nobody would know thier
names or have heard their spewings.  So, you know they are
of no threat to the powers that be…BUT….....

On the other side of the equation, other than the
bloggosphere…..NO ONE…has ever heard of Zinn, Chomsky
Cockburn, Klien, Goodman, Parenti and so on ans so fourth.
So the Powers that be know who the threat to their power
comes from…
Everyone always spews,  well Limbaugh gets such good
ratings, thats why….Believe me, if the powere elites
felt threatened by him, he would have never been allowed
on radio.  You know this as well as I do Mr. Sheer.
It isn’t a question of ratings, it’s is a question of
what is a threat to the power of the corpostacracy.
Same with the Tea Bag movement.  A Protest of 2000,
allowed to protest where no anti-war protesters are
allowed, and maybe 1/10 of the numbers, given all
the media attention they wanted, while the anti-war
protesters were , for all intent, completly ignored.
You know why as well as I know why,  The powers that be
do not see the tea baggers as any threat to their power.

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By Ben, April 8, 2010 at 3:44 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Your authority on the topic is shot with this line: Whereas his predecessor
succeeded only in eliminating the nonexistent Iraqi nukes, this president has
forged a treaty with the Russians that will reduce the world’s supply of the
devil’s weapons by one-third.

Bush signed the Moscow Treaty in 2002 that included significant reductions in
nuclear arsenals. See

While not a perfect treaty, no treaty in this area is. They are all statements of
intent, and all preserve the strategic status quo through MAD.

To judge this policy on whether he is your “peace president” that you hoped is

The real test of the new Obama policy will be whether Japan, in particular, still
consider the US nuclear umbrella to be a strategic reality, or whether they
should develop their own strategic deterrence capabilities. 

Another will be what Obama really means by his pledge that he will not tolerate
a nuclear Iran. Grammatically, that means he will do whatever it would take to
prevent that. His actions, however, don’t seem to back that up.

If Iran becomes nuclear capable, then all these statements about a nuclear free
future will be beyond fantasy. Nothing would stop Saudi going nuclear, then all
bets are off.

A policy failure of that magnitude would take generations to overcome.

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By ofersince72, April 8, 2010 at 3:32 am Link to this comment

Mr. Sheer
We cannot forget to mention this…

The Nobel Piece prize is supposed to be earned
BEFORE they give it to you…..

For them to give it to him and then say go earn it
shows just what the meaning of a Nobel Laureate
has become…..It’s like a cell phone commercial..
or Glossy Tom Hanks movie, or a trip to Disney World,
or like the mags you see at the check out counter.

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By Paul_GA, April 8, 2010 at 3:16 am Link to this comment

To be sure, I voted Libertarian myself in 2008; I’m disappointed but not surprised at what’s become of this country since a man who promised change entered the Oval Office and promptly became a model of remarkable continuity instead. Well, as long as the Repubs and the Demos have a death grip on politics in this country, continuity is what we’re going to get ... until the day the Empire falls.

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By kulu, April 8, 2010 at 12:46 am Link to this comment

I hope Sheer reads the comments generated by his own article or does not himself really believe what he has written because it is naive to expect any real progress from a man who has demonstrated his unwillingness to take any risk at all to advance a progressive agenda.

I stopped believing in Obama’s promise a long time ago when he announced his first appointments to important positions in his administration. I still keep hoping for some significant change in direction (What else can you do?) but see no evidence of it at all… none.

Words are not enough I’m afraid; would that they were for then the US could be well on its way to a better and more sustainable future for itself and the world would be a much safer place for everybody.

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By EJH, April 8, 2010 at 12:09 am Link to this comment

Very well said, Doctor.

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By thebeerdoctor, April 7, 2010 at 11:31 pm Link to this comment

There is desperation in Robert Scheer’s call to applaud President Obama. As Bill Owen and boston blackie and others have pointed out, the reality of his actions must be denied in order to secure their stubborn belief (call it blind faith) that Barry is indeed better than George W.
Both wings of the political agenda agree on one thing, and that is the United States government has the right and duty to tell other people and nations what to do. Thus we have “the right wars” and in the case of our present POTUS, the right assassination targets. That is why, when it comes to making a case for humanity, both left and right positions are totally useless. The Neocon believes in the fist, the Neoliberal believes in covering that fist with a glove. But when push comes to shove, its the same jack-booted reality. Both sides believe it is perfectly acceptable to murder for gasoline. Euphemisms such as “strategic interests” barely disguise the brutal nature of such behavior.
In one sense the United States deserves President Obama. He is a continuation of a long line that represent U.S. government demands, with all of its narcissistic hypocrisy.

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By rjg1971, April 7, 2010 at 11:26 pm Link to this comment

I just got done watching Robert Gates state the “all
options are on the table” threat to Iran and North
Korea on Democracy Now!. So how is this a change in
policy? If it was a change in policy then there
wouldn’t be an “in compliance” quid pro qualification
for a country that doesn’t have nukes, like Iran.

Anybody hailing this as a “change” in policy is
setting a really low bar for Obama.

Come on Sheer, don’t be drinking the Hope-a-Dope

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By GoyToy, April 7, 2010 at 10:10 pm Link to this comment

Sheer madness.

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By dennis, April 7, 2010 at 9:07 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Are you insane? He’s more bloodthirsty than Bush.

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By EJH, April 7, 2010 at 8:56 pm Link to this comment

Inherit The Wind - “I’m always amazed that while
extreme Lefties vehemently dislike Republican
Presidents, they actively HATE with a fanatic’s
passion all Democratic Presidents.”

The Democrats are not a liberal party.  They do not
represent the “lefties”.  “Lefties” criticize
conservative and nationalistic behavior, of which
both parties are guilty.  The only liberal options
are small, inconsequential third parties.  Americans
are mostly conservative and nationalistic, so they
elect the two parties that speak for them.  I, as a
“leftie”, support neither party and will continue to
criticize American policies I do not agree with,
regardless of the party affiliation of the president.

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By Inherit The Wind, April 7, 2010 at 8:42 pm Link to this comment

gerard, April 7 at 9:35 pm #

Please consider this:  Taking one more in a series of successive steps toward eliminating nuclear weapons is also a first step toward bringing an end of that vicious belief in American “exceptionalism”  which no President to date has dared face up to.
  That we are the only reliable (strongest, bravest, freest, best etc.) nation in the world and “deserve” to police everybody else, using the threat of nukes to intimidate them is very dangerous nonsense.
  This piece of Cold War blackmail was a farce from the beginning, and we are fortunate that the baseless assertion was never put to the test! Continuing to insist upon it makes us look pretty silly to less naive and self-indulgent people.
  If our children are to grow up in a liveable world, we are going to have to “join the human race” and stop risking the future of human existence by insisting upon this overblown fantasy of “special dispensation.”  To continue such national egotism is a delusion of grandeur, nothing else.  It is embarrassing and fatuous.
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Gerard: Your point is reasoned, supported and difficult to rationally discount.  Therefore it will be ignored by all the fanatics here, ruled by emotion a herd mentality.

Didn’t ANYONE notice that the policy has been discarded that ALL WMDs are equal?  IE: A Nuke= a Chem weapon= a Bio weapon.  Obama has changed that and made Nukes a SEPARATE category. Nobody noticed that.

I’m always amazed that while extreme Lefties vehemently dislike Republican Presidents, they actively HATE with a fanatic’s passion all Democratic Presidents.

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By Steve E, April 7, 2010 at 8:29 pm Link to this comment

It truly makes me wonder how crap writing that Scheer has put forward gets on
Truthdig. ” President Obama should be applauded ” please give me a break!

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By faith, April 7, 2010 at 7:29 pm Link to this comment

Well stated, Gerard ! 

May I also include a subnote to Mr. Scheer concerning the “peace seeking” of our
President.  We are borrowing billions from China so that we can send our sons and
daughters to the middle east to face great risk and unnecessary harm.  Why?  It is
an illegal action brought about by the former president and congress.  It is simply
to line the pockets of the war profiteers.  To make matters worse, Obama has said
that he will bring our troops home in 2013, a year before the next presidential
elections.  That is the most cynical and egregious statement that I think the
president every made.  He may be an intelligent man, but what we need is
integrity and true concern for the people.  Obama is not displaying this.
1- his behind doors negotiation with big pharmaceuticals
2- expanding the war in Afghanistan and most likely Pakistan

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By gerard, April 7, 2010 at 6:35 pm Link to this comment

Please consider this:  Taking one more in a series of successive steps toward eliminating nuclear weapons is also a first step toward bringing an end of that vicious belief in American “exceptionalism”  which no President to date has dared face up to.
  That we are the only reliable (strongest, bravest, freest, best etc.) nation in the world and “deserve” to police everybody else, using the threat of nukes to intimidate them is very dangerous nonsense.
  This piece of Cold War blackmail was a farce from the beginning, and we are fortunate that the baseless assertion was never put to the test! Continuing to insist upon it makes us look pretty silly to less naive and self-indulgent people.
  If our children are to grow up in a liveable world, we are going to have to “join the human race” and stop risking the future of human existence by insisting upon this overblown fantasy of “special dispensation.”  To continue such national egotism is a delusion of grandeur, nothing else.  It is embarrassing and fatuous.

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By Attu, April 7, 2010 at 6:19 pm Link to this comment

Obama will only earn his Nobel Peace Prize when he ends the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan!!

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By ofersince72, April 7, 2010 at 6:06 pm Link to this comment
a video lecture, Peter Joseph 05/Apr/10 in NYCity
the 2005 , Citigroup memo about 30min into lecture
should be heard by all

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By samosamo, April 7, 2010 at 6:06 pm Link to this comment

Since the government has broken the public’s trust and stopped
confiding about matters of such urgency, and now any matters
at all that would harm their corporate handlers, how is anything
about nuclear weapons verifiably true besides when one of those
weapons is used for whatever reason?

How is it true with any ‘nuclear-ized’ nation?

This is how it is has historically been ever since humans became
the societies and nations that we are, there is always the
esoteric(secrects) information that is for only the elite, the
privileged, the aristocracy or the government or military versus
the exoteric which is casual information for the public, but don’t
ever think that ‘casual’ information is not harmful, especially
when certain individuals, groups or institutions want to ‘market’
your mind for their own greedy reasons.

And now we have to deal with a president of messianic
magnitude who is a confirmed liar just as his predecessors were
and all of them were counted on NOT to hold to his promises
when installed to office and o is not a bit different.

So what is o’s deal now besides trying to score points in the
2010 election for who knows who and what and surely for the
2012 presidential prize where he would have had to do a really
big turn around in the way his uses this country which for now
is for his corporate handlers with just a little over 2 years to go
to work for the people, so just some more ‘happy talk’ or as the
msm crowd loves so much, the ‘happy news’.

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By rjg1971, April 7, 2010 at 5:51 pm Link to this comment

They claim they aren’t going to be threatening the
use of nuclear weapons that “comply” with the non-
proliferation treaty. All they have to do is cook up
a bunch a lies like they did with Iraq and use that
the attack Iran. I must have heard a different press
conference announcing this policy because I heard one
of Obama’s lackey’s threatening Iran with the “all
options are on the table” threat. Never mind that
India, Pakistan and Israel actually have nuclear
weapons and haven’t even signed the non-proliferation

So this is the silver lining we’ve been looking for
from Obama? Give me a break.

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By Bruce Flitt, April 7, 2010 at 5:38 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)


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By faith, April 7, 2010 at 5:22 pm Link to this comment

Mr. Scheer, it is a wonderful thing that there is movement by our sitting president
to reduce and minimize nuclear bombs.  However, it would be prudent for all
those supporting President Obama (yes I worked on his campaign, and yes, I am
very disappointed in him) to view Dean Kagan’s interviews located on the Colbert
Report and CNN.  The fact that this president continues to expand and engage in
war in Afghanistan, and yes, Iraq is beyond appalling.  The fact that we continually
lose young men and women to war, on both sides is unacceptable.  And, sir, it is
this president that is continuing the outrage, the illicit wars.  Shameful.  The fact
that Mr. Kagan has been commissioned by DARPA to attempt to provide our
wounded with biomechanical prosthesis because there are so very many of them,
further proves my point.  The president has “unclean hands”.  He is unworthy of
the Nobel Peace Prize.  He has embarrassed us all.

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