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Gravel’s Lament: Fighting Another Dumb War

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Posted on Dec 13, 2009
Collage: Gravel photo from Flickr / Center for American Progress Action Fund

By Chris Hedges

(Page 2)

“The first time I met him I felt there was arrogance with a touch of cynicism,” Gravel said of the president. “Now the cynicism and the arrogance have overwhelmed his intelligence. Like Clinton, he is into power.”

Gravel’s shining moment as a politician occurred in 1971 when Daniel Ellsberg, a military analyst, handed the secret Pentagon Papers to The New York Times. The newspaper published portions of the document, which painted a picture of a failing war at odds with official pronouncements. The Justice Department swiftly blocked further publication and moved to punish newspaper publishers who revealed its contents. Gravel responded by reading large portions of the Pentagon Papers into the Congressional Record. His courageous public release of the papers made it possible for the publication to resume. Gravel also launched in 1971 a one-man five-month filibuster to end the peacetime military draft, forcing the Nixon administration to cut a deal that allowed the draft to expire in 1973. He was a feisty and blunt candidate in 2008 who lambasted the Democratic Party and its major candidates for being in the service of corporations, especially the arms industry. His outspokenness saw him banned by the Democratic leadership from later primary debates.

“Obama has wasted an opportunity to be a great president,” Gravel lamented. “More than 50 percent of the American people do not buy into this war. He could have stood up and said ‘we are getting out.’ Forget the Congress. Forget the Republicans. Forget the hawks. Forget mainstream media, including The New York Times and The Washington Post, which are hawks. He would have weathered that storm because he would have had the American people on his side. And what did he do? He caved in to the leadership of [David] Petraeus and [Stanley A.] McChrystal and adopted a scenario that is a total loser.”

“When he hugs his children at night, when he puts them to bed, he has got to begin to think there are little girls like this in Afghanistan who are being killed and maimed,” Gravel told me. “If he can’t have that kind of a thought then his arrogance knows no boundaries. I saw this in the Senate during the Vietnam War. People detach themselves from the immediacy of the crime. They vote for the money. They vote for the policy. The picture of people dying is distant. My God, if you are sitting next to me and a bomb explodes and your arm is ripped off that is not distant. It is immediate. I saw the film by Robert Greenwald, “Rethink Afghanistan.” It rips your heart out. And America under the leadership of Obama is a party to this crime. Close your eyes. Listen to the media. Listen to the pundits. Listen to the rhetoric. It is Vietnam all over again. What is the difference between our vital interests and the domino theory? We could leave Afghanistan and it would be as significant as when we left Vietnam.”

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“Don’t be hoodwinked by Obama going to Dover [Air Force Base] to watch the caskets or going to Arlington to salute the graves, with his snappy salute,” Gravel says. “Adolf Hitler lionized soldiers dying. This is the old idea that it is honorable to die. It is not honorable to die in vain. People died in vain in Vietnam. They are dying in vain in Iraq and Afghanistan. And more people will die in vain because of the leadership of Barack Obama.”

“They don’t hate us because we are free,” Gravel said of the insurgents in Iraq and Afghanistan. “They hate us because we are killing them.”

Chris Hedges, whose column is published on Truthdig every Monday, spent two decades as a foreign reporter covering wars in Latin America, Africa, Europe and the Middle East. He has written nine books, including “Empire of Illusion: The End of Literacy and the Triumph of Spectacle” (2009) and “War Is a Force That Gives Us Meaning” (2003).


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By JINX, January 22, 2010 at 12:58 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Let’s put to rest the claim that Nader lost the presidency for Gore.  Gore lost it. 
He did not even win Tennessee, his home state and when the ‘hanging chad’ vote
in Florida was contested, Gore and the Democrats rolled over and allowed the
Supreme Court to decide the election.

This was a coup d’état, pure and simple.

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By ardee, January 3, 2010 at 10:04 am Link to this comment

JDmysticDJ, January 2 at 3:21 pm

Though we differ as to the effectiveness of or even the necessity of a Nader in todays politics we do agree about the lack of worth of ed-tru-lib.

One will have to settle for that.

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By mandinka, January 2, 2010 at 10:07 pm Link to this comment

deaddite, great add from a lib, I bet you spent hours proofing it

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By DieDaily, January 2, 2010 at 7:46 pm Link to this comment

Ah ha, mandika, your desperation is right there all over your shirt! Get a napkin!

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By mandinka, January 2, 2010 at 6:52 pm Link to this comment

Mike gavel was at a protest with a real full house Cynthia McKinney, nader, kucninch and gavel!!! There isn’t a 100 IQ if you added them all together. Bet they were brought there on the short school bus so they wouldn’t get lost or McKinney didn’t start another racial fight.
According to Maurice he was in the inside of military planning and strategy except he served in Germany rather than in a combat zone Korea. As he said you don’t have to go into the military to see how incompetent it is but everyone one knows that quotas and politics are the feeding grounds on crooks and thieves.
I’d take 1 military man over the 535 in Congress and the 2 boobs in the WH

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By ed_tru_lib, January 2, 2010 at 6:37 pm Link to this comment

Uh…make that “another”-under lol, as in 6 feet of nadernut votes burying freedom forever, after an ardee & jdgen - supported nader “campaign” elects Pres Palin.

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By ed_tru_lib, January 2, 2010 at 6:25 pm Link to this comment

Sorry JDgenerate-don’t beleive you’re not a nadernut. ANYONE who thinks a pathetic, untested by actual work, babbling traitor to all he once claimed to stand for like lil ralph, would have made things better if he “had been successful in his jousting” isn’t just a nadernut, but a pathetic lil ardee. Sorry to be SO critical but geez dude, we’ve already caught you in ONE lie-sure this isn’t a 2nd post another an assumed name?

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By JDmysticDJ, January 2, 2010 at 11:21 am Link to this comment

ed_tru_lib

Thank you for your expression of “xmas spirit.” It reveals a previously un-discernable good will.

However, your comment causes me, paying tribute to Ardee’s cogent assessment of you, to believe that my initial assessment of you was more to the point.

Your dumbness is illustrated by your assessment of Ardee and me on several counts. Let me just focus on your most obvious dumbness. You said in reference to me, “…he is obviously as blindly stupid a nadernut as ardee.” Only a person suffering from the afore mentioned dumbness, would make such a statement, without any evidence to support it.

In reality, I am not a “Nadernut.” I am in fact, an antinadernut.

Although there is much to be admired about Mr. Nader, I believe his Quixote like jousting did much harm to our nation. I believe our nation could have avoided much of our current difficulties if Mr. Nader had not insisted on pursuing his futile jousting. (In deference to Nader supporters, let me put forth another belief. Our nation would have also avoided our current difficulties if Mr. Nader would have been successful in his jousting.)

In the spirit of the New Year, let me offer you this salutation. Happy New Year! Dumbass!

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By Horatio (Rach) Green, December 29, 2009 at 5:48 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

it is at least clear to me that our President understands the intractable situations in which our world and the United States are sometimes confronted. I feel this country is blessed with a leader who is not a warrior and war hawk, and pragmatically understands that a more attainable peace is not based on a sudden revolution in human nature but on a gradual evolution in human institutions. After all, the attainment of peace is a process.

With all due respect for Chris Hedges’s and Mike Gravel’s antiwar stance, nevertheless, articles of this ilk do nothing to ameliorate our real world situation nor do they beneficially contribute in anyway to the conversation or advancement of a lasting peace.

continue reading: http://horatio1937.blogspot.com/

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By ardee, December 27, 2009 at 3:44 am Link to this comment

I wonder which is worse, naderite or naderphobe?

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By ardee, December 26, 2009 at 3:56 pm Link to this comment

So,ed_tru_lib, December 26 at 7:02 pm, are you enjoying your xmas vacation from midle school?

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By ed_tru_lib, December 26, 2009 at 3:02 pm Link to this comment

In the spirit of xmas, no need to say anything more about mysticdejenerate than that he is obviously as blindly stupid a nadernut as ardee. Is he as pathetically gutless too?-well I guess if we gave a shit we could make an effort to find out. 2 words that define ardee and his hopeless stupidity/cowardice—New Hampshire

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By ardee, December 26, 2009 at 8:16 am Link to this comment

JDmysticDJ, December 26 at 11:37 am

Apology unnecessary, certainly no intrusion whatsoever.

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By JDmysticDJ, December 26, 2009 at 7:37 am Link to this comment

Ardee

I will accede to your clearly more cogent, and genteel assessment of ed_tru_lib.

Again, please forgive the intrusion.

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By ardee, December 26, 2009 at 4:56 am Link to this comment

JDmysticDJ, December 25 at 7:46 pm

hee

Sadly I think that execrable poster isnt dumb. Irrational, certainly, distorter of fact to support an opinion, absolutely. Short tempered and rather shallow in his response to the contrary opinion of the more sane and rational among us, yup again.

Dumb would be an excuse for his crap after all. I was just trying to be polite….wink

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By JDmysticDJ, December 25, 2009 at 3:46 pm Link to this comment

Ardee

Forgive me for intruding, and being critical, but I think your assessment of ed_tru_lib is much too gracious. When you call ed_tru_lib a “pompous arrogant ass” it implies that ed_tru_lib has some qualities worth being pompous and arrogant about.

I think your assessment would have been much more to the point, if you had dropped the words pompous and arrogant from your assessment, and replaced them with the word dumb.

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By Wolfgang Peter May, December 19, 2009 at 12:22 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

YES!! There WILL be “Change We Can Believe In”, but Obama will NOT consciously be its benevolent purveyor: When I served as Advisory Team Leader in Vietnam, I saw that change in our armed forces, and it was NOT a pretty sight: In my last assignment, outside the huge perimeter of the 25th Infantry Division near Cu Chi, my combined American and Vietnamese ambushes constantly received automatic weapons fire from the drugged-out base-camp “defenders”, until I promised them, through a land-line I had one of our helicopters install from their command bunker to my location, so that I could promise these idiots that I would destroy these guilty morons by engaging them with a stash of enemy RPG ammunition I had in my possession.
Though these soldiers were morons, they did get the message! You will find that documentation on my web site, together with my firm belief AGAINST all wars, and I have just completed a book, which will shortly be released by Trafford.

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By mandinka, December 18, 2009 at 8:43 am Link to this comment

i love the qualifiers that Hedges spout to increase his bonifides as if he some sort of combat warrior. Just because you clim that your a experienced in war fighting and the combat arms doesn’t make it so.
Better that he should have started his article stating he’s a pacifist and anti war and a life member of Amnesty International

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By ardee, December 17, 2009 at 5:25 pm Link to this comment

I think there is a major difference between condemning the govt of Israel for its horrific actions towards the Palestinian people, and for sixty years and counting, and the belief that Israel runs the USA.

Certainly there are powerful voices in favor of allowing Israel to continue its genocidal policies, both within and without our government. But some of those voices are fundamentalist Christians seeking to hasten the end times, some are indeed American Jews so enamored of a homeland for Jewry that they turn a blind eye to the wrong that nation commits. Some are also weapons manufacturers who seek to increase the billions we give Israel in said commodity.

Israel has enjoyed a strategic value as a tool of American Imperialism in the Middle East and thus may exert more influence than a nation of 5313800 should over one whose population is 308173924. But this tail wagging the dog scenario lends itself to wackos and haters far, far too easily.

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By berniem, December 17, 2009 at 4:01 pm Link to this comment

Mankind began it’s devolution with the discovery of fire. The realization that one could cook and preserve was followed immediately by the notion of burning and destruction.

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By omop, December 17, 2009 at 3:41 pm Link to this comment

DieDaily.

You might want to check CounterPunch’s article by Roberts.

  http://www.counterpunch.org/roberts12142009.html

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By Garo, December 17, 2009 at 2:36 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

To: ed-tru-lib

Hay Buster,

you are not good enough to polish Ralph Nader’s Shoes.

Stop the crap of name calling of public figures like Nader who has dedicated his entire life for serving the average American consumers by forcing big corporations to abide by the laws of the land.

Shame on you,ed-tru-lib.

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By DieDaily, December 17, 2009 at 1:51 pm Link to this comment

ed_tru_lib, trolling on behalf of Zionism only helps generate more needed discussion on the issue of AIPACs almost absolute control of our nation and the genocide against the Palestinian Semites—especially with so much ad hominem in the mix. Keep it up! We love it! People are really, really talking about it a lot now, so much so that AIPAC cannot possibly dispatch enough assassins, thugs, media whores, and career litigators to quell even 1% of the truth speakers. That’s a first! We are indeed waking up to Zionist fascism! Mostly thanks to folks like you ed_tru_lib!

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By ardee, December 17, 2009 at 1:45 pm Link to this comment

ed_tru_lib, December 17 at 4:29 pm

You are apparently nothing more than a pompous arrogant ass with nothing to contribute but diatribe. Why bother embarrassing yourself in this fashion? Do you honestly think anyone cares about your assessments of others?

Have you anything of a political nature to offer?

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By ed_tru_lib, December 17, 2009 at 12:29 pm Link to this comment

Always fun to listen to brainless people call others merely brainwashed. Israel will always prevail over evil Truedigger, even when its a little evil, by necessity, at times itself. Ya know, kind of like mother’s milk occasionally causing a baby to die before they knew it was lactose-intolerant. Like Zionism, it’s still mother’s milk to NORMAL kids.

Ardee-has no facts to respond with and so never responds, other than to repeat himself and indignantly accuse others of doing what he does, stating groundless (and in his case brainless) opinion as fact, much like most grand-children I know, at least the ones still in daycare.

Wildhack-sorry no kudos for anyone who says the kids in the schoolbus are a greater threat than the maddog scum trying to blow them up. (unless kudos is the brand name of some new anti-psychotic drug)

Harges-whats with the ? all over the place?-some kind of sex thing?

Does anyone really beleive this war would still be going on if Gore had been elected. Would it have ever started in the first place? How DARE Nader, who elected Bush, protest anything caused by the Cheney/Rove gang he elected? Nader has NO shame. What’s next for us Ralph?- the Palin/Prejean administration?I have no doubt there are people on this post that would vote for Nader over Obama in 2012 if they were given the opportunity, and would so of course be voting for Sarah to straighten out ALL our troubles.

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By Sodium, December 17, 2009 at 11:43 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

For so long,since 9/11/2001,I have read so many books,so many articles/columns,attempting to form an answer to the question:“WHY THEY HATE US?” in a simplified manner or rather in a simplified form that the average citizens can understand and remember without going into couping with so much details about Middle East-America complex relationships. It seems to me that Chris Hedges has helped me achieving that goal by quoting what former Senator Mike Gravel has told him in his meeting with him recently,in Lafayett Park in Washington DC.

In my view,among all the statements the good Senator has made to Hedges,the following four statements are supreme,for the purpose I have in mind:

* “We have acculturated the nation to a MILITARY CULTURE.”

* “This is the sadness of it all because that sustains the MILITARY INDUSTRIAL COMPLEX.”

* “They DO NOT hate us because WE ARE FREE.”

* “They hate us because WE ARE KILLING THEM.”

Please notice that the only staement that was said in a NEGATIVE form is: “THEY DO NOT HATE US BECAUSE WE ARE FREE”,while all the other three stetements were said in PPOSITIVE form. Therefore,I have the following positive and negative terms:

+ MILITARY CULTURE.
 
+ MILITARY INDUSTRIAL COMPLEX(MIC)

- WE ARE FREE.

+ WE ARE KILLING THEM.

Therefore,adding all the above terms to gather may o answer the question: “WHY THEY HATE US?”,one will have the following relatins:

HATE US=MILTARY CULTURE+MIC-FREEDOM+KILLING THEM. 

In other words,our freedom has nothing to do with why they hate us.

As one looks long and hard in the mirror,one may discover thatright there is the enemy,what one sees in the mirror. Mirrors do not lie.

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By montanawildhack, December 17, 2009 at 10:57 am Link to this comment

ed_tru_lib,,

Thanks for the kudos….. god knows I need more support on this site…..

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By ardee, December 17, 2009 at 4:05 am Link to this comment

ed_tru_lib, December 16 at 8:35 pm

You think because you say it it must be so. That speaks volumes about you and nothing whatever about the truth.

I think I will stand with the remarks of truedigger3, December 17 at 12:17 am #, though I am not completely in accord with his citing of your positions I think he captures your essence remarkably well.

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By LocalHero, December 17, 2009 at 1:36 am Link to this comment

Much appreciated Mr. Hedges & Mr. Gravel.

To WriterOnTheStorm who wrote,
“In the meantime, even those who support the military could get behind the idea that our current military is too big by several orders of magnitude…”

Not a chance in hell. I don’t believe it for a second (although I wish it were true). The military is so entwined into the fabric of society & the fragile chip-on-my-shoulder confidence of the populace, that they will never stop sucking on their camouflage binkies.

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By truedigger3, December 16, 2009 at 8:17 pm Link to this comment

By ed_tru_lib, December 16 at 8:35 pm #


You proved yourself as I guessed an AIPAC/zionist and devoted Isreal woshipper. I will not waste any time and effort with the like of you. It is futile. You are brain washed and completely misinformed and ignorant of the facts and history of Israel in the middle East.

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By Ed Harges, December 16, 2009 at 5:47 pm Link to this comment

Any strategizing for ending the insane belligerence of US foreign policy that
fails to adopt, ?as job number one, breaking the back of Israel’s political power
in the US, is laughably ?inadequate.

Israel’s power is the only piece of the war-policy machine that guarantees the
support, ?or at least the meek submission, of so many “anti-war”, “liberal”
politicians, ?journalists, and intellectuals. This is the element that guarantees
that we will never ?have the votes, even when “liberals” are in power, to change
these insane policies.

The historical association of American Jews with the left, the preponderance of
Jews in ?positions of power, the taboo against pointing out a glaring and
passionately ?combative attachment to a foreign power (even among so many
Jews who are ?supposedly liberal), and the conventional equation of opposition
to Israel with anti-?Semitism — all these factors prevent liberals and the left
from ever being able to ?muster a coherent opposition to the war machine.
Squawk all you want about the power of Big Oil or even the Military Industrial
Complex ?— they have nothing like the almost magical power of Israel’s minions
to shut us all up ?and compel obedience. Israel’s devotees are the only
constituency whose power cannot ?safely even be mentioned by anyone who
wants to keep any sort of influential ?position in public life.

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By ed_tru_lib, December 16, 2009 at 4:35 pm Link to this comment

Truedigger3-Thanks for the compliment, though modesty compels me to say you’re not entirely accurate. I don’t vote in Conn but did send money, TWICE, to Ned Lamont when he was running against Herr Leibermann in ‘06. Israel is the bastion of freedom in that part of the world but it of course makes mistakes. The “Palestinians” seem to be the ones who, ya know, do lil annoying things like hijack civilian jets and fly them into skyscrapers, throw bombs onto schoolbuses filled with children, etc etc yada yada. Anyone who thinks AIPAC has more influence in this country than Nader, who can all but GUARANTEE a republican victory in any election where he chooses to wholehardedly take advantage of the media’s insanity in such a way as to make Paris Hilton blush, is, well dumber than ardee.

And while we’re on the subject, once again ardee as always, being as gutless as he is witless, spouts his leftylemming drivel without responding to facts. Election results in states Gore would have won are facts ardee. Rights are what Ralph exercises when, if he has a lick of sense left, he flies to the Caymans to deposit his latest contribution from the RNC.

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By Ed Harges, December 16, 2009 at 4:08 pm Link to this comment

montanwildhack writes so truly:

“To speak of these wars without bringing into the conversation the Influence of
Israel and the Zionists is an exercise in futility.”

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By Ed Harges, December 16, 2009 at 4:04 pm Link to this comment

(Excuse me, I meant JDmystic, not Hedges. Pasting error.)

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By Ed Harges, December 16, 2009 at 4:01 pm Link to this comment

Hedges writes: “...Obama’s current 9% approval rating in Israel may have
something to do with Joe Lieberman’s recalcitrance…”

Indeed. Lieberman knows that Israel controls US politics almost completely
unhindered, and that our preening American “leaders of the free world” are merely
Israel’s puppets.

And he likes it that way. It would be anti-Semitic to wish an end to this
arrangement. In fact, it’s anti-Semitic even to acknowledge that the arrangement
exists.

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By coco, December 16, 2009 at 3:17 pm Link to this comment

Shut Up Hedges!

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By ardee, December 16, 2009 at 2:05 pm Link to this comment

JDmysticDJ, December 16 at 2:48 pm #


Ardee (cont.)

Obama is just a little left of center on the political spectrum, he is a believer in Capitalist principles, he supports the Status Quos in many of his policies, he is a believer in American Exceptionalism, and many believe that he has falsely implemented the concept of “just war,” and because of these reasons, he may well be, unknowingly, a Corporatist tool, but no one can predict the future, and no one can definitively say that Obama will never move to the left. I think it’s safe to say that republicans will never move to the left of Obama.


A starving man would be wise to accept a small part of the loaf, rather than no

First I would thank you for a considered and lengthy response,followed by the inevitable ‘but’.

I see our two party system as a duopoly, differing far less than you apparently. Further I see much similarity in the actions of our current President and the former; similarities such as rendition and torture, a continuation of war, whether in Iraq or Afghanistan I see this war as pointless and stupid. Also, whether so-called “fat cats” are the base or the ultimate deciders they are in charge of this guy as they were of the former.

As to the hope that Obama will “change”, well, we may be forced to disagree but I think it is the system and not the figurehead.

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By christian96, December 16, 2009 at 1:51 pm Link to this comment

“United We Stand.  Divided We Fall!” WOW!  I wish
I would have said that.

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By Donald Diedrick, December 16, 2009 at 11:29 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Samosamo-12/14-1134: You correctly point to the crux of our political chaos.When we manage to eliminate the corporate/special interest ‘donations’ to our Congress/Pesidential elections,and use only public financing,we will have regained control of our democracy!All else improves following this move.Shame Mike Gravel/Dennis Kucinich were not allowed to be taken more seriously in 2008!

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By Jerry Lagadec, December 16, 2009 at 11:12 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Sometimes I feel this country is like that character in Poe’s “Pit and the Pendulum”; I can almost feel that blade coming closer and closer; anyone who actually reads outside the corporate media box that most Americans get their “news” from can see what is coming and it aint gonna be pretty; factor our abysmal ignorance, propensity for violence, and lack of stamina for the truth and you get real chaos which will again end in the persecution of scapegoats. Meanwhile the real bastards who cause all the suffering and collapse will be off some place safe sipping their cocktails and congratulating themselves on their prescience; it’s sickening!!

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By JDmysticDJ, December 16, 2009 at 11:02 am Link to this comment

Ardee

In response to your comment:

“Perhaps, one by one, little by little, the truth of this nation’s descent into madness will be told.”

I responded:

Let’s make sure Obama loses and the Republicans win, that way the truth of this nation’s descent into madness will be told in one big ‘swooosh.’

You ask:

“Why? Have you noted any particular difference in style or substance between our current and former administration?”

Yes, I have noticed quite a big difference in “style.” Obama’s calling the Wall Streeters “Fat Cats” for example. I can’t see that description, or anything at all similar to it, coming from the former administration. After all, the “Fat Cats” were the base of the former administration. Surely, when it comes to the elements of “style,” you must be able to see a difference between the former and current administration.

As to substance, that’s something completely different. I personally believe that Obama’s decision to escalate the war in Afghanistan was a tragic mistake, and the only thing at all positive, that came from that decision, was a promise to re-evaluate our support for that corrupt government, in 18 months. That promised re-evaluation is something republican leaders are opposed to.

Obama’s continuation of the former administration’s National Security Policies, (With some minor adjustments,) is extremely disturbing to me, but Obama’s order that United States agencies will no longer be allowed to use “torture” during interrogation, is in direct contrast to the previous policies of the former administration and its republican supporters.  Dick Cheney, and his republican supporters, are currently advocating for the efficacy of torture.

Obama’s performance on Health Care Reform has been severely criticized by some (Including me,) but the political realities of dealing with a fragmented and corrupted Congress must be taken into consideration. When evaluating Obama’s performance on Health Care Reform, let us not forget that those who corrupt the Congress are the base of the former administration. Forgive me, but I feel compelled to point out, that Obama’s current 9% approval rating in Israel may have something to do with Joe Lieberman’s recalcitrance, and change of position regarding Health Care Reform, (Joe Lieberman has also, had a long history of association with the Health Care Industries.)

I strongly object to Obama’s choices for economic advisors, and I feel that he has moved too slowly to advance legislation that will regulate the “Fat Cats on Wall Street, but he has recently, somewhat forcefully, advocated for such legislation, legislation that republicans are ideologically opposed to. Reading the comments on this thread, one might think that Obama was responsible for the “Bail Out.” The “Bail Out” was put together by Henry Paulson and the Bush administration, and was passed into law in October of 2008. Obama initially supported the “Bail Out,” as being a matter of necessity, but I believe he is having second thoughts about the “Bail Out,” and he has been openly critical of the results of the “Bail Out.”

Clearly, Obama has been a disappointment for many who voted for him, and for progressives who had some hope that Obama would bring meaningful “change” to government, but Obama has brought some “Change,” to government, and lacking a more “viable” progressive alternative, Obama continues to be the only hope for progressive change.

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By JDmysticDJ, December 16, 2009 at 10:48 am Link to this comment

Ardee (cont.)

Obama is just a little left of center on the political spectrum, he is a believer in Capitalist principles, he supports the Status Quos in many of his policies, he is a believer in American Exceptionalism, and many believe that he has falsely implemented the concept of “just war,” and because of these reasons, he may well be, unknowingly, a Corporatist tool, but no one can predict the future, and no one can definitively say that Obama will never move to the left. I think it’s safe to say that republicans will never move to the left of Obama.

A starving man would be wise to accept a small part of the loaf, rather than no loaf at all.

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By Linda Lee, December 16, 2009 at 8:06 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

I love Mike Gravel and Ron Paul and Dennis Kucinich. At least they speak the truth.

The entire nation does seem to have sunk into madness via boob tube nonsense and pop culture. The country is losing as a result. The people have lost the power they have as a wholle by bickering and BS….nobody cares what anybody THINKS, it is about what we do. Until we stand together as a whole country and do what is right, we are doomed as a nation.

The writing is on the wall and The New World Order is in. What are you going to do now, bicker some more?

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By Gordy, December 16, 2009 at 7:36 am Link to this comment

There’s still no remotely convincing explanation taking
us step-by-step through why exactly this war is
justified or beneficial.  Not even close. 

Excellent speech.

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By truedigger3, December 16, 2009 at 7:07 am Link to this comment

Re: By ed_tru_lib, December

Another DLC/AIPAC Democrat.!!

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By lauriedobson, December 16, 2009 at 7:02 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

This was a rally of ideas, not numbers. ‘No great moral enterprise ever depended on numbers’ WL Garrison said, and this was no different. We said we would carry out our opposition to Obama’s war plans in specific ways, first: by holding a war rally before the end of 2009, now, when he has declared war, to voice unified opposition. Second: we would begin to tear down the support in Congress, replacing those candidates pro-Obama’s war policy and stop the war funding. Finally, we will replace Obama himself, by running peace candidates against him in his own party and start by preparing those candidates now.
The first order of the day was to tear down Obama in his front lawn as a repulsive war President accepting an international peace prize while intoning the words of MLK. We made it plain that he has made a mockery of himself and this will linger. No sentient person can continue to believe his rhetoric. We are provoking people to use of their senses; this will continue. We are, and will continue, to make it intolerable to support the President’s war plans, by displaying his vile amoral criminality on stage before his eyes—and in the websites and places where dialogue continues. We will provoke this into action. He will be taken down!
This is just the beginning of the next anti-war movement and it will be more successful. Why? Obama is exposed on his left flank; he needs a base. So,either he changes course or he gets replaced. We proceed on the assumption that he must be forced to change and we are prepared if that does not occur.
If he doesn’t change course, the next party replacement will not be substantively different from the policies he has followed. It will need to be people candidates from here on, and we have to start now.
And, notice: we did start now, with the intellectuals and the courageous leaders. see us at enduswars.org. This was a perfect beginning, and it won’t end here. The way is clear. So get out of the way if you can’t lend a hand!

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By ardee, December 16, 2009 at 3:52 am Link to this comment

JDmysticDJ, December 15 at 10:02 pm #

Ardee

Let’s make sure Obama loses and the Republicans win, that way the truth of this nation’s descent into madness will be told in one big ‘swooosh.’

Why? Have you noted any particular difference in style or substance between our current and former administration?

As Nader so accurately noted, we have seen a ‘seamless transition’...

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By ardee, December 16, 2009 at 3:50 am Link to this comment

ed_tru_lib, December 16 at 2:45 am

Congratulations, sir or madam, you have won the lifetime achievement award for most use of ad hominem silliness in one post. The award will be arriving shortly in a plain brown wrapper soas not to embarrass you in front of your neighbors.

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By ed_tru_lib, December 15, 2009 at 10:45 pm Link to this comment

O Well-as usual when Hedges isn’t spewing his anti-semitic, pro-terrorist hate(and of course attracting the terrorist-loving neonazi-the-left looneytunes like this WILDHACK clown ) when the topic involves the middle east more directly, once again he actually makes a great deal of sense, not to mention is downright entertaining. Of course he also was able to keep the nadertraitor nuttiness to a minimum here as well.

Gravel has always a fine speaker, who has demontrated more than effective soundbite cuteness, and truly has some worthwhile things to say. Lets hope after Obama is re-elected he actually comes a bit closer to a Gravel-oriented energy/military policy.

Of course if the lefteabaggers who would (YES I KNOW YOU DON"T WANT TO BELEIVE IT BUT ITS TRUE) enthusiastically endorse a cluslessralphess nadertraitorsnutness candidacy again, and thus delivery the 2012 election to Palin, the way they did the 2000 election to Cheney/Rove, Gravel (and Hedges) will probably wind up in some kind of camp. Not Ralph though, he’s FAR too valuable to Republicans, especially the one’s who want Glenn Beck for Secretary of Everything, and sincerely beleive, just as their eqivalent on the left==the nadernuts beleive, he’s qualified to do it more than say Al Gore.

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By DieDaily, December 15, 2009 at 6:33 pm Link to this comment

This has got to be about the best, most honest news story I’ve ever read on this site. Simply fantastic. So relieved to see that truthdig is probably going to survive the debunking of the false democrat-republican dichotomy. Kudos!!!!!

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By bachu, December 15, 2009 at 6:09 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Thank God for the military. We will need every one of them to maintain law and order and keep people like Gravel in line in the wake of a collapsed economy. They will be the last line of defense against the savagery that is bound to erupt when the money runs out.

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By JDmysticDJ, December 15, 2009 at 6:02 pm Link to this comment

Ardee

“Perhaps, one by one, little by little, the truth of this nation’s descent into madness will be told.”

Let’s make sure Obama loses and the Republicans win, that way the truth of this nation’s descent into madness will be told in one big ‘swooosh.’

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By Armond Aserinsky, December 15, 2009 at 7:52 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Mike Gravel has taken a number of positions that Progressives appreciate, but he has also associated himself with organizations that provoke serious questions regarding just what he actually stands for and who he represents.

Take a look at the following item regarding his leadership position in a so-called “Libertarian” organization that appears to be primarily a front for the Tobacco industry.

Gravel’s biography, as I’ve pieced it together from such admittedly superficial and sometimes unreliable sources as Wikipedia, leaves this reader scratching his head.

http://www.sourcewatch.org/index.php?title=Alexis_de_Tocqueville_Institution

While Gravel may be on the right side of the Afghanistan-escalation issue, I personally would not ask him to be the spokesman for this position. If anything, his comments erode the credibility of others who stand on the same side.

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By samosamo, December 15, 2009 at 7:50 am Link to this comment

Beware the charlatans professing and claiming of mysteries,
miracles and prophesying, they are part of the grand
conspiracy.

Great caesar’s ghost, I wish to hell I had read Thomas Paines’s
works 40 years ago when my doubts ran high on the ‘meaning
and history’ of religion.

Best case example is a ‘breaking news’ alert from politico reporting that o is now prophesizing that if some version of health care is not passed that NO PRESIDENT IN THE FUTURE WILL DO IT.  I say ‘that yet remains to be seen’.

I guess the only thing missing is o’s tall sharp pointed blue
hat with stars on it, a robe of same color and stars and his
magic wand.

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By MeHere, December 15, 2009 at 7:27 am Link to this comment

Thanks, Chris, for a great article.

Friends, please don’t bother Obama with issues of war, health care, financial regulations, the environment, and more.  Try to understand that he is working
very hard on his re-election strategy. In addition—in order to preserve his
sanity—he is busy rationalizing that what he, his teams, and his party are doing
is the very best they can do for the nation.  The truth doesn’t even enter this
picture.

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By omop, December 15, 2009 at 6:49 am Link to this comment

The imbecility of some Americans becomes quite evident whenever the ad
hominem of “calling some one who expressess his/her opinionon of being
ANTISEMITIC and or not pro Israel”. 

  Why is it acceptable for the Jews to be anti-Muslim? If one is free to be anti A
others are also free to be anti B;C;,,,Z? Or do all Americans now have taken an
oath that is against their own constitution?

  Is that not what a democracy means? Larry David is complimented on his
humor on an incident where he “urinates on a photo of Jesus. Can the same be
said if a comedian urinated on a photo of Moses of Bibi Netanyahu?

  Hallmark Cards sponsors a tv movie named “A dog named Christmas”. Not a
word in the media. Would the same reaction hvae taken place if a look-alike
movie would have been titled, ” A dog named Hannakah”?

  montanawildhack has the right to express himself without being tainted
especially when he or any one for that matter comments that the wars in Iraq
and Afghanistan are derived from proposals made by Bibi Netanyhu, Richard
Perle, Wolfowitz,Feith, etc,.

  For details on such plans check out:-

   
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/A_Clean_Break:_A_New_Strategy_for_Securing_the
_Realm

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By John Francis Lee, December 15, 2009 at 6:38 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

We all had the opportunity to vote for Mike Gravel in 2008 but a majority of us turned our backs on real change and voted for the fraud. We knew what we were doing. We just wanted to dream on. Many of us are still dreaming.

Instead of building up an alternative to the duopoly we are setting ourselves up for real, no-holds barred fascism after the collapse.

It’s never too late :

  - http://28amen.org
  - http://www.uspvp.org

Remember, if we had elected Mike Gravel

  - All our troops would be home from Iraq and Afghanistan now,
  - the Wall Street bailout never would have occurred, and
  - our national goal would be to be carbon free in 10 years.

We preferred to keep sucking the opium pipe.

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By montanawildhack, December 15, 2009 at 4:50 am Link to this comment

christian96,,

I think if you read my post again I make note of the fact that the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan are being waged for Greater Israel…. Period…

Although I know it to be a fact, I do not make note of the fact that the United States has troops in 130 of the 192 countries recognized by the United Nations… Nor do I say that Israel is responsible for our troops in most of those countries…

Granted I think Israel is not our friend and is much more of a threat to world peace than any of the Islamic countries…  The fact that most people in America think Islamic countries are a threat to America is due to 24/7 Zionist propaganda…

And where is it written in stone that one must kow-tow to Israel and lick their boots????

Finally, I consider being called an anti-semite to be somewhat of a “red badge of courage” so to speak.
It is an honor to be in the company of Gore Vidal, Mark Twain and Kurt Vonnegut….

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By christian96, December 14, 2009 at 10:59 pm Link to this comment

Montanawildhack—-Your comments about Zionists leads
me to conclude those cold wintry days in Montana
has had an influence on the flow of blood to your
brain.  Now, if you had said our 120 military
bases throughout the world are not to protect
Americans but American corporations I would have
concluded GENIUS! Do you have a Nazi flag?

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By tp, December 14, 2009 at 10:39 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

You know—I’m sitting here looking at this screen… What do you thingk I see? Blood?—No. I’m not seeing the screen at all really. I’m seeing alternatives to this miserable life. I’m not really looking at the real picture but rather dreaming of different scenarios. It ain’t the blood that I see. It is the pulsating wounds and gaping pulsating lacerations that hang in the fabrics of my mind. No matter whether I change the subject or whether this is a real one. What matters is if I can be cool later in life. Being cool about it is what it is all about.———- right? So, lets just prescribe another beer and swallow the bullshit.—- OK?
tp
PS:the spirit of dessent is in your rockin and your rollin!

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By tp, December 14, 2009 at 8:30 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

By thebeerdoctor, December 14 at 8:29 am #
and now I’ve had a couple of beers. So i need help. I should talk to the bear doc. Ups s I mean beer doc k ter. I personally—donn’nt like doctorz! But this one I thingk is difareent. I aint no biggot. Andt I’m sure this doc aint toooow.
  But how do a person explain
  I say, It is plain
  that oObama is not’
ahve another beer bear no beeer.
tp



But howd you explan his poozishion agaz the worshipful Obama Prezadinzieeehaa?

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By Larry Feldberg, December 14, 2009 at 8:13 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Gravel rules.
Even if it’s mostly rhetoric, (didn’t he used to sit on a right wing think tank?), I love his tenacious indomitable F-U spirit.
Cat is like FDR on steroids.

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By Laurie Dobson, December 14, 2009 at 5:47 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

please join up to keep this happening-what Jordan Page calls ‘a new happening here’ we are nothing less than a new anti-war movement, starting in the shadow of a new villain, a new horror—a new repulsive war President. help us, join us. this is your cause and your time to direct a different course for YOUR future.

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By Glen Wayne, December 14, 2009 at 4:56 pm Link to this comment

Master Stiff-me     empirePie   December 14th, 2009

Breathe in the myth
of destiny and choice
Bring me a reaper
Grim with no voice

Call him Master Stiff-me
to mark me the shining pilgrim on the hill
let me be a ‘freedom’ crier shill
let me be the no one at the tiller
mute me in a celluloid thriller

Bill me for bondage
Con me for coinage

Tally up the manifest
Let destiny do the time
for master no one
as the footprints
for freedoms founding fortunes
wash away.

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By truedigger3, December 14, 2009 at 4:50 pm Link to this comment

cmarcusparr wrote:
“Truthdigger3 should revisit Economics 101 to understand what inflation is. It is not based upon supply-demand ratios or the CPI”
_____________________________________________________

cmarcusparr,

You are putting words in my mouth that I didn’t say.!
All I said that there will be no hyperinflation but gradual inflation because the money pumped in at the top will be mostly withdrawn from the bottom, which means that all that money that was printed and given to the bankers and Wall St. by the Feds, an almost equal amounts will be withdrawn gradually from the rest of the population in the form of destroyed equties in homes and stocks, stagnant wages and less benefits and increase in taxation and fees etc etc. That is what I said.!
Which means that the wealth of the nation is being shifted gradually upward to the super rich elite and the rest of the population will be getting poorer.

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By truedigger3, December 14, 2009 at 4:28 pm Link to this comment

cmarcuspar wrote:
“Even fiscal conservatives the likes of Peter Schiff, Kevin Phillips, Chalmers Johnson and other Republicans predict the demise of the U.S. dollar as the international currency of exchange. Soon oil will be priced in euros, and the Chinese (and Japanese) will have little difficulty refocusing their manufacturing base inward for internal consumption and the consumption of goods in markets other than the U.S.”
_________________________________________________

cmarcuspar,

The Chinese, the japanese and the oil producing countries have no interest in abandoning the dollar, assuming they can, but they cannot as I explained in my previous post. All these countries have extensive holdings of US Treasuries notes nominated in dollars besides some investment in real estate and other US corporations, all together are valued to more than two trillion (that is a T) dollars.
They will be shooting themselves in the foot if they abandon the dollar and thus destroying the value of their US holdings.
The oil will never be priced in Euros, not in the foreseeable future. Do you wanna bet!!

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By Samson, December 14, 2009 at 4:19 pm Link to this comment

Well, permitted rallies in an empty city on a weekend are never going to change anything.  I’d suspect that the reason this protest was ‘sparsely attended’ was that most people have figured that out.

Wanna stage a ‘protest’ that Obama and the Democrats will notice.  Start organizing independent anti-war campaigns in close congressional races.  The goal is to take enough votes away from a Democrat to cause their defeat. 

The Democrats want to stay in power.  For the anti-war movement to end the war, they have to put the Democrats into a position where they can only stay in power if they end the war.

Protests and rallies in empty cities are useless.  If you want a ‘protest’ that will be noticed, start an independent campaign that threatens to retire a Democrat congresscritter.

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By colin2626262, December 14, 2009 at 4:13 pm Link to this comment

Great article, Chris.

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By jean Gerard, December 14, 2009 at 3:26 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

“—within the living arrangements of our Mother Earth ...”  Tell me where I am
wrong:  Every invention, discovery, change came originally from"within the
living arrangements of our Mother Earth.” They are permutations of that (Earth) 
way which humans have precipitated, for one reason or another, most of which
reasons appeared (at least at the time) to improve, enhance, expand, make
more widely available, the earth’s original provisions.  Most if not all these
enhancements had to follow the laws of Mother Earth (physics, chemistry etc.)
to be achieved. 

It is the way these enhancements are used by humans that seems to be the
source of many problems because moral questions arise with use.  For
instance, most people do not feel that shooting game for food is wrong—
except in case there is no necessity for it.  Allowing the animal to suffer
because the hunter is a poor shot is judged as cruelty because humans can
identify with pain, even though some people;choose to deny it. And because
they identify, they transfer sympathy as though they themselves were in pain.
(Sometimes this identification is called “empathy.”  It’s only vaguely understood,
but a useful concept.) So far as we know it’s a human trait, but it could well be
an animal trait also. Apparently it is fragile, because it seems to disappear, or
get submerged, in times of war.

Formerly using animals for food was more than a physical act.  Even religious
feelings were associated with it.  But as “animal husbandry” (interesting term!)
came along, animals being less rare, lost their spiritual authenticity and
became merely a “commodity.”  Along with this change went a general
slackening of human sensitivities so that killing became more commonplace,
lost its mystical meanings, and wars became ever more frequent and deadly.

Of course this is a terrible oversimplification, but the point I thought I was
trying to make is that everything done by man is “within the living
arrangements of Mother Earth”—some farther removed from what we usually
think of as Natare, some more destructive, more evil.  But in the back of Mother
Nature’s mind from the beginning has lurked impulses that, when extended
into the human field of operation, become (change into, are transformed into)
anti-natural, sub-natural,  The boundaries, if there are any, are permeable.

Understand, I make no care whatsoever here for the Biblical notion of Man’s
dominion over the natural world.  That was, perhaps, the most terrible of all
the “original sins.”

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By cmarcusparr, December 14, 2009 at 2:35 pm Link to this comment

“truthdigger3” is incorrect to the extreme.

He writes: “Chris Hedges wrote a very courageous article, but it has some serious errors like:
‘Once China and the oil-rich states walk away from our debt, which is inevitable,’

He continues: “This will never happen well into the foreseeable future, because the so called Chinese prosperity and surplus cash is completely dependent on the US markets and also many of the manufacturing plants in China are US plants which if(push come to shove) the US can move them to another country!
The oil-rich states cannot do anything either, they are too weak and too entangled!”

It isn’t just Chris Hedges who warns of pending economic collapse. Even fiscal conservatives the likes of Peter Schiff, Kevin Phillips, Chalmers Johnson and other Republicans predict the demise of the U.S. dollar as the international currency of exchange. Soon oil will be priced in euros, and the Chinese (and Japanese) will have little difficulty refocusing their manufacturing base inward for internal consumption and the consumption of goods in markets other than the U.S.

Truthdigger3 should revisit Economics 101 to understand what inflation is. It is not based upon supply-demand ratios or the CPI, which our government intentionally distorts. The U.S. prints new dollars at a prodigious rate, and once the Chinese and sovereign wealth funds reject our dollar, we will face hyperinflationary economics. Inflation is based upon dollars in circulation, period, not what the Treasury Secty or Federal Reserve chairman says it is. There are so many dollars in circulation that the govt. has stopped publishing M1, M2, and M3 figures to hide U.S. vulnerability to hyperinflation from the public and from analysts.

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By Socrates, December 14, 2009 at 2:28 pm Link to this comment

The human race is a malignant tumor devouring the Earth.

http://www.drhern.com/fulltext/why/paper.html

Enhanced by the idea that the existence of a higher consciousness, i.e., god, can not survive scientific investigation.

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By samosamo, December 14, 2009 at 1:53 pm Link to this comment

TAO Walker

Just what does this translate to:

“It is The Tiyoshpaye Way.

Hokahey!”

And what tribe are from?

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By prole, December 14, 2009 at 12:53 pm Link to this comment

“…make the American military the gravest threat to our anemic democracy, especially as we head toward economic collapse.”…very true, it’s not the hapless so-called ‘Christian right’ that are the agents of doom – despite their belief in doomsday – it’s the same old secular stealth fascists in the White House and Pentagon and Capitol Hill that imperil the fragile planet and all its vulnerable inhabitants. The new twist to the same old tired truisms is the incorporation of superficial identity politics to give the same pernicious policies a falsely fresh façade.  “Obama uses the veneer of” multiculturalism “to promote the dirty politics of Bush.” “The president spoke in Oslo, when he accepted the Nobel Prize, of ‘just war’ theory…”,perhaps by this he meant when the same “dirty” cum deadly! politics is carried out by a ‘dream team’ of a black president with Jewish advisors and a female Sec. of State, then voila! everything is now politically correct!  In the Democratic presidential primary the two most conservative candidates were Barack and Hillary but once again, as in most things in America, image trumped substance, so race and gender were deemed more ‘progressive’ than policy.
  So now we have the old white guys like Hedges and Gravel and Nader, etc. opposing another illicit foreign invasion vigorously promoted by blacks and females and Jews like Obama and Clinton and Emanuel and Axelrod. And in congress David Obey, chair of the House Appropriations Committee is proposing a special surtax to fund the Obama/Clinton/Emanuel “just war”, so that the American public will know what it costs (economically, anyway) – but this is strictly opposed by that great feminist progressive, Nancy Pelosi. “Obama’s policies, despite the high-blown rhetoric, are as morally bankrupt as those of his predecessor”…but they’re a lot more politically correct because of his identity – and the public has been so hoodwinked by identity politics that they’ll grant chickenhawk Obama the political leeway they’d never now extend to chickenhawk Bush. ““Adolf Hitler lionized soldiers dying. This is the old idea that it is honorable to die. It is not honorable to die in vain….. And more people will die in vain because of the leadership of Barack Obama.” And if Obama turns out to be a black mini-Hitler, identity politics will have triumphed beyond its wildest dreams. It was always mainly about power itself and not about ‘progressive’ values. Self-righteous Jews and blacks and women wanted a piece of the action, and they’re proving they can “detach themselves from the immediacy of the crime. They vote for the money. They vote for the policy” as much as any demonized ‘white male patriach’.  So, “’Forget the Congress. Forget the Republicans. Forget the hawks. Forget mainstream media, including The New York Times and The Washington Post, which are hawks”…and forget identity politics and forget Barack Obama because he’s a “total loser.”  The answers won’t come from within, as can be seen by the size of the turnout at this weekend’s anti-war rally. No, Gravel as usual, got it right. “’They don’t hate us because we are free,’” Gravel said of the insurgents in Iraq and Afghanistan. “’They hate us because we are killing them.’” The resistance movements will take their fates into their own hands. Because if they wait for multicultural ‘progressives’ in America to save them, they really will wait until doomsday.

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By Valatius, December 14, 2009 at 12:50 pm Link to this comment

If we accept that the US and its NATO allies have an interest in reducing the widespread rage in the Islamic world against the West, the best and least expensive place to start is with the poverty in a place like Pakistan, where the average income is $870 per year. Land ownership is concentrated among a feudal class that leads the major political parties and there is NO public education. With no other chance for literacy, it is not surprising that Pakistani parents send their children to Taliban-linked madrassahs that fuel hatred for America.

With a majority of Pakistani physicians leaving the country for a more lucrative life in the West, public health is abysmal.

Unicef has all the statistics:
http://www.unicef.org/infobycountry/pakistan_pakistan_statistics.html

If maintaining each US soldier in Afghanistan costs a million dollars per year, it is obvious that a far more efficient use of the money would be, at the very least, to fund a complete public education and teacher training program.

The fact that such a simple, and cheaper, step is not even up for debate is a sign of how right Hedges and Gravel are. However, it is imperative for those of us who oppose the war to offer solutions that go beyond the limited “options” that the generals gave to Obama, and a commitment to literacy is a place to start.

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By WriterOnTheStorm, December 14, 2009 at 12:24 pm Link to this comment

It’s unfortunate that Hedges conflates the bloated/incompetent/inefficient/wasteful military
argument with the bleeding heart/evil killing machine/power junkies anti-war argument. He
makes it too easy for some to dismiss him a socialist peacenik rube with a big mouth.

Hedges no doubt sees himself as a morally evolved soul whose mission it is to speed the
(r)evolution of greater society. But surely he is capable of performing a simple thought
experiment demonstrating that the only scenario leading to the end of wars is one in which
the entire population of the planet is equally evolved. That seems about as likely as the
cassette tape making a come back, or Tiger Woods being voted Time magazine’s Person of
the Year.

In the meantime, even those who support the military could get behind the idea that our
current military is too big by several orders of magnitude,  and that a serious downsizing
would bring great benefits elsewhere, without the slightest risk to our security. If Hedges
zoned in on that one simple argument, he might be able to bring about Actual Positive
Change, rather than just selling ad space on Truthdig and Alternet.

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By tp, December 14, 2009 at 11:15 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

By thecrow, December 14 at 10:33 am #
Exactly!

It is journalistic suicide to ask about the biggest accepted lie.

No reputable journalist asks about evidence pointing to demolition explosions happening that brought down the world trade center other than those pertaining to the three airliners and the Arabian terrorist. I wonder why it is just accepted that Afghanistan is the so called smart war which will eventually bring Ben Laden, the only guilty party – so the powers that be keeps saying - , to justice no matter how long it takes.

and—————————————

By montanawildhack, December 14 at 9:39 am #

You make a pretty good point. But you can not blame all of Israel for that small radical elite group which probably controls most nations. The feds are to be blamed, controlled by the Rothschild family, the Rockefellers and the JP Morgan Mafiosi, along with the other bailed out bunch of banks which are too big to fail. Maybe they are all one and the same group – like in The bank of international settlements? 

The Brownians want to audit the feds and regulate them by outlawing their ability to create money through the fractional reserve lending rules. Ellen Brown said that only the government has the constitutional right to create money.


Ellen Brown is your candidate for that job in California.


Wouldn’t raining in the banks be the answer to many of our problems including taking the profit out of our military complex? The generals who are future business men and profiteers of war who are in control of our money through those elite groups of which I spoke about above should find “A New Way Forward”. I think the Military Complex is about 15 percent of our GNP. We could change that with the right leadership. Obama isn’t the one.

It seems peaceful protest aren’t being heard because we don’t have enough Chris Hedges out there. Reporting on the private life of a golfer is more important to them.

It seems we have a lost cause. But at least we all agree here that our country is going down the wrong road yet again. You’d think our people would wake up. What can be done?

As bad as I hate the idea, maybe the draft should be in force again. Fathers and mothers would start showing up in these comment sections and at peace rallies across the country.
tp

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By TAO Walker, December 14, 2009 at 11:12 am Link to this comment

Chris Hedges is pretty good at describing the particulars of the empire’s collapse, and even seems to be vaguely onto the fact it is the “product” of an attempted “CONtrolled demolition”....on a scale orders-of-magnitude greater, of course, than the plot that took down the World Trade Center buildings.  He has to know, though, that there is simply no institutional remedy available to homo domesticus to either bring the perpe-traitors to “justice,” or to actually stop the overall self-destructive process now nearing (as he notes) its end-stage, anyhow.  It is now run completely out-of-CONtrol….even by those who initiated it, and who are presently obsessed with trying to save theirownselfs from the fatal CONsequences of their monumental folly.

Some have suggested here before that diagnosing the “disease” is certainly necessary, but if no real remedy is offered, the afflicted are left with nothing much to go on….nothing at-all, really, accessible from within the death-dealing CONtraption itself.  Out here in the rest of the Living Universe, though, which some of us surviving free wild Human Beings (and the U.S. military) call Indian Country, the specific Medicine is as obvious as it is ready-to-hand.

It is in our very Humanity, with its given organic Form and Function within the Living Arrangement of our Mother Earth.  You look for it elsewhere in-vain, tame Sisters and Brothers, and to depths of misery and grief you have only begun to plumb….unless you get loose from the smothering shroud of your artificial “individual”-ity and recover together those Native qualities and virtues necessary to your continuing as members of Her family.

The virtual world-o’-hurt enmeshing you is a deflating bubble.  The Way clear of its toils is no part whatsoever of the damned thing itself.

It is The Tiyoshpaye Way. 

Hokahey!

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By Don Knutsen, December 14, 2009 at 10:10 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

No coverage by our major networks, I guess disseminating the hard truth makes the media moguls alittle uncomfortable ? Or was covering Tiger Wood’s bimbos so much more important to the american people ? By not covering this, the media is dutifully doing their job as defined by the status quo in this counttry. By not covering it they fuel the idiot tea-baggers and other loonies of the right that get their marching orders from the likes of Glenn Beck and the rest of the Faux News anti-american organization. They are providing cover for a congress thats uninterested in doing the people’s buisness, after all, theres a minority still in Congress that aren’t millionaires yet and they are hungry to join the club at all costs. Its all part of the New World Order, certainly has nothing to do with a supposed democracy.

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By exploited times, December 14, 2009 at 9:57 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Hedges tells it just like it is. Most prefer to live and read in denial, and who can blame them? Without honest takes like this, reality would be buried entirely. Keep telling it and thanks.

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By Jon, December 14, 2009 at 9:45 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

The military industrial complex that Eisenhower warned us about has all but taken over, along with the banks and global corporations.  Obama would have been a fool to try to buck this massive power structure, and he’s going along to get along.  He’s also accepted what I hate to call a ‘fact,’ but will anyway—-the fact the American people are viewed with disdain by these groups, but the American people pay all the bills—-taxes, fees, prices—-we support the entire system, and yet we’re viewed as just ATM machines.  And, we’ve let our citizen power be totally eroded over time to the point now where we’ve become almost totally marginalized as a people.

But, other groups have been marginalized since day one, its just that the middle class finds itself marginalized and taken advantage of and its a huge shock now—to be joining the downwardly mobile.

In so far as war is concerned, we’ve moved far away from being able to contain the DOD——it’s too big to fail and I’m sure this is not lost on Obama.  Meanwhile, Americans have no where near the representation in DC as DOD has.  Isn’t it odd also that a man and woman who go to work everyday (or used to), raising three kids, putting them through college is NOT viewed as an honorable thing to do, but enlisting in the military IS.

Yet, mom and dad pay all the taxes and still manage to raise and clothe and feed a family.  Honor to them for their service to their kids AND to being able to support a DOD, and a Congress and a White House that disrespects them so very much. 

We’re totally upside down.

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By hark, December 14, 2009 at 9:44 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

I look at this map and shake my head:  http://www.chinapage.com/map/map.html

Are we being conned, or what?  Somehow in this AfPak region lying half a world away lurks an evil agent of doom that threatens the very being of our nation?  And China doesn’t care?  Russia?  India?  Pakistan itself? Iran?  Are you kidding me?

You can’t help but stare at this thing in disbelief.  It is so starkly indicative of a nation gone mad, a military run amok.

You can’t take this seriously.  What in the world are we doing in that godforsaken place?

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By G.Anderson, December 14, 2009 at 9:42 am Link to this comment

Unless and until the U.S. can bring in the arch traitor Emmanuel Goldstein, sorry, I mean Osama Ben Laden, then our country will never be safe.

We in the United States now live in a perpetual state of War. We are at War with the Narco gangs, the Street gangs, the banking industry, the IRS, and the corporations who poison our food, our air and our water. We are also at war with the Republicans who only represent the corporate right and the 1 percenters.

Wars elswhere, represent a diversion for the population, so that we are kept focusing on the external threats to our safety, rather than the internal ones, so that we fight the wars at home individually, rather than collectively.

Yes, there a many patriotic citizens who will fight for their country in Iraq, and Afganistan. But are they really fighting for their country? When every bullet they fire enriches the corporate right, and impoverishes this entire nation.

Or were they forced to join the military due to economic conditions so dire, that without military service, they had no future?

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By ChaoticGood, December 14, 2009 at 9:34 am Link to this comment

This is how empires die.  Grab a good seat for the show.

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By Howard, December 14, 2009 at 9:18 am Link to this comment

Mike Gravel.  A hero of the country.  He was only 1 of 2 senators who voted against the Tokin Bary resolution and subsequently the Vietnam war.
  He still is a rational ex politicain with a lot of weight and hopefully will influence he curent Congress.
  12 cheers for this MAN !!!

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By truedigger3, December 14, 2009 at 8:41 am Link to this comment

Chris Hedges wrote a very courageous article, but it has some serious errors like:
“Once China and the oil-rich states walk away from our debt, which is inevitable,”

This will never happen well into the foreseeable future, because the so called Chinese prosperity and surplus cash is completely dependent on the US markets and also many of the manufacturing plants in China are US plants which if(push come to shove) the US can move them to another country!
The oil-rich states cannot do anything either, they are too weak and too entangled!

Chris Hedges also wrote:
“This is when inflation, and most likely hyperinflation, will turn the dollar into junk. A backlash by a betrayed and angry populace, one unprepared intellectually and psychologically for collapse”

There will be no hyper inflation but gradual inflation and gradual decline of the living standards coupled with the gradual errosion and disappearance of the middle class, this as I said will be gradual and not a collapse and most likely the population will get acclimated to it gradually and acquiesce.
That is to say the money is being pumped in at the top and is being sucked out from the bottom, which is to say what is happening is the gradual moving of the wealth of the nation to the very upper super class.

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By talullah, December 14, 2009 at 8:01 am Link to this comment

samosamo, December 14 at 11:34 am

You know who uses the word imperialism the most?  Members of the media. 

It’s an excus, a diversion from the fact that they never demanded any evidence in favor of war. These members of the media, just like those members of Congress who chose to enrich themselves by way of war, don’t have any evidence in favor of the war (but they’re still making out like bandits, criticizing it).

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By talullah, December 14, 2009 at 7:52 am Link to this comment

What neither Gravel nor Hedges will say:

1. Mike Gravel, like everyone else who attended that anti-war rally, can demand of pro-war members of Congress that they produce the evidence on which their pro-war votes/pro-war stances (and so their reputations and jobs) depend.

2. The war vote wasn’t binding.  The United States never declared war against Iraq (much less Afghanistan). 

3.  Bush, known to Dems by such names as The Dummy, was smart enough to have suckered in those Dems who voted Yea.  He knew, no matter how the public came to loathe him and his on-no-evidence war, that those who would satisfy their constituents and impeach him couldn’t do so without first impeaching themselves.

4.  The people can recall their representatives in D.C.  As far as I’m concerned, unless Mike Gravel cares enough to start saying exactly that, he can expect to be the first one recalled.

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By pamrider, December 14, 2009 at 7:47 am Link to this comment

My best friend was a fatal victim of an Abu Nadal hijacking in 1986 (PanAm 73). A native of India living in the USA, she was not all that political. I asked her what she thought of Palestinians, she answered, “What do you think I think? I was born a colonialized person!” The night her wedding picture was the first image on the local news (2 nights before her 9-year-old son lit her funeral pyre), I could not forget that. I clearly could not have kind thoughts about people who held guns on a family I loved. But I almost instantly though: “This could have been prevented. The ‘great’ powers could have forced resolution of very real problems in the Middle East. But, tokens and a bias toward “civilized” Israel government positions led to the killing of my friend.

Expecting a nation that has successfully countered foreign takeover for centuries through decentralized tribal coalitions to develop a Western model is magical thinking. Using vicious remote drone bombing and sincere, but limited, “winning hearts and minds” community organizing is doomed. I am told Barak Obama’s “exhaustive” deliberation never included Afghan elders—those most capable of dealing with the Taliban.

The USA policy is dangerous to the entire world.

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By bozh, December 14, 2009 at 7:37 am Link to this comment
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I do not see how personalization of US foreign policy can elucidate it, in view that it had not changed an iota in its basics: acquisition of land by any means whatever.

The wishful thinking of obama being this or that or doing this and that and everything is going be normal again [which never ever had been] does not explain anything.

If he’d be otherwise than he is, he’d be dead and replaced to begin with.
AS for US democracy being “anemic”, tell it to innocents being slaughtered by this ‘anemic’ system of rule.
It is mighty strong and mean and not ‘anemic’.
I know, he did not mean- or may have not meant- to imply what i have deduced from the word “anemic”.
But whatever is it that hedges wanted to say with it, it is clearly inacccurate and inadequate.
In any case, calling US system of rule any name, the system remains a House of Horrors and Terrors! tnx

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By samosamo, December 14, 2009 at 7:34 am Link to this comment

There has to be a way to break the strangle hold on america’s useless imperialism
which is close and akin to the neo-conservative hold on the msm and both could
be broken IF the people who pay for their agendas are held accountable for their
crimes and that is the bribing of elected officials to further the agendas of the
greedy who could give a flying rat’s ass about the subsequent consequences of
their endeavors, in short stop lobbying, then maybe the people would be able to
clean out congress with new and more responsible people, but as long as the
worst of the worse keep getting re-elected and in charge of the money expect
what Chris so correctly spelled out, our economy with tank and sooner than later.

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By talullah, December 14, 2009 at 7:29 am Link to this comment

There’s still no evidence in favor of this war.  If Gravel wants to end the war, he’ll put the responsibility for it where it belongs: With those of his co-workers who voted for the war/who prolong the war. 

Gravel needs to demand to be shown some evidence.  Otherwise, he’s just another of the guys on one of two teams, both of which teams are playing all the rest of us for suckers (and with our soldiers paying the cost).

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By C.Curtis.Dillon, December 14, 2009 at 6:53 am Link to this comment

We need to stop pointing fingers at foreign sources of our condition and turn the white hot light on ourselves.  We have this mess because we, the American people, have abdicated our responsibility as citizens to demand that the government work for us.  Obama may be dazzled by the military but so are far too many of us.  We believe that our might makes us right and that anyone who disagrees with us will face our wrath.  How many times have I heard that we are the biggest and baddest country and therefore we automatically have the right to dictate our beliefs to the world.  Well, guess what ... the world is calling our bluff and we are shown to be a hollow and worthless “democracy”.  We will lose in Afghanistan just as we have lost in Iraq.  We don’t have enough bombs or soldiers to make a difference.  Obama has made the same mistake as so many of his predecessors in believing that he can force anyone to do what we want.

As for Obama, he comes from a long line of presidents, dating back many generations, who were smitten with the military.  I wish we had someone with guts, like Harry Truman, who fired McArthur when he wouldn’t follow orders.  But Obama isn’t Truman ... he is too spineless and, quite frankly, afraid of the military to do anything so radical.

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By thecrow, December 14, 2009 at 6:33 am Link to this comment

The truth of September 11 may be the only remaining issue with the potential to wreck the Machine before it wrecks what is left of the Republic. It is taboo precisely because these revelations undermine the legitimacy of the National Security State as spectacularly as the demolition of the towers laid waste public reason on that day.

What say you, Mr. Hedges?

http://michaelfury.wordpress.com/2009/04/11/the-rest-is-silence/

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By omop, December 14, 2009 at 6:01 am Link to this comment

Gandhi’s quote about the British sums it up best;-

    ” First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you  
    win”.

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By montanawildhack, December 14, 2009 at 5:39 am Link to this comment

Another passionate missive by Hedges but it doesn’t get at the heart of the matter…. I’m gonna have to say it again because so few people have the courage to say it….

The wars in Iraq and Afghanistan are Wars for Greater Israel… PERIOD!!!!!! 

And why do you only see glowing reports of the wars and tributes to the troops ad nausium on TV and in the print media?????  Because the Zionists Control the major media in America… Not influence… Control.  Period…....

And why do so few in the Congress “Dare to Speak Out” against Zionist control?????  Well if they do speak out they no longer have jobs and they are forced out of the power loop forever…

To speak of these wars without bringing into the conversation the Influence of Israel and the Zionists is an exercise in futility….

I do agree with Hedges that the American Empire will soon collapse though….  And because of this I have a question to ask the Israelis, Zionists and Neocons out there…..

When America does implode just who are you going to run to for help????  The Chinese???  They’re too smart and they don’t believe in your phoney balony God or the myth that you are “special” in some way….The British???  The sun set a long time ago on that impotent little island and their people whose only contribution to the greater good was burning down the White House…. By helping to destroy America you are sealing your own fate…. Good luck!!!

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By thebeerdoctor, December 14, 2009 at 5:05 am Link to this comment

Exactly elisalouisa exactly. You might disagree with Mr. Hedges conclusions but not his veracity. How often do you hear the moan about the loss of journalism, from those too spineless to know what that means?
I am happy that the link to the MLK speech from 1967 works.

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By elisalouisa, December 14, 2009 at 4:47 am Link to this comment

By ardee, December 14 at 7:18 am #
Perhaps, one by one, little by little, the truth of this nation’s descent into madness
will be told.
*********************
Who will tell that story? I suspect the military and power/elite are covering their
tracks and after it’s really over there won’t be anyone to tell. Now do I take the
cake for cynicism or don’t I?
It has been my feeling for a long time thebeerdoctor that Chris Hedges is one
courageous person. If only writers in the mainstream media had that courage. Ah,
but if they did, they wouldn’t be in the mainstream media now would they?

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By thebeerdoctor, December 14, 2009 at 4:29 am Link to this comment

“Obama uses the veneer of intellectualism to promote the dirty politics of Bush.”
This is Chris Hedges at his most courageous. I can not express the dismay felt whenever Obama invokes Martin Luther King Jr. while simultaneously promoting the Bush doctrine that now has metamorphosed into the Obama doctrine.

http://www.hartford-hwp.com/archives/45a/058.html

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By ardee, December 14, 2009 at 3:18 am Link to this comment

Perhaps, one by one, little by little, the truth of this nation’s descent into madness will be told.

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