The Bush Empire, or the Dean Empire. How to Decide?
I get the feeling that the Dean bloggers are turning their attention to this site in expectation of his arrival. The comments being made in support of Dean are shallow and often flat out untrue. In my opinion, comments on this site have more depth than the foaming-at-the-mouth pro-Dean postings I've seen in the past couple of days. And other postings about Dean in recent weeks haven't gotten nearly as much attention. In the past, James has been the main, if not virtually the only person, defending Dean. Q - Is resistance futile?
The other night I went to a talk by Art and Revolution's David Solnit in Berkeley, where he was giving a slide show of the many many protests he's been a part of throughout his life. While he was showing slides, talking about the current and future state of the US, he mentioned a couple of NYTimes Magazine features he'd seen, the first one being something like 'Empire, Get Used to It,' and the next one being "What Sort of Empire Do We Want?' which asked if we want a rabid right wing empire, or a kinder gentler empire, as we could expect to get under the Democrats. David Solnit, who has worked for the past 20 years organizing in the streets all over the world, spoke about this in dissapointment, the idea that we'll get empire either way, and the idea of examining what the meaning is of a vote in 2004.
Think about it in the context of Dean. The Dean Empire.
Dean wants to commit troops to Iraq for 10 years. Even Bush has never said anything like this. How many hundreds of thousands will be dead by 2013, as we screw a tighter and tighter cap onto dissent in the middle east?
Dean supported the invasion of Afghanistan. Both Dean and Kucinich say they didn't approve of what happened after the invasion, but Dean wants more and more troops in there, too. Dean supporters will argue that Dean has called for multilateral and UN involvement. However, the UN involvement should be around ENDING OCCUPATION, not continuing it in order to build McMiddle East under the guise of the UN. Ending an occupation that occurred only months ago should NOT take 10 years. Simply saying the words 'mulit-lateral' and 'UN' are meaningless when you already have your strategy in place and are simply going to fill in the details with those two groups, as Bush is doing now.
Dean sees the Palestinians as 'terrorists,' not occupied resistors, and so a fundamantal flaw is exposed - Dean seems to have no idea of what happens when a country or a people is occupied and forced to take on the values of another culture. How can we expect to ever wean Israel off of the billions and billions of dollars the US funds them with if the new leader of the US empire sees their neighbors as terrorists? And in fact, Dean has no intention of changing that situation. He won't touch the miiitary budget. As Kucinich has said, how on earth can someone be for peace when they have said they won't touch the military budget, which NEEDS WAR TO EXIST? Why has Dean ALREADY sold out to the biggest and most powerful lobby machine in the US? To win, of course. That will be the Dean blogger's rationalization. And Dean has shown he'll do anything to win. EVEN BUSH did not come out this far rightt in support of AIPAC during his campaign. What can we expect when Dean is clinging so blantantly and biasedly to the most right wing faction of the Middle East situation - BEFORE the elections have even happened???
I really don't even have to compare Dean to Kucinich anymore, but to Bush, as he's getting closer and closer to the right.
August 22, 2003
The Longer We Stay, the Deeper They Will Hate Us
The Darkening Tunnel
By RON JACOBS
"What kind of idiots do they take us for? They lied to get us into their war (and about the consequences) and now they expect us to believe that a few hundred thousand more of our boys and girls in uniform sweating in the desert sun with their fingers on the trigger of their automatic weapons will get the results the Pentagon wants? For those of you who dont know the routine: this is what the Pentagon always says. The war on Vietnam was started with only a few thousand GIs. Then, when the Vietnamese resistance refused to roll over and die--choosing instead to attack US and other foreign troops at will--we were told that more troops were needed to accomplish Washington's goal. Unless that goal was the slaughter and wounding of millions and the destruction of their country (which it may have been), no stated goal was ever accomplished. The war on Korea was started under similar circumstances. It ended with no borders changing and millions of people dead and wounded. Hell, they didn't even sign a peace treaty in that one."
Other recent Dean stories from Counterpunch (one of the few left publications with the spine to speak out anymore):
August 12, 2003
Howard Dean's Constitutional Hang-Up
Dean Would Rather Execute an Innocent Man, Than Let a Guilty One Walk Free
By JOSH FRANK
"As Governor of Vermont, Howard Dean openly claimed that the legal system unfairly benefited criminal defendants over prosecutors. He even took measures to cut federal grant money aimed at helping mentally disabled defendants--as well as appointing state judges who were willing to undermine the Bill of Rights. In a 1997 interview with the Vermont News Bureau, Howard Dean admitted his desire to expedite the judicial process by using such justices to "quickly convict guilty criminals." He wanted individuals that would deem "common sense more important than legal technicalities." Constitutional protections (legal technicalities) apparently undermine Dean's yearning for speedy trials."
August 9, 2003
California's Glorious Recall
If Not Camejo, Then Flynt!
By ALEXANDER COCKBURN
"But as soon as I said I couldn't see much reason to get excited about Howard Dean as a candidate for the Democratic nomination, and he seemed to me to be a thoroughly conventional right winger, there was an audible ripple of irritation in the crowd. In the course of an angry denunciation of my unsparing comments about Dean a woman said that the left should be rallying not only to the standard of the former governor of Vermont, but of Governor Gray Davis of California, now facing a recall vote in early October.
. . . Shackled to "lesser of two evils" is its dread mate, "compromise". In its funereal syllables is congealed the whole sad history of the US two-party system, from the first compromise in the Constitution allowing the import of slaves till l820, to the Missouri compromise letting that slave state enter the union; to the compromise of l877 which ended reconstruction.
The twentieth century was no better. In the compromises that ensured Republican hegemony there was one moment of hope, sparked by the Great Depression and the vast public zeal to get out of it. Then, after the war, America saw programs for full employment, for complete social security. Education at the University of California cost $50 a quarter. Democratic clubs in California exercised strong populist control over prospective candidates.
In the years that followed the Democrats slowly bargained everything away, in that same spirit of compromise. No one talks about full employment now. Organized labor is belittled. Oldsters see Social Security being eroded. "
August 9, 2003
Mean, Mean Howard Dean
He's Regressive, Not Progressive
By JOSH FRANK
"Media pundits have been rattling their cages over Howard Dean's so-called progressive agenda, but how wrong they've been. Dean's back seat criticism of the Bush Administration's case for war should enlighten us to the fact that this ex-Vermont Governor's leadership skills are lacking. Prior to the dubious war on Iraq, Dean exclaimed he supported a multi-lateral invasion, but hardly questioned the disinformation spewed from the White House about Iraq's threat to our national security. And to top it off, Dean may well be a Zionist. His unwavering support for the Sharon regime in Israel calls into question his quest for peace in the Middle East. Dean's alignment with the pro-Sharon lobbying firm, American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC), is a stark indicator that this Presidential hopeful's vision for the Arab world is glaringly similar to that of team Bush."
And by the way, I wrote to Ralph Nader asking him why he'd mentioned considering endorsing Howard Dean and he responded with a personal note, explaining that the reporter misquoted him. He did not endorse Dean. He has considered endorsing Kucinich. He has not officially endorsed anyone at this point.
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