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Defending Dean against the Mean

Dean may or may not be right in arguing that we should stay in Iraq, but it doesn't mean he is hypocritical and it definitely does not make him worse than Bush! Your arguments against Dean resemble those of the warmongering patriots.
Dear Justin Raimondo,

I think the insults you are throwing at Dean are completely unwarranted. I would have no problem with you merely arguing that Dean's position towards Iraq is wrong, but you have no basis to use the insults that you did. Come on! You called him as a "double-talking, double-dealing, dubious Dean, a snake in the grass if ever there was one, slimier even than Bill Clinton" and you suggested that he would be worst then Bush. Regardless of whether Dean's position towards Iraq is the correct one, his position is not a hypocritical one. To my knowledge, Dean has never claimed to be a pacifist and he has definitely not claimed to be a libertarian. He has not changed his position and therefore does not deserve the remarks you made. Just because one is not a pacifist, doesn't mean they have to automatically support every war their government comes up with and every use of military force. Dean is able to see shades of gray and believes that there are some cases that justify the use of the military and some that do not. This position is not hypocritical.

I think you misunderstand Dean because you are viewing the world through your libertarian glasses and are forgetting the fact that most people do not look at the world this way. When a libertarian wants to evaluate the rightness of an action, they look to who is performing the action. If it's the government doing the action, then it's an immoral action. Most people, however, Dean included, look to other factors to determine the morality of an action. Rather than just looking at who is doing the action, they look to the action itself and the consequences that will ensue from it. This explains the differing reaction to Iraq and Liberia. In one case, we have a country that poses no threat, does not want an invasion, an international community that is against an invasion, and a President that lies about the reasons for going to war. In Liberia, we have a situation where the people clearly want our intervention, where the president is even willing to step down for peacekeepers to come, where an intervention could save lives and be a lot less likely to result in deaths to our troops than Iraq. I am not even for intervention in Liberia, but I am able to recognize the moral differences in these two cases. Going into Iraq was completely immoral; going into Liberia is probably just not such a good idea. But you seem unable to see that one is a lot worse than the other.

The same applies for Dean's argument that now we are stuck in Iraq and have to stay there. There is a huge moral difference between what Dean would do in Iraq and what Bush has already done. You really think there is no difference between a President that lies to get us into an unnecessary war and a candidate that recognizes that the war was wrong, but is afraid that if we leave Iraq, radical, fundamentalists would form a government and sponsor terrorism against the United States, so therefore does not support leaving Iraq based on that reasoning? I have friends and family from both the right and the left that opposed the Iraq War but firmly believe that we are stuck now and leaving would only make things worse. These are not evil politician people, just intelligent people who aren't libertarians. Dean may or may not be right in arguing that we should stay in Iraq, but it doesn't mean he is hypocritical and it definitely does not make him worse than Bush!

Your arguments against Dean resemble those of the warmongering patriots. They believe that since we are at war, we must always support the President no matter what. Everything is black and white, if you don't support the President you're a traitor. It doesn't matter if you just thoughtfully question the war or you hide Saddam Hussein in your house, you're a traitor and that's the end of it. You're arguments sound just as extreme as you seem unable to distinguish any shades of gray Everything the government does is always wrong. To you, staying in Iraq to help them form a functioning democracy is as equally immoral as fighting a completely unnecessary war that kills thousands of innocent civilians.

Dean wants to restore ties with the international community and bring foreign troops into Iraq, so that American troops can be pulled out and the occupation can be more palatable to the Iraqis. Is that something a true imperialist would want to do? I know you wouldn't agree with that course of action either, but isn't it better than what Bush is doing now, allowing American troops to die and preventing any real international assistance due to US arrogance? We know for sure that we will never get anywhere with Bush's plan. That's why I think it's way too much to say that Dean is the same or worse than Bush. And to say that Bush is better because at least Bush is lying about being in Iraq a long time, while Dean is being honest about it; that's crazy! Dean is living the in the real world. What would have happened if, immediately following the cessation of World War II, Libertarians took over the US government and withdrew all troops from Germany and Japan? The result most likely would be similar to what happened after World War I, when a battered Germany was left to restore its country on its own devices and ended up becoming Nazi Germany, which, most historians agree, was not good. There is no reason the same type of chaos wouldn't occur in Iraq.

There aren't any easy solutions to this Iraq problem and I'm not even trying to convince you that we should stay in Iraq. I just am trying to make you realize that there will be negative consequences to just leaving Iraq (there will be negative consequences no matter what we do), there are convincing arguments for both courses of action, and it's possible for good, intelligent people to disagree.

You don't have to agree with Dean's position, but it's wrong to demonize him simply because he doesn't subscribe to the libertarian mindset. Try to be a bit more open-minded. Usually your columns are much better than this one.

- - - - - - - - - - -

CONGRESSIONAL ELECTION OF NOVEMBER 5, 1996
For United States Representative
California, 8th District

JUSTIN RAIMONDO, REPUBLICAN 25,739 votes
Nancy Pelosi, Democrat 175,216 votes
David Smithstein, Natural Law 6,783 votes
(see -  http://clerk.house.gov/members/election_information/1996/96Stat.htm#5)

homepage: homepage: http://www.antiwar.com/letters/letters.html

Don't vote for Dean. 30.Aug.2003 21:47

@

Dean supports increasing the number of troops in Iraq, "Remaking" the middle east (i.e. interferring in the sovereignty of foreign states), continuing the boycott against Cuba, and Israeli aggression against the Palestinians.

Translation: Dean is Bush with a brain.

there is more thats wrong with Bush then simply foreign policy 30.Aug.2003 22:47

Andy

yes, I agree, Dean isn't really getting the picture when it comes to good foreign policy but pleeeeease, he is 100% dead on with the economy and job creation

The problem is that both Bush and Dean are American IMperialists.... 31.Aug.2003 00:10

Mariposa

You need to do some reading........... just read the current articles at www.monthlyreview.org.

Dean -- Bush -- no big difference......... It's really obvious if you open your eyes real big and take the cotton out of your ears...... it's patently obvious that Dean and Bush are both WARMONGERERS!! Well......Bush is a spokesmodel.....but his designers are warmongerers........

Dean is absolutely right 31.Aug.2003 02:20

Fran Sky

With friends like you, who needs enemies -- Dean is absolutely right -- whoever wins the 2004 election inherits a big mess in Iraq! How would you solve it -- Just walk away? Dean was against the war -- but someone needs to clean up the mess!

You just handed Karl Rove some ammunition!

Thanks a lot!

Fran, Dean was not AGAINST the iraq invasion..... 31.Aug.2003 08:18

Mariposa

He is against the "way" the US went about it.

So to fix it, he wants to quadruple the US troops there.

That is the question people should ask: HOW do you want the USA to deal with the Iraq quagmire.

For me......I want to turn it over to a UN peacekeeping force. Dean does not!

Down with Dean, the Doctor of Death 31.Aug.2003 08:39

Fred

Any candidate who says his views are those of AIPAC's is saying he endorses targetted assassinations of 'terrorists' as a state policy.

Wake up people - if we let Israel get away with it, it's only a matter of time before it starts happening here and everywhere else. Already the US is doing it with drones outside the country.

Down with Dr. Death.

"the occupation can be more palatable to the Iraqis" 31.Aug.2003 08:40

Fred

"Dean wants to restore ties with the international community and bring foreign troops into Iraq, so that American troops can be pulled out and the occupation can be more palatable to the Iraqis. Is that something a true imperialist would want to do?"

Jesus, that's idiotic.

Better than Bush 31.Aug.2003 10:08

Geoff DeWan

This is the kind of silliness that got us George Bush in the first place. After three years of having your face ground in the mud you still think that Ghandi is going to return and lead us all to the promised land. The point is Dean, or Gore, or even that scumbag Lieberman wouldn't have gotten us into this war in the first place. Remember that when Bush 43, Part II fulfills one of their favorite slogans - "Men want to go to Baghdad, REAL men want to go to Teheran."

Howard is not the candidate of your dreams. OK. But don't be so hard on yourself. The US is supertanker, it doesn't turn in one election, it's nudged along by degrees, we need someone nudging it in the right direction and with the willingness to let us be one part of the voice of his conscience.

not even a fake promise 31.Aug.2003 11:19

howard dean ain't james dean

Not even a fake promise from Dean for him to break after he's elected, that this stuff is not going to happen again. Just "we're wrong for going to Iraq, but we're right to be there". If he's not an accomplised liar outright, he's a proud double-talker...

But I don't think I know anyone supporting Dean that isn't suffering from the illusion that he's against pentagon spending and against the war on terrorism, etc. etc., they've heard him criticize Bush on Iraq so they think his positions are like Kucinich's. I have to seriously doubt that any of them would support him if they got a good look at what his positions actually. They've fallen under the "anyone who can beat Bush" spell, and unfortunately the PNAC cabal who's had their hand in the cookie jar through many adminstrations is just as capable of exploiting that reaction, as they are of exploiting people's reactions to 9-11. Bush, whom they personally schooled in world affairs before his election, is just a face to put on it. Bush, we've learned not to trust quite so much, Dean can have us in two more wars before we're as tired and cautious of him.

The fact is, even Al Gore can beat Bush without so much as exuding a personality, and there is less reason to like Bush now than there was then, at only what... day 160-something of quagmire? I'd like to see Bush's approval rating at day 365 of quagmire...

But apparently, Dean isn't willing to help clarify things for people, yet he must know how close he is to exploiting people's desperation to be rid of Bush, but he seems to prefer being a piece of political silly putty and trying ooze his way into office...

No one is being "mean to Dean"... America is being sucked dry to feed the pentagon and the PNAC schemes, and he can't even pretend to be sympathetic to these problems. If that makes him honest, it makes him pretty much oblivious to why what he's criticized is wrong. That single position on that single matter is enough to categorize him as just not different enough from Bush, period. IMHO, Deans sounds poised, ready and willing to be pretty damned mean to America...

Cool bumper sticker from Houston IMC 31.Aug.2003 11:52

Green

I'm a Greenie and I hope Dean gets the nomination!

would Nader vote for Dean? 31.Aug.2003 12:41

somehow I doubt it

I'm a Greenie, too, and I'm going Dem to vote for Kucinich in the primaries... :-)

I do remember Nader hinting that Kucinich might be worth supporting, hint, hint...

Democrap losses are the fault of the Democraps 31.Aug.2003 12:52

Fred

"This is the kind of silliness that got us George Bush in the first place."

Wrong.

We all know the lies and deceit that got us Bushmoron in the first place. Voters didn't do it. The Greens didn't do it. The media chose not to report on the actual coup. Why? Because the media, like the corporate stooge Democraps and Republicraps, works for the rich, not for the people.

Giving in to the farce that Dean offers is no solution to Bush, and as many have outlined, is only better than Bush on a few things, which are in contant question because of Dean's tendency to flow with the money, not the people. So in the end, he's no real option.

The real defeat was when the Supremes selected the little moron, and no one really got out there and made their voices heard on the insanity of that. I'm talking in the streets. There WAS no big rush to elect anyone, there was false SELECTION by the Supremes.

We need to be prepared for something equally as ludicrous in 2004 and catering to patriot nazis.

In CA there are scams going on now where people call up and say they're conducting a poll and then tell people they don't have to go to the polling place, that they can submit people's votes for them.

This sort of thing will only increase.

Down with the Doctor of Death.

Howard Dean The First = George Bush The Second, except more so 31.Aug.2003 13:38

GRINGO STARS

Dean is PRO-Palestine Occupation, PRO-Israel and PRO-AIPAC, more so than Bush

Dean is PRO-NAFTA, PRO-WTO and PRO-GATT

Dean is PRO-Iraqi Occupation (and wants to send MORE troops than Bush to Iraq)

Dean is PRO-Cuban Embargo

Dean is PRO-Afghani Occupation (and wants to send MORE troops than Bush to Afghanistan)

Dean is for MORE defen$e $pending than Bush is currently spending

Dean is capitalist, imperialist and colonialist

Dean is ANTI-medical marijuana

Dean wants to continue waging war in the USA (and overseas) against people who use certain drugs

Yet Dean is PRO-Drug Industry (I guess THOSE drugs are somehow OK since corporations are profiting off of them, despite roughly equal amounts of death/addiction as illegal drugs)

Wow - Dean is more to the "right" than George The Second is.

By the way, as has been pointed out before, our votes don't matter - the last election was not an election, but a fraud-riddled appointment. The plutocracy saw to it that tens of thousands of democrat votes were quietly accepted then ignored, while declaring those voters "felons" unable to legally vote (98 percent of them were NOT felons). Just enougfh to force a supreme court appointment of the US presidency. Smooth of them.

Bush and Rove are PRO-Dean! Because they know they will beat him.

WE DO NOT LIVE IN A DEMOCRACY, OR EVEN A REPUBLIC. Voting is rigged. Your vote does not count. At all. Your choice of spokesmodel will not be heard.

(The following I copied from an excellent post in a previous thread)

 http://www.blackboxvoting.com/

Diebold Voting Machine Controversy in Ohio
 http://portland.indymedia.org/en/2003/08/270902.shtml

the REAL Scoop on Diebold Computer Vote Fraud
Aviel Rubin called allegations by Bev Harris that the Diebold software may have been *designed* to facilitate fraud "ludicrous"--because his team NEVER EVEN EXAMINED the Diebold software in question. Incredibly, this software keeps not one, but two Microsoft Access data tables of voting results--like a business keeping two sets of account books. The two tables are notionally identical copies of the votes collated from all polling stations. The first table is for on-demand reports which might uncover alteration of the data--such as spot checks of results from individual polling stations. The second table is used to determine the election result--but it can be hacked and altered to produce fake election totals without affecting spot check reports derived from the first table.
 http://www.scoop.co.nz/mason/stories/HL0307/S00198.htm
 http://dc.indymedia.org/newswire/display/78452

50 Links to 'Electronic Voting Machine Fraud' & 'Rigged Vote-Counting'
 http://www.linkcrusader.com/vote_machines.htm

Voting In The New World Order
 http://www.govsux.com/voting.htm

Voting Machines: Vote Tampering in the 21st Century
 http://www.whoseflorida.com/voting_machines.htm

Theft of Presidency
 http://www.gregpalast.com/columns.cfm?subject_id=1&subject_name=Theft%20of%20Presidency

 http://www.ecotalk.org/VotingSecurity.htm

Will Iraq be the libertarian ideal? Hell no! 31.Aug.2003 19:06

John Pierce

Going over your (Justin Raimondo) article again, my rage is building. Not only does the Washington Post article not support your ascertains, you have used every trick that you rail against the neocon bloggers for. You take shots at a Dean supporter (which comprises the bulk of your article) and pretend that some asshole in San Francisco speaks for Dean. What's worse, is that you try to tie Dean to Rice and Kristol by putting them in the same sentence and pretending that they are the same....

What kind of sh*t is that? Didn't you just bitch when Ilana Mercer did the same thing? Or is it different when you do it because you are arrogant enough to believe that you have "good intentions."

As for the imperial ambitions that Dean is supposed to have - I guess I'm supposed to buy that because of your out of context quote? He shouldn't have said he would impose a constitution, but further reading points to a UN role. What emperor wants to conquer a nation and give it to someone else? In actually following what Dean has said at other events, his plan seems to be to turn this mess over to the UN.

Now I know you have a knee-jerk hatred of the UN, but most people believe that it is the only route out of this mess. At this point, the Iraqis might allow the UN to come in and provide some sense of order while they get a government together. Who knows, but anything is better then what we have now. I can't believe that you think a second term for Bush would be better than giving Dean a shot. Dean isn't trying to invade Syria and Iran. Dean wants to talk with N Korea - not threaten them into a war.

I check out your column because it is an interesting read, and we agree on a lot of things.

For the most part, I have found you to be fair and I appreciate the fact that you link your source material. Today's column isn't the first time you have used underhanded tactics to attack someone you don't like, but I have let it go in the past chalking it up to sinking to your opponent's level. But in this case, there is no excuse. Dean did nothing to you and your characterization is completely wrong.

bu$h=coke 31.Aug.2003 23:53

gore = pepsi

dean = dr. pepper
bu$h=coke
bu$h=coke
gore = pepsi
gore = pepsi
dean = dr. pepper
dean = dr. pepper

vote pro peace, not anti Bush 01.Sep.2003 10:42

green1

I am a Green and I support Kucinich for the Dem primary. I suggest a way to get what we want is to focus on what that is, not on what it isn't. Do we just acept Bush lite or any candidate who is less than what we want and need in leadership roles? Or do we concentrate on what values we want to see and give our support to the candidate who provides them? I advocate for the latter strategy. That is why I support Kucinich who has a proven track record, not just a website of crowd pleasing rhetoric. His achievements and proposed legislation have been discussed here and are available on his website and through other sources, so I won't repeat here. But it just seems odd to keep saying over and over, mantra-like, that Kucinich is unelectable and Dean is electable. Aren't we the ones electing? It just makes more sense to not give up before even trying and encourage others to do the same. And I am highly suspicious of the major media push that Dean is receiving. Has any other candidate gotten their face on the front of Time Magazine? There is tv, newspaper, radio, talk show, etc. coverage for Dean, but none for the other candidates. Something is up. I say don't fall for the media hype, vote for the candidate who has proven where he stands and what he stands for, without the aid of Israeli or any other corporate PAC.

Political dreamland 01.Sep.2003 12:24

T

Political dreamland
by T 6:30am Mon Sep 1 '03 comment#30308



The fact of the matter is that in the bi cameral system we have in the US 3rd parties split the vote and end up electing the guy a minority wants. This is true for republicans and democrats, look at the effect that Ross Peroit had on daddy Bush, it got Clinton in. while it would be great if there could be a coalition party with greens and dems, I don't see it unless Kucinich gets in.

Lets be clear, dems have sold out, no question, but when you look at what was actually done clinton did a lot better a job than Bush is doing. I don't excuse Clinton for his short commings, he fliped on NAFTA and that was wrong, he ignored Ruanda, he kept up sanctions and bombing runs in Iraq. But he looked at issues that Bush would never even discuss. They gave universal healthcare a shot (it didn't work but they tried and raised the issue).

The supertanker is a good analigy. And it would be good if the greens could get that 5% for federal matching funds, but the greens may be at least in part responsible for that really slim margin that put Bush over the top, well not really over the top but close enugh for it to go to the bought and paid for Supreme Court.

In states where the dems have a lock, like in IL and CA, go ahead and vote for the greens, vote even if your really a dem, but if its close PLEASE PLEASE vote for a dem and get Bush out.

We can be smart enugh to get Bush out and get the greens their 5%, but only if we're smart and realistic.

to mr. 'T'-- 02.Sep.2003 08:08

blah

"PLEASE PLEASE vote for a dem and get Bush out"

--your "vote" DOESN'T COUNT (see links above 'Gringo Stars' RE: black box voting)

that said, even if i do basically agree that in Nov. 2004 we should at least vote for the nominated Democrap--

because at that point we've NOTHING LEFT TO LOSE--

NOW IS NOT THE TIME TO BE WASTING BREATH ON THIS.

*some* Democrap (and their running mate--Lieberman????) will be nominated by the Corporate One-Party system, beyond any of our control.

at the time of pResidential Selection Nov. 2004, we'll cast our votes for either Bu$h or that Democrap.

that's how it ALWAYS HAS worked, and always will until this corrupt Corporate One-Party system collapses.

Portland Indymedia is a GRASSROOTS activism website:

--keep the Howard Dean bullshit on democratic underground or democraps.com


yeah! 02.Sep.2003 09:06

epstein's mother

>keep the Howard Dean bullshit on democratic underground or democraps.com

other opinions are not welcome here!

hey 'epstein'-- 02.Sep.2003 09:17

blah

"other opinions are not welcome here!"

--those words are your lame attempt at sarcasm, 'epstein'. the Dean crap is SPAM, plain and simple. If you want "opinions" on Corporate One-Party candidates, go to democratic underground or democrats.com to hash out your pre-nomination jitters.

and YOU, 'epstein' need to click on the link below:


oh, i wasn't being sarcastic..... 02.Sep.2003 10:01

epstein's mother

in fact, i agree 100%. i'm sick of all these dean-spammers coming here and shooting their mouths off like they know everything.

cram it, deanies!

Testing your biases 02.Sep.2003 12:39

anon

Are you also just as sick of the Kuccinich spammers?

If no, why?

'biases'-- 02.Sep.2003 12:54

blah

"Are you also just as sick of the Kuccinich [sic] spammers?"

YES.

every fucking person on this newswire knows precisely who the Democrap candidates are, and what issues they stand for. Portland IMC is for non-corporate, grassroots community ACTIVISM, not Corporate One-Party politics.

if you need more info, go to dean.com or kucinich.com and rah-rah yourself to death. Personally, I get it blared from every newsstand, radio, and TV as I walk down the street.

it's all a gigantic heap of horseshit until the Democrapic nomination, after which every American has two choices in "voting":

1. Bu$h
2. (Bu$h's Democrap rival)

END OF STORY.
bu$h = coke
bu$h = coke
kerry = pepsi
kerry = pepsi
dean = dr. pepper
dean = dr. pepper

hey blah 02.Sep.2003 14:01

epstein's mother

i like your coke, pepsi, dr.pepper thing.... that's clever. it really is just three corpo-candidates.