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Help Howard Dean!

Howard Dean is trying to raise 5 million dollars online in 10 days.
Please help the good doctor out. Give him 10 or 20 bucks. I don't agree with him on every issue either. He speaks his mind and he speaks the truth. He is the most progressive candidate that can beat Bush. (sorry Kucinich fans, I like Dennis too but he is way too obscure to win)

I've Got Some Returnable Cans, If He wants Them 21.Sep.2003 13:43

2 Cents

Why not Clark? He is already beating Dean in the polls, has right wing appeal, and tailors his message to tell me what I want to hear, even more convincingly than Dean does. Clark is obviously far more "electable" than Dean, so why not throw support his way? Otherwise, why not simply cancel the election, and declare the candidate with the biggest bank account as the winner?

How about Dean give ME some money instead? 21.Sep.2003 19:03

GRINGO STARS

Dean wants MORE troops than Bush in Iraq.

Dean wants MORE troops than Bush in Afghanistan.

Dean wants to give the Pentagon MORE money than Bush currently gives them.

Dean wants to give Israel MORE money than Bush currently gives them.

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

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

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

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.

Dean is as much a part of the problem as Bush is so quit spamming a PROGRESSIVE newswire with pathetic pleas for cash for a warmongering, intolerant fascist please.

Thank you.

I'll Help 21.Sep.2003 19:38

Den Mark

I'll help Howard! I'll help him find the way back to Montpelier. Go home, Howard!

He needs OUR help? 21.Sep.2003 20:11

anonymous

I hate good-looking, rich, successful people who think the rest of us, who don't have as much, should just give them stuff, because... they want it, or deserve it, or whatever their rationale is.

the ANSWER to your appeal, 'Andy'-- 21.Sep.2003 20:35

PLUTOCRACY

plu*toc*ra*cy Pronunciation Key (pl-tkr-s)
n. pl. plu*toc*ra*cies
Government by the wealthy.
A wealthy class that controls a government.
A government or state in which the wealthy rule.
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[Greek ploutokrati : ploutos, wealth; see pleu- in Indo-European Roots + -krati, -cracy.]
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pluto*crat (plt-krt) n.
pluto*cratic or pluto*crati*cal adj.
pluto*crati*cal*ly adv.

Source: The American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition
-----------------------------------------------------------

plutocracy

\Plu*toc"ra*cy\, n. [Gr. ?; ? wealth + ? to be strong, to rule, fr.? strength: cf. F. plutocratie.] A form of government in which the supreme power is lodged in the hands of the wealthy classes; government by the rich; also, a controlling or influential class of rich men.
Source: Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary, 1996
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plutocracy

n : a political system governed by the wealthy people
Source: WordNet 1.6, 1997 Princeton University
-----------------------------------------------------------


Plutocracy
 http://www.wikipedia.com/wiki/Plutocracy
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.

A Plutocracy is a government system where wealth is the principal basis of power (from the Greek ploutos meaning wealth).

The influence of wealth on governance can be expressed either via the wealthy classes directly governing, or (more typically) by the wealthy classes using money to control the government. This control can be exerted positively (by financial "contributions" or in some cases, bribes) or negatively by refusing to financially support the government (refusing to pay taxes, threatening to move profitable industries elsewhere, etc).

There have not been many examples of a "true" plutocracy in history as such, although they typically emerge as one of the first governing systems within a territory after a period of anarchy. Plutocracy is closely related to Aristocracy  http://www.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aristocracy as a form of government, as generally wealth and nobility have been closely associated throughout history.

In the present era, there are numerous cases of wealthy individuals exerting financial pressure on governments to pass favourable legislation. Most western partisan democracies permit the raising of funds by the partisan organisations, and it is well-known that political parties frequently accept significant donations from various individuals (either directly or through corporate institutions). Ostensibly this should have no effect on the legislative decisions of elected representatives, however it would be a bit idealistic to believe that no politicians are influenced by these "contributions". The more cynical might describe these donations as "bribes", although legally they are not.

See also:

Pareto principle (on unequal distribution of wealth)
 http://www.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pareto_principle
corporatocracy
 http://www.wikipedia.org/wiki/Corporatocracy
corporate police state
 http://www.wikipedia.org/wiki/Corporate_police_state

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"Plutocracy" Defined
 http://progressiveliving.org/plutocracy_defined.htm

The term "plutocracy" is formally defined as government by the wealthy, and is also sometimes used to refer to a wealthy class that controls a government, often from behind the scenes. More generally, a plutocracy is any form of government in which the wealthy exercise the preponderance of political power, whether directly or indirectly.

Plutocracy may also have social and cultural aspects. Thus, in Democracy for the Few  http://progressiveliving.org/who_rules_samples.htm political scientist Michael Parenti is led to comment "American capitalism represents more than just an economic system; it is an entire cultural and social order, a plutocracy, a system of rule that is mostly by and for the rich. Most universities and colleges, publishing houses, mass circulation magazines, newspapers, television and radio stations, professional sports teams, foundations, churches, private museums, charity organizations, and hospitals are organized as corporations, ruled by boards of trustees (or directors or regents) composed overwhelmingly of affluent businesspeople. These boards exercise final judgment over all institutional matters."

The question of whether or not the United States could be said to be a plutocracy is discussed at length in Who Rules America  http://progressiveliving.org/who_rules_samples.htm by sociologist G. William Domhoff. There Domhoff remarks: "The idea that a relatively fixed group of privileged people might shape the economy and government for their own benefit goes against the American grain. Nevertheless, this book argues that the owners and top-level managers in large income-producing properties are far and away the dominant power figures in the United States. Their corporations, banks, and agribusinesses come together as a corporate community that dominates the federal government in Washington. Their real estate, construction, and land development companies form growth coalitions that dominate most local governments."

The argument to the effect that the US is a functional plutocracy (that is, that the wealthy exercise a preponderance of American political power) is different from, enormously better documented, and altogether more credible, than claims to the effect that there exists a small circle of conspirators bent on ruling the world, claims for which no credible evidence exists. (Domhoff explicitly disavows the existence of any such conspiracy.)

-----------------------------------------------------------

See the resource on the Bush cabinet, with links that illustrate its plutocratic nature
 http://progressiveliving.org/bush_cabinet.htm
Go to the Essay on Politics
 http://progressiveliving.org/politics_essay.htm
Go to the PL Political Field Guide
 http://progressiveliving.org/politics_frameset.htm
Return to the PL Site Map
 http://progressiveliving.org/site_map_2.htm


Some other enlightening and useful links:

Corporate Capitalist Plutocracy
 http://free.freespeech.org/americanstateterrorism/plutocracy/RevealingQuotes2.html

The Plutocratic Presidency, 1789—2003
 link to free.freespeech.org

The Corporate Domination of American Culture and Politics
 http://free.freespeech.org/americanstateterrorism/plutocracy/CorporateDomination.html

Plutocracy.Net
 http://plutocracy.net/

Gringo, 21.Sep.2003 22:44

James

Every last person on this 'progressive newswire' knows full-well that your last post was littered with utter lies. So why bother posting it? It just makes you look hysterical. If you want to make an impression on people, you might try sticking to the truth -- or at least trying to disguise your lies. I mean, give people some credit.

To be sure, progressives have a number of gripes with Dean. Why not stick to the truth then, and the actual gripes, instead of outright distortion of the man's positions?

Thank you.

Get Ahold of Yourself, James! 21.Sep.2003 23:13

Obmuj

Gringo's post appeared to have some exagertions, but for the most part looks pretty accurate to me. Much more so than your relentless fawning over this man (Dean). You seem fairly intelligent to me, but this fool (Dean) has got you snowed neck deep. Why not Clark, or some other fool? I just don't understand your steadfast support for a man standing on a platform riddled with holes. Surely you can't see this man as an answer to our problems. What is your motive?

Set me straight, James 22.Sep.2003 11:19

GRINGO STARS

I thought everything I said to be utterly true. Where did I screw up?

One, two, three, once again, go 22.Sep.2003 12:54

James

Am I fawning? I don't see how. I acknowledge the problems with Howard Dean, the problems in my estimation anyway. The Drug War, death penalty, Israel, agricultural subsidies, et cetera.

The problem with American presidential politics is that everything is reduced to a sound-byte. Whoever spits out the most plausible position consisting of the fewest number of words is believed and voted for. Everything has to be black and white.

If you try and offer a moderated opinion, or partial support, or a complicated rationale, the result is inevitably a barrage of straw men. Your positions are exaggerated, or reduced, and the result is nothing but a sea of hyperbole.

That's what you see in Gringo's post. He picks and he chooses statements Dean has made, exaggerates them, and then claims Dean is worse than Bush. I mean, it's just laughable.

Gringo has asked me to set him straight, so I will.

"Dean wants MORE troops than Bush in Iraq."

Yes, but he first wants to seek a UN mandate. He's said numerous times that he'd like to see more foreign troops, especially Arabic-speaking troops. And yes, if more American troops are needed, he would send them, but under a UN-mandate if possible.

(Though not under UN command. There's a distinction here between Bush's recent proposals, and Dean's. The distinction is that Dean would treat Iraq like Bosnia -- the country would be under UN control, but American soldiers would be under American command, answering requests from the United Nations (as would other nations). Bush's proposes that the UN member nations now send troops and money, but that the country remain under American control).

That is hardly worse than Bush, who got us into the mess, who antagonized and condescended to the UN in his speech. Dean's position is right; it's an acknowledgement of the problems we face there.

I know many here would simply abandon the country now that we've destroyed it. I understand the logic; if we're in a Vietnam-like quagmire, with no end in sight, why bother. But the difference is that throughout the entire country, and unlike North Vietnam, most Iraqis want American troops to stay. The latest Zogby poll in Iraq shows 7 out of 10 Iraqis want American troops there. They want them to hurry-up and get out, to be sure. But they want them there for at least the next 9-12 months.

"Dean wants to give the Pentagon MORE money than Bush currently gives them."

That's just not true. Dean has said he'll keep Pentagon funding at current levels. He's also said he'd reallocate the way a portion of it is spent -- redirecting some of it to the states for whatever feel-good security measures they want, by hiring foreign nuclear scientists, buying stocks of uranium, etc. Whatever, though. That's all feel-good, do-nothing political mumbo-jumbo. The point is that, contrary to what you wrote, his position is to leave it unchanged.

(Actually, it's funny -- Many here point to the Newhouse News article in 1995, when Dean was Chairman of the National Governor's Association, where Dean talks about a balanced budget amendment. In it, he said one of the ways to balance the budget would be to raise the retirement age to 70. You find all sorts of posts on the IMCs about that, but you never see it pointed out that in the same article, Dean also says you have to cut defense spending to balance the budget. It's this sort of picking and choosing quotes from years ago that annoys me).

"Dean wants to give Israel MORE money than Bush currently gives them."

At this point, Dean's position is pretty unclear. I signed the petition asking him to clarify it. The Jerusalem Post interview is somewhat disturbing, to say the least. (I was going to write about a distinction between loan guarantees and ouright aid, since they're very different...but I figured I'd be ridiculed, since it's more the principle of the matter).

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

He's pro-Palestine Occupation? Come on. Is that what he meant when he said an enormous number of settlements needed to be torn down? You might be able to make the case that he won't do anything -- at least there's some intellectual honesty in that argument. But pro-Palestine Occupation? Right.

"Dean is capitalist, imperialist and colonialist."

Dean is an imperialist? Any thinking person can plainly see that's not true. Free trade != imperialism.

"Dean is ANTI-medical marijuana."

True enough; in reality, he sort of straddled the fence. He said he didn't support it, but he would direct the FDA to study the benefits, and would abide by their results. (Incidentally, I'm not sure that's even legal. I don't think the President can direct the FDA to do, or not to do, anything. I understood it to be an independent agency, free from Executive-branch meddling. But I could be wrong).

But in the more important sense, you're right -- Dean says he would favor treatment over imprisonment for drug users, but that completely ignores the larger and more important points.

My point is not that you should run to the Saturday Market and hand-out Howard Dean buttons. I've long since learned not to tout Dean here. I'm not the one posting these stories -- though I will point out when people exaggerate or get a bit loose with the truth.

You're always harping-on about critical thinking, and lapses in logic, and the media -- and then you take Howard Dean's position, reduce them to one-liners, sprinkle in a few untruths, and conclude that Dean is a "warmongering, intolerant fascist?"

There are problems with Dean -- but the facts cannot lead to your conclusion.

You Contadict Yourself, James 22.Sep.2003 13:18

Obmuj

James writes: "Dean has said he'll keep Pentagon funding at current levels."

Then he writes: "Dean also says you have to cut defense spending to balance the budget."

What is your source on the second claim? Don't you see a problem with both of these statements being true? Why should the Pentagon get a dime until they can explain what happened to the one fucking trillion plus dollars that they have 'lost'?

Not my intention 22.Sep.2003 13:40

James

I didn't mean to suggest he would cut the Pentagon budget. He has said directly to Kucinich at a Democratic debate that he would not.

What I meant to highlight was the absurdity of taking quotes from 8 years ago as proof of anything. It wasn't directly related to anything Gringo had said; just something that had come to mind, related to unfair attacks. There have been stories posted here before about Dean raising the retirement age. Kucinich has a story on his webpage about the same thing -- Dean saying to balance the budget, the retirement age should be raised to 70.

But the quote is from an article in 1995. In the very same article, Dean says that to balance the budget, defense should also be cut.

My point was that it's strange that those attacking Dean would attack him for saying he would raise the retirement age 8 years ago, even though he has sinced changed his position, to leave the age unchanged at 67. (Which is stupid, by the way. Social Security needs reform, or it will go broke in 30-40 years. Outlays crossover receipts in 2017. Read Kucinich's Social Security position -- lowering the age by 2 years -- and let me know if you can stop laughing. Kucinich needs a refresher course on compound interest.) But those same people will then attack Dean for not promising to cut defense spending today, even though he said he would in the very same article that they now claim trumps his present position.

In case I've still not been clear, let me try and make the point again: Both quotes are meaningless.

It's selective quoting. A conclusion has been drawn, and statements are then lined-up to support that conclusion.

Dean in Denial 22.Sep.2003 13:49

Obmuj

One of the biggest problems I have with Dean, is his apparent inability to aknowledge past postions, admit that they were wrong, and explain why he changed his mind. Without this, his ever-changing positions are pretty empty. Again, why not Clark?

Oh, and to answer the other question 22.Sep.2003 13:52

James

"Why should the Pentagon get a dime until they can explain what happened to the one fucking trillion plus dollars that they have 'lost'? "

They shouldn't. It's ridiculous. Even if we had a full accounting, the budget should be cut at least 50% -- and we'd still have the most powerful military in the world. It's a woeful misallocation of resources. (Not just capital, but labor too).

Dean's Pentagon-budget position is wrong.

Why not? 22.Sep.2003 13:58

Jamesd

Clark certainly seems to have a bit of a problem with hubris. Like trying to send paratroopers to Pristina Airport, to engage the Russians. But I don't know enough about him. I've read the 'war criminal' threads here, and they've been interesting, but they ring a bit hollow to me.

Also, it's a bit disconcerting that the man apparently has only the slightest grasp of domestic politics. (Who runs for President, claims to be an "ardent 2nd Amendment supporter", but doesn't know what the Brady Bill is?)

But I'll listen to Clark. I've certainly not written him off. I just don't know much about his policy positions, since up until now he's been less than forthcoming.

None of the statements in my first comment are wrong 22.Sep.2003 14:25

GRINGO STARS

James admits that Dean wants more troops in Iraq. James then quibbles that the occupation forces will be UN instead of USA. The Iraqis don't care what buttons are on the uniforms of their occupiers.

Dean has said that Israel deserves more support financially. Which coincides with the AIPAC view, surprise surprise! And funding Israel is funding the occupation of Palestine. Although not attractive to admit, financially supporting Israel's military IS directly helping the occupation of Palestine.

Dean IS anti-medical marijuana. He considers it a backdoor tactic to normalise recreational cannabis use. So he's against it. Typical drug warrior rhetoric.

Dean is imperialist because he wants more troops in Afghanistan and Iraq. If that's not empire, what is? Dean wants Pentagon to get MORE money for "counter-terrorist" programs. Except that pentagon funds go to all kinds of empire-building militarism; which is imperialst. The "rebuilding of Iraq and Afghanistan is the new colonialism;
THE CORPORATE INVASION OF IRAQ;
 http://www.isreview.org/issues/30/corporateinvasion.shtml

I stand by every statement that I have made about Dean. He is a professional grinning stranger who was against the *timing* of teh Iraq invasion, but is all for the occupation of Iraq. (??!!???) It is the way of electoral politics to obfuscate real positions by prattling about specifics, but the fact is that his positions are precisely as my first comment stated. Given the choice between Dean and Bush, I'm not voting because they are almost identical. Dean worse on some issues and Bush worse on others, but both are shills for corporate America, which doesn't care about you despite their multi-billion dollar PR campaign trying to convince people otherwise.

This is the problem with electoral politics; corporate media dictates who is "electable" and who is "un-electable" thereby ensuring that ALL "real" candidates will be capitalist, imperialist, corporatist putocrats with only their re-election in mind. And that means doing the bidding of their patrons/campaign-contributors instead of the populace. Then James buys what one of them is selling and actively promotes someone *with whom he does not even agree* on many subjects - this is not democracy or republicanism - this is desperation.

the following is from THE PITFALLS OF THE "ANYBODY BUT BUSH" STRATEGY;

"The only possibility of a change for the better will come when a militant labor movement and other social movements organize and demand change from whatever regime is in power in Washington. Millions are committed to building such a movement -- and committed to electing a Democrat at the same time -- without seeing any contradiction between the two. But there is a contradiction. It is not as apparent now with Democratic hopefuls leaning slightly leftward to boost their core support, but as we move closer to the election, we will be faced with a choice between two parties equally committed to American capitalism and American imperialism. Business Week wrote of Dean, "Those who know him best believe Dean is moving left to boost his chances of winning the nomination." If the ruling class isn't fooled by Dean's opportunism, we shouldn't be either."
 http://www.isreview.org/issues/31/editorials.shtml

let me get this straight.... 22.Sep.2003 14:31

let-me-get-this-straight guy

gringo is quoting *business week* as evidence? nice.

But you're the idiot who keeps believing in luck 22.Sep.2003 15:05

James

"The Iraqis don't care what buttons are on the uniforms of their occupiers."

That's a nice quote, but unfortunately it's not true. The Iraqis do care; a small percentage of extremists don't. You can't square your views with the fact that the Iraqis *want foreign troops there* and *want U.S. troops there*. What happened to solidarity, Gringo? Look at the Zogby poll.

The Iraqis want control of their government, and they want American troops there to ensure they get it. Will *you* stand in solidarity with the Iraqis, or will you stand against them? Right now, you're standing completely against the vast majority of Iraqis. Pull your head out of the sand, and look at this objectively.

The war was wrong. We lacked the moral authority to wage it, to decide some should die for the greater cause. We were lied to. The pretense for the war was false. We never should have done it for those reasons.

But we did do it. All those tens of thousands of deaths should weigh on each of our consciences. Now what shall we do? Make it worse -- leave the country, abandon it to the meddlings of Iran? To the religious extremists who are the only groups that would have the power to rule? Even though most all of the Iraqis want us to stay?

"Dean is imperialist because he wants more troops in Afghanistan and Iraq. If that's not empire, what is?"

That doesn't even make sense. He was against the Iraq war -- not just the timing, but the war. It's called making amends. We caused injury to both Iraq and Afghanistan, and now we need to do something about it. No matter how deeply you bury your head in the sand, you have to admit that progress has been made in Iraq. You can be against the war, but support the re-construction.

We're almost completely out of Afghanistan now, and it's a huge mistake. We only have 9,000 troops there now, and look at the consequences. It's amazing. People on the IMCs will simultaneously criticize how awful the situation in Afghanistan has become, and it's continuing deterioration -- which is a direct result of the total collapse of US support for the country -- and in the same breath, criticize the fact that American troops are still in Iraq.

Where is the logic?

I'll never agree with every candidate on everything. It is republicanism, and it is democratic. I don't agree with Kucinich, nor Nader, nor Bush, nor Dean, nor Browne on every subject. This is democracy in action. Show me a leader with whom I agree on every subject, and I'll show you a portrait of your new benevolent dictator, Chairman James.

News brief 22.Sep.2003 15:53

Richard Coduri

Dean Makes Gains in Iowa
Former Vermont Governor Dr. Howard Dean continues to build support in search of the Democratic presidential nomination. In September 8-9 polling of likely Iowa caucus voters, Dean captured the lead with 23%, in second was Missouri Congressman Richard Gephardt with 17%, and in thrid was Massachusetts Senator John Kerry with 11%. It appears that Senator Joe Lieberman will avoid Iowa altogether.

With Tools Like These...
President Bush and his Administration have said that they need the tools to fight terrorism, despite the rather large and aggressive tools that they have garnered through the Patriot Act. But instead of trying to get a whole new package, they are going to try and get them piecemeal. A new bill, HR 3037, the "Antiterrorism Tools Enhancement Act of 2003," has been introduced in the House of Representatives. Among the issues dealt with in the act are nationwide search warrants in terrorism cases and administrative subpoenas in terrorism investigations.

Syria in the Crosshairs?
Representative Ileana Ros-Lehtinen held a forum last week entitled "The Syrian Threat," hosted by the House Subcommittee on the Middle East and Central Asia, which she chairs, to "address Syria's role in attacks against U.S. forces in Iraq; its continued support for terrorist organizations; its missile development; and its occupation of Lebanon." The forum featured none other than Daniel Pipes, director of the Middle East Forum, Marc Ginsburg, former Ambassador to Morocco, and former Lebanese Prime Minister General Michel Aoun.

Read more


wow 22.Sep.2003 16:15

Andy

okay, I guess thats a no

I seriously hope you all realize that you either get Bush, Kerry, Clark, Gephardt, Lieberman, or Dean

I'm sorry but I don't think that Marx or Lenin or any of them is gonna be elected President this time

Dean is wrong on a lot of issues but hes better then everyone else

thoughts, responses, and questions 22.Sep.2003 16:26

someone

James, I think the Zogby poll is completely worthless.

"Zogby International conducted interviews of 600 adults chosen at random with consideration for ethnic background, gender, religion and social class, throughout locations in Iraq. Interviews were conducted August 3-19, 2003 in Basra, Karkouk, Mousel and Al Ramadi."

In other words, in cities with heavy US occupation forces, random people are asked questions such as, "Do you think that Iraq will be a much better country, somewhat better, somewhat worse or a lot worse five years from now?" and "Should America and Britain help make sure a fair government is set up in Iraq, or should they just let Iraqis work this out themselves?" That last one is incredibly leading; no self-respecting researcher or social scientist would allow a question like that on a poll.

So, first, put yourself in their shoes: foreign occupation army and government, no electricity, water, or jobs, and someone comes up to you and starts asking questions what would you say? My guess is that you'd tell them what you think they want to hear.

You can keep believing that the Iraqis want US troops but it's baseless, as is a statement saying that they don't want troops. No one knows for sure. Personally, I'm willing to bet that the majority of Iraqis do not want the US to be there. I use as my assumptions that since the majority of Iraqis are Shiites and the majority of Shiites do not want the US to be there due to the continuing and historic attempts of the US to suppress a Shiite government. You may have different assumptions, but don't claim that there is any research to support your claim when there isn't any (well, any respectable research anyway).

"People on the IMCs will simultaneously criticize how awful the situation in Afghanistan has become, and it's continuing deterioration -- which is a direct result of the total collapse of US support for the country -- and in the same breath, criticize the fact that American troops are still in Iraq."

This is not a contradiction. What most people I've read have called for is humanitarian support, not military support, in both countries. It is not a lack of military that are causing the problems in Afghanistan. It is an incompetent military strategy coupled with failure to support humanitarian and progressive groups and efforts and instead reinforcing the powers of warlords, the taliban, and the northern alliance. The solution: pull troops out of afghanistan, the problems won't be fixed with more troops and the presence of troops is not helping matters. For Iraq: pull out the troops. I would agree the best route is to go to the UN, ask for support, and let the international community handle the withdrawal. That will take time; I don't think anyone believes that troops could come home tomorrow. But there has to be a commitment to bring them home and to end the occupation. Troops will not help the situation in Iraq; they are only exacerbating the problems.

"you have to admit that progress has been made in Iraq"

No, I don't have to admit that because I don't believe it. In every almost conceivable social measure the people in Iraq were better off in the late 1980's under Hussein than they are today. Now, if the US ends it's occupation, the international community and the US support giving money to *Iraqi* companies for reconstruction, the Iraqis are allowed to create their own form of government, and are also given full control of their oil reserves, machinery, and methods of distribution, then you could claim that progress has been made. Until that point I don't see it.

"You can be against the war, but support the re-construction"

Absolutely, but what kind of reconstruction? One where US taxpayers pay US corporations 50x what it would cost an Iraqi company? Or one where the US, as part of a larger international community gives money to Iraqi companies to regain control of their infrastructure? One under control of a US occupation, or one under control of the UN where control is quickly transferred to the Iraqi people?

These are important issues.

But all of that is an aside, because I've been working on an article and I really want to figure something out from those that support continued occupation.

"leave the country, abandon it to the meddlings of Iran? To the religious extremists who are the only groups that would have the power to rule?"

What do you see as the solution to this? As far as I can tell these are our options:
1) Long occupation until a new dictator like Hussein can be firmly entrenched in power and supported, like Hussein, through military and economic means so that religious uprisings can continue to be crushed

2) Permanent occupation where Iraq becomes a US colony. No real Iraqi government is ever formed, except, perhaps as a symbolic gesture.

3) Withdrawal of troops and allowing the Iraqi people to decide their form of government, which may likely be a fundamentalist Muslim state.

I simply cannot see how you can get around the fundamental problem that you cannot support democracy in a country when you do not want the majority of people to decide the form of government.

So, then, what do those that support occupation really see as their goal? Is the goal to create a new secular dictatorship sympathetic to US interests (Hussein Redux) or should the US just rule the country indefinitely or is it better to allow the Iraqis to decide for themselves what their government should be?

What is pragmatic in this case? If the first goal cannot be achieved quickly (and it can't) how are people going to feel in 10 years? And if you suspect, as I do, that in 10 years people will not support having any troops in Iraq, isn't better to pull out now and save the US and Iraqi lives that will just be wasted between now and then? Or, how about this scenario: what happens if the oil men are successful in exploiting Iraq's oil; what happened when that oil is depleted? What will be the desire to keep troops in at that point, and again, if that is a likely outcome, why not support withdrawal now and save those lives? What is there to be gained from this occupation for the Iraqis and for US citizens not profiting from defense and reconstruction contracts or from oil?

Sorry if some of this seems off topic; this is research for an article I'm writing and since Dean supporters seem to support the continued occupation of Iraq, I'd like to get some feedback from them.

More From That Zogby Poll 22.Sep.2003 17:20

Obmuj

You have got to be kidding me, James. It looks to me like the Iraqis think that things will be better in five years, because A) Things suck so badly now, they can't get much worse, and B) The invading forces will hopefully get the fuck out by then. Way to polish a turd, James. No wonder you like (love) Dean. Here is more from that poll that you sight:

4. Which of the following statements, A or B, comes closer to your view? A: Democracy canwork well in Iraq. B: Democracy is a Western way of doing things and it will not work here

-A 38.6%

-B 50.8%


6. Should America and Britain help make sure a fair government is set up in Iraq, or shouldthey just let Iraqis work this out themselves?

-America and Britain help 32.3%

-Iraqis alone 59.9%


16. Over next five years will -The United States (will)

-Help Iraq 35.5%

-Hurt Iraq 50.2%


17. Over next five years will -The United Nations

-Help Iraq 50.2%

-Hurt Iraq 18.5%

*****

 link to 216.239.33.104

Get it straight 22.Sep.2003 17:29

GRINGO STARS

To "let me get this straight guy" - no, i was not quoting Business Week - I was quoting the International Socialist Review. If you had tried the link at the bottom of that quote, you would have noticed.

"someone" made many good points, the worthlessness of the Zogby polls especially. Also the dilemma of democracy that US christians face concerning the muslim population of Iraq. Democracy is not the US's concern in Iraq. If it was, the US wouldn't have invaded in the first place. NO ONE wants their country to be invaded - or occupied by a foreign military. Let's quit pretending that anything the USA does is out of some hypothetical concern for Iraqis because it simply isn't.

James, the USA has only 9,000 *official US military* troops stationed in Afghanistan. It also has currently countless US-based mercenaries there as well, including those stationed as Karzai's personal bodyguards. The wave of the future is to simply hire mercenaries, most of whom are ex-US military, such as the US now does in Colombia and Afghanistan and did in Bosnia.

The "re-construction of Iraq" is pure BS, as "someone" pointed out. Let me quote from Rania Masri's excellent article called THE CORPORATE INVASION OF IRAQ;


The war is not over. The war has only gone into another phase. Phase I was the 1991 Gulf War. Phase II was the twelve-and-a-half years of sanctions. Phase III was the 2003 bombing and invasion of Iraq. Phase IV, this current war, is the occupation of Iraq and the invasion of the corporations. (We could also date it further back-with the occupation of Iraq by the British, then the support of the Baath Party by the U.S., and the U.S. support of both Iraq and Iran in the Iraq-Iran war.)

What does reconstruction mean? Reconstruction is defined as "to construct again; to establish or assemble again." The key word here is "again." Reconstruction is thus akin to building a hospital in the place of a destroyed hospital. If one were to build a military facility in place of a hospital, or, in the case of Falluja, to convert a school into a military headquarters, then that would not be reconstruction. No rebuilding or reconstructing there.

Now, if the plan is to change the construct of the economy, change the design of the society, change the political views of the government, then how is it reconstruction? It would more accurately be called deconstruction.

And the plans are definitely not to rebuild Iraq in the way it was before Phase III of this war.

In addition to transforming the economy into a free-for-all for corporations, the U.S. plans to build three permanent military bases in Iraq. Clearly, these military bases will significantly limit any real Iraqi sovereignty, ensure that the pro-U.S. leader remains in power and limit true democratic struggles in Iraq. In addition, the bases will have far-reaching regional consequences, and further develop the military reach of the U.S. Empire.

The U.S. government also plans to change Iraq's position towards the Palestinians. The new Iraqi government, whenever the U.S. appoints it, will have to acquiesce to Israel,23 open an oil pipeline through Israel24 and relinquish support for the Palestinians. It is no coincidence that the first (and thus far only) foreign diplomatic mission that the U.S. troops invaded and ransacked, the first diplomats arrested and the first legally licensed weapons confiscated, were Palestinian.

In addition, 90,000 Palestinians are threatened with eviction in Iraq. Most of the displaced and threatened Palestinians are families from Haifa who were displaced in 1948, when the exclusively Jewish state of Israel was built on the land of Palestine. They cannot go back to their homes and lands in what is now Israel because the Israeli government does not recognize their legal right of return. They are not welcome because they are Christian and Muslim, and not Jews.

 http://www.isreview.org/issues/30/corporateinvasion.shtml

Assumptions 22.Sep.2003 17:40

James

It's not just the Zogby poll; there have been many polls conducted in Iraq, and they all say pretty much the same thing. You can't just keep dismissing these polls forever. If this were a fluke, I could buy that. But there have been a few now.

Your assumption about the Iraqis telling the pollsters what they expect the pollsters would want to hear is baffling. That's really a stretch -- are the Iraqis stupid, or passive? 70% of them?

Of course not. Indeed, I have precisely the opposite assumption: that the Iraqis who lack electricity, or water, or jobs would be infuriated, and would paint a much more bleak picture to the foreign journalists, to express just how outraged they are.

It's really a strange argument though. You dismiss the scientifically-accepted polling methods used by Zogby, because of some assumption you have about the thoughts of the Iraqis? Why even poll? We can just ask you, since you already know the opinions of Iraqis.

Just look at it objectively. You're dismissing all evidence to the contrary based on some assumption you have. Couldn't it be possible that your assumption is wrong?

It's undeniable that the every day life of Iraqis was better in the late 1980's than today. Progress does not mean improvement over historical standards. It means improvement over yesterday, and the day before that.

But still, If we're talking about historical standards, it'd be a hard case to make that life was better off in the mid-1980s, when Iraqis were being conscripted into a stalemated war with Iran. But that's not really relevant to the discussion at hand.

I've never claimed the United States as the great savior for Iraqi life. I'm all too aware that our foreign policy and meddlings have created many of these problems for them. Does that mean we should now just give-up? Not in my opinion.

If we could actually pull-out, and give Iraqi companies the goods and support they needed to re-build, without the support of U.S. troops, I'd be all for it. But that's not possible. Who will you give the support to? Even if you can figure that out, how can you be sure it's actually getting there?

You can't. Without the U.S. troops, the Islamic clerics would easily take power. Not because it would be the will of the Iraqi people, but because by its very definition, religion is able to motivate its believers to action.

What else did the Zogby poll show? 42.6% of Iraqis did not even attend Friday prayers in the past 4 weeks. It was and remains a largely secular country.

A plurality of the respondents said they'd like to see Iraqi government modeled after the United States. (But if you add-up the others, close to a majority would like to see the government modeled after an Arab country.)

(23.3% United States, 17.4% Saudi Arabia, 11.9% Syria, 7.1% Egypt, 3.1% Iran).

Syria too is a secular country. A plurality does not want an Islamic theocracy. Most want democracy, but they're skeptical that it can work.

50.8% agreed with the statement: "Democracy is a Western way of doing things and it will not work here."

You can plainly see in those responses that the respondents are not simply answering the way they think their pollster wishes. They're speaking their minds. The question is will you listen?

We should keep our troops there as long as they're wanted by most, which they presently are. That's our moral duty. We should abide by their wishes. If I really didn't believe that they wanted us there, I wouldn't be advocating that we stay.

So what do I see as a long-term solution? I'd leave it to the Iraqis. If I had to decide, my solution would be to hold elections as soon as possible and support the new government, through economic aid and military security. In the meantime, send as many troops as we need to secure the country from the tiny minority of domestic and foreign provacateurs sabotaging what little remains of Iraqi infrastructure. And then stay as long as the majority of Iraqis support our presence. If and when they want us gone, we should leave it to the Iraqis.

Afghanistan is a very different country, and I'll admit I have no idea what the people there want. I know that our efforts there have been a complete failure, especially outside of Kabul.

But I would make my same arguments, somewhat less strenuously, with regard to Afghanistan. Who shall we give our aid to? What type of aid shall we give? Weapons? If we don't give weapons, how will the groups we support defend themselves against those who seek power for their own purposes? Haven't we had enough bad experiences with arming foreign groups?

Should we let Afghanistan slip back into civil war? Giving aid to progressive groups is all well and good, but such things do not happen in a vacuum. Our military strategy has been a failure. I agree, on the whole. So what do you suggest? You must admit that some form of military solution is necessary.

Kabul has its problems too, but it's nothing like the problems faced by the rest of the country. I'd hate to use Kabul as the model for the rest of the country, but certainly things have been better off there. (Though the reason that Kabul has not been used as a model for the rest of the country thus far is simple: the troops have not been committed.)

Newsweek Poll 22.Sep.2003 17:50

Obmuj

"Now I'm going to name 10 Democrats in the race for president. After I read you their names, tell me which ONE you would most like to see nominated as the Democratic Party's presidential candidate in 2004. Here are the choice . . . ." Names rotated

"-Howard Dean 12%" (2% below Clark)

Wow, that is quite a mandate! How can he lose! Clearly the most "electable".

 http://www.pollingreport.com/wh04dem.htm

As usual 22.Sep.2003 17:53

James

As usual, Gringo looks at Iraq through his single-issue myopic lens.

I don't care what the U.S. pretense for war was. (Well I do, but not for the sake of this argument). I'm talking about what is required of us, what is asked of us, and what we need to do to improve the lives we have destroyed.

Have I ever once said the US invaded Iraq for the good of the Iraqis? Of course not.

What I'm saying is that the war was not not all negative. It was wrong, but it has its positive aspects. And we should now capitalize on that.

Mr. Hussein's regime managed quite a feat; to simultaneously raise the population out of poverty through socialism and education, while oppressing and slaughtering them, through various means.

So thank God the fucker is gone.

Just admit it, Gringo. You don't care one inkling about the Iraqis. You care only about your silly badge, and being right.

Was Bosnia a failure? Was Kosovo? Looking back today, it surely doesn't seem so. America is loved in Bosnia and Kosovo. Today, it seems the error was not the war, but the failure to act sooner.

(Though I'm sure you'll dispute that an atrocity was at hand; lest I forget you've never come across a conspiracy theory you didn't immediately snap-up as your cause de jour).

(And one further note on that; I don't offer that as a justification for the Iraq war, since a genocide was not occuring in Iraq. I offered it only to highlight the notion that America can actually do some good every now and again, despite our many mistakes (or sinister motives, as the case may be)).

Speaking of unreliable polls... 22.Sep.2003 18:06

James

National polling for democratic primary elections is worthless. It's historically unreliable. The Democratic primary is so complicated and convoluted (even more so than the electoral college) that national polling cannot predict anything.

Some states are winner-take-all delegates, some are 15%+ and you get delegates, and then there're the post-McGovern SuperDelegates, who are party bigwigs that get to vote however they want. (To prevent people like McGovern and Dean from winning the nomination. Every election since McGovern, the Democratic Party has been adding more and more Super Delegates.)

That said, Clark certainly adds a new dimension to the race. He drives the last nail into Lieberman's coffin, and takes equally from Kerry, Gephardt and Dean. If these guys all stay in the race, there's no way it'll be wrapped-up before the convention.

Yeah But... 22.Sep.2003 18:21

Obmuj

...that Zogby poll that we both referenced is a good one though, eh?

***

6. Should America and Britain help make sure a fair government is set up in Iraq, or shouldthey just let Iraqis work this out themselves?

-America and Britain help 32.3%

-Iraqis alone 59.9%


16. Over next five years will -The United States

-Help Iraq 35.5%

-Hurt Iraq 50.2%

"McGovern and Dean " 22.Sep.2003 18:57

Fred

That's just rude, to include Dean in the same sentence as McGovern. Dean will continue a war-mongering occupation to profit the corporations that are busy looting every resource and industry out of Iraq as fast as they can.

Everything the USA touches turns to schitt 22.Sep.2003 19:04

GRINGO STARS

The USA is the King Midas of dung. Every country we meddle in is harmed. Why? Because the US is an empire, and only interacts with countries in order to get something out of that country. Why did the US attack Iraq? To get a murderous US-installed dictator out of power because he had become too uppity.

Since major corporations decide what happens in the US and abroad, by way of control over elections and obedient politicians, all the US's international activities are designed to profit "American interests" (read; US corporations). The current corporate invasion of Iraq is to ensure that Iraq will become a satellite power for the US and drain it of its natural resources, including its population's labor.

What to do? get the hell out, in my un-humble opinion.

Since everything we do everywhere turns out so horribly, stop the downward spiral.

Hehe 22.Sep.2003 19:24

James

"The USA is the King Midas of dung."

I like that, I intend to steal it.

Zogby Interview: What to do about Iraq 22.Sep.2003 19:32

Arab American Institute

September 11 and the Arab American Community
Dr. James Zogby, President, of the Arab American Institute

Philanthropy News Digest: At this point, do you see any alternative to a long-term U.S. commitment, both military and financial, in Afghanistan and Iraq?

James Zogby: At this point, we have a huge responsibility. The world is watching to see how we deliver, especially in terms of our financial and nation-building promises. A military presence is something else entirely, but I think we have no choice -- if only for reasons of self-interest -- to help both those countries reconstruct.

Having said that, I think we ought to move in a different direction in Iraq and internationalize the reconstruction process. I think we overestimated what we could do in Iraq, and the best way to rectify that mistake is to bring in the United Nations -- for reasons of legitimacy and because it would help rebuild frayed relations with some of our key allies. You'd also have a better security environment in Iraq if there were fewer American and British administrators around and more Arab and international faces helping out with the reconstruction of the country. We don't need or want to be the surrogate regime there -- that will only make us more of a target than we already are.


UNITE Presist 22.Sep.2003 23:13

SAVE THE WAILS~

ive been reading alot about Dean, mostly because i have i think up untill now not had any ideas, heres what i have come to. i fucking hate him.
what a load of bullshit, i may be bias being anarchist, and really i try not to use such violent languige, and my spelling is bad.
but here it is anyway... dun dun dun.
Deans a shit, idont like him for all the resions stated in the above. Hes not a progressive canadate.
Hes a conservitive ploy
to fuck things up for progressives in the left and new left and then reelect bush in a landslide. the republicans will pull another sep 11th make dean look dumb and quietly pay him.... and then we will have enough convincing arguments for a revolution????? no. then the world is over. Dean will fuck up then the republicans will do something horrible again, then bush will be the king of a dieing world. case and point.
we will all die, waisting away in a nuclear hollocost. ... .. ha! ha!
heh, heh,
HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHHAHAHAHA!

They're already paying him 23.Sep.2003 02:48

anon

I'm sure of that.

I can smell James' halo-tosis from here 23.Sep.2003 05:31

Friend of Serbs and others ethnically cleansed from Kosovo

Oh yes, James puts the halo on the US bombing of Sebia. Hey James, do you know the biggest military US base since vietnam was built in Kosovo after the bombing (Do a search on Camp Bondsteel).

Do you know that Serbs, Jews, Gitans, Gorans, and other minorities have been driven out of house and home in Kosovo, and that Kosovo is now run by the former KLA, which only a year before the bombing was defined as a terrorist group?

Do you know that the state owned companies in Kosovo have been privatized, including a very profitable mine?

Have you seen the movie 'Les Damnés Du Kosovo' by Michel Collon?

James, you give yourself away when you praise the bombing of Yugoslavia. You think if you call yourself an angel and put a aluminum halo around your head people will call your support for mass murder the mark of a true humanitarian. How many civilians were killed by NATO in the Yugoslavia? How many have died since from unexploded cluster bombs? How many are poisoned with depleted uranium? How many people have been driven from their homes and jobs in Kosovo?

James, admit it, you're a liberal. That is, you believe in killing innocent people as long as you can describe it to yourself as 'humanitarian'.

And to the others on this board, when the cops come for you, James will be describing it to the press as 'unfortunately necessary for the good of humanity', and will then receive his keys to the kingdom of power.