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actions & protests | political theory selection 2004

Voting for Kerry is voting for political violence.

There has been a lot of discussion on various threads about political violence vs. non-violence. Various people and organizations appear to have opposed the march last Saturday due to their opinion that the organizers advocate violence.

All the various comments, many of them harsh and aggressive against the idea of political violence, started making me think about this more.
Is self defense acceptable? What is self defense? For example, would the people criticising Arissa also say that the Iraqi people are wrong to violently oppose U.S. conquest which will result in the death of many people, the loss of culture, and their enslavement to western capital exploitation?

This then brought me to a new consideration.

If John Kerry becomes the next U.S. president, he will certainly order the killing of many people. He intends to carry on the conquest in Iraq. He has spoken out against Venezuela, and will almost certainly carry on with the U.S. agenda of overthrowing the Chavez government.... and so on.

Voting for John Kerry, is a vote for violence. If you vote for John Kerry, you are supporting the killing of human beings, the majority of whom will be people just trying to live their lives. If you vote for John Kerry, you are advocating violence and putting your own stamp of approval on killing.

Now I respect and admire a truly non-violent philosophy when it is lived. I am however, repulsed by hypocrisy.

How many people will condemn Arissa for advocating political violence as a legitimate act then turn around and tell me I should vote for Kerry? Voting for Kerry is voting for political violence. If elected, he is going to preside over many many deaths, carried out for profit and/or political expediency.

The one thing I hear is that he is the lesser of two evils, nevertheless, voting for him is tacit acceptance of the violence he will order. Voting for him is saying that this violence he will carry out is acceptable as a means to a long term goal of reform. Anyone who would vote for Kerry is not acting as an advocate of non-violence. The non-violent advocate says that the ends do not justify the means, and that you cannot use violence to end violence. Ironically, the lesser of two evils argument is exactly the one Arissa is making, and that quite few people are uncomfortable with.

These considerations can be applied to various facets of life.

Many people hope or believe that fundamental change, a non-violent revolution, is possible. However, it certainly cannot happen if the vast majority of people who wish for it, do not commit their lives to living it. Nice ideals, without them being backed up by dedication, and the day to day living of them, are hiding places and an escape from the realities of life. I would like to see more serious self examination and self action regarding these issues which challenge us to find a way to sane and sustainable human community.
Less death 29.Apr.2004 00:08

TK

However Kerry will certainly cause much LESS death than the Bushco oiligarchy. Kerry has pledged to make us oil independent of the mideast and that would eliminate our need for troops and death there.

Less Oil Dependant? 29.Apr.2004 00:42

No skull, bones

Kerry is a chronic habittual liar, a war criminal, a traitor to the US Constitution, a corporate ornament, and he makes Al Gore look animated by comparison. His credibility is less than zero. At least when Bush says that he would like to be a dictator, you can believe him.

Kerry claims: "John Kerry has the vision to create a new Manhattan Project to make America independent of Middle East oil in 10 years by creating alternative fuels like ethanol and making cars more efficient."

How is he planning to pay for this Manhattan Project? You think we can free our addiction to Middle East oil by squeezing a few corn cobbs and shaving a few MPG off of our SUVs? No wonder this political liability is ahead of Bushco. So many people seem to have no grasp of reality whatsoever.

Less death? With a proposal to send 20,000 more Americans to die in a war that was lost a long time ago, insisting that we must win it? Political violence!? More like treason!

You make a lot of assumptions 29.Apr.2004 01:07

-

You make a lot of assumptions and present them as such. But your postulate doesn't make sense.

You seem to actually be saying that the status quo dictates there will be political violence. Political violence will occur whether or not we vote for Kerry. Political violence will also occur if we vote for Bush. Political violence will also occur if we vote for Nader (for many more will vote for Bush and Kerry). Political violence will occur if we don't vote at all because either Bush or Kerry will become president.

So why is it you limit your postulate to a vote for Kerry is a vote for political violence?

The fact is many people who vote for Kerry are opposed to political violence and will protest it if it comes up. That's the way the world works. If you want to have an effect on the world you have to be engaged in the process. If you don't want to be involved that is your choice, but you're not making anything better.

Nader is the alternative 29.Apr.2004 01:12

George Bender

For those of us unwilling to vote for imperialism and the continued exploitation of the American working class, Ralph Nader is the only credible alternative in the general election, the only candidate who has a real chance of getting enough votes to send a message and make an impression on the system.

The Oregon branch of the Nader campaign is considering trying another state convention to get Nader on the Oregon ballot. If they do, I hope this time you will all show up.


Kerry will NOT cause "less death" 29.Apr.2004 01:18

GRINGO STARS

Kerry plans on somehow getting 40,000 additional permanent troops in the military. Not even Bush says such things. Feel that draft?

Gringo is right 29.Apr.2004 02:06

Mark

Historically, Democratic president have not cause less death than Republican Presidents

reply 29.Apr.2004 02:10

Mark

It is ironic the contrast between opinion on Arissa and the willingness to choose the barely lesser of two evils in voting for a candidate like Kerry. Then again, the liberals rarely ever have an ethical position applied intelligently!

hear, hear! 29.Apr.2004 03:14

The PDX Prop Busta

PDX Dragon speaks the truth here, and it is a truth that the Democrats and liberals don't want to hear; if they're so hung up on the "non-violence" gig, then they need to reject Kerry, it's true. But they probably won't, because most of them are inherently "political", which is just another word for dishonest.

Kerry will lead us down the road of ruin, if he's put in the presidency (which is not likely). Perhaps a few liberals with political interests will feel more comfortable while it happens than if Bush were doing it, but the result will be the same. The same system of authoriarianism, destruction, and selfishness will continue. The truly important aspects of life -- such as connecting with the realness of the universe -- will not only not be addressed by either, but will be undermined by both.

If you are a truly pacifist person, you cannot vote for Kerry, it is true. Gandhi, MLK, etc., would recognize him as being yet another cog in the same oppressive machine.

The only quibble i have with this article is that it seems to be aimed at liberals, who are not worth aiming at, in any sense of that word. History has shown that life goes on and shit happens no matter what the liberals think, and that they most often just end up going along with whatever happens, no matter how vile it is (witness Nazi Germany).

But thank you for the excellent analysis. You're spot on.

[ Other articles by the PDX Prop Busta ]


agree with "-", there may be a logical fallacy involved 29.Apr.2004 04:18

++good

certainly a vote for Kerry or Bush is completely and utterly meaningless:

1. the voting machines and Electoral College
2. near-identical platforms of Republican and Democratic parties
3. both candidates are pro-Iraq invasion and military occupation

etc., etc. . . .

although I'd part company with "-" where he states "The fact is many people who vote for Kerry are opposed to political violence and will protest it if it comes up"

"-", this is also a logical fallacy:

how can supporters of Kerry be "protesting" or "opposed" to political violence, when their candidate voted for invasion and wants to continue the military occupation?

you either endorse a peace candidate, or you don't. period, end.

John Kerry will - quite obviously - continue to support the establishment of the U.S. Imperialist Oil Operations Base (3,000-person U.S. embassy almost completed - largest ever) in Iraq, just as the Power Elites require him to do.

it will take another year or more of current U.S. soldier casualty rates for the American masses to start actively demonstrating against this occupation war - and at that point it won't matter whether Bush or Kerry is in office.

also kind of agree with The PDX Prop Busta's observation that PDX Dragon's post "seems to be aimed at liberals, who are not worth aiming at".

But I otherwise completely agree with PDX Dragon's analysis. and it doesn't mean that voting *in general* is utterly meaningless: your vote in state/local/regional/national Congress races has a much greater chance of influencing the outcome than it does in the Presidential race (and no matter who wins the White House, things will only go one way in Iraq).

I Hate Politics! 29.Apr.2004 05:13

Pomponne

You people suck. How can we vote for either one of these crazy lunatics? I mean, they both want to continue the fight in Iraq. I believe we need someone who will just leave other countries' affairs to the other countries.......But if voting for Kerry will, by any chance, legalize gay marraige, "Go Kerry!"


Third grade grammer and fourth grade ideologies.. 29.Apr.2004 07:45

El líder

Quit sucking your thumbs kids and realize good people, with good conscience, do good things. Grow up and realize freedom had to be WON and peace is a product of respect for might AND right. Ignoring a problem doesn't make it go away. It festers and grows. Do you know anything about cancer? Quit watching TV, 'cause this war isn't ultimately about Oil.. it is much broader than that and requires a much more comprehensive understanding of the history of civilization than any of you have exhibited.

kerry same as bush 29.Apr.2004 08:03

or maybe worse

Let there be no doubt that if Kerry becomes president he will pardon his skull and boner friend W for the worst crimes in US history. He will let them keep their untold stolen billions AND get away with the murder of thousands. WE cannot let that happen.

We must go to the DNC and demand Dennis Kucinich. We must throw out all of our supposed 'checks and balances'reps and senators that have mindlessly voted with Bush every time and now refuse to hold him accountable for lying to them to start a war, illegally moving money etc.

Ethanol & Cetera 29.Apr.2004 08:07

Den Mark, Vancouver

The ethanol thing shows how inept kerry is. PRODUCTION of ethanol TAKES more energy than ethanol can DELIVER. Yale must not have much of an undergrad Science requirement! (Current use of ethanol in gasoline is for oxidation of carbon monoxide, not for energy production.)

Fewer deaths with kerry? What nonsensical speculation, especially since far far more Iraqis died under clinton/gore/congress' sanctions than with bush/cheney/congress' invasion/occupation, not to diminish the unacceptable horror of the latter.

Differences between the "major" parties? I don't think so. The "lesser evil" argument does NOT WORK on Indy!

Dear el leader 29.Apr.2004 08:12

anne frank

Are you refering to the endless war against terror? The war against the poor? The war on drugs? The war on cancer? The war against democracy? The war against us?

Of course "the war" isn't just about oil, it's about global dominance and "privatizing" the commons(water, education, medical care, public spaces, air),killing the middle class and making every one of us humans compete with each other to fight the global elite's wars. It's about crushing hope and replacing it with fear and hate. It's about teaching our children to kill everything and not even to think about the future.

And it's mostly about water.

Live free or die, el leader!

One interesting detail... 29.Apr.2004 09:02

Tony Blair's dog

"Kerry claims: "John Kerry has the vision to create a new Manhattan Project to make America independent of Middle East oil in 10 years by creating alternative fuels like ethanol and making cars more efficient.""


for your information, 'The Manhattan Project' was the secret name
for the U.S. atomic bomb project which included the nuking
of the two japanese cities Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

Self-Perpetuating Empire 29.Apr.2004 09:19

JaimonDrow

What is attractive in Kerry to the Democrats is exactly what is repulsive in him to me. He is a veteran, he is a pure politician, he is a Washington insider. It is the Washington mentality that produces the policies of this nation. It is nice to blame it on 'Bush' or 'Kerry'.. one man, one bad decision-maker.
The truth is the government uses figureheads of state to promote its own agenda. Bush has no independent positions (thoughts?) other than a vague Judeo-Christian ideology. He has no concrete personal fiscal or diplomatic positions. Kerry is the same way.
Our government's policy of War as a Cure for all ills is the problem. We should be an isolationist government. Our struggles should be fought with humanitarian aid. If the middle east does not want to sell us oil, we must adapt. If South American nations wish to become socialist, communist, fascist, we should learn to communicate and understand them.
The role of the US should not be to change the world to suit our "interests," but to allow the world to learn hard political lessons for itself. If nations starve, we should offer food. If nations undergo catastrophe, we should offer aid. If Bush is a Christian, he should act like one. He should stop dictating policy with violence and prothetize his religion by setting an example.
We should close all overseas military bases, unless the _people_ of the host nation formally request our presence. We should pass laws that prohibit the deployment of guard and reserve troops overseas unless in the case of a formal declaration of war.

Here, Here.. 29.Apr.2004 09:29

El lider

Anne.. Live free or die, is that your motto? You, more than anyone, should know what it is like to live under a oppressive socialist regime. Don't tell me an intelligent person such as yourself has not drawn the comparison between the Third Reich and the 'Clinton' World Goverment. If you want to live free you better realize what are your responsibilities. If we seek succor from Government we will, udoubtedly, wind up as slaves. There are slaves to oppressive governments all over the world. The Iraqis were one very large group of people who like you in the 1930's and '40's, had no freedom from oppression and violence,.. no freedom of religion or speech. No way to realize a better life for their families regardless of industry. Where is hope there? I'll tell you,, the hope is that some freedom loving, strong and resolved world leader and his army of unselfish, liberty inspired army will ignore the castigation from those who seek more personal agendas and will follow the course of righteousness we all know exists. (though many in this day refuse it and call it shallow and unenlightened.) Truth is, where freedom exists poverty does not unless chosen.. Where freedom exists drug addiction does not unless chosen. Where freedom exists we can make the choice to hate, but must also realize that where freedom exists it is our actions that define us.

Den Mark... 29.Apr.2004 09:33

Varro

...ethanol is pandering to the farm-state vote, since most ethanol is made from corn. Guess who needs Iowa, Minnesota, Missouri, Ohio, and other Midwestern states to win? Guess who would benefit from Halliburton getting increased oil exploration business?

Eureka! 29.Apr.2004 09:50

El lider

Jaimon. Now that you are on this earth we can all take a deep breath in relief. It seems you've solved all the world's problems.. You want to contribute something? Start giving 10% of your income to church and then.. seriously.. read some books.

Why is this on the front page? 29.Apr.2004 09:57

tipping point

I thought general national electoral politics stories had been relegated to a seperate page? what is local about this story? you're breaking your own rule, dragon...

Good 29.Apr.2004 10:05

C-dawg

Good, vote for Nader...this will make it easier for Bush to win.

Bush 2004

Shit it's getting thick in here 29.Apr.2004 10:07

slab

Looks like the neocon-nra-robotic hacks and the independent "aware" voter speak the same language.
Yes, Kerry will keep the military in Iraq; Bush's expanding festering sinkhold is going to take a long time to fix.

I am one who believes we should pull out the troops now and let the Iraqis martyr each other to death. But it ain't gonna happen, just like Nader ain't gonna happen.

But for someone to pin their vote against Kerry or not vote at all because he'll have to clean up Bush's mess is to not consider the other extreme differences Between the two:

The Enviromnent = Bush's relaxation of super funding sites and allowing companies to pollute like it's 1967 is just the beginning if he's given another 4 more years.

Abortion rights = Hundreds of thousand protested to stop the Bush/Scalia slow undoing of a woman's right in DC over the weekend.

Personal Freedoms/Censorship

America is hated like never before now, The Bush unilateral policy is a pompous ignorant pile of do-do that is destroying any relation the US has with other countries. Kerry is a multilateralist, and will bring us back into the world community.

What? 29.Apr.2004 10:22

El lider

.."pandering to the farm state vote".. what planet are you living on?.. I recommend some serious therapy..

On your other point.. "Who benefits from further oil exploration"? We all do.. Isn't that obvious.

tipping point 29.Apr.2004 10:30

PDX Dragon

This article is not about electoral politics, nor about Kerry. That is just an example to illustrate a point about ideology and whether individuals are committed to living up to the ideals, or just use them as a shield to avoid life. Ideals, applied in a selective manner which serves only personal interest, are no benefit.

Another example: for someone who advocates non-violence, it would be hypocritical to buy products produced by Coke. They are involved in the killing of people in Colombia who are trying to unionize. You see, to justly claim a position of non-violence, is a profound commitment requiring serious self inquiry and willingness to change oneself.

Society is sinking into a dark place. The levels of depression, obesity and chronic illness are unprecedented. We are collectively poisoning ourselves, physically and psychically.

The basic necessity is one of mature vision... To see a road towards sustainable sane culture, and dedicate oneself to living it. It can be done if there is the willingness to shake off the apathy and bring together the scattered energy within oneself to find a sense of place and purpose.

Glad to see you watching over things :-)

Not to worry, el lider 29.Apr.2004 10:35

anne frank

Clinton is on the same page as Bush. He is just spun a little differently.

Democrats .vs Republicans...Who has killed more? 29.Apr.2004 10:55

Independent thinker...

>>Reply to the following:

Historically, Democratic president have not cause less death than Republican Presidents<<

Let's see WWI, WW II, Korea and that little skirmish Vietnam. Yes you're right Democratic Administrations have been in the middle of all the biggies. Teddy Kennedy compares the Iraq war with Vietnam...he should know his brother sent 19 year old boys to die for that cause. But let's face when politicians (dems or reps) fight a war the only one's who are killed are our American soldiers.

Think what you will.. 29.Apr.2004 11:14

El lider

With all due respect Anne, you're wrong.. In my world morality is the Apex of civilization.. Though some policies may converge, there is a distinct divergence of character defining reason.

More simply, one man is led by righteousness, the other is tempted away.

Independent.. 29.Apr.2004 11:21

El lider

Yes we've paid some high prices for liberty.. Complacency and fear contimue to be far worse enemies than the oppressors.

So In Other Words 29.Apr.2004 11:51

Anti-Fa

El Leader:
"Grow up and realize freedom had to be WON and peace is a product of respect for might AND right. Ignoring a problem doesn't make it go away. It festers and grows. Do you know anything about cancer? Quit watching TV, 'cause this war isn't ultimately about Oil.. it is much broader than that and requires a much more comprehensive understanding of the history of civilization than any of you have exhibited. "

Excellent: you are providing justification for us to defend ourselves from: the police and their racist violence; to defend the environment with any means necessary; to defend ourselves from rapacious capitalism however we want; for women to be able to defend themselves in whatever way they feel proper from abusers; for those of us who oppose the war to do whatever we want to stop it.

Your right, ignoring the problem(s) doesn't make it(them) go away.... Peace and freedom are the products of respect and freedom. You heard it here from El leader folks: now go forth and do what thou will to destroy capitalism, fascism, the war machine and the state.

So many Idealists, and no clue..... 29.Apr.2004 12:09

G5Mac g5mac@sbcglobal.net

While no one wants to be at War... there is an obvious flavor to this website that ignores the simple fact that on 9/11/2001 the United States of America was attacked by blood thirsty terrorists. These are not the type of people you can ignore, and they'll go away... nor are they the type of people who will meet you in some isolated location to sit down at a bargaining table. These are religious fundamentalists who understand nothing other than domination of the opposition.

I would like to think that most Americans have the ability to see through this nonsense, yet so many have no clue about the reasons you exercise power over people who would rather see you dead than live one day with you on this Earth. Your idealism gets in the way of any form of common sense, and your wishful thinking about the ultimate society is misguided. The fact of the matter is that there is "good" and there is "evil", whether you like it or not. As long as there is EVIL in the world, someone has to take a stand to stop it from taking over those who are weaker. I would strongly suggest that those who live in FantasyLand, take a trip to the Middle East. Any country you choose will be an eye opener, if you pay attention. And for those who believe it's just Americans that these people hate.... you're wrong... because it's any Christian, Jew or Atheist they despise. They are not discriminate based on your level of support or understanding of their position, as they would KILL you as quickly as someone who opposes their objectives openly. All you have to do is be in the wrong place at the wrong time.....

My hope is that whichever candidate next occupies the oval office has the spine to continue to fight this menace to our society.....

To G5Mac 29.Apr.2004 12:31

Anti-Fa

Do you honestly believe that these people are pure evil? Do you really believe that their all-consuming passion is to destroy the US because its free and Christian? You think that they won't stop until we are all dead or converts? Shit, sounds like yr describing Jerry Falwell.

I know it violates the morality and righteousness of true believers to actually read up on, or attempt to understand, why people might be pissed off at the United States, and to a lesser degree, Europe, but I suggest maybe, just maybe, you do some reading. Because hatred and evil is not some abstract thing that descends upon individuals like the plague, or is born into their beings, or is offered in some sort of Faustian bargain by a well-dressed chap with horns. It is a product of environment - and in the case of the middle east, it is an environment of stifled dreams, corrupt governments, grinding poverty, daily humiliation and violent occupation, nearly all of it underwritten by the US and its European allies. This is not to say that all of it is the US's fault, somehow - most of the problems are homegrown. However, the US support for the status quo has encouraged these problems to fester, expand and mutate into virulent hatred; support for Israel, Mubarak, Saudi Arabia and the other Gulf State tyrannies, Musharraf, the Turkish military, long history of other fuckups (supporting Saddam, supporting the Shah, supporting dictators in Pakistan, arming and funding Osama bin Laden to fight the soviets, etc.), etc. Israel's continuing occupation and the US occupation of Iraq have only made things worse.

There will always be fanatics who hate the US, the West, secularism, and so on, but they will be a fringe minority with no support, regularly laughed at and ridiculed, much like the overtly openly fascist groups in most Western countries these days. But the reason that terrorism is so prevalent and succesful today is because are large swaths of the population feels its has a vested interest in supporting terrorism, feels the same amount of hate towards the US, feels that what the terrorists have done is the right thing to do, feels that the US deserved the attacks on 9/11. Terrorism, like guerilla war, requires supporters, who are evidently legion because terrorism continues, grows more frequent, and most of al-Qaeda and other groups have still not been dug up. Remove the civilian support and terrorism is severely curtailed and has a harder time operating.

If we really wish to limt and diminish terrorism (eradicating it completely is an impossible fantasy - you can't eradicate a tactic), the US would need to persuade the average person that it is a force for good in the world, that it is not trying to steal their wealth, that it is not repressing their rights by supporting oligarchs and tyrants, that it will be fair in the case of the Palestinians, and so on and so forth. All things that are impossible under the current US system of militarized industrial capitalsim. Until we stop robbing the world to feed our gluttony, and punishing those who seek to follow a different path through sanctions, blackmail or armed intervention, terrorism against the US will always exist.

After Reading This Thread... 29.Apr.2004 12:33

Paul

it is obvious to me that liberals make a complicated world more complicated...

In this thread I deduce that a liberal cannot drink a Coke without fear of somehow subjugating a Columbian worker 10,000 miles away. Wow. What about the truck driver delivering the can of Coke to your food co-op? He needs you to buy that beverage so he can feed his family.

Liberals demand a multi-cultural world and yet lament the trend of outsourcing manufacturing jobs to small foreign countries. Are not the people of Singapore or India entitled to earn money for their family?

The union worker demands a higher standard of living yet spends his/her money at Walmart on cheaply produced foreign-made goods.

You cannot have it both ways...

Conservatives see the world with more clarity, and in this era the threat of violence from militant Islamists trumps every other issue.

On the subject of the war in Iraq... you can continue to argue about a Bush agenda or whatever conspiracy theory captures your imagination. I will leave that for the leftys in this crowd.

The truth is plain to me. Mr. Bush will not tolerate all the bad behavior in the Middle East, and I for one am in support of eradicating Islamist radicals at their source.

The educated people of Iran understand what is happening and pray for a US success next door.

Occupation 29.Apr.2004 12:38

If broccoli was the major export,... would we be in Iraq?

""As long as there is EVIL in the world, someone has to take a stand to stop it from taking over those who are weaker. I would strongly suggest that those who live in FantasyLand, take a trip to the Middle East. Any country you choose will be an eye opener, if you pay attention. And for those who believe it's just Americans that these people hate.... you're wrong... because it's any Christian, Jew or Atheist they despise. They are not discriminate based on your level of support or understanding of their position, as they would KILL you as quickly as someone who opposes their objectives openly. All you have to do is be in the wrong place at the wrong time.....
My hope is that whichever candidate next occupies the oval office has the spine to continue to fight this menace to our society.....""

Thats why Osama and other terrorists hate us and attacked us. A despised Christian military occupying their Muslim Holy Land is intolerable to them.

I feel sorry for Kerry 29.Apr.2004 12:38

If

What's going through his mind is that the only way to stop what he at least has the ability and background to recognize as a stupid war, is not to be openly opposed (ala Kucinich, who will apparently not be President with that stance). That's a thought that probably tried to run through the head of any candidate except Bush, who has his family's thought-proof cranium.

And we are dealing with a lot of voters so prone to wishful thinking as to somehow see a general ex Kosovo as an "anti-war" candidate; I think the expectations are likewise rested particularly heavily on Kerry to be an anti-war president no matter what does or doesn't come out of his mouth, and since the premise of re-election seems to be the only thing that can reign a President in in the least anymore, just maybe he knows what he may have to live up to, and isn't really so dumb as to be anxious to really repeat Bush's avaricious failures.

I would try to think those Skull and Bones pledges will keep Kerry from giving Bush his due when he's outta there, but since apparently Skull and Bones pledges don't command such internecine loyalty as to keep Kerry from running against him and possibly driving him out of office, I'm not sure where I see where Kerry is pledged to kiss Bush's skinny little rump.

If I can keep my stomach from turning long enough, I may still vote for a possible or self-professed war monger, instead of a proven one; I am not terribly worried Kerry will keep any promise, for better or for worse, and war is the one that concerns me most at the moment. I would still like to see Bush out of there quick, if it's even possible in the election, before he pulls some other grand stunt and revises the term limits or declares Martial Law with as little resistance to it as to any of his other bright ideas.

But maybe I am just drowning in own wishful thinking here, and ought to be wallowing in "Kerry is as bad as Bush" for the benefit of those who would vote for anyone as bad as Bush. Ah, the troubles with trying to have a stealth strategy in public. I should take Bush on his own terms, maybe I could care less if Satan himself were running against him, I am just tired of looking at the smirking chimp-mask of the death god Bush.

Starry-eyed idealists come in all shapes and sizes 29.Apr.2004 12:50

xyzzy

And you, "G5Mac", certainly appear to be one of them.

First, nobody here is arguing that islamofascists are nice guys or that Osama bin Laden should be given a Nobel prize.

Second, the fact that one side (the islamofascists) are a bunch of barbarians does not mean that the "other side" (i.e. the US empire) is therefore a bunch of good guys. Fights between rival gangs of nasty thugs happen all the time in the criminal world -- why should the stage of international politics be any different? "Good versus evil" is an extremely childish and simplistic way to look at the world.

Third, while I would very much like to see the end of the American empire (for the simple reason that I'd like to see the end of all empires), and I believe that sucn an end is inevitable, the fact remains that not all endings are created equal. An ending where the people here assume power for themselves and disassemble the institutions of the ruling class is vastly preferable to an ending imposed from outside at some other power's convenience.

Fourth, unless current US policy changes, I see the latter outcome as the inevitable one. Such policies are only breeding extreme hatred. Invading Iraq (which had nothing to do with 9/11) just played into hands of the islamofascists. In other words, the avarice and hubris of the US ruling class makes it impossible for them to effectively fight terrorism. Their attempts to "fight" the problem just make more if it, both directly by funding "friendly" terrorists and thugs, and indirectly by furnishing evidence that America is indeed the Great Satan that Osama and others claim it is.

So your whole premise that you can weaken the islamofascists by rallying 'round the flag is a false one. It's impractical, starry-eyed idealism of the first order.

Fifth, perhaps the most effective tool against this vicious circle is to resist the US empire at home. Such resistance will (initially) furnish a proof for the rest of the world that there's a difference between the US ruling class and those who just happen to live under their rule, and (later on) give the hope of removing the ruling class itself and stopping the cycle for good.

Portland

Re: So many idealists 29.Apr.2004 13:18

El lider

G5Mac.. If I didn't know better, I'd have thought I'd written that myself. It is refreshing to know that there are other truly enlightened and civilized supporters who understand the dilemmas we face as the freest, most humanitarian country in the world. Civilization needs us around the globe and when you stand on the side of Good, and against evil, there shall be no failure.

Backwards 29.Apr.2004 13:24

Anti-Fa

Besides the fact that most people who post here are not liberals (a term which now is totally devoid of any sort of content, sorta like, well, "terrorism"), I'll just assume you'll mean those on the left end of the political spectrum.

"it is obvious to me that liberals make a complicated world more complicated... "

Or perhaps what you meant to say is that conservatives simplify a complex world. That is the general problem with the entire Bush doctrine and rhetoric, is he thinks that simple solutions can fix complex problems. Military intervention is a simple solution - certainly not for those involved in the field - but politically speaking, it is an easy answer for a complex problem. When in doubt, bomb the fuck out of those who won't do what you want. Or overthrow them. What you really mean to say is that conservatives are narrowly self-interested. The merits of that position can certainly debated, and self-interest is not a bad thing in and of itself, but lets just be honest here: most conservatives tend to be self-interested people, especially on the level of global politics. Viz. the christian right's support for Israel based on the looniest of loony religious formulations.

"In this thread I deduce that a liberal cannot drink a Coke without fear of somehow subjugating a Columbian worker 10,000 miles away. Wow. What about the truck driver delivering the can of Coke to your food co-op? He needs you to buy that beverage so he can feed his family."

Uhm, what you mean to say is that most "liberals" won't drink a Coke because they think it is wrong that Coke bottling plants in Columbia hire paramilitary forces to kill, torture and harass union activists. Chances are that that Teamster, delivering Coke to the coop (yet to see a coop that carries Coke however.....), would feel similarly about the fact that his employer has its hands bloody in the murder of people just like him.

"Liberals demand a multi-cultural world and yet lament the trend of outsourcing manufacturing jobs to small foreign countries. Are not the people of Singapore or India entitled to earn money for their family?"

This your on track - liberals, in the Democratic Party and the AFL-CIO, stupidly object to the loss of jobs at home in a protectionist rhetoric. They should be showing solidarity with foreign workers and helping to organize unions there, rather than whining back here. Of course, the corporation will just head off to the next country with a military dictatorship (undoubtedly propped up by the US) that doesn't allow unions so they can find a cheaper wage. Ultimately though, capitalism needs consumers, and whose gonna buy shit when there are no more jobs that pay anything approaching a decent wage left?

"Conservatives see the world with more clarity, and in this era the threat of violence from militant Islamists trumps every other issue."

Conservatives construct the world as they would like to see it, and have largely won that battle, because the chickenshit Democrats use the same language Republicans do to debate the issues of the day. Islamist terrorism has been made to trump every other issue, so that the other desperate crises lurking beneath the surface cannot emerge and demonstrate the inanity and paucity of both parties' political positions.

"On the subject of the war in Iraq... you can continue to argue about a Bush agenda or whatever conspiracy theory captures your imagination. I will leave that for the leftys in this crowd."

Is it lefty or liberal - there isn't a difference, even you don't appreciate it. What conspiracy theories about Iraq? At this point, Bush has changed his reasons for going to war multiple times on the Iraq issue - i.e. flip-flopping. Or as I prefer to call it, lying. He was never frank with the American people about the reasons for the war, and he continues to be dishonest about the actual state of affairs in Iraq. I don't see any conspiracy theories - I see people doing what citizens should do: think critically and ask questions.

"The truth is plain to me. Mr. Bush will not tolerate all the bad behavior in the Middle East, and I for one am in support of eradicating Islamist radicals at their source."

How are you going to eradicate Islamic radicals? Just like we eradicated drugs? Or poverty? Or crime? Or kiddie porn? Bush continues to tolerate all sorts of bad behavior in the Middle East - unequivocal support for Israel; support for the pseudo-democracy in Egypt; trying to influence Turkish policy by appealing to its army, knowing full-well the history of the Turkish military's meddling in Turkish govt. affairs; supporting the Saudi theocracy; and supporting all the other tin-pot tyrants scattered throughout the Gulf. Bush's opprobrium is highly selective to say the least.....

get a clue 29.Apr.2004 13:26

international observer

Could you people please get a clue? Nader is NOT an alternative. He won't even poll 2% of the vote. What kind of alternative is that? From a European perspective - which is where I am - Bush is a frightening disaster. No matter what negative things you have to say about Kerry - and there may be many - he CANNOT be the disaster that another four years of Bush will be. The US, thanks to Bush and the neo-cons, is rightly seen here as an out-of-control war machine that is threatening any sort of world order. It is the supreme example of terrorism going. What you need to be looking at is getting rid of Bush - never mind what that takes.

Right-Wingers Ironically Mirror Their Islamo-Fascist Enemies 29.Apr.2004 13:27

Lala

El lider:
"It is refreshing to know that there are other truly enlightened and civilized supporters who understand the dilemmas we face as the freest, most humanitarian country in the world. Civilization needs us around the globe and when you stand on the side of Good, and against evil, there shall be no failure."

Spoken like a true zealot and crusader. Hey dude, I heard the Taliban's recruiting, maybe you be down with their view of the world - its remarkably similar to your own.

Umm no . . . be smart now 29.Apr.2004 13:36

Winston Churchill

So let's just vote for Nader and throw away our fucking vote - come on, idiot. Lets come together to bring down Bush.

Way, way, way off base... 29.Apr.2004 13:58

El lider

The conservatives have set off a fire storm.. Anti-Fa will seek to convince us of the error of our ways by overwhelming us with his bewildering rhetoric ( his word ). It is the primary technique of the sophist. Quantity of argument over quality. Emotion over logic.. G5Mac is right, it is truly cut and dry. Anti-Fa, your argument that these poor countries are oppressed by the big bad US is narrow-minded, and arrantly fallible. It is unfortunate that when one has a policy opposite that of isolationism ( as one has put it today )inevitably one must deal with wickedness in a civilized manner in order to progress good, until such dealings become unmanageable.

Poverty & freedom 29.Apr.2004 14:05

George Bender

"Truth is, where freedom exists poverty does not unless chosen."

Then I guess we don't have any freedom, because I'm poor and I didn't choose it.

Nader only needs to get a small percentage of the vote in some swing states to sink Kerry and send a message about what we will and won't tolerate. That's the beauty of this strategy for the left. We've been given a veto, if we choose to use it. It is only by being a threat that you get any attention in American politics.


George 29.Apr.2004 14:27

El lider

I am sorry George.. Truly.. But I would assert that you did and are choosing poverty. Admit also that you are free to change your situation. There are many who have not that choice.

'El lider' = EL FASCIST 29.Apr.2004 14:55

.

fuck you you sack of shit TROLL.

coming on here: "I lived under a socialist regime"

WHICH ONE? DURING WHAT YEARS? WHAT CITY? WHAT WAS YOUR STREET ADDRESS THERE?

YOU LYING DISINFORMATIONALIST TROLL. GET THE FUCK OFF OF THIS WEB SITE.

"But I would assert that you did and are choosing poverty."

--Putting words in George's mouth for him? THANKS, FASCIST. and the United States puppet governments and military occupations in Iraq and Afghanistan are "civilized", or getting more so each day??

I do not have the time to deconstruct each and every bullshit garbage comment made by 'El lider' above, because this site is currently under attack by Limbaughtomites.

p.s. the corporate oil executive  http://www.globalresearch.ca/articles/CHO212A.html United States Government perpetrated and allowed 9.11 to occur  http://www.gaianxaos.com/SpecialReports.htm so that they could instantaneously pass the pre-packaged USA Patriot Act and come up with falsified pretext for Iraq and Afghanistan invasions.

there is still time for you to awaken from your cryonic stupor, but if you remain so totally duped and clueless as to believe fairy stories about "al-CIA'da" and "Muslims who threaten our freedoms" then I sincerely, profoundly do have pity on your mortal soul.


more death or less death: How much oil is one human life worth? 29.Apr.2004 15:01

politics as possible

I doubt whether this debate will ever be settled --- What will Kerry do, if he "wins" in November? What does he honestly think that he can do? What, in truth, can he or anyone do? If he goes "too far," won't he be removed by the powers-that-be? We know about Kerry as a politician that he will err on the side of what he thinks the public (or his audience) wants to hear. That's how we understand his statements. But sometimes men are transformed by history when they become President of the United States. Would Kerry, if he becomes President, have the courage to face reality? Does the presidential election even matter? Do we, the people, have the courage to face reality?

As for number-crunching, is there a formula for how many Iraqis equal one American, say, in a Manhattan office-building or in a U.S. embassy? How about the formula for innocent children equal to one American soldier? How about the formula for a foetus, how many starving children are equal to an aborted foetus? How about the very last whale in the ocean or the last remaining gorilla, how many human lives is that worth? What about an innocent man executed on death-row --- well, that's too bad, but you have to consider the number of innocent victims that can be saved if criminals know that punishment is sure and swift (although sometimes mistaken)? It boggles the mind.

Here's the lyrics to Willie Nelson's Christmas '03 number from the Kucinich website:


What Ever Happened To Peace On Earth

There's so many things going on in the world
Babies dying
Mothers crying
How much oil is one human life worth
And what ever happened to peace on earth

We believe everything that they tell us
They're gonna' kill us
So we gotta' kill them first
But I remember a commandment
Thou shall not kill
How much is that soldier's life worth
And whatever happened to peace on earth

(Bridge)
And the bewildered herd is still believing
Everything we've been told from our birth
Hell they won't lie to me
Not on my own damn TV
But how much is a liar's word worth
And whatever happened to peace on earth

So I guess it's just
Do unto others before they do it to you
Let's just kill em' all and let God sort em' out
Is this what God wants us to do

(Repeat Bridge)
And the bewildered herd is still believing
Everything we've been told from our birth
Hell they won't lie to me
Not on my own damn TV
But how much is a liar's word worth
And whatever happened to peace on earth

Now you probably won't hear this on your radio
Probably not on your local TV
But if there's a time, and if you're ever so inclined
You can always hear it from me
How much is one picker's word worth
And whatever happened to peace on earth

But don't confuse caring for weakness
You can't put that label on me
The truth is my weapon of mass protection
And I believe truth sets you free

(Bridge)
And the bewildered herd is still believing
Everything we've been told from our birth
Hell they won't lie to me
Not on my own damn TV
But how much is a liar's word worth
And whatever happened to peace on earth

 

re: get a clue 29.Apr.2004 15:12

silverhair capitalisttool@att.net

Dear International Observer

Since you are in Europe and insist, as so many others have done, that Americans adopt European views, perhaps you would be interested in a perspective from this side of the Atlantic.

To begin, Americans are a half-wild and egalitarian bunch and we absolutely revel in our universal cultural diversity that is readily apparent in any American city. By comparison, Europeans appear genuinely xenophobic, if not as a friend suggested, inbred. Just look at the well-documented cultural snobbery and anti-Semitic attitudes of the French, for example, not to single out the French... vive la France.

Americans are far and away the most generous people on the planet. What have Europeans done to help any one in the world other than help themselves to the coffers of foreign despots? How did you act during the recent and continuing horrors in the former Yugoslavian states? Genocide so close to home is still not worth a response? How did The European Viewpoint relieve human suffering in all of that mess?

How did the MANY European leaders and UN officials who were profiteering in collusion with Saddam via the Oil-For-Food and other programs alleviate the suffering of the Iraqi people? How many Billions of Euros did you earn for years as you catered Saddam's whims? Not an inconsiderable few of you stood in the streets and drank champagne and cheered as the twin towers fell. We know why you withheld support for the war efforts. Some of us do, at least.

To be fair, the previous US administration did adopt the European stance during the period of the Rwandan slaughter. We were lock-step with Europe and let the Rwandans work out their own place in the world order, to our shame. How many hundreds of thousands were massacred? I'm so not good with mere statistics.

World order. How important world order must be to you, being a concept of true European genesis. You speak of it so frequently and with such reverence. I remember those symbols of order that Europeans have given the rest of us... the redcoat and the red star, the colony, the swastika, the guillotine, the hammer and sickle...

__

thanks Portland imc for the soapbox.

Anti Fa... 29.Apr.2004 15:28

Paul

With respect to your comments above...

What is complicated about identifying a negative trend such as suicide bombers? Whether in New York, Madrid, Bali, the Phillipines, Baghdad, Tel Aviv... and now Damascus and Amman?

We can debate why or how terrorism has become an epidemic around the world, but I suspect that your argument will be delivered with an ample dose of anti-American sentiment predicated upon the corruption and greed of corporations and failed foreign policy cooked up by special interests and priveleged white men smoking cigars.

You suggest that Mr. Bush has taken the expedient route to war. You seem to forget about the a unanimous vote on UN resolution #1441 and an overwhelming plurality of Congress authorizing the use of force in Iraq. How else to demonstrate to Mr. Hussein that the United States and the world are serious. Certainly Mr. Clinton did not consider bin Laden or Hussein to be serious players during the preceding eight years...

You attempt to paint conservatives as narrowly self-interested. I do not have a sizable portfolio nor run a corporation with a profit motive. So what is my self-interest in global politics?

Rather, conservatives take a more pragmatic, no-nonsense view of the world. Suicide bombers = BAD. If this over-simplifies your world then we will never agree.

As a conservative I do believe that everyone should have their own self-interest at heart. For example, it is not my responsibility to ensure that your family is fed and kept warm at night. Nor is my family your responsibility. Taking responsibility for ones own actions is a fundamental tenet of a conservatives belief. This does not obviate the need for cooperation and the moral obligation to lend assistance when appropriate. Good public policy should provide people an incentive to become productive; for their own well-being and that of the community at large.

Interesting commentary on Coca-Cola. I was unaware of the problem in Columbia. Here is a suggestion... rather than embark upon a bombastic diatribe on the evil nature of corporate America... perhaps a more effective approach is to reasonably and calmly communicate the facts regarding Coke/Columbia to its largest shareholders. Real change can be effected... it is all about the how you deliver the message. Of course this presumes the following...

1. That the people being persecuted in Columbia are truly victims and not a bunch of terrorists masquerading as the down-trodden put upon by some multi-national conglomerate, and
2. That you, and others sincere in their belief, are willing to address the problem in a civil manner

We seem to agree on the jobs issue and the failures of a protectionist trade policy.

I made the following comment: "Conservatives see the world with more clarity, and in this era the threat of violence from militant Islamists trumps every other issue."

You replied with this statement: "Conservatives construct the world as they would like to see it, and have largely won that battle, because the chickenshit Democrats use the same language Republicans do to debate the issues of the day. Islamist terrorism has been made to trump every other issue, so that the other desperate crises lurking beneath the surface cannot emerge and demonstrate the inanity and paucity of both parties' political positions."

You suggest that there are other pressing issues. I agree, however all other issues are moot in the face of abject terrorism. Our entire lifestyle (Democrat or Republican, white or black, gay or straight, rich or poor) is at risk if we tolerate bombings in the street. You are obviously an intelligent person... please concede the point that suicide bombings and the foment of hatred agaist the "West" is bad behavior and must not be tolerated.

We can eliminate radical Islamists but it will take significant energy, money and time. What needs to happen is people in the middle east need to develop hope for a future that is better than the present, a voice in their own government, and the freedom to live their lives without fear. Just like we deserve to live our lives without fear of some suicide bomber.

I agree that there are other significant problems in the middle east... Egypt, Israel/Palestine, and the Saudis are all relevent points. While Hamas and the IDF continue to fight... I suggest that we sow the seeds of freedom in Afghanistan and Iraq and then address the problems elsewhere. The poor and dispossed people in the region will see the good in democracy.

"International Observer" 29.Apr.2004 15:28

get a clue

according to your International colleagues' poll  http://worldpeace.org.au/virtualElection.asp

Nader is winning 53% to 42% over Kerry (Bush has 4%).


Maybe "international observer"... 29.Apr.2004 16:16

Tony Blair's dog

is scared of Nader since he will not be bought by the
neocons and the zionists in either U.S. or Israel.

I can imagine that that scares the living daylight out
of the corrupt governments in both countries.

LOL Kerry & polical violence? 29.Apr.2004 16:30

Furious

Are you the type that when punched just stands there? Or if someone beats up your child, doesn't want justice? That's what you're asking the majority of Americans to do, who believe that doing nothing after a terrorist attack does not prevent the next attack. We were attacked during Clinton years 8 times-and he did nothing. 9/11 .........3,000 innocent Americans killed-and you just want to stand there and do nothing? What, call them names? I'm sorry, but sometimes you just have to DEFEND YOURSELF. And if you're too chicken, and want others to do it for you, you call it political violence cause you don't want to admit to yourself that you're not big enough (& you're chicken) to defend yourself and your family.

get "Furious" about this: 9-11 PLANNED BY YOUR GOVERNMENT 29.Apr.2004 16:49

9-11 IS A SCAM

how is invading Afghanistan "defending ourselves"? we are more open to attack there - and in Iraq - right now than we ever have been.

where is "bin Laden" right now? was he in a cave in Afghanistan?

what did Saddam Hussein have to do with 9-11?

why did the U.S. invade Iraq, again? please explain clearly and in detail, the specific reason why the U.S. pre-emptively and illegally invaded Iraq, and is currently losing 2 U.S. lives per day and spending $5 billion per month there.

you've been DUPED.


divide and conquer 29.Apr.2004 17:00

gilda

This is not about Kerry vs Bush, they both have made it clear who they work for and it aint the american people.

This is about the american people recognizing that WE THE PEOPLE have the power and we need to throw these skull and boners and their elitist supporters out, OUT of the executive branch, Out of the legislative branch and the judicial while we're out it. How corrupt does it have to get before we finally say enough is enough?

Fact is they are all sworn to uphold the constitution, and they sure as hell aren't doig their jobs.

Who says we need to wait for a stupid phony election. We need to march on washington Now. PEOPLE are DYING every day and it has to stop NOW! How is it possible are maniac in chief is still at the helm, after lying about Iraq, after the 911 coverup.....we're supposed to trust this guy to protect us?

On Sophistry 29.Apr.2004 17:01

Anti-Fa

El Lider
"The conservatives have set off a fire storm.. Anti-Fa will seek to convince us of the error of our ways by overwhelming us with his bewildering rhetoric ( his word ). It is the primary technique of the sophist. Quantity of argument over quality. Emotion over logic.. G5Mac is right, it is truly cut and dry. Anti-Fa, your argument that these poor countries are oppressed by the big bad US is narrow-minded, and arrantly fallible. It is unfortunate that when one has a policy opposite that of isolationism ( as one has put it today )inevitably one must deal with wickedness in a civilized manner in order to progress good, until such dealings become unmanageable."

Excellent, excellent: you condemn my sophistry with a textbook example of your own. You need to explain, perchance, the holes in my logic or rhetoric. I don't deny that there is evil in the world - I differ on its origins. My argument is a sensible one of social construction - evil is made by the actions of individuals. You seem to prefer a metaphysical construction of evil - some are just inherently evil. Unfortunately, I don't happen to believe in God or the equally nebulous "human nature," so unfortunately you and I are talking to each other from markedly different paradigms, as a metaphysical construction of morality requires some form of higher motive.

You can condemn that all as sophistry, but you still have to explain to me where evil comes from.

Fascinating.... 29.Apr.2004 17:05

Tony Blair's dog

Mr. "Furious" manage to spin the Bush administration
propaganda like he really believes it.

"Or if someone beats up your child, doesn't want justice?"

I see, so instead of finding out who really beats up your
child you walk over and beat up one the foreign guys in your
neighborhood since he doesn't want to lend you money.
Very interesting indeed.


"That's what you're asking the majority of Americans to do,
who believe that doing nothing after a terrorist attack does
not prevent the next attack."

Again, you want people to start war against another country
who had nothing to do with 9/11?? Worst of all, you want people
to agree to that without giving them any evidence whatsoever.
Not good at all!


"We were attacked during Clinton years 8 times-and he did nothing."

Interesting. What attacks are you thinking of here more precisely?


"I'm sorry, but sometimes you just have to DEFEND YOURSELF."

And that is what we are doing. Our way is to find out all the
pieces of the puzzle, and we are doing a great job at that.
Which is why you graced imc with your little "comment".

So, on the contrary mr "Furious", it is you who are the "chicken"
with no guts to stand up and demand that the scumbags in the
government will be held accountable.

get "Furious" about this: 9-11 PLANNED BY YOUR GOVERNMENT 29.Apr.2004 17:16

Furious

Thanks for the laugh. You are really out there in another planet. Glad you're the minority ......maybe you should get out of your cave.

Continuing Discussions with Paul 29.Apr.2004 17:46

Anti-Fa

"What is complicated about identifying a negative trend such as suicide bombers? Whether in New York, Madrid, Bali, the Phillipines, Baghdad, Tel Aviv... and now Damascus and Amman?

We can debate why or how terrorism has become an epidemic around the world, but I suspect that your argument will be delivered with an ample dose of anti-American sentiment predicated upon the corruption and greed of corporations and failed foreign policy cooked up by special interests and priveleged white men smoking cigars."

There is nothing wrong with identifying a negative trend - I can identify a lot of negative trends in the world at large - the question is what went into constructing said negative trends. They don't just spring from no where. This is my pricipal point of argument with too many "conservatives" - they have a manichean worldview that peddles cheap metaphysics as morality.

My argument does not solely rest on the fact that Americans are some sort of demonic evil - this smacks of conspiracy, gross simplification and the same manicheanism (of a leftist variety) I condemn above. What I am pointing out is that people who are angry with the US are not (just) angry for the abstract reasons advanced by Bush and the assorted ideologues who make up his administration. They don't all "hate us because we are free" or "hate us because we are secular." The core zealots like Osama might, but the vast network of support which enables terrorism is motivated by concrete examples which are too numerous to list, but a rought outline can be found in the conservative bete noire Chomsky, or the excellent history of Howard Zinn. The problems of the world as I said before are legion, and I would add, historical: foremost among them, the legacies of colonialism continue to haunt us, and the realities of imperialism continue to shape the world.

The greed of corporations and the machinations of lobbyists aren't the only source of misery in this world - but these exact figures play a decisive role in shaping US foreign policy, and it is this same policy that has angered so many around the world.

"You suggest that Mr. Bush has taken the expedient route to war. You seem to forget about the a unanimous vote on UN resolution #1441 and an overwhelming plurality of Congress authorizing the use of force in Iraq. How else to demonstrate to Mr. Hussein that the United States and the world are serious. Certainly Mr. Clinton did not consider bin Laden or Hussein to be serious players during the preceding eight years..."

UN #1441 did not authorize war - thus the arguments in the UN Security Council leading up to the war. Congress I lump in with Bush and all the other politicians in Washington as similarly self-interested - there is no left in government in this country with the exception some local figures and a smattering of figures in Congree. I don't understand the connection between Hussein and bin Laden - there isn't one. To my knowledge, Clinton did prioritize Hussin - we constantly bombed Iraq for the entire 8 years of the Clinton regime, the sanctions were tightened, and there were even contingency plans drawn up to rid the world of Saddam. Same with bin Laden - the Clinton admin had a plan to deal with him that the Bush Admin. did not follow up on, as revealed during Condi Rice's testimony. However, as I said before, I have as little sympathy for Clinton or the Democrats - they are part of the same problem as the Republicans - Corporate governance over democracy.

"You attempt to paint conservatives as narrowly self-interested. I do not have a sizable portfolio nor run a corporation with a profit motive. So what is my self-interest in global politics?"

I don't know, what? But the ethic of modern conservatism which is really just the same as 19th century high liberalism (I know that must come as a shock) is that self-interest is the driving motor behind human progress. From the Republican ethic of small government and no regulation of business to Ayn Rand to Milton Friedman and so on, the ethic of conservatism is the glorification of the abstract individual, without taking into account the complexity of the individuals social embeddedness.

"Rather, conservatives take a more pragmatic, no-nonsense view of the world. Suicide bombers = BAD. If this over-simplifies your world then we will never agree."

That may be more "pragmatic" as a view - but it is a non-started for a plan of action. You can condemn the tactic - afterall, suicide bombing is a tactic, not an identity - but it does not address how one might go about arresting the social factors that encourage suicide bombers. "Conservatives" in this day prefer condemnation over analysis.

"As a conservative I do believe that everyone should have their own self-interest at heart. For example, it is not my responsibility to ensure that your family is fed and kept warm at night. Nor is my family your responsibility. Taking responsibility for ones own actions is a fundamental tenet of a conservatives belief. This does not obviate the need for cooperation and the moral obligation to lend assistance when appropriate. Good public policy should provide people an incentive to become productive; for their own well-being and that of the community at large."

If that is so, why don't some of the most treasured of conservative institutions, from corporations to the religious right to the current administration, take responsibility for their actions. Corporations don't pay taxes, have few responsibilities to their employees, no responsibility to the environment, or even little responsibility to their "nation." Bush won't take responsibility for his actions on a myriad of issues - ranging from his drug abuse to his Guard Service to his own statements and mistakes. Watching him struggle with the question if he had any regrets was the most illuminating moment in his career, it encapsulated him: he doesn't feel any responsibility for anything. Why? Because he is a zealot on a mission from God, and because he has had everything handed to him from day one. He is a child of privilege, not of individual achievement, from day one.

Further, such narrow self-interest ignores the fundamental role that social institutions and the community contributes to the development of individuals, from the love and support of a community, to schools, to the public resources that are plundered by corporations. Do individuals develop in a vacuum? Did you spring fully-formed from the womb? I understand the religious impulse has convinced many people that they did - that their personality was inherent from the moment they were born - and I suppose that is a paradigmatic gap between my worldview and theirs. But I would argue that individuals develop from environments. Of course, there is some "je ne sais quoi" that can't be reduced to social inputs, but socialization is important, rendering the Ayn Rand-style individual as a mere abstraction.

"Interesting commentary on Coca-Cola. I was unaware of the problem in Columbia. Here is a suggestion... rather than embark upon a bombastic diatribe on the evil nature of corporate America... perhaps a more effective approach is to reasonably and calmly communicate the facts regarding Coke/Columbia to its largest shareholders. Real change can be effected... it is all about the how you deliver the message. Of course this presumes the following...

1. That the people being persecuted in Columbia are truly victims and not a bunch of terrorists masquerading as the down-trodden put upon by some multi-national conglomerate, and
2. That you, and others sincere in their belief, are willing to address the problem in a civil manner"

Coke doesn't care. Petitions do little. And it a recurrent historical occurence - Columbia is not the first place it happened, and probably won't be the last. Capitalism decrees that any way to cut overhead and boost profits is ethical, people be damned - and if that requires killing some pesky unionists, so be it. Incidentally, these aren't terrorists masquerading as unionists - these are the people who work at these plants organizing to control their own lives.

 http://www.colombiasolidarity.org.uk/cocacolacampaign.html

and the book "Trade Unionists Against Terror" by Deborah Levenson-Estrada

"I made the following comment: "Conservatives see the world with more clarity, and in this era the threat of violence from militant Islamists trumps every other issue."

You replied with this statement: "Conservatives construct the world as they would like to see it, and have largely won that battle, because the chickenshit Democrats use the same language Republicans do to debate the issues of the day. Islamist terrorism has been made to trump every other issue, so that the other desperate crises lurking beneath the surface cannot emerge and demonstrate the inanity and paucity of both parties' political positions."

You suggest that there are other pressing issues. I agree, however all other issues are moot in the face of abject terrorism. Our entire lifestyle (Democrat or Republican, white or black, gay or straight, rich or poor) is at risk if we tolerate bombings in the street. You are obviously an intelligent person... please concede the point that suicide bombings and the foment of hatred agaist the "West" is bad behavior and must not be tolerated."

My argument stems from two sources: 1. I argue that social construction is vital, and that power constructs discourses to enable it to extend its power (like that great conservative whipping boy, Foucault). Conservatives have constructed discourses concentrating on terrorism as an existential threat to the US, and that terror is an abstract quantity that hates the US for abstract reasons, as I discussed above. This leads me to point 2. That if we are really interested in diminishing terror, military violence will not accomplish it. I am not suggesting we hug Osama bin Laden - I am suggesting that if we want to diminish terror, we need to stop acting in a way that creates sympathy for terrorists throughout the world. I'm not just talking about the US as you are - I am talking globally. Terrorism springs from these other issues that you seem to think are less important - poverty, tyranny, religious oppression, support for patriarchal regimes, environmental destruction, all of which are tied together. This is the breeding ground in which terror thrives and finds support. Countering terror with violence extends the cycle of vengeance and revenge - you can't kill a tactic - but if you eliminate the social contexts from which terror springs, you have a relatively good chance of severely curtailing terror. As stated before, you can't eliminate a tactic - terrorism will always be with us.

"We can eliminate radical Islamists but it will take significant energy, money and time. What needs to happen is people in the middle east need to develop hope for a future that is better than the present, a voice in their own government, and the freedom to live their lives without fear. Just like we deserve to live our lives without fear of some suicide bomber."

How? How can we eliminate radical Islamists? By killing them all? What about their children and the next generation, who grows up to see that they have been yet again humiliated, that yet again their neighbors (the inevitable collateral damage from "eliminating radical Islamism") are killed with impunity, that their deaths don't matter as compared to the death of Westerners? Everyone should have the right to live lives free of terror and fear - but that won't happen until we begin taking the concept of justice seriously, not just as a narrow juridical concept, but as a way of life. Justice cannot exist when one group of people enslaves (or is complicit in the enslavement of) another people; justice can't exist when some live fat off the land and others starve (Americans consume a disproportionate share of the world's income); justice can't exist when religious bigotry is tolerable when its Christian, not tolerable when its Islamic; justice can't exist when we preach democracy yet consistently undermine it abroad; justice simply won't exist when people don't have control over their lives, when their future has already been mortgaged off to make some fat Westerner fatter. Justice can't exist under capitalism. Justice can't exist under statism.

"I agree that there are other significant problems in the middle east... Egypt, Israel/Palestine, and the Saudis are all relevent points. While Hamas and the IDF continue to fight... I suggest that we sow the seeds of freedom in Afghanistan and Iraq and then address the problems elsewhere. The poor and dispossed people in the region will see the good in democracy."

But what good is political democracy without economic democracy i.e. communism, socialism, etc.? The reason the US has consistently undermined democracy is to protect the tyranny of the market. Iraq is a perfect case in point - the Iraqis got uppity and elected a nationalist government that began to veer a little to0 close to communism for our tastes, so the CIA engineered a coup that brought first the Ba'aths, then Saddam to power. Or the case in Iran. Or Pakistan. Or the countless examples in Latin American. When people try to exercise their democracy beyond the narrow of American capitalist-democracy, the iron hand comes down. We don't encourage democracy - we encourage capitalism. Always have, always will.

Anyway, that is it for me, but I do appreciate the civility of your discourse.

"Furious" = DUPE. 29.Apr.2004 18:42

9-11 IS A SCAM.

YOU DIDN'T ANSWER THE QUESTIONS.

1. how is invading Afghanistan "defending ourselves"?
we are more open to attack there - and in Iraq - right now than we ever have been.

2. where is "bin Laden" right now? was he in a cave in Afghanistan?

3. what did Saddam Hussein have to do with 9-11?

4. why did the U.S. invade Iraq, again?
please explain clearly and in detail, the specific reason why the U.S. pre-emptively and illegally invaded Iraq, and is currently losing 2 U.S. lives per day and spending $5 billion per month there.

and before you "pooh-pooh" the "minority" - tell us all EXACTLY why 9-11 ISN'T a scam.


'Anti-Fa': It's C_o_l_o_m_b_i_a 29.Apr.2004 18:43

with a letter 'o'

not "Columbia".

Oops 29.Apr.2004 20:20

Anti-Fa

Yr right - my mistake - my inner gringo coming out.

9/11 29.Apr.2004 20:25

who cares

it's not like we haven't been responsible for the death of hundreds of thousands, even millions of people in the last decade. Sure, there were some innocent people on the planes and in the towers. But the attacks wiped out one of the country's best trading firms along with most of it's personel. All these little Eichman's are responsible for what happens and whose babies get starved. Of course the pentagon was a legitimate target. Are you morally opposed to the state of Israel hanging Adolf Eichman for his crimes? You have to learn that when you push people around, they WILL push back.

In fact 29.Apr.2004 21:07

If

"I would try to think those Skull and Bones pledges will keep Kerry from giving Bush his due when he's outta there, but since apparently Skull and Bones pledges don't command such internecine loyalty as to keep Kerry from running against him and possibly driving him out of office, I'm not sure where I see where Kerry is pledged to kiss Bush's skinny little rump."

In fact, if Kerry were President and wanted to be, and he didn't want the Chimp to come back looking for that chimp-chair in 2008, it would be in his best interests not to stand between Bush and his just deserts, if not to help introduce Bush to the just deserts outright. How is he going to whack Bush with that stick and not himself if he actually stands in the same place as Bush, and why am I the only one I've heard asking this so far?

BTW, "The ethanol thing shows how inept kerry is. PRODUCTION of ethanol TAKES more energy than ethanol can DELIVER."

"EVERYTHING" at present takes more energy than it can deliver or isn't cost-effective at low levels of production, because that's what keeps the $$$$ coming out of your pocket, hand over fist. Many appliances are still deliberately designed for over-consumption of energy. Physics and electronics books are even written with that specific priority- "it ain't free and you PAY"- firmly in mind. Production of hot bathing water "took more energy than it could deliver" until some guy rigged a simple solar water heater with a tank up on the roof.

Anti Fa and Who Cares... 29.Apr.2004 21:15

Paul

I have been away... plunging my corporate appendage into the unsuspecting rectum of the collective working class... but anyway...

Your text book analysis is well considered. Classic really... and there is some areas where we agree, notably your commentary...

"Terrorism springs from these other issues that you seem to think are less important - poverty, tyranny, religious oppression, support for patriarchal regimes, environmental destruction, all of which are tied together. This is the breeding ground in which terror thrives and finds support. Countering terror with violence extends the cycle of vengeance and revenge - you can't kill a tactic - but if you eliminate the social contexts from which terror springs, you have a relatively good chance of severely curtailing terror. As stated before, you can't eliminate a tactic - terrorism will always be with us."

I agree with all of this. This is why it is imperative to make freedom stick in Iraq and elsewhere in the middle east.

By the way, I began misspelling Colombia... you just copied my mistake.

Now for Who Cares...

Diminishing the lives of the men and women at the top of the World Trade Center is reprehensible. These people were my friends and colleagues. I am a Wall Street guy and was scheduled for meetings downtown that afternoon. The good people of New York never deserved what befell them.

They were regular people with feelings and family, plans for the future. Your idiotic comment makes me sick. Someone should smack your sorry ass.

Paul 29.Apr.2004 21:29

-

One person here says you're a hypocrite if you drink coke and call yourself a pacifist and you translate that as "liberals can't drink coke?"

You're quite a moron. Your use of the term liberal indicates that you just showed up here and don't really know what's going on and who is here. You're about five years out of date. The world has changed on you. Do a little fresh reading and thinking.

"The liberals" you are talking to exist in your own fantasy world.

Dear - 29.Apr.2004 21:45

Paul

You do not like the term 'liberal'. Fair enough. What do people on the left-end of the political spectrum wish to be called?

I am not a moron nor do I not live in a fantasy world... I live in the real world. The ad hominum attack is something I expected eventually.

haha OK I can't spell 29.Apr.2004 22:05

GRINGO STARS

Honestly, that made me giggle, Anti-Fa. I always type too fast and screw up the spelling. It's hard bringing these dittoheads up to speed isn't it? Heavens.

My two cents: What do Bush, Kerry, Kucinich, Sharpton and Nader all have in common? Answer: they're all capitalists.

Personality Politics don't matter much when all the choices mean constant war, which is inherent in capitalism. Voting doesn't hold a candle to organizing independantly of the entrenched political system, which is painstakingly designed to keep the monopolosit corporations in power.

Paul 29.Apr.2004 23:39

-

I've got no problem with the term liberal. It just doesn't describe the majority of people that post here. People of many views post here.

One person said you shouldn't drink coke if you're a pacifist and you took that to mean that most people here agree with that person. That shows that you don't know what's going on here. You heard it was a liberal site and came here with your baggage of generalizations and let loose as if you knew what was going on. You don't know what's going on. You don't know who you're talking to.

Take a little time to absorb the multiplicity of this place and you might understand a little better and not say such ignorant things.

I don't know if you understand it's your ignorance that's offensive, not the term "liberal."

This is not a playground for liberal vs. conservative gamers.

- 30.Apr.2004 00:29

Paul

I think I understand the multiplicity of the indy web sites. I am familiar with several of them... Portland's is new to me. It is more sophisticated than most. Kudos...

Perhaps I should not have worded the sentence that offended you in my first post the way that I did.

It is amusing to me that you choose to take offense at my "ignorance". Thanks for the heads up. I wouldn't want to offend any "liberals", "socialists", "New Leftists", "Progressives", "Greens", "Anarchists", "Globalists", "Canadians" or "GATT Hating Bong Hitters"...

Paul 30.Apr.2004 00:40

-

You're talking to people.

Thanks for the apology.

Isnīt there anybody else? 30.Apr.2004 02:24

roberta s

Sheesh, Kerry is such a lousy choice. Canīt we Democrats find somebody else?
I just have a real problem with having a President of the United States who is an ADMITTED WAR CRIMINAL.

Why canīt we have a real anti-War canditate - one who refused to go to Vietnam instead of one who went there and killed many, many people.

Kerry went to Vietnam on his own - he volunteered, he knew killing was going on, Kerry Killed lots of people, got lots of medals and ribbons, came back denounced the war and now 30 years later he is going around thumping his chest about what a great war hero and partiot he was!

I donīt want a president that proudly has written into his resume (military records): "unofficially credited with 20 killed in action"  http://www.thesmokinggun.com/archive/0421041kerry2.html

It is not too late, canīt we Democrats find somebody else?

Roberta S... The Answer Is No 30.Apr.2004 07:53

Paul

I have been accused of over-simplifying things but the answer is simply no. The Democratic party cannot and will not nominate an anti-war candidate.

A recent interview of Howie Hawkins of the Green party outlines very well why this is the case. I personally believe that there needs to be a viable third party. Until then there is no political force with enough critical mass to tip the balance on a variety of important issues.

As a conservative I support the war, but would also be in favor of REAL and MEANINGFUL campaign finance reform. I believe that the huge sums of money that pour into RNC and DNC coffers influences policy decisions to the detriment of all.

Bush & Kerry - Same plan for Iraq 01.May.2004 02:49

Gettin Smarter

I am against war.
Bush is for the war in Iraq.
Kerry is for the war in Iraq.
Nader is not.
If I vote for Kerry and he wins, Kerry will stay the course in Iraq.
A vote for Kerry equals a vote for Bush.

Hoping to have the chance to vote for someone else. How about draft Hillary in July???

Hillary 02.May.2004 21:23

has vertical eyeslits

and is "for the war", for "Fortress America", and for killing all Palestinians except those who would like to clean rich settler's houses for a dollar a day.

A vote for Hillary is a vote for endless war.

Kerry -- Confessed War Criminal desires presidency 03.May.2004 15:19

Cal Edwards globesailor@hotmail.com

Having just read the article: "Voting for Kerry is voting for political violence," I certainly agree with all that was written. But what is even more atrocious to me is that John F. Kerry has admitted, even testified before the Congress of the United States, that he took part in criminal, injurious acts against human beings in Vietnam during his brief, 4-months, in that land and has somehow not been brought to justice but has become a U.S. Senator now having served many terms.
Kerry should not only be disallowed to run for that high office, he should be removed from the office that he now holds.
How can we bring this arch-criminal to justice BEFORE he does more damage?

A suggestion for Cal Edwards 09.May.2004 12:31

Dumb old country boy vet.

Well let's see now Mr. Edwards, what facts do you have?

Fact 1) Kerry is a self-confessed/professed war criminal.

Fact 2) What he said he did is considered "Murder" i.e. war crimes.

Legally, there is no Statute of Limitations for "Murder." That may be the same in Military law. I would be surprised if it isn't.

Now what can you do? Well, you could ask Congress to (maybe) "impeach him." Or, maybe the Navy might consider a "Court Martial." Then, if he is convicted, you could ask Congress to "impeach him."

Now you could start this effort off with a bang by putting up a web page asking people sign a petition petitioning the Navy "Court Martial" Kerry and Congress "impeach him."

Considering the above diatribe, I would think its high time for the liberals to put their money where their mouth is. Come on now everybody (in chorus) "Court Martial and Impeach Senator John Kerry." "Court Martial and Impeach Senator John Kerry." "Court Martial and Impeach Senator John Kerry." I can't hear you. A little louder please.

Infantile Leftism 05.Jun.2004 11:40

Lenin

Plenty of infantile leftism in this thread, comrades. Your fear of compromise ensures that the right wing will continue to dominate. Divided you fall!

Millitary guards at Guantanamo Bay find multiple uses for the Quran 05.Jun.2005 12:50

Tj cott0ncandynightmare1971@hotmail.com

Heavy critiscism has fallen on millitary guards at Guantanamo Bay. Several Quran abuses have been reported by guests, um prisoners, of the United States. Prisoners have complained to FBI and other sources of continual Quran abuse by several different guards. Several reports suggest U.S. millitary prefers the feel of the Quran over millitary issued toilet paper. Other millitary guards find the Quran very absorbant in cleaning up urine spills. I caught up with Sergeant. Ben Overs, a former guard at Guantanamo Bay and here is what he had to say. " When we first encountered the Quran we thought it was just another religious book, you know like the Bible...It didn't take many of us long to realize it was much more valuable then that. Several other guards found the pages soft and resiliant. It was really a very versatile instrument. It worked as toilet paper, paper towels, for messy urine spills from the guards, and we found that it soaked up mud off of our boots very quickly. I am upset about the rumors going around about a Quran being flushed down a toilet. The guards there would never do anything like that. It was really quite innocent, one of the guys was tearing pages from it to wipe himself, when the Quran slipped from his hands and it fell into the toilet. He quickly retrieved it because he still had mud and blood to wipe from his boots. I can assure you no Quran was intentionally flushed down a toilet."

Other uses of the Quran have also been reported. Some guests, detaniees, people held and not charged for 3 years... oh yeah prisoners, reported guards using the Quran to dry off after bathing and tearing pages from the book to use as dryer sheets in their dirty laundry.Other reports suggest millitary personel have also found the Quran as a very useful journal for writing obscenities in. While other reports suggest millitary guards at Guatanamo Bay tear one page a day from the Quran and line their undergarments with it for that feel good freshness all day. When the press mentioned this to President Bush he stated, " I am not a crook" No sorry that was Nixon. Bush replied, "We are Americans, we are the good guys, I assure you there has been no Quran abuse." It was reported later that Bush said He "had no idea those filthy heathens' book of lies had so many good industrial uses."  cott0ncandynightmare1971@hotmail.com