portland independent media center  
images audio video
newswire article reposts portland metro

corporate dominance selection 2004

Kerry vows to maintain US troops in Iraq through 2008

"Kerry's statements are only the most glaring demonstration of a remarkable and instructive political fact. Although the majority of the American people now regard the US invasion of Iraq as a mistake, and well over 40 percent believe that US troops should be withdrawn immediately, the official two-party system has conspired to produce a presidential election campaign in which there is no outlet for anti-war public opinion."

They can't shut us up by shutting us out. Why is everyone so willing to accept what they have done to Dennis and the true voice of the democrats during the primary. We have to help Dennis and overthrow the ruling elite from the democratic party first. Where are the people who give a damn?
Are we really going to just sit here and take it?
Are we really going to just sit here and take it?
Democratic candidate Kerry vows to maintain US troops in Iraq for years
By Patrick Martin
17 July 2004

In an interview with the Wall Street Journal on Thursday, Democratic presidential nominee John Kerry declared that, if he were elected, US troops would remain in Iraq throughout his first term in office—to the end of 2008. The Democratic candidate also suggested that the Bush administration was more likely to withdraw troops quickly than a Kerry administration.

Both the content of the interview and the choice of publication—the Journal has been the most vehement media advocate of the war in Iraq and is one of the chief editorial voices of the extreme right within the American political establishment—are politically calculated to send a message. Kerry is reassuring the US ruling elite, including the far-right elements who now back Bush, that he can be trusted to carry forward the US conquest and occupation of Iraq.

Kerry set three conditions that would have to be met for removing US troops from Iraq. He said it was necessary "to measure the level of stability" in the country, "to measure the outlook for the stability to hold," and "to measure the ability...of their security forces" to defend the country. Until then, he said, "I will provide for the world's need not to have a failed state in Iraq."

The main difference between Kerry and Bush on Iraq boils down to Bush's continued, albeit cynical and false, claim that the US mission in Iraq is to bring "freedom" and "democracy," words that were nearly absent in Kerry's discussion with the Wall Street Journal.

It is worth noting that the three criteria set by Kerry for success in Iraq would describe the regime of former president Saddam Hussein. All three criteria—stability, lasting stability, and security—would be satisfied by the establishment of a military-police dictatorship headed by a new Saddam, such as the current US-backed prime minister, Iyad Allawi.

Kerry represents that section of the US ruling elite that wants to set aside Bush's doubletalk about democratization. This was necessary for gulling the American people during the run-up to the war, they concede, but now it is time to get on with their real business, by establishing the security conditions in which American capital can extract profits from Iraq's huge oil reserves and from lucrative contracts with the US-controlled puppet regime in Baghdad.

As the Journal summed up the interview, "Mr. Kerry is determined to present himself as a leader of strength, one who would more effectively pursue the same goals Mr. Bush has established for progress in Iraq and the broader anti-terror war."

Much of Kerry's criticism of Bush was, if anything, from the right. He said that Bush had not consulted sufficiently with the military brass, saying that as president he would "listen to them with greater respect than this president and his secretary of defense did." He also promised greater success in wooing other countries to contribute troops to the occupation, saying that it would take a new president to repair the damage done to US alliances.

Kerry warned that Bush might attempt a too-precipitate withdrawal from Iraq, which might endanger the new US-backed regime. "I've heard said by many people," he told the Journal, that the White House might even withdraw some troops before the November elections, in order to appease the growing popular opposition to the war. "I'm prepared for any political move," Kerry said. "I'd put nothing past them."

Though Kerry said the US presence in Iraq was not "an open-ended commitment," he refused to give any target end date for an end to the occupation. "At the end of my first term I would consider it a failure of my diplomacy if we haven't reduced the number significantly," he told the Journal, but "I certainly can't tell you numbers."

Anti-war opinion excluded

Kerry's statements are only the most glaring demonstration of a remarkable and instructive political fact. Although the majority of the American people now regard the US invasion of Iraq as a mistake, and well over 40 percent believe that US troops should be withdrawn immediately, the official two-party system has conspired to produce a presidential election campaign in which there is no outlet for anti-war public opinion.

The Republican campaign to reelect Bush is, of course, premised on all-out support for the war and the endless repetition of long-exposed lies about Saddam Hussein's connections to terrorism and the claim that Bush's policy of military aggression and preemptive war has made the American people safer.

The Democratic campaign to elect Kerry criticizes Bush's management of the war in Iraq, but it does not challenge any of the fundamental premises on which the war was based—and which Kerry himself supported in his October 2002 vote in the US Senate to give Bush the authority to attack Iraq.

As the WSWS has previously explained [see "The rise and fall of Howard Dean: An object lesson in Democratic Party politics"], the contest for the Democratic nomination was carefully managed by the party's leadership and the corporate-controlled media to prevent the war issue from becoming the focus of the presidential campaign. Anti-war sentiment was responsible for the rise of former Vermont Governor Howard Dean to front-runner status last year. Most of Dean's rivals, including Kerry and his vice-presidential running mate, John Edwards, adapted to the anti-war views of Democratic primary voters as part of their successful effort to wrest the nomination away from him.

The result is that although the overwhelming majority of Democratic voters oppose the war and favor withdrawal of US troops as rapidly as possible, the Democratic nominee and the Democratic Party platform are committed to keeping US troops in Iraq for as long as is required to assure the desired outcome: a stable, pro-US regime that gives American imperialism a dominant strategic position in the Middle East and makes the second-largest oil reserves in the world available to US corporate interests.

The drafting of the Democratic platform illustrates the exclusion of anti-war views. The platform contains 16,000 words and is 35 pages long, but it takes no position on the central political issue confronting the American people. The draft language on the war in Iraq declares: "People of good will disagree about whether America should have gone to war in Iraq." There is much discussion in the platform about what should be done now—involving the United Nations, bringing in more international support, etc.—but the platform simply declines to comment on whether the war was justified or not.

Instead, the Democrats call for increasing the size of the US military by 40,000 troops, intensifying US support for Israel's war against the Palestinian people, and maintaining a more-or-less indefinite occupation of Iraq. "We cannot allow a failed state in Iraq that inevitably would become a haven for terrorists and a destabilizing force in the Middle East," the draft platform reportedly says.

The platform committee rejected language calling the war a mistake and proposing a specific date for the withdrawal of US forces. Supporters of Congressman Dennis Kucinich, who ran as a peace candidate in the presidential primaries, dropped their call for anti-war language and agreed not to press the issue on the convention floor. Kucinich's representative at the platform discussion, Ana Dias of Hawaii, said Kucinich had instructed her to drop the fight, adding, "We do want to be unified."

Kerry and his running mate Edwards took a similarly noncommittal position on the decision to invade Iraq in joint interviews last week with several newspapers and on the CBS News program "60 Minutes." Both were asked whether they regretted their votes to authorize the war, in light of the Senate Intelligence Committee report that the Bush administration's grounds for war with Iraq—possession of weapons of mass destruction and ties to terrorists—were false.

The Democrats refused to give a straight answer on whether they would have voted for the war, knowing what they know now. Edwards summed up the position by declaring: "trying to go back and reevaluate what we would have done, had we had, hypothetically, had this information or that information, is not useful to us now."

Adding arrogance to evasion, Kerry told the New York Times, "Look, the vote is not today and that's it. I agree completely with Senator Edwards. It's a waste of time. It's not what this is about. We voted the way we voted based on the information in front of us, based on that moment in time. And it was the right vote at that time based on that information. Period."

The SEP alternative

Kerry's open embrace of the war shows the political bankruptcy of the position adopted by many prominent liberal opponents of the war, including The Nation magazine and such figures as filmmaker Michael Moore and Professor Noam Chomsky. They present Kerry as a vehicle for the expression of mass anti-war sentiment, despite his repeated and unmistakable declarations that the US must continue the military occupation of Iraq until a reliable puppet regime has been established.

These liberals continue to support Kerry on the grounds that he is the only possible alternative to the reelection of Bush. That no one other than Bush or Kerry will be elected president on November 2 is, of course, true. But that is not an argument for supporting or voting for Kerry. It is an argument for rejecting the US two-party system, which offers such constricted and reactionary alternatives to the American people.

The central issue in the election is the effective political disenfranchisement, not only of anti-war voters, but of the working class as a whole—that is, the vast majority of the American people. Bush, Cheney, Kerry and Edwards are all millionaire politicians, vetted by and dependent on the narrow stratum of millionaires and corporate chieftains who control the two big-business parties and monopolize American political life.

An alternative to the two-party system can develop only through an independent political mobilization of the working class and the construction of a new mass political party, based on a socialist program. The Socialist Equality Party campaign in the 2004 elections—Bill Van Auken and Jim Lawrence for president and vice president, and our congressional and state legislative candidates—provides the means for taking forward the struggle to achieve this historic and urgent task.

homepage: homepage: http://ttp://www.wsws.org/articles/2004/jul2004/kerr-j17.shtml

Yet another more progressive than thou pro-Bush article 18.Jul.2004 23:09


Fine. Kerry doesn't want to abandon the Iraqis to murderous chaos. And this is wrong because?

Articles like these are designed to stop you from voting. Because chances are if this article hits any of your buttons you'd probably vote for Kerry. If you do not vote you're voting for Bush. Do you really want to see another four years of Bush? More wars, more destruction of civil liberites?

If you agree with the points in this article start working to address them on November 3rd, after you've voted to get rid of Bush.

"Articles like these are designed to stop you from voting." 19.Jul.2004 00:16



the pResidential Selection vote didn't get counted in 2000.

Bush was appointed to the White House by the Supreme Court. He's not a legitimately elected pResident.

we also have continuing problems with the legitimacy of the voting process itself with electronic machines from Diebold, ES & S . . .

and how the hell does an intelligent observation/critique of Kerry and the corporate imperialist Democrats translate into "anybody but Kerry"?

more wars and destruction of civil liberties WILL OCCUR under a Kerry administration.

you, "ctrl-z" are the fear-monger and Disinformationalist here.

you can still vote - just don't put all your 'faith' into the pResidential Selection. Save it for where your vote has a numerical and statistical chance of actually making a REAL DIFFERENCE -

such as right here in PDX with the Tom Potter vs. FascistPhony mayoral race. or other regional/national election contests. THOSE votes count.

"abandon the Iraqis to murderous chaos"... 19.Jul.2004 01:32


...is one of the most racist, colonialist, imperialist BS Faux-News reasons that Bush invaded Iraq in the first place. And it was used by hawks to justify further slaughter of Vietnamese in the 60s and 70s. The reason there is violence in Iraq now is because THE US IS VIOLENTLY OCCUPYING ANOTHER COUNTRY.

Do you think, ctrl-z, that the savage natives will go on with their wanton slaughter after the occupiers have left? Are they so backwards and primitive that the mighty US must save them? Is that your rationale?

You have dangerous misconceptions about the Democratic party: namely that the Democrats are somehow more antiwar or more progressive or more environmentally conscious than the Republicans. None of that is true:


% is right: we do not live in a democracy. The 2000 selection is proof postive of that. Follow %'s link about e-voting's intransparency and well-documented fraud.

"Getting rid of Bush" is useless when the hydra sprouts multiple heads and the next tyrant takes its place. Kerry wants more troops in Iraq than Bush. Kerry wants to prove to his ruling elite bosses that he is MORE militant than Bush in enforcing US empire worldwide. This is not about personalities: as despicable as Bush personally is, so is Kerry.

'Kerry's assurance to high rollers at a $25,000-a-plate breakfast fundraiser at the posh "21" Club in Manhattan to "fear not," because "I am not a redistribution Democrat... who wants to go back and make the mistakes of the Democratic Party of 20, 25 years ago," ** stands as the signature messages of his campaign to America's rich. I'm one of you, he is telling them. I will continue to cut social spending and transfer wealth from poor to rich. The profits that you have amassed at the expense of workers over the past two decades will be safe in my administration.'

** Jodi Wilgoren, "Kerry Plans Effort to Show He Is a Centrist," New York Times, April 16, 2004

what is an anti-bush 19.Jul.2004 02:54

same old me

a perfectly honest politician, or a politician who's as big a liar as the last one, but whose promises are diametrically opposite the last? if kerry makes it some kind of campaign promise to add more troops in iraq, i expect the reality is that he'll pack up and leave.

many time, under many names i have asked this of gringo stars here, "when was the last time you were worried about a politican KEEPING his campaign promises?" but still the same sheep-eyed, literal minded look at what the politician SAYS, as if it takes a great genius to know that kerry is hard to take literally while he is swerving all over the road because karl rove is close behind trying to shoot out his tires.

if it comes as any comfort, kerry told newsweek he wanted the u.s. out and the u.n. in, and unlike bush who burned his bridges, he can likely make it happen.

if worst comes to worst and i don't know what kerry will do, i DO know what bush will do if given the chance, that's a matter of RECORD.

How to elect Bush. 19.Jul.2004 11:56


Electing Bush is simple:

Don't vote.

Vote for anyone other than Kerry for President.

Do you really want to wake up on November 3rd knowing you could have voted against Bush and didn't?

How to select Bush. 19.Jul.2004 12:15


Selecting Bush is simple:

Run a candidate against him with so little appeal that millions of people from that candiate's own polticical party vote for Bush.

Be willing to concede over trivial issues like whose votes were counted and whose weren't.

Vote however you want and rest assured that, in these times, your vote means as much as any other.

Promises to the elite Kerry must keep - same as Bush 19.Jul.2004 13:31


<<if kerry makes it some kind of campaign promise to add more troops in iraq, i expect the reality is that he'll pack up and leave.>>

That makes no sense. All polls show that most people want the US out of Iraq. So why wouldn't he say he was pulling out of Iraq, since politicians lie to gain favor from themaximum amount of people. So now you are saying that Kerry is trustworthy because he tells different people different things about what he will do on a single issue?

Don't look at his promises: look at his ACTIONS. His actions have been pro-war, all down the line.

ctrl-z, you still don't see that Bush=Kerry, do you? Stay away from poisonous corporate media. They lie, you know.

kucinich says peace is divisive 19.Jul.2004 17:27

your hero votes for unity instead

"Where are the people who give a damn?"

Apparently many of them wasted months campaigning for a ruling-class vegan chump who sold them out. "Help Dennis"? WAKE UP DUDE.

hate democrat bullshit? want them out of your hair? 19.Jul.2004 17:42

put them back in office so we can talk about something else

The only credible reason I see for trying to put the Democrats back in power is that the Democratic Party is actually more effective at corralling and defusing anti-establishment energy when it is out of power than when it is in power. The mildly para-revolutionary periods around 1967-'69 and 1999-2001 came together DURING and IMMEDIATELY AFTER long stretches of Democrat rule. When the Repubs are in power, the Dems can more plausibly tell everybody that the Repubs are the problem and the Dems are the solution. Even liberals can see that Dem politicians are not the solution when Dems are in the big chair and they ain't doin' shit.

Endless war, socialism and much nonsense 06.Sep.2004 22:08


While the author marshall's obvious facts, such as Kerry's pro-war position, his/her absurd conclusion in his last paragraph that socialism will lead to peace is apparently never analyzed. Never mind that socialism remains the bloodiest ideology of world history, with Hitler, Stalin and Mao providing from 70 to 100 million deaths just within their own campaigns, the author nevertheless asserts the need to mobilize a new mass political party. Why weren't the old mass (i.e., socialist)political parties bloody enough?
The author would be well advised not only to examine the bloody history of socialism and John Kerry's actions, as opposed to his contradictory rhetoric, he/she should look at the militaristic and often questionable history of the democratic part. The democrat party, despite it's endless stream of anti-conservative bromides remains the party of slavery, racial segregation, Jim Crow laws, the military draft and foreign military adventurism and entanglements (Does any one remember the Vietnam war). You may do well to remember they remain the only only major political party to have called on the use of a "military draft" to compel citizens to serve. The democrats also engaged the U.S. in the only two wars we lost, the Vietnam war and the war on poverty. It remains a curious fact to me that only three well known national political figures came out consistently against the Iraq war campaign in an assertive manner to the extent that I have become aware of their active efforts against the Iraq campaign before, during and after the attack. They were two conservatives Pat Buchanan, and Ron Paul of Texas and one leftist politician Ralph Nader. If their have been others please post their names.
After having posted the comments above, let me also suggest that a complete and consistent case against this particular war has not been made. While one may suggest that we should be under "imminent" threat of attack at the least to launch an attack against a sovereign nation (this by the way has not stopped the democrats since they launched their own pre-emptive war before president Bush in Kosovo in which no genocidal crime against the Kosovar's by the Serbians has ever been proved and for which we were in no way under imminent threat)the very nature and definition of the word "imminent" involves speculation regarding a future threat and thus lends itself to subjective interpretaion and can lead to even more confusion than Bill Clinton's inability to comprehend the word "is" (which denotes existence). A leader's ability to discern the proper time to go to war is more art than science. As Alan Keyes pointed out much of the criticism of the war in Iraq has been very unfair. An analysis that concludes, 'Well we see no evidence of weapons of mass destruction,' therefore the decision was wrong is absurd. We don't make decisions based on what we will know or discover at some hypothetical future date after some course of action has already been taken but, since times arrow follows only one path, we must arrive at a rational conclusion based on information at hand at the time the decision is made. By the way it is still a questionable conclusion regarding the existence or non-existence of weopans of mass destruction because it's still debated (my own personal note: we did find over three dozen gas cannister's, 20 tons of gas (including I, if I remember correctly, Sarin and VX nerve gas)was smuggled into Jordan by Iraqui trained Al-Quaida members who confessed to the crime, and we did find large stockpiles of uranium including enriched uranium, and we know Iraq was attempting to buy long range missiles from South Korea, this was reported in the New York times, and the Robert Kay report). Saddam Hussein violated his own peace agreement with over 17 material breaches and after about 12 years of evasion and non-compliance, leaving him by definition of the agreement he himself signed in a state of war with the U.S., President Bush decides to commit the U.S. military to invade his not so soveriegn nation. It's sovereignty being under considerable qualification by the peace agreement itself and U.N. agreements and restrictions. Even after Bush decides to invade, Saddam is provided with a fifteen month time period to fess up to the real story regarding the disposition of the weopan of mass destruction that he never destroyed in compliance with the terms of the peace agreemen and/or allow for full un-restricted inspection of his country to determine his actual capability to use such weopans. Saddam decides not to comply. The president acted on information he had. If he erred, he erred on the side of defending the lives of people in this country (a Constitutional requirement)and countries bordering Iraq. After all Saddam had killed over one hundred thousand Kurds without much thought and at least three hundred thousand mass graves have been found(that's probably at least two hundred ninety seven thousand more bodies than were found in Kosovo)some have put the number at over one million and he's invaded his neighboring countries twice and if Vladimir Putin is to be believed (and after all why shouldn't you believe him he is a vaunted socialist isn't he, that seems to impress the kind of people who really believe Noam Chomsky knows has a clue) Saddam Hussein had destructive designs against the U.S.. Hopefully, people still do not hold to the notion maintained by some that Bush is friends with Saddam and it's all a stage show. If so, why did senior bush seek to go after the Saddam in the first war, but was pressed by the democratic party and the left not to. Apparently, many on the left find it just fine to fight and kill thousands of Iraqui's but cruel to dispose of their genocidal leader.
After reviewing the the facts, however, one can still conclude based on the information we have now that the war may have been unnecessary. We have not found large stock-piles of weopans sufficient to mount any real military campaign assuming that was Saddam's immediate goal and it has cost about a thousand American soldier's their lives and many more Iraqui civilians and military personnel their lives. However, please remember Saddam has given refuge to known Al-Quaida terrorists including the bomb maker involved in the first world trade center attacks.
The problem remains, however, that simply blaming Bush the democrats and/or human greed will not help. The author mentions the cliche' greed for oil as a possible prime mover, but if it is why do we now continue to purchase the vast majority of foreign our oil from Canada and Venezuela and a greatly lesser amount from Saudi Arabia. The likely beneficiary of an oil producing Iraq is not the U.S. since we never purchased that much from them to begin with but China. China has an enormous population with a large and growing middle class that loves cheap energy, just take a trip to any coastal city in China they are enormously larger than our cities and suck up much more juice. They built Iraq's fiber optic network prior to the U.S. invasion while the country was under Saddam's rule. In addition, China has expansive designs stated and unstated to increase it's territory to include Taiwan and possibly although they have not publicly admitted it northward into the Russian Republic that is comprised of a shrinking population of increasingly elderly Russians. They have already within the last few years claimed the Spratly islands. China has a polar orbit satellite ideal as site for a nuclear space platform. If they can obtain cheap fuel from Iraq they have the energy they need to fuel ambitious military campaigns. This should excite the socialists out their ever desirous for ever more stupid military campaigns to compel people to be something they are not and have never been 'equal' in possessions. In addition, if any one wishes to respond to this posting please don't try to defend yourself by saying your not a bad 'fascistic' or 'communistic' socialist because you follow the mind-numbing pablum of Strobe Talbot, socialism on a global scale can never promise to be anything better than it was on a national scale, a bloody mess.
The notion that socialists are anti-war I think has been sufficiently put to rest in terms of factual evidence. Socialists have even be known to support the Iraq invasion like Christopher Hitchens. He used to write for the Nation magazine and has written columns for Vanity Fair. It would be usefull if socialists would be honest about their perpetual war motives even if as many do they decry any war fought by western democracies. I'm even including in this condemnation the Fabian society who as H.G. Wells later discovered to his dismay were simply a bunch of 'Machievelians'. The dialectical nonsense involved in the process of crisis, antithesis and cocked-up political synthesis demands ever more conflict for what can only be called a mirage. Socialism is the system of the future, and it always will be. Order doesn't come from chaos, that's in conflict with the laws of physics including the first and second laws of thermodynamics. However, systems often degenerate into chaos. You can attempt as many five year plans as you like and the result will be what the socialist have always recieved, failure. Whether you attempt self managed corporations, or Fabian linguistic, political and economic control your results are always the same. It has been said that insanity can be defined as trying again and again the same procedures but expecting different results.
Do not delude yourselves into thinking, as many Fabian's do, that if you attempt to deceive people through the political process and enslave millions that you are better or more noble than the ham-fisted, brutal 'communist's' and 'socialists' that killed their own millions and tens of millions. The famous German military leader Clausewicz (I apologize, this name may not be spelled correctly) noted that politics is just warfare by other means. Another leader in another country noted that the pen is mightier than the sword. In any case, human ego should not be allowed to delude any of us to thinking that we are beyond the capacity of human evil or that we are somehow above it as Nietzche and others have attempted).
To finish my rant, I'd like to provide a quote from George Orwell's Notes on Nationalism in May 1945. It may help to cleanse the current internet debate of much phoniness:
"The majority of pacifists either belong to obscure religious sects or are simply humanitarians who object to taking life and prefer not to follow their thoughts beyond that point. But their is a minority of intellectual pacifists, whose real though unacknowledged motive appears to be hatred of western democracy and admiration for totalitarianism. Pacifist propaganda usually boils down to saying that one side is as bad as the other, but if one looks closely at the writing of the younger intellectual pacifists, one finds that they do not by any means express impartial disapproval but are directed almost entirely against Britain and the United States..."

Regarding: Socialism and endless war tirade 06.Sep.2004 22:46


This comment is to correct a factual error in my previous posting. In that posting, I mentioned that the Democratic party was the only major party to call on the draft. That is a factual error, Republican Dwight Eisenhower used the draft in conducting the Korean War and President Richard Nixon used the draft in conducting his portion of the Vietnam War. To be fair to Nixon, however, he did not institute the draft for the Vietnam War that was done by Lindon B. Johnson. However, after taking office Nixon kept the military draft in place until the war's conclusion. I apologize for the mistake.