Editor’s Note: We’ve had a number of comments about Campaign 2008 and the likely fate of either Hillary Clinton or Barack Obama at the hands of the Right’s attack machine. Also, comments on the fifth anniversary of Colin Powell’s lies to the UN, the continued U.S. news media fictions about Iraq and the Bush administration’s latest circumlocutions about torture:
You ask "Where would Obama take the nation?"
Almost every writer speaks of the "nation" and what certain candidates will do to lead the nation. I see empire.
Yes, there is a domestic nation, and we can hope for Obama or Clinton taking the domestic nation into a better way of life for the people in your nation. I hope they will.
However, beyond your borders, we see an empire, not a nation
Here in Canada and in many other countries, we are concerned about what kind of imperial regime any candidate will set up to lead the forces of imperial corporations and armed forces. I think the people of the USA also need to think, speak and write about the future of their unnecessary empire, which costs them and the world endless grief.
Jacob Rempel, Vancouver, Canada
John McCain has already hinted that earmarks are a huge vulnerability for Clinton, and also one where Obama has as outstanding a record as John McCain. Obama has far less to attack, and is the reasonable choice for Democrats in being able to withstand attacks. His ability to draw Independents and moderate Republicans is also a huge factor in not only who is best for our country in the long run, but also the most electable.
With respect to your article, Obama, Clinton & GOP Attack Machine, isn't it possible for a candidate to use an attack to teach citizens to differentiate between propaganda and legitimate concerns. Propaganda is normally loaded with assertions but no credible evidence or sources. A major problem is that most of the populace cannot distinguish between slander, innuendo, and trickery and legitimate communication and debate.
Candidates who engage in the former or allow supporting groups to do so are not fit for leadership and should be able to be recognized as such. Why vote for anyone when they and their supporters all lie and cheat and show gross negligence with regard to the truth? The latter is a definition of fraud.
When are candidates or media pundits going to begin to educate instead of perpetuating tactics which destroy the possibility of real democracy?
The repubs will simply paint Obama as someone who was willing to take a chance on the existence of wmd in Iraq. Hillary could and should say that if she was president at the time she would have needed the leverage of that vote to get the inspectors open access, and when it was found that no weapons existed no war would have been necessary. Also that we would peace of mind on that subject (wmd), and we could have gone about the business of going after Bin Laden and his people.
Remember Harold Ford in Tenn. Losing to some clam, and why.
Thanks for consortiumnews
I've read and respected your blog for years now. I think you've lost it some with your slant against the Clintons, but what I want to comment on here is just a more factual matter. You say in this article that Barack claims he has "opposed the Iraq War from the start ...". That's not substantive. Hillary voted to put the pressure on Iraq in her now famous "pro-war" vote. Barack had no vote -
he wasn't in the game yet. Barack has voted the same as Hillary on every Iraq vote since then. He can claim he's more anti-war than her, but that's just a claim. It's soo easy to say he would have voted differently ..... but he didn't vote at all, so, it's just hot air.
This is what Bill Clinton labelled a "fairy tale" - Barack's claim to be the consistent war opposer. It's bogus and I'm a little worried that you would use that as substantive.
I agree totally with your assessment that the candidate, whomever that is, will face the rabid GOP
smear machine - worse than ever, but I disagree about who can withstand that better.
Also, Barack lost me when he says, "I never called the Clintons racist." while his campaign did.
Of course, I'll support whomever the Demo candidate is, .... I just hope it's the stronger of the two - Hillary. It's interesting that you think Obama can survive the coming GOP attack machine because of his better oratory skills, and your supporting reasonings are good. But I think it's not really the oratory skills that's going to make or break the attackee .... I think it's their willingness to fight, I mean FIGHT!
Your examples of Demo oratorical loosers is also a list of Demo wimps. Hillary may not have the uplifting inspiration that a fresh face, with the message of "Let's just come together and get along." does. His line is what most humans here wish for. But she is certainly one tough fighter. An example: Barack wants to spread health care to many more, as does Hillary. Barack wants to do it voluntarily, without demanding regulations like quotas. Hillary wants the regulatory quotas. Barack thinks the drug and insurance cartels will just come to his big table and be reasonable.
Hillary knows better.
People love a peace maker more than a fighter right now - they/we have had our fill of nastiness with the past 8+ years. But I think it's that attitude difference, not oratorical difference, that will be
decisive in standing against the GOP media smear that we both know is coming. Barack may win over more voters with his kumbaya approach to governmental/corporate reform, but he ain't gonna be able to deliver in the real world. Not as well as someone who is willing to pull out the blade - and use it - at the coming knife fight.
Yes, yes, yes. Not only what you say, but also the fact that overt racism is no longer acceptable
in the United States. It will be hard for the Republicans to continue their "southern strategy."
Also, CNN's desire to be au courant has led to the public becoming accustomed to viewing brown faces.
Yes, they can attack, and they will. The question at this time, unlike other times, is who is the more liberal or progressive and what do we know about them? I can't see where Obama is a liberal while Clinton certainly will stand for Choice and Privacy and if Bill's record is any indication she will not defy the courts and Congress as we have witnessed lately. His appointments were, overall, so superior to Bush's, and I'm certain Hillary had much input. Bill Clinton fell short of my values and wishes, but he was far superior to so many. And I remember Roosevelt, our hero, had many shortcomings as well as a mistress, damn it!
The wisdom of age, (84 years, if there is anything to be gained by memory), leads me to distrust leaders who are great orators with ephemeral promises. I can name a few.
The attack is already in progress. I see and hear it every day on the supposed news and funny men programs. The hatred and bias is palpable. We are a bloodthirsty people and that is why we went to war; and we need to destroy our proposed and supposed enemies. Hillary, gave Bush the authority to carry a weapon, as we do for our police. It doesn't give him authority to shoot at will.
You know the worst part of this whole sorry mess is that the Democrats don't seem to realize why Reagan was a "transformational figures," in the words Obama.
A Democrat will never be "transformational" until he/she is willing to argue about this interpretation of the Reagan legacy. Until that dragon is slain, Democrats are doomed to be labeled "Republican lite." And as long as this interpretation reigns supreme, we will continue skipping down the path of destruction. Already, we are super power has-beens, thanks to this war, as even noted in last weekend's NYT Sunday Magazine, http://www.nytimes.com/2008/01/27/magazine/27world-t.html?ref=magazine.
But the corporations and neocons will keep pushing their view and their strategy until they pull the world down on their heads. Already, the subprime mess was enabled by the feds, who reign in any state regulation that would have mitigated the disaster (sorry can't find the link).
If all the Democrats can do is watch the ship of state go down to grab power without at least trying to turn it around, I don't know that they deserve power. I am feeling very, very discouraged.
Hello: Has anyone noticed that Obama has the aura of a Martin Luther King. When you listen to him orate, I have the distinct notion, this is what is going on. In my view MLK, was grossly underestimated in his overall cause. He was taken as a champion for the black community, but just in case anyone was really listening, his cause was for the rights of all and rather than his audiences been disproportionately black, where there should have been just as many others of every color, race, creed, or religious beliefs in attendance. These are my personal views, but anyone who listens to he or Obama and is not inspired is hardy alive.
In his case, he dared to engage the power structure that has been in place for a hundred years, and with the government sponsored intimidating attacks on him, it is no wonder, even with tight FBI surveillance, he was still brought down. Again, shades of JFK.
As far as this new election cycle goes, It is no secret, that I endorse Obama, however, there is talk of, in a close delegate race, he will get the short end of the super delegates, in a Gore vs. Bush scenario, where the super delegates will be the equilvalent of the supreme court decision then. I only hope he will have the necessary delegates to negate that. If it is Hillary, I may just sit this one out. Either McCain or her, in my view will produce the same result. Thanks and good luck.
In reaction to your January 28 story “CBS Falsifies Iraq War History,” I wrote a note to CBS regarding their piece on Saddam’s WMD.
I’ve written to news outlets a few times in the past, but this is the first time I’ve got a response that didn’t seem auto-generated. It was sent to me about a week after I commented, from Ray Faiola, Director, Audience Services, and said that “your comments and concerns have been shared with 60 Minutes staff.” It may be nothing. Or it could turn up in the “Letters” feature on an upcoming broadcast. I’m not sure I’ll catch it, but wanted to let you know in case you’re watching.
What struck me most about Colin Powell's U.N. presentation were the photos of sites purported to be WMD facilities. Take a look at those photos and then google the pictures during the Cuban Missle Crisis. What becomes obvious is that the United States spy satellites have not been upgraded in their photographic capabilities in over four decades. They are the same grainy black & white shots we saw of Cuba. They even go so far as to have the same text bubbles overlayed. It's like they were made at the same time. I would submit that what we saw were what we wanted to see, "spy photos" in the classic form, nothing more.
Thanks for your excellent reporting on Powell. The WSJ ran a piece in January 2008 that reported on Larry Fingar, a top analyst in the State Dept, claims that he had told Powell beforehand that the Iraq intel was bad especially the part on the aluminum tubes. That intel had been very rigorously vetted and scrutinized by Fingar's group, yet Powell chose to offer this as credible evidence at the UN, knowing full well that it wasn't.
Also what you may not be aware of is that in Lincoln Chafee's new book coming out in April he is making the claim that if anyone had bothered to visit the CIA like he did and ask them "what they had for intel" they would have come away realizing it wasn't much. Chafee is claiming the alum tubes were parts that could be purchased at any local hardware store. It was clear to Chafee after meeting with the CIA for about an hour, they didn't have anything substantial, which is why he voted against the War Resolution.
What I would like to know is what Senators besides some Republicans on the Intelligence Comm with Chafee were also told about his visit yet still decided to vote for the war? Either because they didn't believe him or didn't take it upon themselves to conduct the same investigation.
Powell should be run out of town on a rail instead of being held in such high esteem but I was saying that a long time ago after he covered up for Bush/Reagan's involvement in Iran contra.
R. J. Crane
Are the Democratic "Jellyfish" ever going to develop a spine? Is this the same party of FDR and HST? I think not. The spinelessness REALLY IRKS this lifelong Democrat.
Like antiphonal choirs perched in cloisters high upon the walls of a cathedral, we echo each other in harmonious support as our voices of dissent pour out in anguish laced with a trace of defiance.
Preaching to the choir(s) is now the ineffectual pattern in place for those who abhor America's violent nature. But the voices are safely contained within plumb, square, and comfortable padded walls- or text fields like this one. Little leaks onto the streets.
After Viet Nam in the 1960's and 1970's; followed by Central America in the 1980's, one might think the message was clear- America needed a moral-house cleaning throughout. Even as far back as 1975 Congress and the Frank Church-led senate investigations revealed the CIA covert operations for what they really were. There was more blood on America's hands than could be measured. Americans of conscience were aghast- history had finally been revealed.
Anyone who cared about people beyond our borders would have seen the light at that point in time. They would have seen that atrocities had occurred in their names going back to the Monroe Doctrine. And with further study and reflection, they might even have been brave enough to understand what Malcom X meant who upon commenting on the assassination of JFK, said, "The chickens have come home to roost."
The preaching is getting old, and the hour is indeed getting late.
It is not just America's ruling oligarchy or multi-national corporate interests that need reform. It's not a matter of a top-down cleansing of American mentality. It is the American grass roots that are just as culpable.
It's time to speak bluntly- the fault for our presently, persistent hegemonic behavior now lies squarely with the American people.
The blame for America's abusive interventionist foreign policy can no longer lie only at the feet of the current administration, a co-opted judiciary, and a wimpish congress that does not know how to uphold and effectively leverage their end of constitutional responsibility.
It is the American people who stood by like mute lambs and allowed two stolen elections by Bush to go by the boards without even a whimper. That is conclusive proof that millions don't care- either because they support authoritarian government (as long as their guy gets in), or have become anesthetized, disenfranchised, dispossessed- or cower in the fear and futility of having to rage against the machine.
Mr. McGovern is a good guy in a white hat- and credible as he had once been a member of the CIA. He's been reformed. That is more than most people can say of themselves. And perhaps he is a better man than me, as I am much less charitable in my assessment of the American character.
Mr. McGovern tells us, "Indeed, patriots and prophets have made it clear from our earliest days that such abuse has no place in America." That assumes a lot- and with all great sadness, I cannot make the same assumptions as does the good Mr. McGovern.
Let us not speak delicately. America has demonstrated a genocidal streak since Jamestown. I need not broach the subject of the Native Americans- just for starters. Americans are a duplicitous fraud when it comes to meting out the goodness of their souls. There are always strings attached, and fairness usually goes to only favorite sons and daughters.
In this age of the freedom of information act and the internet, the truth about the American Empire and its long history of murderous interventionism is readily available at anyone's fingertips. Just go to George Washington University's National Security Archives (http://www.gwu.edu/~nsarchiv/) and do some browsing. That should make any patriot cause to stand up and cry for justice.
But who is crying in the streets now, America? Where are the Paul Revere's and Patrick Henry's of this generation? Still, it is only the voices of entrenched or otherwise embedded media "authorities" who can have their say and be heard. The Age of the Blog hasn't made a dent. The action has yet to have hit the streets.
McGovern quotes another good man- Bishop Peter Storey- as appealing to our better angels most diplomatically, "You have to help good people see how they have let their institutions do their sinning for them." That has been done, Bishop Storey- repeatedly. No good has come of it.
The American public has been seduced and reduced in main to a lowest common denominator that is basest of the base. It's status can now be accurately referred to as that of conspicuous consumer. No other single term fitfully applies to the collective. Citizenship has gone by the boards.
If the body America does not awake soon, it is clear that the U.S.'s quasi-democracy will be further reduced to even greater authoritarian qualities over time. All Empires must fall, and America's is on the brink. When good people stand by and watch the pillars crumble, the end is very near.
America is now as far away from "living out the meaning of its creed" than at any time in its history.
Has it escaped the attention of our idiot saber-rattlers the two nations we now have under occupation have never done anything to deserve all the mass murder and destruction we rained upon them? Are these not crimes against humanity? Recent reports say our military expended 250,000 bullets per alleged terrorist in the Middle East. My emphasis is on the word alleged. The Pentagon has fried somewhere between $50 and $100 billion worth of hardware in Iraq -- fighting whom? By definition, the terrorists are a handful of people. So, how did they destroy all this hardware? Our soldiers aren't fighting anyone. The overwhelming number of deaths and injuries are the result of roadside bombs. We're literally forcing our soldiers to drive over their doom. These men and women aren't sacrificing their lives and limbs for democracy. They're dying and crying for hypocrisy. There's no war going on in the Middle East. There's no enemy there. The Arab people don't want to fight us. Muslims are natural pacifists, unless, of course, we go around bombing them for no reason. It isn't a question of being "weak" on defense or any other military slogan. What we face as a nation is: Are we weak on common sense and decency? I repeat: the Muslims, as a group, have done nothing to deserve being bombed. There is strong reason to believe the official 9/11 story is a pack of lies. If this is the case, then why are the Bush mobsters not under suspicion? When are we going to wake up and smell the evil treason?
Franklin L. Johnson
The Democratic "leadership" in Washington are wallowing like pigs in the multi-million dollar slop of all those K-St. and corporate donations. The media is off following Barak Obama and Hillary Clinton through their every campaign stop, enabling the media to perform their favorite narrative the "He said, She said" horse-race story, which allows them to talk about polls and votes and speeches and candidate's tears, but not about the vast scandals swirling around Washington in this last (we pray) lame-duck year of the Bush-Cheney White House.
This "media chasing the primary horse-race story" ALLOWS THE DEMOCRAT LEADERSHIP to do little or nothing as well... to revert to their roles as Joe Lieberman-esque REPUBLICAN LITE....
...._pretending_ to offer some serious "moderate Democrat" _opposition_ to the Bush-Cheney White House, but actually ENABLING and ENDORSING the Bush-Cheney White House on those issues that are at the core of the Bush-Cheney agenda: illegal surveillance, monster budget deficits, outsourcing US jobs so corporate executives can pad their pay for a few (short) years; torture and endless war; the vast, in-your-face corruption in New Orleans reconstruction contracts and Iraq war spending contracts, etc. etc. etc.
What all these scandals have in common is that, were the Democrats in control of the White House and Republicans in control of Congress, the Republicans, the media, and the public would be outraged, Republican leaders would be making wild charges and accusations every day ("Clinton sold US missile secrets to China!"), the media would be trumpeting those allegations from its front pages ("China obtained rocket secrets from US companies!"), and the public would be DEMANDING intensive, well-funded investigations.
Instead, the Democrat 'leadership' goes through THE MOTIONS of investigating those scandals (not that Henry Waxman isn't trying), but effectively, on EVERY MAJOR SCANDAL, the Democrat 'leadership' effectively aligns with the Bush-Cheney White House narrative "Nothing wrong here, no need for substantive investigations." Whether on SUBPOENAES NOT RESPONDED TO, CONTRACTS NOT DISCLOSED, CORRUPTION NOT EXAMINED, the Democrat "leadership" LETS THE BUSH-CHENEY WHITE HOUSE _OFF THE HOOK_ EVERY DAMN TIME!
In my comment, below, to the "CBS, 60 Minutes Caves to White House Pressure, holds [CENSORS] the Don Siegelman story from broadcast" story, I try to make the case that Nancy Pelosi and the Democrat 'leadership' are now COMPLICIT with the Bush-Rove-Cheney lynch-mob prosecution of sitting Alabama Gov. Don Siegelman. From an objective perspective, this story is a cautionary tale of what the true totalitarian agenda of the Bush-Rove-Cheney agenda was, back in the heady days when they had an 85% approval rating in the weeks after 9-11. And it must be remembered, that the Cowering Democrat Senators couldn't put up ANY meaningful opposition to Bush's agenda BEFORE 9-11, as the disgraceful confirmation of unqualified hack lawyer Michael Brown to be the head of the nation's multi-billion dollar disaster relief agency, FEMA, illustrates.
The Pelosi Congress is unbelievably foul in TURNING A BLIND EYE to Bush White House depredations, serial abuses of law and power, and serial abuses of American citizens.
But it is a mistake to believe this cowering on part of Pelosi and her Democrat leaders is entirely out of fear. A huge part of the problem is that Pelosi & co. are ALIGNED with the Republican war-state agenda, as for example Joe Lieberman, former "moderate Democrat" now standing by, smiling, at a John McCain campaign rally, as McCain calls for more reactionary judges on the bench (to, that is, undo 6 decades of Civil Rights and economic progress, and take America back to the era before the New Deal, i.e. the era of segregation, boom-and-bust economic cycles, the Great Depression, and the vast income disparity between the Robber Barons and workers before there were any union rights.)
(Nancy Pelosi "The AIPAC-girl Leaves Wars in Bush-Cheney Hands" i.e. renounces any obligation to oversee those wars.) http://www.postchronicle.com/cgi-bin/artman/exec/view.cgi?archive=11&num=70952
COMMENT: The Don Siegelman Story CENSORED by CBS, illustrates Democrat "leadership" COMPLICITY with Bush-Cheney reactionary, police-state & war-powers agenda....
The Don Siegleman story - a white-collar lynching by the most partisan Republican prosecutors White House Political Affairs Director KARL ROVE could find in the heady days (for the Bush administration) after the 9-11 attacks (when the Bush administration was getting tremendous 85% public approval ratings, and almost unlimited war- and police-state powers), is simply the most flagrant, outrageous example of Nancy Pelosi and her cowardly inside-the-beltway 'Democratic' "leaders" PRETENDING NOT TO NOTICE the serial and massive abuses of law and Constitution process by Rove, Vice President Cheney, and President Bush (et al).
From Democratic Senators REFUSING to simply sign-on to a SIMPLE CONGRESSIONAL INVESTIGATION into "possible" (massive) voter disenfranchisement in Florida in 2000, the cowardly, atrocious Democrat "leadership" KEEPS RUNNING THE SAME SORDID PLAY on American voters: PRETEND NOT TO NOTICE the HIGH CRIMES & misdemeanors of the Bush-Cheney White House.
By-the-way, today we tend to think of "Misdemeanors" as a small infraction like speeding 5 mph. over the speed limit. But in the founder's days, a "misdemeanor" was something that could get you put in the stocks in the town square for a night or two - an abject disgrace that would get you completely disqualified from polite society (i.e. the ruling class).
The Democrat inside-the-beltway leadership, starting with Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid, and including their lieutenants Steny Hoyer, Jay Rockefeller, Dianne Feinstein, et al, keep BETRAYING AMERICAN CITIZENS, and American justice, to the Jeb Bush/Katherine Harris vote-rigging, and FIXED, white-collar LYNCH-MOB prosecutions, such as Siegelman, who is only one of many Democratic candidates or activists targetted by Karl Rove's "PURGE-GATE" Republican Partisan US Attorneys.
Heck, the Repubs manufactured the impeachment of a sitting president (Clinton impeachment came after Ken Starr ran out of "Whitewater" material, and had to go into Paula Jones and Monica Lewinsky's sex lives), ROBBED the winning election of a sitting Vice President (VP Al Gore ROBBED of his winning totals in Florida, then driven out of Washington in disgrace, despite his winning national popular vote margin of over 500,000 votes by the Karl Rove fabricated "White House Trashing""Scandal") so lynching a "Liberal Democrat" (and Jewish, at that!) Governor of a DEEP SOUTH state was CHILD's PLAY for the Rove crew in 2002.
B-t-w... did I mention the ANTHRAX ATTACKS on... DEMOCRATIC ONLY senators? Who just HAPPENED to be THE TWO SENATORS most influential in holding back ("obstructing") the unP.A.T.R.I.O.T. Act that Bush & Cheney were trying to ram down Congress' throat in the 2 weeks after 9-11?
Does anyone believe that a self-respecting Arab terrorist would target... TOM DASCHLE and PATRICK LEAHY with deadly letters, when those two are not only unknown outside of America, but unknown by all but politics junkies here in America?
Sending e-mails and letters to CBS is a WASTE OF TIME.
NANCY PELOSI, HARRY REID, STENY HOYER, and the "Democrat" "leadership" ARE PARTY TO THE Bush-Rove-Cheney LYNCHING of Gov. Don Siegelman, just as the Senate Democrats SOLD OUT Florida Black Voters (and thereby ALL Democratic voters) in the 2000 Florida election theft.
Direct your outrage as Ms. Pelosi, who by REFUSING to hold EVEN BASIC HEARINGS on impeachment, is not only EMPOWERING Republicans to LYNCH Alabama Gov. Don Siegelman (currently rotting in prison under a gag order censorship ruling) - BUT ALLOWING REPUBLICANS to WHITEWASH and BURY the whole sordid story.
FOR SHAME, NANCY! When it comes to PROTECTING American citizens from criminal ABUSE OF POWER, YOU ARE ON THE SIDE of KARL ROVE, DICK CHENEY, and GEORGE W. BUSH !
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