June 25, 2003
A Brief Season for TruthI received this in an e-mail from the Kucinich campaign. I haven't checked to verify the information, and it's obviously from a biased source, but I don't think the Kucinich campaign would think it in their best interest to circulate bogus information in support of their cause (not like some others I can think of). So I am betting it's probably accurate, and if so, quite illuminating:
An interesting exchange occurred at Sunday's Rainbow/PUSH Coalition Candidates' Forum, in answer to a question about the "Digital Divide" that separates minorities and the poor from middle class whites in computer access. Congressman Dennis Kucinich received warm applause when he declared: "As long as we're spending so much money for the Pentagon, and so little money for education, we're going to have all kinds of divides in this country. The only way we're really going to close the divide in this country is to start cutting the Pentagon budget and put that money into education."
Howard Dean spoke next and commented: "I don't agree with Dennis about cutting the Pentagon budget when we're in the middle of a difficulty with terror attacks." (quoted from Kucinich for President campaign literature)
Presuming this is an accurate representation of the contrast between two men, it is a sharp contrast. Dean is great. I would be extremely happy if he replaced Bush as president. And I even have some respect for the pragmatism that is sometimes necessary in politics that leads a politician to compromise on some issues in contrast to others. So one could make the argument that it would be political suicide to come right out and say we have to cut the Pentagon budget with all these people scared to death of the demons the Bush company has told them to look out for.
On the other hand, the position outlined by Dean's statement goes along with the Big Lies about the Pentagon. The Pentagon is a big, corrupt monster, a money-eating machine and a giant control freak of the most lethal variety imaginable. The Pentagon eats an inconceivable amount of money. And it defecates most of it out again in waste, the world laid waste. Human energy turned into instruments of mass destruction, wasted on machines made to kill people. The Pentagon misplaced a trillion dollars, a million million just vanished. It is a corrupt devourer of public resources, and an enabler of plunder and mass murder abroad.
What the Pentagon does does not make this country safer. While the military waves its big guns around with its National Guard boys on the subway, its defenses have no application against what is called terrorism in this country. On the contrary it is what the Pentagon does, hand-in-hand with the corporate state, that makes this country vulnerable.
The only thing that will make this country safe is if the United States stops plundering the rest of the world's resources at gunpoint. The U.S. has to stop pirating the rest of the world, come back home, take care of business, give other countries a fair shake, compete in the world based on what it has to offer the world, not based on stealing everything under threat of destruction. It is lunacy. It is outmoded behavior for human beings. In a technologically empowered world, it is suicide. It will not work. It cannot be sustained. It's an evolutionary holdover from cave man times. But even then, human collaboration was a greater element in the struggle for survival than the impulses to plunder and kill.
Saying, "We can't cut the military budget when we are under threat of terrorism" reflects a fundamental misunderstanding of the real dangers we face right now.
Now going back to the subject of political pragmatism. Yes, it is a dismal fact that one must make compromises in politics. But it is very early in the political season. This is a time for the candidates to lay their ideas out on the table. Obviously most of them don't do that. A career politician like John Kerry has so much invested in what he perceives will probably be his One Big Shot, he is afraid to stand for anything very far from Bush's positions. He wants to present what he perceives as the perfect product, fashioned to be what the polls tell him the majority will vote for. But what the polls represent could change radically. And there are many indications that there will be a radical shift.
The catalyst for a massive social metanoia -- change of mind -- could be the realization that Bush lied to push the US into war. In any relationship, once you know that someone lied to you, the whole foundation of the relationship can begin to unravel.
If that happens, there is such an enormous mountain of lies underlying the corrupt foundation of this administration that the reversal could be dramatic. And if that mountain comes down in a landslide, America's true political heart may express itself. Polls consistently show that Americans are still very much in tune with the liberal positions represented by the Roosevelt Democrats, and also followed through Republicans in the pre-Reagan period. (Even Nixon made very liberal political moves by today's standards. But at the same time, Nixon laid the groundwork for the corrupt, fascist radical Republicanism represented by the Republicans in power.)
Americans are supporting the radical Republicans mostly out of fear and because they are being deceived. When the lie is revealed, the whole thing could come tumbling down.
During this early, pre-primary season, the importance of the political debate is more than just to further the prospects of one or another candidate, or to narrow down the pack and make a choice. It's to encourage an open debate of the issues. Now let everyone with the guts to take action for principle and not just for political maneuvering just lay down the issues as they see them. That gives the public the opportunity to choose someone whose ideas may be very far from Bush's, and very far from what the knucklehead polls indicate people want. They are polls that are manipulative and designed to be untrue, taken on people who are manipulated and lied to. As things continue to get worse and worse and the Bush-corporate machine creates more and more damage, it may not be possible to keep the cover on.
In other news:
The alleged Al Qaeda member suspected of the attempt to blow up the Brooklyn Bridge bombing was under FBI control. See The Daily Telegraph.
The Great Senator Byrd: A rare voice of clarity and courage in Congress. Byrd does what the New York Times should be doing, quoting the allegations and naming the dates when Bush's men lied about weapons of mass destruction. See Byrd.senate.gov.
Krugman. Denial and Deception. There is no longer any serious doubt that Bush administration officials deceived Americans into war. NYTimes
Martin Sheen interviewed by the Progressive. "In order to understand this Administration it is helpful to have a background in [Alcoholics Anonymous'] Twelve Step, because it is real clear to those of us who understand the Twelve Step program that these are very dysfunctional times. We live in a very dysfunctional society, and this is a very, very dysfunctional Administration. The proven way for this Administration to keep power is to keep us all in fear. As long as we are afraid of the unknown and afraid of each other, he, or anyone like him, can rule. It's like they will take responsibility for protecting us. It's when we take back the responsibility for protecting ourselves that they get scared. I am amazed by the level of arrogance within the Administration." The Progressive.
Poll: Americans are getting nervous about casualties. The Guardian.
WE are Bush's willing executioners. Ted Rall.