( – promoted by buhdydharma )
This will probably step on a lot of toes around here but believe me, that is not my intent. I just want to point out, to remind you as it were, that much of the passion being expended on the Presidential campaign is wasted emotion. I want to tell you that the horse race, in which so many of you have invested so much, is really a rat race after all. For all their happy crap none of the establishment candidates will serve our interests.
Clinton has made a flat promise that the United States will “get out of Iraq” while she is president. She says she has a plan to “end the war” and “a definite timetable to bring our troops home.” On closer examination, it turns out that all these promises are so carefully hedged as to be virtually meaningless. There is no “definite timetable” to bring the troops home or end the war. She has said she “wants” to begin troop withdrawals in the first 60 days of her presidency-but has also talked about leaving a “vastly reduced residual force” in the country for “a limited period of time.”
Clinton’s pledge to “end the war” contains so much fine print that it is hardly a pledge at all, more a general aspiration. She has described several “vital U.S. national security interests” in that country, including fighting al-Qaeda, protecting the U.S. embassy, training Iraqi troops, protecting the Kurds, and countering the influence of Iran. She has refused to commit herself to pulling all U.S. troops out of Iraq by the end of a second presidential term.
I’m not here to trash the three leading candidates, that’s been done to death, I am here to dismiss them. All three of them voted for the Patriot Act, and none of them have called for its repeal. Hillary and Obama have both sold out to the Military Industrial Complex pledging a larger military (for what is already the largest military machine in the world) and a continued occupation of Iraq, and Edwards says all the right things while doing all the wrong things (voted for No Child Left Behind, the Patriot Act and the Iraq War).
“My position is very clear: The time has come for decisive action to eliminate the threat posed by Saddam Hussein’s weapons of mass destruction. I’m a co-sponsor of the bipartisan Resolution that’s presently under consideration in the Senate. Saddam Hussein’s regime is a grave threat to America and our allies. We know that he has chemical and biological weapons today, that he’s used them in the past, and that he’s doing everything he can to build more. Every day he gets closer to his long-term goal of nuclear capability.
Democracy will not spring up by itself overnight in a multi-ethnic, complicated society that’s suffered under one repressive regime after another for generations. The Iraqi people deserve and need our help to rebuild their lives and to create a prosperous, thriving, open society. All Iraqis, including Sunnis, Shia and Kurds, deserve to be represented. This is not just a moral imperative. It’s a security imperative. It is in America’s national interest to help build an Iraq at peace with itself and its neighbors, because a democratic, tolerant and accountable Iraq will be a peaceful regional partner, and such an Iraq could serve as a model for the entire Arab world.”
Senator John Edwards (Democrat, North Carolina)
Speech at the Center for Strategic and International Studies
October 7, 2002
My main point is that all of these candidates are firmly in the control of the Military Industrial Congressional Media Complex (to use the most modern terminology), and their election to the office of the Presidency (financed by said MICMC) will mean a change in style only. There will be no change in substance.
It is conceivable that a significantly reduced U.S. force might remain in Iraq for a more extended period of time [if the Iraqi government fulfills a number of conditions, including disbanding militias and moving toward political reconciliation.] Such a reduced but active presence will also send a clear message to hostile countries like Iran and Syria that we intend to remain a key player in this region.
Obama, Nov 2006
We will still have the ongoing illegal occupation of Iraq, a bogus war on terror, a bogus war on drugs, the highest rate of incarceration of any country in the world. We will still spend more on bombs, bullets and missiles than all other nations combined, we will still be the largest merchant of the weapons of death and destruction, and the rich will still get richer while the poor get poorer.
It’s nothing short of pathetic that the Democrats can’t hear our cries for justice, an end to the bullshit war in Iraq, or impeachment for the criminal thugs currently being allowed to run our government and ruin our nation. But they expect to be heard when they come to us for votes and money. What gall these hypocritical bastards have! And how pathetic is it that we still respond to them, as if they hadn’t just handed us the cruelest fucking of our lives?
All of these sorry rat bastards have allowed Bush and Cheney to do what they have done. They are up to their elbows in the raping of America, the pillaging of the Treasury and the mugging of Iraq. They have enabled Bushco at every juncture. They are all culpable.
“They are not your friends.”
If you believe a single campaign promise made by any of these hypocrites, you are hopelessly naïve and will no doubt be shocked to learn that you have been screwed (yet) again.
Exhibit A in the drive by both Obama and Edwards to “clean up” Washington is their refusal to accept “a dime” from “Washington lobbyists.” It distinguishes them clearly from their chief Democratic rival, Hillary Clinton, who has raked in more than $500,000 from the lobbying industry this year, according to the Center for Responsive Politics (website is opensecrets.org) But it turns out that both Edwards and Obama have adopted a narrow definition of the word lobbyist, which raises questions about the effectiveness of their campaign.
They still take money from state lobbyists.
They make no attempt to distinguish between lobbyists for big corporations and lobbyists for small non-profits. They treat a lobbyist for Haliburton in the same way as a lobbyist for child poverty or cancer research.
They accept money from former lobbyists and future lobbyists.
As Clinton has pointed out, her rivals have no problem taking money from the people who pay the lobbyists, and give them their “marching orders.” (ABC News debate, August 19, 2007.)
They have no problem about taking money from people representing other “special interests,” e.g. trial lawyers and the hedge fund industry.
So far this year, according to Opensecrets.org, Edwards has taken more than $8 million from lawyers and law firms, some of whom employ the federally-registered lobbyists whose lucre he refuses to touch. Obama is not far behind: $7.5 million. (Clinton has taken $9.2 million.)
Obama has emphasized that he does not take money from PhRMA, the powerful lobbying arm of the pharmaceutical industry. On the other hand, he does not seem to mind taking money from senior employees of PhRMA members, such as Pfizer and Eli Lilly. Campaign finance records show that he has raised about $250,000 in pharmaceutical-related contributions this year. (Clinton collected $269,000.) He has also not been averse to helping out Illinois-based pharmaceutical companies with “tariff suspensions.”
Whichever of the three leading candidates becomes President, I predict the day soon will come when you smack yourself on the forehead and exclaim, “I could’ve voted for Kucinich!”
“Either you repeat the same conventional doctrines everybody is saying, or else you say something true, and it will sound like it’s from Neptune.”