Democratic National Convention outlines policy of wider war

Original article via

After going through the formality of a roll call vote ending in the preordained nomination of Barack Obama as its presidential candidate, the Democratic National Convention on Wednesday turned to the question of “national security,” portraying itself as more competent than the Bush administration in defending the interests of US imperialism abroad, while making it clear that it is prepared to launch new and even bloodier wars than those carried out over the past eight years.

There is an actual anti-war element out there.  There are members of an anti-war coalition from both the right, center and left.  Unfortunately, neither of the two major national parties are part of said coalition.  Neither of the two major party nominees are members of said coalition.

Among the most ominous notes sounded repeatedly from the podium in Denver was the prospect that the coming period will see growing confrontations between America and emerging global rivals, including Russia and China.

Wheee!  Confrontations with a country who has nuclear parity with us and a country who has better than triple the population!  What have these countries done to earn our emnity?  With Russia, it’s that they’ve managed to control most of the oil coming out of Central Asia (there’s a pipeline we control runnign through Georgia, which is why we support them).  With China, it’s their manufacturing (they pay many, if not most, of their workers wages which would make even a CEO of an American Multi-national blush).

The evening’s proceedings, organized under the slogan of “Securing America’s Future,” underscored the drive to the right by the Obama campaign and the Democratic Party as a whole following the party’s primary contests, in which popular hostility to the Iraq war played a decisive role in swinging the nomination to Obama and sinking the candidacy of Senator Hillary Clinton.

BO threw the anti-war contingent not only off the bus, but in front of the bus so the bus could run over them, back up, and run over them again.  And the bus is stopping and changing gears to back up again.

Since the Democratic primaries, in which Obama capitalized on Clinton’s October 2002 vote to authorize the US war against Iraq, he has clarified that his own plan would pull “combat troops” out of the country only 16 months after he took office-in mid-2010-while leaving tens of thousands of soldiers and Marines behind as a “residual” occupation force. Even this timetable may be scrapped if there is opposition from American military commanders.

The bait-and-switch.  Get their votes, then stomp on them.  And Obama will have his excuse built in: “But I told you all that I’d listen to the advice of the generals on the ground.  I don’t understand what you thought that meant!”  If you’re anti-war, and you don’t understand what that means, learn.  Fast.

In any case, the practical differences separating the Democrats and the Republicans on this issue have grown ever narrower. A general consensus is emerging within the ruling establishment that military resources that have been tied down in the colonialist occupation of Iraq should be freed up for use elsewhere.

And you thought that, just maybe, there was a chance of our disengaging from our military adventurism!  Bwahahahahahah.  The neo-liberal/neo-conservative imperialist party knows that we have to have enemies for money to keep flowing into their pockets.  That’s why peace will never break out under any American administration under our current system.

What emerges from the proceedings in Denver is that the fundamental framework of American policy-the growth of militarism and the justification of aggression in the name of a “war on terror”-will continue, no matter whether the Republican candidate, Senator John McCain, or Obama enters the White House next January.

If you choose to vote for Obama, more power to you.  But, you won’t be able to say you weren’t aware of what they had up their sleeves.  And your apologies will be ranked alongside those of John Edwards.

Van Auken then mentions the McCain ad using Hillary’s quote that Obama wasn’t ready to be CinC (but she and he were).  Needless to say…

As throughout the convention, the proceedings on Wednesday evinced the Democrats’ fearful response to such attacks. The party leadership has no intention of waging the general election campaign by appealing to the anger and hostility of the American people to the war in Iraq. Rather, it is determined to demonstrate to the ruling elite its own militarist credentials.

Anger against the Iraq war…that’s so 2006 (and the Democratic leadership says ‘heh-heh’).

This was a significant motivation in the selection of Senator Joseph Biden, the principal speaker before the convention Wednesday night, to be Obama’s vice presidential running mate. Both as ranking Democrat and then chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, the 65-year-old, six-term senator has been a key Washington proponent of US aggression in the Middle East, Central Asia and Eastern Europe. There has been much talk in Democratic circles of him playing a major policy-making role in an Obama administration, with comparisons to the role played by Dick Cheney in fashioning the policies of the Bush White House.

Say what you will, Joe’s a hawk.  An aggressive hawk.  An aggressive hawk with a penchant to say impolitic things.  Maybe one of his jobs will be lead negotiator with the Russians.

He drew particular attention to the confrontation with Russia over the autonomous regions in Georgia, accusing the Bush administration of “neglect” in relation to this conflict and suggesting that a Democratic administration would adopt an even more confrontational stance. “We will hold Russia accountable for its actions, and we’ll help the people of Georgia rebuild,” he declared.

I guess this means economic sanctions.  My guess is that if there are sanctions, and our European lap dogs go along with them, Russia will turn off the oil and gas spigots.  Our reactions will be “But they have contracts!” And the Russian reaction will be “We’re imposing our own sanctions on you.”

Imagine for a moment: Europe cut off from Russian gas and oil supplies.  Imagine for a moment Europe in the middle of a cold, hard winter because Russia has cut off oil and gas supplies.  What will the bureaucrats in Brussels and our toady friends in England, France, Germany and ‘new’ Europe do?  Mind you, France and Britan already have somewhat restive poplulations as it is.  My guess is that the populations’ reaction and the governments and bureaucrats reactions will be quite different.

Former President Bill Clinton also took the stage Wednesday night to tout the Democrats’ foreign policy prowess. Like a number of other speakers, Clinton made fleeting reference to the reactionary policies carried out by the Bush administration over the past eight years, referring to torture, the Hurricane Katrina debacle, social inequality and the assault on science-all in two sentences. He did not dwell on this laundry list of offenses, for to do so would inevitably raise questions about the Democrats’ own role in facilitating them.

Ah…Bubba giving his seal of approval.  Just keep in mind that it’s this Bubba:

He was speaking from experience, having carried out more US military interventions-in Somalia, Bosnia, Haiti, Kosovo, Sudan, Afghanistan, Iraq and Colombia-than any previous president.

Van Auken then notes that Clinton mentions BO’s plan to fix our strained military.  He then points out:

As to how this job of repairing and rebuilding is to be accomplished, neither Clinton nor the Times provided any concrete proposals. Obama has included in his platform the call for swelling the ranks of US combat forces by an additional 100,000 soldiers and Marines.

More warriors.  What do you do with more warriors?  Simple, send them to fight in more wars.

Among the other speakers brought to the convention podium was the party’s 2004 presidential candidate Senator John Kerry. Having voted in favor of granting the Bush administration blanket authorization to invade Iraq, in Denver he accused the administration of having “delivered the wrong war, in the wrong place, at the wrong time.” As a result, he asserted, “it’s Hamas, Hezbollah, the Taliban and dictators everywhere that are on the march.”

Hmmm…and Kerry voted for that war.  As did Joe.  As did many Democrats.  All so they couldn’t be labeled weak on terrorism.

“I have seen the intelligence up close and I can tell you that the threats that we face are real and they are growing,” Rockefeller told the convention. In 2002-2003, Rockefeller was briefed by the administration on its torture of detainees, including the use of waterboarding, keeping this criminal abuse secret from the American people. He was the principal architect of the legislation approved by Congress last month-with Obama’s vote-granting the White House sweeping new domestic spying powers and giving the telecommunications companies a blanket retroactive amnesty for their collaboration in the illegal wiretapping operation mounted by the Bush administration.

Let’s see: Opposition to our military adventurism has been blunted by choosing Biden as VP (not that Obama hasn’t funded our wars every time a vote came up (except, interestingly enough, last Octoberish before the primaries).  Opposition to FISA has been blunted (after all, BO did vote for the damn thing).  If you’re a Democrat: Wheeeeeeee!

Then there was Harry Reid’s speech:

This screed was even more brazen than most in turning reality on its head. As leader of the US Senate, Reid coordinated repeated votes to authorize and fund wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, both waged by the US to establish hegemony over key oil reserves and supply routes. These actions, however, were omitted from his potted history.

“Give US hell, Harry.”  He’s doin’ his best, don’t ya know.  Harry’s part of the failed leadership of the current Congress.  Surprise, surprise.

Instead, he portrayed America as the innocent victim. “Attacked at home by oil-funded terrorists, at war abroad with oil-funded insurgents, threatened in global markets and faced with acquisition of our industrial base by oil-funded multinationals, we must defend America or face her utter destruction,” said Reid. This is classic war propaganda, in which one’s own aggression is portrayed as an act of self defense.

And we’ve fallen for it.  And it looks like the Democrats are gleefully falling head-over-heels for it.  If you vote for Obama, don’t complain.  You know what their up to.

Whatever illusions were generated by Obama’s primary campaign rhetoric, the positions enunciated by the candidate and his supporters in Denver constitute a stark warning that far greater wars are being prepared, and that no genuine struggle can be waged against American militarism outside of a decisive political break with the Democratic Party and the building of a mass independent political movement of the working class.

Keep this in mind as you’re in the polling booth between now and November (for those of you with state primaries coming up).  There are alternatives.

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  1. There are alternatives.

  2. …from Michel Chossudovsky at global research :

    The Obama campaign galvanizes public support for the “Global War on Terrorism” (GWOT). In the words of Obama’s running mate, Joe Biden:

    “The fact of the matter is, al-Qaida and the Taliban – the people who have actually attacked us on 9/11 [note: exactly the same wording as in the Obama speech] — they’ve regrouped in the mountains between Afghanistan and Pakistan and are plotting new attacks. And the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff has echoed Barack’s call for more troops and John McCain was wrong and Barack Obama was right.” (Joe Biden, Democratic Convention, Denver, August 27, 2008, emphasis added)  

    In contrast to Iraq, the war on Afghanistan is portrayed by the Obama-Biden campaign as a “Just War”, a war of retribution initiated in October 2001 in response to the 9/11 attacks.  

    This concept of the “Just War” in relation to Afghanistan has been echoed by several prominent Liberal and “Progressive” intellectuals: The war on Iraq, on the other hand, is seen as an “illegal war”. In October 2001, the attack on Afghanistan was supported by numerous civil society organizations on humanitarian grounds.  

    It is by no means coincidental that the prominent “Leftist” scholars and intellectuals, who failed to address the use of  the 9/11 attacks as a pretext to wage war, have expressed their support for Barack Obama. The Nation Magazine and Progressive Democrats for America are indelibly behind the Obama-Biden ticket.  

    The Obama-Biden campaign has endorsed the 9/11 cover-up. Without a shred of evidence, Afghanistan, a nation of 34 million people (the size of Canada) is portrayed as the State sponsor of the 9/11 attacks. This basic premise is accepted by the Democrats.  

    Obama indelibly upholds 9/11 as an act of war and aggression directed against America, thereby justifying a war of retribution directed against “Islamic terrorists” and their state sponsors.

    The “Global War on Terrorism” (GWOT) is the product of a carefully designed military-intelligence agenda, which determines the thrust of US foreign policy.

    GWOT is endorsed by both Republicans and Democrats. US intelligence overrides party politics. GWOT is part of the presidential campaign platform of both political parties. Its validity is not questioned, nor are its consequences. The fact that it is predicated on a “Big Lie” is not an issue.


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