I have been a
Republican for most of my life, and have generally though not always made it
to vote on election day. But this Tuesday I stayed home until it was time to
go to work. As a conservative (fiscally and socially) I could not vote Democrat,
but neither could I vote Republican. A foreign policy that seeks to dominate
the world or spend money on wars to promote the corporate sponsors of a political
party are not my idea of a conservative administration. I wonder how many conservatives,
like me, simply failed to make it to the polls this past Tuesday. My no-show
was not a retreat from politics, but a thought-out expression that even if I
will not vote for the left wing, neither will I vote for a right wing interested
in continuing to police the world while neglecting the ordinary things governments
ought to do like balance a budget, live within its means, and provide stability,
rather than glitz and crusades, for their populace. Conservatives, you will
now need to work to show me that you have changed enough to win my vote back.
Send the neocons packing or I will continue staying home. Besides it saves on
oil use – not voting for so called pro-war conservatives may help to reduce
our need for imported oil by saving me a trip to the polling station.
~ Dan McDonald,
was impressed with Raimondo's prescient comment a day before the election: Democrats
are just another wing of the War Party. We should not expect too much if they
Anybody else notice
how just before the election, every TV talking head joined in the chorus: "It's
about Iraq, Iraq, Iraq. A majority of the people do not like the war in Iraq"?
On the morning
after the election I turned on CNN and was informed, with big colorful graphics,
that exit polls showed the public was concerned with – in descending order of
importance – (1) corruption, (2) war on terror, (3) economy, (4) Iraq.
Bob Shrum, perennial
Democratic strategist and election loser (Kerry's campaign manager), on CNN
the day following the Democratic election victory, said that the first order
of the day is to send a minimum wage bill to President Bush. Nothing about Iraq.
Naturally, the minimum wage bill will be vetoed, and the two parties can throw
a few mud cakes at each other before getting down to the business of the day:
divvying up the profits of politics, including war profits.
Let there be no
mistake, our Constitution makes it very clear: only Congress can declare war.
It is well known what that means: Congress decides when war begins, continues
and ends. Period. (That is why the Supreme Court has consistently refused to
declare any war "illegal" in the cases brought before it.)
not send any bill to Bush for signature to end the war. Spending bills can only
originate in the House. Democrats control the House. Without appropriations
the war cannot continue. End of story. In the next two years we will be hearing
a lot of bull to the contrary. Don't believe it for a second.
Going to war was
not my choice, but the voters of America voted for war. Now voters have voted
to end the war. The Democrats have it in their power to end the war and will
have two years to complete the job. They must begin at once.
~ Tim Blendheim
Jim Baker Save the American Establishment?
that young Bush accepts the Baker proposals, whatever they may be. What mechanism
is there to force the Iraqis to go along with them?
The puppet regime
may accept them but how do you apply them to those engaged in the current civil
It would be nice
to drag Iran and Syria into the Iraqi maelstrom, but would they consent? The
Iranians have proven time and again that they are much wiser than us in these
matters, and isn't it more to their benefit to watch us twist slowly in the
Is it realistic,
even at this point, to think young Bush would ask Iran and Syria to to get him
off the hook, please?
There is another
interested group in this discussion, people who don't care a fig (or date) about
Baker or the salvation of the American Establishment: the citizens of Iraq.
Poll by WorldPublicOpinion.org
for PIPA (Sept. 2006):
WPO poll of the Iraqi public finds that seven in ten Iraqis want U.S.-led forces
to commit to withdraw within a year. An overwhelming majority believes that
the U.S. military presence in Iraq is provoking more conflict than it is preventing
and there is growing confidence in the Iraqi army. If the United States made
a commitment to withdraw, a majority believes that this would strengthen the
Iraqi government. Support for attacks on U.S.-led forces has grown to a majority
position — now six in ten. Support appears to be related to a widespread
perception, held by all ethnic groups, that the U.S. government plans to have
permanent military bases in Iraq."
Also asked about
Iraqis' feelings toward al-Qaeda, Iran, Syria, and Hezbollah. Al-Qaeda is looked
on unfavorably by large majorities in all Iraq's ethnic groups, while the other
regional actors are viewed more variably.
Poll for the U.S.
Department of Defense (Sept. 2006): John Simpson for the BBC reports a U.S.
Department of Defense poll which found that about 75 percent of Iraq's 5 million
Sunni Muslims now support the armed insurgency against the coalition.
The only viable
solution to the Iraqi nightmare is for the U.S. to get out now.
~ Michael Charles
War God That Failed
I've been telling
all my antiwar friends that their faith in the Democrats is misplaced for months
now. Same war(s), different marketing. I just don't think my message is penetrating,
and I think the big reason for that is that to admit that there is merely a
left and a right wing of an all-encompassing war party is too terrible a thing
to contemplate. I used to think similarly as recently as 2002, but since then
the scales have ever so slowly fallen from my eyes and what I behold is a terrible
thing indeed: corporatism with a thin democratic veneer. Anyway, keep up the
good work. Hopefully after this round of (s)elections people will finally wake
up to the need to a broad-based, grass-roots anti-imperialist movement.
~ Brendan Buxton
Me When It's Over
don't know who if anyone reviews or edits these pieces you post, or who reads
But I want to
point out the ridiculously sloppy approach to reporting and analysis in Mr.
Frank's piece, "Wake Me When It's Over." To describe Peace Action by calling
us "the self-proclaimed largest grassroots peace organization in the U.S." is
just the beginning. Is it so hard for Mr. Frank to go to a few Web sites or
check a few numbers to verify our very easily verifiable claim? Apparently so.
Easier to just make a snide comment about it, I suppose.
of the activity on our voter guides is completely inaccurate, and his description
of our goals and motivations in this is laughable. "Cocktail party networking"?
Has Mr. Frank ever worked for a grassroots peace organization in D.C.? If he
had, he would know just how ridiculous that sounds. We scratch and fight for
everything we get here, and no one works at a place like this to schmooze at
fancy cocktail parties and further their career. Naturally, he cannot even cite
a name of anyone who gave him his information about Peace Action's plans or
strategy. Once again, I guess it must have been just too darn difficult to call
our national office to get an accurate quote he could attribute to an actual
person in leadership.
Generally I very
much appreciate Antiwar.com, but you should be a little more careful about stuff
like this. People who can't do basic reporting or cite their sources shouldn't
be given the space to smear the names of those people and groups working to
end the war, bring social justice, etc.
~ Gordon S. Clark,
communications director, Peace Action & Peace Action Education Fund
though I'm still waiting on any coherent illumination of Serbs' historic grievances
against Russia from Nebojsa Malic, I nevertheless feel compelled to explain
to Anna Pullinger that I have no bitterness toward Serbs, whatsoever. Maybe
incomprehension, maybe a desire to remind them that it was
who sold out Russia in all those memorable years of Cold War. But bitterness?
No. No bitterness.
After all, what
Russia could do to prevent bombing of Serbia, Russia did: promising to block
its authorization within the framework of the UN. After that, Russia could do
nothing, short of going to war against the West.
Since Russia once
did that, and got Communist takeover and the Serbs' Cold War betrayal as a consequence,
it's only logical that this time around Moscow decided not to plunge into a
concrete wall headfirst.
If the Serbs don't
like it – tough. My only hopes are that from now on, Russia protects
its own interests first, the interests of her friends second, and the Serbs'
~ Oleg Beliakovich
would dearly like to hear an explanation how the Serbs – having been partitioned,
humiliated, deceived, robbed, and jailed by Yugoslavia's Communist overlords
trained in Moscow – "sold out" Russia during the Cold War. Serbs do not have
"historic grievances" against Russia; if anything, they may have a surplus of
Russophilia, a misguided belief that the "Big Brother" from Moscow will defend
them against Western depredations. It's an expectation perhaps borne of Russia's
aid to Serbs that dates back to the early 1800s; but with due respect to many
Russians who fought valiantly to help the Serbs, that help never actually accomplished
much. Russian participation in the Contact Group and other Imperial ventures
in the Balkans during the 1990s has done a lot to lend those diplomatic atrocities
an undeserved air of legitimacy. And in 1999, it was by all accounts Russia's
Chernomyrdin who persuaded Milosevic to strike a deal with NATO that amounted
to surrender, promising Russian support that never materialized. I've never
said that Russia should neglect its own interests to defend those of Serbia
(in fact, I explicitly said otherwise), but insofar as those interests overlap,
Moscow has done a remarkably poor job of championing them. So far.