Scott Horton Interviews Diane Benson

Scott Horton, April 14, 2008

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Diane Benson, an antiwar Democrat running for Congress in Alaska, discusses the stop loss and severe injuries suffered by her son, the invisibility of the tens of thousands of wounded American soldiers from the Iraq war, the unfairness of the stop loss system, the cowardice of all those who “support” the war with stickers on their truck while others fight for them, the belief of young soldiers that they’d be off to fight bin Laden, the VA’s directing of soldiers to other welfare programs for medical care, the true cost of war in human and financial terms, her son’s partial recovery from his injuries, economic worries, the premium she puts on dialog over military action to deal with terrorism problems and the danger to al Qaeda in Iraq if the U.S. withdraws.

MP3 here. (25:49)

Diane Benson is an Alaskan politician, inspirational speaker, video production consultant, published writer and dramatist. She contracts in film/video production, research, and writing. Benson has appeared in Disney’s White Fang, the award winning Box of Daylight, and the International Film Festival award winning Sacajawea from 1989. Benson has one foster daughter and one son. Her son, Latseen Benson, is an army veteran, who was severely wounded in Iraq in November 2005. Benson has a Master of Fine Arts degree in Creative Writing, a Bachelor’s degree in Theater, and is working on a Master’s in Public Policy at the New England College.

13 Responses to “Diane Benson”

  1. Oh boy. You had to ask her the million dollar question at the end, didn’t ya! Boy, that wasn’t encouraging. I mean, granted not everybody in politics is expected to be an expert on it all, but if you’re running on an antiwar platform (and notwithstanding the horrible circumstances fueling this woman’s drive to run for office) you ought to really study up on those regions most prone to violence and American intervention.

  2. It’s just another argument to add to the list in favor of a philosophical sea-change towards non-intervention.

    I would hope that Diane Benson takes the time to learn about the founding fathers’ advice to the future stewards of the republic: “Be friends with nations, travel and trade, but do not go out in search of monsters to destroy.”

    Unfortunately most in congress run for the seat in order to ‘do something’. However it is their ‘doing things’ that generally hurts more than it helps. How do we affect a sea-change and a revival of the idea of limited, constitutional government?

  3. I am truly attempting to feel sorry for this young man who has lost his leg, and think of what it will be like for him for the rest of his life.

    Yet, in all honesty, I cannot wish him well when I consider that he joined and served in an illegal, immoral and criminal war in Iraq and contributed to the death of over a million Iraqi’s, the destruction of their nation and the homelessness of some four million of them wondering aimlessly within Iraq and in neighbouring countries. A nation now devoid of the bare elemental needs of their ciitizens to water, electricity and sewage.

    As far as I am concerned, this young man is a criminal and a thug (as are ALL the American gunmen over there) who has spent four years in the business of killing “eye raki’s” and “turban heads”, for the biggest war criminals of them all, G.W. Bush and D. Cheney, and never once had a shred of remorse or the descency to leave as a concientous objector. he was just following orders, right? Now where did we hear that before?

    May he suffer nightmares for what he has dome to Iraq, its people and those that he had killed in the fours years he was there as a US terrorist, haunt his every waking and sleeping hours for the rest of his life.

    As for his mother, well she comes across as just another empty-headed US politician that has no recognition of the crimes her country and its mass murderer in chief have committed and is only concerned with the loss of her son’s leg.

  4. Interesting sentiments, Tiddly. You’ve proven that one can be anti-imperialist and antiwar yet still reside on the same circle of Hell as those one opposes.

  5. Well said Bob. I find that the idea of “forgiveness”, often allied to “love”, foreign to chest-beaters everywhere.

  6. Bob, before you pontificate from high atop mount Olypus with your inane prouncements and holier than thou attitude about war, love, imperailism and other such incidentals, try walking a mile in my shoes and try feeling sorry for a thug and a member of a gang of thugs who invaded a country that did them NO harm and killed at will as they still do and then feel your anger at seeing membrs of your own family butchered by these very same members of a muderous gang and tell me again about “love” and about being close to those we hate in how I feel.

    You are lucky you have not lost any members of your family, nor your country, as I have to this very same illegal and obscene invasion. When you have, then come back and lecture me about love, forgiveness and other such trite feelings.

    In the meantime, I want them all to suffer. I want them all to feel what they have done to us and I want them to ressurect all the dead and rebuild the country itself from the pile of rubble they have turned it into for the sake of stealing the oil and helping israel to feel free to continue its murderous occupation and usurpation of what is left of palestine and the cleansing of its people from its land and its heritage.

    Walk a mile in my shoes and then I will listen to you.

  7. I live in Alaska and know Diane Benson, and when she ran for US Representative last election time, she would not come out and say she was anti-war. She equivocates on this issue by talking about not enough troop support in Iraq. I wrote her election campaign to ask if she would come right out and say she is anti-war, and she would not.

    She is not a strong candidate for election in Alaska, even though AK has a jerk of a US Representative, Don Young. A lot of us hate Young, but Benson cannot beat him in AK because she does not have a national grasp on issues other than the war. She has minor local following because she is an Alaskan Native. Most of all, she can never seem to say outright that she is anti-war.

  8. Tiddlywinks,

    It’s has nothing to do with “walking in” your shoes. One only has to read your post to understand that you carry weight, however justified it may be. It has to do with perpetual and mutual hatred and the wish for the annihilation of others and the complete lack of justice which is always the result.

    Thus, I’ll “pontificate” against hate as often as I see fit, because such hatred manifests itself in myriad ways — many of which inevitably come back and make the world a worse place to live in.

  9. InnerCircle, BOB, Tiddlywinks, Karen R.,

    I know and understand how difficult the issues of U.S. National Defense and Foreign Policy are for so many people, but keep in mind, most everyone has a certain perspective that manifests itself in different ways. For some it is love of country, others, revenge, and for some, economic incentives or in a word, MONEY. Justice and Peace should be the two pronged-spear that a people can and should unite under. To do otherwise is unacceptable in my view, and in order for the human race as a whole to survive long into the future it must EMBRACE THESE TWO IDEALS, JUSTICE AND PEACE……………………….

  10. Tiddly… It wouldn’t matter if this nation, through theft of taxes, rebuilt every structure in every foreign nation that those self-same taxes/monies used to destroy. Someone, somewhere would be unhappy with that and would want that “eye for an eye” in payback and then the one getting that payback would reciprocate with the same sick logic. And so it goes on and on ad infinitum. There was no sane reason for this evil to be inflicted upon anyone. Just the usual excuses and the slow bleeding to death of the truth all the while fresh lies and fresh aggression are being cooked up. Before you know it all of these horrors will have been swept even further out of sight to make room for entertaining video footage of bombs falling on Iran.

  11. Reed Richards…

    Not sure how or why I was included in your comments. Diane Benson is proud of her son’s service and humbled by his sacrifice. She is also angry at the treatment of veterans as I think many Americans are.

    My comment had to do with her stance on the war. She has not shown herself to be anti-war, and in fact, she does not seem to know very much about the terrorism issue in general. When Scott asked her about the “War on Terror” she went all around the question and “answered” with a longwinded, disconnected gibberish.

    Ms. Benson lost the last election with over 40% of the vote to Don Young’s 56%, but even then, it was not because she was a strong candidate; it was because Don Young has become such a HATED figure in corrupt national politics, and Alaskans will be glad to be rid of him. He has spent over a million dollars in legal fees to keep ahead of FBI investigations into his bad dealings. Many people voted for her as an alternative to rid AK of the obnxious curse of Don Young.

    She will not win in this coming election cycle, because there are other more experienced and better known and better liked candidates who have either announced or who are expected to do so. She is a democrat in the squirrly democrat fashion. She is very much social program oriented. She is NOT anti-war! And, if by some strange reason she attains to office, she will vote with the pack of democrats who are not anti-war either.

  12. According to Dr Bob Bowman, former chief of US Air Force Missile Defense, missile defense is the missing link to a First Strike. Dr Bob Bowman thinks missiles in Poland will be very useful to shoot down any surviving Russian missiles after a First Strike. Therefore the Russians will implement Launch On Warning. The terrible consequences of a mistake will be caused by the stupid Pentagon. Dr Bob Bowman agrees that the Pentagon (McCain?) will get disarming first-strike capability by 2011/12. Acc. to former Trident missile engineer Bob Aldridge-www.plrc.org-the US Navy can track and destroy all enemy subs simultaneously. The main danger is Russian Launch On Warning because of US First-Strike Capability. Please read Keir Lieber and Daryl Press, “The Rise of US Nuclear Primacy”, 2006 March/April issue of Foreign Affairs. By 2011/12 the Pentagon will have achieved that the Russians have no choice but Launch On Warning. “Bloody fools in the Pentagon”, as Brigadier Harbottle stated.

  13. ALaska should re-elect Mike Gravel. He comes right out and says he is anti-war.

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