|Progressive Calendar 06.07.07||<– Date –> <– Thread –>|
|From: David Shove (shove001tc.umn.edu)|
|Date: Thu, 7 Jun 2007 18:15:14 -0700 (PDT)|
P R O G R E S S I V E C A L E N D A R 06.07.07 1. John Marty/Greens 6.08 10am 2. Vs workfare 6.08 11am 3. Vs Israeli occupy 6.08 4:15pm 4. 3500 dead vigil 6.08 5pm 5. Palestine occ 6.08 6pm 6. Vs corporations 6.08-10 DC 7. Andy Borowitz - TB guy tops Bush in new poll 8. Green Party - Dem Party a lost cause for voters against the Iraq War 9. Steven Argue - Pro-war Dems battle for the presidency --------1 of 9-------- From: Allan Hancock <ahancock.gp [at] gmail.com> Subject: John Marty/Greens 6.08 10am Fellow Greens, A meeting with Senator John Marty has been set up for this Friday, Jun. 8th at 10 AM in his office. All Greens are invited to join with Senator Marty for discussing strategy for next year's legislative session. We will be primarily focusing on those issues vital to the State's democratic process (lobbying, election judges, campaign finance reform, better accounting of political and special interest contributions and more) His office is located in the State capitol building room 328. Most direct route to his office is to enter the capitol building from the south side the main entrance up the long stairs, turn left to get to the elevators. Go to the third floor. Take the first hallway to the left, passing through a door. Senator Marty's office is near the end of the hall. There should be metered parking near-by. Or if you don't mind a short walk with free parking find on street parking near-by the MacDonald's or west of the large Sears complex all to the west of the Capitol. Please email a confirmation if you plan to attend so I can let the legislative assistant, Laura, know how many to expect. --------2 of 9-------- From: Welfare Rights Committee - Alt Email <welfarerights [at] qwest.net> Subject: Vs workfare 6.08 11am Join the Welfare Rights Committee to Protest WORKFARE. We are kicking off WRC's campaign to stop Workfare in MN. We want everyone to join us! Below is more background information. Mpls Welfare Office at Century Plaza -12th and 3rd Ave, Friday June 8, 11am Welfare Rights Committee 310 E. 38th Street Room 207, Minneapolis, MN 55409 (612)822-8020 welfarerightsmn. org PAWLENTY'S LINE ITEM VETO BRINGS SLAVE LABOR TO MINNESOTA! PAWLENTY CUTS OPTIONS FOR POOR MOTHERS TO GET REAL WORK FOR REAL PAY Minnesota Politicians Fail to Outlaw Workfare and Fail Minnesota's Poor! Welfare Rights Committee to Protest Workfare at Mpls Welfare Office, Friday June 8, 11am Governor Pawlenty's initial proposal for welfare in Minnesota, had it passed, would have mandated that everyone on welfare be forced immediately into "Workfare" or working for free in order to receive the welfare grant. When he did not get his way, he specifically targeted for veto the proposals that would have assisted poor parents in getting and keeping paid work and that would have held off slave labor. In the final HHS bill, Pawlenty line-item vetoed "supported work" and work-study for welfare mothers, and vetoed the money for car loans and repairs to help working parents get and keep transportation to get to work. After weeks of lambasting Democrats for weakening work requirements, it was the hypocrite Pawlenty who eliminated the only real options to help poor parents get and keep real work. Furthermore, he deliberately set Minnesota on a fast track to force impoverished mothers and fathers into unpaid labor. The Welfare Rights Committee's proposal for welfare in Minnesota, had it passed, would have banned workfare/slave labor in Minnesota completely. The WRC had two bills prohibiting workfare in the state, both in welfare law and in labor law. The bill prohibiting workfare in labor law passed committees in both the House and Senate. After one and one-half hours of floor debate in the full Senate, it passed unanimously, with even two Republicans crossing over to vote for it. Some Senators said workfare would bring slavery to Minnesota. The provision banning workfare in welfare law passed committees in the House and Senate, was incorporated into the Health and Human Services omnibus budget bills in both houses, passed the full House and Senate and was sent to the Governor's desk in the HHS bill, which he promptly vetoed. After Pawlenty's veto of the entire HHS bill, back room deals between legislators resulted in changing the "prohibit workfare" language. The new language, instead of banning workfare, allowed workfare to be used only if other options such as actual work for actual pay, or supported work for real pay, were not available. When the final HHS bill went to Pawlenty's desk, he specifically targeted the "other options" of supported work and work study. In doing this, he set Minnesota on a fast track to instituting slave labor as the quickest and easiest way to do meet welfare requirements. The Welfare Rights Committee continues to say: If there is a job to be done, make it into a REAL job with REAL wages. Workfare takes jobs away from other workers - who then have to join us at the welfare line! These companies that are pimping off poor people have enough money to pay a living wage, and should not be getting a pass for our free work. Workfare is slave labor and must be stopped dead in its tracks. The WRC will continue to fight to stop workfare by any means necessary! We will expose workfare for the slave labor it is. We will expose and protest any agencies, businesses or worksites who are using the free labor of poor mothers and fathers! --------3 of 9-------- From: Meredith Aby <awcmere [at] hotmail.com> Subject: Vs Israeli occupy 6.08 4:15pm Global Days of Action: The World Says No to Israeli Occupation VIGIL Friday, June 8 (and every Friday) @ 4:15-5:30 pm @ Snelling & Summit Avenues, St Paul. Vigil to end the occupation of Palestine. People around the world are joining together in global Days of Action as The World Says No to Israeli Occupation to protest the 40th anniversary of Israel's illegal military occupation of the Palestinian West Bank, Gaza Strip, East Jerusalem, and Syrian Golan Heights. Sponsored by the Palestine Solidarity Project. Co-sponsors include WAMM Mideast Committee and Middle East Peace Now. Numerous endorsers include Churches for Middle East Peace, Fellowship of Reconciliation, and Coalition for Palestinian Rights, Women's International League for Peace and Freedom. All events are free and open to the public. Info: Florence 651-696-1642. --------4 of 9-------- From: "wamm [at] mtn.org" <wamm [at] mtn.org> Subject: 3500 dead vigil 6.08 5pm Protest and Vigil: "Another Grim Milestone: 3500 U.S. Military Dead in Iraq" Friday, June 8, 5:00 p.m. Hennepin and Oak Grove Streets (on the corner of Loring Park near the Hennepin/Lyndale and Oak Grove intersections), Minneapolis. News reports confirm that the U.S. military death toll in Iraq is now over 3500. Come to a protest and vigil Friday afternoon to mark yet another grim milestone in the U.S. war in Iraq. The Friday vigil will not only mark the 3,500 U.S. military dead in Iraq, but also the massive toll of Iraqi people who have died as a result of the war. Iraq Body Count, reported by AP yesterday, confirms (considered to be a conservative number, as it includes only int'l media reports) 50 Iraqi civilians have died each month of the past 4.5 months from U.S. bombs and helicopter fire, alone. Please contact your family, friends, co-workers and others to come out to this event. The event is being organized around the call of: 3500 Deaths Too Many! Not One More Death! Not One More Dollar! Iraqis and GI's Are Dying: Out of Iraq! End the War Now! While Congress might think it's reasonable to wait until September to revisit the question of funding for the war in Iraq, we know that dozens, if not hundreds, of people are being killed every single day that Congress fails to end the war. Though we have marked far too many such milestones, we must continue to do so to increase pressure on our government to end the war and to let the people of Iraq determine their own future. Initiated by: the Iraq Peace Action Coalition (IPAC). FFI: Call WAMM, 612-827-5364 or TCPC, 612-522-1861. --------5 of 9-------- From: "wamm [at] mtn.org" <wamm [at] mtn.org> Subject: Palestine occ 6.08 6pm "Life Under Occupation: Reflections on Palestine" Friday, June 8, 6:00 to 8:00 p.m. Macalester-Plymouth Church, 1658 Lincoln Avenue, St. Paul. A participatory event, "Life Under Occupation: Reflections on Palestine." Middle East food and opportunities to hear first-hand accounts about life under occupation and meet with local activists who are trying to bring peace and justice to Palestine and Israel. Special performance by 'Voice', with Muslim, Christian and Hindu musicians, whose message is hope, peace and understanding. Sponsored by: the Palestine Solidarity Project. FFI: Call Florence Steichen, 651-696-1642. --------6 of 9-------- From: PRO826 [at] aol.com Subject: Vs corporations 6.08-10 DC Presented by Ralph Nader and The Center for Study of Responsive Law June 8, 9 and 10, 2007 1530 P Street, NW Washington, DC 20005 The multinational corporation is the dominant institution in the global political economy. The toll it inflicts on people and the planet -- high drug prices, sweatshops, global warming, and on and on -- is well documented. But too little attention has been focused on the corporation itself, and the evolving forms of corporate power. "Taming the Giant Corporation" aims to identify, examine and classify the changing manifestations of corporate power. The conference's central, pioneering task is to facilitate discussion, debate and strategic thinking about how to subordinate corporate power to the will and interests of the people. How do we replace the excessive corporate privileges and immunities entrenched in law and the economy? Corporations were originally chartered by the states in the early nineteenth century to be our servants not our masters. How can we displace corporations (e.g., with national health insurance, by keeping information and knowledge in the public domain, or by expanding and strengthening the commons)? What tools and approaches can empower communities to set parameters on corporate activity? What countervailing institutions should be nurtured to offset concentrated corporate power? "Taming the Giant Corporation" will be an opportunity to learn, debate, meet leading advocates and activists, and grapple with the questions that must be answered if we are to strive for a just and livable world. --------7 of 9-------- TB Guy Tops Bush in New Poll Andy Borowitz HUFFINGTON POST: Posted June 6, 2007 | 09:48 AM (EST) In the latest sign of erosion for President George W. Bush's job approval rating, a new poll released today reveals that Mr. Bush is now less popular among the American people than the so-called "TB Guy," Atlanta attorney Andrew Speaker. While the president's approval numbers have been in a virtual free- fall in recent months, few political insiders expected him to be trounced by Mr. Speaker, who has been accused of exposing airline passengers to tuberculosis. Additionally, the poll results are historic in another way, since they mark the first time that a sitting president has been deemed less popular than a quarantined disease carrier. But at the White House today, official spokesman Tony Snow tried to put a positive spin on the numbers, saying that Mr. Speaker's poll numbers received an artificial "bounce" as a result of all of the press coverage he has received in recent days. "If President Bush had been quarantined for spreading tuberculosis around the world, his numbers would be right up there with the TB Guy's," Mr. Snow claimed. Perhaps in an attempt to change the subject, President Bush participated in a ceremony today in which he declared victory over peace activist Cindy Sheehan. Posing in front of a banner reading "MISSION ACCOMPLISHED" on the aircraft carrier USS Abraham Lincoln, Mr. Bush said that Ms. Sheehan's departure from the peace movement means "I won't have to spend this August in Crawford hiding in the barn." Elsewhere, getting married can have significant psychological benefits for those suffering from depression, according to a study published today in the Journal of Larry King. Andy Borowitz is a comedian and writer whose work appears in The New Yorker and The New York Times, and at his award-winning humor site, BorowitzReport.com. --------8 of 9-------- GREEN PARTY OF THE UNITED STATES http://www.gp.org For Immediate Release: Wednesday, June 6, 2007 The Party's Over: Greens call Democratic Party a lost cause for voters opposed to the Iraq War Democratic Congress members' capitulation on war funding strips away illusion that Dems oppose the Bush agenda, say Greens Greens appeal to antiwar voters: stop wasting your votes, support and join a real antiwar party WASHINGTON, DC -- Green Party leaders, preparing for the party's 2007 national meeting in Reading, Pennsylvania, July 12-15, called the Democratic Party a lost cause for Americans who oppose the Iraq War, and urged antiwar voters to support and join the Green Party as the 2008 election year approaches. Greens said the vote in Congress for full funding of the war amounted to a betrayal of Americans who voted Democrat in 2004 and 2006 in the hopes that a Democratic Congress would work for withdrawal of US troops. According to a CBS/NYT poll released last week, only 23% of the public approves of the way George Bush is handling the war in Iraq. Carl Romanelli, 2006 Pennsylvania Green candidate for the US Senate: "Electing Democrats means supporting the Iraq War. The Green Party is appealing to all antiwar Americans who have voted Democrat because they want an end to the war: stop wasting your votes, and help us build a real opposition party!" Liz Arnone, co-chair of the Green Party of the United States: "Until May, Democratic politicians pretended to be against the war by calling for a troop withdrawal timetable, with a deadline delayed until September 2008, the height of the election season. The capitulation on war funding strips away the last illusion of an antiwar Democratic Party." Darin Robbins, treasurer for the Steuben County (New York) Green Party, New York State Committee member, and 2003 and 2005 Green candidate for Corning Alderman: "Despite the resounding 'no' to George W. Bush from voters in the 2006 election, Democratic Congress members sided with the White House, proving that the war machine is bipartisan, and that a vote for a Democrat is a vote for President Bush's 'endless war' agenda. Groups like MoveOn can either support Democrats or support an end to the war - they can't have it both ways. The Green Party, not the Democratic Party, represents the majority of Americans on the war." Aimee Smith, Co-chair of the Peace Action Committee and second place finisher in the 2006 race for Michigan's 15th Congressional District: "Democrats in Congress could have brought an end to the war by blocking the funding. This would have forced Bush to bring the troops home. By allowing the legislation to go to a vote and then voting with Republicans to continue bankrolling the war, they also sided with war profiteers, oil companies, and the Israel lobby. A genuine peace party must be free of the corporate influences that demand war - one of the reasons the Green Party accepts no corporate funding. We also refuse to be intimidated by neo-conservatives, the American Israel Public Affairs Committee, the Christian Zionist lobby, and the rest of the powerful Israel lobby." Jody Grage, treasurer of the Green Party of the United States: "As in 2004, the few Democrats in Congress who genuinely oppose the Iraq War are at odds with their own party. Dennis Kucinich, Mike Gravel, and other Democrats who genuinely oppose the war have no chance to win the nomination. Ultimately, the role they play will be to lure antiwar voters into supporting a Democratic nominee who will maintain the occupation, and who will compromise for the benefit of corporate arms makers, defense contractors, and oil companies who bankroll his or her campaign and the Democratic Party itself. Progressive and antiwar Democratic candidates play a similar role in every presidential election, herding voters who agree with them behind a nominee who rejects their ideals. The only thing that will break this pattern is the presence of a strong, independent, noncorporate antiwar party." Jim Coplen, co-chair of the Green Party of the United States: "Democratic politicians have surrendered to the Republican 'support our troops' PR scheme, which is based on the delusion that we help our young men and women in the military by keeping them in harm's way, in an unwinnable war that was based on a litany of White House lies. The only way to support our troops is to bring them home right now. Keeping them in Iraq means hundreds more dead and maimed US soldiers, as well as more mass Iraqi civilian casualties and destruction of their country." MORE INFORMATION Green Party of the United States http://www.gp.org 1700 Connecticut Avenue NW, Suite 404 Washington, DC 20009. 202-319-7191, 866-41GREEN Fax 202-319-7193 Green Party News Center http://www.gp.org/newscenter.shtml Green Party Speakers Bureau http://www.gp.org/speakers/ Peace Action Committee of the Green Party (GPAX) http://www.gp.org/committees/peace/ "Green for a Change": 2007 Green Party Annual National Meeting Reading, Pennsylvania, July 12-15 http://www.gp.org/meeting2007/ Contacts: Scott McLarty, Media Coordinator, 202-518-5624, mclarty [at] greens.org <mailto:mclarty [at] greens.org> Starlene Rankin, Media Coordinator, 916-995-3805, starlene [at] gp.org <mailto:starlene [at] gp.org> --------9 of 9-------- Pro-War Democrats Battle for the Presidency By Steven Argue Liberation-News [at] yahoogroups.com Every four years the American people are subjected to the farce of bourgeois democracy, a " democracy" where only the candidates chosen by the very wealthy have any chance of being elected. That season of nicely dressed pathological liars and false hopes is now upon us. One can only wish that hunting permits were issued for this political season. Since the corporate media of the United States has long ago abandoned any semblance of reporting on anything of substance about candidates such as voting records and actual political views, it is up to the left press, blogs, and Indy-media to do so. A front-runner in the race is pro-war Democrat Hillary Clinton. Hillary Clinton has voted for every war the United States has carried out since she came into office in 2000. Those pro-war votes include the Iraq war. She also voted to take away our civil liberties by supporting the "Patriot Act" and its renewal. Hillary Clinton, like many Democrats, pounds the war drum for the racist Zionist state of Israel even louder than the Republicans. In addition she voted for the anti-immigrant wall. In her recent successful run for Senate Hillary Clinton amassed more than 22 million dollars, making her the biggest campaign finance recipient running for Senate in the country. Her money came from such corporate interests as drug and hospital conglomerates, Wall Street finance interests, real estate developers, and rightwing corporate media mogul, Rupert Murdoch. Barack Obama Another front-runner and "rising star" of the Democrat Party is Barack Obama. Like Hillary Clinton, Obama has voted for the Patriot Act by voting to renew it in 2006. He also voted for the racist anti-immigrant wall as well as the "guest worker" program that denies immigrants rights, but allows them to come to this country to be exploited and under-paid. Obama also voted for the so-called "Class Action Fairness Act" that makes it harder for the people to sue corporations. One might think that Obama, as a black man in racist America, might have something to offer on issues dealing with the suffering caused by the racist police state, mass incarceration of the poor, lack of healthcare, and dramatic drop in the standard of living of the multi-racial working class and poor. Instead Barack Obama plays into racist stereotypes, blaming the victims of racist America rather than the corporate criminals, stating: "Such wisdom might help us move beyond ideological bickering and serve as the basis of a renewed effort to tackle the problem of inner-city poverty. We could begin by acknowledging that perhaps the single biggest thing we could do to reduce such poverty is to encourage teenage girls to finish high school and avoid having children out of wedlock. . ." Barack Obama, The Audacity of Hope, pps. 255-256 The inner cities of America have, by and large, been abandoned by the same capitalists that got rich off of the jobs they have now exported, just as the victims of hurricane Katrina were left to die by this same racist system. Yet the best thing to do according to Barack Obama is for black girls to stop having children out of wedlock. In his book Uncle Obama not only lets this racist system off the hook, but he praises one of the worst anti-working class reforms of the Clinton administration stating, "we should also acknowledge that conservatives - and Bill Clinton - were right about welfare as it was previously structured." Bill Clinton's welfare reform has caused homelessness, hunger, and less access to other basic necessities for the poor in America, but Barack Obama says Bill Clinton and the conservatives were right. Both Obama and Clinton have voted for war appropriations. The fact that they both decided at the last minute to vote against war appropriations in the most recent vote on supplemental war appropriations is a symptom of the fact that the war has not gone as planned. The war has not gained the desired oil loot for U.S. corporations and has caused a number of growing problems for U.S. imperialism including internal dissent in the United States. And while Clinton and Obama have finally voted against war appropriations this time, their pro-war Democrat Party garnered plenty of other votes to keep the imperialist war going. In his book, Barack Obama makes clear his support for the billions being squandered on lining the pockets of the military contractors stating, "given the depletion of our [military] forces after the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, we will probably need a somewhat higher [Pentagon] budget in the immediate future just to restore readiness and replace equipment." (Barack Obama, The Audacity of Hope, p 307). Joe Biden Another Democrat candidate is Joe Biden. Unlike many Democrat presidential candidates that have tried to distance themselves from the war that they voted for to begin with, in the most recent vote on war appropriations Joe Biden voted with the majority of the Democrats and Republicans in the Senate putting billions of dollars towards the continued U.S. imperialist slaughter of the Iraqi people. John Edwards Another presidential candidate with a pro-war record is John Edwards. Edwards voted for the war against Iraq and campaigned as a vice presidential candidate on the pro-war John Kerry ticket. At that time both candidates defended their votes for the war. John Edwards has since apologized for his vote for unprovoked military aggression and mass murder (without using that wording and without recognizing that his vote for war was a criminal act). Yet when Edwards was running for the position of vice president in 2004 this what he had to say on his pro-war vote: "We need to stick to this [defending their Iraq war votes]. We should stand by our votes, say we would vote that way again. If you admit a mistake, it shows weakness in time of war. That's what the Republicans want us to do." (John Edwards's changing tune on the Iraq vote, Scot Lehigh, The Globe, April 17, 2007) Bill Richardson Another candidate trying to paint himself as an antiwar candidate of the people is presidential candidate and New Mexico governor Bill Richardson. Richardson doesn't call for immediate withdrawal of troops from Iraq, but instead calls for a slow withdrawal. In the early 1990s he did vote against the U.S. war to reinstate the anti-woman pro-U.S. corporate oil monarchy in Kuwait, but later said he regretted that vote. In addition Richardson is a strong supporter the pro-corporate anti-worker NAFTA, GATT, and WTO. On the death penalty Richardson, like many Democrats, says it is a good thing. Over one hundred death row inmates in the United States have had their convictions overturned as a result of new DNA evidence being brought to light. Still prosecutors have fought against the use of DNA evidence to overturn old convictions, even when the lives of innocent people are on the line. In racist America, death penalty juries are always more likely to convict because all who oppose the death penalty are excluded from these juries, making them juries that are more biased towards supporting the prosecution. Blacks often face all or mostly white death penalty juries. These are juries likely to contain a number of people who think that all Black people are criminals, making these jurors incapable of weighing the evidence and understanding the concept of reasonable doubt even in those rare circumstances when the evidence is fairly presented. Why would anybody support the death penalty being carried out by a system that has been proven to make so many mistakes? The answer lies in the fact that the death penalty is an instrument of terror used by the American ruling class against the working class, poor, and people of color. On the one hand when such innocent people are executed it has no importance to the likes of Joe Biden because to them the lives of the poor and people of color are cheap. But for the ruling class, the added bonus of the death penalty is when it is used in political cases to silence dissent such as with the executions of Nicola Sacco, Bartolomeo Vanzetti, Julius Rosenberg, Ethel Rosenberg, the Haymarket martyrs, and the threatened execution of Mumia Abu-Jamal. As governor, the fact that Joe Biden has no problem with the death penalty means that he already has blood on his hands. Dennis Kucinich Likewise Dennis Kucinich is portraying himself as the standard bearer of peace, love, and liberalism, but has voted in favor of the frame-up of Mumia Abu-Jamal. The resolution Kucinich voted for falsely claims, "Mumia Abu-Jamal stood over Officer Faulkner and shot him in the face, mortally wounding him". Yet this is not what the eyewitnesses said. For instance eyewitness William Singletary says, "Mumia Abu-Jamal didn't shoot Daniel Faulkner. The passenger in the right-hand side of the Volkswagen [that Faulkner had stopped] got out of the car and shot him. When Mumia came on the scene, we [Singletary and another man] were on the police radio trying to radio for help." ("Witness: Abu-Jamal didn't do it" Philadelphia Daily News Dec. 8, 2006) In the last presidential election Dennis Kucinich portrayed himself up as an anti-war candidate of the Democrat Party. Yet on his web site the Kucinich campaign stated that Kucinich, "Supports a strong and efficient military. He believes that the current practice of procuring ever more costly weapons has the effect of weakening military readiness. As the cost of new weapons systems rise, the cost of merely replacing aging weapons with new ones becomes prohibitively expensive. As a result, U.S. military forces shrink, while they become at the same time more expensive to maintain and more prone to failure." So Kucinich advocates more frugal and efficient spending on imperialist terror and murder. This is the same position taken by two U.S. generals waging the war in Iraq. During the U.S. invasion of Iraq General Stanley McCrystal complained, "It was enough for the enemy to show a little resistance and some creative thinking as our technological superiority begun to quickly lose all its meaning. Our expenses are not justified by the obtained results. The enemy is using an order of magnitude cheaper weapons to reach the same goals for which we spend billions on technological whims of the defense industry!" Similarly General Richard Mayers commented on precision-guided munitions, "The rate of their use is incompatible with the obtained results. We are literally dropping gold into the mud!" The contradiction here was purely limited to the difference between the pure profiteering of the military industrial complex and the desire for actual cost effective results for imperialist victory on the battlefield. Dennis Kucinich spoke to a gathering of the Southern California Americans for Democratic Action claiming, "We [he and the congress] did not authorize an eye for an eye. Nor did we ask that the blood of innocent people, who perished on September 11, be avenged with the blood of innocent villagers in Afghanistan. We did not authorize the Administration to wage war anytime, anywhere, anyhow it pleases. We did not authorize war without end. We did not authorize a permanent war economy. Yet we are upon the threshold of a permanent war economy." Yet that is exactly what Kucinich and the rest of the congress, with the exception of California Democrat Barbara Lee, agreed to with their votes authorizing Bush's endless war on the world. The entire Democrat Party in both the Senate and Congress, with only one exception, voted for Bush's war. Since a different vote was later taken authorizing the US war in Iraq, the most practical application of this vote by Kucinich was to authorize the US war in Afghanistan. In stark contrast to Kucinich's vote for war Mumia Abu-Jamal wrote on March 2002: "When U.S. President George W. Bush spoke about an "endless war," some took it as mere political speech, or rhetoric designed to gain the top spot on the evening network news. I did not. "W" is an agent of his class, the wealthy oil merchants of the land, and his intentions are to press for an ever-wider war in all corners of the earth, to make the world safe for capital exploitation and unbridled commerce. This will eventually become a war that reaches into a slew of countries in the Middle East, on behalf of the rich and powerful elites who rule. Make no mistake: this is a war that has nothing to do with democracy. The U.S. enters the region, armed to the gills, not to defend democracies, but to defend theocracies; to defend kings, princes and sultanates; to defend U.S. access to vast oil resources in the region." - Mumia Abu-Jamal The U.S. war in Afghanistan has in fact killed tens of thousands of civilians and brought the Afghan nation back to the chaos of fragmented warlord rule last seen after the various U.S. trained and financed Mujahideen forces defeated the Soviet backed PDPA government. The day after the September 11 attack this author wrote: "Today the clerical fascists of the Taliban rule Afghanistan. The CIA put them in power with billions of dollars in U.S. military aid. This massive U.S. intervention in Afghanistan was in opposition to the revolutionary PDPA government that came to power in 1978 on issues of promoting women's rights and land reform. Literacy campaigns began teaching the poor and women how to read and write. "Foreign religious fanatics and wealthy defenders of the old feudal system came together in a terrorist organization called the Mujahideen (from which the Taliban were later formed). With billions of dollars in assistance from the U.S. [starting under the Jimmy Carter presidency] these fanatical cutthroats waged a holy war that included killing woman for teaching little girls how to read and write and throwing acid into the faces of women who had become liberated from the veil. The Taliban came to power as a result of this U.S. intervention. "Will a U.S. war now against the Taliban and former CIA aid recipient Osama Bin Laden set things straight? No. It will be the people of Afghanistan who suffer death and destruction from war as the U.S. attempts to install a puppet government friendly to U.S. corporate (oil) interests". -Steven Argue, Liberation News, September 12, 2002 Kucinich, the "peace candidate", as much as he may now want to deny it, voted for the war in Afghanistan and played his part in making it happen. On the war in Iraq Kucinich now states, "There is only one way in which the United States will withdraw from Iraq, prior to the end of President Bush's term: Congress must vote to cut off funds." (Rep. Kucinich, The Huffington Report) This position not only ignores the role of the people of the United States, Britain, Iraq, Afghanistan and elsewhere rising up resisting the war and imperialist occupation, but it is also is being put forward by a politician that voted for the war in Afghanistan, wants a leaner meaner imperialist military, voted for the racist legal lynching of Mumia Abu-Jamal, and who has worked hard to bring the anti-war movement back into the pro-war Democrat Party. Some may argue that Kucinich is not perfect, but he'd make a better president than Bush. Yet it is unlikely that Kucinich has any intention of winning the presidency. His role is one of bringing the anti-war movement and others who are breaking from the establishment and the twin parties of war and racism back into the fold of the pro-war Democrat Party. Kucinich makes this point clear when he states, "The Democratic Party created third parties by running to the middle. What I'm trying to do is to go back to the big tent so that everyone who felt alienated could come back through my candidacy" (Counter Punch, April 2003). Yet that tent Kucinich speaks of is one that, despite its name, is not democratic. It is a tent dominated by big capital and the politicians subservient to it. It is under this tent that the ruling class would like to swallow up the legitimate opposition of the people towards war and turn us into the water boys for the "responsible" politicians of the Democrat Party. It is such "responsible" politicians, including Kucinich, that voted in their vast majority to back the racist legal lynching of Mumia Abu-Jamal. It is outrageous that that the Democrat party would vote in its House majority to condemn a French city for daring to make an issue of this racist legal lynching, while at the same time doing nothing about the liar and killer, Bush. But then again that should be no surprise either since the Democrat Party voted in its majority for the war in Iraq. Hillary Clinton In a press conference on August 21, 2006 George Bush Jr. finally admitted what Liberation News has been pointing out since before the U.S. invasion of Iraq. That Iraq had nothing to do with September 11th. Yet Bush had used a supposed connection as a pretext for the U.S.'s unprovoked aggression against Iraq. In addition, Bush Jr. also admitted that Iraq had no weapons of mass destruction. Most of the Democrats and Republicans in the Senate, Hillary Clinton included, supported going to war with Iraq. Today Hillary Clinton has no remorse for that murderous decision stating, "Obviously, I've thought about that a lot in the months since. No, I don't regret giving the president authority because at the time it was in the context of weapons of mass destruction, grave threats to the United States, and clearly, Saddam Hussein had been a real problem for the international community for more than a decade." Hillary Clinton: No regret on Iraq Vote, CNN.Com In trying to let themselves off the hook many Democrats claim that Bush "did not fairly represent intelligence". Feeble cries by these politicians today that their votes for war weren't their fault because they were lied to by Bush not only make them look stupid, they are an insult to the intelligence of the American people. Clinton, however, is worse in not even distancing herself from this "justified invasion" and "weapons of mass destruction" lies. While the Democrats helped promote the lie that Iraq had weapons of mass destruction and that Iraq had no right to defend itself, Liberation News pointed out that it is the United States that has the weapons of mass destruction. Instead we supported the right of Iraq to acquire the weapons necessary to defend themselves from U.S. aggression. There can be little doubt that if Iraq had acquired those weapons they might not be in the mess they are now. Yet for Bush Jr. and Hillary Clinton Iraqi weapons were never the real motive for mass murder in Iraq. The capitalist ruling class, and their Democrat and Republican representatives, thought that they could use their superior military power to quickly move into Iraq and establish by force a stable neo-colonial puppet regime, and then make massive profits from the privatization of the Iraqi economy, especially oil. It is the failures of this imperialist plan, in the face of Iraqi resistance and growing unpopularity at home, that has forced some Democrats to try to rethink, or at least distance themselves from, the Bush policies they have supported. Just as Liberation News opposes the U.S. occupation and corporate looting of Iraq, we also denounced the starvation blockade that was carried out through the UN by the Bill Clinton administration. That blockade, partially due to the capitalist nature of the Iraqi economy under Saddam Hussein, cost the lives of about a million people, many of them children. While a socialist economy like that of Cuba could have made sure that everyone in Iraq had food, blame for this mass murder should also be put on the Bill Clinton administration. Likewise, it was this Clinton starvation blockade that also weakened Iraq for the Bush invasion. Today, while the U.S. occupation of Iraq has murdered well over 655,000 people and the U.S. starvation blockade of Iraq murdered a million or more, the U.S. government and its puppets in Iraq had the nerve to put Saddam Hussein on trial, and execute him, for propaganda purposes. Yet the worst crimes of the Saddam Hussein regime were also carried out when he was directly backed by the United States. In the 1980's the U.S. was giving massive military assistance to Iraq to help Saddam Hussein commit genocide against Kurds and carry out a bloody war with Iran at a time when Saddam Hussein was being used as an asset of U.S. imperialism in the Middle East. Likewise the CIA helped Saddam Hussein's Ba'ath Party come to power, supplying them with the names of 5,000 socialists and labor leaders that the Ba'athists subsequently rounded up and executed. Yet to those who claimed that an invasion of Iraq would be a chance for the U.S. to finally set things straight and set up a democracy in Iraq, Liberation News responded before the U.S. invasion saying: "In the 1970s Iraq nationalized its oil fields. This helped the Iraqi people by taking a chunk of the profits made off of oil out of the hands of the international oil monopolies and instead keeping them in Iraq. This money helped pay for free healthcare and education. As such this was a socialist measure carried out by Saddam Hussein's capitalist government. It was also a measure that stood up to the interests of the rich and powerful nations. For both reasons socialists supported the nationalization of Iraqi oil while those measures infuriated the imperialists... "While defending Iraq against imperialist attack and supporting their right to defend themselves socialists also recognize that Saddam Hussein is a capitalist leader and that the Iraqi people have their own scores to settle with him. Yet any government set up by a US occupation army will not be democratic and will only lead to the privatization of the resources that American oil monopolies intend to steal..." "U.S. imperialism will never solve the question of women's liberation in the Middle East. Unlike all of the US supported governments and forces in the Arab World, Iraqi women have many rights found nowhere else in the Arab World except in the Asian republics of the former Soviet Union. Over 50% of Iraqi doctors are women. Iraqi women are allowed to walk unescorted in the streets. They are allowed to drive. Iraqi women can even freely criticize men. In addition Iraqi women have the right to work and control their own funds. This is in stark contrast to the treatment of women under the repressive U.S. backed governments of Kuwait and Saudi Arabia where women have no rights what-so-ever. "The U.S. ruling class hates governments like Iraq, Libya, and Venezuela who use the profits of their oil resources partly to benefit the people with social programs. Likewise they love governments like that of Saudi Arabia and Kuwait that strip the people of all their rights and keep the oil profits in the hands of the international oil monopolies and their corrupt local servants. Today in the United States we face unemployment, homelessness, and a lack of health care. The billions of dollars the U.S. will squander on killing Iraqis to steal their resources should be spent to benefit the working class and poor of the United States instead." -From Liberation News: What Is Socialism, and Why We Oppose The Invasion of Iraq What was predicted is reality. Those predictions were not from a crystal ball. They were accurate because they were based on the past behavior of U.S. imperialism. Today in Iraq the U.S. has set up a puppet Islamic government with functioning death squads and torture chambers. Socialists have been excluded from participating in elections and unarmed demonstrators have been shot down and murdered in the streets by U.S. troops and troops of the puppet Iraqi government. The puppet Islamic government also opposes women's rights and women's rights have deteriorated dramatically since the U.S. invasion. The rebuilding of basic infrastructure, such as electricity, has lagged way behind what was rebuilt by Saddam Hussein after the massive U.S. bombardment of Iraq in 1992. With the exception of the privatization of Iraqi oil, all of the predictions have shown themselves to be true and the only reason that Iraqi oil isn't completely under the direct control of U.S. oil monopolies now is because of the union resistance of 23,000 organized oil workers as well as the general resistance by the Iraqi people to the idea of Iraq's resources being looted by U.S. corporations. For the working class in the United States there is ever growing frustration with a war that is costing many lives and billions in dollars while needed programs for healthcare, jobs, the environment, and disaster relief do not get the funding they need. Just as the new imperialist masters of Iraq have shown a criminal lack of interest in the rebuilding the Iraqi infrastructure, so too they left the people of New Orleans. Yet for the ruling class their failure in Iraq is not in the murderous, undemocratic, and anti-woman puppet regime they have set up and the money that has been squandered in doing it, but in the failure of that regime to deliver the stability needed to acquire the oil loot. They complain that oil production in Iraq is below prewar levels and the occupation by U.S. and British troops serve as targets for the insurgency. The words of Hillary Clinton, an icon of Democratic Party liberalism, makes abundantly clear that what she opposes is not the oil war itself, but the fact that Bush is not winning it: "Let us not confuse the leadership's failures with either the remaining mission in Iraq or the war on terrorism or with our support for our troops. What we have here is a failure of leadership to accomplish that mission. What was hailed as our shortest war has now become one of our longest. What was hailed as a model of democracy teeters on the brink of complete anarchy. What was the leadership that quickly claimed credit for success has been lethargic in the face of misjudgments and setbacks." -Hillary Clinton As a result of imperialism's failure in Iraq some Democrats that voted for the war like John Kerry have called for the withdrawal of U.S. troops from Iraq by the end of this year. Yet the Kerry-Feingold plan actually calls for keeping troops in Iraq that are "critical to completing the mission of standing up Iraqi security forces." The Kerry-Feingold plan also calls for "an over-the-horizon" troop presence in the region that could come to the aid of a failing puppet government in Iraq as well as intervene elsewhere in the so-called war on terror. (Lawmakers begin Bitter Debate on U.S. Troop Withdrawal Plan for Iraq, FOXNews, online report, June 2, 2006) Hillary Clinton even opposed the Kerry-Feingold plan and voted against it arguing against any withdrawal timeline. Unlike Hillary Clinton and the leading Democrats, Liberation News sees nothing good that can come from the continuation of the U.S. war against Iraq. The U.S. occupation of Iraq is doing nothing for anybody except the capitalists that are profiting from the war and the tax dollars of the American people. We call for no support to the Democrats and we demand: Iraq to the Iraqis! U.S. Out Now! Liberation News calls for ending the war through building the mass movement in the streets; striking against arms producers; hot cargoing war materials on the docks, trains, and trucks; and building towards a general strike against the war. Likewise we support the right of military personal to refuse orders and resist this war. We support students, such as those at UC Santa Cruz that have repeatedly driven military recruiters off campus. And we call for building the socialist movement to end imperialism through socialist revolution. The Role of Peace Action (Formerly Sane / Freeze) Hillary Clinton's record is clearly pro-imperialist war. Yet the group "Peace Action" gives Hillary Clinton the passing grade of voting for peace 89% of the time. Other Democrats are given similar scores by these political hacks. "Peace Action" is deceiving the anti-war vote. Why? Because Peace Action is a pillar of the status quo that sees no alternative to delivering votes to what they see as the "lesser evil" Democrat Party, even when the Democrats are equally pro-war. This strategy has made "Peace Action" an obstacle to peace and a pillar of the status quo of war. Every few years the ruling class of the United States parades its selected representatives in front of the American people to give us the chance to vote for their so-called "lesser" and "greater evil" representatives in the Democrat and Republican Parties. The corporate media and liberal pro-war groups like "Peace Action" ignore the real anti-war candidates and back pro-war Democrats by misrepresenting their records to the people. Liberation News urges all of the super-exploited workers that go door to door raising money for the Peace Action bureaucracy to quit your meaningless jobs and look for better work while looking for ways to hook up with the real anti-war/anti-imperialist movement that is marching in the streets. Likewise we urge all of the liberal and leftist minded people that give money to Peace Action to stop doing so and instead participate in the mass anti-war movement in the streets with your bodies, minds, and your money if you can afford it. No to the twin parties of war and oppression! Yes to the independent organization and mobilization of working people! Obama, Clinton, and Richardson, Supporters of Racist Israel Hillary Clinton, like many Democrats, has pounded the war drum for the racist Zionist state of Israel even louder than the Republicans. The U.S. gives Israel billions of dollars in military aid every year and Senator Clinton's vote backs that money for death. Israel is a racist settler state established in 1949 that has denied the original inhabitants, the Palestinians, many basic rights, often including the basic right to live. Besides denying Palestinians the same rights to travel, jobs, housing, and education as allowed Jews, the racist and religious Zionist State has used massacres and other forms of terror, wars, and torture to drive out the original Palestinian inhabitants. Likewise Israel is always at war with its Arab neighbors. Israel's recent attack against Lebanon where their aerial bombardment of the civilian population murdered 1,150 people and destroyed vital infrastructure is only the latest such terrorism by Israel. Yet Hillary Clinton recently told a pro-Israel rally "We will stand with Israel because Israel is standing up for American values as well as Israeli ones." She's got it wrong, the mass murder and racism of Israel are in league with the values of American ruling class, as has been seen in Iraq, but these are not the values of the American people. Claims of Israel being the victim, bombing and invading Lebanon on the pretext of two Israeli soldiers taken prisoner do not hold water in light of the fact that Israel is holding 2,000 Lebanese prisoners in their torture chamber dungeons from their previous invasion of Lebanon. In addition numerous reports say those two Israeli soldiers were captured in Lebanon, not in Israel. Those reports are from such sources as AP, Hindustan Times, and AFP. On Israel "anti-war" Richardson shares Hillary Clinton's views stating, "I am firmly committed to one of the United States' closest and most important allies - the State of Israel. Throughout my career, I've steadfastly supported Israel, obtaining a consistently pro-Israel voting record in Congress and defending Israeli interests as Ambassador to the United Nations." Barack Obama also backs racist Israel stating, "The United States and Israel share important interests - promoting a peaceful Middle East, combating terrorism, and encouraging reform in the Arab and Muslim world." Likewise as a senator he has backed the massive military aid the United States gives Israel every year and says he will continue this policy as president stating he will, "insist on fully funding military assistance to Israel". For Socialist Democracy! Let me be clear on this point, Obama and Clinton, and the rest of the pack will not betray us. They cannot betray us because they were never with us. Under the current politics most Americans would never have heard their names if they were on our side. A truly democratic society would eliminate corporate control of the elections by nationalizing the corporate media and allowing all candidates equal access to the airwaves, cable, and print. Likewise a truly democratic society would carry out a sweeping "campaign finance reform" through the nationalization of the means of production (using that wealth for human and environmental needs rather than decadence and deception). Up against the likes of Hillary Clinton, with her millions of dollars in corporate bribes, a sympathetic corporate media, growing police state, and increasing electoral fraud, it will take a socialist revolution to bring democracy to the United States. How we can all resist: Tell the truth! Build the mass movement in the streets! Strike against arms producers! Become ungovernable! Hot cargoing war materials on the docks, trains, and trucks! Build towards a general strike against the war! Support the right of military personal to refuse orders and resist this war! Drive military recruiters off campus! No tolerance or excuses for the pro-war, racist, and capitalist Democrat Party! Build the socialist movement to end imperialism, racism, environmental destruction, and capitalism through socialist revolution! Subscribe to Liberation News: http://lists.riseup.net/www/info/liberation_news ------------------------------------------------------------------------------- - David Shove shove001 [at] tc.umn.edu rhymes with clove Progressive Calendar over 2225 subscribers as of 12.19.02 please send all messages in plain text no attachments To GO DIRECTLY to an item, eg --------8 of x-------- do a find on --8
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