[Marxism] Phyllis Bennis Znet post-election musings
lnp3 at panix.com
Fri Nov 19 18:16:28 MST 2004
Your Znet article really takes the cake, I must say. I have heard all
sorts of bad faith and 'blame the American people' spin-doctoring from
the ABB set, but your comments really deserve some kind of booby-prize.
>>If the world could have voted, there is no question that the response
to four years of the Bush administration's policies would have been
modeled on that of Spain after the terrorist bombing of the Madrid
trains: reject the politics of fear, hold the government accountable for
making its people less safe, and vote those responsible out of office.
The world would have helped us reclaim our democracy. Instead, the world
is already seeing a reempowered American administration claiming a
popular mandate, with a strengthened commitment to its illegal war in
Iraq, intensified support for Israel's occupation of Palestine, renewed
military threats against other perceived "enemies," the sidelining of
the United Nations, and the consolidation of a law of empire to match
the rejection of international law. The outcome of the election was
based on the fear factor that the Bush administration had manipulated to
such great effect. The result will be that around the world people will
see Americans as complicit in our government's wars and other
violations. We citizens of empire in this country failed to defend the
interests of the subjects of empire in the rest of the world, who are
denied even the illusion of a vote. We are all less safe as a result.<<
1. Electing Kerry would have been nothing like the Spanish vote. Don't
you remember what Kerry said about that vote? The Boston Globe reported
on March 19th, 2004:
Confronted with that blow to US efforts in Iraq, Kerry said that
Zapatero was sending the wrong message and urged him to rethink his course.
"In my judgment, the new prime minister should not have decided that he
was going to pull out of Iraq," Kerry said on Tuesday. "He should have
said this increases our determination to get the job done."
A day later, Kerry was even more direct. "I call on Prime Minister
Zapatero to reconsider his decision and to send a message that
terrorists cannot win by their acts of terror," Kerry said during a
speech at George Washington University.
2. You claim that Bush represents "intensified support for Israel's
occupation of Palestine." Well, unless Kerry was lying to the American
people, he did everything he could to represent himself as even more
Likudist than Bush. In the October 19, 2004 Guardian, Simon Teasdale
described Kerry's Mideast policies as follows:
>>Dismayingly for the Palestinians and others opposed to Mr Sharon's
policies, it also seems unlikely that a John Kerry presidential victory
would make any significant difference. Like Mr Bush, Mr Kerry in theory
supports a viable Palestinian state. "The conflict will not be an
afterthought but a priority," he has said.
But he also wants a new Palestinian leadership as a precondition for
progress. He backs Mr Sharon's Gaza withdrawal plan, rejects the right
of return, and says it is "unrealistic" to try to reinstate the 1949
armistice lines. These positions coupled with his strongly pro-Israel
Senate record hardly suggest an even-handed approach - or the forceful
US engagement so lacking under Mr Bush.
"When I am president of the United States, my promise to the people of
Israel will be this," Mr Kerry told the Anti-Defamation League in May.
"We will never pressure you to compromise your security. We will never
expect you to negotiate for peace without a credible partner. And we
will always work to provide political, military and economic help for
your fight against terror.
"Building a stronger Israel and a stronger America means working
together to combat the terror that threatens us all." Not much
wiggle-room there; and no corresponding list of promises for the
Mr Bush could not have said it better. As for the guileful Mr Sharon, he
must be laughing all the way to the West Bank.<<
3. Finally, your comment that "The result will be that around the world
people will see Americans as complicit in our government's wars and
other violations" is just nothing but warmed-over SDS boneheadedness.
The people who voted for Bush are not pigs, nor are they denizens of
AmeriKKKa as Bill Ayers might have put it. The choice between Bush and
Kerry was not between war and peace, but between war and war. Between
Humphrey and Nixon. If anything, Nixon at least postured as a peace
candidate with his "secret plan." By contrast, Kerry said that he was
better qualified to lead us to victory over the Iraqi resistance. Didn't
you understand what all that "reporting for duty" rhetoric was about at
the Democratic Party convention? I understand that there is all sorts of
pressure on you to twist things around in order to keep us tied to the
Democratic Party, since its major donors--especially Soros--are the same
people who keep the troughs of IPS, Global Exchange stocked with grants
and donations. But surely there must be a higher calling to fight for
peace and justice, right?
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