[Marxism] Which side are you on?

Louis Proyect lnp3 at panix.com
Fri Jun 27 09:53:50 MDT 2008

Published on The Smirking Chimp (http://www.smirkingchimp.com)
Which Side Are You On?
By Stephen Fleischman
Created Jun 24 2008 - 10:48am

Is Barack Obama a social democrat or a capitalist tool?

Is John McCain a Glory Boy or a POW songbird?

If these are the choices we have in the upcoming presidential election, 
a faked out war hero, pushing the Bush agenda, and a corporate tool 
talking like a social democrat, you've got to know this country is up 
the creek or down the shaft.

If Barack Obama is a social democrat (read neoliberal), talking 
Universal Health Care but meaning Chicago School of Economics and going 
ga-ga over markets, you know there'll be no singer payer health plan in 
his, or our, future.

Obama's association with the Milton Friedman "gang of four" tells the 
story--receiving advice or campaign financing from Austan Goolsbee, a 
University of Chicago economist, billionaire Kevin Griffin, CEO of the 
hedge fund Citadel Investment Group, Robert Rubin, former Goldman-Sachs 
chief, and the Crown family of General Dynamics.

The tip-off, if any further confirmation is needed, was the speed with 
which Obama raced to the obligatory appearance before the Israel Lobby 
(AIPAC) and groveled as no candidate ever has before, even giving 
Jerusalem to Israel undivided, a thorn in the peace process that has 
kept the Palestinians at bay for 40 years. Moreover, Obama said he will 
do everything in his power to prevent Iran from obtaining a nuclear 
weapon. Everything! Did that include bombing Iran?

This is nothing new in American politics. There has always been more 
fiction than fact in the run-up to national elections.

This is a country born in genocide (the Native Americans), grew up in 
slavery (the Africans), and finally arrived into the capitalist era with 
the emancipation and the Civil War. I guess it's a truism that war 
enhances corporate profits, the mother's milk of capitalism, as it's 
doing in Iraq, today.

To make it all work, capitalism has to have a tweedledum and a 
tweedledee--two faces, one smiling, one grim, and they can swing between 
one and the other, depending on the temper of the times.

We've just come through eight years of the grim face (the Bush 
administration and his war on terror) and now, with Bush's popularity 
down in the muck (below 30%), the oligarchy is looking for a smiling 
face. It certainly can't be McCain's, joined at the hip with George 
Bush, as he is, with his love of the Iraq war and tax cuts for the rich.

With 70% or more of the American people against both, it is now time for 
the smiling face. So, they say, let's create our ideal candidate. And so 
they did. They didn't mind swinging to the Democratic Party, the party 
that traditionally plays the "chump" role.

They chose Obama, the perfect black sheep, in looks, demeanor and 
intelligence, to lead the liberal elite down the garden path. Like the 
Pied Piper of Hamelin he also got lots of the kids behind him.

Well educated, with degrees from Columbia University and Harvard Law 
School, Obama went into politics and in short order became junior United 
States Senator from Illinois after a stint in the Illinois Senate. He 
grabbed the oligarchy's attention when he delivered the keynote address 
at the Democratic National Convention in July 2004. He was their man!

Is it all as calculated and crafted as that? Yes, it is. Just look at 
the facts. Isn't it as clear as the fable of John McCain's war heroism?

It's astounding how this man, John Sidney McCain III, could become a US 
Senator and a presidential candidate with the amount of credible 
evidence proving him to be, at best, a collaborator, at worst, a 
traitor, while he was a POW in North Vietnam during that ill-fated war.

Where was the Pentagon? Where was the government? Where was the media? 
Who has investigated the allegations?

McCain was routinely bombing Hanoi from an aircraft carrier in the South 
China Sea. On October 26, 1967, a surface-to-air missile knocked a wing 
off his jet. His plane splashed into Truc Bach Lake. A compassionate 
Vietnamese dragged him out of the water and saved McCain's life. He was 
taken to a POW camp.

What actually happened to McCain in his POW camp? Was it abuse, as he 
claims, or was it, in fact, that he collaborated and had to cover up?

Fellow prisoners of war, Ted Guy and Gordon "Swede" Larson, have 
provided eye-witness accounts of McCain's treatment by his captors.

"My only contention with the McCain deal," Larson told the Phoenix New 
Times, "is that while he was at "The Plantation" (POW camp), to the best 
of my knowledge and Ted's knowledge, he was not physically abused in any 

Another source is John McCain himself who has confessed that after three 
or four days after his capture, he cracked. He promised his Vietnamese 
captors, "I'll give you military information if you will take me to the 

His captors soon realized that McCain came from a high-level naval 
family, his father and grandfather, admirals in the US Navy. While John 
III was being held captive, his father, Admiral John McCain, Jr. was in 
charge of all US forces in the Pacific, including those fighting in 
Vietnam. Any wonder then that John III was taken to a hospital reserved 
for Vietnamese officers, and received care from a Soviet doctor?

McCain was released in 1973, and claims to having been tortured by his 
North Vietnamese captors, and so the myth of the McCain war heroism began.

Now, we have those two, Obama, McCain, as our only choices for President 
of the United States. Which of the lesser of the two evils will you vote 

Where is Ralph Nader now that we really need him?

About author

Stephen Fleischman, writer-producer-director of documentaries, spent 
thirty years in Network News at CBS and ABC. His memoir is now in print. 
See www.Read2greatbooks.com [1], e-mail stevefl at ca.rr.com [2].

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