Thursday, June 14, 2007

10 Reasons Why You Don't Want to Pin Your Hopes on the Democrats

10 Reasons NOT to Put Your Hopes and Money into the Democrats - from World Can't Wait

10. Because you don't want to put your energies into someone who is going to rubberstamp a war on Iran.

Barack Obama, a Democratic Senator from Illinois, said in his campaign in 2004 that "surgical strikes on Iran may become necessary. Launching some missile strikes into Iran is not the optimal position for us to be in, given the ongoing war in Iraq", Obama told the Chicago Tribune. "On the other hand, having a radical Muslim theocracy in possession of nuclear weapons is worse". The Tribune said that "Obama went on to argue that military strikes on Pakistan should also not be ruled out if violent Islamic extremists were to take over." John McCain, an Arizona Republican, and Diane Feinstein, a Democrat from California, were on "Face the Nation" together on January 15 2006. McCain said "There's only one thing worse than the United States exercising the nuclear option against Iran; that is a nuclear-armed Iran. The military option cannot be taken off the table" Feinstein agreed with McCain's assessment of the "extent of Iran's threat". "Iran has much more opportunity to create devastation in the Middle East than Iraq. I think it’s a very serious threat," she said.

9. Because you want to end government directed and sponsored torture, not redefine it.

Alberto Gonzales, Bush's Attorney General, wrote a memo that "included the opinion that laws prohibiting torture do 'not apply to the President's detention and interrogation of enemy combatants.' Further, the memo puts forth the opinion that the pain caused by an interrogation must include 'injury such as death, organ failure, or serious impairment of body functions—in order to constitute torture.' Gonzales also successfully argued that 'the war against terrorism is a new kind of war' and 'this renders obsolete … strict limitations on questioning of enemy prisoners and renders quaint some of its provisions.' The (Bush) administration has been adamant that prisoners at Guantanamo are not protected by the Geneva Conventions." Newsweek, 5/24/04].

The Democrats response to torture at Guantanamo and elsewhere? "I don't go so far as saying shut down Guantanamo," said Senator Christopher Dodd, a Democrat from Connecticut, who favors congressional hearings into admitted and alleged abuses at the centre. June 6 2005 (South Africa) Senator Charles Schumer, Democratic Senator from New York, said of Gonzales nomination "it's encouraging that the president has chosen someone less polarizing" (than Christian fundamentalist and extreme reactionary John Ashcroft)... "I can tell you already he's a better candidate than John Ashcroft."

8. Because you think immigrants should be treated as human beings, not hunted down along a militarized border by the military, police, and armed vigilantes, under a blanket of nightmarish surveillance.

Senator Hillary Clinton issued a statement on her web site advocating a combination of high tech surveillance and beefed up Border Patrol to persecute impoverished immigrants trying to cross the Arizona desert. "In reforming our broken system, our efforts must be multifaceted and comprehensive. During my tenure in the Senate, I have supported efforts to increase exponentially the number of Border Patrol agents. By the end of this year, the ranks of our Border Patrol will have increased by 3,000 agents since 2001, a 30% increase. But the problem is not simply one of manpower. We also need to deploy new technology that can help our Border Patrol agents be more effective in stopping the thousands of undocumented immigrants who enter the country each day. Employing new surveillance equipment – like detection sensors, unmanned drones, and infrared cameras – can assist in this important work". In 2004. Clinton told Greta Von Susteren of Fox News "there's technology now available. There are some advanced radar systems. There are biometric and other kinds of identification systems that we've been very slow to deploy and unwilling to spend money on."

7. Because you think Church and State should be separated.

The Bush Regime has been undercutting one social service after another and instituting "faith based initiatives" that propagate fundamentalist Christianity in their place. Where are the Democrats on this? Again from Sen. Hillary Clinton: "There is no contradiction between support for faith-based initiatives and upholding our constitutional principles," (Boston Globe, 1/20/05). And from the Democratic Leadership Committee's website: "Nothing in the U.S. Constitution or their party history requires Democrats to oppose faith-based initiatives." Finally, Barack Obama was quoted as "chastising fellow Democrats" for failing to "acknowledge the power of faith in the lives of the American people", and continuing that "the party must compete for the support of evangelicals. Not every mention of God in public is a breach to the wall of separation of church and state", he said, in arguing that the Democrats need to display their religious beliefs as openly as Republicans" (Associated Press, June 28, 2006)

6. Because you don't want to be the midwife in what Condoleezza Rice calls the "birth pangs of a new Middle East", by which she means the violence, mass destruction, and yes, mass killings of civilians, that have been unleashed by the Bush Regime in Iraq, and to which they gave a green light in Israel's assault on Lebanon.

From the Washington Post July 19, 2006, as the body count in South Lebanon reached into the thousands: "Democratic and Republican congressional leaders are rushing to offer unalloyed support for Israel's offensive against Hezbollah fighters. With Israel intensifying its air and artillery attacks on Lebanon and warning of a protracted war, the Senate yesterday unanimously passed a bipartisan resolution endorsing Israel's military campaign and condemning Hezbollah and its two backers, Iran and Syria. A few hours earlier, Senate Minority Leader Harry M. Reid (D-Nev.) delivered his most strident defense of Israel since the conflict erupted a week ago. The House is expected to pass a similarly pro-Israel resolution today". And once again from the ever reliable Mrs. Clinton, this time at a New York City rally on July 18: "We will support [Israel’s] efforts to send a message to Hamas, Hezbollah, to the Syrians, to the Iranians, to all who seek death and domination instead of life and freedom.”

5. Because you think the "Patriot Act" and the pervasive spying it allows on essentially the entire population should be rejected, not refined.

Vermont Senator Patrick Leahy, who some consider to be an opponent of the Patriot Act, cleared up any confusion about this on his web site: "Contrary to the false claims and misrepresentations by some, there was no effort on either side of the aisle (meaning from either Democrats or Republicans) to do away with the Patriot Act. That is simply and profoundly not true. Along with others here in the Senate, I am seeking to mend and extend the Patriot Act, not to end it."

4. Because you don't see how running candidates who oppose a woman's right to abortion will protect that right.

Bob Casey, Jr., a Democratic candidate for the Senate from Pennsylvania Democrat is widely being promoted by Charles Schumer and others in the Democratic leadership, as being an example of a "new, anti-abortion, pro-values" Democrat. Casey, who makes his opposition to abortion a cornerstone of his campaign, has said he favors overturning Roe v. Wade: "You can't say you have the position I have and not believe that," Casey said in a recent interview. Source: Philadelphia Inquirer, "Casey's Clear View on Abortion" Dec 18, 2005

In his 1996 autobiography, Casey wrote "Many people discount the power of the so-called 'cultural issues'--and especially the abortion issue. I see it the other way around. These issues are central to the resurgence of the Republicans, central to the national implosion of the Democrats, central to the question of whether there will be a third party. ... [The] Democrats' national decline--or, better, their national disintegration--will continue relentlessly and inexorably until they come to grips with these values issues, primarily abortion." National Catholic Reporter, Nov 26, 2004

3. Because the Democrats won't end the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, even though they know most people in this country oppose them.

"On June 15, the U.S. Senate overwhelmingly defeated a resolution calling for the withdrawal of American combat forces from Iraq by the end of this year. Only six of the 100 senators voted in favor of the resolution, even though public opinion polls indicate that the majority of Americans and the vast majority of Democrats nationwide support such a deadline. Furthermore, a recent Le Moyne College/Zogby International poll revealed that 72% of U.S. troops serving in Iraq believe that the United States should end its operations in that country by the end of 2006, thereby giving the Democrats a concrete way of demonstrating that they “support the troops.”

"During the same week, the House of Representatives, by a 256-153 vote, claimed that the ongoing war in Iraq was part of the “war on terror” and explicitly declared that “it is not in the national security interest of the United States to set an arbitrary date for the withdrawal or redeployment of United States Armed Forces from Iraq.” Forty-two Democrats joined all but three Republicans in supporting the resolution. Although the former Iraqi regime rid the country of WMDs years earlier, allowed UN inspectors to return to verify dismantlement, and maintained no ties to al-Qaida or other Islamic extremists, the House resolution claimed that the deposed government “constituted a threat against global peace and security and was in violation of mandatory United Nations Security Council Resolutions” and “supported terrorists.”

(From Stephen Zunes in Foreign Policy In Focus. Zunes is a professor of politics at the University of San Francisco.)

2. Because they will not initiate an effort to impeach Bush, even though millions of people are in favor of and in fact demanding such an effort.

"Seeking to choke off a Republican rallying cry, the House's top Democrat has told colleagues that the party will not seek to impeach President Bush even if it gains control of the House in November's elections, her office said last night."Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (Calif.) told her caucus members during their weekly closed meeting Wednesday 'that impeachment is off the table; she is not interested in pursuing it,' spokesman Brendan Daly said." Washington Post, May 12, 2006

And from an article entitled "Democrats Must End Talk of Bush Impeachment", Martin Frost, a former Democratic Congressman and now an official in the Democratic Party wrote: "Now that everyone recognizes what I first said last September – that Democrats have a real chance of taking back control of the U.S. House of Representatives this Fall – it’s time for Democrats to start acting like winners. Step one would be for the Democratic leadership to definitively put to rest any loose talk of impeaching President Bush. They should say in one and two syllable words that impeachment will not happen once they are in the majority. … I know there are people on the left who would like to see Bush impeached but they do harm to the Democratic Party by raising this as a possibility and Democratic leaders should shut them up once and for all".


The endless, escalating wars

The institutionalized torture

The spying on everyone and anyone

The forceful intrusion of a hateful brand of fundamentalist Christianity into every sphere of life

The wholesale, frontal assault on women's right to choose

And on, and on, and on.

The Bush Regime is committing great crimes against humanity, and has even greater ones in store. The Democrats are aiding and abetting every step of the way. Is that what you want to be part of?


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