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Registered: 02/26/01
Posts: 9,134
Coke or Pepsi?
    #2426532 - 03/13/04 08:47 AM (14 years, 3 months ago)

In a cover piece for the New Statesman, John Pilger draws on little known plans of the "New Democrats", of whom John Kerry, the frontrunner against Bush, is the standard-bearer. : Pilger : 04 Mar 2004


A myth equal to the fable of Iraq's weapons of mass destruction is gaining strength on both sides of the Atlantic. It is that John Kerry offers a world-view different from that of George W Bush. Watch this big lie grow as Kerry is crowned the Democratic candidate and the "anyone but Bush" movement becomes a liberal cause celebre.

While the rise to power of the Bush gang, the neoconservatives, belatedly preoccupied the American media, the message of their equivalents in the Democratic Party has been of little interest. Yet the similarities are compelling. Shortly before Bush's "election" in 2000, the Project for the New American Century, the neoconservative pressure group, published an ideological blueprint for "maintaining global US pre-eminence, precluding the rise of a great power rival, and shaping the international security order in line with American principles and interests". Every one of its recommendations for aggression and conquest was adopted by the administration.

One year later, the Progressive Policy Institute, an arm of the Democratic Leadership Council, published a 19-page manifesto for the "New Democrats", who include all the principal Democratic Party candidates, and especially John Kerry. This called for "the bold exercise of American power" at the heart of "a new Democratic strategy, grounded in the party's tradition of muscular internationalism". Such a strategy would "keep Americans safer than the Republicans' go-it-alone policy, which has alienated our natural allies and overstretched our resources. We aim to rebuild the moral foundation of US global leadership ..."

What is the difference from the vainglorious claptrap of Bush? Apart from euphemisms, there is none. All the Democratic presidential candidates supported the invasion of Iraq, bar one: Howard Dean. Kerry not only voted for the invasion, but expressed his disappointment that it had not gone according to plan. He told Rolling Stone magazine: "Did I expect George Bush to fuck it up as badly as he did? I don't think anybody did." Neither Kerry nor any of the other candidates has called for an end to the bloody and illegal occupation; on the contrary, all of them have demanded more troops for Iraq. Kerry has called for another "40,000 active service troops". He has supported Bush's continuing bloody assault on Afghanistan, and the administration's plans to "return Latin America to American leadership" by subverting democracy in Venezuela.

Above all, he has not in any way challenged the notion of American military supremacy throughout the world that has pushed the number of US bases to more than 750. Nor has he alluded to the Pentagon's coup d'etat in Washington and its stated goal of "full spectrum dominance". As for Bush's "pre-emptive" policy of attacking other countries, that's fine, too. Even the most liberal of the Democratic bunch, Howard Dean, said he was prepared to use "our brave and remarkable armed forces" against any "imminent threat". That's how Bush himself put it.

What the New Democrats object to is the Bush gang's outspokenness - its crude honesty, if you like - in stating its plans openly, and not from behind the usual veil or in the usual specious code of imperial liberalism and its "moral authority". New Democrats of Kerry's sort are all for the American empire; understandably, they would prefer that those words remained unsaid. "Progressive internationalism" is far more acceptable.

Just as the plans of the Bush gang were written by the neoconservatives, so John Kerry in his campaign book, A Call to Service, lifts almost word for word the New Democrats' warmongering manifesto. "The time has come," he writes, "to revive a bold vision of progressive internationalism" along with a "tradition" that honours "the tough-minded strategy of international engagement and leadership forged by Wilson and Roosevelt... and championed by Truman and Kennedy in the cold war". Almost identical thoughts appear on page three of the New Democrats' manifesto:

As Democrats, we are proud of our party's tradition of tough-minded internationalism and strong record in defending America. Presidents Woodrow Wilson, Franklin D Roosevelt and Harry Truman led the United States to victory in two world wars... [Truman's policies] eventually triumphed in the cold war. President Kennedy epitomised America's commitment to "the survival and success of liberty".

Mark the historical lies in that statement: the "victory" of the US with its brief intervention in the First World War; the airbrushing of the decisive role of the Soviet Union in the Second World War; the American elite's non-existent "triumph" over internally triggered events that brought down the Soviet Union; and John F Kennedy's famous devotion to "liberty" that oversaw the deaths of some three million people in Indo-China.

"Perhaps the most repulsive section of [his] book," writes Mark Hand, editor of Press Action, the American media monitoring group, "is where Kerry discusses the Vietnam war and the anti-war movement." Self-promoted as a war hero, Kerry briefly joined the protest movement on his return from Vietnam. In this twin capacity, he writes: "I say to both conservative and liberal misinterpretations of that war that it's time to get over it and recognise it as an exception, not as a ruling example of the US military engagements of the 20th century."

"In this one passage," writes Hand, "Kerry seeks to justify the millions of people slaughtered by the US military and its surrogates during the 20th century [and] suggests that concern about US war crimes in Vietnam is no longer necessary... Kerry and his colleagues in the 'progressive internationalist' movement are as gung-ho as their counterparts in the White House... Come November, who will get your vote? Coke or Pepsi?"


John Kerry supported the removal of millions of poor Americans from welfare rolls and backed extending the death penalty. The "hero" of a war that is documented as an atrocity launched his presidential campaign in front of a moored aircraft carrier. He has attacked Bush for not providing sufficient funding to the National Endowment for Democracy, which, wrote the historian William Blum, "was set up by the CIA, literally, and for 20 years has been destabilising governments, progressive movements, labour unions and anyone else on Washington's hit list". Like Bush - and all those who prepared the way for Bush, from Woodrow Wilson to Bill Clinton - Kerry promotes the mystical "values of American power" and what the writer Ariel Dorfman has called "the plague of victimhood... Nothing more dangerous: a giant who is afraid."

People who are aware of such danger, yet support its proponents in a form they find agreeable, think they can have it both ways. They can't. Michael Moore, the film-maker, should know this better than anyone; yet he backed the Nato bomber Wesley Clark as Democratic candidate. The effect of this is to reinforce the danger to all of us, because it says it is OK to bomb and kill, then to speak of peace. Like the Bush regime, the New Democrats fear truly opposing voices and popular movements: that is, genuine democracy, at home and abroad. The colonial theft of Iraq is a case in point. "If you move too fast," says Noah Feldman, a former legal adviser to the US regime in Baghdad, "the wrong people could get elected." Tony Blair has said as much in his inimitable way: "We can't end up having an inquiry into whether the war [in Iraq] was right or wrong. That is something that we have got to decide. We are the politicians."


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Re: Coke or Pepsi? [Re: Xlea321]
    #2427103 - 03/13/04 12:52 PM (14 years, 3 months ago)

john kerry did volunteer to go to vietnam..after all...

there remains..however..at least one compelling reason to vote for kerry (american prospect)...i also posted a thread on this topic earlier..which i will briefly repeat here ..the two parties will become more similar over time..as each attempts to duplicate the successful strategies of the other..until the public no longer feels that more than one party is necessary..and thats the referendum in this election...

besides..kerry is at least talking about making the beneficiaries of military expansionism pay the taxes for it..which IMAO is a much bigger difference than coke vs. pepsi...and then there is this tiny matter of the SCOTUS ..maybe bill clinton was just another brand of pepsi..but steven breyer vs. antonin "light-fingers" scalia is by no means a coke vs. pepsi decision...

besides..its the congressional election that determines policy choices...and the results of the 2002 election demonstrated a very sadistic national culture...


"anchor blocks counteract the process of pontiprobation..while omalean globes regulize the pressure"...

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