Green Means \”Impeach\”


Obama the Red Queen

It’s been a long time since I composed the previous (anti-Obama) posts. And let me say that Obama has not only completely vindicated the scorn I previously expressed, he has gone way beyond my wildest fears. I need to say something about Obama that might strike you as incredible. It certainly strikes me as incredible. But…

OBAMA IS WORSE THAN GEORGE W. BUSH!

Let that statement sink in for a moment. Bush was the worst (as well as the most powerful) U.S. president in history up to that point in time. He murdered, in cold blood, hundreds of thousands of people and directly and indirectly helped impoverish perhaps millions more (including me). He lied so brazenly and so often that the only times you could safely say he was not lying were those rare, blessed moments when his mouth was shut.

Yet Obama has trumped him for sheer awfulness. Bush angrily tore the Constitution to pieces. Obama, the Constitutional scholar, has taken the pieces, shredded them and recycled them. His “Yes We Can” (originally, the left motto “Si se puede”) brand has now been re-worded as the motto of the cartoon villain Megamind: “No You Can’t.” As far as warmongering (he actually expanded our wars to include Pakistan and now Libya), destruction of civil liberties (particularly in Guantanamo, which he had once vowed to shut down), persecution of whistleblowers (his treatment of the as-yet untried Bradley Manning will live in infamy), sucking up to Wall Street and general nasty hypocrisy are concerned, he at least equals and even surpasses his appalling predecessor.

If I had to pick one incident that for me summarizes the Obama White House, it’s the Osama Death Photo Incident. After executing lynch mob justice on Osama bin Laden (and please, don’t give me that “Osama didn’t deserve a trial” crap: after WWII, the Allies tried HERMANN GOERING for Chrissake, and they would have tried Hitler himself if he had been captured alive), there was intense internal debate within the White House whether to release the pictures of the al-Qaeda “mastermind” with a bullet hole in his head.

This was a real dilemma for Obama: he could withhold the pictures and have part of the world say that his claim of having whacked Obama was a lie, or he could release them and risk driving Islamic fundamentalists violently berserk. He chose the former course purely out of cynical realpolitik, knowing that some people would challenge his proud claim of cold-blooded murder even if the photos were published for all the world to see.

But of course, Obama being Obama, he needs to recast this decision as High Idealism. In an upcoming 60 Minutes interview partially leaked to the press, Obama blandly pontificated:

It is very important for us to make sure that very graphic photos of somebody who was shot in the head are not floating around as an incitement to additional violence — as a propaganda tool. That’s not who we are. You know, we don’t trot out this stuff as trophies. We don’t need to spike the football.

(Nixon loved football, too, and liked to speak in metaphors derived from that sport.)

As an activist Facebook friend of mine commented: “I see: it is not the shooting in the head, but the image of the bloody head that would constitute a problem.” And if brandishing your enemy’s head like a barbarian chieftain is “not what we’re about,” why was there such intense internal debate about the decision within the White House in the first place?

Idiots can chant “USA! USA!” outside the White House, but I think all sensitive and knowledgeable people should be sickened by this hypocrisy. (And don’t get me started on the illegal attempted hit on Gaddafi, which killed innocent children without so much as a whisper of an apology from the UN or the US.) But of course, that will not stop good Democrats from voting for Obama next year. Democratic politicians can act even more like gangsters than Republicans, but turning to a progressive third party like the Greens is “off the table” for these handwringing innocents.

Perhaps Geoffrey Robertson, one of Julian Assange’s defense lawyers, put it best, as quoted here: “Mr. Obama’s assertion that justice was done was ‘a total misuse of language,’ Mr. Robertson said. ‘This is the justice of the Red Queen: sentence first, trial later.'” Actually, Robertson is a tad confused: it was Louis Carroll’s Queen of Hearts, not The Red Queen, who said that. But on second thought, it sounds right: to be the Queen (or King) of Hearts, you first have to have one.

Black Friday and the Shame of Wall Street… and Congress

Giving Wall Street $800 Billion in taxpayer’s money — over $2000 for every man, woman and child in America — was supposed to free up credit markets and stabilize the economy, right? Yeah, right!

Perhaps the most shocking political episode in my lifetime has been the completely cynical and corrupt surrender of the Democratically-controlled Congress to the Wall Street speculators (aka, thieves), whose almost unbelievably reckless policies brought this gigantic mess upon us. And the punchline of this sick joke is that this criminal act of base thievery has not brought us economic security as advertised, but utter chaos. An entire country, Iceland, is on the verge of going under! From Britain to Australia, all is turmoil, confusion, FEAR. And everyone is saying or thinking: this can’t go on, the market’s going to bottom out soon… isn’t it?

I’m convinced that this has happened because the Left doesn’t exist in America as a political force. Progressive people meeting, talking, demonstrating, writing blogs (like this one)… all that means nothing. All the talk and good intentions of good people can be cancelled literally at the stroke of Bush’s pen, or at the whim of the utterly cynical Nancy Pelosi, whose only thought is not, “How can we public servants help the people?” but “How can we political hacks avoid damage and gain power?” The only reason the bailout took a week to get through Congress was because of the resistance of wingnut Ayn Rand Republicans! The Democratic leadership were completely okay with giving away the people’s money to their buddies in the financial services industry. The Party that refused to impeach the sociopath George Bush and the truly evil Dick Cheney, ostensibly on the grounds that they were lame ducks and couldn’t do any more harm, have now allowed those two criminals to start one last war: the war against the  American taxpayer!

Have Bush/Pelosi gone too far? Will the American people stand for this? I was coming home on the subway tonight and all I saw around me were people napping, reading bad newspapers, nodding out… oblivious. Yet the events of the past few weeks might ultimately cause more misery — more starvation, more homelessness, more hopelessness — than America has seen since the Great Depression. 

Who wins the election almost doesn’t matter. (Yes, McCain/Palin might attack Iran, and that does matter.) President Obama is not going to pull us out of this mess. (Somebody has rightly written that, if Barack wins, his new slogan might well be, “No, we can’t,” as in “no, we can’t have any more social services because there’s no more money.”) President McCain definitely won’t pull us out of it. Only We the People can pull us out of this.

If Cynthia McKinney of the Green Party gets 5% of the national vote, that would at least be a beginning, because it would raise the Greens to major party status and give Progressives a voice in government. But whether McKinney succeeds or not, it’s up to the people to get mad and fight back, by doing direct action, by organizing strikes, by never letting our lying, traitorous “representatives” off the hook. As Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young once sang, “We’re finally on our own.”

THE BAILOUT BILL FAILS! THE PEOPLE WIN!

They’re calling it “Black Monday,” but this historic day, September 29, 2008, represents a bright victory for the People. The leadership of both the Republican and Democratic Parties ¾ particularly the latter ¾ with Bush right behind them, tried to ram the Wall Street Charlatans Relief Act into law this afternoon. But a funny thing happened. The People suddenly woke up and at long last realized they’re in a class war. They shouted “NO” with one voice ¾ and I mean that literally: according to one report I heard, emails and phone calls coming in to legislators were running 100 to 1 against the bailout bill as it stands. Whether any such bill can pass the Congress now is open to question. But the People certainly will not tolerate a measure that rescues the arrogant masters of the financial world ¾ who contribute little or nothing of value to the real world ¾ yet does nothing for ordinary folk and their increasingly terrifying problems.

One of the few positive provisions originally proposed for the bill ¾ but later rejected ¾ was one that gave bankruptcy judges the right to alter the terms of mortgages for homeowners facing foreclosure. And just this morning, in this interview, by Amy Goodman of Democracy Now of Congressman Dennis Kucinich, he revealed that he had been informed that his party’s presidential candidate, Barack Obama, during negotiations on the bailout at the White House last week, had specifically requested that the bankruptcy proposal mentioned above be excluded from the bill. So not only was Obama an eyewitness to this screwing of the average homeowner, he was actively complicit in the process.

In fact, both Obama and McCain (as well as Nancy Pelosi, Barney Frank and the whole Democratic leadership) were playing it dumb today, casting blame on their opponents for the death of the bill. If they had any real political savvy, they would take credit for the bill’s failure, so hateful is that piece of legislation to most Americans!

I will have more to talk about on this in a future posting. Suffice it to say that this was a very bad day for Wall Street, which means that it was a very good day for the rest of us.

Conference on Prosecuting High-Level American War Criminals

In Andover, Massachusetts on the weekend of September 13-14, there will be a conference exploring means to obtain prosecutions of Bush and high-level members of his administration for war crimes. It is being organized by Lawrence Velvel, the Dean of the Massachusetts School of Law. Though not the first such event (the World Tribunal on Iraq, a worldwide series of tribunals which explored the legal culpability of Bush and Blair for their actions before, during and after the invasion, held a session in New York City in May, 2004), the conference is a step in the direction of holding the Bushies legally accountable for their crimes.

The link to the conference home page can be found here.  

The following is their press release:

A two-day conference on obtaining prosecutions of high level American war criminals will open September 13th, in Andover, Mass.   The conference will explore the legal grounds for, and plan for, obtaining prosecutions of President Bush and top officials of his Administration for war crimes.

In the tradition of America’s Chief Prosecutor at the Nuremburg War Crimes Trials after World War II, Justice Robert Jackson, the Conference’s purpose is “to hold high U.S. officials accountable in courts of law and, if guilt is found, to obtain appropriate punishments. Otherwise,” said the Conference’s convener, Lawrence Velvel, “the future will be threatened by additional examples of Executive lawlessness by leaders who need fear no personal consequences” for their actions, leading to “the possibility of more Viet Nams, more Iraqs, and more repression.”

Velvel emphasized,  “This is intended to be a planning conference, one at which plans will be laid, and necessary organizational structures will be set up, to seek prosecutions to determine guilt and, if guilt is found, appropriate punishments.”

Attendees will hear from prominent authorities on international law, criminal prosecutions, and constitutional rights who are determined to give meaning to Justice Jackson’s words: “The common sense of mankind demands that law shall not stop with the punishment of petty crimes by little people. It must also reach men who possess themselves of great power and make deliberate and concerted use of it to set in motion evils which leave no home in the world untouched.”

Topics to be discussed, Velvel said, include:

  • What international and domestic crimes were committed, which facts show crimes under which laws, and what punishments are possible.
  • Which high level Executive officials — and Federal judges and legislators as well, if any — are chargeable with crimes.
  • Which international tribunals, foreign tribunals and domestic tribunals (if any) can be used and how to begin cases and/or obtain prosecutions before them.
  • The possibility of establishing a Chief Prosecutor’s Office such as the one at Nuremburg.
  • An examination of cases already brought and their outcomes.
  • Creating an umbrella Coordinating Committee with representatives from the increasing number of organizations involved in war crimes cases.
  • Creating a Center to keep track of and organize compilations of relevant briefs, articles, books, opinions, and facts, etc., on war crimes and prosecutions of war criminals.

Scheduled to address the Conference include:

  • Famed former Los Angeles prosecutor Vincent Bugliosi, author of the best-selling “The Prosecution of George W. Bush For Murder”(Vanguard).
  • Phillippe Sands, Professor of Law and Director of the Centre of International Courts and Tribunals at University College, London . He is the author of “Torture Team: Rumsfeld’s Memo and the Betrayal of American Values” (Penguin/Palgrave Macmillan), among other works.
  • Jordan Paust, Professor of Law at the University of Houston and author of “Beyond The Law.”
  • Ann Wright, a former U.S. Army colonel and U.S. Foreign Service official who holds a State Department Award for Heroism and who taught the Geneva Conventions and the Law of Land Warfare at the Special Warfare Center at Ft. Bragg, N.C.  She is the coauthor of “Dissent:  Voices of Conscience.”
  • Peter Weiss, Vice President of the Center For Constitutional Rights, which was recently involved with war crimes complaints filed in Germany and France against former Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld and others.
  • Benjamin Davis, Associate Professor at the University of Toledo College of Law and former American Legal Counsel for the Secretariat of the International Court of Arbitration.
  • David Lindorff, journalist and co-author with Barbara Olshansky of “The Case for Impeachment: Legal Arguments for Removing President George W. Bush from Office”(St. Martin ’s Press).
  • Francis Boyle, Professor of International Law at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, responsible for drafting the Biological Weapons Anti-Terrorism Act of 1989, and the U.S. implementing legislation for the 1972 Biological Weapons Convention.
  • Lawrence Velvel, a leader in the field of law school education reform, has written numerous internet articles on issues relevant to the conference.

Legal authorities, media representatives, and the general public are invited to attend the conference. Attendees will receive a special hotel rate of $99 per night.

Andover is nearly equidistant from both Boston’s Logan Airport , served by all major airlines, and the Manchester , N.H. , Airport, served by Southwest Airlines and USAir.

(Further Information: Jeff Demers (see above) or Sherwood Ross, Ross Associates, Suite 403, 102 S.W. 6th Ave., Miami, FL 33130 or sherwoodr1@yahoo.com)