LEFT OF DAYTON

President Obama’s Foreign Policy: The Change We Really Want?

November 27, 2008
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After nearly 40 years on the left side of the political spectrum I’ve come to expect disappointment and betrayal from the Democratic party. I am a skeptical member of that party. I want to have “hope”  for a better vision of the world my kids will grow up in.. I was impressed by Obama’s campaign and the outpouring of street level support for him. I was impressed with his speech at 5th Third Field. On the other hand John McCain was anathema, definitely not a good choice for President, so I voted for Obama. I did so knowing full well Obama is not the “democratic messiah”
So what do we do now? How does the amorphous movement of people
Maintain influence with the new President? What is the best path for progressives to follow? The article re posted below is one vision, focused on the critical question of what Obama’s foreign policy is going to look like. It’s long, but well worth the time. Expect more on this important debate.
_____________________________________________________________________________
November 26, 2008 By Joanne Landy jlandy@igc.org
Source: New Politics
Joanne Landy’s ZSpace Page

With the election of Barack Obama, millions in the United States and around the world are hoping for relief from the dangerous arrogance and destructiveness of George Bush’s foreign policy. President Obama is expected to take important positive initiatives — like closing Guantanamo and lifting the rule denying international organizations receiving U.S. aid the right to let women know about abortion. When the inevitable right-wing reaction to these initiatives comes, it will be crucial for us in the peace movement to defend them. On some broader questions, there is a chance that with strong continuing popular pressure — from both within and outside the United States — the pre-election hopes of many Obama supporters can be realized on issues such as an end to the war in Iraq or stepping back from Bush’s attempt to install “missile defense” in Poland and the Czech Republic. (more…)


THE FOX IN THE CHICKEN COOP/WHITHER THE “BAILOUT”??

November 22, 2008
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Speculation and suspicion about what political position the “most liberal” Senator, now President Elect Barack Obama, will assume once he arrives in office abounds. I understand the need to “hit the ground running”, especially considering the dire circumstances of the economy. At the same time, from this distant post,it starting to look like  the new administration is going to epitomize the line out of the old Who song, Won’t Get Fooled Again…”meet the new boss, same as the old boss…”
Hillary at State, Gates still guarding the coop at Defense. OMG. Really?
One unrepentant hawk, Gates, and saber rattling Hillary.
k, maybe Obama can focus them on HIS vision. Maybe.
With those two  he risks alienating the left even more on policy toward Iraq & Afghanistan.
He wants to stay; she’s never regretted her vote [“thought the prez was going to use diplomacy….]

And for the  Treasury post  we have the president of the New York Fed, Timothy F Geithner, from the District Bank most linked to Wall Street. Partnered with Current Treasury Secretary Paulson and Fed chairman Bernake, Geithner has been one of the architects of the current Bailout fiasco.
How well has THAT worked??? Trying to save the Monopoly Capitalist system before main street totally collapses has proven to be a task beyond the capabilities of our current technicians.

I don’t pretend to have answers but a couple of things seem clear. “saving” the big 3 looks to me like a better bet than giving Billions to banks so they can buy other banks, pay off dividends and golden parachutes and hold half million dollar weekend junkets.

Dayton’s economy is so far down the tank [the view from this post on Main Street] that another blow coming in the form of closing local GM facilities, may be one that it takes years [if ever] to recover from. With some three million direct &  related jobs on the line nationally,  the fallout in cities with GM plants and suppliers will absolutely be devastating.

And oh yes, the “big 3” did it to themselves, anyone with a brain can see that. There are cars in Japan that get 50 miles to the gallon of gas. Detroit, with the help of DEMOCRAT legislators like the recently deposed John Dingell, has resisted higher fuel & emission  standards, further digging itself in the hole as it produced various SUV behemoths that just increased USA dependence on foreign oil.

Maybe some form of nationalization is what we need.
Dump the guys who so very stupidly flew to Washington in separate corporate jets.
Implement a “Manhattan Project”  for cars?
Because giving the fox access to the chicken coop is NOT working

Some pertinent viewpoints:

Honeymoon: Left Cuts Obama Slack for Now

By: Ryan Grim and Glenn Thrush
November 21, 2008 02:41 PM EST
<http://www.politico.com/news/stories/1108/15845.html>
_____________________________________________

Dingell Loses to Waxman and Auto Stocks Dive
Call It What It Is: Corruption

By Joshua Holland, AlterNet
Posted on November 21, 2008
AlterNet
<http://www.alternet.org/story/107974/>


DON’T BOMB IRAN>>>AGIT-POP VIDEO

May 14, 2008
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McCain Strongly Rejected Long-Term Iraq Presence: “Bring Them All Home” [FLIP FLOP, FLIP FLOP…]

April 29, 2008
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Sam Stein

The Huffington Post

When it comes to getting U.S. troops out of Iraq, Sen. John McCain was for the idea before he was against it.

Three years before the Arizona Republican argued on the campaign trail that U.S. forces could be in Iraq for 100 years in the absence of violence, he decried the very concept of a long-term troop presence.

In fact, when asked specifically if he thought the U.S. military should set up shop in Iraq along the lines of what has been established in post-WWII Germany or Japan — something McCain has repeatedly advocated during the campaign — the senator offered nothing short of a categorical “no.”

  • “I would hope that we could bring them all home,” he said on MSNBC. “I would hope that we would probably leave some military advisers, as we have in other countries, to help them with their training and equipment and that kind of stuff.”
  • Host Chris Matthews pressed McCain on the issue “You’ve heard the ideological argument to keep U.S. forces in the Middle East. I’ve heard it from the hawks. They say, .keep United States military presence in the Middle East, like we have with the 7th Fleet in Asia. We have the German…the South Korean component. Do you think we could get along without it?”
  • McCain held fast, rejecting the very policy he urges today. “I not only think we could get along without it, but I think one of our big problems has been the fact that many Iraqis resent American military presence,” he responded. “And I don’t pretend to know exactly Iraqi public opinion. But as soon as we can reduce our visibility as much as possible, the better I think it is going to be.”

The January 2005 comments, which have not surfaced previously during the presidential campaign, represent a stunning contrast to McCain’s current rhetoric.

They also run squarely against his image as having a steadfast, unwavering idea for U.S. policy in Iraq — and provide further evidence to those, including some prominent GOP foreign policy figures in the “realist” camp, who believe McCain is increasingly adopting policies shared by neoconservatives.

Finally, the comments undercut much of the criticism the senator has launched at his Democratic and even Republican opponents.

On the campaign trail, for example, McCain has accused Sens. Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton of a “failure of leadership” by advocating a policy of drawing down troops. But in the MSNBC interview, McCain was arguing that U.S. “visibility” was detrimental to the Iraq mission and that Iraqis were responding negatively to America’s presence – positions held by both Obama and Clinton.

Somewhere along the way, McCain’s position changed. Perhaps twice. As Think Progress reported, in August 2007, as the troops surge was underway, McCain told the Charlie Rose Show that the Korea model was “exactly” the right template for U.S. forces in Iraq. Only three months later, and on the same show, he completely reversed himself.

“Do you think that this – Korea, South Korea is an analogy of where Iraq might be,” Rose asked in November 2007.“Even if there are no casualties?” Rose chimed in.

“No,” said McCain. “But I can see an American presence for a while. But eventually I think because of the nature of the society in Iraq and the religious aspects of it that America eventually withdraws.”

Then, in the lead up to the New Hampshire primary, the senator famously said that he wouldn’t mind seeing the U.S. in Iraq for a hundred years, “as long as Americans are not being injured or harmed or wounded or killed.” And when his political opponents used that statement against him, McCain responded by saying he was drawing an analogy to the current military presence in Japan, Germany and South Korea.

And yet, when he was asked by Matthews in 2005, if he “would you be happy with [Iraq] being the home of a U.S. garrison” like Germany, McCain again said no.

The McCain campaign did not return a request for comment.


VA Debated PR Plan on Vets’ Suicides/By Jason Leopold

April 22, 2008
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Senior officials at the Veterans Administration debated internally how to downplay evidence of a stunning number of suicides and suicide attempts among veterans who were treated or had sought help at VA hospitals around the country, according to newly disclosed internal VA e-mails.

On Feb. 13, 2008, Ira Katz, the VA’s mental health director, and Ev Chasen, the agency’s chief communications director, exchanged e-mails discussing P.R. strategy for handling this troubling news, according to evidence made public Monday in a federal court case in Northern California.

The exchange came in the context of how to handle inquiries from CBS News, which was reporting on the surge of suicides among U.S. veterans – reaching an average of 18 per day – with part of that rise attributed to soldiers returning from the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. (more…)


Unraveling Iraq:12 Answers to Questions No One Is Bothering to Ask about Iraq/By Tom Engelhardt

April 21, 2008
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12 Answers to Questions No One Is Bothering to Ask about Iraq

By Tom Engelhardt

Can there be any question that, since the invasion of 2003, Iraq has been unraveling? And here’s the curious thing: Despite a lack of decent information and analysis on crucial aspects of the Iraqi catastrophe, despite the way much of the Iraq story fell off newspaper front pages and out of the TV news in the last year, despite so many reports on the “success” of the President’s surge strategy, Americans sense this perfectly well. In the latest Washington Post/ABC News poll, 56% of Americans “say the United States should withdraw its military forces to avoid further casualties” and this has, as the Post notes, been a majority position since January 2007, the month that the surge was first announced. Imagine what might happen if the American public knew more about the actual state of affairs in Iraq — and of thinking in Washington. So, here, in an attempt to unravel the situation in ever-unraveling Iraq are twelve answers to questions which should be asked far more often in this country:

1. Yes, the war has morphed into the U.S. military’s worst Iraq nightmare: Few now remember, but before George W. Bush launched the invasion of Iraq in March 2003, top administration and Pentagon officials had a single overriding nightmare — not chemical, but urban, warfare. Saddam Hussein, they feared, would lure American forces into “Fortress Baghdad,” as Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld labeled it. There, they would find themselves fighting block by block, especially in the warren of streets that make up the Iraqi capital’s poorest districts. (more…)


McCain Shows Us How to Kill an Army/By Sara Robinson

April 17, 2008
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McCain Shows Us How to Kill an Army

By Sara Robinson, TomPaine.com
Posted on April 17, 2008, Printed on April 17, 2008

John McCain, who from the early 1980s worked hard to establish himself as one of the Senate’s shining champions of Vietnam veterans’ issues, completed his betrayal of the Iraq-era troops today. Brandon Friedman of vetvoice.com has the details:

Yesterday VoteVets.org delivered a petition with 30,000 signatures to the office of Sen. John McCain. Through that petition, we asked him to support Sen. Jim Webb’s new GI Bill. And less than 24 hours later, we have an answer:

“Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., the presumptive Republican presidential nominee, seemed to give a thumbs down to bipartisan legislation that would greatly expand educational benefits for members of the military returning from Iraq and Afghanistan under the GI Bill …”

The reason for McCain’s refusal to support the bill is about the most disturbing rationale one could imagine. … Officials in charge of Pentagon personnel worry that a more generous and expansive GI Bill would create an incentive for troops to get out of the military and go to college.

Friedman observes that McCain’s no-college-for-grunts position essentially says to the troops: “Thanks for your service and your three combat tours in five years. Now get back to work.” (more…)


Secretary of State Condi Rice Should Resign in Light of ABC News Torture Report

April 16, 2008
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The evidence chain linking the highest levels of the Bush administration to the use of
torture in Iraq & Afghanistan grows longer.
Please watch the video and join the petition campaign demanding the
resignation of Secretary of State Condi Rice for her role in approving torture.
Impeachment is in order for Bush & Cheney

www.CondiMustGo.com


“BODY OF WAR”, PHIL DONAHUE DOCUMENTARY, COMING TO NEON MOVIES, DAYTON, MAY 30

April 10, 2008
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Phil Donahue’s new documentary, “Body of War”, will be

at the NEON MOVIES downtown Dayton beginning on May

30 for an Open Run.  Check www.NeonMovies.com for

dates and times.

The interview linked below is with the

wheelchair-bound protagonist in the film, Tomas Young,

member of Iraq Vets Against the War.

VIDEO | Interview With Tomas Young of Film “Body of War”


http://www.truthout.org/docs_2006/040808A.shtml


Truthout’s Geoffrey Millard interviews Tomas Young, Iraq veteran and subject of the new film “Body of War.” Young discusses the extreme difficulties of his injury and having incurred them in a war he feels was not worth fighting. Accompanying the interview is a review of the film by Camilla Herrera of Greenwich Time.


IS THE WAR IN IRAQ/AFGHANISTAN OFF THE RADAR?? Where is the Outrage??

April 8, 2008
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The Polls say we Americans overwhelmingly think that we never should have gone into Iraq and that nearly half of us say we need to get out within a year.

That’s the polls.

Visble manifestations of that oppostion seem to be far and few between.

CBS News/New York Times Poll. March 28-April 2, 2008. N=1,368 adults nationwide. MoE ± 3 (for all adults).

Looking back, do you think the United States did the right thing in taking military action against Iraq, or should the U.S. have stayed out?”

.

Right Thing Stayed Out Unsure
% % %

ALL adults

34 62 4

Republicans

68 26 6

Democrats

13 85 2

Independents

32 62 6

“From what you know about the U.S. involvement in Iraq, how much longer would you be willing to have large numbers of U.S. troops remain in Iraq: less than a year, one to two years, two to five years or longer than five years?”

.

Less Than
A Year
One to Two
Years
Two to Five
Years
Longer Than
Five Years
Other/
Unsure
% % % % %
46 22 14 6 12

How is it that we can have such opposition to the Bush Administration’s war policies and yet not be able to get a dozen people to join an anti-war protest here in Dayton? Where is the outrage?? Bush comes to the Air Force Museum and 35 people show up to a demonstration called by the Montgomery County Democratic Party, including just Two Union reps [in a supposedly Union town], ONE party Chairman and NO ELECTED OFFICIALS.

Over the five years this vigil has been held I have personally invited Democratic office holders Nan Whaley, Dean Lovelace, Mayor McLin, Joey Williams, Debbie Lieberman and Dan Foley MULTIPLE TIMES to join the anti war vigils at the Dayton Dragon’s games, and not one of them has shown up yet.

I ask again, Where is the Outrage? and, perhaps as important, Where is the”leadership” of the local Democratic party on this critical issue??? and, please, don’t respond with that lame crap about how “we are LOCAL elected officials and anti-war issues are not our thing…” I’m not buying it, and you should be ashamed to offer it as an excuse for your inactivity.

If the opposition is there on paper and the physical manifestation is not, we have to ask why? There are indeed answers, including the fact that for much of the US mainstream media the war is simply something that they are not given very much attention to, excepting the parroting of the McCain-Bush bullshit about how well the “surge” is working …[though today’s NY Times reports that insurgent attacks in Baghdad more than doubled in March over February’s numbers...]

By way of example, the author Eric Boehlert, from the website Media Matters, notes in an April 2 column:

Last November, I noted that ABC’s Nightline, its long-running signature news program, had essentially boycotted Iraq as a news story. I found that over an 18-week span, from mid-July through late November, Nightline aired approximately 230 separate news segments, only one of which was about events on the ground in Iraq. In the 17 weeks since then, Nightline has continued to look the other way, which means that over a nearly nine-month span, during which time more than 300 reports aired, Nightline has effectively ignored the war in Iraq as a news event.–

Excerpetd from his excllent article

Myth: the American Public Tuned out Iraq Fact: The press tuned out Iraq

http://mediamatters.org/columns/200804020003?lid=214108&rid=6438606

It sems that the unfortunate reality is that most people, despite their poll answers, are simply disconnected to the war in their daily lives. The images we are NOT seeing is the reality of this evil war.

How’s this for complicity?? In March 2003, on the eve of the Iraq war, a directive arrived from the Pentagon at U.S. military bases. “There will be no arrival ceremonies for, or media coverage of, deceased military personnel returning to or departing from Ramstein [Germany] airbase or Dover [Del.] base, to include interim stops,” the Defense Department said, referring to the major ports for the returning remains.

The answer from our “elected representatives, our “leaders”??

Senate Backs Ban on Photos of G.I. Coffins: June 21, 2004.

http://www.camerairaq.com/2004/05/caskets_photogr.html

And the money?? The Billions and Billions [and trillions] of dollars BORROWED from China, Japan and other countries? Off the “books” and payable by our children, grandchildren and great grandchildren [and theirs…]

The money that could be used to pay for comprehensive medical care far beyond any of the presidential candidates offerings..The money that could be used to repair our falling apart infrastructure of bridges, roads and waterways. The money that could be used to provide a college education for every person who had the gumption to go to school and improve themselves and our nation?? And so much much more.

The War goes on, and the American public, having been lulled into complacency, appears comatose in the face of impending disaster, unable or unwilling to take the time to do the right thing, get up off their asses & confront our “leadership” and demand an end to this evil war.

Wake up America . It’s way past time for the wake up call.


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61 Y/O VIET VET WORKING FROM THE LEFT OF CENTER

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