While many on the left in the media, especially John Pilger and the Cockburns, are getting all fired up about the prospect of Massachusetts Senator John F. Kerry taking away the White House from President George W. Bush, it hardly seems justified in terms of their respective records.
While one-time Alabama National Guard aviator Bush has been making a shambles of the international community, law, the global economy, domestic priorities, finances, trade relations - you name it - Vietnam Navy veteran Kerry has a credible record if one cares to look.
Can anything be more absurd than having a consitutional amendment prohibiting gay and lesbian marriages - though they will still be eligible for some kind of contractual arrangement - when the country is locked in economic difficulty, creating only about 25,000 new jobs when it should be providing 300,000 as many just to keep up with population growth?
Apologists for the White House's performance should recall that in America, if you don't have a job - and you might well need two to make ends meet -you don't have much of anything since there is hardly any safety net, thanks to the much heralded Welfare Reform. There are at least 5,000,000 unemployed people who are not even considered a statistic in this matter.
While it does little good to refight the crushing of Iraq, as there is no way to restore the status quo ante, we are stuck with the current situation in the Middle East, and there is little chance of the situation improving without a drastic change in policy, and government leadership. Instead it looks like we are counting on Iraq's Governing Council - the front Israel put together to overthrow Saddam Hussein - to somehow prevent the country from splitting apart, and descending into civil war. And the Coalition seems only interested is establishing ways to create new Iraqs despite UN institutional checks, and the sanctions of international law.
Moreover, if Bush and Kerry are essentially the same - what third party candidate Ralph Nader has always contended -why are critics so excited about a changeover at the Oval Office which signifies little or nothing? And it adds nothing to the debate about individual merit by dragging out what the candidates have done on the legislative scene, as one legislative change can be seen as a reform or retrograde step depending upon your political perspective.
For example, while Kerry's critics contend that he has merely occupied a seat in the Senate when it comes to initiating legislation, they cite Nader's record in Congress back in the 1960s - alerting the public to the dangers of mercury, of dumping human excreta on the country's railroad tracks, and of not wearing seat belts in automobiles. Certainly, these were useful changes, but they were simple ones which someone would ultimately see to the passage of.
And Bush claims that his tax reforms are going to transform American life, and they are - much for the worse by making individuals increasingly responsible for everything they need, especially protections during retirement. They can only increase crime, make the lives of average Americans much more difficult, and threaten social conflict. They are some legislative initiatives!
Staying away from the polls on election day, or voting for Nader, however, will just insure more of the same from the apparently insane people running Washington now. Nader's right to run should be supported, but potential supporters should make sure that he gets nowhere. While Nader has often been right in claiming that there was little difference between the major party candidates - what seemed most apparent during the 2000 election - he seems to have missed the important differences in this race in most self-serving ways.
Gore was not Clinton, and George W. Bush was transformed by the attacks of 9/11 into a President even more dangerous than his father. They gave Bush the opportunity to run the world as if there was a war on without the usual sacrifices and constraints, except for suspicious Muslims, and troublemakers.
It was an ideal environment to introduce what German political philosopher Ernst Fraenkel called for in The Dual State during Hitler's reign - a normal state where the usual laws and procedures ruled for ordinary Germans, and a police state for Jews, communists, and other undesireables. It was this arrangement which persuaded many people not to consider Hitlerian Germany a totalitarian state.
Gore was not beholden to special interests, especially Israel and the Mafia, in the way that Clinton was - what led to his being blackmailed in ways which suited Tel Aviv - but he should have held his nose while accepting the President's help to secure his election so that this permanent war-footing did not become possible. Now the incumbent has all kinds of advantages in an election - essentially calling for the retention of power until the war is won.
In this context, Kerry has to maintain the support of all the traditional Democratic constituencies while regaining the vast majority of America's Jewish voters. He can never express anthing more than even treatment for Israel, and hope to win the election - what his sceptics want condemned before they will support him. They are committed to failure.
The campaign looks dangerously like the 1980 one except, of course, the roles are reversed. Back then, John Anderson played the role Nader is attempting, splitting the liberal vote to the Republican candidate's advantage. More important, President Carter became so angry with Israel that he totally lost it, proclaiming: "If I get back in, I'm going to f--- the Jews." (Jason Maoz, "Bush, Jews and Democrats," The Jewish Press)
Well, Carter didn't get back in when American Jews, traditionally overwhelmingly supportive of the Democratic candidate almost split their vote between Reagan's 39% to the President's 45%. Anderson also got 14% of the overall vote.
Clearly, this cannot happen again if Kerry hopes to capture the White House, so no one can expect him to make any serious complaints about Sharon's Israel and the Mossad under DG Meir Dagan. Voters will have to look at his investigative record to see where he stands on Tel Aviv.
Also, he will have to be quite supportive of all the wars that America is currently conducting - the one on terror, the Taliban, Al-Qaeda, remnants of Saddam's regime, drugs, etc.- given the knee-jerk reaction of the public to the men and women in uniform, no matter what the circumstances. So we are bound to hear a lot about Vietnam too.
All of this is most essential because Prime Minister Blair has now climbed in bed with Washington's neocons and theocons. New Labour knows that its future depends upon Bush staying in the White House, and Blair's new Doctrine is even more 'sexed up' about international policy Washington wants than were his dodgy dossiers about intelligence justifying the war.
Blair's people are even preparing the ground for implementation of his new Doctrine with Britain giving the go-ahead to France to oust Haiti's Aristide - hoping that this will get Chirac back on track when it comes to removal of leaders, democratically elected or not, the Coalition doesn't like. Kerry has just said that he would have sent US troops to keep Aristide in power - what now threatens to erupt into all out civil war. And Chavez and Castro are next for Bush, with Aznar's successor doing what he can to help eliminate rogue states.
And don't expect anything from the Clintons, believing that Hillary can somehow grab the White House in 2008. While feminine activists like to believe that she too will become President - reciting all the funny stories about her putdowns of her overachieving husband by recalling that she could have married the First Gentleman in the White House after having married an auto mechanic instead - she is a spent force, unlike Kerry, in the Senate - given her connections with the Mafia for which Israel is blackmailing them.
And don't sell the Bushes short, if George W. gets returned, we can expect to see Florida Governor Jeb Bush follow in his place. Papa Bush has gone to great lengths to clean up the family picture, especially when it comes to Iran-Contra, by minimizing its scope, and character, particularly for Jeb's benefit.
Ann Louise Bardash's Cuba Confidential: Love and Vengeance in Miami and Havana would make you think that Iran-Contra mostly concerned Cuba, and that the Governor engaged in various hanky-panky with anti-Castro Cubans, even the most violent ones like Orlando Bosch, only for electoral purposes. (See Duncan Campbell's review, "The Bush dynasty and the Cuban Criminals," The Guardian, Dec. 2, 2002.)
Actually, it was by investigating Iran-Contra that Senator Kerry exploded not only this myth but also showed his true colors when it came to international relations, especially with Israel. Navy veteran Kerry had learned that giving testimony at congressional hearings can be far more influential in shaping government policy than any legislative proposal or amendment. Kerry's testimony before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee was very influential in cutting off support for the failing government of South Vietnam.
Starting in April 1986, before the Iran-Contra conspiracy had even started to collapse, Kerry chaired a Foreign Affairs sub-committee investigating how the war on drugs in Central and South America was being fought, concluding that it was being conducted to help the Contras aims by supporting the production, distribution, and sale of just what it was supposed to be stopping.
Jonathan Marshall and Peter Dale Scott, hardly naive observers when it comes to evaluating the US government, were so impressed by Kerry's peformance that they wrote Cocaine Politics: Drugs, Armies, and the CIA in Central America, an effort they called the truth but no the whole truth, thanks to the inquiries by other bodies: "The book is a modest effort to set forth the facts of the drug connection and to fill in the significant gaps left by the Kerry report's valuable but incomplete account."´(p. 7)
While the gaps, for example, were failures to examine the efforts of Syrian arms dealer Manzer al-Kassar to help terrorism, to identify CIA assets, and account for the terrorism of Felipe Vidal Santiago aka Charles Morgan - e. g., his efforts to recruit an assassin of Swedish statsminister Olof Palme either in Stockholm or London - the sub-committee's inquiry still showed a vast conspiracy, including American, Israeli, Panamanian, Cuban and other Latin operatives, which used drugs to finance the purchase of weapons for use of right-wing forces in Central America.
In analyzing these convoluted overt and covert operations, no names occurred more often than that of former President Bush and his Task Force on Combating Terrorism, even more often than Kerry's. While Reagan's Vice-President was formally carrying the fight to the drug growers and dealers, the forces combating narcoterrorism only expanded the problem.
When the illegal plotting was threatened with exposure, especially by whistleblower Jack Terrell, Bush orchestrated the successful effort to silence him. When it came time to cover up the whole mess, now President Bush invaded Panama, causing vast, unnecessary loss of life, and saw to the conviction of Manuel Noriega, a key operative who had outlived his usefulness, as a drug kingpin.
"The administration's disastrous drug policies must be challenged," the authors concluded, "both for traditional considerations of national security and basic considerations of humanity." (p. xi) All that has changed since with the Bushes is that they are using the war on terror as the cover for the covert objectives about regime change that they had with the war on drugs.
In asking for support for Kerry, you don't have to even trust him - much less like him - you just have to vote for him to make a change for the better. And if you do, and he is elected, you will have the immediate bonus of seeing Blair's backside.