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Donald Trump is a hypocritical dick, but John McCain indeed is no war hero

FILE - In this Sept. 14, 1973, file phot, John McCain is greeted by President Richard Nixon, left, in Washington. Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump criticized Sen. John McCain's military record at a conservative forum Saturday, saying the party's 2008 nominee and former prisoner of war was a

Associated Press photo

An ambitious John “Bomb, Bomb, Bomb, Bomb, Bomb Iran” McCain shakes the hand of President Richard Nixon in 1973, not too long after his having been held as a POW in Vietnam. The warhawk McCain shamelessly has used his POW status for political and personal gain ever since, and there probably isn’t a nation on the globe he thinks the U.S. military shouldn’t bomb.

Repugnican U.S. Sen. John McCain of Arizona indeed is no war hero, but not for the reason that Repugnican presidential aspirant Donald “The Mouth” Trump infamously recently cited.

At an event in Iowa yesterday, Trump declared of McCain: “”He’s not a war hero. He’s a war hero because he was captured. I like people that weren’t captured.”

The left-leaning Margaret Cho similarly quipped in 2008, when McCain was running for the White House: “I am not voting for McCain. I hope that is obvious. I am sick of everyone saying, ‘He was a good soldier. He was a good soldier.’ Um, yeah. He was captured. So he was not that good!”

(I don’t recall Cho’s comment as having created a shit storm then. Of course, she wasn’t running for president…)

To me, if the war was unjust, as the Vietnam War was, it’s difficult to call anyone who participated in it on the American side a “war hero.” How does something just and heroic emerge from something that was inherently unjust and unheroic?

Only perhaps if someone was drafted — forced into — fighting in an unjust war that he or she had recognized as unjust (which was not the case with McCain in the Vietnam War) might we be able to call his or her brave actions during that war “heroic,” but the war itself still remains unjust.

But with John McCain, it goes further than that. I lived in Arizona from my birth in 1968 to my overdue departure from the state in 1998, and I recall McCain’s television ads for his U.S. Senate bids. It was POW, POW, POW, POW, POW, POW. It was POW 24/7, all POW, all the time. (McCain, whose U.S. Navy plane was shot down over Vietnam in 1967, was captured and kept as a POW for five years.)

Clearly, the message was that you were to vote for McCain — or you hate POWs. (You hate freedom! You love Commies!)

I was shocked that McCain didn’t exploit the POW thing much, much more than he did when he ran for the White House in 2008. Maybe he wanted to and his advisers advised him to cool it, since it is unseemly to exploit one’s POW status for political and personal gain.

Those who are rushing to defend McCain against Trump right now are simply sheeple who can’t worship the U.S. military enough, despite the fact that the bloated-bey0nd-belief military-corporate complex has sucked up our national resources and is killing us like stage-four cancer and has caused untold suffering to millions and millions of innocent people abroad.

(Um, yeah, the U.S. military exists primarily to enforce the existing global socioeconomic status quo, in which Americans continue to enjoy a quality of life that is crazy-better than the quality of life of the planet’s average human inhabitant, and that comes at the average human inhabitants’ expense. “Spreading democracy” — riiiiggghhhht!)

That said, of course baby boomer Trump, who, like his fellow Repugnican baby-boomer chickenhawks George W. Bush and Dick Cheney (and many others of that demographic), avoided the Vietnam War, so for him to be criticizing McCain’s performance in the Vietnam War is beyond hypocritical.

But I still say that McCain is no war hero, as not only was the war he voluntarily fought in unjust — Vietnam never had posed a real threat to the United States, and estimates of the number of people who died because of the war (the vast majority of them Vietnamese, of course) range from 1.5 million to 3.6 million, of which the hundreds of Vietnamese civilians slaughtered by mass-murderous U.S. troops in the My Lai Massacre of 1968 were only a tiny fraction — but also as that true war heroes don’t boast about their (supposed) war heroism for personal and political gain.

John McCain, whose almost-30-year Senate record has been unremarkable, for years has benefited from the fact that it’s taboo to openly disagree with or to show anything other than worshipfulness for a former POW. Had McCain never been a POW (which obviously was no accomplishment) and then shamelessly exploited it, I seriously doubt that he’d be where he is now. That’s some sick shit.

Still, it’s great to watch the infighting within the Repugnican Tea Party. “Clown car” is overused but it’s quite an apt description.

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Party hacks are giving Obama his bogus war on Syria

It was inevitable, I suppose, that the Middle Eastern nation of Syria was going to be proclaimed a “national security threat,” and the Obama regime has obliged us.

This “national security threat” is even more risible than was the “national security threat” that the members of the Bush regime claimed Iraq posed in their run-up to their Vietraq War.

At least the treasonous war criminals of the Bush regime lied to us that Iraq itself posed the “national security threat.” The war criminals and would-be war criminals of the Obama regime are lying to us that Syria is a “national security threat” by proxy — that is, if we don’t lob some missiles at Syria for no other apparent reason than to spook Syrian dictator Bashar al-Assad and to flex our military muscles again in the Middle East, other nations, especially Iran and North Korea (with Iraq, the other two members of the Bush regime’s “axis of evil”), might — gasp! — feel emboldened!

So, quite Orwellianly, a “national security threat” no longer means that another nation is actually poised to actually strike the United States — a “national security threat” now has been redefined to mean that it’s a “national security threat” should the U.S. maybe appear to be weak or irresolute or some other synonymous adjective in the eyes of any other “bad” nation.

Wow.

This is even worse than the Bush regime’s “pre-emptive strike” bullshit. Again, at least the Bush regime lied that the U.S. had to strike Iraq before Iraq could strike the U.S. (Iraq, of course, never had any such capability, which we all knew before the Bush regime launched its Vietraq War); we now have the Obama regime lying that we have to strike Syria so that other nations don’t strike the U.S.

What the fucking fuck?

Perhaps even more pathetic than this, though, is that very apparently whether or not the typical American supports a particular war depends upon his or her party affiliation and the party affiliation of the current occupant of the White House.

Most Democrats in D.C., if they’re not happy about the Obama regime’s plan to attack Syria just to attack Syria, don’t have the balls to stand up to the Obama regime, so they’ll keep their mouths shut. (Even my own Democratic/“Democratic” U.S. Sen. Barbara Boxer, I am deeply sorry to report, was one of the 10 “yes” votes on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee’s 10-7 vote on Wednesday to allow the Obama regime to use military force against Syria.* Et tu, Babs?)

And many (if not most) Americans who voted for Obama, primarily only because they voted for him, won’t oppose the Syria misadventure like they opposed the Iraq misadventure.

I opposed the Vietraq War because it was an unprovoked, unjust, immoral and illegal U.S.-led war upon another sovereign nation, but apparently the primary or even only reason that many if not even most so-called Democrats opposed the Vietraq War was that it was the Bush regime’s war.

To be sure, that the regime that first had stolen the White House in 2000 because enough Americans just allowed them to then went on to launch a bogus war in March 2003 (because enough Americans just allowed them to) was and remains a problem for me — the crimes of the stolen presidential election and the resultant illegitimate regime’s bogus war still have not been punished or nationally atoned for, and therefore they remain open wounds on the nation — but the Vietraq War would have been just as fucked up and wrong had it been waged by a “Democratic” president like Obama.

But progressive columnist David Sirota notes in his latest column:

… So what happened to [the anti-war] movement? The shorter answer is: It was a victim of partisanship.

That’s the conclusion that emerges from a recent study by professors at the University of Michigan and Indiana University. Evaluating surveys of more than 5,300 anti-war protestors from 2007 to 2009, the researchers discovered that the many protestors who self-identified as Democrats “withdrew from anti-war protests when the Democratic Party achieved electoral success” in the 2008 presidential election.

Had there been legitimate reason to conclude that Obama’s presidency was synonymous with the anti-war cause, this withdrawal might have been understandable. But that’s not what happened — the withdrawal occurred even as Obama was escalating the war in Afghanistan and intensifying drone wars in places like Pakistan and Yemen.

The researchers thus conclude that during the Bush years, many Democrats were not necessarily motivated to participate in the anti-war movement because they oppose militarism and war — they were instead “motivated to participate by anti-Republican sentiments.”

Not surprisingly, this hyper-partisan outlook and the lack of a more robust anti-war movement explain why political calculations rather than moral questions are at the forefront of the Washington debate over a war with Syria. …

This is red-versus-blue tribalism in its most murderous form. It suggests that the party affiliation of a particular president should determine whether or not we want that president to kill other human beings. It further suggests that we should all look at war not as a life-and-death issue, but instead as a sporting event in which we blindly root for a preferred political team. …

That’s just some fucked-up shit.

I mean, as much as I detest Repugnican U.S. senators John McCainosaurus and closet case Lindsey Graham, for instance, at least they consistently are pro-war. There isn’t a war that they wouldn’t support. (Canada? Hey, they’re too close for comfort! Sweden? Their “pacifism” is just a facade, a ruse!) McCainosaurus wants to look tough and bad-ass and so does Graham, apparently trying to overcompensate for his very apparent homosexuality by trying to create the persona of an uber-macho war hawk (it’s not working, girlfriend!).

Love them or hate them — and I hate them — but at least we know what to expect from the likes of McCainosaurus and Graham.

What can we expect from the “Democrats”? Oh, it depends upon the party affiliation of the current president!

That only a minority of Democrats in D.C. truly embody the spirit of being anti-war — which is that you don’t take the nation to war unless it really, really, really is necessary, because war is a gravely serious thing — is a testament to the extent of the moral decay of the so-called Democratic Party of today.

And don’t kid yourself; there is no fucking guarantee that lobbing missiles at Syria will remain a “limited” military operation, as the liars who comprise the Obama regime would have you believe.

The Middle East is an oil-soaked tinderbox, and you cannot drop a match anywhere there and guarantee that you’ll scorch only a “limited” patch of it.

Perhaps direct comparisons of Syria and Iraq can’t be made, but at least one disturbing similarity between the Vietraq War and what’s happening now is that over time we saw the treasonous members of the Bush regime making increasingly hysterical and hyperbolic claims about the “national security threat” that Iraq posed to the U.S. (such as the “smoking gun” coming in the form of a “mushroom cloud”), and now we are seeing the members of the Obama regime (I am regretting that I once supported John Kerry, since he now is shilling for Obama’s bogus war on Syria) making increasingly hysterical and hyperbolic claims about the “national security threat” posed to the U.S. by Syria — such as that if we don’t attack Syria, we can expect attacks from other nations, like Iran and North Korea.

The more that the war hawks ratchet up their ridiculous rhetoric, the more you know that their casus belli is for shit.

*Tellingly, of the seven U.S. senators on the committee who voted “no” on Obama’s desire to attack Syria, only two are Democrats and the rest of them are Repugnicans. Of the 1o who voted “yes,” seven are “Democrats” and three are Repugs. Newly minted Massachusetts U.S. Sen. Edward Markey, who should have voted “no” if he calls himself a progressive, voted “present.”

Obviously, partisanship trumps morality in D.C.

Again: This is some sick fucking shit.

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Skipping toward another debacle in the Middle East

The elites of D.C. have been out of touch with the wishes of the majority of Americans for years now, but are they really going to launch a military attack upon another Middle Eastern nation — one that borders Iraq, no less — that the majority of Americans do not want? Will U.S. President Barack Obama ignore the right-wing political taunts that he’s a wimp, or will he rush in to Syria like a fool, causing even more civilian deaths?

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry proclaimed yesterday that “the indiscriminate slaughter of civilians, the killing of women and children and innocent bystanders by chemical weapons is a moral obscenity.”

“Make no mistake,” Kerry added. “President [Barack] Obama believes there must be accountability for those who would use the world’s most heinous weapons against the world’s most vulnerable people.”

Wow.

I’m trying to wrap my head around the mega-double standards that are spewing forth right now from D.C.

The casual use of killer drones against poor people in the Middle East is not the use of “the world’s most heinous weapons against the world’s most vulnerable people”? (Killer drones aren’t heinous? When’s the last time that you had to try to dodge a drone that was trying to kill you? Have you seen “Oblivion”?)

Is the method of the slaughter truly of more importance than the fact of the slaughter itself?

What’s with this fucking nerve-gas fetish?

If I shoot you or bomb you (the conventional way or with one of my “more humane” killer drones), it’s OK, it’s perfectly pardonable, hey, you have to crack some eggs to make a Freedom™ omelet — but if I gas you, that’s really heinous?

March 2003’s so-called “Operation Iraqi Freedom” (it couldn’t be “Operation Iraqi Liberation,” because that spells OIL, you see) — the U.S.-military-led invasion of the sovereign nation of Iraq, which was in violation of the wishes of the United Nations Security Council — and its aftermath caused the deaths of tens of thousands of Iraqi civilians.

If you simply claim, as the goody-goody-two-shoes United States of America always does, that your goal is to bring “democracy” and “freedom” and “liberation” and puppies and kittens and cute, fluffy baby bunny rabbits, does that mere claim justify, does that mere claim excuse, a body count of tens of thousands of civilians?

Oopsie! Your loved ones are dead! But it was for [fill in noble goal here]!

It widely is reported that an estimated 100,000 people, presumably on both sides, have been killed in Syria’s civil war of about two years now. The conservative estimate of the number of Iraqi civilians who died because of the bogus Vietraq War exceeds 100,000.

I’m trying to understand why the vast majority of Americans have not lost any sleep over the staggering number of Iraqi civilians whom the U.S. war machine has snuffed out over the past decade in the name of “liberating” them, but some Americans now claim to care so much about the alleged — emphasis on “alleged” — gassing deaths of a few hundred Syrian civilians.

If it’s really all about the safety and welfare of the Syrian civilians, where is the concern that even more Syrian civilians would die in the U.S.-led military bombardment of Syria and in the further chaos that easily could ensue, just like it did in Iraq? Have we really forgotten all of this already?

Is this about the well-being of Syrian civilians or is this about the United States of America (1) collectively egoistically wanting to save face because President Hopey-Changey proclaimed the Santa Claus- or Easter Bunny-like existence of some “red line” and (2) wanting to periodically flex its big military muscles on the world stage like the narcissistic, bullying nation that it is?

Given the United States’ own track record of the casual slaughter of civilians casually dismissed as “collateral damage” and refusing to be held accountable to any international body, John Kerry’s lofty words — such as “the indiscriminate slaughter of civilians, the killing of women and children and innocent bystanders” being “a moral obscenity” and the necessity of “accountability for those who would use the world’s most heinous weapons against the world’s most vulnerable people” — ring pretty fucking hollow.

If Americans, except for a perma-minority of pro-military wingnuts (most of them chickenhawks) — aren’t clamoring for a U.S. attack on Syria (and they’re — we’re — not) — maybe, just maybe, part of the reason for that is that enough Americans realize how incredibly hypocritical it is of the United States of America to talk of the lawlessness and mass-murderousness of any other nation.

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Syria’s civil war: Fools rush in

Syria's President Bashar al-Assad speaks during an interview with a German newspaper in Damascus

Reuters image

Syrian President Bashar al-Assad is the new Saddam Hussein: not a nice guy, by all accounts, but is he really worth dragging the United States into yet another war in the Middle East? Is the war hawks’ — chickenhawks’ — interest in American military action in Syria’s civil war actually about the welfare of the Syrian people, or would it be just another opportunity for the U.S. military to flex its muscles again on the world stage (against a much weaker opponent — of course)?

If the allegations that the government of Syria killed hundreds of Syrian civilians with nerve gas are true — I suspect that they are, that the disturbing-enough video footage that I’ve seen of the apparent civilian victims of nerve gas is not faked — I am not sure why this particular method of the slaughter of civilians is considered to be worse than, say, how hundreds of Egyptian protesters were slaughtered by the Egyptian military earlier this month, or how hundreds have been slaughtered by U.S. drone strikes, including the confirmed deaths of almost 100 children.

Hey, how about that “shock and awe” that has resulted in the deaths of tens of thousands of Iraqi civilians? Talk about “liberating” those Iraqis! We took away all of their problems!

I mean, dead is dead; why, exactly, the use of chemical weapons is a “red line,” as U.S. President Barack Obama put it a year ago, but being shot to death by your nation’s military while you are protesting the military coup against the president whom you’d democratically elected, or being snuffed out by an American bomb or an American weaponized drone, is regarded as A-OK eludes me.

That Saddam Hussein reportedly gassed and killed thousands of Kurds in the 1988, and that the unelected, treasonous Bush regime used this, about 15 years after the fact, as one of its many changing “reasons” to invade Iraq in 2003 (actually, Saddam Hussein was, to Washington, D.C., a “good” dictator, or at least a tolerable one, until he nationalized Iraq’s oil fields, closing them off to Big Oil* — then he was a “bad” dictator) does not mean that every time that chemical weapons are used somewhere on the planet, the U.S. military must invade that nation — because chemical weapons!

I’m not a fan of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, but I’m also not a fan of yet another U.S.-led war in the Middle East while the American empire continues to rot from within (one word: Detroit).

And I’m not alone. Reuters reported yesterday:

Americans strongly oppose U.S. intervention in Syria’s civil war and believe Washington should stay out of the conflict even if reports that Syria’s government used deadly chemicals to attack civilians are confirmed, a Reuters/Ipsos poll says.

About 60 percent of Americans surveyed said the United States should not intervene in Syria’s civil war, while just 9 percent thought President Barack Obama should act.

More Americans would back intervention if it is established that chemical weapons have been used, but even that support has dipped in recent days — just as Syria’s civil war has escalated and the images of hundreds of civilians allegedly killed by chemicals appeared on television screens and the Internet.

The Reuters/Ipsos poll, taken August 19-23, found that 25 percent of Americans would support U.S. intervention if Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s forces used chemicals to attack civilians, while 46 percent would oppose it. That represented a decline in backing for U.S. action since August 13, when Reuters/Ipsos tracking polls found that 30.2 percent of Americans supported intervention in Syria if chemicals had been used, while 41.6 percent did not.

Taken together, the polls suggest that so far, the growing crisis in Syria, and the emotionally wrenching pictures from an alleged chemical attack in a Damascus suburb this week, may actually be hardening many Americans’ resolve not to get involved in another conflict in the Middle East. …

I’m not a cold-hearted bastard. The slaughter of one child is the slaughter of too many children. But how many more Syrian civilians would be slaughtered if the United States were to involve itself in Syria’s civil war?

That the president of the United States pronounced the existence of some “red line” and that the U.S. might look “weak” on the world stage if this “red line” materialized but the U.S. did nothing in response — saving face — is not a reason to take your nation to war.

Those who feel differently, those who want to drag us into a war in Syria — well, maybe we can air-drop them into Syria so that they can help the rebels, since they care about the Syrians so much.

But my guess is that, as was the case with the Vietraq War, the majority of those who would drag us to war in Syria are chickenhawks: They’ll talk a mean game — as long as it’s someone else who’s doing the dying.

P.S. In case you think it’s a closed case that the Syrian government gassed Syrian civilians, know this (from AFP):

… Doctors Without Borders (MSF) has said about 3,600 patients displaying “neurotoxic symptoms” had flooded into three Syrian hospitals on the day of the alleged [chemical-weapon] attacks, and 355 of them died.

“Medical staff working in these facilities provided detailed information to MSF doctors regarding large numbers of patients arriving with symptoms including convulsions, excess saliva, pinpoint pupils, blurred vision and respiratory distress,” said MSF operations director Bart Janssens.

MSF president Mego Terzian told AFP that “scientific” proof is still lacking.

“Syrian doctors we work with have no scientific proof. They must take hair samples, for example, and send them to a specialist laboratory,” to carry out conclusive tests, he said. …

So, thus far there is no scientific proof that chemical weapons were used. That’s pretty fucking important, isn’t it?

And even if such scientific proof materializes, would it be impossible that members of the Syrian opposition actually staged the attack in order to draw the U.S. military to their aid? Unlikely, one hopes, but again — would it be impossible?

Syrian rebels, after all, have put the deaths at more than 1,000, but the doctors of MSF are saying 355. I tend to trust the word of the MSF doctors, who don’t have the same political agenda that the Syrian rebels do.

Hopefully the United Nations will be allowed to take the lead on the investigation into whether or not the Syrian government gassed civilians — and hopefully the United States, with its partner in crime, Britain, won’t do what it did in Iraq in 2003: bypass the wishes of the United Nations Security Council and invade a weaker sovereign nation anyway.

*CNN noted earlier this year on the 10-year anniversary of the Vietraq War:

Yes, the Iraq War was a war for oil, and it was a war with winners: Big Oil.

It has been 10 years since Operation Iraqi Freedom’s bombs first landed in Baghdad. And while most of the U.S.-led coalition forces have long since gone, Western oil companies are only getting started.

Before the 2003 invasion, Iraq’s domestic oil industry was fully nationalized and closed to Western oil companies. A decade of war later, it is largely privatized and utterly dominated by foreign firms.

From ExxonMobil and Chevron to BP and Shell, the West’s largest oil companies have set up shop in Iraq. So have a slew of American oil service companies, including Halliburton, the Texas-based firm Dick Cheney ran before becoming George W. Bush’s running mate in 2000.

The war is the one and only reason for this long sought and newly acquired access. [Emphasis all mine.]

Oil was not the only goal of the Iraq War, but it was certainly the central one, as top U.S. military and political figures have attested to in the years following the invasion.

“Of course it’s about oil; we can’t really deny that,” said Gen. John Abizaid, former head of U.S. Central Command and Military Operations in Iraq, in 2007. Former Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan agreed, writing in his memoir, “I am saddened that it is politically inconvenient to acknowledge what everyone knows: the Iraq war is largely about oil.” Then-Sen. and now Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel said the same in 2007: “People say we’re not fighting for oil. Of course we are.”

For the first time in about 30 years, Western oil companies are exploring for and producing oil in Iraq from some of the world’s largest oil fields and reaping enormous profit. And while the U.S. has also maintained a fairly consistent level of Iraq oil imports since the invasion, the benefits are not finding their way through Iraq’s economy or society.

These outcomes were by design, the result of a decade of U.S. government and oil company pressure. In 1998, Kenneth Derr, then CEO of Chevron, said, “Iraq possesses huge reserves of oil and gas-reserves I’d love Chevron to have access to.” Today it does.

In 2000, Big Oil, including Exxon, Chevron, BP and Shell, spent more money to get fellow oilmen Bush and Cheney into office than they had spent on any previous election. Just over a week into Bush’s first term, their efforts paid off when the National Energy Policy Development Group, chaired by Cheney, was formed, bringing the administration and the oil companies together to plot our collective energy future. In March, the task force reviewed lists and maps outlining Iraq’s entire oil productive capacity.

Planning for a military invasion was soon under way. Bush’s first Treasury secretary, Paul O’Neill, said in 2004, “Already by February (2001), the talk was mostly about logistics. Not the why (to invade Iraq), but the how and how quickly.”

In its final report in May 2001 (PDF), the task force argued that Middle Eastern countries should be urged “to open up areas of their energy sectors to foreign investment.” This is precisely what has been achieved in Iraq. …

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Dean for 2016!

Des Moines Register photo

Howard Dean, photographed at a speaking engagement in Iowa today, today reportedly refused to rule out a run for the 2016 Democratic presidential nomination.

Disclaimer: I did not support Howard Dean’s 2004 bid for the Democratic presidential nomination. And in 2003 and 2004 I found the “Deaniacs” to be, well, more creepily cult-like than to be inspiring.

When Dean imploded in the snows of Iowa in January 2004 — when he came in at No. 3, behind John Kerry and John Edwards, after the Deaniacs already had painted Dean as all but coronated as the 2004 Democratic presidential candidate — I was pleased, I must admit.

Dean had had his hordes of zombie-like followers converging upon and canvassing all over Iowa in their tacky orange knit hats (their no-doubt-annoying-to-Iowans ubiquity probably harmed Dean a lot more than it helped him, I surmised then and still surmise today), and Dean’s followers struck me as pretty fucking smug, and so it was great to see Team Dean knocked down some pegs.

The “Dean scream” thing, I can say at least in retrospect, was overblown and probably unfair, but at the time I didn’t care, truth be told; I just wanted Dean knocked out of the race, and if that was what it took, so be it.

But don’t get me wrong. I didn’t necessarily feel in 2004 that Howard Dean never should be the Democratic presidential candidate. I just didn’t believe — and still don’t believe — that he was the best Democratic presidential candidate for 2004, when the goal was to boot the unelected George W. Bush from the White House, and when the post-9/11 “war on terror” and militarism still were big (or big-enough, anyway) issues.

I couldn’t see the peacenik Dean (that was the perception of him, anyway) beating the chickenhawk Bush, who quite effectively had used the specter of “terrorism” for political gain, who had milked the fall of the World Trade Center like Adolf Hitler had milked the Reichstag fire.

I, along with millions of others, desperately wanted to deny Bush a second term, and in my eyes it was Vietnam vet John Kerry (contrasted to the Vietnam War-evading cowards Bush and Cheney) whose resume was best matched to accomplishing that.

I supported Kerry from early on, but I figured that his campaign was dead, or at least on life support, no later than in the late fall of 2003, when it sure looked like he was a goner. Then, like Lazarus, Kerry came back from the dead and kicked Dean’s ass in Iowa, the first contest of the presidential primary season. Kerry’s momentum from Iowa quickly made him the front-runner; Dean dropped out of the primary race after he again placed third, this time in Wisconsin, in February 2004.

That Kerry ultimately lost to Bush does not make me believe, in retrospect, that Dean would have been the better candidate. Bush had the incumbent’s advantage, and while I won’t claim that the Kerry campaign made no missteps, I posit that Kerry did significantly better against Bush than Dean would have.

With Dean, I saw an embarrassing, Walter Mondale- or Michael Dukakis-level loss, frankly. At least with Kerry it was close (251 electoral votes to 286 electoral votes, and 48.3 percent of the popular vote to 50.7 percent).

But the political environment of 2016 is shaping up to be quite different from that of 2004. 9/11 occurred almost 12 years ago, for starters.

Let’s face it: Barack Obama in 2008 fairly simply coasted to the White House on the wave that Howard Dean had created.* Obama, whose only “accomplishment” had been a nice, touchy-feely speech that he gave at the 2004 Democratic National Convention (before he had even been elected to the U.S. Senate), is an opportunist who saw his opportunity and took it.

Although I didn’t support Dean in 2004 primarily for strategic reasons, he’s the right candidate for 2016.

Billary Clinton does not deserve to be coronated (any more than Dean did in 2004), and if Obama gave her a run for her money in 2008 — and he did, obviously (while Dean flamed out after only a month in the presidential primary fight, recall that Obama and Billary duked it out for five looong months) — then I don’t see why Dean couldn’t do so in 2016, especially when Obama in 2008 pretty much had only pretended to be the second coming of Howard Dean.

I would support Dean over Billary for 2016, hands down. I’m more than ready for our first female president, but she would need to be one who is actually progressive, not one who rubber-stamped the unelected Bush regime’s Vietraq War, helped her husband pimp the Democratic Party out to corporate weasels and drag the Democratic Party to right, and who has coasted and capitalized on her husband’s name rather than having actually achieved anything on her own.

Thankfully, there is talk that Howard Dean might be considering a 2016 run. He was in Iowa today (visit Iowa while being a politician, and tongues will wag), and The Des Moines Register reports:

Another presidential campaign is not an immediate goal for Democrat Howard Dean, who came to Iowa today to rake Republicans as either radicals or cowards who are too afraid to stand up to the extreme right.

“At this point, I’m supporting Hillary Clinton,” Dean, a former Vermont governor and 2004 presidential candidate, told The Des Moines Register in a brief interview in Iowa today.

Asked if he’s definitively ruling out a White House bid, Dean climbed into a waiting car and said with a grin, “Ahhgh, we’re done here. Thank you.”

Dean, the founder of a political action committee called Democracy for America, was the keynote speaker at the 57th annual Iowa Federation of Labor Convention at a conference center at Prairie Meadows in Altoona this morning.

Earlier this year, Dean had said he wasn’t ruling out running for president in 2016. He came in third place in the Democratic Iowa caucuses a decade ago, after John Kerry and John Edwards. …

I could support Al Gore for 2016, too, but I haven’t heard that Gore has had any interesting in running for the White House again, and, truth be told, I surmise that Gore is widely viewed as already having lost a presidential election (even though, of course, he actually won it), whereas Dean does not, it seems to me, carry that level of baggage.

And, as I noted, Barack Obama would not be where he is had he not coasted along the path to the White House that Dean already had paved for him. Obama in 2008 undeservedly fairly automatically picked up the energy, the money and the support of the Deaniacs, which propelled him into the Oval Office.

It’s time, it seems to me, for Howard Dean to finally be sitting in the chair in the Oval Office, the chair that Obama fairly effortlessly slipped into but that Dean actually deserves.

*Wikipedia notes of Howard Dean, “Although his [2004] presidential campaign was unsuccessful, Dean is regarded as a pioneer in raising the profile of Internet-based fundraising and grassroots organizing” and: 

Dean formed the [progressive political action committee] Democracy for America [in 2004] and later was elected chairman of the Democratic National Committee in February 2005. As chairman of the [Democratic Party], Dean created and employed the “50-state strategy” that attempted to make Democrats competitive in normally conservative states often dismissed in the past as “solid red.”

The success of the strategy became apparent after the 2006 midterm elections, where Democrats took back the House and picked up seats in the Senate from normally Republican states such as Missouri and Montana. In the 2008 presidential election, Barack Obama used the “50-state strategy” as the backbone of his candidacy.

Wikipedia further notes that although Dean has not held elected office since he wrapped up his chairmanship of the Democratic Party in 2009, “In June 2013, Dean expressed interest in possibly running for the presidency in 2016.”

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Obama’s Round Two already shaping up to look just like Round One

US Democratic presidential candidate Senator Obama (D-IL) shares laugh with Senator Hagel (R-NE) at Amman Citadel in Amman

Reuters photo

Then-U.S. Sens. Barack Obama and Chuck Hagel yuk it up in Amman, Jordan, in July 2008. Obama is expected to nominate the Repugnican former senator as his secretary of defense any day now, because “bipartisanship,” you see, means that a so-called Democrat does things that no Repugnican Tea Party traitor ever would do in kind.

 Let’s see:

“Democratic” President Barack Obama hasn’t even been inaugurated for his second term, and already he:

  • Threw U.S. Ambassador Susan Rice under the bus when she came under attack from the white supremacists and patriarchs, who rather would see U.S. Sen. John Kerry in the position of U.S. secretary of state, since a white male Democrat is better than any other kind of Democrat
  • Capitulated on the Bush-regime-era tax cuts for the rich, having promised over and over and over again to increase taxes on inviduals earning more than $200,000 and families earning more than $250,000, but actually having agreed to increase taxes on individuals earning more than $400,000 and families earning more than $450,000  
  • Is poised to sell us out on Social Security and/or Medicare in the deferred so-called “fiscal cliff” fight over the federal budget (after all, he and his family are set for life)
  • Is poised to name Repugnican former U.S. Sen. Chuck Hagel as U.S. secretary of defense, reinforcing the meme that Democrats are shitty on defense, and doing something that a Repugnican president never would do (i.e., appoint a Democrat to his cabinet, perhaps especially for defense)

Have I forgotten anything? And again, Obama hasn’t even been inaugurated yet for Round Two.

Your vote for Barack Obama on November 6 was significantly different from what Mittens Romney was offering how?

The most immediate next fight in D.C. apparently will be over Hagel, whose nomination might be announced as early as tomorrow, according to Reuters.

Not that Hagel would represent the first time that Obama sold out those who voted for him where it comes to his selection of the U.S. secretary of defense. Recall that Obama, at the start of Round One, lazily, cowardly and stupidly kept on Robert Gates, who under George W. Bush had replaced war criminal Donald Rumsfeld as secretary of defense in November 2006. Gates stayed on the job as defense secretary under Obama until he retired on July 1, 2011.

My biggest problem with Hagel is that again, a Republican president of today never would put a Democrat on his cabinet (yes, I use “his” because a female Republican president is pretty much an oxymoron), and DINO Obama has sold out the Democratic Party enough as it is.

Yes, I have a real problem with Hagel having referred to former U.S. Ambassador James Hormel in 1998 as “openly, aggressively gay” — we gay men should keep our sexuality strictly and entirely in the closet, just like straight men always do, you see (since when has equality been an American value?) — but I do like Hagel’s reportedly made comments about the “bloated” defense department budget (our national “defense” budget is bloated beyond belief, and mostly represents only the perpetual looting of the U.S. Treasury by treasonous war profiteers) and the insanely disproportionate amount of power and influence that the “Jewish lobby” (I call them the “Israel-first lobby,” because of course not every Jewish American is an Israel firster) has in D.C.

Admittedly, it is unusual for a Repugnican to attack the sacred cows of the military-industrial-corporate complex and the Israel-first lobby, even though both of those sacred cows are milking us dry. And Hagel, himself a veteran of the Vietnam War, also apparently wasn’t enough of a cheerleader for the unelected Bush regime’s illegal, immoral, unjust and unprovoked Vietraq War — which also is unusual for a Repugnican.

But are there no qualified Democrats whom Obama could nominate as defense secretary?

What’s Obama’s logic here? That as long as his nominee as defense secretary uses the Republican label, the Repugnican Tea Party traitors in the U.S. Senate will be OK with it?

“This is an in-your-face nomination by the president to all of us who are supportive of Israel,” Repugnican Tea Party U.S. Sen. Lindsey Graham– who, along with Repugnican Tea Party U.S. Sen. John McCainosaurus, was instrumental in Obama’s caving in on the nomination of Susan Rice — already has declared of Hagel’s nomination.

Not that the likes of wingnutty closet case and chickenhawk Lindsey Graham would approve of any of Obama’s nominees, but why the fuck can’t Obama at least respect those who voted for him by ceasing to kiss the ass of the Repugnican Tea Party traitors, who never return the favor in the fucking slightest?

Oh, well.

As I watch Barack Obama for the next four years continue to sell out those who voted for him — and continue, just like Bill Clinton did, to make the Democratic Party more and more indistinguishable from the Repugnican Party (I lovingly think of the two corporation-loving and individual-hating parties as the Coke Party and the Pepsi Party) — at least I won’t feel nearly as punk’d this time as I did during Obama’s first term, because while I stupidly voted for Obama the first time, on November 6 I cast my vote for the Green Party candidate for president.

As George W. Bush once so wisely declared: Fool me once, shame on — shame on you. Fool me — you can’t get fooled again!

See you around, fools.

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Bibi/Mittens 2012!

Reuters photo

The unelected, treasonous Bush regime, in order to sell its Vietraq War, lied about the specter of the “smoking gun” manifesting itself as a “mushroom cloud.” Wingutty war monger Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin (“Bibi”) Netanyahu today before the United Nations General Assembly, in lying about a casus belli to launch a war on Iran, couldn’t even be that sophisticated, and chose instead the bomb from the board game Stratego. (Yeah, very unfortunately, that’s not a Photoshop job…)

I was going to title this “Romney/Netanyahu 2012,” but let’s face it: Shadow U.S. President Mittens Romney is Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s little bitch, not vice-versa, so we’ll put Netanyahu at the top of the ticket, and to call these two right-wing, war-mongering, Islamophobic, walking and talking fucking jokes by their actual surnames is to give them respect that neither deserves.

Today at the United Nations, Netanyahu embarrassed himself and his nation by lying that Iran is close to attaining nukes and poses a threat not only to Israel but also to the entire Middle East, Europe and the United States. (See the sad and pathetic news photo illustration above.)

Netanyahu clearly is trying to influence the November U.S. presidential election by fear-mongering, and Netanyahu and Mittens Romney very apparently are working together — which whiffs of treason to me, since the American people in 2008 elected Barack Obama as their president and commander in chief, not Mittens Romney (not that the Repugnican Tea Party traitors ever worry about actually being elected).

It can’t be a coinky-dink that the same day that Netanyahu was lying to the United Nations about Iran (which reminds me of how Colin Powell held up that vial of white powder and lied to the UN about the threat that Iraq posed), Mittens declared on the campaign trail: “It is still a troubled and dangerous world. And the idea of cutting our military commitment by a trillion dollars over this decade is unthinkable and devastating. And when I become president of the United States, we will stop it. I will not cut our commitment to the military.”

Mittens does not for a fucking nanosecond care about the welfare of the average American. He already declared that he doesn’t give a flying fuck about at least 47 percent of Americans.

Mittens’ only interest is in pleasing his (would-be) plutocratic cronies of the military-corporate complex, who want to continue to suck, treasonously, billions and billions and billions of our Americans’ tax dollars for their bogus warfare and their bogus “defense” against bogus “threats” while the majority of us Americans are told that the nation just can’t afford us.

I can see where the wingnut Bibi would be so fucking clueless as to the mood of the American people, since he lives in Israel, but Mittens has no such fucking excuse.

After we, the American people, were royally punk’d on Iraq, we have no fucking appetite to now launch a bogus war on Iran.

We are the United States of Amnesia, that is true, but nonetheless it’s still way too fucking soon for the (aspiring) war criminals to start lying to the American people again about why we must invade another nation and to expect the American people to buy the fucking lie again this time. (Indeed, it was only 9/11 that allowed the Bush regime’s lies about Iraq to go so unchallenged in the first place. Indeed, 9/11, which the Bush regime just allowed to happen, was the unelected, treasonous regime’s Reichstag fire.)

Mittens is losing* the presidential race, so expect his war-mongering to continue. Fear is all that he has left to peddle, since the multi-millionaire’s claims of compassion for the American people are so fucking ludicrous, even without that hidden video of his fundraising dinner for his fellow plutocrats/aristocrats in May, but so out of touch is Mittens from the common American that he apparently has no idea that what worked in 2004 to get “President” George W. Bush “re”-elected won’t work in 2012.

*The polls are looking increasingly worse for Mittens these days, with Gallup’s daily tracking poll putting Obama at 50 percent and Mittens at 44 percent, and other nationwide polls taken within the past two weeks also putting Obama at 49 percent or 50 percent and leading Mittens by 3 percent to 7 percent.

That doesn’t sound all that awful for Mittens, but the U.S. president isn’t chosen based upon the popular vote, but is chosen based upon the Electoral College, and it’s Obama who has the easiest path to the 270 electoral votes needed to clinch the election.

The New York Times’ presidential prognosticator Nate Silver, whose blog I read religiously, as I type this sentence projects that while Obama on November 6 will win 51.3 percent of the popular vote to Mittens’ 47.6 percent, Obama, who is leading Mittens considerably in the critical battleground states, will win more than 315 electoral votes while Mittens won’t garner even a full 225. Silver thus right this moment puts Obama’s chance of being re-elected at more than 80 percent.

(I’m such a fan of Silver, that sexy geek, that I’ll probably buy the new book that he has out.)

So it will be awkward, methinks, for Mittens to campaign over the next several weeks. I mean, he essentially has lost the election already, but he has to pretend that he hasn’t, has to continue to go through the motions of campaigning.

Again, since he has nothing to lose, expect him to continue the fear- and war-mongering. Again, it’s all that the pathetic gold-plated piece of shit has left.

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