Blogs

Oct
29

Brzezinski Says Ignore US Public on Afghanistan

Tag: Peace and War

By David Swanson

Zbigniew Brzezinski spoke at a RAND Corporation forum on Afghanistan in a Senate caucus room on Thursday. His first statement was that "Withdrawal from Afghanistan in the near future is a No-No." He offered no reasons why and suggested that his other statements would be more controversial.

During a subsequent question-and-answer period, I asked Brzezinski, former National Security Advisor to President Jimmy Carter, why he had provided no rationale for his first rule. I asked him why such a rule should be considered uncontroversial when approximately half of Americans oppose the occupation of Afghanistan. I asked how he would respond to the arguments of a US diplomat who just resigned in protest.

Oct
29

Congress Affirms Iraq Withdrawal Date of December 31, 2011

Tag: Peace and War

By David Swanson

Here's an important release from AFSC:

"With final action in the Senate today, Congress has approved legislation that formally recognizes the U.S. obligation to withdraw from Iraq and requires the Pentagon to provide quarterly reports on the progress of that withdrawal. This is the first time since the invasion of Iraq in 2003 that Congress has passed legislation that affirms that the United States is committed to leaving Iraq by a specific date, two national Quaker organizations, the American Friends Service Committee (AFSC) and the Friends Committee on National Legislation (FCNL) said today. . . . "

Of course, this is not perfect. First, it "affirms" a treaty the Senate never ratified. Second, it can be signing-statemented, and the Senate has never objected to such alteration of laws. Third, if it is simply not complied with, the only penalty from a Congress that refuses to subpoena or impeach anyone will be some moderately annoyed words from some weak old men in a dying institution. Nonetheless, this is an excellent development in this initial moment in which we can almost imagine the reporting requirements and the actual withdrawal being complied with.

Oct
29

Healthcare Hoax from Hell

Tag: Health Care

By David Swanson

Lies, damn lies, and promises from Democrats. An amendment allowing states to create state-level single-payer healthcare has been stripped out of the House healthcare bill, after having passed in committee back in July by a vote of 27 to 19. And rumor has it that a vote on national single-payer that was promised in July in exchange for skipping a committee vote on it will now be denied.

First, the state single-payer amendment.

Oct
28

Harman Hemming on Harm She's Done

Tag: Civil Rights

In this video (full length 1:13:15) scroll ahead to 53:55 to hear veteran CIA analyst Ray McGovern question Congresswoman Jane Harman on her vote for the Authorization to Use Military Force. McGovern also asks her about her rather dramatic shift two years ago to a position of opposing warrantless spying and civil liberties abuses, and whether that shift should be credited to the primary challenge made by Marcy Winograd, which Winograd is renewing next year.

At about 1:01 Harman responds. She claims not to have altered her views whatsoever, which is of course demonstrably false. As McGovern points out, her initial response to the publication of a report on warrantless spying was that it should have been kept secret. On the Authorization to Use Military Force, Harman claims great gullibility and ignorance. She points out that only Congresswoman Barbara Lee voted against it, and claims no one could possibly have known what horrors it would be used for. This is the same law President Obama claims gives him the power to imprison people without charge.

Oct
28

Which Side Are You On?

Tag: Political Ideas

By David Swanson

There appear to be two teams in Washington playing under the banners of elephants and donkeys. They have different platforms, use different rhetoric, call each other bad names, and (in the case of the elephants) filibuster bills and impeach and prosecute abuses and crimes by the other side. One team wants to provide us with more healthcare, maybe, sort of, and the other does not. One side is hesitant about or even resistant to demonizing or discriminating against foreigners and immigrants and gays and racial minorities, and the other is not. One side wants to protect the right to unionize, maybe, sort of, and the other does not.

Oct
28

Audio: David Swanson on Daybreak

Tag: About David Swanson

Great interview of me by Basima Farhat at the People Speak Radio: Go here and click on "Listen to the Show."

Oct
28

Congress Must Stop Torture

Tag: Civil Rights, Impeachment

A Call for Congress to Take Action on Torture October 28th, 2009

ADD YOUR NAME TO THOSE OF 83 HUMAN RIGHTS GROUPS AND LEADERS AT http://afterdowningstreet.org/stop

Whereas over seven years have passed since President George W. Bush fraudulently induced the U.S. congress, the American people, and the world into the illegal war in Iraq,

Whereas it is nearly five years since Specialist Darby revealed the photos of Abu Ghraib that showed us torture being committed by our government in our name,

Whereas further evidence of torture remains secret and has been hidden from the public, courts, and Congress to insulate the perpetrators from appropriate criminal liability,

Oct
27

States Permitted to Worsen But Not Improve Healthcare?

Tag: Health Care

By David Swanson

The absence of a civilized healthcare system in the United States, almost alone among wealthy nations, results in tens of thousands of unnecessary deaths every year. But if something is to be done soon to save lives it is not going to be done in Washington, D.C. It is going to be done in Sacramento, Harrisburg, Columbus, Springfield, Augusta, Denver. And then it's going to be blocked by lawsuits from health insurance corporations and preemptive language in federal legislation.

Oct
26

Fox Is News, Bad News

Tag: Media

By David Swanson

As someone who believes the producers of Fox News should be behind bars for promoting illegal wars and instigating domestic violence, and as someone who advocates never watching it, I feel compelled to speak up against the notion that Fox News is not a news outlet.

Now, Fox News does little investigative reporting. Mostly it chitters and chatters and re-processes. Nor does it stick with reliable information. It intentionally lies and distorts. It also screams and yells, demonizes and infantilizes. But these behaviors just make Fox News a small-time and untrustworthy news outlet that degrades the content and the form of our public discourse. These are not the reasons being widely offered for the declaration that Fox is not a news outlet at all.

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There Is No Way To Peace

Peace is the way.

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