Weekend Edition October 24 / 26, 2008
Name That Candidate
Which Candidate Supports Petraeus,
the Bailout, the Death Penalty, Nuclear Power,
the Occupation, the Cuban Embargo...
By JOE MOWREY
This week came exciting news. Colin Powell has endorsed Barack Obama for President. Yippie! The blogosphere is all atwitter. Our guy has worked hard, taken solid positions on all the most important progressive issues and managed to convince the exalted Mr. Powell to throw his support our way. Celebrations are in order. We're one step closer to the Oval Office thanks to this latest breaking development. Oh, and for those of you who may have forgotten who Colin Powell is (history is so boring, isn't it?) let's take a moment to highlight some of his stellar qualifications as a supporter of the Left.
Powell is the guy who, as a bright young 31 year old Army Major, did his level best to keep information about the My Lai Massacre in Vietnam from becoming public. Specifically, he was charged with investigating a letter from a whistle-blowing soldier giving detailed accounts of many of the atrocities committed by U.S. military personnel in Vietnam under the auspices of the Phoenix Program. That program was a lovely little package of war crimes intended to "identify and neutralize (via infiltration, capture, or murder) the civilian infrastructure supporting the National Front for the Liberation of South Vietnam (the Viet Cong). In other words, it was a U.S. and South Vietnamese death squad operation which rampaged through the country side slaughtering civilians and burning down entire villages. You know, capturing the hearts and minds of the Vietnamese people. Powell summed up his investigation of the whistle-blower's accusations by saying, "In direct refutation of this portrayal is the fact that relations between American soldiers and the Vietnamese people are excellent."
Well that's enough for me. If Powell endorsed the rousing success of the Phoenix Program, what more do we need to know? Queried about his participation in the attempted white wash of My Lai, some 40 years later Powell said, "I mean, I was in a unit that was responsible for My Lai. I got there after My Lai happened. So, in war, these sorts of horrible things happen every now and again..." Personally, I think he sounds really sorry. And he's seems to be bashing Republicans these days, so I like him a lot.
Fast forward to 2003. Then Secretary of State, Powell, made a triumphant speech to the United Nations outlining the urgent need for us to invade Iraq in a war of aggression in order to eliminate the massive amounts of weapons of mass destruction which Saddam Hussein was going to use to invade and destroy the United States. Thank Buddha that Powell was able to use his dignity and gravitas to convince the world of the imminent danger. Imagine where we might be today without his steadfast endorsement of that magnificent war crime. I don't know about you, but I'm wasn't into wearing a turban and having Saddam Hussein's picture on the one dollar bill. I shudder to think of Brittany Spears in a burka. Of course, it's a bit unfortunate that Powell's speech to the U.N. was a pack of outright fabrications and lies. But I've forgiven him by now, especially since he's decided to come out in favor our Our Guy Obama.
And while we're at it, let's catalog of few of Barack Obama's progressive qualifications to be next President of the United States of Imperialism. Well first, there's his adamant condemnation of the war in Iraq. Why, he was against it from the very start. Of course, that hasn't prevented him from voting continually to fund the Occupation. But hey, he has to get elected before he can implement all his wonderful changey policies, right? You know, like maintaining a presence of 50,000 to 80,000 troops in Iraq, along with a dozen or so permanent military bases and the world's largest foreign embassy. Then there is his pledge to escalate the "good war" in Afghanistan. We've only killed about 10,000 or so innocent civilians there in the last few years. I won't feel safe until we can push those numbers much higher. And Pakistan? Sending robot drones out to drop bombs on people is my kind of progressive war. Obama has assured us he'll continue that policy and actually increase the number of illegal violations of that country's sovereignty. Right on.
But let's not stop there. The list of Oboma's support for progressive issues is a long one. For instance, he endorsed immunity for the Telecoms. It's a good thing, too. We can't have corporations facing legal action or law suits for spying on us. After all, they are only trying to protect us from terrorists. And Barack is a true friend to the Zionist regime in Israel. He'll do everything in his power to prevent those nasty Iranians from destroying Israel and driving them into the sea. Israel's apartheid colonization of the West Bank, in direct violation of international law and the Geneva Conventions is inconvenient for the Palestinians. But what the heck. They don't have much of a Lobby in Washington. And you hardly ever have to read about their suffering, not even in the so-called Progressive media. Why, I don't think I've ever heard anything at all about the suffering of the Palestinian people on Air America. So who needs to worry about them? We can still hear and read non-stop Obamadulation, no matter how bad things may be in Gaza. What's wrong with that?
The prospects for the progressive agenda in an Obama administration are bursting out all over. Obama will make sure we don't have National Health Care. We have to keep our insurance companies in the loop so they can stay strong. And clean coal! Finally an intelligent advocate for that fantasy technology. I was worried that one of the most toxic forms of energy production in operation today might be hindered. Not under an Obama reign. Along with more Nuclear Power plants, which Obama favors, we should be able to stave off the threat of clean energy technologies for years to come. Well, okay, we can throw the environmentalists a few bones, but let's not get carried away. We need to hold a few promises of a greener world in reserve to throw out during the midterm elections. And we've got 2012 to think about.
Besides, it's about the economy, stupid. Speaking of which, now that Obama has helped usher in the nearly one trillion dollar handout to the banking industry, we should see prosperity on the horizon any day now. Obama has told us he has great faith in Secretary of the Treasury Paulson and his plan to save the American consumer. Just look at what a fine job Paulson did as Chairman of Goldman Sachs? They gave him over half a billion dollars in bonuses and compensation when he left to become our Treasury Secretary, just two years before Goldman Sachs went belly up. He must have done some great work for them. Why else would he get paid so much?
Well, I could go on and on. There are so many reasons for progressives to rally round Obama. Like his support for the death penalty and the Cuban embargo, just to mention two more. But I need to get busy planning tonight's party in celebration of Colin Powell's endorsement of our fine, pro-war, pro-corporate, pro-imperialist, pro-Zionist, pro-military-industrial-complex left wing hero. The future has never looked so bright for progressives. Being for Change has really lifted our spirits and bolstered attendance at our campaign rallies. I'm hoping that sometime in the next few days we'll get Henry Kissinger to sign on with us. What a boon that would be. Like I always say, if your going to support a candidate who doesn't represent any of the values you believe in, then you can't have too many bloodthirsty war criminals endorsing him.