Thursday, July 29, 2004

Kerry Spam and My Response

I received a solicitation to give money to the Kerry campaign from someone named Mike Schiller. I don't know how I got on his list. He is a poet and former Dean supporter, but I've never heard of him.

(These lists are always mysterious. For example, and I kid you not, I recently received a photograph of Laura and George Bush thanking me for being a grassroots leader for their cause. It was a crappy photo.)

Anyway, here is my response. Nothing new here for readers of this site, but I thought I'd put it up anyway. I hope you are all writing similar responses to such solicitations that may clutter your own inboxes.

Hello Mike,

I don't know you, but I received this solication for John Kerry in my email inbox. I know it was a mass emailing by someone, though I don't know how they got my email address.

I wanted to write back to you personally to explain why I cannot, in good conscience, vote for John Kerry. I don't think this will do much good, but it needs to be said often, so I'll add my voice to this choir.

Here's the main idea: If I vote for Kerry for President and he wins, then I will have to stop opposing this immoral, disastrous, insane war in Iraq. Let me explain.

Kerry voted for this war and enthusiastically defended its dubious premises in the media. John Edwards, on the Senate Intelligence Committee, did the same. Neither one backed off this position until much later in the process, and the retreat was minimal. Because I expected the Republicans, especially the neo-cons, to push the war agenda, I have no disappointment with them. But it is the Democrats whose duty it was to stand against this war. It was the Democrats whose job it was to expose the truth. And as Senators, Kerry and Edwards were in the best position to do this, and yet they chose not to.

He can make excuses all he wants. Bush deceived him? Surely they expected no less and would be ready to pounce on those lies. The intelligence was faulty? Does neither of these men possess a computer? Because they could have found enough information to seriously call the "intelligence" into question by surfing the internet. The truth would have been revealed before they'd finished their second cup of morning coffee. Go ask Scott Ritter, former weapons inspector who was screaming his head off about how untrue these claims were. He certainly wasn't hard to find, as he was speaking all over the country.

Kerry and Edwards also had to be aware of the "Office of Special Plans", the (in the words of the Guardian, UK) " shadow rightwing intelligence network set up in Washington to second-guess the CIA and deliver a justification for toppling Saddam Hussein by force." Again, 3 minutes on the internet would reveal this, assuming that somehow, despite being US Senators, there is some way they could not have known.

No. There are only three possibilities. One, is that Kerry and Edwards seriously believed that Saddam Hussein, after a devastating military defeat and 12 years of genocidal sanctions (for what else can you call sanctions that, as agreed to by former Sec. of State Madeline Albright, caused half a million child deaths a year in Iraq?)was somehow a threat to the U.S. Come on! How many lies had to be exposed. The aluminum tubes? Lie. Uranium from Niger? Lie. In fact, more than a lie, an actual forgery. The "Praque meeting" between Iraq and Al-Qaida? Lie. I reject the possibility that Kerry believed in all these lies. Certainly, he could not have after they were exposed as such.

The second possibility is that hey went along out of cowardice and political expediency. Didn't want to be called unpatriotic. Didn't want to seem soft on terrorism. I don't remember which realm of Dante's hells is reserved for this sort of nonaction in the face of evil, but I'm pretty sure it was one of the least pleasant ones.

The third possibility is that the overall agenda of US dominance over world resources is one that they agree with. The US, goes this line of thinking, has a right to control whatever happens in areas of the world that our part of our "vital interests," like, you know, oil producing countries. This, I assume, is the truth of the matter. It is an old and bipartisan story.

But Kerry has seen the writing on the wall. He knows American support for the war has dropped and a majority now consider it a "mistake." So he'll be making an unequivocal denunciation of that war and coming up with a plan to pull the troops out as soon as is logistically possible, right? I mean, it should be politically safe, if not downright advantageous for even the most cowardly Democrat to say the war is wrong and that we must withdraw and not ask some 19 year old kid to be the "last man to die for a mistake". Nope. Even know, Kerry is missing the boat and the DNC is rejecting anti-war language for the party platform

Yes, he's backpedaled on the war a little bit, but he has pledged to increase the troops! By 40,000! (I haven't been including links to all these things as they are so well known by now, but this one seems to have fallen through the memory hole, so just in case, here's one of many references to his pledge to increase troops by 40,000. ) Kerry has said that if the Generals want more troops, all they have to do is ask. His basic promise is to prosecute the war more "efficiently." Gee, thanks. More dead Iraqi civilians. More hatred of the U.S. And by the way, they will not hate us any less if we have NATO troops come in and do some of that killing. Everyone knows who's running the show.

So, here is the moral dilemma. You see, I plan to go on opposing this war, whether it is Bush or Kerry in office. And, (now this is the tricky bit, so hang on!) since Kerry has promised to increase troops in Iraq, as well as embrace the illegal idea of "preemptive wars", I would be forfeiting my right to oppose his actions. You see, you really can't protest when the man you vote for does EXACTLY WHAT HE SAYS HE WILL DO!

No, don't sign me up for that. I imagine myself going to Iraq and facing the family of an Iraqi child killed in indiscriminate bombing and answering their questions: "Why did you support the continued killing of my people?"

What can I tell them? At least Kerry is killing you more efficiently?

No thanks.


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