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Over the course of 21 years, we’ve published many unflattering stories about Henry Kissinger. We’ve recounted his involvement in the Chilean coup and the illegal bombings of Cambodia and Laos; his hidden role in the Kent State massacre and the genocide in East Timor; his noxious influence peddling in DC and craven work for dictators and repressive regimes around the world. We’ve questioned his ethics, his morals and his intelligence. We’ve called for him to be arrested and tried for war crimes. But nothing we’ve ever published pissed off HK quite like this sequence of photos taken at a conference in Brazil, which appeared in one of the early print editions of CounterPunch.
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Criminal v. Criminal

Voting for Death

by LINH DINH

America, you have become a nation of enablers and apologists for tyranny and mass murder. You condemn the Nazi and gulag guards of times past even as you celebrate your own mercenaries and torturers, even as you explain away, if not outright cheer, the unspeakable crimes committed by your sons and daughters. You don’t care who you kill, as long as your soldiers are paid, and your munitions, bomb and tank factories are humming.

Safely ensconced in academic luna parks, your leading intellectuals lean slightly right or left, but never enough to rock this blazing gunboat, lest they sour the cocktail parties or, god forbid, have their tenure revoked. Mouths stuffed with antipasti, they’re expert at sidestepping Israel’s prolific crimes, 9/11, Bin Laden’s faux death or the parasitic Federal Reserve, and as another joke election nears, they’re all gung ho about candidates who back illegal wars and banking frauds, since each is supposedly the lesser of two evils.

For the past five presidential elections, winning candidates have won 52.9%, 50.7%, 47.9%, 49.2% and 43% of the popular votes respectively, so there hasn’t been an overwhelming mandate for any of them, but with the runner ups from the other major party often close behind, and in 2000, actually ahead in the popular vote count, the two-party system has gotten a stranglehold on our public life and pocketbooks. As for our senators, only two are not Democrat or Republican. An American election, then, is basically a rigged referendum for this thoroughly corrupt and murderous system, and simply by voting, you will give it the green light to go on killing and looting. Every four years, we’re railroaded into sanctioning endless war and bottomless corruption. If disappointed, we’re then steered by our brainwashing and dumbing down media to a near clone of our current rapist.

The Good Old Party spooks the upper and middle classes by threatening, If you don’t vote for us, the Dems will take your hard-earned cash and give it to the freeloaders, crackheads and other miscellaneous losers, while the Democrats, in turn, scare the lower rungs by snarling, If you don’t vote for us, the Republicans will let your retired, diapered ass rot under a bridge, on a piece of cardboard, but lordy, lordy, lordy, it is already happening, but let us not sweat the details.

It is fitting that as our most important vote has become nearly meaningless, we’re offered myriad opportunities to vote for all sorts of irrelevant acts and personalities, from singing oafs to dancing buffoons, to steroid-charged sluggers. Americans have never voted so much for so little.

Each party paints the other as the greater evil, though both are equally whorish to a military banking complex that has wrought so much grief and destruction worldwide, including here. As they offshore your job, they may toss you a free cell phone or allow you to wed your same sex lover, but isn’t time, seriously, we demand that our money be spent responsibly, for our benefits? But no, we can only beg for small change, instead of real ones, and must vote, again, for proven liars and criminals, and hope, against all evidence, that they won’t impale us this time. So how does it feel to have so much evil, deceit and betrayal hardening through the entire length of your being? But what’s worst about this is that you yourself have allowed it to happen, have enabled it, if only symbolically, by voting for one of the two parties that are pro war and pro corruption. They will likely get 99% of your votes, in fact, so America will have endorsed overwhelmingly, again, an openly criminal agenda, and the world will again be aghast.

With his cartoon dynamite, Netanyahu’s recent UN speech brings to mind Powell and his phony chart before the Iraq invasion, but Bush at least tried to convince that a war was necessary, whereas Obama hasn’t even bother. Ignoring congress and the American public, he simply ordered a massive bombing campaign against Libya, which he mockingly dubbed a “kinetic military action,” unleashed lesser strikes against Somalia, Yemen and Pakistan, and sent terroristic proxies into Syria, all without significant protest from our dozing public or groveling intelligentsia.

Pumped with nonstop propaganda from our corporate media in this mad house of mirrors, we neither see nor care how others perceive us, for even as international protests mount, our flags burnt, our soldiers killed by supposed allies and poll after poll shows us among the most despised nations on earth, we still believe we’re loved and admired worldwide. Our politicians are only too glad to pander to this vanity. Romney, “We have a moral responsibility to keep America the strongest nation on earth, the hope of the earth, the shining city on the hill.” Obama, “Never bet against the United States. The United States has been, and will always be, the one indispensable nation in world affairs.” Only children believe in everlasting anything, but that’s how our daddy and mommy politicians talk to us these days.

So the world will again be aghast, as will posterity, unless we can prove that we’re not behind the winning criminal. Already, nearly half of Americans don’t cast ballots in any election, but we must make this abstention purposeful, as a clear sign of protest and not an act of apathy. The world must see that Americans aren’t all deranged and hypnotized as those who cheer and vote for one lying criminal after another. We’re better than this, so let’s prove it. Imagine thousands in public places, declaring, “NOT IN OUR NAME!” The sooner we can effect a divorce between us and our rogue government, the sooner we can get rid of it. If nothing else, to resist this electoral farce is to wash our hands, partially, at least, of the innocent blood being spilled. It is the only moral decision.

Linh Dinh is the author of two books of stories, five of poems, and a novel, Love Like Hate. He’s tracking our deteriorating socialscape through his frequently updated photo blog, State of the Union.