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Kerry and the Progressive Internationalists

 

Come November, America will have two unpalatable choices: either Tweedle Bush or Tweedle Kerry. Given such, nothing of substance will change. Oh, those of us who cringe at the sight of neocons may be momentarily relieved to see the “creative destructionists” pack their bags and leave the Pentagon, the State Department, and the White House, head out for their radical right-wing foundations and conspiracy tanks, but it will be, all told, little more than a shuffling of deck chairs and a change of stationary.

The Tweedle Democrats are a bit more liberal when it comes to social policy, but in the realm of foreign policy they are almost identical to the Tweedle Republicans. The style is different, but the cloth is cut from the same bolt. Recall Clinton’s bombing of Yugoslavia, his raids on Iraq, his vindictive destruction of the al-Shifa pharmaceutical plant in Khartoum. Recall as well Clinton’s NATO commander, Wesley Clark, almost starting a war with Russia in Kosovo.

In essence, the only difference between the Clinton and Bush neoliberal agenda is the difference between multilateralism and unilateralism. Bush is the lone cowboy, while Clinton wanted the United Nations and Europe on the neoliberal bandwagon. For more on the lack of difference between Kerry and Bush, read John Pilger’s recent article: Bush or Kerry? No Difference.

“Let them have the election without us,” writes Kathy Fisher. “The media whores and special interest groups and Corporate arm-twisters can vote for the brownnose of their choice. After all, they’re the only people the politicians work for. The rest of us should boycott this fake-phony-fraud of an election.” The only difference between Bush and Kerry, as Mike Whitney sees it, “is the difference between driving off a cliff on a bike or in a limo. The flight pattern might be different, but the results are guaranteed to be the same.”

The idiot Tweedle Democrats bemoan Ralph Nader the Spoiler. Instead of criticizing the Tweedle Republicans for stealing the election in 2000, these Democrats point to Nader’s insignificant 3% of the vote. Even so, exit polls in 2000 showed that Nader took his votes in equal measure from Bush and Gore.

Once an idiot Tweedle Democrat, always an idiot Tweedle Democrat.

If the Democrats sincerely wanted the progressive vote, they would endeavor to change their party from a pale mirror image of what the Republicans offer and rediscover their progressive roots. As it now stands, the vast majority of Tweed Dems have absolutely nothing in common with Ralph Nader or, for that matter, Dennis Kucinich, who was completely marginalized and ignored by the “media whores” mentioned by Fisher.

In fact, as underscored by Pilger, the Tweedle Democrats have a more consistent record of butchery than the Tweedle Republicans. “Like the Blairites, John Kerry and his fellow New Democrats come from a tradition of liberalism that has built and defended empires as ‘moral’ enterprises. That the Democratic Party has left a longer trail of blood, theft and subjugation than the Republicans is heresy to the liberal crusaders, whose murderous history always requires, it seems, a noble mantle.”

“The leading mouthpiece for the New Democrats’ radical interventionist program could be our next president,” notes Mark Hand. “John Kerry, the frontrunner in the quest for the Democratic Party presidential nomination, has been promoting a foreign policy perspective called ‘progressive internationalism.’ It’s a concept concocted by establishment Democrats seeking to convince potential backers in the corporate and political world that, if installed in the White House, they would preserve U.S. power and influence around the world, but in a kinder, gentler fashion than the current administration.”

Of course, this “kinder, gentler fashion” translates into mass murder, and the end result is identical to the less kind and more brutal Bushites — dead Iraqis, Afghans, Haitians, Colombians, Nigerians, and countless others. It’s still empire, if an empire tumble dried with fabric softener for public consumption.

Kerry likes to pose as a liberal populist. But even the nutcakes on the radical right know this is fakery. Fred Barnes, executive editor of the Weekly Standard, the neocon house organ bankrolled by Fox’s Rupert Murdoch, says Kerry’s fake populism works on Tweedle Democrat consultants and the party faithful, but it falls flat as a pancake on everybody else.

“In Boston, Kerry has a home on fancy Beacon Hill,” writes Barnes. “In Washington, he lives on an estate near Rock Creek Park and belongs to the Democratic establishment… As a senator for 19 years, he’s advocated mainstream liberalism, not the left-wing populism of fringe figures like Ralph Nader and Jim Hightower. So it’s easy to conclude Kerry’s populism doesn’t reflect the essence of the man. It’s a pose.”

Barnes forgot to mention Kerry is also a member of the Council on Foreign Relations, not exactly a flaming liberal bastion, but more of a New World Order fraternity. Like his rival, Bush, Kerry is a Bonesman. And although Barnes would never admit it in a month of Sundays, so-called “mainstream liberalism” is not a radical departure from what Republicans espouse, at least on foreign policy issues, thanks mostly to the New Democrat William Jefferson Clinton and his pet project, the Democratic Leadership Council.

Oh, and then there’s the nearly $640,000 Kerry the anti-corporate populist received from lobbyists. Many of these corporate lobbyists represented telecommunications and financial companies with business before his committee — the Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee — according to Federal Election Commission data compiled by the nonpartisan Center for Responsive Politics. “Here is a man who wants to appeal to public distrust of insider politics, yet he is the ultimate insider,” Mark Rozell, chairman of the Department of Politics at Catholic University in Washington, told the Detroit Free Press. “It is a stretch to say that he has no connection to insider Washington and that he is untainted by politics and lobbying.”

“Senator Kerry has taken individual contributions from lobbyists, but that has not stopped him from fighting against special interests on behalf of average Americans,” Kerry spokeswoman Stephanie Cutter told the Washington Post, obviously taking most of us for morons. “If anyone thinks a contribution can buy Kerry’s vote, then they are wasting their money.”

Say what?

Excuse me, Ms. Cutter, such patently absurd nonsense may work on your average and pathetically desperate “anybody but Bush” Tweedle Democrat, but for those of us with frontal lobes intact it ain’t gonna wash. Corporations buy votes, they don’t throw money after politicians because they like the hors d’oeuvres at their fundraisers or the cut of their chic Cristophe salon coiffures.

So, for all the idiot Tweedle progressive internationalist Democrats out there: come November, when you vote for Kerry, you will be voting for mass murder and flagrant violation of international law. Like the Good Germans of Nazi Germany, you will be guilty of supporting crimes against humanity. Let’s hear no whining on the day you are held accountable. Don’t blame it on Bush. Remember John Kerry voted to invade Iraq, as did the vast majority of the Tweedle Democrats in Congress.

He also voted for the Patriot Act. “It reflects,” he boasted on the Senate floor, “an enormous amount of hard work by the members of the Senate Banking Committee and the Senate Judiciary Committee. I congratulate them and thank them for that work.” Hard work? As I recall, nobody even read it, they simply gave it a thumbs up because they were afraid of Bush calling them no-good unpatriotic pantywaists.

Finally, Kerry voted for NAFTA, so no commiserating over your lost job. Get over it. McDonalds is hiring and those jobs are now considered manufacturing.

KURT NIMMO is a photographer and multimedia developer in Las Cruces, New Mexico. Visit his excellent no holds barred blog at www.kurtnimmo.com/blogger.html . Nimmo is a contributor to Cockburn and St. Clair’s, The Politics of Anti-Semitism. A collection of his essays for CounterPunch, Another Day in the Empire, is now available from Dandelion Books.

He can be reached at: nimmo@zianet.com

 

 

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KURT NIMMO is a photographer and multimedia developer in Las Cruces, New Mexico. Visit his excellent no holds barred blog at www.kurtnimmo.com/ . Nimmo is a contributor to Cockburn and St. Clair’s, The Politics of Anti-Semitism. A collection of his essays for CounterPunch, Another Day in the Empire, is now available from Dandelion Books. He can be reached at: nimmo@zianet.com

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