Senator John F. Kerry, the presumptive Democratic nominee for President, is under fire from all the usual conservative and neo-conservative rabble rousers for stating that a number of world leaders (or leaders, depending on the transcript one reads), are privately rooting for him to replace George W. Bush in the White House.
Shame, cry the right-wingnuts. Barking out their propaganda on their corporate-controlled 24 x 7 cable news networks and syndicated radio blabfests, they insist that Kerry should violate the sanctity of his private conversations and state the name of the world leaders. Bush calls on Kerry to give up the names. Even the usually quiet Dick Cheney weighs in and infers that Cheney must be cutting some sort of deals with foreign leaders in order to gain their endorsements. Perhaps Cheney wants to oversee the first prosecution under the arcane Logan Act, which was used by President John Adams in 1799 to threaten a Philadelphia Quaker named George Logan for practicing private diplomacy without authorization. At the time, the United States and France were about ready to declare war on each other, but Adams’s Vice President, his rival Thomas Jefferson, wanted nothing to with an armed conflict with France. When Jefferson discovered that Logan was traveling to France to discuss peace, he asked Logan to deliver a peace letter to the French. Adams was hopping mad and threatened Logan (and, by default, Jefferson) with prosecution for making a peace offer to the French that ran counter to the pro-war policies of Adams.
Sound familiar? Ask Susan Lindauer, the former journalist and press secretary for four Democratic members of Congress who has recently been indicted for trying to set up a back channel between Saddam Hussein and the White House to avoid war.
France loved the multi-talented Thomas Jefferson and made no secret about it. And the French despised Adams, whom they felt was a typical Anglophile New Englander mercantilist without much class or loyalty to the country that helped save the American Revolution. In that respect, 1799 is not much different from 2004. Across party lines, the French leadership despises George W. Bush.
The right-wing Bush supporters want names? I will give them names: French President Jacques Chirac, French Foreign Minister Dominique de Villepin, German Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder, Russian President Vladimir Putin, incoming Spanish Prime Minister Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero (who told the Guardian newspaper of Britain that he wants Kerry to win), Canadian Prime Minister Paul Martin, New Zealand Prime Minister Helen Clark, Belgian Prime Minister Guy Verhofstadt, South African President Thabo Mbeki, Haitian de jure President Jean-Bertrand Aristide, and essentially very world leader who is not a liar (Phony Tony Blair of Great Britain), a crook (Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi), an un-convicted war criminal (Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon), a leader who feed at the trough of U.S. defense contractors (Polish Prime Minister Leszek Miller), or someone who revels in the nostalgia of an imperialist past (Japanese Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi).
In fact, every world leader who opposed Bush’s phony war in Iraq wants to see Kerry win in November in order to restore some semblance of sanity to a White House currently run by dangerous ideologues and religious fanatics with their fingers on the buttons of weapons of mass destruction. As Kerry’s foreign policy advisers are saying, one cannot travel around the world today without hearing people from all walks of life, from cab drivers to former UN weapons inspection team leaders, express their utter revulsion for the policies of Bush.
It is interesting to note how fast Spain has become a treacherous rogue (in league with France and Germany) from its former status as America’s beloved ally-in-arms, since Bush’s proto-fascist friends in Madrid were turned out of office. Not since George Orwell’s Oceania declared war on its ally Eastasia have we seen such a quick betrayal of an ally.
The neo-cons, always ready to grandstand about lies (a subject for which they have eminent expertise), cite the fact that Kerry was not in Washington when a number of world leaders were visiting the nation’s capital. Therefore, they claim, there was no way that Kerry could have had any face-to-face meetings. I guess these knuckleheads tend to forget that the United Nations headquarters is still in New York (against their protestations to the contrary) and last September the organization attracted well over a hundred world leaders to the opening session of the General Assembly. They included Chirac, Norwegian Prime Minister Kjell Magne Bondevik, then-Canadian Prime Minister Jean Chretien, and Brazilian President Luis Inacio Lula da Silva (Venezuela’s President Hugo Chavez was due to fly to New York but his security agencies discovered a plot by Bush’s Latin American policy gangsters to shoot down his plane–he wisely cancelled his trip). Could John Kerry have quietly slipped in and out of Manhattan to socially meet with the world dignitaries at any number of mid-town hotels that cater to such private get-togethers? Maybe yes, maybe no. But that is the business of him and those leaders.
George W. Bush claims his right to confidentiality for his shady Harken Energy dealings in Houston during the 1980s with Saudi businessmen who were hooked up with the Bin Laden family, including elder brother Salem and younger brother Osama. I am sure John Kerry will be more than happy to divulge his conversations with foreign leaders when Bush reveals his own with the Bin Laden family and their business agents.
WAYNE MADSEN is a Washington, DC-based investigative journalist and columnist. He wrote the introduction to Forbidden Truth. He is the co-author, with John Stanton, of “America’s Nightmare: The Presidency of George Bush II.”
Madsen can be reached at: WMadsen777@aol.com