The Better War Candidate?


New York’s Foot Soldiers (our only real hope) by MIKE WHITNEY There’s been precious little from the Kerry camp about the Abu Ghraib prison scandal.

Maybe that’s something Kerry “could do better” too.

To his credit, the Massachusetts senator did send out an e mail to supporters in the Democratic Party calling for Donald Rumsfeld’s resignation.

Unfortunately, the sincerity of the missive is seriously in doubt due to the fact that the message was used as a means of soliciting contributions to the Kerry campaign.

As a whole, the Democratic Party is in denial about the Kerry candidacy. Facing the dramatic shift from the basic institutions that guarantee freedom, people are scrambling to the unprincipled Kerry as though he were the new Messiah.

Kerry, however, is unsuited to this role and has really done nothing to assure his supporters that he will he alter the course charted by Bush. In fact, he has done everything to insure that swing towards a “national security state” will continue.

Already, the 4th, 5th and 6th amendments have been effectively rescinded. The Patriot Act allows the state broad powers of surveillance and intrusion that revoke the 4th amendment’s guarantees of privacy. The “material witness” clause and the “enemy combatant” category have eviscerated the 5th amendments “due process” protection. And, the arbitrary length of detentions has overturned the 6th amendments right to a speedy trial.

In other words, the Bush team knew exactly what it was they wanted to destroy in the constitution and went straight for the jugular.

No one can deny that they have been abundantly successful. (The second term will undoubtedly be focused on the 1st amendment and the right to dissent)

Kerry, of course, has been as silent on the Patriot Act as he has been on the Abu Ghraib. And, there’s a reason for this.

Kerry’s candidacy has been a matter of “go along, and get along”; a “don’t rock the boat” philosophy that acknowledges the new direction of the country and gives a “nod” to the powerbrokers that their mandates will be followed.

Kerry doesn’t like the Patriot Act any more than he likes the war in Iraq. He’s faced with the reality that if he speaks out against the war he will be crushed in the same way as Dean. The big money will back away, and the media will descend on him like a swarm of locusts.

Instead, he has decided to present himself as the best custodian of the imperial scepter; a man who will put a more “benign face” on America’s global aspirations.

And, this is exactly why we need to be cautious. True, Kerry may mean better choices for the environment and, perhaps, better judicial selections. But, a change in leadership may obscure the insidious nature of America’s global program and be a negative factor in derailing the long rage goals of the empire.

For concerns of personal safety, voters will be naturally inclined to Kerry; he seems far less extreme and modestly progressive. But, again, Kerry doesn’t promise change, just more of the same performed “better.”

Is there a “better way” to occupy Iraq and pilfer their resources?

Kerry thinks so.

Is there a “better way” to shred the constitution and deny citizens even basic protections from the arbitrary action of the state?

Kerry thinks so.

Is there a “better way” to soften the blow of high paying jobs fleeing the country as corporate America realigns itself with global trade?

Kerry thinks so.

The world is more galvanized in its hatred of George Bush than anyone could ever have imagined. This means that the global “body politic” is being shaped and “politicized” by America’s behavior.

This is no small matter. All political movements begin with awareness; and this awareness is the only hope of a major shift in America’s fortunes.

Kerry may offer some nominal relief, but his presidency would not resolve the foremost problem, in fact, it would further disguise the infirmity altogether.

The key issue we are facing is America’s disproportionate political, economic and military power. Unless that power is seriously compromised, precipitating greater parity between nations, we will continue to live in a “unipolar” world where aggression, occupation and, yes, even torture flourish unabated.

The world’s antipathy is directed at George Bush. It is, perhaps, the one thing unifies people across the globe and moves them towards collective resistance.

We shouldn’t waste that opportunity for change by voting for someone who only promises “better” wars.

The hundreds of thousands of protesters who marched in New York this week are the new foot soldiers in this battle against repression and war. However, oblique the prospects seem for them succeeding in their mission, they represent our only real hope.not John Kerry.

MIKE WHITNEY lives in Washington state. He can be reached at:


MIKE WHITNEY lives in Washington state. He is a contributor to Hopeless: Barack Obama and the Politics of Illusion (AK Press). Hopeless is also available in a Kindle edition. He can be reached at