• Monthly
  • $25
  • $50
  • $100
  • $other
  • use PayPal

SPRING FUNDRAISER

Is it time for our Spring fundraiser already? If you enjoy what we offer, and have the means, please consider donating. The sooner we reach our modest goal, the faster we can get back to business as (un)usual. Please, stay safe and we’ll see you down the road.
FacebookTwitterRedditEmail

Democrats and Other False Friends

Noam Chomsky recently made an incisive comment about the peculiar political situation we find ourselves in.

When asked by Alternet’s Geov Parrish, “Is George Bush in political trouble?” Chomsky responded:

“George Bush would be in severe political trouble if there were an opposition political party in the country. Just about every day, they’re shooting themselves in the foot. The striking fact about contemporary American politics is that the Democrats are making almost no gain from this. The only gain that they’re getting is that the Republicans are losing support.

“Now, again, an opposition party would be making hay, but the Democrats are so close in policy to the Republicans that they can’t do anything about it. When they try to say something about Iraq, George Bush turns back to them, or Karl Rove turns back to them, and says, ‘How can you criticize it? You all voted for it.’ And, yeah, they’re basically correct.”

Chomsky has hit on the key reason why–in spite of a swirl of problems that continue to trip up the Bush administration and the Republican Party, from Iraq to a host of political and financial scandals at home–they’re still on their feet.

That doesn’t mean that there aren’t any Democrats criticizing Bush. But the parameters of the argument are extremely narrow, hinging on the idea that the occupation of Iraq is being “mishandled.”

The semi-oppositional stance of the Democrats to Bush takes as its starting point a common agreement between the two parties that the U.S. should be able to dominate the world. The worry is that Bush, despite the rhetoric, isn’t doing a very good job.

Former Democratic President Jimmy Carter is one of those critics. He wrote a piece in mid-November expressing his growing concern over “a host of radical government policies that now threaten many basic principles espoused by all previous administrations, Democratic and Republican.”

What really bothers Carter about this administration is that “Regardless of the costs, there are determined efforts by top U.S. leaders to exert American imperial dominance throughout the world.”

Carter may come across today as a sort of benign and liberal old sage, but these statements are in flat contradiction to his practice as the 39th president from 1977-1981. When asked if the U.S. should rebuild Vietnam, a country it destroyed at a cost of three million Vietnamese lives and 58,000 U.S., his glib response was, “Well, the destruction was mutual.”

The Shah Pahlevi regime, which had come to power in Iran in a CIA-sponsored coup in 1953, was renowned for the murderous brutality of its secret police. Carter visited the Shah in 1979 and praised him for his “progressive administration” at a time when the Shah’s military was gunning down thousands of unarmed demonstrators.

In response to the Shah’s fall in the 1979 revolution, Carter, in his 1980 State of the Union address, set forth his Carter Doctrine: “Let our position be absolutely clear: An attempt by any outside force to gain control of the Persian Gulf region will be regarded as an assault on the vital interests of the United States of America, and such an assault will be repelled by any means necessary, including military force.”

PAUL D’AMATO is the Associate Editor of the International Socialist Review. He can be reached at: pdamato@isreview.org

 

More articles by:
Weekend Edition
May 29, 2020
Friday - Sunday
Nick Pemberton
White Supremacy is the Virus; Police are the Vector
T.J. Coles
What’s NATO Up to These Days? Provoking Russia, Draining Healthcare Budgets and Protecting Its Own from COVID
Benjamin Dangl
Bibles at the Barricades: How the Right Seized Power in Bolivia
Kevin Alexander Gray - Jeffrey St. Clair - JoAnn Wypijewski
There is No Peace: an Incitement to Justice
Jeffrey St. Clair
A Few Good Sadists
David Schultz
Trump isn’t the Pope and This Ain’t the Middle Ages
Joshua Frank
In Search of a Lost Socialism
Charles Pierson
Who are the “Wrong Hands” in Yemen?
Andrew Levine
Trump Is Unbeatable in the Race to the Bottom and So Is the GOP
Ramzy Baroud
Political Ambiguity or a Doomsday Weapon: Why Abbas Abandoned Oslo
Pam Martens - Russ Martens
A Growing Wave of Bankruptcies Threatens U.S. Recovery
Joseph Natoli
Conditions Close at Hand
N.D. Jayaprakash
No Lessons Learned From Bhopal: the Toxic Chemical Leak at LG Polymers India 
Ron Jacobs
The Odyssey of Elias Demetracopoulos
J.P. Linstroth
Arundhati Roy on Indian Migrant-Worker Oppression and India’s Fateful COVID Crisis
Melvin Goodman
Goodness Gracious, David Ignatius!!
Roger Harris
Blaming the COVID-19 Pandemic on Too Many Humans:  a Critique of Overpopulation Ideology
Sonali Kolhatkar
For America’s Wealthiest, the Pandemic is a Time to Profit
Prabir Purkayastha
U.S. Declares a Vaccine War on the World
David Rosen
Coronavirus and the Telecom Crisis
Paul Buhle
Why Does W.E.B. Du Bois Matter Today?
Mike Bader
The Only Way to Save Grizzlies: Connect Their Habitats
Dave Lindorff
Pandemic Crisis and Recession Can Spark a Fight for Real Change in the US
Nyla Ali Khan
The Sociopolitical and Historical Context That Shaped Kashmiri Women Like My Grandmother in the 1940s
Louis Proyect
Does Neo-Feudalism Define Our Current Epoch?
Ralph Nader
S. David Freeman: Seven Decades of Participating in Power for All of Us
Norman Solomon
Amy Klobuchar, Minneapolis Police and Her VP Quest
Maria Paez Victor
Venezuela in the 2020 Pandemic
Ron Mitchell
Defending Our Public Lands: One Man’s Legacy
Nomi Prins 
The Great Depression, Coronavirus Style: Crashes, Then and Now
Richard C. Gross
About That City on A Hill
Kathleen Wallace
An Oath for Hypocrites
Eve Ottenberg
Common Preservation or Extinction?
Graham Peebles
Air Pollution Mental Illness and Covid-19
ADRIAN KUZMINSKI
Unearned Income for All
Evan Jones
The Machine Stops
Nicky Reid
Proudhon v. Facebook: A Mutualist Solution to Cyber Tyranny
Kollibri terre Sonnenblume
What is a “Native” Plant in a Changing World?
Shailly Gupta Barnes
Why are Our Leaders Still Putting Their Faith in the Rich?
John Kendall Hawkins
In Search of the Chosŏn People of Lost Korea
Nick Licata
How Hydroxychloroquine Could Help Trump…Politically
Jill Richardson
Tens of Millions of Are Out of Work, Why on Earth is Trump Trying to Cut Food Aid?
Susan Block
Incel Terrorism
Mitchel Cohen
Masks and COVID-19: an Open Letter to Robert Kennedy Jr and Children’s Health Defense
May 28, 2020
Melvin Goodman
Trump’s War on Arms Control and Disarmament
FacebookTwitterRedditEmail