FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail

Monsters

I voted for William Clinton in 1992. I did not regard voting for the future president as a stupid act. I didn’t care about how many women Clinton used and abused. I wanted only to help get rid of the evil force then residing in the White House. It was a reactionary–not revolutionary–choice. I cast my vote for Clinton because his opponent was a monster. I wanted to defeat George Herbert Walker Bush. The attacks on Panama and Iraq during Bush’s administration (1989-1993) were acts of war. He authorized and directed criminal actions that killed thousands of innocent people. Bush is also responsible for starting a new era of aggressive wars perpetrated against sovereign nations by the United States of America.

The first President Bush, though, is now considered a moderate in the pantheon of American presidents who have invaded other countries without specific declarations of war.

After defeating Bush, President Clinton also evolved into a monster, flitting from unforgivable inaction during the Rwandan crisis in 1994 to the illegal bombing of Serbia in 1999. Clinton, unwilling to help stop genocide in Rwanda, did assist in breaking up the former Yugoslavia by aiding and abetting ethnic nationalists as they butchered their neighbors in an orgy of killing, from Sarajevo to Srbrenica, Knin to Kosovo. President Clinton’s exploits regarding Yugoslavia culminated in the illegal bombing of Serbia, and that crime alone has earned him a reputation equally as vile as that of George H. W. Bush. Yet, even though he beat down both Bush and Belgrade, Clinton is no match for the son of Bush.

George Walker Bush is an extremely vicious monster. He has surpassed the crimes of his father and his predecessor. And, of the six other men who held the office of president since the end of the so-called Good War, only Lyndon Johnson and Richard Nixon could be considered the equal of the current occupant of the White House. George Bush and his minions have–during a seven year reign of terror–defeated two veterans of the Vietnam War in disputed elections; bombed two nations mercilessly, without pity or declarations of war; stomped all over the Constitution and the Bill of Rights; permitted the imprisonment and torture of innocent people in Cuba, Iraq, Afghanistan and other undisclosed locations around the world; and, if his boyhood escapades (torturing animals and college pledges) are a guide to what sort of man he is now, George W. Bush might even beat his dog.

American imperialism under Bush, Clinton and Bush was (and is) destructive, continuing a long tradition of force used against innocent people, foreign and domestic. A lethal combination of God, guns, guts and greed has, since the final days of colonialism, caused great suffering when American presidents engaged in criminal acts, especially if those actions were enforced by the lethal power of the military. Ethnic cleansing, slavery, genocide, and wars of conquest are the legacy. The three recent presidents were just following previous leaders as they marched down off the shining hill, and into the valleys of death.

The United States of America has created some nasty monsters.

As the nation endures another season of electoral politics, hunting for a leader who looks and acts presidential, the masks of civility sometimes slip, allowing ordinary people the opportunity to observe the true face of potential evil. In order to gain votes, all of the major presidential candidates remaining in the race have said they would entertain the idea of invading other nations. They believe it essential to bare fangs and claws when questioned about their ability to act presidential’.

Senator John McCain is the one candidate who has personal experience participating in criminal acts in a foreign war. As a trained killer, McCain flew dozens of missions into the territory of North Vietnam, dropping bombs on innocent civilians. When the defenders of that nation finally shot McCain down, he was captured, imprisoned, and suffered the consequences of enhanced interrogation techniques. In North Vietnam, during their war against the United States, McCain was considered a prisoner of war, not an enemy combatant. The brutal treatment he experienced in the hands of his captors taught McCain that torture is a war crime. Unless, of course, approved and directed by an American president. Senator McCain is a monster-in-training, and he will not be getting my vote.

Although there are some people who believe Hillary Clinton is already a monster, the Senator from New York occupies the same position as Senator McCain: a wannabe monster. Clinton touts her years of experience, beginning with her support of Nixon, then (flip-floppishly) McGovern, as milestones in her career. Her day job working as a corporate lawyer in Arkansas, and her nightly encounters with her husband, the then-governor of the “Natural State, are used to bolster her image. In 1992, Clinton followed her husband into the White House and, although she failed in the attempt to change the health care system, her eight years as First Lady did end on a positive note when the American public felt sympathy for her plight as the scorned woman during the impeachment trial of President William Clinton. The first woman to have a legitimate chance to become an American president is not yet barbaric. She should not yet be labeled a monster. Like Paula Hill, Monica Lewinsky, and many other women who had encounters with the forty-second President, Hillary Clinton was only, in the slang of an earlier time, a monster’s ball. If Senator Clinton is nominated by the Democrats, I will not be voting for her in November of 2008.

Senator Barack Obama, the current leader in the political campaign to be the candidate of the Democrats, was too young to have fought in Vietnam, and is now too old to join the military and fight in Iraq or Afghanistan. Obama has fought his battles in American streets, in corporate law offices, in smoke-filled rooms, and in the United States Senate. Instead of firing a gun, the Senator from Illinois has shot from the lip, giving awe-inspiring speeches to adoring crowds in his quest to become the first black president (or, perhaps, the second black president, in the minds of Clinton supporters) of the United States of America. Obama is a political rock star–more akin to Will Smith than Marilyn Manson–and, except for the people of Pakistan, doesn’t seem to pose a threat to the health and safety of innocents abroad. He is not a monster, nor will he get the chance to flex his muscles as well as his mouth, until he beats both Hillary Clinton in the primary election, and John McCain in the general election. If allowed the opportunity, I might vote for Barack Obama.

JAMES T. PHILLIPS reported from Iraq, Croatia, Bosnia, Serbia (Kosovo), and Macedonia during an eleven year career as a freelance war correspondent (1991-2002). His final report, from Kosovo, was included in Imperial Crusades: Iraq, Afghanistan & Yugoslavia, by Alexander Cockburn and Jeffrey St. Clair; published by Verso, 2004. He can be contacted at jamestphillips@yahoo.com

 

 

 

 

 

More articles by:
Weekend Edition
September 21, 2018
Friday - Sunday
Alexandra Isfahani-Hammond
Hurricane Florence and 9.7 Million Pigs
Andrew Levine
Israel’s Anti-Semitism Smear Campaign
Paul Street
Laquan McDonald is Being Tried for His Own Racist Murder
Brad Evans
What Does It Mean to Celebrate International Peace Day?
Nick Pemberton
With or Without Kavanaugh, The United States Is Anti-Choice
Jim Kavanagh
“Taxpayer Money” Threatens Medicare-for-All (And Every Other Social Program)
Jonathan Cook
Palestine: The Testbed for Trump’s Plan to Tear up the Rules-Based International Order
Jeffrey St. Clair
Roaming Charges: the Chickenhawks Have Finally Come Back Home to Roost!
David Rosen
As the Capitalist World Turns: From Empire to Imperialism to Globalization?
Jonah Raskin
Green Capitalism Rears Its Head at Global Climate Action Summit
James Munson
On Climate, the Centrists are the Deplorables
Robert Hunziker
Is Paris 2015 Already Underwater?
Arshad Khan
Will Their Ever be Justice for Rohingya Muslims?
Jill Richardson
Why Women Don’t Report Sexual Assault
Dave Clennon
A Victory for Historical Accuracy and the Peace Movement: Not One Emmy for Ken Burns and “The Vietnam War”
W. T. Whitney
US Harasses Cuba Amid Mysterious Circumstances
Nathan Kalman-Lamb
Things That Make Sports Fans Uncomfortable
George Capaccio
Iran: “Snapping Back” Sanctions and the Threat of War
Kenneth Surin
Brexit is Coming, But Which Will It Be?
Louis Proyect
Moore’s “Fahrenheit 11/9”: Entertaining Film, Crappy Politics
Ramzy Baroud
Why Israel Demolishes: Khan Al-Ahmar as Representation of Greater Genocide
Ben Dangl
The Zapatistas’ Dignified Rage: Revolutionary Theories and Anticapitalist Dreams of Subcommandante Marcos
Ron Jacobs
Faith, Madness, or Death
Bill Glahn
Crime Comes Knocking
Terry Heaton
Pat Robertson’s Hurricane “Miracle”
Dave Lindorff
In Montgomery County PA, It’s Often a Jury of White People
Louis Yako
From Citizens to Customers: the Corporate Customer Service Culture in America 
William Boardman
The Shame of Dianne Feinstein, the Courage of Christine Blasey Ford 
Ernie Niemi
Logging and Climate Change: Oregon is Appalachia and Timber is Our Coal
Jessicah Pierre
Nike Says “Believe in Something,” But Can It Sacrifice Something, Too?
Paul Fitzgerald - Elizabeth Gould
Weaponized Dreams? The Curious Case of Robert Moss
Olivia Alperstein
An Environmental 9/11: the EPA’s Gutting of Methane Regulations
Ted Rall
Why Christine Ford vs. Brett Kavanaugh is a Train Wreck You Can’t Look Away From
Lauren Regan
The Day the Valves Turned: Defending the Pipeline Protesters
Ralph Nader
Questions, Questions Where are the Answers?
Binoy Kampmark
Deplatforming Germaine Greer
Raouf Halaby
It Should Not Be A He Said She Said Verdict
Robert Koehler
The Accusation That Wouldn’t Go Away
Jim Hightower
Amazon is Making Workers Tweet About How Great It is to Work There
Robby Sherwin
Rabbi, Rabbi, Where For Art Thou Rabbi?
Vern Loomis
Has Something Evil This Way Come?
Steve Baggarly
Disarm Trident Walk Ends in Georgia
Graham Peebles
Priorities of the Time: Peace
Michael Doliner
The Department of Demonization
David Yearsley
Bollocks to Brexit: the Plumber Sings
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail