Click amount to donate direct to CounterPunch
  • $25
  • $50
  • $100
  • $500
  • $other
  • use PayPal
Please Support CounterPunch’s Annual Fund Drive
We don’t run corporate ads. We don’t shake our readers down for money every month or every quarter like some other sites out there. We only ask you once a year, but when we ask we mean it. So, please, help as much as you can. We provide our site for free to all, but the bandwidth we pay to do so doesn’t come cheap. All contributions are tax-deductible.
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail

Acid Dreams: Bernie and His Discontents

For a straight-no-chaser interview with Jeffrey St Clair about “Bernie and the Sandernistas: Field Notes from a Failed Revolution,” listen to KPFA Radio’s Against the Grain, 12.21.2016. The book itself is more like a series of acid dreams with added intoxicants. We live in a world of such acid dreamlike extremes that I wouldn’t have bothered to read a more sober account. As the Democratic National Convention finally begins on cable TV, St. Clair summons the spirit of Hunter S. Thompson, the master of lucid acid dreaming, and they work very well together. Margot Kidder, writing from her small town Montana mountain home, helps them liberate imagination and resolve the contradictory conditions of dream and reality in revolutionary synthesis.

Everywhere is war

In his introduction, St. Clair writes, “Indeed, war has become the nation’s permanent condition. There seems to be a new one every few months. Few can keep up. And who goes off to fight them? Not many of us, or even people that we know. A new warrior class seemed to have taken root. We noticed them mainly from the decals on their
bernie-the-sandernistas-cover-344x550-e1477943826411trucks or from their wheelchairs and prosthetic limbs, rarely encountered in the check-out line at Safeway. More and more, machines were doing the war’s wetwork, killing nameless people in nameless regions on the far side of the world, hundreds of miles from any known base of operations. War has become the background noise, the ambient soundtrack of our time.”

The Sanders campaign failed by failing to amplify and oppose that soundtrack. What kind of “revolution” fails to stop the wheels of the war machine? What kind of fool or con artist jabbers on about stopping climate change while promising to help freaky Saudi oil sheiks win their sectarian pipeline wars in Syria and Yemen?

When hostile corporate journalists asked Sanders how the hell he was going to pay for free college tuition or “Medicare for All,” why didn’t he point to the war budget required to sustain more wars than we can keep track of, plus 800 military bases, and the Unified Combatant Command with its nine global, cyber and space spanning sub-commands?

Trump isn’t likely to keep his promise not to keep squandering trillions on wars that create more chaos and terror, but Sanders didn’t even try to rally his team behind the idea. In a brief nod to the expense of permanent war, he said that we should have intervened in Rwanda, but that Europe should pay their fair share of our next pseudo-humanitarian, imperial resource war.

Jeffrey St. Clair has tracked the sordid trail of every pro-war stance that Senator Sanders took and every pro-war vote he cast on the way to his failed crusade for equality at home and war abroad. Each instance shines light on how we came to be “mired in debt and endless war” as Senator Sanders came to be where he is, from Vermont to the House, then the Senate and his new luxury vacation home on Lake Champlain.

It all began with his post-Vietnam War retreat to Vermont where the Progressive Alliance emerged to declare its independence from Republicans and Democrats and made him the Mayor of Burlington. That seems to explain why he put on a show of leaving the Democratic Party after it failed to give him the nomination last July, and why he still clings to his flimsy veneer of independence from the party, even after becoming its “Outreach Chair,” a brand new position that Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer created just for him. I hope that’s not enough to fool anyone, especially the anti-war, anti-duopoly Green Mountain base that gave him his start.

More articles by:

Ann Garrison is an independent journalist who also contributes to the San Francisco Bay View, Global Research, the Black Agenda Report and the Black Star News, and produces radio for KPFA-Berkeley and WBAI-New York City.  In 2014, she was awarded the Victoire Ingabire Umuhoza Democracy and Peace Prize by the Womens International Network for Democracy and Peace.  She can be reached at ann@afrobeatradio.com.

October 15, 2018
Rob Urie
Climate Crisis is Upon Us
Conn Hallinan
Syria’s Chessboard
Patrick Cockburn
The Saudi Atrocities in Yemen are a Worse Story Than the Disappearance of Jamal Khashoggi
Sheldon Richman
Trump’s Middle East Delusions Persist
Justin T. McPhee
Uberrima Fides? Witness K, East Timor and the Economy of Espionage
Tom Gill
Spain’s Left Turn?
Jeff Cohen
Few Democrats Offer Alternatives to War-Weary Voters
Dean Baker
Corporate Debt Scares
Gary Leupp
The Khashoggi Affair and and the Anti-Iran Axis
Russell Mokhiber
Sarah Chayes Calls on West Virginians to Write In No More Manchins
Clark T. Scott
Acclimated Behaviorisms
Kary Love
Evolution of Religion
Colin Todhunter
From GM Potatoes to Glyphosate: Regulatory Delinquency and Toxic Agriculture
Binoy Kampmark
Evacuating Nauru: Médecins Sans Frontières and Australia’s Refugee Dilemma
Marvin Kitman
The Kitman Plan for Peace in the Middle East: Two Proposals
Weekend Edition
October 12, 2018
Friday - Sunday
Becky Grant
My History with Alexander Cockburn and The Financial Future of CounterPunch
Paul Street
For Popular Sovereignty, Beyond Absurdity
Nick Pemberton
The Colonial Pantsuit: What We Didn’t Want to Know About Africa
Jeffrey St. Clair
The Summer of No Return
Jeff Halper
Choices Made: From Zionist Settler Colonialism to Decolonization
Gary Leupp
The Khashoggi Incident: Trump’s Special Relationship With the Saudi Monarchy
Andrew Levine
Democrats: Boost, Knock, Enthuse
Barbara Kantz
The Deportation Crisis: Report From Long Island
Doug Johnson
Nate Silver and 538’s Measurable 3.5% Democratic Bias and the 2018 House Race
Gwen Carr
This Stops Today: Seeking Justice for My Son Eric Garner
Robert Hunziker
Peak Carbon Emissions By 2020, or Else!
Arshad Khan
Is There Hope on a World Warming at 1.5 Degrees Celsius?
David Rosen
Packing the Supreme Court in the 21stCentury
Brian Cloughley
Trump’s Threats of Death and Destruction
Joel A. Harrison
The Case for a Non-Profit Single-Payer Healthcare System
Ramzy Baroud
That Single Line of Blood: Nassir al-Mosabeh and Mohammed al-Durrah
Zhivko Illeieff
Addiction and Microtargeting: How “Social” Networks Expose us to Manipulation
ADRIAN KUZMINSKI
What is Truth?
Michael Doliner
Were the Constitution and the Bill of Rights a Mistake?
Victor Grossman
Cassandra Calls
Ralph E. Shaffer
Could Kavanaugh’s Confirmation Hearing Ended Differently?
Vanessa Cid
Our Everyday Family Separations
Walaa Al Ghussein
The Risks of Being a Journalist in Gaza
Ron Jacobs
Betrayal and Treachery—The Extremism of Moderates
James Munson
Identity Politics and the Ruling Class
P. Sainath
The Floods of Kerala: the Bank That Went Under…Almost
Ariel Dorfman
How We Roasted Donald Duck, Disney’s Agent of Imperialism
Joe Emersberger
Ecuadorian President Lenin Moreno’s Assault on Human Rights and Judicial Independence
Ed Meek
White Victimhood: Brett Kavanaugh and the New GOP Brand
Andrew McLean, MD
A Call for “Open Space”
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail