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Kerry's Venezuela Statement Promises Status Quo

Senator Kerry's Venezuela statement does not represent an alternative to the Bush Doctrine. Voters need to demand more from someone who is asking for our support and our votes.
The recent statement (March 19) of John Kerry on Venezuela, including unfounded allegations about President Hugo Chavez, indicates outright ignorance or, more likely, collusion with the reactionary, corporate-driven interests of the so-called "civil society" in Venezuela.

It is also very likely that his motivation to issue such a statement is linked to a notion based on failed logic that somehow it will attract votes from among the a group of exiled Cubans who want to take Cuba and Latin America back to 1958.

A group of registered Democrats here in Oregon has written to the Senator and his campaign.

To quote from the letter: "If this policy statement respresents the official view of your campaign, we must, regrettably, conclude that it impossible for us to cast our vote in November for you. This statement about Venezuela carries many remifications. It clearly means to the informed voter that your foreign policy will be substantially identical to the failed policy of the Bush Administration. It also indicates that, most likely, you would be antagonistic toward the democratically elected governments of Brazil and Argentina, which would be in line with the Bush Doctrine, but it would not provide any reason to vote for you in November."

None of this should surprise those of us who know the way our two parties, and their corporate sponsors, operate internationally.

The National Endowment for Democracy (NED) receives funding from both the U.S. Congress and the State Department. It is made up of the National Democratic Institute for International Affairs (NDI) - representing the Democratic Party, the International Republican Institute (IRI) - representing the Republican Party, the Center for Internatinal Private Enterprise (CIPE) - a branch of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, and the Free Trade Union Institute (FTUI) - an international branch of the AFL-CIO.

For the purpose of protecting and promoting "U.S. interests" abroad these organizations work in close coordination with each other under the umbrella of the U.S. tax-funded NED. In Venezuela, they have sent over $1,000,000 per year to organizations in Venezuela that use any means necessary, including violence and physical threats, to undermine the democratically elected government.

Venezuela has one of the most advanced, sophisticated, and comprehensive constitutions ever written. It was approved in 1999 by a vast majority of Venezuelan voters. Those involved in drafting the constitution included many of those who are now leaders of the so-called opposition. However, when they participated in the coup d'etat in April 2002, they summarily suspended the constitution and re-instituted the 1960 constitution, and they illegally disbanded the Supreme Court, the National Assembly, and all of the Executive Branch. This was done under the leadership of Pedro Carmona, the head of the Venezuelan Chamber of Commerce, who had literally sworn himself in as President of Venezuela. These are the people being supported by the NED, and, therefore, by the U.S. Democratic Party, the U.S. Republican Party, Corporate America (U.S. Chamber of Commerce) and the AFL-CIO.

If the Democrats and Kerry are the "Real Deal", how can they justify supporting such undemocratic and corrupting elements?

If we vote for Kerry and the Democrats, at this point, based on his own statements, the best we can hope for is the maintenance of the status quo. What message would we be sending to the groups represented by NED if we support Kerry? A vote for Kerry, as long as he maintains this stance, is an endorsement of the NED and an endorsement of the Bush Doctrine.

Some people have tried to argue that Kerry's statement was not written by him - that it was planted by reactionary elements within his campaign. Well, regardless of what one may be believe about this, we can be sure that he is aware of it now. He has the opportunity to use multiple means to correct himself.

The American people are looking for an alternative to Bush. Kerry's statement illustrates nothing that would indicate that he is this alternative.

One can only hope that Oregon will send a message to the Democratic Party by voting for Dennis Kucinich in its May 18th Primary.

The Oregon Bolivarian Circle encourages everyone to let the Kerry campaign know that we are not interested in a "real deal" that simply continues the policies of the past which have led to coup's, wars, oppression, and the exploitation of the weak and poor.
My slogen 27.Mar.2004 11:45

Billions moron this War

A vote for Kerry IS a vote for Bush

Reign of the Mayberry Machiavellis 27.Mar.2004 12:38

Jim VandeHei

On Sunday, Hagel, a maverick Republican with a reputation similar to McCain's for speaking his mind, criticized the Bush campaign ad that called Kerry "weak on defense." Speaking on ABC's "This Week," Hagel said: "The facts just don't measure [up to] the rhetoric."

He said it is unfair to isolate one or two votes over a 19-year career to make such a sweeping assessment of Kerry. "You can . . . take any of us, and pick out the different votes, and then try to manufacture something around it," he said. ...

... While McCain and Hagel provided Kerry short-term cover, Clarke's comments could prove more damaging to Bush in the long run, Republican and Democratic strategists said. Clarke, who had a front-row seat to White House deliberations over al Qaeda and Iraq, is making the same case Kerry is -- that Bush could have done more to prevent the Sept. 11 attacks and should have done more to hunt down Osama bin Laden. A top GOP strategist, who insisted on anonymity because he represents clients with interests before the Bush administration, said Clarke's comment also built Kerry's case that Bush may have something to hide.

In a broader context, Clarke sounded concerns expressed by O'Neill and John J. DiIulio Jr., the former head of the White House Office of Faith-Based and Community Initiatives: that Bush is running an insulated White House driven by conservative ideology and politics. DiIulio, the first former Bush official to publicly criticize the president, said in a 2002 magazine interview that "it's the reign of the Mayberry Machiavellis."


Nader 27.Mar.2004 13:42

George Bender

The next task is to get Nader on the Oregon ballot. To do that we need to get 1,000 registered voters together in one place at the same time. Join us on April 5, 6 p.m., Roseland Theater, 8 NW 6th Ave. It's free. If you're not already registered to vote you can register there.

 http://naderoregon.org/

Goodbye, American Republic. Hello Empire. 27.Mar.2004 15:03

Tom

The imperialists have all the bases covered. If Nader runs, it splits the vote and Bush "wins". The imperialists win.

If Bush self-immolates or is destroyed by the Republican National Committe-- which seems likely-- then Kerry wins. Which is to say, the imperialists win.

They got us.

OK, get over it already 28.Mar.2004 10:44

Adammonte9000 adammonte9000@aol.com

Yes, Kerry's comments were reckless, and not supported by facts. But if you're letting one dumb comment he said make you think he's no different than Bush, that's truly sad. Kerry never said Chavez was an enemy of the US or anything like that, and he spoke out against the attempted coup on the democratically elected president. Big deal!

"Adammonte9000" 28.Mar.2004 11:44

over it

"Yes, Kerry's comments were reckless, and not supported by facts."

--were they really "reckless"? why do they still remain at his website?

"not supported by facts"? according to Kerry's own statement and website, he knows exactly what's going on. if you, 'Adammonte9000', really do believe that Kerry's statement is "not supported by facts," then would you please - as a Kerry booster yourself - lobby the Senator to revise his statement and the posting at his campaign website?

"But if you're letting one dumb comment he said make you think he's no different than Bush, that's truly sad."

--Kerry is truly sad and no different than Bush, but it's not just "one" "dumb comment" - it's his dozens of Senatorial votes and official public policy statements on all kinds of social policy, national security, and constitutional issues.

"Kerry never said Chavez was an enemy of the US or anything like that, and he spoke out against the attempted coup on the democratically elected president. Big deal!"

--yeah, it is a big deal. no matter how Kerry tries to "sugar coat" his Venezuela policy for dupes like 'Adammonte9000' to swallow, it proves his allegiance to continuing the Latin American and anti-democratic Oil policies of Bush.

speaking of coups, Senator Kerry and his colleague Senator Albert Gore - along with the rest of their Democratic Congressional officeholders - could have done a lot more to prevent the Bush / Supreme Court of the United States coup of pResidential Selection 2000, but didn't. Kerry voted for the neo-Fascist USA Patriot Act, and will not repeal it.

not to mention Kerry's stance and Senatorial votes on everything else:

Bush's tax cuts
Economic Growth and Tax Relief Reconciliation Act of 2001
 http://www.senate.gov/legislative/LIS/roll_call_lists/roll_call_vote_cfm.cfm?congress=107&session=1&vote=00170
Kerry - Absent

Bush's tax cuts
Job Creation and Worker Assistance Act of 2002
 http://www.senate.gov/legislative/LIS/roll_call_lists/roll_call_vote_cfm.cfm?congress=107&session=2&vote=00044
Kerry - Yea
(This one did extend unemployment and gave tax cuts to businesses, though only temporarily, supposedly)

Patriot Act
 http://www.senate.gov/legislative/LIS/roll_call_lists/roll_call_vote_cfm.cfm?congress=107&session=1&vote=00302
Kerry - Yea

Homeland Security Act
 http://www.senate.gov/legislative/LIS/roll_call_lists/roll_call_vote_cfm.cfm?congress=107&session=2&vote=00249
Kerry - Yea

Help America Vote Act [Electronic Voting Machines]
 http://www.senate.gov/legislative/LIS/roll_call_lists/roll_call_vote_cfm.cfm?congress=107&session=2&vote=00238
Kerry - Yea

Terrorism Risk Protection Act
 http://www.senate.gov/legislative/LIS/roll_call_lists/roll_call_vote_cfm.cfm?congress=107&session=2&vote=00252
Kerry - Yea

Authorization for the Use of Military Force Against Iraq
 http://www.senate.gov/legislative/LIS/roll_call_lists/roll_call_vote_cfm.cfm?congress=107&session=2&vote=00237
Kerry - Yea

National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2004
 http://thomas.loc.gov/cgi-bin/bdquery/z?d108:SN01050:@@@L&summ2=m&
Kerry - Yea

Amendment SA 715 - To strike the repeal of the prohibition on research and development of low-yield nuclear weapons.
 http://www.senate.gov/legislative/LIS/roll_call_lists/roll_call_vote_cfm.cfm?congress=108&session=1&vote=00186
Kerry - Absent

So what exactly is this progressive record of Kerry's...

Hey "over it" 28.Mar.2004 16:20

Adammonte9000 adammonte9000@aol.com

I'm not a Kerry booster, and I haven't endorsed him. His votes and flip flops on the Patriot Act and NAFTA and the Iraq Resolution are troubling, as I've been saying all along. I was just saying that people are making too big of a deal out of this statement he made. And I am encouraging people to write Kerry, demanding that he take strong progressive positions, explain a lot of his flip flops, and back up his statements about Chavez if he wants to get votes form people like me (or anybody else on Indymedia). But on the other hand, he does have a progressive record on many other issues, such as voting against oil drilling in Alaska, voting against BUsh's recent tax cut, voting against the $87 billion to keep the war going, voting against defense of marriage, voting against the authorization of force in the first GUlf War, against the ridiculous medicare and energy bills, etc. Now that doesn't necessarily cancel his votes for the Patriot Act and the Iraq resolution, etc., but I'm not gonna count Kerry out. I'm still undecided, and whether I vote for Kerry sort of depends where he goes from here (what positions he takes, what kinda campaigns he runs, who his VP is, etc.). If he shifts to the right and/or is a disapointment, I'll support Nader. But I'm not supporting anybody yet and I'd encourage other people not to quite yet. Let's wait...

'Adammonte9000' 28.Mar.2004 21:26

over it

"I'm not a Kerry booster, and I haven't endorsed him. His votes and flip flops on the Patriot Act and NAFTA and the Iraq Resolution are troubling, as I've been saying all along."

--you've been "saying all along", huh? why don't you make specifically clear what's "troubling" you -- to us, and to him? if a vote for NAFTA doesn't clue you in to Kerry's long-term economic and human rights goals, perhaps nothing will, though. his Iraq policy has been extensively discussed here and elswhere.

"I was just saying that people are making too big of a deal out of this statement he made."

--**not enough** has been made of it: Kerry's standing by his statement. and until he makes some sort of excuse or retraction, we can expect the same aggressive, interventionist, anti-international law, anti-arms control, anti-human rights foreign policy  http://portland.indymedia.org/en/2004/03/282263.shtml from him.

"And I am encouraging people to write Kerry, demanding that he take strong progressive positions, explain a lot of his flip flops, and back up his statements about Chavez if he wants to get votes form [sic] people like me (or anybody else on Indymedia)."

--good. (or is it still "too big a deal"?) just make certain you actually do something about it.

"But on the other hand, he does have a progressive record on many other issues such as"

--"many" other? such as??

"voting against oil drilling in Alaska"

--this won't last, given his Venezuela and Iraq policy. and as a single issue, it's certainly nothing to build a presidential campaign on. besides, even if anyone did ever drill for oil in ANWAR: the reserves there'd only last U.S. consumption a period of several months.

"voting against BUsh's recent tax cut"

--admittedly, this is one of the more extreme policies of the current administration which Kerry could be expected to toe the Democrat opposition line on. but he voted in favor of the previous two Bush tax cuts.

"voting against the $87 billion to keep the war going"

--not sure what you're referring to here. The war will KEEP GOING under Kerry - he wants 40,000 new troops just to start; his 'no' vote on that specific funding resolution was a minor squabble over amounts and allocation. (he's not withdrawing the U.S. from Iraq, if that's what you'd lamely hoped to infer with this.)

"voting against defense of marriage"

--another single issue not to base your entire Presidential campaign on, especially in modern America's political climate.

"voting against the authorization of force in the first GUlf War"

--that was 15 years ago. he endorsed Gulf War II. where do we (and he) go next?

"against the ridiculous medicare and energy bills, etc."

--yet again toeing the liberal mainstream Democrat opposition to extreme Bush corporatization of these industries / services under the current administration. But have the Democrats themselves proposed fantastically better alternatives, without pharmaceutical / oil-gas-coal company slewing??? and given the lobbying of corporate forces - no matter who wins the White House - it can only get worse.

"Now that doesn't necessarily cancel his votes for the Patriot Act and the Iraq resolution, etc.,"

--you're right, it DOESN'T.

"but I'm not gonna count Kerry out. I'm still undecided, and whether I vote for Kerry sort of depends where he goes from here (what positions he takes, what kinda campaigns he runs, who his VP is, etc.). If he shifts to the right and/or is a disapointment, I'll support Nader. But I'm not supporting anybody yet and I'd encourage other people not to quite yet. Let's wait..."

--how long do we "wait"? Nader is here now. for registered Democrats [that you, 'Adammonte9000'??] voting in primaries, Kucinich is here until he drops out. if you don't particularly care about or endorse a Presidential candidate, at least devote some energy to this:


Over It 28.Mar.2004 22:59

Adammonte9000 adammonte9000@aol.com

-for registered Democrats [that you, 'Adammonte9000'??]-

You must've mistaken me for someone else. I'm not, nor have I ever been a democrat, nor do I like the Democratic Party (a nicer, kinder version of the republicans, yet sometimes not so "nice or kind"). I'm an independent. So how about getting some facts straight before making accusations?

-Kerry's standing by his statement. and until he makes some sort of excuse or retraction, we can expect the same aggressive, interventionist, anti-international law, anti-arms control, anti-human rights foreign policy-

How do you know that's what we'll get from Kerry? Just because he made a silly accusation about Chavez? You think he's gonna invade Venezuela? Last I heard Kerry was all for international law, and even declared it when he voted for the Iraq Resolution, when he said Bush needs to work through the UN and go to war as a last resort.

But no, I don't like the Democrats, and I'd much rather have someone like Kucinich rather than Kerry. I've supported Kucinich since the beginning and will continue to as long as he's in.

Right now I'm interested in getting rid of Bush, and replacing him with somebody who'll actually do good. I don't know if Kerry is the man to do that, that's why I'm waiting til closer to election time to decide.

a9000- 28.Mar.2004 23:25

over it

"Right now I'm interested in getting rid of Bush, and replacing him with somebody who'll actually do good."

--sanctimonious, redundant, and unnecessary statement, Adam.

that's what everyone at this site wants. why WOULDN'T we?

the problem is that the reality of Multibillion Dollar Corporate Control of our government and Selected representatives will not allow that to happen with a Presidential candidate.

Kerry is the only one with a chance of "beating" Bush. and he may just do that, e.g. in winching up the troop commitment to Iraq, and many other horrors to come.

there is - effectively - no difference between Bush and Kerry (see above, and many other recent Portland IMC article threads).

not least of which is the fact that they're both Multimillionaire Skull & Bones Blood Brothers (gee, I wonder how they both *coincidentally* happen to be running for President this year?).

a9000 - on "supporting" Kucinich 28.Mar.2004 23:50

over it

1. "for registered Democrats [that you, 'Adammonte9000'??]-You must've mistaken me for someone else. I'm not, nor have I ever been a democrat, nor do I like the Democratic Party (a nicer, kinder version of the republicans, yet sometimes not so "nice or kind"). I'm an independent."

2. "I've supported Kucinich since the beginning and will continue to as long as he's in."

--the above two statements are totally contradictory, and mutually exclusive.

how can you have "supported Kucinich" and simultaneously "not, nor have I ever been a democrat"?

'Adammonte9000', if you ARE supporting Kucinich right now, then you are a REGISTERED DEMOCRAT who is voting in primary election contests with the specific intent of increasing his chance for nomination.

otherwise, it's all rhetoric. or deliberate Disinformation.

So how about getting some facts straight before making accusations?


Kerry's Foreign Policy - International Law Record 29.Mar.2004 00:06

the above-posted article that "Adammonte9000" didn't read

Kerry's Foreign Policy Record Suggests Few Differences with Bush

by Stephen Zunes

Those who had hoped that a possible defeat of President George W. Bush in November would mean real changes in U.S. foreign policy have little to be hopeful about now that Massachusetts Senator John Kerry has effectively captured the Democratic presidential nomination.

That Senator Kerry supported the Bush Administration's invasion of Iraq and lied about former dictator Saddam Hussein possessing a sizable arsenal of weapons of mass destruction in order to justify it would be reason enough to not support him. (See my March 1, 2004 article "Kerry's Support for the Invasion of Iraq and the Bush Doctrine Still Unexplained"  http://www.commondreams.org/views04/0301-01.htm)

However, a look at his record shows that Kerry's overall foreign policy agenda has also been a lot closer to the Republicans than to the rank-and-file Democrats he claims to represent.

This is not too surprising, given that his top foreign policy advisors include: Rand Beers, the chief defender of the deadly airborne crop-fumigation program in Colombia who has justified U.S. support for that country's repressive right-wing government by falsely claiming that Al-Qaeda was training Colombian rebels; Richard Morningstar, a supporter of the dictatorial regime in Azerbaijan and a major backer of the controversial Baku-Tbilisi oil pipeline, which placed the profits of Chevron, Halliburton and Unocal above human rights and environmental concerns; and, William Perry, former Secretary of Defense, member of the Carlyle Group, and advocate for major military contractors.

More importantly, however, are the positions that Kerry himself advocates:

For example, Senator Kerry has supported the transfer, at taxpayer expense, of tens of billions of dollars worth of armaments and weapons systems to governments which engage in a pattern of gross and systematic human rights violations. He has repeatedly ignored the Arms Control Export Act and other provisions in U.S. and international law promoting arms control and human rights.

Senator Kerry has also been a big supporter of the neo-liberal model of globalization. He supported NAFTA, despite its lack of adequate environmental safeguards or labor standards. He voted to ratify U.S. membership in the World Trade Organization, despite its ability to overrule national legislation that protects consumers and the environment, in order to maximize corporate profits. He even pushed for most-favored nation trading status for China, despite that government's savage repression of independent unions and pro-democracy activists.

Were it not for 9/11 and its aftermath, globalization would have likely been the major foreign policy issue of the 2004 presidential campaign. Had this been the case, Kerry would have clearly been identified on the right wing of the Democratic contenders.

As Lieutenant Governor of Massachusetts in the early 1980s, Kerry ignored widespread public opposition to encourage the Reagan Administration to base a large naval flotilla in Boston Harbor, which would include as its central weapons system the nuclear-armed Tomahawk cruise missile. Kerry's advocacy for the deployment of this dangerous and destabilizing first-strike weapon not only raised serious environmental concerns for residents of the Boston area, but was widely interpreted as an effort to undermine the proposed nuclear weapons freeze.

The end of the Cold War did not have much impact on Senator Kerry's penchant for supporting the Pentagon. Despite the lack of the Soviet Union to justify wasteful military boondoggles, Senator Kerry has continued to vote in favor of record military budgets, even though only a minority of the spending increases he has supported in recent years has had any connection with the so-called "war on terrorism."

Senator Kerry was a strong supporter of the Bush Administration's bombing campaign of Afghanistan, which resulted in more civilian deaths than the 9/11 attacks against the United States that prompted them. He also defended the Clinton Administration's bombing of a pharmaceutical plant in Sudan which had provided that impoverished African country with more than half of its antibiotics and vaccines by falsely claiming it was a chemical weapons factory controlled by Osama bin Laden.

In late 1998, he joined Republican Senators Jesse Helms, Strom Thurmond, Alfonse D'Amato, and Rich Santorum in calling on the Clinton Administration to consider launching air and missile strikes against Iraq in order to "respond effectively to the threat posed by Iraq's refusal to end its weapons of mass destruction programs." The fact that Iraq had already ended such programs some years earlier was apparently not a concern to Senator Kerry.

Nor was he at all bothered that a number of U.S. allies in the region actually did have such weapons. To this day, Senator Kerry has rejected calls by Jordan, Syria, and other Middle Eastern governments for a WMD-free zone for the entire region, insisting that the United States has the right to say which countries can possess such weapons and which cannot. He was a co-sponsor of the "Syrian Accountability Act," passed in November, which demanded under threat of sanctions that Syria unilaterally eliminate its chemical weapons and missile systems, despite the fact that nearby U.S. allies like Israel and Egypt had far larger and more advanced stockpiles of WMDs and missiles, including in Israel's case hundreds of nuclear weapons. (See my October 30 article, "The Syrian Accountability Act and the Triumph of Hegemony"  http://www.commondreams.org/views03/1030-01.htm)

Included in the bill's "findings" were charges by top Bush Administration officials of Syrian support for international terrorism and development of dangerous WMD programs. Not only have these accusations not been independently confirmed, but they were made by the same Bush Administration officials who had made similar claims against Iraq that had been proven false. Yet Senator Kerry naively trusts their word over independent strategic analysts familiar with the region who have challenged many of these charges.

Kerry's bill also calls for strict sanctions against Syria as well as Syria's expulsion from its non-permanent seat Security Council for its failure to withdraw its forces from Lebanon according to UN Security Council resolution 520. This could hardly be considered a principled position, however, since Kerry defended Israel's 22-year long occupation of southern Lebanon, that finally ended less than four years ago, and which was in defiance of this and nine other UN Security Council resolutions.

Indeed, perhaps the most telling examples of Kerry's neo-conservative world view is his outspoken support of the government of right-wing Israeli prime minister Ariel Sharon, annually voting to send billions of dollars worth of taxpayer money to support Sharon's occupation and colonization of Palestinian lands seized in the 1967 war. Even as the Israeli prime minister continues to reject calls by Palestinian leaders for a resumption of peace talks, Kerry insists that it is the Palestinian leadership which is responsible for the conflict while Sharon is "a leader who can take steps for peace."

Despite the UN Charter forbidding countries from expanding their territory by force and the passage, with U.S. support, of a series of UN Security Council resolutions calling on Israel to rescind its unilateral annexation of occupied Arab East Jerusalem and surrounding areas, Kerry has long fought for U.S. recognition of the Israeli conquest. He even attacked the senior Bush Administration from the right when it raised concerns regarding the construction of illegal Israeli settlements in occupied Palestinian territory, going on record, paradoxically, that "such concerns inhibit and complicate the search for a lasting peace in the region." He was also critical of the senior Bush Administration's refusal to veto UN Security Council resolutions upholding the Fourth Geneva Conventions and other international legal principles regarding Israeli colonization efforts in the occupied Palestinian territories.

Kerry's extreme anti-Palestinian positions have bordered on pathological. In 1988, when the PLO which administered the health system in Palestinian refugee camps serving hundreds of thousands of people and already had observer status at the United Nations sought to join the UN's World Health Organization, Kerry backed legislation that would have ceased all U.S. funding to the WHO or any other UN entity that allowed for full Palestinian membership. Given that the United States then provided for a full one-quarter of the WHO's budget, such a cutoff would have had a disastrous impact on vaccination efforts, oral re-hydration programs, AIDS prevention, and other vital WHO work in developing countries.

The following year, just four days after Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Shamir restated that Israel would never give up the West Bank and Gaza Strip and would continued to encourage the construction of new Israeli settlements on occupied Palestinian land, Kerry signed a statement that appeared in the Washington Post praising the right-wing prime minister for his "willingness to allow all options to be put on the table." Kerry described Shamir's proposal for Israeli-managed elections in certain Palestinian areas under Israeli military occupation as "sincere and far-reaching" and called on the Bush Administration to give Shamir's plan its "strong endorsement." This was widely interpreted as a challenge to Secretary of State James Baker's call several weeks earlier for the Likud government to give up on the idea of a "greater Israel."

In his effort to enhance Shamir's re-election prospects in 1992, Senator Kerry again criticized the senior President Bush from the right, this time for its decision to withhold a proposed $10 billion loan guarantee in protest of the rightist prime minister's expansion of illegal Jewish settlements in the occupied territories.

The administration's decision to hold back on the loan guarantees until after the election made possible the defeat of Shamir by the more moderate Yitzhak Rabin. However, when the new Israeli prime minister went to Norway during the summer of 1993 to negotiate with the Palestine Liberation Organization for a peace plan, Kerry joined the Israeli right in continuing to oppose any peace talks between Israel and the PLO.

Indeed, for most of his Senate career, Kerry was in opposition of the Palestinians' very right to statehood. As recently as 1999, he went on record opposing Palestinian independence outside of what the Israeli occupation authorities were willing to allow.

Today, Kerry not only defends Israel's military occupation of the West Bank and Gaza Strip, he has backed Sharon's policies of utilizing death squads against suspected Palestinian militants. He claims that such tactics are a justifiable response to terrorist attacks by extremists from the Islamic groups Hamas and Islamic Jihad, even though neither of them existed prior to Israel's 1967 military conquests and both emerged as a direct outgrowth of the U.S.-backed occupation and repression that followed.

In summary, Kerry's October 2002 vote to authorize the U.S. invasion of Iraq was no fluke. His contempt for human rights, international law, arms control, and the United Nations has actually been rather consistent.

When Howard Dean initially surged ahead in the polls in the race for the Democratic presidential nomination, in large part due to his forceful opposition to the invasion of Iraq and some other aspects of Bush foreign policy, the Kerry campaign launched a series of vicious attacks against the former Vermont governor.

Dean was certainly no left-winger. His foreign policy advisors were largely from mainstream think tanks and he received the endorsements of former vice-president Al Gore and others in the Democratic Party establishment. Indeed, a number of Dean's positions such as his refusal to call for a reduction in military spending, his support for the war in Afghanistan, his backing unconditional military and economic aid to Sharon's government in Israel, and his call for continuing the U.S. occupation of Iraq were quite problematic in the eyes of many peace and human rights advocates.

That was not enough for Senator Kerry, however, who apparently believed that Dean was not sufficiently supportive of President George W. Bush's imperial world view. Kerry and his supporters roundly criticized Dean for minimizing the impact of Saddam Hussein's capture on Iraqi resistance to the U.S. occupation, for calling on the United States to play a more even-handed role in the Israeli-Palestinian peace process, and for challenging the Bush Doctrine of unilateral preemptive invasions of foreign countries. (See my September 14 article "Kerry, Lieberman, and the House Democratic Leadership Attack Dean"  http://www.commondreams.org/views03/0914-04.htm and my January 7 article "Democrats' Attacks on Dean Enhance Bush's Re-election Prospects"  http://www.commondreams.org/views04/0107-01.htm)

It was just such attacks that helped derailed Dean's populist campaign and has made John Kerry the presumptive nominee.


Over It, GET OVER IT 29.Mar.2004 00:10

Adammonte9000 adammonte9000@aol.com

I said I was supporting Kucinich, I never said I was voting for him. I've been encouraging people to vote for him. I'm not a Democrat! End of story. I think I know more about myself then you do.
So YOU cut out your stupid ignorant rhetoric. As for Kerry being a millionaire, so what? So is Ralph Nader. Nader to is an investor, and makes millions. I don't hold that against him. As for differences between Kery and Bush, they disagree on the war on terror, taxes, environmental policies, health care, capital punishment, abortion and women's rights, Civil liberties, budget spending, corporate welfare and military spending, etc. Yeah, there's ABSOLUTELY no difference.

Kerry is undoubtedly better than Bush, but that's not too hard. Bush SR. was "better". Clinton was "better". And I don't want either of those guys as president. So I'm still waiting to make my decision.

So "Over It", how bout getting some facts straight before making accusations?

Actually I did read those 29.Mar.2004 00:26

Adammonte9000 adammonte9000@aol.com

Once again, you guys have no idea what you're talking about. Let me make this clear, I HAVEN'T ENDORSED KERRY, NOR AM I PLANNING ON IT. I was hoping that he wouldn't become the nominee. I was one of the first people on Indymedia to criticize him and his shaky record. All I said was that you shouldn't just judge him based on one silly statement he said. GET IT RIGHT!

straw-men and camels 29.Mar.2004 00:42

reader

"All I said was that you shouldn't just judge him based on one silly statement he said."

While this is a good statement it is also a straw-man since people are not criticizing him for just one statement but for the many statements Kerry has issued advocating a continuation of Bush's policies. For many people I know personally, the statement on Venezuela was the straw that broke the camel's back.

that's my name. 29.Mar.2004 01:44

over it

"I said I was supporting Kucinich, I never said I was voting for him."

--oh, great. rhetoric.

"I've been encouraging people to vote for him. I'm not a Democrat! End of story. I think I know more about myself then [sic] you do."

--hmmmm . . . whatever. sounds like more empty rhetoric, to me.

"So YOU cut out your stupid ignorant rhetoric."

--see above.

"As for Kerry being a millionaire, so what? So is Ralph Nader. Nader to [sic] is an investor, and makes millions."

--Nader, including his net capitalist investments, is said to be worth between $1 and $2 million. not bad for a 40-year career lawyer and father to nationwide networks of anti-corporate crusaders ("Nader's Raiders" who the Bush-Rove media apparat  http://www.mediatransparency.org/stories/apparat.html patterned themselves after).

"I don't hold that against him."

--nor should you (see directly above). Nader has worked hard and achieved much in his lifetime that we should be grateful for.

But he's a FAR CRY from the Super Elite Multimillionaire Skull & Bones contestants now vying for the White House. Kerry is worth between $600 and $850 million. who knows how much Bush is really worth, and when you tie in his family, the Oil business connections, Carlyle Group etc. More on Kerry's Super Elite wealth privilege:

 http://portland.indymedia.org/en/2004/03/283773.shtml
John Kerry says he wants to be America's second "black president," but sadly, his record on issues of racial justice makes him look more yellow than black.

Apparently Kerry saw no irony in giving this [1992] speech on an elite college [Yale] campus before an audience which undoubtedly consisted of rich white kids for the most part. Yale's faculty is 2.8% black and 1.9% Hispanic. Fortunately, it seems Yale has not been corrupted by the wave of "reverse discrimination" that is sweeping the nation. Nor did Kerry seem to recognize any irony in the fact while he lectures poor black people about "self-reliance," Kerry has essentially never had to do anything for himself. Kerry was born into an obscenely rich family that would go on yachting trips with the Kennedys. Since he became a politician his bank accounts have been generously stocked by corporate lobbyists. He has also married some of the richest women in the world, including his current wife, Teresa Heinz. It's hard to imagine how such a person could even have a concept of "self-reliance." John Kerry preaching to poor people about self-reliance seems rather like a blind person trying to teach people about the colors of the rainbow.
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Wall Street likes Kerry  http://portland.indymedia.org/en/2004/03/281898.shtml

Over the last fifteen years, Kerry has received more money from lobbyists than any other serving senator. According to the Center for Responsive Politics, during this election cycle, Kerry raked in $531,251 from the health care industry. Kerry was also among the top ten recipients of money from the airline and automotive industries, with donations totaling $87,925. By the way, Kerry is a member of the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation, which influences laws governing these industries.
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John Kerry's Multimillionaire Wild Wife  http://portland.indymedia.org/en/2004/02/279913.shtml

Disaster of Convenience - John Heinz' Widow Marries John Kerry
 http://www.skolnicksreport.com/ootar26.html

President Ronald Reagan . . . was implicated in the Iran-Contra situation. . . . funds secretly given to the Iranians were skimmed off to finance the counter-revolutionaries in Nicaragua, to evade the Boland Amendment, prohibiting the U.S. from financing the Contras as they were called.

At the time Daddy Bush, as Vice President, denied he knew anything about this. He said he was "out of the loop" and thus not told what was going on. Later facts brought out by the Independent Counsel showed otherwise. In later years, some Congressmen an d other insiders admitted that they thought about impeaching President Reagan but thought it would be a bad thing for the nation. Working on a report on the Iran-Contra mess was a commission headed by Senator John Tower (R. Texas). For short, it was cal led the Tower Commission. In 1991, when he was unfairly defamed in being rejected by the Daddy Bush Administration for Secretary of Defense, Tower began grumbling he was going to bring out some dirty secrets of the elder Bush then President. Conveniently, Tower perished with his daughter in an apparent sabotaged plane crash in April, 1991. About the same time, Senator John Heinz (R., Penn.), heir to the Heinz Ketchup fortune was himself snuffed out when his airplane was hit fro! m below by a helicopter. Although some believed it was foul play, others contended the helicopter pilot, examining whether the Heinz plane could not lower the landing wheels, slammed into the plane. Others raised the sinister version that the whirlybir d pilot wanted somehow to commit "suicide". Heinz' widow married Senator John Kerry (D., Mass.), long connected to the American CIA. Senator Kerry in investigating the dope traffic through his subcommittee, conveniently covered up the role of the espionage agency money laundry, Bank of Credit and Commerce International, BCCI, that also financed the campaigns of a group of senators including Kerry.

 http://www.skolnicksreport.com/spoliticalp.html

Please note. Senator Kerry is no sweet angel. He is an expert reputed blackmailer and cover up artist. He is married to the widow of the late U.S. Senator from Pennsylvania, John Heinz, heir to the ketchup and canned beans fortune. Heinz died in a sabotaged plane crash in 1991, just as he was planning to expose U.S. government complicity in several domestic and foreign political assassinations.

As to the infamous BCCI, Sen Kerry himself had a conflict of interest in that he headed a group of U.S. Senators who accepted campaign funds from the worldwide spy-money laundry-murder machine BCCI. Kerry's subcommittee refused to delve into the highly pertinent Chicago branch office of BCCI and their Chicago twin, a branch of Italy's largest bank, owned in part by the Vatican, Banca Nazionale Del Lavoro, BNL. [Suppressed BNL records as to the secret private partnership of the Elder Bush and Saddam Hussein were the subject of my exclusive story, in Spotlight, August 19, 1991, referred to earlier.]
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"As for differences between Kery [sic] and Bush, they disagree on the war on terror, taxes, environmental policies, health care, capital punishment, abortion and women's rights, Civil liberties, budget spending, corporate welfare and military spending, etc. Yeah, there's ABSOLUTELY no difference."

--NOPE, THERE ISN'T. "disagree" is no explanation of anything, nor is it an indication of how CLOSE IN AGREEMENT they - and their corporate-sponsored Parties - actually are on those issues.

Corporate welfare, war on terror, taxes - Kerry's utterly identical. proven by his votes (see above).

Environmental policies - very much remains to be seen. with the War on Terror and all the other budgetary / strategic demands, expect major environmental issues from global warming, EPA, national parks on down to be totally de-prioritized and de-funded by a Kerry administration. We are headed for Peak Oil. in order to sustain America's thirst, we need to invade / overthrow more countries (e.g. Venezuela, for one - 15% of America's supply, which Chavez is already preparing to sell to China  http://portland.indymedia.org/en/2004/03/283601.shtml There's no "breathing room" anymore, the Saudis have run out  http://portland.indymedia.org/en/2004/03/281737.shtml ). we - as the country of America, and as Planet Earth - are not headed in an "environmental" direction, and it's going to get much, much, worse no matter who's in the White House.

Health care - this also remains to be seen. Pharmaceutical companies *own* Congress, Democrat or Republican, and they will get their way on prescription drugs / national health care policy. Until we hear Kerry talking LOUDLY AND SPECIFICALLY about Universal Health Care for American citizens a la Dennis Kucinich or Nader, nothing's going to change.

Civil liberties - for one: USA Patriot is the greatest threat since the founding of this Nation to our rights, and Kerry helped birth it and is doing nothing to halt it. and USA Patriot alone will have drastic effects on EVERY SINGLE ONE OF THE ISSUES YOU LISTED above. Two: Kerry also voted for the Electronic Voting Machines "Help America Vote Act" (HAVA) - thanks, John! [his RNC buddy owners of Diebold, ES&S]

Military spending: Kerry will increase troop commitments in Iraq and Afghanistan - the above foreign policy article by Stephen Zunes explains the rest.

Capital punishment - when will either Bush or Kerry institute a Federal Nationwide Death Penalty? Pretty soon, if USA Patriot isn't repealed.

Abortion and women's rights - even if Kerry won there'll be tons of Republicans in Congress who can pass all the legislation they want (that's why there are many on this and other article comment threads who've emphasized that our regional/National Congressional elections may be far more important - and your vote have a much greater proportional chance of real effect - than the virtually meaningless Presidential 'race' which is decided by Electoral College anyway or, in the case of 2000, by corrupt Supreme Court decision - get as many progressive Democrats / Greens / independents into Congress as possible).

Although Bush is supposedly "against" abortion, he's been reluctant to push too hard or overturn Roe v. Wade directly because a significant core of the Republican party rank & file is pro-choice. the recently-passed Fetus Protection bill is Bush's concession to the Jerry Falwell frothy nutballs wing of RNC (as is the gay marriage controversy).

"Kerry is undoubtedly better than Bush, but that's not too hard. Bush SR. was "better". Clinton was "better". And I don't want either of those guys as president. So I'm still waiting to make my decision."

--whatever, "Adammonte9000". you keep pleading that you haven't made up your mind, and I'm not trying to get you to.

but what I - and several others on this comment thread - **do** want you to do is more deeply and realistically consider Kerry's issue stances - and funding sources  http://portland.indymedia.org/en/2004/03/283320.shtml - in relation to the Bush regime, and live with your according decision of __for what cause__ you sincerely want to cast your vote.


Hey OVER IT 29.Mar.2004 10:45

Adammonte9000 adammonte9000@aol.com

"I said I was supporting Kucinich, I never said I was voting for him."

--oh, great. rhetoric.

No not rhetoric, simple fact. I can't vote for Kucinich cause I'm not a Dem, and I think I know more about what I'm registered as than you do. I've been writing articles praising Kucinich and telling a lot of my friends who are Dems to vote for him. I hope this makes sense to you, or is this to hard for you to understand?

"I've been encouraging people to vote for him. I'm not a Democrat! End of story. I think I know more about myself then [sic] you do."

--hmmmm . . . whatever. sounds like more empty rhetoric, to me.

Again, see above.

--whatever, "Adammonte9000". you keep pleading that you haven't made up your mind, and I'm not trying to get you to.

but what I - and several others on this comment thread - **do** want you to do is more deeply and realistically consider Kerry's issue stances - and funding sources  http://portland.indymedia.org/en/2004/03/283320.shtml - in relation to the Bush regime, and live with your according decision of __for what cause__ you sincerely want to cast your vote. --

That's exactly what I'm doing Over It, and what I think most people on this site are doing, and most libs in general. As far as my vote goes, I'm leaning towards Nader, but waiting til closer to election to be sure.

And let me explain in detail those differences you didn't get.

Corporate welfare and taxes - Kerry voted against the most recent tax cut for the wealthy, and wants to repeal Bush's tax cuts for the wealthiest AMericans who make over $200,000, while closing the corporate tax loopholes that reward companies that move jobs oversees.

Environmental policies - ok, if you don't think there's a difference here then you msut be braindead. Kerry wants to reverse Bush's disasterous environmental policies, and find alternative sources to oil. He voted against drilling in Alaska by the way.

Health Care - There was a comparison in a newspaper the other day on this issue. Bush's policy is to basically privatize health care, continue funding subsidies for HMO's and pharmaceutical companies. Kerry will reverse the disasterous medicare plan put through, and invest about $90 billion to expand medicare to more Americans, including all children. It's not single-payer, but it's no doubt different than Bush's policies.

Civil liberties - Yes Kerry did vote for the Patriot Act, and says he won't repeal it, and for that he's got some explaining to do if he wants my vote. But as far as what he wants to do from here on, he'll repeal the sections of the Patriot Act most hazardous to our civil liberties, and of course fire the neo-nazi John Ashcroft. HE should just repeal the whole thing, but this is clearly different than the fascist approch BUsh has.

Military spending - Kerry's not gonna increase troops in Iraq, he's made that clear. He's gonna add 40,000 troops to the military, but they won't be sent to Iraq. And Kerry is opposed to the missle defense system being built which doesn't work and wants to cut funding for it, as well as cutting the funding for the militarization of space I beleive.

Capital Punishment - Kerry is opposed to capital punishment, and voted against the death penalty for terrorists in the 80's. He is, I beleive, considering a moritorium. Obviously different approch from the Texas governor who executed a retarded person.

Abortion Rights and Women's rights - --even if Kerry won there'll be tons of Republicans in Congress who can pass all the legislation they want--
True, but we're talking about where Kerry stands on the issue compared to Bush, not where republicans in congress stand. Kerry voted against the "partial birth abortion" ban and is firmly pro-choice, as opposed to Bush who's anti-choice. THis is all too obvious.

Well, there you have it. Yeah, there's ABSOLUTELY NO DIFFERENCE. Right. THough much of what Kerry wants to do is just what he's says he'll do, whether he'll actually do it is what concerns me. He doesn't have much credibility on a lot of these issues, so if he wants my vote (and I think I speak for a lot of other people in this site when I say this), he's got to earn it and prove he deserves it, which he hasn't done yet. Being "better than Bush (which he is undoubtly)" isn't good enough.

- 02.Apr.2004 22:01

over it.

"And let me explain in detail those differences you didn't get."

--detail nitpicky differences (if that!), nothing more.

all hot air and rhetoric, just as before 'Adammonte9000': "Kerry wants to reverse Bush's disasterous environmental policies" "WANTS TO reverse"!????!?

c'mon, get real . . .

like the differences between the name "Kerry" and the name "Bush".

the imperialist corporate empire will roll on and on.

Americans will get poorer and poorer, less and less adequately employed, less and less health care, more and more restrictions to rights and freedoms.

and the entire planet gets further raped and plundered.

Kerry can be counted on to back it all.