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by A. Jones
Wednesday, Dec. 31, 2003 at 11:02 PM
There are essentially two fundamental courses that America may take in the world, at this particular juncture: Imperialism or multilateralism.
Why Dennis Kucinich?
No -- the 2004 election is not over yet, even though the television or the radio may tell you otherwise. The candidates have not won anything. The presidency has not been sold to the highest bidder.
There are essentially two fundamental courses that America may take in the world, at this particular juncture: Imperialism or multilateralism. The Bush "New American Century" doctrine has the imperial designs all shored up. Bush has a plan, an unceasing desire to dominate, and the support of a significant portion of America, as well as his greedy little finger on "the button."
The would-be large "D" Democrats (any similarity to small "d" democrats to be determined) are lining up along the ideological spectrum. On the far right, Joseph Lieberman lambasts Bush for being too liberal. As we move across the field, we find Dick Gephardt and John Kerry supporting Bush's policies while concocting half-hearted soundbites to oppose Bush, the man.
That leads to Howard Dean, the doctor who defies 1,400 of his peers, as published in the Journal of the American Medical Association, by opposing universal single-payer healthcare for all. Dean has raised the most money of any large "D" Democrat. His spin machine portrays this money as coming entirely from "grass roots" average Americans who long to see the doctor succeed against Bush. This explanation is only half of the story, of course.
The problem with Dean, when it comes to the imperialism question, is that he's just not being honest in his course of action. In the same breath that Dean criticizes Bush for the war in Iraq, Dean will steadfastly refuse to end that war by withdrawing the US military from the war zone. Dean attempts to skirt along the margin between "anti-war" and imperialist. If the war was truly a "crime" then the ongoing occupation is indeed a "crime" also. How can a candidate oppose a war, yet champion the continuation of that war indefinitely? Dean's position is dishonest on its face.
After four years of Republican neo-fascist dishonesty, the American public cannot risk the future on a potentially dishonest successor. If Dean refuses to face up to the real reasons that U.S. troops are dying in Iraq daily, and he clings to lofty rhetoric which flies in the face of international cooperation, then little will change in a Dean administration. America -- the bully -- will continue to be feared and opposed in its imperial designs. Wars will continue without respite, and America will continue to manufacture enemies.
"There is no way to peace. Peace is the way." -A.J. Muste
Dennis Kucinich has not waffled on the Iraq question. He proudly tells his audience that he is the "only candidate on this stage who voted against the war in Iraq." He is also the "only candidate on this stage who voted against the USA PATRIOT ACT." A man of unassailable integrity, Kucinich is the "grass roots" and "anti-war" candidate that Howard Dean pretends to be.
It is Kucinich's actual opposition, as opposed to the fake opposition coming from the "top tier" contenders which assures that the corporate media machines will continue to brand him as "unelectable." If the media tells the public that someone is not able to be elected, the public will accept this. People take their orders from their televisions, in general.
But there is still hope, and these are wild times. Kucinich is the wild card candidate that the establishment fears. He's got issues that resonate: stop the war and get the United Nations in, and the United States military out of Iraq; enact single payer universal healthcare for all as done in all the major industrial countries; restore the constitution and the bill of rights by repealing Patirot Act; and Kucinich intends to cancel NAFTA and the World Trade Organization, two undemocratic monstrosities that have devastated the working people of our country and people around the world.
This is clearly a man of substance in a sound-bite age of fluff and propaganda. It is this substance which sets Kucinich apart from any of the contenders. Kucinich is a true progressive leader, and his voting record backs up this achievement. Kucinich does not waffle on the most crucial issues of our times, but challenges the established order in direct, substantive ways.
"If the UN didn't exist you'd have to invent it." Kucinich understands the need for international cooperation and multilateral action to achieve world peace like no other candidate in this race. Peace, to Kucinich, is not some catch phrase or some "vision thing" to sell. The man deeply believes in non-violent solutions to the problems facing our world. So much so, he has proposed a Department of Peace as a cabinet level department of the US federal government. Such a department could pick up where the State Department falls short in solving seemingly intractable conflicts around the world, as well as proposing plans to minimize domestic violence.
The choice is as clear as night and day, war and peace, imperialism or international cooperation. Dennis Kucinich deserves a fair shake in the media, and in the minds of voters who must face a scary world, and a scary "homeland" fraught with the kinds of perils that many thought a thing of the past. No, we cannot afford another four years of Bush neo-fascism. Nor can we afford Bush-lite.
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