The Democrats, a/k/a “War Party Lite,” are preparing to take center stage. They are headed for Boston, Massachusetts, to conduct their 2004 National Convention. Boston is also the final resting place of that inestimable rebel, Sam Adams, one of the original Sons of Liberty. The idea that America would end up serving as a Global Cop would have appalled Adams. Kicking the imperial Brits out of the country was his pride and joy, but exporting “democracy” to Iraq, via a war, as initiated by the Bush-Cheney Gang, would simply be unthinkable. Unfortunately, the Democrat kingpins are coming off as clones of the War Hawks or worse! Adams wouldn’t like them either.
The Democratic gabfest will run from July 26th to July 29th. The site is the state-of-the-art Fleet Center Arena, located near Boston’s North Station. The arena takes up 3.2 acres and it has plenty of room to accommodate the 4,351 delegates, 610 alternate delegates, 15,000 media types, and 15,000 assorted guests, elected officials and hanger ons.
The Party’s proposed platform speaks volumes about what a John Kerry-John Edwards administration will eventually look like. A “War Party Lite,” if you ask me. The 35-paged draft indicates there will be no withdrawal of U.S. troops from Iraq in the near future. In fact, the committee advocates sending additional troops by way of internationalizing the Iraqi Occupation, and more material, too, to help beef up security for the puppet Iraqi regime presently being installed by the Bush-Cheney Gang. Kerry is also already on record calling for boosting the size of the U.S. military “by 40,000 troops by the end of the decade” (Bostonherald.com, 05/29/04).
In July, 1976, I was an alternate delegate from Maryland’s 3rd Congressional district to the National Democratic Party Convention, which was held in NYC’s fabled Madison Square Garden. There was only one pleasant surprise at that mostly boring event. I fondly remember a spellbinding speech that was made to thunderous applause, not by any Democratic Party hack, but by a wheelchair bound, Vietnam War Vet -- Ron Kovic. Today, he just happens to be a very strong, outspoken opponent of the Iraqi War.
Since, I have survived one of these conventions, I predict that there will be no serious discussion of any of the real issues facing the nation at this gathering. Mostly, convention time is party time for the delegates, with plenty of free drinks, entertainment and food. It is also time for them to act out the role of a collective rubber stamp for the Party and its platform, which I suspect will be passed, as was the platform in 1976, by acclamation. Finally, it is all theater, staged for PR purposes, (like Tinsel Town’s “Academy Awards”), and geared for brainwashing the TV/Cable audiences.
Almost 13 pages of this year’s platform focuses on security, military and terrorism issues; only three pages are allotted to the shaky economy; with five measly pages assigned to health care, education and the environment. Meanwhile, the platform promises Ariel Sharon’s Israel a guarantee of its so-called “right to self defense.” If anything violates the U.S. Constitution, it should be the ridiculous notion that the taxpayers are responsible, “under all circumstances,” for the “national security” of another foreign country. The arrogance of these sweeping kinds of guarantees is breath taking. Meeting in Hollywood, FL, on July 10, 2004, the draft document was adopted by the 186 platform committee delegates with little or no significant dissension (“Democrats’ Platform Backs Sustained Presence in Iraq,” Rafael Lorente, South Florida Sun-Sentinel, 07/11/04).
Way back on April 22, 1971, John Kerry was, like Kovic, a disillusioned, highly decorated and very angry Vietnam War Vet. He appeared, as a witness, before the Senate’s Foreign Relations Committee on Capitol Hill, in his army fatigues, wearing his medals. He posed this famous question to the Committee: “How do you ask a man to be the last man to die for a mistake?”
On closing night, Thursday, July 29th, of the Boston festivities, Kerry will address the delegates. I believe he will emphasize his Vietnam War experiences, and not his anti-Vietnam War persona. That latter image disappeared down the Memory Hole during this year’s bruising primaries.
Finally, Kerry’s only serious gripe about President George W. Bush, Jr.’s invasion of Iraq appears to be that he didn’t have “a plan to win the peace!” (Oh, I thought it was about Bush lying us into that illegal, immoral and unjust conflict.) Translation: Kerry, who voted for the Iraqi war, and approves, too, of our military presence in Afghanistan, intends to fully support the Iraqi Occupation, with all of its imperial trappings, building of more military bases, etc. Sadly, he is also telling the American people, that If the Democrats win in November, they can expect more, and not less, war!
William Hughes is the author of Saying “No” to the War Party (IUniverse, Inc.). He can be reached at email@example.com. © William Hughes 2004
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