Cynthia McKinney Deserves Your Support, Obama Does Not

Former Georgia congresswoman Cynthia McKinney, who seems poised to capture the Green Party presidential nomination, in Chicago, this month, "is at this juncture in history the only vehicle through which progressives can both register their outrage at Barack Obama and begin the process of rebuilding a mass, Black-led movement for real social change." Meanwhile, the frequency of Obama's Right turns seem to increase in direct proportion to the nearness of the general election. "Surely no one with a brain any longer believes that Obama is a closet progressive, or even a genuine liberal." The question is, How many progressives will put their votes and resources to honorable use?

We have to bring the war in Iraq to a respectable, responsible and honorable end," said Barack Obama, sharing a platform with Hillary Clinton in Unity,
New Hampshire
, last week.  The list of qualifiers and impediments to a quick exit from Iraq lengthens with each Obama lurch to the Right. The closer the Illinois senator gets to the White House, the farther he projects the Iraq occupation into a future just as murky as that envisioned by George Bush and John McCain. In Obama's endlessly conditional world, withdrawal from Iraq must be done "responsibly" — meaning, in actuality, that the U.S. must retain the power to keep the Iraqis "responsive" to American military, economic and political demands. A U.S. military pullout (of who knows how many troops, since Obama has always been elusive on the question) must be "honorable" — meaning, it should not give the appearance of weakness or admission of criminality. Most important, the U.S. must emerge from the withdrawal (or reduction, or draw-down, or other conjure-word) in a position of "respect" — a total impossibility, unless respect actually means evoking terror throughout the neighborhood at the very thought of ever again provoking the Americans into violating the laws of modern civilization.

Such is the endless elasticity of terms like "peace" and "withdrawal" when mouthed by Barack Obama, a master of bait-and-switch, a game he apparently believes he can play indefinitely on the people of the United States and the planet. The general debasement of language in the U.S. political culture — a degeneration that devalues meaning and facts, cause and effect, in favor of bells, whistles, hype and prettily-packaged but hollow "hope" — provides a perfect soundstage for Obama's politics of vapidity, in which no term has reliable, lasting definition. Only in a flim-flam market culture, in which old products are packaged as "new and improved" and senile reactionary farts like Ronald Reagan are deemed "revolutionaries," could Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton and Democratic congressional leadership masquerade as proponents of peace == even as virtually the entire senatorial Party endorses another $162.5 billion for Iraq-Afghanistan war funding.

Obama is confident he can retain the "peace candidate" label while erecting successive obstacles to actual, physical withdrawal from Iraq, and while simultaneously pledging to add 92,000 troops to the U.S. Armed Forces in order "to fight two wars and defend our homeland." His confidence is well-placed, not just because he is the Big Money Candidate in the current historical shift of corporate dollars from Republicans to Democrats — money that buys a mass version of reality — but because generations of two-party homogenized gibberish has rendered millions of Americans incapable of distinguishing between fact and fantasy, between waging war and pursuing peace.

The true voices of peace speak clearly, in simple language. "The U.S. should withdraw all troops and mercenaries from Iraq in as orderly a fashion as possible," says former Georgia congresswoman Cynthia McKinney, candidate for the Green Party's presidential nomination. "This withdrawal should be quickly accomplished, since the troops and the equipment were all pre-positioned in the area to start with, at the start of the invasion."

No flim-flam, no equivocations, no inventing of excuses to prolong the crime against peace (a Nuremburg capital offense). McKinney speaks as both a former U.S. Representative and a movement activist, one of the architects of the Reconstruction Party's Power to the People Platform, which declares:

We need an end to all wars and occupations by U.S. forces, including in Iraq and Afghanistan. We need an immediate cessation of funding for war. We need prosecution for all individuals guilty of violating the law, including having committed or authorized crimes against humanity, crimes against the peace, torture, or war crimes. We need a complete renunciation of the pre-emptive war doctrine. We need an end to all wars and war's utility. We need to dismantle the apparatus that implements schemes of regime change around the world, and that instead assists in self-determination of all peoples.

The platform on which McKinney runs is straightforward, eminently understandable, and in conformance with the substance and spirit of international law. It is what Barack Obama used to pretend to say, in front of progressive audiences, only without his mitigating language designed for ease of reversal — commonly called flip-flop, but more accurately, betrayal — terms that ultimately smother peace in a pillow of words like "respectable, responsible and honorable."

This is how Obama uses his impressive language skills: to lure constituencies that seek peace into the maelstroms of war; to assault the integrity of language itself with his relentless tinkering with meanings, until finally, his original peaceful promises turn into their warlike opposites.

Obama’s modus operandi is consistent and, especially after his recent flurry of policy reversals, transparent to all who care to observe him dispassionately. He is a word-hustler, a slickster, a politician/actor who has always been eager to serve the global aims of the very rich. That's why, back in the summer of 2003, while a candidate for the Illinois Democratic U.S. senatorial nomination, he had to be pressured (by Bruce Dixon and me) to have his name removed from the corporatist Democratic Leadership Council membership list. And that's why, five years later, he stripped off his anti-NAFTA clothing to announce on CNBC, the businessman's cable source: "Look. I am a pro-growth, free-market guy. I love the market."

As Naomi Klein wrote in "Obama's Chicago Boys" (June 14, The Nation), Obama "is thoroughly embedded in the mind-set known as the Chicago School," established by Ronald Reagan's favorite economist, Milton Friedman, at the University of Chicago, where Obama taught constitutional law for ten years. Obama's chief economic adviser, Austan Goolsbee, is on the faculty. It was Goolsbee who, back in February, urged the rightwing Canadian government not to pay too much attention to Obama's campaign critiques of NAFTA, explaining that the candidate's rhetoric was "more reflective of political maneuvering than policy."

Goolsby spoke the truth. Obama has maneuvered himself out of the anti-NAFTA camp, entirely. As he told Nina Easton of Fortune, the quintessential ruling class magazine:

"Sometimes during campaigns the rhetoric gets overheated and amplified," he conceded, after I reminded him that he had called NAFTA "devastating" and "a big mistake," despite nonpartisan studies concluding that the trade zone has had a mild, positive effect on the U.S. economy.

Does that mean his rhetoric was overheated and amplified? "Politicians are always guilty of that, and I don't exempt myself," he answered.

Obama used to say he would reexamine NAFTA in its totality. Now he says, "I'm not a big believer in doing things unilaterally." He has capitulated.

But there is an unwavering progressive in the race. "The  practical effect of NAFTA is that it is an anti-union policy," says Green candidate Cynthia McKinney. "Why US unions would support a political party [the Democrats] that has decisively contributed to their own demise, is beyond me.  I support the international right to unionize.  My legislation, the Corporate Responsibility Act and the TRUTH Act sought to compel US corporations operating abroad to abide by U.S. labor, environmental standards, thereby lifting up workers in other parts of the world, not exploiting them.  The Reconstruction Movement Draft Manifesto also calls for repeal of Taft Hartley, to strengthen workers' rights in this country."

McKinney cites the Power to the People Platform: "We need to promote and enact laws for U.S. corporations that keep labor standards high at home and raise them abroad. Toward that end, it is clear that we need a repeal of NAFTA, CAFTA, the Caribbean FTA, and the U.S.-Peru FTA and justice for immigrant workers, including an end to the guest-worker program riddled with abuses."

Both Black and white progressives deliberately made themselves irrelevant to the Democratic campaign by failing to challenge Obama before and during the primary season. Now there is one remaining chance to put a healthy fear into Obama and to help build a Black-led movement that will fight for progressive values after the election is over: solidarity with Cynthia McKinney.

Surely no one with a brain any longer believes that Obama is a closet progressive, or even a genuine liberal. Last month he finally confessed that Black Agenda Report has been right about him all the time: he's Hillary Clinton's political clone "If you look at my positions and Senator Clinton's, there's not a lot of difference, which is why it's so easy for advisers, senior advisers of Senator Clinton, to support my candidacy," said Obama, unveiling his roster of national security advisors.

And what a "Back to the Future" crew of Bill Clinton and Bush #1 retrograde hacks he has chosen! Obama's core group of foreign policy gurus is non-change personified — U.S. imperialism from the pre-Bush #2 era in the flesh. (See "Background of Obama's Foreign Policy Group," Institute for
Public Accuracy
.) Endless war is written on their faces. Progressives should have taken Obama seriously when he announced to everyone who would listen, back in March, "The truth is that my foreign policy is actually a return to the traditional, bipartisan, realistic foreign policy of George Bush's father, John F. Kennedy, of in some ways Ronald Reagan."

Obama had the gall to praise Reagan and the elder Bush while on a "Stand for Change" bus tour.

Cynthia McKinney offers real change — peace for a change.

"The United States should and must engage the world, but not in empire, not in military," said McKinney, who was first elected to the U.S. Congress from a suburban Atlanta district in 1992. "Ninety percent of the US security budget is dedicated to some military engagement with the world.  The United States should stop arming factions, supporting factions, new elections should be held [in Iraq] with international advisors, and the "coalition of the willing" should work with the United Nations to disarm and restore to the extent possible the Iraqi civil sector. 

The Reconstruction Draft Manifesto calls for an end to US militarism and the establishment of a Department of Peace by restructuring the US State Department."

So it does. The manifesto is a comprehensive movement document, a basis for political action beyond the narrow confines of electoral contests. "Sadly," says the manifesto, "the Bush-Pelosi war policy is a formula for endless global conflict, deterioration of the rule of law among nations, and growing impoverishment, indebtedness and evisceration of civil liberties at home."

More and more each day, "the Bush-Pelosi war policy" is also Barack Obama's policy, as further evidenced by his about-face on Bush spying on U.S. citizens with the aid of U.S. telecom companies.

In going the extra, unrequested mile for AIPAC, the Israel lobby, Obama moved to the Right of every U.S. president in history. Obama's blustering vow that Jerusalem will remain forever an "undivided" "Jewish" city would lock the U.S. into a position unacceptable to every Arab or Muslim government on Earth. His bellicosity regarding Iran differs from John McCain's, only in that Obama would theoretically deign to hold talks with Iranians "at a time and place of my choosing," while refusing to rule out a preemptive strike.

Every Obama foreign policy instinct seems to support the "special" and unlimited "relationship" with Israel, robust defense of American Manifest Destiny, ever-increasing war expenditures, and inherent supra-national, extra-legal U.S. rights — formulas for planetary doom. On not one major foreign policy front does Obama any longer advocate positions consistent with peaceful planetary development. Not one!

It’s time for people claiming to be progressives who supported Obama, to accept that they were bamboozled by a champion slickster. Actually, that's putting the best face on the situation, since most of Obama's progressive credentials were simply wished into existence by folks who were tired of even pretending to fight. Obama now dares to drop all pretense of progressivism, trusting that there will be no ramifications on the Left, especially among the otherwise most dependable progressive constituency, African Americans.

Will the next few weeks and months prove Obama right? Cynthia McKinney deserves Black and Left support, while Obama manifestly does not.

McKinney, whose last act in Congress was to submit articles of impeachment against George Bush in 2006; who courageously questioned the White House version of events before and after September 11, 2001; who acted as a one-person conscience of the House Armed Services Committee, speaking out against corporate and military mega-theft under both Clinton and Bush; who has with amazing consistency always placed principle above her own personal and electoral fortunes, is at this juncture in history the only vehicle through which progressives can both register their outrage at Obama and begin the process of rebuilding a mass, Black-led movement for real social change. (Ralph Nader cannot, for reasons of temperament and race, achieve such dual purposes.)

On Venezuela, the difference between Obama and McCain is narrow, indeed: Obama has reflexively included popularly (and repeatedly) elected President Hugo Chavez among the world's "rogue" leaders, deriding his "predictable yet perilous mix of anti-American rhetoric, authoritarian government, and checkbook diplomacy," while McCain's pitiful verbal skills
at first allowed him only to sputter that Chavez is "wacko." More recently, McCain vowed to "work to impede Venezuela and Bolivia from following the same path of failure that Castro followed in Cuba." McCain criticized Obama for, again, being theoretically prepared to meet with Chavez. Not to be outdone, Obama held a match to the region, condoning the Colombian narco-state's armed intrusion into the territory of Ecuador, a nation friendly to Venezuela.

McKinney’s position on the region is as follows:

It is totally irresponsible to call Hugo Chavez an ‘oil tyrant' as published some time ago.  Totally irresponsible to support the violation of the territorial integrity of Ecuador,
a country that has signaled its desire to join the framework for peace and against destabilization by pulling out of the school of the Americas…  I pledge untiring support for self-determination in Bolivia, wracked now by a secessionist-type ‘autonomy' movement, probably fomented outside Bolivia’s borders.

Obama wholeheartedly backs the militarization of Africa through the new U.S. Africa Command, AFRICOM. "There will be situations that require the United States to work with its partners in Africa to fight terrorism with lethal force. Having a unified command operating in Africa will facilitate this action," said Obama.

McKinney has acted as a sentinel for Africa, on guard against U.S. recolonization of the continent. She correctly regards AFRICOM as a threat to the region. "More than likely, this force will be used in just the same way as Plan Colombia is used — to police dissent and punish the innocent solely for pecuniary reasons.  The last thing Africa needs is AFRICOM, U.S. soldiers, or a School of the Americas-type relationship with Africa."

When Obama is not carrying imperial water in the bullying of weaker nations, he is silent on burning global issues — especially those of keen interest to African Americans.

The December 2006 U.S.-instigated Ethiopian invasion of Somalia, which according to the United Nations created "the worst [and still ongoing] humanitarian crisis in Africa," elicits not a peep from Obama. In fact, the only comments from Obama on Somalia that we have found are his complaints about pictures taken during a trip to his father's homeland, Kenya, depicting Obama in the ceremonial tribal garb of the overwhelming Muslim Somalis.

McKinney has repeatedly denounced the U.S. overthrow of Haiti's elected government in 2004, the kidnapping and exile of President Jean Bertrand Aristide, and Brazil's and the United Nation's role in occupying the country on behalf of the Americans.

Obama's last recorded comments on Haiti, from 2005, were summarized on his Senate web site:

"Obama said he favors a congressional fact-finding mission to Haiti. He said additional aid is needed there, but it must come with strings attached to ensure it is used properly and not to line the pockets of politicians, as happened in his father's native Kenya."

This is apparently all that Obama has to say about the bloody suppression of the Haitian nation by the U.S. and its allies.

There can be no effective reasoning with those African Americans who want only that a member of The Race occupy the Oval Office — no matter the character and politics of that Black individual. But self-described progressives of all races cannot excuse their own docility in the face of Obama’s rightward lunge — especially when there exists one last opportunity to threaten the Democratic nominee-to-be with a backlash against his betrayals of progressive principles — one last chance to affect Obama's behavior before Election Day, November 4, and beyond. Cynthia McKinney has made herself available to the Green Party's convention in Chicago, July 10-12, and will almost surely be their nominee.

If progressives cannot bring themselves to vote honorably, they can at the very least go to McKinney's campaign site and send money. Even a little principled behavior is better than none at all.

Glen Ford is Executive Editor of Black Agenda Report, where this article first appeared. He can be contacted at: Read other articles by Glen, or visit Glen's website.

23 comments on this article so far ...

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  1. bozhidar balkas said on July 4th, 2008 at 6:28am #

    yes, when u want to deceive use sweet words such as in sentence “withdraw troops honorably, responsibly”, etc.
    each of these words contain thousands of meanings; thus no matter what interpretation u educe from the 2 generalized labels, obama wd say, No, that’s not it. or that’s not what i meant.
    and remember the proverbial one, “out of context” w.o. ever providing the context.
    the thousands of meanings r not in the words but in person,
    and, folks, nobody can read body-minds.
    but then how many people remember what obama/mccain/ clinton said just yesterday let alone last weak, month, year, decade.
    is it 1% ? thank u
    so. i choose not to interpret obama. thank u

  2. corylus said on July 4th, 2008 at 9:21am #

    Here’s my response to the northern California Obama bandwagon:

    What color is the coming savior and uniter Barack Obama? He sure ain’t black, denouncing his own pastor who merely spoke the truth about American racism, classism, and imperialism, and demonizing the Muslim faith to placate his conservative political benefactors. He’s surely not red, white, and blue, aligning himself with Bush, neocons, and the covey of craven Democrats who’ve supported the recent legalization of all means of surveillance of American citizens, currying favor with religious-based groups who are intent on creating law based on biblical belief instead of on fact and reason, and promoting the continuation of corporate tax breaks. Nor is Obama green, advocating the continuation of corporate greed that preys on Americans to continue their wasteful ways instead of developing a strategy to get us off our dependence on fossil fuels and into conservation and sustainable energy production.

    No, I think this political opportunist, who’s accomplished exactly nothing as a senator except to gold-dig his way to the top of the excremental Democratic heap, is pure yellow, the color of cowardice, chicanery, betrayal, and duplicity, an ochre hue characteristic of the foulest slime from the bottom of the American political cesspool.

    Interested in a candidate who’s truly demonstrated tenacity and conviction by standing up to the political bullying of her own (former) political party, and rising above the dirty tricks and deceit perpetrated against her? Think Cynthia McKinney. She’s done far more in her service to this country to promote democracy, humanity, justice, and decency than Mr. Borat Nobama would dare imagine, let alone accomplish. Vote for a real American — vote McKinney.

  3. Max Shields said on July 4th, 2008 at 9:46am #


    While I agree with pretty the content of your post, I would prefer not to use Obama is as the case of McKinney. That’s the game the Dems play when demonizing their twin in empire crimes, the Repugs.

    When we look for so-called leadership I think we need to be mindful of who we are handing that power, our power, over to. Make her case. She’s by far and away a better representation of the values and needs of the American people than the duopoly. That goes almost without saying.

    While I appreciate that contradistinction between Obama as the “black” candidate and McKinney, the Green Party is not an African American platform. It is, I think, a platform that serves progressives in general; and I would be most pleased if Cynthia McKinney becomes the Green Party candidate for POTUS. While I am a registered Green, I’m an Independent one.

  4. Deadbeat said on July 4th, 2008 at 10:38am #

    McKinney, whose last act in Congress was to submit articles of impeachment against George Bush in 2006; who courageously questioned the White House version of events before and after September 11, 2001; who acted as a one-person conscience of the House Armed Services Committee, speaking out against corporate and military mega-theft under both Clinton and Bush; who has with amazing consistency always placed principle above her own personal and electoral fortunes, is at this juncture in history the only vehicle through which progressives can both register their outrage at Obama and begin the process of rebuilding a mass, Black-led movement for real social change. (Ralph Nader cannot, for reasons of temperament and race, achieve such dual purposes.)

    Unfortunately what Ford ignores is that McKinney voted for the invasion of Afghanistan. Only Barbara Lee had the courage to vote against that awful action. There was no evidence that the Afghanistan government or the Afghan people had anything to do with 9-11. In fact the Afghan government response was to assist the U.S. government with the capturing of Bin Laden if they had any evidence of his involvement.

    Also Ford believe that the progressive movement MUST be “black” led. I did agree. I believe it must a coalition of the OPPRESSED. Which is to say I have no problem with Ralph Nader and I supported his candidacy in 2004, whom Ford and then the Black Commentator, did not support. In fact they were very enamored by the Howard Dean and displayed outward support for his candidacy. Obama, who they disdain, position on the issue are very much aligned to that of Dean’s 2004 position. As an example, Dean certainly was kissing up to AIPAC.

    However in 2008 what should have occurred is the JOINING of forces among Nader and McKinney. In that sense you would have a stronger coalition. Alas, that did not happen for reason that would have been useful for Ford to explore this. But since Ford is bent on solely a BLACK candidate, I think he is missing the fact that the percentage of the overall African American population is shrinking and therefore new alliances needs to be constructed — and fast!

    Not to take anything away from McKinney, she is honorable and perhaps the best candidate and deserves support. But in reality she is merely represents a protest vote not a movement.

  5. Lloyd Rowsey said on July 4th, 2008 at 10:53am #

    Two problems with the first two paras of your reply to Ford, Deadbeat. (1) you accept what he DOES say (about McKinney), and than condemn him for what he didn’t say (about Barbara Lee). The “left” simply has to stop this sort of shit. (2) Glen Ford did not say the progressive movement in America must be black-led. He said that progressives can only register their outrage at Obama, AND support a Black-led movement for social change, by voting for McKinney.

  6. Deadbeat said on July 4th, 2008 at 12:51pm #

    Lloyd Rowsey says…

    Two problems with the first two paras of your reply to Ford, Deadbeat. (1) you accept what he DOES say (about McKinney), and than condemn him for what he didn’t say (about Barbara Lee). The “left” simply has to stop this sort of shit. (2) Glen Ford did not say the progressive movement in America must be black-led. He said that progressives can only register their outrage at Obama, AND support a Black-led movement for social change, by voting for McKinney.

    There are a several problems with your rebuttal:

    [1] Ford writes the following…
    [B]egin the process of rebuilding a mass, Black-led movement for real social change.

    It’s very clear in that sentence what Ford wants. I disagree with that sentiment especially because the percentage of African American representation is declining that therefore African Americans must broaden their alliances.

    [2] Ford has been very contradictory in his criticism of Obama while at the same time he very much supported the Dean candidacy in 2004. Obama position on issue are no different that Dean.

    [3] McKinney voted for the invasion of Afghanistan. There seems to be a contradiction here that Ford either ignores or deliberately omits. Liberals are touting the “War on Terror” canard that Iraq was a “mistake” and that resource should be shifted to Afghanistan. The fact is that the FBI had NO solid evidence that Bin Laden was involved and clearly the Afghan government and people were NOT involved. So why isn’t McKinney being held to account for that vote.

    [4] Ford also choses NOT to explore why Nader and McKinney could not JOIN forces and broaden their coalition. That would have strengthen the left and clearly would have demonstrated a coming together of the progressive especially oppressed group in coalition with enlightened whites.

    [5] The “shit” that has to stop is SOLELY blaming the Democrats without any account upon the FAILURE OF THE LEFT. Before there can be any coalition building on the left people have to understand and come to terms with WHO ARE TRUE ALLIES and who have agendas to diffuse any possible coalitions.

  7. Tom Joad said on July 4th, 2008 at 1:03pm #

    What a load of Crap. The goddamn drum circle lefties are lookin to turn the country over to McCain beause Obama isn’t liberal enough. Just like they turned it over to Bush in 2000 because “there is no difference between Bush and Gore”. Thanks a lot you bitches. Thanks

  8. bozhidar balkas said on July 4th, 2008 at 1:53pm #

    good point by deadbeat,
    since there was only one party in US for 2 cent’s, it makes no sense now to go for 3 party system.
    mckinney may be too right wing to join nader.
    nader to me comes on as center socialist while mckinney to much right of that.
    thank u

  9. hp said on July 4th, 2008 at 3:48pm #

    Didn’t the Supreme court decide who won the election in 2000?
    Didn’t Bush win 2004 with Ohio fraud?
    How does anybody in their semi-right mind even daydream about Nader/McKinney/Paul/Perot/Dean/etc., or any combination of anyone but the elite appointed having a snowball’s chance in Hell?
    And now with the economy, food, climate, etc. worsening, apathy towards politics, environment, war, etc., will only grow.
    It’s downhill all the way and to call me anything but realistic, is unrealistic.

  10. dan e said on July 4th, 2008 at 7:40pm #

    Thank you, “Corylus”, you maken a whole lotta sense. Lemme offer some musings of my own, not as considered positions to be adopted/tenaciously defended but more as “food for discussion”?

    First, I have to apologize for all the beating around the bush; I’m having a terrible time these days coming to the pt. I get a flash & suddenly it’s all clear in my mind, so start typing but always find myself chasing all sort of rabbits, usually forgetting the idea that impelled me to the kbd. “I don’t have time to be brief”? Anyway, here’s a note I sent yesterday to somebody I respect:

    Hey… I’m inspired to write by your column re McKinney as the only alternative to Obamania. Props to you for a v. good job.

    You probably remember that I’ve been in Cynthia’s corner from the jump, which in my case was Mar 20 2004 at Jefferson Square in SF Fillmore Dist. So I agree with the pts you made, in fact have said much the same from time to time, if not nearly so eloquently.

    Matter of fact, I’m listed as a McKinney delegate to the GP Convention in Chi, July 10 — of course no way could pay freight to go in person so my vote will be cast by a Designated Proxy. Managed to initiate two local appearances, one at UCDavis, one at Carol’s Books, plus the earlier “Meetup” at Underground Bks. I find myself thinking of Cynthia as almost like a relative, after sending her a lot of email and receiving a surprising amount of direct response.

    However I’ve also found myself expressing to her a lot of misgivings about some of the people/orgs I see playing visible roles in the Campaign. Her response has been along the lines of “don’t worry, we’re on the same page, all will be revealed in good time”.

    One aspect I’m not sure I’ve gone into with her is the Reconstruction Party. When I read the Draft Manifesto, then learned a little about Colia Clark & read the Recon Pty grp “minutes of mtg”, I got real enthusiastic. Well, actually I first read about Colia C. in an issue of “The Organizer” out of SF, devoted to Katrina etc.

    I made some copies of the coverage & editorials in the issue & passed them out various places. But eventually I started having second thoughts. Alan Benjamin is a v. smart guy with a solid grasp of Marxism, that is a certain Trotsky-derived version of same — but far as I’m concerned he’s at bottom a Zionist. Looking again at the Draft Manifesto, I’m struck again by how it avoids the subject of Zionist control of the US Congrease, which is exercised via control of both major parties plus the arm of the Imperial State customarily called “the mainstream media”.

    Cynthia is v. smart, and is a v. canny practical politician, which I am not, not by several lightyears. So my guess is she knows what she’s doing and it will come out positive in the end. But I will never be totally comfortable until she distances herself from scum like that cheap crook David Cobb, aka Mr Anybody But Bush.

    The Green Party, esp. it’s more “left” elements, is heavily influenced by Trotskyist outfits, mainly the “International Socialist Organization”/ISO, which adheres to/advocates the “War For Oil” snowjob concocted to divert attn from the role of the Izzy Lobby/Big Jewry in first drafting, then implementing the PNAC scenario.

    As Aesop said in his Fable: watch out for them Adders, specially when all warm & cozy to your Bosom. From here it looks to me like Cynthia is involved with some very untrustworthy & likely unscrupulous elements.

    Okay, I’ve got my fingers crossed & am keeping a low profile. But that’s my take. If urged could go into considerable more detail when time permits. For now, am content to just drop this into your hopper & see if any of it resonates?

    Take it easy,


  11. dan e said on July 4th, 2008 at 7:53pm #

    What I shoulda said the first time: “The underlying reason to support Cynthia’s campaign is the idea of using it to launch a new Black-led mass movement vs the Stasis Quo, to lay the basis for a vast unified comprehensive Collective Effort to Change Conditions (as Angela D usta put it)”.
    —– Original Message —–
    From/To: cuibono

    Let me see if I can remember all the changes to my Cynthia strategy take:

    The situation is that whatever is not controlled by Republicans, that is by open racist colonialist militarists etc, is controlled by the Democrats, most of them also openly racist/militarist/colonialists while others are more in the Zio-dem mold: ostensibly Liberal, even “Progressive” but push comes to shove defend Izzylandia/Zionist Power Config.

    Key fact: the “antiwar” portion of the US Political Spectrum, ( aka the Peace piece of the Big Pizza) was long ago infiltrated/invaded and occupied in overwhelming numbers by Democrat Party operatives & supporters, i.e., “progressive Zionists” (sic).

    The two main pillars of this “progressive-zionist (sic) consensus” are the pro-Status Quo African American activists led by the Congreasable Black Caucus, and the Zionists occupying the key posts in the so-called US “Labor Movement”, esp. those Black trade unionists like Bill Fletcher & Bill Lucy who pose as oh so radical but when closely watched are quite obviously complicit in the Histadrut-hatched schemes pushed by the Sternies & the Sweenies, such as the plot to take over the Puerto Rican Teachers Union and turn it into a beachhead for Zionist ideology to penetrate the Latin American labor movement.

    So if you try to challenge the Zionist hegemony over the US trade union scene, you are immediately confronted by these Black piecards who’ve made careers out of fronting for the primarily Jewish Zionist piecards who run all the signif. labor unions & organizations.

    Now, or shld I say “in the current coyuntura”, with the appearance on the scene of the superbly talented & supremely skilled B. H. Obama, what White person can challenge the Zionist Consensus he so ably represents? I don’t think there are too many African Americans who will pay much attn to a White politician or journalist who tries to challenge Obama on the issues.

    So originally I in my innocent naivete “assumed” (okay Dan the Dummy, write it another 5K times on the blackboard: Assume Nothing!) that Cynthia McKinney was ideally suited to play the role of the “Anti-Obama”. But such is the power of Obamania, such is the hold this First Serious Black Candidate for POTUS has on the imagination of “The Black Voting Public”, that to try to swim directly upstream against the snowballing momentum in support of The Nominee– well, maybe after she nails down the GP nomination next week she might see her way to becoming a little more candid re what she really thinks about Obama & Obamism?

    Meanwhile R Nader & his keemosabe w/the nice haircut continue to talk about the Jr. Sen from Illinois like a dog, scoring a lot of direct hits to the delight of the Wyt Far Lefties. However don’t think Ralph & pal are paid much attn by said Black Voters or Opinion Ldrs.
    Of course when push gets to shove, Nader continues to peddle the Two State Illusion, i.e. the fantasy that the Zionazi State cum US ZPC will at some pt become amenable to reason if only enough people vote for Ralph. Also on the Nader-Gonzo Menu: “It’s a War For Oil, Stupid”, what I call the Antoniajuhacks Version which chooses to ignore the published facts in favor of What Everybody Knows. But I digress, Nader will be history by December. What mischief Gonzo is capable of is imposs. to predict. my guess is twill be considerable, wait, Assume Nada so wait& see. Anyway.

    The underlying reason to support Cynthia’s campaign is the idea of using it to launch a new Black-led mass movement vs the Stasis Quo, to lay the basis for a vast unified comprehensive Collective Effort to Change Conditions (as Angela D usta put it). But hold it,
    the McKinney Campaign that I’ve been in contact with seems to be composed entirely of White People, except for Cynthia herself. At least that’s my perception.

    Now that BAR has come out in full support, the picture becomes much less a case of “white-out”. But one Online periodical no matter how superb is not by itself a Mass Movement.
    Well I better take a break. 5 13 pm fortha july oh ate

  12. bozhidar balkas said on July 5th, 2008 at 6:10am #

    it seems to me that i have been kicked out of at least 4 web sites:truthdig, Alternet, haaretz, and jerusalem post.
    so, some people don’t like what i say.
    i remember one time a sent 18 posts to haaretz; none appeared.
    so, i haven’t been writing to haaretz for months.
    in add’n, zionists r desperate/angry/abusive to such a degree that it is not worth writing to haaretz or j’lem post.
    i’m still on dissident voice, infowras, and ICH. thank u

  13. Lloyd Rowsey said on July 5th, 2008 at 11:17am #

    Thanx for thinking out loud, dan e. I’m still trying to figure out how-who at DV persuades all these writers to put up 10 articles on Jul5, much less 9 articles on Jul4. Howsoever, clearly you, me and Glen are veyr much in sympathy with Cynthia…

    Maybe you could read The Idiot’s (Deadbeat’s) reply to my post above and reply with even just a fuck you, signed “Lloyd Rowsey” if you like. I don’t have time. AND all I do is type, keep myself alive in a totally hostile neighborhood, and send a few bucks to people and organizations I respect.

    Knowing there’s just one of you actually participating in Cynthia’s campaign, and evening out the Activism Score for me, makes my day.

    And if any of this seems inconsistent with something you recall I’ve posted before, noto bene, it’s VERY hard to be VERY consistent, especially when reality’s changing so fast.

    Actually, now that I think about it, I do exchange emails with Glen Ford. And maybe…. no, fagiddaboutit. Glen doesn’t enter the shitstorms at DV, ever.

  14. Deadbeat said on July 5th, 2008 at 12:05pm #

    Maybe you could read The Idiot’s (Deadbeat’s) reply to my post above and reply with even just a fuck you, signed “Lloyd Rowsey” if you like. I don’t have time. AND all I do is type, keep myself alive in a totally hostile neighborhood, and send a few bucks to people and organizations I respect.

    You know Mr. Rowsey I did not disrespect your views and position with name calling and an ad-hominum attack. What I did was to point out the contradiction in Ford’s arguments and position. The fact that you are calling for “dan e” to act as a “surrogate” to formulate your own arguments reflects your own intellectual laziness and your own inability to formulate a rational and reasonable rebuttal.

    My argument is that Ford has throughout the primary season attack has not only been against Obama but against every African American who has supported him. That attack has been totally unfair when Ford himself supported Howard Dean in 2004 while ignoring Ralph Nader that same year and this year he dubbed Dennis Kucinich the “black” candidate while in 2004 clearly did not do the same. So why the shift?

    African Americans vote for the Democrats out of pragmatism and nothing more. The left has offered no alternatives and McKinney does not offer an alternative in 2008. The left is divided and the left would have offered a much stronger front had Nader and McKinney been able to coalesce their campaigns.

    If you disagree then I’m sure you are intelligent enough to formulate a cogent retort.


  15. dan e said on July 5th, 2008 at 12:47pm #

    Well, Deadbeat, sorry but you seem to have gone off & left me.

    I hadn’t started reading Black Commentator regularly when Deaniac-ism was still in vogue, so am surprised to hear that Glen F bought into that scam then. However I think BAR has publically distanced itself from Dean & the Dem Nat Cmte he heads. Perhaps BAR should make it a lil more explicit, so we could get on with what’s happening right now: To B.O. or not to B. O.
    “Pragmatism”, you say? If there was any advantage to be gained for the majority of African Americans by supporting Obama & adding credibility to the snowjob for which he stands, I’d tend to say Go For It.

    But it’s a total sucker play. Obama is not even pretending he gives a s*** what happens to US Blacks, or any other people of African origin.

    DB, did you ever happen to see Chappelle’s segment about the blind Black man who thought he was Wyt & so joined the KKK, became a leading Klan mealymouth? Turns out to be a case of reality outdoing fiction, as your favorite Tom hurries to pre-emp McCain from the right.

    Your whole rap about how Ford shld feel guilty about attacking Black Community Obama supporters is so corny I’m amazed. You sure you’re the same DB I put on my email list? Wow.

    Lissen man, any Black or otherwise person so stupid as to publicly come out in support of Run Tom Run should be grateful if a kind person takes the time to go upside they head w/ a 2X4. Because BO stinks, has stunk from the jump, and will really start stinking up the joint once he takes over the Wyt House.

    Well, better I shut up, before you Obama-luvven wanabe Black Kleagles send the Secret Service around to see me. Artillery Hillery’s goons only subjected me to a lil False Imprisonment cum Misdeanor Assault when I hollered Bullshit to her Sacto hostesses slander of we assembled in protest of her support for War on Iraq etc. So wonder what the Fruit of Obamania will do given the chance?

    Oh man, Colonization of the Mind. Gimme a break.

  16. Deadbeat said on July 5th, 2008 at 6:58pm #

    Dan E writes….

    “Pragmatism”, you say? If there was any advantage to be gained for the majority of African Americans by supporting Obama & adding credibility to the snowjob for which he stands, I’d tend to say Go For It.

    First Dan, let me say I’m in full agreement with your analysis and critique of the role and influence of Zionism on the U.S. political economy.

    My argument for the sake of clarity has been with Glen Ford’s inconsistencies and especially his critique of the Black population in general who has decided to support Obama. His critique has been extremely shrill and unfair. I have NO problem with his critique of Obama per se. However his critic of the typical Black voter is in the same kind of right-wing “blame the victim” vein. Which IMO does more to set Ford up to be in a pious and above it all “I told you so” position than it does to provide the kind of needed clarity which would be many times more persuasive. Ford should be the last to criticize since he himself in the past has supported WHITE Democratic candidacies.

    Who did Blacks support in2004 — John Kerry — why? Because he was the Democratic candidate. Why else would they support him. Only because he would be in power and blacks would prefer to see a Democrat in power than a Republican. This has nothing to do with “Obamania” or “Colonization of the Mind” but of practical politics. If McKinney could win the Presidency she would be supported by African Americans. Obama as the likely Democratic nominee and with the left weak and divided unfortunately offers no practical alternatives.

    I think you yourself have made very useful points and observations regarding some of the weaknesses of Ms. McKinney candidacy within the Green Party. We are completely aware of the sabotage of the Green Party in 2004 by Medea Benjamin and David Cobb and the entire ABB crowd. Also the Green Party has never really conducted any outreach to oppressed communities. This is why I had hoped in 2008 for Nader and McKinney to join forces this year rather than split an already weaken left. However as you’ve pointed out the ZPC role should not be ignored when considering politics on the left.

    Another way to look at things is if Obama was white would Blacks be flocking to the “left” even with McKinney running the on the Green Party ticket? I don’t think so since her candidacy is not really all that viable especially since the GP LOST ballot lines due to their poor showing in 2004.

    Obama shifting rightward on issues my cause some folks to consider an alternative but in the end Blacks will still overwhelmingly vote in huge numbers for the Democrats because there are NO alternatives.

    And that is my point. Ford blames the Obama supporters WITHOUT an analysis about the sorry state of the left. Ford may argue that Obama had to kiss AIPAC ass but Obama is no different than Dean’s kiss up to Zionist ideology four years ago. On the other hand has Ford ever done an analysis of why the anti-war movement fizzled due to Zionism ON THE LEFT? Has Ford clarified why there is NO real alternative for African American? Has Ford examined his own contradictions?

    Why should blacks embrace the “left” when the “left” will certainly betray them. Blacks, for the most part, sympathizes with oppressed people. In this case clearly the Palestinians. The Trots in the ISO may bolt and become neo-cons — which is the true origins of the neo-conservatism. This points only serve to reinforce my critique of Ford.

    What is needed from Ford and BAR is the kind of REAL analysis, truth and honesty that you yourself wrote in your previous two posts. It is extremely unfair to blame Blacks who are just voting for the lesser evil while the “left” engages in their own sordid brand of evilism.

    This is also why I am less concerned about a “black-led” movement and rather see an anti-Zionist movement. Zionism is the 21st century racism that must be firmly confronted and alliances will be needed that extend outside of the African American community.

    Thus I hope this post helps clarify my arguments and outlook.

  17. Lloyd Rowsey said on July 6th, 2008 at 9:07am #

    Dan E gives me courage, Deadbeat. You give me despair.

  18. Deadbeat said on July 6th, 2008 at 10:44am #

    Dan E gives me courage, Deadbeat. You give me despair.

    I’m sorry that rational analysis upset you so much. However Dan’s involvement in McKinney’s campaign will not change much this year because of the Green Party’s weakened and fractured condition. Dan himself expressed doubts. This shouldn’t be a cause for “despair” but a cause for reason.

    The message that I have expressed is that building a “movement” will not happen if you do not understand who are the true allies and who have agendas to disrupt and diffuse such alliances. This is what occurred in the anti-war — which was a real movement — in 2003. The real “traitors” IMO were on the left.

    Yet I’ve seen remarks such as those from Ford and others made blaming voters. I find such comments to be ruses used to divert analysis away from the fractured stated of the left and in many cases obscure the influence of Zionism among the rank on the left.

    Despair is the result of ignorance. Hope is the direct result of strategic thinking.

  19. hp said on July 6th, 2008 at 12:38pm #

    Forget it Deadbeat. A gatekeeper by any other name..

  20. Lloyd Rowsey said on July 8th, 2008 at 4:40am #

    Yes, Deadbeat, rational analysis is one of mankind’s great assets in its struggle for survivial. An even greater asset is the ability to see when a particular “rational analysis” deviates from the facts so far it becomes irrelevant and misleading. When you write that Glen Ford blames voters — and that this blame is a “ruse” — it’s merely laughable; the man was discussing electoral politics. But when you attempt to nail down your laughable argument by accusing Glen Ford of trying to “divert analysis away from the fractured state of the left and…obscure the influence of Zionism among (its ranks),” it’s ludicrous.

    Quite a few months ago I suggested to Glen that he was a Garveyite. He was offended and replied that no, he is if anything a Du Bois man. At the time, I thought he had taken offense because his self-image is that of an intellectual more than a man of action. But after your “rational analysis” of Glen’s shortcomings, I’ve realized that his contempt for white Americans is solidly based on the fact that Marcus Garvey was irrelevant and outdated even in 1930’s America. Classical Marxists — which Glen may think of himself in the category of, if anything, should be so realistic.

  21. Lloyd Rowsey said on July 8th, 2008 at 5:32am #

    And since you seem to like long posts, Deadbeat, try to read Arthur Silber’s latest:

    July 07, 2008
    The Problem, in Brief
    Earlier today, someone linked to an essay of mine from February of this year. I hadn’t looked at it in quite a while. That piece concerned a program called InfraGard, which ought to scare the crap out of you. It’s described in this post: “‘Partnership for Protection’ — and for the Destruction of Liberty and, Possibly, of You.”

    In the course of my discussion, I offered some excerpts from Gabriel Kolko’s pathbreaking book, The Triumph of Conservatism: A Reinterpretation of American History, 1900-1916. Kolko’s thesis challenged the “conventional wisdom” about the Progressive era, and replaced the then commonly held view with a much more accurate one, one which is now widely accepted (at least, by those who spend any substantial time studying this era). Unfortunately, far too many Americans still are largely ignorant about what actually happened during this critical period. It was not a time when “the people” claimed greater power or when “populism” triumphed; to the contrary, it saw the consolidation of control by the ruling class, through an intricate and ever-expanding series of complicated interrelationships between key, nominally private business interests and government — or, if you will, the amalgamation of wealthy, influential private interests and the power of the state. As a result, it was, as Kolko styled it, “The Triumph of Conservatism.” Not the story your mother told you. (A lengthier discussion of Kolko with further excerpts from his invaluable book will be found in, “It’s Called the Ruling Class Because It Rules.”)

    After the Kolko excerpts, I wrote the following. I offer it again here, because I think this summarizes the fundamental problem quite well:

    “Over the last century, these dynamics have become the foundation of every aspect of American society and culture. The entanglements of the public and private sectors have grown increasingly byzantine and almost impossible to decipher much of the time, but the major theme is unaltered. Let’s keep the primary lesson simple: The most wealthy and powerful private interests align with government — and this partnership between the most powerful private interests and the state gets what it wants. You — the “ordinary” citizen — are of no importance whatsoever in these calculations, except insofar as your labor, and occasionally your life, are required so that the ruling elites are assured of getting what they want. You — your life, your work, your family, your friendships, your happiness — are entirely dispensable.

    Try to understand this. This intricate and ornate series of interrelationships between and among various private and public powers has grown and metastasized over more than one hundred years. It will not be dislodged overnight. It will not be altered except by a deliberate and painful process of de-linking, which would require several decades at the very least. But history tells us that, once a corporatist system has reached an advanced stage such as that which now prevails in the United States, it will only be changed by a major disruption and, more probably, by a series of disruptions: financial weakening and possibly collapse, and/or a major war or series of wars, and/or natural catastrophe, and/or…use your imagination to fill in other possible factors. But, like children who still believe in Santa Claus, and like those who desperately hope for salvation in foreign affairs, many liberals and progressives now look for a miracle to save them on the domestic front. Call the miracle Obama if you wish; the name you give it doesn’t matter a damn. And try to understand this: miracles do not happen. It was not a miracle that brought us here. It is only an understanding of the full nature of the problem we face and a determination to alter our course that will save us, if anything can. History, it must be noted, is not encouraging on this point.

    None of this is a reason for terminal despair, although I keep reading comments about my essays to the effect that they are “too depressing,” that they make people “suicidal” or “bitter,” and the like. People who react in these ways may have some understanding, but not nearly enough. And they may have everything — except vision and courage. I will discuss these particular issues in a future essay. For the moment, I will say this: I will not tell you, as people often tell me, that you need a “thicker skin,” since I consider the views underlying such prescriptions to be uniformly destructive. But what you do need is more understanding, and much, much more courage.”

  22. hp said on July 8th, 2008 at 9:18am #

    So, for the vast majority, the masses of under educated, short winded, short tempered, non-academic proletariat, the shortsighted un-gifted and un-couth, one could cut to the chase (for reasons of expediency and humility) and simply say:
    “meet the new boss, same as the old boss.”
    “the more things change….”
    “a rose by any other name…”
    “everybody gets the same amount of ice….”
    “same as it ever was…”
    and a whole bunch more adages, cliches and homilies which serve the same purpose, meet the same requirements of enlightened discourse but require only a few lines of ink and even less time to tell.
    This way the masses can then get back to their fishing, farming, plowing, pounding, grinding, digging and sweating, while the enlightened sit back, pour another drink and in repose marvel at their awesomeness, their utter specialness.

  23. Lloyd Rowsey said on July 8th, 2008 at 11:19am #

    Nice to see we finally agree about something, hp. But that it should take Arthur Silber to bring it out!! When the man doesn’t even answer my emails since I joked about something he took extremely seriously.