Code Pink: War Builds Strong Nations

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This diary digs into the how did it happen of Stu Piddy's CODE PINK TURNS PRO WAR. Basically, the ever-so-susceptible Code Pink bosses got played by the war PR machine. First of all, they never left Kabul:

Medea Benjamin:

We didn't get out to the countryside, we didn't talk to people who had been the targets of U.S. bombing, we didn't talk to people who lived under Taliban control. We, in a week, got to talk to an amazing variety of people, but they were all working inside Kabul, many of them coming from outside Kabul.

Secondly, they were exceptionally naive, considering the ostensibly very serious nature of the organization's fact-finding tour.

Dilettante number 1:

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Dear Antiwar New Englander

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"It is not the president who is in power, it is not the party that is in power, it is the system that stays the same, no matter who is in charge. . . . We are here to make the wars unpopular again."

Dear Antiwar New Englander,

Cindy Sheehan is in Martha's Vineyard, protesting Obama's endless meaningless wars, as she was in Crawford, Texas to protest the other war party's endless meaningless wars. Except to the wars' dead and injured victims.

Why aren't you there?

fairleft

. . .

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When some among us seriously harm the rest of the world in our name.

... or pretend that it's not important or necessary? As I write this, extremely legitimate and quite serious people are looking for ways to set right America's recent global and social criminal history

I seriously doubt that even half the readers here could spontaneously declare who Robert Jackson was.

Two months ago on this very blog Lietta Ruger brought up the same theme. To no one's surprise, the response was essentially "ho hum" and "yea so?" Yet we bloggers really are among the most civically active members of society and I wonder how it is that we got so sophisticatedly wise about political campaign strategy and remain so inept, ignorant and apathetic about genuine civic responsibility? There are duties required by that  responsibility when things go wrong or when some among us seriously harm the rest of the world in our name.

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Only Bush Can Go to China

Cross-posted at Taylor Marsh.

Note:  I lived and worked in Shanghai, China for five years before returning to the United States three weeks ago.  This was originally posted at Taylor Marsh, where I am covering current issues in China--international politics, culture, human rights, and more.  Given that this became an issue here yesterday, I thought I would cross-post my diary and have a discussion about this emerging power.

In May 2007, President Hu Jintao invited President Bush to attend the opening ceremony of the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing.  This spring, in the heat of the primary election, presidential candidates Hillary Clinton, John McCain, and, eventually, Senator Obama called on the president to decline the invitation to protest the human rights situation and the recent Beijing crackdown in Tibet.  Several human rights groups also issued calls for a boycott of the opening ceremonies, but ultimately, George Bush accepted the invention.

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No Discourse for Americans

There is no "Left" and "Right" in the mainstream political scene today. There are nuances of liberal thought in the Obama campaign, but that is terribly overshadowed by the "thought police" in his campaign that don't want to give the McCain people any "talking points" that they can use against him. This particular episode in US history is very unfortunate. The fact that the Democrats must play the role of the quasi-belligerent and bellicose imperialists, in order to thwart the rhetoric of John McCain is a crime in itself. This type of behavior and rhetoric dooms the American people to a campaign that disallows the type of discourse that we so desperately need in this nation.

The articles I've written in the past few weeks have garnered e-mails from people that I never expected to hear from. My series on "American Complicity" have been published on many progressive sites and the response has been overwhelming. The outpouring of sentiment that this writer has received makes it very clear to me that the Mainstream Media has failed to provide the type of dialogue that the American people need to have with each other. Correspondence that I've received has not just come from Americans; I have received heartfelt letters from people in Israel, Mexico and Canada that decry what has happened in America in the last few decades. I wish I could write to all the people that have written me and tell them that the American people are indeed waking up from their long slumber and see what this nation is doing in the name of "The American People", but I can't. The dialogue between not right and left, but right and wrong, just isn't being discussed with the public at large.

There is in this country since 9/11 a disturbing and dangerous perception in this country that it's "us against them". The same incident has spawned fears for some that our own government has been in some way either complicit or actually involved in the attacks. This incident and the feelings that people have about the causes and involvement of whomever was responsible are rarely talked about in public. The War in Iraq is also a subject that many Americans don't speak about in mixed company, not wanting to lay their cards out on the table for their neighbors and co-workers to see. We discuss "polls" and articles we have read to gauge what others think. The only time we hear strong anti-war sentiment is on the internet or from speeches made at rallies and protests. The truths we hear and read stay in our minds and are very rarely brought out in public. The silence is deafening.

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