John Kerry recently stated that he would have invaded Iraq even if he knew what he knows today. If the intelligence community had assured him that Iraq possessed no WMD stockpiles, he too would have ignited a war of aggression that killed tens of thousands of Iraqis and set their country ablaze with a show of “shock and awe”. Even the loss of nearly a thousand young American lives would not have altered his decision.
Had the CIA made it perfectly clear that Iraq had no ties to Al-Qaida, the Democratic candidate would have ignored that pesky detail and given a green light for the occupation of Iraq. Kerry would have launched a “pre-emptive” strike even if he was certain that Saddam’s emaciated Iraqi army was barely capable of defending its own borders – which raises the question about what he intended to pre-empt. In the middle of the fight against Bin Laden, he would have diverted resources to attack a vile but feeble dictator who was already well contained by no-fly zones and genocidal sanctions.
Even George Bush won’t go that far. The president maintains that he made his decision to do battle with Saddam because he was under the mistaken impression that Iraq was on the verge of dropping WMDs on American cities. His advisers assured him that the Saddam’s poison would be delivered on the wings of mythical super drones. Donald Rumsfeld knew exactly where the WMDs were located. If Bush ever believed what he professed in public, he was “certain” that Al-Qaida had training bases in downtown Baghdad, equipped with Boeing and Air Bus simulators. His neo-con Praetorian guards insisted that Iraq posed a military threat to its neighbors and was a national security threat to their other country - Israel.
So, where does that leave us? Well, this November you can choose to retain a President who blames “intelligence failures” for his decision to go to war; or you have the alternative of electing a brand new president who would have gone to war on a whim.
The “war president” now wants to be a “peace president.” In the other corner of the ring, Kerry is pumping himself up to be the “war monger president.” He will opt for a war of choice whenever he feels the urge – regardless of whether the designated enemy poses any kind of threat to the United States.
It used to be that when a Republican president was elected, the soft drink machines in the White House would be stocked with Pepsi – while Coke was the preferred beverage of the other War Party. Ironically, the Pepsi generation was considered a Nixon constituency and McGovern was left with the Coke vote. Tricky Dick won the South when a few dissenting rabble-rousers – who were nominally Coke drinkers – switched to Pepsi.
Once again we are left with a Coke or Pepsi decision. Choose your poison and get the battle stations ready for four more years of “shock and awe.”
The only real problem American voters seem to have with Ralph Nader is that he thinks Coke and Pepsi are bad for the nation’s health. He would rather we drink from a river of peace. But Americans -- always a free-spirited people -- insist on the right to imbibe their beverage of choice. They are accustomed to voting for brand name political parties because their taste buds are programmed to crave that old familiar taste.
We should all be grateful for the small favor of witnessing both parties drawing an ideological line in the sand about which type of soft drink they plan to serve at their inaugural balls. The only real alternative is to vote for Nader – which is as unhealthy as ordering fresh squeezed organically grown apple juice at a hot dog stand. It is considered almost snobbish. Your friends and neighbors will think you’re an eccentric fool obsessed with your health. In the long run, we all die. So why waste your vote on the unlikely prospect of a long and healthy life. Just take another gulp of the Kool Aid and make a toast to Jim Jones and the War Party.
Why take a risk and vote for Nader when you already have an incumbent War Party president who passes the Pepsi challenge? Bush subscribes to the alien agenda of the neo-cons, pampers Halliburton with no-bid contracts, antagonizes and enrages the little people of the planet, wastes blood and treasure with abandon, and pays for his disastrous Middle Eastern social experiments with record budget deficits and ruinous trade deficits. What more could you ask for in a president?
Of course, for whatever reason, you always have the option of voting to waste your vote on his challenger – a man who promises to clone Bush’s policies. Whether you choose the Pepsi candidate or the Coke nominee – you will end up digesting the same amount of sugarcoated poison served by the War Party.
Kerry will escalate the war in Iraq and has promised to be even more draconian in the repression of the Palestinians. He has already assembled a neo-con replacement team for the State Department and the Pentagon. His despicable groveling at the feet of Ariel Sharon gives a full measure of the character of the man. The sum total of his energy policy is to bash the Arabs -- in an open appeal to the bigots among us. If the Saudis are guilty of anything, it is in squandering their natural resources by exporting them for a pittance and remitting the proceeds to American and European equity markets.
In any event, when it comes to dealing with foreigners -- the other 94% of the citizens of our one common planet -- Kerry shows every promise of being “Bush Heavy” – not “Bush Lite.”
Compare the policies of both War Party candidates to their adversary. Nader will design a rational foreign policy and the world will love us for it. And those who don’t love us will respect us for making a real effort to promote global peace and tranquility, honor international law, demonstrate staunch support for human rights and take a multilateral approach to resolving regional conflicts. If we want a safer world, we should start with a less hostile America. We can either share peace and justice with the rest of the planet or expand our empire at the cost of building a very expensive garrison state and colonial outposts to keep the restless natives of the oil plantations in their place.
So, this November, you can still decide to vote with your brain not with your taste buds. Give the Peace Party a chance. Stop drinking Coke and Pepsi and be certain that Nader is a healthier choice.
Other Articles by Ahmed Amr
Exceptional Treatment of the Palestinians