Last Update: October 22, 2003
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Editor's Note (10/22/03): This Page
is Still Under Construction, and only a few of the most recent letters
have been posted. I will be adding older letters to this page over the
next week, so check back often.
Two Measures of American Desperation
by Sharma and Frank
Dear Dissident Voice,
I work for Gov. Howard Dean as an intern (no pay, free place to stay).
Perhaps its hip to say that Dean is 'unworthy' of being called a
progressive. That may be true. However, can you deny the fact that the
United States is teetering on the brink of outright fascism? That
terrible things await us in the near future if we fail to regain control
of our country? It is impossible. I have read a number of articles of
basically the same persuation [sic] as yours, that Dean is nothing to get
excited about, he's not really on the left, he's questionable on so many
issues, we're not impressed.... Wake up! Dean is all the Left has got
left! We are about to be tossed out of an airplane and you're
complaining about the quality of the fucking parachute!
Dean saw this election
coming WAY down the road. He stood up against the war. He stood up
against the war! He calls the Bush administration corrupt liars to their
face! He has a strong record as Governor of Vermont. He treated gunshot
victims during his residency in Brooklyn. He's a doctor for christsake.
And don't you realize that a politician, if he hopes to survive, must
take positions contrary to what he feels in his innermost thoughts?
Politics is compromise.
That is why moderates prevail. For the love of all things holy, don't
stand in the way of this campaign. Would you vote for a Dean/Clark
ticket? That me be our only ticket out of this nightmare. If you
wouldn't, don't come complaining to me when we find ourselves in a world
Josh Frank and Sunil Sharma Reply:
As you work for Dean, we
aren't too surprised at your naive canonization of the doctor. Not sure
pulling out bullets in Brooklyn ERs equates him to Mother Teresa. But we
hope your dialing for dollars is going well anyway.
"Dean is all the Left has
got" you say?.. Of course! Damn you are right! How did we miss that
Oh right.. almost forgot
his pro-gun, pro-death penalty, pro-Sharon schtick. He hailed the Afghan
war too! If Dean represents the Left, we want out. Now!
You are right about the US
being on the brink of fascism though. But John, it's folks like Howard
Dean that brought us to this point. It's the centrist politicos and
centrist policies that have allowed the Right to control the course of
this failing democracy. We could go back to Carter, but why that far
when we have neoliberal Clinton in our short-term memory banks. From
NAFTA, to Welfare Reform, to Colombia, to bombing Yugoslavia, and Iraq.
All ventures and deeds ol' Dean condoned. In fact Dean wants to send
Clinton back to the Middle East for good cheer! He did such a damn fine
job ya know! If only Clinton stayed in office, Bin Laden wouldn't have
Oh wait, they were planning
that well before 2000. Never mind.
Dean the savior of the
Left? I suppose that the 5 minutes Kucinich was allocated during the
last debate wasn't enough to show you the Left still has a pulse. Or
perhaps you missed it, perhaps it aired during your door-to-door route.
Well, here's a candidate
for President who is anti-war, (NO REALLY, EVEN IF THE UN APPROVED IT!
YEAH!! He'd REPEAL NAFTA, (not fluff certain statutes, "it helped
Vermont!"...ish), who will pull out troops, who is pro universal
healthcare (without privatization), who opposes all of Bush's $87
billion to Iraq.... we mean Halliburton's hand-out.. He also
opposed the war on Afghanistan. We could go on, but we assume your
literate ass can check out his campaign,
As for the political
compromise you tout so freely, we'll let another progressive Dem talk
about the take-over of your Party. Here's Al Sharpton in his own words.
"This whole centrist move,
which I consider a Right move, hasn't worked politically. Centrists keep
saying we can't win without going to the center. Well, they have been in
charge of the party since 1992. It's 11 years later and we have lost
everything. We lost the House in 1994 with Gingrich, and we failed to
regain it in 1996, 1998, 2000 and 2002. How do you lose five Super Bowls
and not say there is something wrong with this coach and this game plan?
Aside from the fact that I don't believe in what they are saying -- pro
death penalty, pro business, deregulation, pro NAFTA -- politically it
hasn't even worked. They act as though they are outsiders shooting at
the inside. They are the insiders. They have control of the party, and
they have failed. They have put this party on its deathbed."
So much for compromise.
Sorry John, centrist Dean
isn't our ticket out of this mess. He doesn't come close to representing
the Left, we just mentioned two Dems running who are more progressive
than Dean. Maybe you should take a whiff of those smelling salts. He
doesn't come representing the "democratic Wing of the Democratic Party."
No that was Wellstone, and he was no saint either. But next to Dean,
Wellstone is Gandhi.
Oh and this just in...
Dean owns an interest in
the timber industry, valued between $100,001 and $250,000, in Virginia.
He also approved a (Vermont) state purchase of 107,000 acres, 85,000 of
which, was harvested for old timber. He claimed it was for environmental
protection. What else isn't he telling us?
You are right that Dean saw
this campaign coming. That's why he's attempted to make it hard for
folks to look into his Vermont record. But the truth will come out
eventually. For us, enough already has.
Best of Luck,
-- Josh Frank, and Sunil
Rudolph Replies Again:
I got work to do, but I
couldn't help but fire off at least a brief reply. After all, you
responded so quickly to my late-night rant, it would only be polite.
You're right. Kucinich and
Sharpton are the way to go. What was I thinking? Yes, a Kucinich/Sharpton
or Sharpton/Kucinich ticket would be well nigh unbeatable come election
time 2004. When elected, they would surely solve the Palistinean/Isreali
conflict, bring peace to Iraq and Afghanistan, and democracy, peace and
justice to the Middle East(only if they want it), defuse the tensions on
the Korean peninsula, end the drug war in South America, free the
unjustly imprisoned in America, solve the AIDS crisis in Africa, bring
jobs and prosperity back to the heartland, give us all affordable health
care and to top it all off, solve the energy crisis.
Whoa! Put down the peace
pipe, brother! Are not each and every one of these issues EQUALLY
important? Can any 'candidate' deliver them all? I bet Al and Dennis
can. (Dennis has a plan) But wait a minute. This isn't about ripping on
political candidates. It's about the future of the fucking planet and
it's dead serious.
Sadly, I'm far less naive
then I used to be. In fact, I acknowledge that each of your barbs
towards Dean were relevant and well placed. Touché. But have you visited
some alternate reality where we really have satisfactory choices?
Especially for President? What is it like there?
Well, it is your choice to
sign off on the democratic process. Perhaps you can emigrate and acquire
citizenship in some country with candidates that are 100% honest. (maybe
Tonga?) I for one will work my ass off to see someone else get in the
white house, regardless of whether he's in the pocket of the Jews (who
isn't?). Perhaps you'll say that Dean is the lesser of two evils, and
you're tired of making that choice. Fine.
It might just all be one
grand conspiracy anyway. But what I see is a struggle between two groups
at the highest levels of power, with our future hanging by a thread over
the abyss. Do you really know what's going on out there? Is it only me
who is naive?
If so, then give us
something other than negation. And something more promising than a
-- John Rudolf
Oh boy. Another pronounced
"realist." At least you backed off your pre-mature Dean stroking. At
this point in the Democratic Primaries, I think real progressives should
endorse real progressive candidates. How will the centrist DLC and the
likes of Dean ever get it, if the supposed 'liberal' base never stands
up to be counted? What then?
You are right about Dean
being the Lesser of... but right now we've got 9 other choices. So by my
count he's about the lesser of 6 or 7 evils. LaRouche excluded. If Dean
does get the nomination, I may well hold my nose and vote for the guy.
But I have no illusions he can save us. Could Kucinich save us? Could
Sharpton? Well, they would get the ball rolling. Unfortunately Dean
won't. So why would I even vote for him?
Because I can't fathom
another four listening to Bush, its time to develop another hatred. But
I fear, and I am sure Sunil does as well [he does], that partisanship
will rekindle among the Left. Meaning they won't rail Dean, or whoever,
with as much fervor as they have Bush. Even though he'll deserve it, as
did Clinton. However, we know damn well Clinton didn't get it from the
progressive Democratic base.
activists, all mainstream groups, rolled over for Bill because they
feared the Right assault. The whole while, never realizing Clinton
represented that very Right-wing drift. Dean represents it too. But in a
much worse way. His borrowing of the populist rhetoric is frightening.
Some say it's a positive thing. I for one, think he's lying through his
teeth, and his record provides a glaring memento for that truth.
Once again, Good luck,
Tone Down That Shit, Asshole!
You write shit about Wesley Clark because your [sic] Howard Dean's assholes.
Why don't you tone it down and fight the real enemy George W. Bush.
-- Walter Urban
Dear Mr. Urban,
Actually, you must be
illiterate because it's pretty clear from what we write that we're
Dennis Kucinich's "assholes." We think Dean is a bastard too
incidentally. And from what we've quoted of Clark, he's not a clear
enemy of Bush. And from what the vast majority of articles we post here
at DV clearly indicates, we are certainly enemies of Bush. But just
because we hate Bush, doesn't mean that Democratic challengers are above
criticism, Kucinich as well.
It's called critical and
independent thinking, which I strongly suggest knee-jerk partisans of
the "anybody but Bush" crowd learn something about. If this kind of
mentality prevailed in earlier periods of American history, we wouldn't
have achieved some life-affirming gains in civil rights, women's rights,
labor rights, etc, because such COWARDICE guarantees a lousy status quo.
And it's amazing that people who ostensibly oppose Bush, whose
administration's assaults on civil liberties are legion, would tell
others to "tone it down" when confronted with sentiments they don't
like. It says a lot about the "opposition", none of it appealing.
-- Sunil Sharma
Santa Rosa, CA
Urban Replies Again:
Dear Miss/Mrs Sharma,
I should have known that
you were Dennis Kucinich's people. I love what Kucinich has to say. It
is so idolistically correct. But way way too far to the left to be even
be remotely electable. Therefore your views might have some influence on
the Democratic parties utimate [sic] candidate, which is good, but you
extremist views have virtually no chance of influencing the majority of
the American people. Therefore why attack other Democrats who hold the
majority of your own views?
Are you that desperate that
you have to attack war heros [sic] to further the candidacy of your extremeist
candidate? Are you so afraid of free speech that you promote politics of
personal destruction against others in your own party. Did you notice
nobody is attacking Dennis Kucinich. You know why? Because he is mostly
irrelevant in the big picture, because he will never be elected even
though I agree with many of his views.
So why don't you direct
your energy at what is most important, which is removing the criminal
that occupies the White House at the current time.
-- Walter J. Urban
First off, it's Mr.
Sharma, but you can call me Sunil, I'm not much for formalities.
Second, you refer to my
attacking others "in [my] party." Well, I'm not a Democrat, I'm a
registered Green, though I'm very critical of them too and often wish
there was a better second party alternative.
Third, to steal a quip from
Howard Dean about himself, if Dennis Kucinich is a lefty "extremist" as
you put it, then that simply shows how far to the right this country has
lurched in recent decades. Kucinich is not a radical, he's basically a
(better) descendant of his reformer hero Franklin Roosevelt. Thanks to
the DLC, Clinton-Gore and the rest of the machinery, the Democratic
Party has regressed to the point that it doesn't even pretend to
fight for the things it was associated with over 60 years ago. I mean,
when you have DLC guru Al Fromm saying the reason why the conservative
Al Gore lost the election was because he was talking too "populist"
[saying nothing about the stolen election], then you know things are
really rotten with this party.
You say "you [sic]
extremist views have virtually no chance of influencing the majority of
the American people." So do you think, for example, that Kucinich's (and
Moseley-Braun's) call for a single-payer health plan is an extremist
view? That is, a health care system that most industrial capitalist
democracies have (Canada, Western Europe, etc) ... is this extremist?
Well Walter, 62 percent of
Americans in a recent poll said "they preferred a universal system that
would provide coverage to everyone under a government program, as
opposed to the current employer-based system" (http://www.commondreams.org/headlines03/1019-10.htm).
According to the same poll, the majority of respondents said they are
dissatisfied with the overall quality of health care in the US. "The
poll found that six in 10 people surveyed say they are worried about
being able to afford health insurance in the future. More than one in
six said they have no insurance. The government says there were 43.6
million uninsured U.S. residents at some point during 2002, accounting
for 15.2 percent of the population." Recently, 8000 doctors signed onto
an article published in The Journal of the American Medical Association
that calls for and outlines a national, single-payer health plan (http://www.dissidentvoice.org/Articles7/PWG_Single-Payer.htm).
There hasn't been as ripe an opportunity for national health insurance
in recent memory.
Only two of the Democratic
contenders are calling for single-payer (Kucinich has actually
introduced legislation in the House for such a plan), and it's neither
Clark nor Dean. It would appear you and the other candidates are the
extremists on this issue, out of touch with the mainstream.
Clearly the Democratic
candidates do not represent the "majority" of my views. Outside of
Sharpton and Kucinich, all of these guys are in the pocket of Big
Business. They found the spine to "oppose" (however tepidly) our illegal
invasion and occupation of Iraq (which Clark gushed over in his April 10
article in the London Times) because massive anti-war protests worldwide
made it possible. Prior to that, the Democratic candidates in the Senate
and House -- except Kucinich -- caved in when it mattered and gave Bush
carte blanche to wage war, and are now legitimizing the occupation. Dean
wants to raise the seriously over bloated Pentagon budget. I sure as
hell don't agree with that. Only Kucinich is on record as saying he
wants to reduce Pentagon spending. This would not at all compromise
national security as most Pentagon spending is simply unnecessary waste
production benefiting high-tech corporate welfare queens. The
candidates say they would repeal all or parts of Bush's tax cuts. That's
nice, but none of them outside of Kucinich are going beyond that and
saying let's reintroduce some fairness and progressivity in the tax
burden. So, don't agree with them there either. And I can gone on and
Fourth, the idea that
General Clark is a "war hero" is too laughable to comment on. "War
criminal" definitely, but a hero? . . . . Puhleeze.
Fifth, you write, "Are you
so afraid of free speech that you promote politics of personal
destruction against others in your own party. Did you notice nobody is
attacking Dennis Kucinich. You know why? Because he is mostly irrelevant
in the big picture, because he will never be elected even though I agree
with many of his views."
This is completely standing
things on its head. In your first letter to me, you suggested I "tone
down" my criticisms of Clark et al. And this has been typical of all the
negative criticism Josh Frank and I received for our article, and in the
compilation DV put together on Clark: Nobody addresses the facts and
sources we cite, or directly challenges our points. Instead it is "why
are you questioning" Clark and the rest of the Dem scoundrels, and why
don't you shut up and direct your attention at Bush? Well anybody who
reads DV on a daily basis can easily find damnation after damnation
about George Bush, which suggests to me that such critics need to pull
their heads out of their asses.
More importantly we don't
think anybody is above criticism. Not the Democrats, including Kucinich,
not Nader, not fellow leftists, no one! There are no sacred cows here.
To say we are so afraid of free speech is your self-projection my
friend, because nobody here at DV is telling Dean or Clark supporters to
tone down their rhetoric or be silent. If you are of the
centrist-conservative persuasion, then by all means vote for the people
that represent that, which is all of them except Kucinich and Sharpton.
It's really funny to me when I recall never hearing Republicans tell
Perot or Buchanan supporters to shut up, or criticize the Natural Law
and Libertarian parties for potentially siphoning votes from the
Republican Party. I only hear this drivel from Democrats, including
people who call themselves "liberals".
As to the "relevancy" of
Kucinich . . . yes he will be irrelevant as long as people who say they
"agree with him" take the (as you called us) cowardly route of
making it a self-fulfilling prophecy by ignoring him and writing him off
as a long shot. The same was said of long-shot Dean at the beginning of
the year, now he's a front-runner, same could happen for Kucinich.
Further, it doesn't help when Kucinich is given
the least amount of time to air his views in the debates compared to
the other candidates as was the case in the CNN debate a couple of weeks
I could understand
supporting Dean (Clark is another matter) if it comes down to just him
and Bush in 2004. But long before the first primary, people who support
the kind of progressive stands Kucinich or Sharpton are taking should
fight vociferously because if you don't do it NOW, then there is
no reason for whomever the ultimate Democratic challenger turns out to
be to advocate those positions come the final race. These assholes only
respond to pressure (which again is why some of these guys became
critical of the Iraq war), and historically it's ACTIVISM ACTIVISM
ACTIVISM that brought the goods home, something too many lazy people
seem to be forgetting these days.
For me it's not about
Kucinich, it's about advancing the causes he stands behind (which
are not all that radical if one takes the long view of history). The
Republicans show us how it's done day after day. They want something,
they fight tooth and nail for it, no pussyfooting around. The Left needs
to take the same tact as well, and supporting the likes of Clark leads
to the same dead end election after election
-- Sunil Sharma
Santa Rosa, CA
Switch-hitting Clark batting .200 for the Dems, .800 for the Repugs
I have just finished
reading your opinion piece entitled "Two Measures of American
Desperation: Wesley Clark and Howard Dean."
Although I don't agree with
your opinions regarding General Clark, that is not the reason for this
I point to your claim that
"Clark’s first presidential vote was for Richard Nixon. He subsequently
voted twice for Ronald Reagan and then for George Bush the Elder."
This is true. However, why
do you neglect to mention that the General voted for Al Gore in 2000? Do
you not feel this to be significant?
I'm not sure that I even
want to know what your agenda is, it just sickens me that you so
obviously have one.
-- Buddy L. Brown
Yeah, Clark voted for Gore
in 2000 . . . that makes him an .800 hitter for the Republicrats. If
that gives you some peace of mind, well more power to ya.
I've never understood why
for many people, having an "agenda" connotes something sinister. It's as
though the utterance of the word rouses from the silence a horror movie
soundtrack, as the axe murderer creeps up behind his unsuspecting
What's my agenda? Gee, I
don't know, take a stroll through the newsletter and pull up a few
articles at random and it should be relatively clear. I'm opposed to
imperialism, colonial wars and occupations, the immiseration of the many
for the benefit of the few, environmental pillage, the corporate
takeover of our political system, institutions, and our own minds, the
beating down of working people, the dumbing down of American culture,
racism, xenophobia, and other battles the "Left" used
to seriously fight.
I want people to not simply
look at the rhetoric of politicians, whatever their political
persuasion, but actually look at their real records. More
importantly, I want people to not simply put their faith in politicians
or other "leaders" for salvation, but to live up to the ideal of being
actual participants in the political process. Not just ratifying the
shitty establishment choices selected for them every election, but to
have a role in creating the possible options and alternatives. In brief
. . . genuine direct democracy.
Now, Buddy, that's not so
scary is it?
-- Sunil Sharma
Santa Rosa, CA
Day of the Living Zombies
Get a life general clark
must be threatening a lot of people these days
-- Helen Weinbrecht
Re: Great article on
Clark and Dean
What a great and revealing
article on Clark and Dean. Was particularly discouraged with Dean's
Now Be Nice . . . Too
I enjoyed your article in
Counterpunch online [editor's note: this article appeared in various
I would respectfully invite
you however, to take a second to reflect on your tone and your stance.
There is a school of
thought that says it is more important to fight for what you want than
to fight against what you do not want. You are accurate, and intelligent
in your analyses, but there is a negativity there that continues to give
power to the things you hate.
As a supporter of the
Kucinich campaign, I am well aware of the effective blackout of real
progressive ideas, as well as the insidious way in which Dean has seemed
to pinch Kucinich's positions for a convenient one-liner, only to drop
them (I fear) later when they are no longer necessary.
The way to fight this is
with a force of positive energy towards the goal of putting a
progressive government in place in America. So what I would like to ask
of you is to try to publish a positive article on the fight being waged
by the real progressive candidates, without the negative energy
involving the other side. Try to keep this in mind and remember the
balance, so that you are informing the people positively that they have
a real choice, as well as pointing out that which is harming our
country. If we all make a positive contribution, and lose none of that
energy creating negativity, I believe we will be much closer to our
I hope that makes sense.
Also please forgive me if I have offended you, for it was not my
-- Jeff M.
No offense taken mate.
-- Sunil Sharma
Santa Rosa, CA
Bravo . . . and thanks for
expressing so well that which a lot of us feel.
-- Jack Ballinger
Clark for Pres?
I have to wonder if Clark
is a Republican plant, a Trojan Horse, in the Democratic race. It
wouldn't surprise me. The Republicans would do anything to consolidate
power, including putting up a Trojan Horse to stifle the other
candidates and creating a hedge against Bush's possible defeat. Just
when we thought there couldn't be another liar... Are we trading one
butcher for another? Too bad Kucinich doesn't have a snowball's chance
in Saudi Arabia. Still, anyway, isn't anyone else better than the gang
of kleptocrats that Bush has in dangerously powerful positions? I
appreciated your article. Keep up the good work.
-- Jeff G.
Re: Your article about Dean
& Clark/Richard Heinberg
The piece you wrote left me
with serious reservations about voting for Clark since he appears to
have been a very solid conservative Republican until his snubbing by
Rove, but I still think Dean would be an improvement. Yes, I know he's
no progressive by any stretch of the imagination, but while you can find
positions of his that contain outrages similar to those of Bush, nobody
short of a Klansman in full bedsheet regalia waving a Confederate Flag
could top Bush in terms of total outrages in both foreign and domestic
policy. Voting for Dean, or even Lieberman should he get the nomination
(Goddess forbid!) certainly wouldn't heal the wound, but it would stanch
the worst of the hemorrhaging, which is what we have right now. I
believe that Bush represents the fascist late stage of capitalism, and
America would be forever changed for the worse were he to win a second
term. BTW, if the Left really wants to understand what's going on now
and what the future holds, more of us need to read a book called The
Party's Over: Oil, War, and the Fate of Industrial Societies by
Its premise is that
petroleum is going to start getting scarce a lot sooner than most people
realize, and we'll all be up the crick without a paddle when that starts
to happen. Read it and get the education of a lifetime.
-- Mr. Doobie
Richard Heinberg's book is
definitely a must read, as is the excellent newsletter he puts out, "The
Museletter." Richard is a brilliant guy, and really nice too. I should
know . . . in my day job life I'm the guy who prints his newsletter.
Check it out: www.museletter.com,
and consider subscribing.
Richard has also
contributed two articles to DV: "Behold
Caesar" and "Remember
When We Had Elections?"
-- Sunil Sharma
Santa Rosa, CA
Replies to Rustie Woods'
Body-Snatchers Have Arrived"
Take the High Road
Dear Rustie Woods:
if you take the low road
even if you succeed
inevitably you still have nothing
if you take the high road
regardless of the outcome
at least you took the high road
--from "Iris Chang" (by Artboy)
Are you a Michael Moore
fan, despite your critical letter to him in dissidentvoice.org? I am,
although I don't agree with him on every single thing he says. When he
gave a virtual endorsement to Wesley Clark, I was cautiously supportive,
being that it was Michael Moore who made it. But now, after
learning a little more about Clark, I am wary.
I guess I, like many others
who want Bush gone after 2004, was captivated by Clark's stances and
credentials. At least the Republicans can't attack Clark's service to
his country like they attacked Clinton's, we thought! Then I realized
that we were turning away from Dennis Kucinich - the one candidate who
would never waver from his views (aside from the abortion issue, which
is now in line with what most progressives would want). No doubt Clark
has quickly become one of the best-funded Democratic candidates, while
Kucinich remains the worst-funded. Perhaps some of us were so desperate
to beat Bush in 2004 that we would abandon (even momentarily) our
principles and throw our support behind the candidate with the deepest
I think in time MM will
realize his error and come around to supporting Kucinich again. Because
as he said during the 2000 campaign, "the lesser of the two evils is
still evil". Clark is in the DLC's good graces because he's a safe
candidate - looks like the people's candidate on the outside, but is a
wannabe Republican on the inside. In other words, another Clinton.
-- C. Choi
Up for Kucinich
WOW. I just read your
article on Dissident Voice, and I've gotta say, it really opened my
eyes. Up to now, I've felt a little despaired at the lack of a promising
democratic candidate -- Dean and Clark just disgusted me.
Long story short, you just
picked up a vote for Kucinich.
-- D. Maxwell
Your letter expresses my
feeling of betrayal by Mike Moore better than I ever could. I've just
written him and expressed my disappointment with his tacit endorsement
of Wes Clark, at the expense of Mike's oft stated political principles.
I also unsubscribed from Mike's mailing list.
Had Clark or Dean become
the eventual Democratic candidate, I might understand Moore supporting
their candidacy, as an "anything but Bush" concession. I don't agree
with that strategy, as it allows the corporate media to define our
choices down to two candidates they feel comfortable with. But, I
understand that strategy more than Mike's "drop your principles early"
For him to have not
enthusiastically endorsed Kucinich in this early campaign is
mind-boggling. Every position Moore has advocated in the past has been
supported by Kucinich, while much of Moore's Progressive/Green agenda
was anathema to Clark and Dean.
Mind-boggling, that's all I
-- Jack B.
Responses to DV News Service's
Awful Truth About General Wesley Clark"
in the Corner Naughty Boy
IMMEDIATELY.....by slamming fellow democrats you WEAKEN them all and
play right into Karl Rove's filthy hands! You should be deeply ashamed
of this effort to help Bush stay in office!
-- Michelle B.
Green Bay, WI
Got Some 'Splaining To Do
Re: Please explain your
intentions in attacking Wes Clark
Someone forwarded me your
attack on Wes Clark. Please explain what you hope to gain by attacking
the most credible candidate who can defeat Bush. NO ONE is beyond taint
or reproach from some wing of the "left" -- even your Kucinich has a
pretty nutty position on a woman's right to privacy and preserving
access to safe abortions. And you are just plain wrong in saying that he
is unelectable because most people on the left pragmatically realize he
cant be elected. Kucinich can't be elected because he does not represent
the majority of Americans who are somewhere in the middle of the two
political extremes. We have Bush because elements like you in the left
are incapable of being anything but self-destructive. Why dont you
simply advocate another attempt to elect Ralph Nader, or Noam Chomsky,
or yourself for that matter?
Before attacking another
Democrat I would request that you focus your criticism on who is in the
White house and ask yourself if you want to be partly responsible for
four more years of this administration. There are many radical and
progressives who will drink the kool-aid that hacks like you serve up on
the internet. The anarchy symbol on your webpage is very appropriate -
it reminds me of where I was at in junior high school. You should sign
your email with the anarchy symbol as well. Perhaps that in addition to
your tired left wing tropes and rehashed bullshit will lead some people
to partially discount your amateur editorializing.
-- Kapil Gupta
Dude, you need to pull your
head out of your ass! I'm so bored of hearing this tired response, it's
like attack of the Democrat clones or something. Any literate person who
reads Dissident Voice on any given day will find plenty of damning
material about Bush and his gang of evil-doers, so let's knock off this
bullshit implying we are somehow supporting Bush. As to the rest of your
letter, there is no point responding since you've provided nothing of
substance, just personal attack. You offer no counter arguments or facts
to the material posted in the Clark compilation, which means you concede
the point. I and Josh Frank have already responded to similar screeds
elsewhere on this page, no point repeating it.
-- Sunil Sharma
Santa Rosa, CA
Reply to Kapil Gupta
To be able to "attack" Wesley Clark is the duty of any American voter to
flesh out the truth of who they may vote for. I do not want to vote
blindly. If a guy is a "democrat" does that mean, "look no further"?
-- Bonnie P.
Sadly, in these stressful
times, too many people let their fear overcome their support for the
free speech of others, thinking that it was created for them only.
I enjoy your well thought
out, wide ranging, analysis of the political scene.
-- Donna J.
Dean's a liberal, then Bush is a moderate!
Just wanted to thank you
for the (updated) Clark story.
And further kudos for being
one of the only places in all media that seems to realize that Kucinich
is even running in the Democratic field.
With the corporate media
limiting our choices to either, Bush, an Uber-Bush (Lieberman), a Bush
lite (much of the other Dem candidates who voted for war but want to
pretend they didn't) or the corporate designated "far left" candidate,
Dean, who is pro-death penalty, an NRA fave and wanting to balance the
budget on the backs of the same poor and lower middle class that are
already sore from the screwing they're getting from Bush & co., I wonder
if America can even qualify as a true democracy anymore.
Thanks for speaking some
truth, I only wish a few political reporters/columnists could do the
-- Jack B.
To Dissident Voice Editor or Sunil K. Sharma,
Wesley Clark is not
Lieberman (who is a known to "kiss the asses"). Also Clark could win the
candidacy so lets not say "George II look mighty appealing by
comparison", as you have at the end of the fourth paragraph.
With Ashcroft insuring the
security of the new voting machines, maybe no one can "win" the
election) keep up the good fight, it is all about the public
interpersonal discourse. And collective front vs. Bush.
No one is worse, not even
Lieberman (though that's never gonna happen, thank god).
-- Nick W.
PS I am a Kucinich
volunteer in New York:
loved Al Haig and Curtis LeMay . . .
Thank you for your articles
about Wesley Clark. I tired several times to get through to Moore in
response to his letter of support for Clark but kept getting bumped.
Finally, I got a copy through to Moore of an e-mail to the editor of The
New York Times which follows.
-- E.J. Duffy
Subj: Re: Clark's Military
Record Offers Campaign Clues
Date: 9/21/03 2:06:56 PM Eastern Daylight Time
From: E.J. Duffy
Clark's Military Record Offers Campaign Clues
New York Times -- By
KATHARINE Q. SEELYE and ERIC SCHMITT
"... According to several
published accounts, the subordinate, Lt. Gen. Michael Jackson, defiantly
told General Clark, 'Sir, I'm not starting World War III for you.'"
It took two reporters to
allude to nebulous "published accounts?" Clark confirms that particular
account in his autobiography, Waging Modern War.
How is it that sports'
reporters can rattle off every obscure statistic about a particular
player's record, update the latest x-ray of his fractured thumb, and
confide details about the player's grandmother's funeral, but your news'
staffers portray facts about a major political figure as if the
information might be suspect?
Clark's autobiography tell
us that he was relieved after he ordered Jackson to attack Russian
forces who had taken over the airport in Kosovo's capital, Pristina.
Clark quotes Jackson as refusing Clark's order since he didn't want to
start World War III. Since Kosovo was a NATO operation, the Russians
hadn't been invited -- but showed up unwanted and, humm...unanticipated...undetected.
What's all that tell us?
You really needn't go much
farther than any reporter who covered Clark during his NATO years to get
thorough accounts about his reliability with facts.
Clark escalated the
conflict with a tale that six oil tankers a day were supplying the
Serbian government through a port in Montenegro. Reuters sent a reporter
and photographer to investigate that claim. They found a lumber ship in
that port which boasted a single fuel storage tank. The port authority
manager told Reuters that if the port even had more fuel storage tanks,
it would require a month or more to off-load oil from six tankers a
month, let alone a half dozen in a day.
Meanwhile, the massive NATO
fleet Clark summoned to the Adriatic never attacked the Yugoslav fleet
which remained in port even though the Yugoslav warships were firing
antiaircraft weapons at NATO planes flying over the Yugoslav naval base
-- to attack antiaircraft installation inside Yugoslavia. Makes sense.
Between the NATO warships,
smugglers were maneuvering their "go-fasts" across the Adriatic to trade
desperate drug mule refugees and their children for arms the smugglers
then supplied to the Kosovo Liberation Front through Albania.
Clark also hyped his
deployment of more than 40 Apache helicopters to Macedonia for action
against Yugoslavia. They proved to be totally unsuitable for the
And, while he was facing
off toward World War III with the Russians, his subordinates allowed the
Yugoslav interior minister an additional 13 hours to evacuate his
"security forces" from Pristina. That was generous, considering those
forces used the extra time to torture to death all those they had in
If you liked Curtis LeMay
and Al Haig, you're gonna love Wes Clark near the launch codes.
Letter to Michael Moore Re: Wesley Clark
I read your article on
Moore's asking Wesley Clark to run for president on a list where I had
posted my own letter to Moore (below). Thank you for your comments and
especially your strong support of Kucinich.
-- Deda Divine
I was shocked and dismayed
to receive this
letter from you asking General Wesley Clark to run for president.
You are aware, I'm sure, that General Clark has been named in a
complaint to the International Criminal Court, with regards to
responsibility for war crimes and crimes against humanity in his role in
the conflict in the former Yugoslavia .
Surely you are aware that
while actual numbers of Depleted Uranium munitions used against the
civilian population there is considered classified by the Pentagon, we
can safely assume it was in excess of 10,000 ordnances.
As well informed as you
are, I know that you know the use of Depleted Uranium is not only
illegal according to International Law, but also an unforgivable breach
of human decency, and an irrevocable assault on the environment and on
generations to come for thousands of years, contaminating the landscape
with a talcum-fine radioactive dust. Cancer rates are tenfold or more
after exposure to this dust that now covers the landscapes of Eastern
Europe as well as Afghanistan and, of course, Iraq. Not only have
hundreds of thousands of civilians been exposed to this nuclear waste,
thanks to General Clark's "leadership," but our own soldiers lives were
also obviously not considered worthy of protection from it. The birth
defects associated with exposure are so grotesque many forms being born
hardly resemble anything human.
Thus, I am stunned that you
would call him a man of peace who "opposes war". I find these statements
preposterous in light of the blood (and DU fallout) on his hands:
"5. You respect the views
of our allies and want to work with them and with the rest of the
If he truly respects the
views of our allies and the rest of the international community, he'll
stand trial in The Hague.
" 6. And you oppose war.
You have said that war should always be the "last resort" and that it is
military men such as yourself who are the most for peace because it is
YOU and your soldiers who have to do the dying. "
Perpetrators of violence
always say that violence is a last resort whether we're talking about
domestic abuse or carpet bombing. They didn't want to do it, they had
to. They had no choice.
Was General Clark actually
exposed to the same risks as the soldiers who died or will die from the
long-term effects of this war? This is an insult to those soldiers.
"[You] find something
unsettling about a commander-in-chief who dons a flight suit and
pretends to be Top Gun, a stunt that dishonored those who have died in
that flight suit in the service of their country."
Of course. We were all
offended by that silly photo. We, as Americans, are also dishonored by
this man's total disregard for International Law, and human and
non-human life as is demonstrated by his actions in Kosovo.
Just because he defended
your right to speak out is hardly a reason to encourage a war criminal
to run for president. We already have one of those.
And, no, we don't need more
bodies in the pool for Democratic nomination. ANYONE will not be better
than Bush. I am surprised that you would fall for this dangerous ploy by
the Republicrats. We need a real candidate with a real conscience and a
real grasp of the implications of the choices we make in our foreign
policies. We need someone whose record actually reflects the words that
come out of his mouth. ANYONE who speaks of peace and votes to continue
funding our grossly inflated war coffers is a liar and an enemy of the
peaceful future that the children of the world deserve. ANYONE who
speaks of protecting Americans and voted for the USA PATRIOT Act is a
traitor to the principles upon which this country was founded. ANYONE
who speaks of creating jobs and doesn't acknowledge the necessity of
canceling our participation in the WTO and NAFTA, is either a liar or
doesn't have even a rudimentary understanding of the politics of
globalization, and thus is hardly a viable candidate to lead us out of
the situation in which we find ourselves. ANYONE simply will not do.
It's much too late for that and the stakes are much too high. What we
need is for the likes of you to keep bringing the masses back to the
issues, not facilitating them falling into the complacent "anyone is
better than Bush" mindset. To encourage this kind of lazy thinking is
irresponsible of you. ONLY a candidate of vision, with a history that
reflects integrity will be able to lead us into a brighter tomorrow.
From my research into the current pool of candidates, Dennis Kucinich is
the ONLY candidate who meets these very basic requirements and indeed,
much more. I know you're familiar with his platform. What I don't
understand is why, rather than giving him your endorsement, an
endorsement which would at least give your two million followers cause
to investigate his platform, you would instead use your considerable
visibility to encourage General Clark to run against him. I just don't
get it. Kucinich has earned your support through his actions; his votes
in Congress, his standing against privatization of public utilities, his
years of working for a just world. To lend your support, even if it's
not an official endorsement, to the likes of Clark, is a slap in the
face to all that true progressives and peaceful people stand for.
I hope you'll reconsider
your invitation to Clark, and consider endorsing Kucinich today. It's
definitely NOT too early! With the corporate media deliberately ignoring
him, he needs the support of anyone with alternative visibility and the
sooner the better. He's earned your support.
-- Deda Divine
and Abortion Rights
I agree that Moore's letter
re: Clark was ridiculous and ill-informed.
But I must remind you that
some of us progressives, especially women like myself, could never
support Dennis Kucinich as a Presidential candidate because of his
anti-choice record in Congress.
Kucinich and his right-wing
allies did not succeed in re-illegalizing abortion, but these votes have
had real effects on the ground -- most counties in the U.S. today do not
have any abortion providers.
Abortion is not safe,
easily available and affordable for far too many women in this country,
and Kucinich's votes have contributed to that reality.
Personally, I can
understand somebody deciding to support Rep. Kucinich anyway -- after
all, he announced -- right before starting his campaign -- that he will
no longer work to overturn Roe vs. Wade even though he still personally
believes abortion is murder. What I cannot understand is pundits like
yourself who describe Kucinich as the "ideal" or "genuine" progressive
candidate while completely ignoring his anti-choice record. Too many
liberal/progressive types I've talked to here in Willits are shocked
when they hear -- for the first time! -- about Kucinich's record of
anti-abortion votes in Congress. If progressive Kucinich supporters and
pundits want to excuse or explain away his record, fine, they're welcome
to do so -- voting seems to always involve one compromise or another,
right? The problem I have is with Kucinich supporters who don't know
about those anti-abortion votes, thanks to self-described "progressive"
pundits who don't want to talk about them.
-- Jennifer P.
Thank you for writing
in, I really appreciate your comments.
I'm well aware of
Kucinich's past record on a woman's right to choose, and I agree it's
pretty appalling. However, his position nowadays is that while he
personally is opposed to abortion, he's not opposed to a woman's right
to choose to have it. It is not at all a contradictory position, and is
one I've heard many feminist women friends espouse. Nobody likes having
abortions, and we all know that conservative talk about some women using
the procedure as just another convenient method of birth control is
bullshit, nevertheless having one is never a happy decision, and is
indeed one of the most difficult and emotionally scarring choices one
can make. Despite that, it remains (and must remain) the right of a
woman to make the choice and be able to have safe and easy access to the
procedure, which is what Kucinich is now saying.
Back in 2000, in
supporting Ralph Nader, I wrote a
critical piece about Gore (and the Democrats') lousy record on
abortion rights. I noted that until Gore decided to go down the road of
becoming presidential material (namely his run for the Senate in the
latter half of the '80s), he was staunchly anti-choice, then supposedly
"evolved" into a pro-choice crusader (so agreed NARAL and NOW). However
his subsequent record and statements did not appear to demonstrate a
So why am I taking a
different tack with Kucinich given what would appear to be a similar
Because I felt that
with Gore, his "evolution" into a pro-choice candidate was questionable
given his long record of prevarication and
contradictory-sentiments-depending-on-the-audience on a wide range of
issues. I think many people agreed the man was untrustworthy, and
therefore his pro-choice stance should be looked at with some suspicion.
I said at the time if he indeed "evolved", wonderful, but caution is
In the case of
Kucinich, he has, from what I've seen of his record, been a relatively
trustworthy person. He doesn't at all appear to be a chronic liar like
Gore. And Kucinich doesn't appear to be a person who'll say or do
whatever it takes to stay in office. He took on the utility companies in
Cleveland as Mayor knowing full well the likely consequence would be
his ouster, which was indeed the case. The awful consequences of
deregulation later proved him right of course, and he ended up becoming
a hero for the stands he took against the industry, which led to his
successful return to political office. Gore and most other Democrats
never stick their necks out like that.
That and other
reasons lead me to believe that his own evolution into supporting a
woman's right to choose is genuine.
More importantly, as
I stressed in my article about Gore, the main consideration is what
ACTIVISM WE UNDERTAKE to make sure that a woman's right to choose is
upheld. Frankly, the Democrats and the leading women's organizations
were terrible when Clinton/Gore was in office, not putting
pressure on them to halt unremitting attacks by conservatives (as I
noted in my article), even when the Democrats controlled Congress in
1993 and 1994. I would hope they not repeat that performance if a
Democrat gets into the White House again. If we want to maintain and/or
expand abortion rights and greater access to the procedure for all
women, that's going to have to come from OUR work and pressure, not
placing our hopes on any political leader or party to do the right
thing. That includes Nader, Kucinich, or Noam Chomsky.
Alas no candidate is
perfect. However, in the aggregate, I think you'd have to agree that
Kucinich's platform (assuming you're of a Left persuasion) is the
superior one. As far as abortion rights go, we have to insure through
our activism that Kucinich stays true to his recently changed sentiment
on the issue. I think people and the sub-species called politicians are
capable of genuine enlightenment and changes of heart. Kucinich's
relatively honorable career in politics doesn't lead me to believe he is
a panderer unlike Gore and the rest of the Dems.
I welcome your further thoughts on this
-- Sunil Sharma
Santa Rosa, CA