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   Dissident Voice

    Last Update: October 22, 2003



Dissident Voice encourages your comments, praises and criticisms.

Space does not allow us to post every letter we receive. We are biased in favor of posting letters that are to the point and respond specifically to Dissident Voice material. If you are replying to a specific article(s), please specify the title and author . . . we post many articles and we're not telepathic. You may also respond to other reader letters.

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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.

Responses to: 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 of shit.


-- John Collins Rudolf

Josh Frank and Sunil Sharma Reply:

Dearest John,

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 bandwagon?

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 struck us!

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,, for yourself.

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 Sharma

John Rudolph Replies Again:

Dearest Dissidents-

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 [sic] 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 Sharpton/Kucinich ticket.


-- John Rudolf

Josh Frank Replies:

Dear John,

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.

Environmentalists, labor 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,

-- Josh
New York

Tone Down That Shit, Asshole!

Re: Cowards
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

Sunil Responds:

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.

Best Regards,

-- Sunil Sharma
Santa Rosa, CA

Walter 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
Stuart Florida

Sunil Responds:

Dear Walter,

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"  ( 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 ( 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 on.

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 ago.

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 email.

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

Sunil Responds:

Hi Buddy,

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 victim.

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 Israel policies...

-- Leland

Now Be Nice . . . Too Late!


I enjoyed your article in Counterpunch online [editor's note: this article appeared in various other publications].

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 goal.

I hope that makes sense. Also please forgive me if I have offended you, for it was not my intention.

Thank you,

-- Jeff M.


Sunil Replies:

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 Richard Heinberg.

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

Sunil Replies,

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:, 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' "The 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 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 pockets.

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

Chalk One 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

Mind Boggling!

Ms. Woods,

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" kind.

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 can say.

-- Jack B.

Responses to DV News Service's
"The Awful Truth About General Wesley Clark"

Go Stand in the Corner Naughty Boy

Unsubscribe me 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

You've 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

Sunil Replies:

Hello Kapil,

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.


Fear Rules

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.

Re: If 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 same.

-- Jack B.

About Clark

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).

Thank You,

-- Nick W.

PS I am a Kucinich volunteer in New York:

If you 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


"... 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 mountainous terrain.

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 custody.

If you liked Curtis LeMay and Al Haig, you're gonna love Wes Clark near the launch codes.


E.J. Duffy,
Newark, DE

Open Letter to Michael Moore Re: Wesley Clark

Dear Editor,

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.

In Solidarity,

-- Deda Divine


Dear Michael,

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 international community."

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
Austin, TX

Kucinich 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.
Willits, CA

Sunil Replies:

Dear Jennifer,

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 real evolution.

So why am I taking a different tack with Kucinich given what would appear to be a similar circumstance?

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 advised.

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 matter.

Warm Regards,

-- Sunil Sharma
Santa Rosa, CA