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Read this or George W. Bush will be president the rest of your life


The Anti-Empire Report
By William Blum, www.killinghope.org

Separation of oil and state
On several occasions I've been presented with the argument that contrary to widespread opinion in the anti-war movement and on the left, oil was not really a factor in the the United States invasion and occupation of Iraq. The argument's key, perhaps sole, point is that the oil companies did not push for the war.

Responding to only this particular point: firstly, the executives of multinational corporations are not in the habit of making public statements concerning vital issues of American foreign policy, either for or against. And we don't know what the oil company executives said in private to high Washington officials, although we do know that such executives have a lot more access to such officials than you or I, like at Cheney's secret gatherings. More importantly, we have to distinguish between oil as a fuel and oil as a political weapon.

A reading of the policy papers issued by the neo-conservatives since the demise of the Soviet Union makes it clear that these people will not tolerate any other country or group of countries challenging the global hegemony of the world's only superpower. A sample -- In 1992 they wrote: "We must maintain the mechanisms for deterring potential competitors from even aspiring to a larger regional or global role."[1] And in 2002, in the White House "National Security Strategy" paper: "Our forces will be strong enough to dissuade potential adversaries from pursuing a military build-up in hopes of surpassing, or equaling, the power of the United States. ... America will act against such emerging threats before they are fully formed. ... We must deter and defend against the threat before it is unleashed. ... We cannot let our enemies strike first. ... To forestall or prevent such hostile acts by our adversaries, the United States will, if necessary, act preemptively."

As the world has been learning in great sorrow, the neo-conservative world-dominators are not just (policy) paper tigers.

Japan and the European Union easily fall into the categories of potential competitors or potential adversaries, economically speaking. They both are crucially dependent upon oil imports. To one extent or another so is most of the world. The Bush administration doesn't need the approval of the oil companies to pursue its grandiose agenda of world domination, using the vast Iraqi oil reserves as one more of its weapons.

For those who would like to believe that there's a limit to the neo-cons' imperial arrogance, that even the likes of Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld, Bolton, Wolfowitz, Rice, and the rest of the gang would never treat Europe as anything like an enemy, I suggest a look at a recent article by the former US ambassador to the United Nations, John Bolton, which appeared in the Financial Times of London. In it, the Cheney intimate and current senior fellow at the neo-con citadel, American Enterprise Institute, berates British prime minister Gordon Brown for implying that the UK could have a "special relationship" with both the United States and the European Union (which Bolton refers to as "the European porridge"). Like a hurt lover, Bolton exclaims that Britain has been brought to "a clear decision point. ... What London needs to know is that its answer will have consequences." The article is entitled: "Britain Cannot Have Two Best Friends".

Bolton goes on to ask: "Why does a 'union' with a common foreign and security policy, and with the prospect of a real 'foreign minister' have two permanent seats on the UN Security Council and often as many as three non-permanent seats out of a total of 15 council members? France and Britain may not relish the prospect of giving up their unique status, but what is it that makes them different -- as members of the 'Union' -- from Luxembourg or Malta? One Union, one seat. Mr Brown cannot have it both ways (nor will President Nicolas Sarkozy)."

The Empire has not yet made Europe an ODE (Officially Designated Enemy) like Iran, but, Bolton declares, "If Mr Bush decides that the only way to stop Iran is to use military force, where will Mr Brown come down? Supporting the US or allowing Iran to goose-step towards nuclear weapons?"[2]

Washington's exquisite imperial mentality, its stated determination to "act against such emerging threats before they are fully formed", sees "potential adversaries" in China and Russia as well of course. The United States -- with hypocrisy breathtaking even for the Bush administration -- regularly castigates China for its expanding military budget; and tries to surround Russia with military bases, missile shields, and countries with ties to Washington and NATO.

Moreover, the United States has been competing with Russia for the vast oil and gas reserves of the land-locked Caspian Sea area since the 1990s. The building and protection of pipelines in Afghanistan was in all likelihood a major factor in the US invasion and occupation of that country. And in this case we know that the American oil company UNOCAL met with Taliban officials in Texas and in Afghanistan before 9-11 to discuss the pipelines.[3]

A license to lie that never expires
I touched upon this a year ago, but our much-esteemed leader and his equally-esteemed acolytes continue to use the same argument in order to deflect attention from their deformed child, the War On Terror -- the argument being that since the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, US counterterrorism policy has worked. How do they know? Because there haven't been any terrorist attacks in the United States in the six years since that infamous day.

Right, but there weren't any terrorist attacks in the United States in the six years before Sept. 11, 2001 either, the last one being the Oklahoma City bombing of April 19, 1995, with no known connection to al Qaeda. The absence of terrorist attacks in the US appears to be the norm, with or without a War on Terror.

More significantly, in the six years since 9-11 the United States has been the target of terrorist attacks on scores of occasions, not even counting anything in Iraq or Afghanistan -- attacks on military, diplomatic, civilian, Christian, and other targets associated with the United States, in the Middle East, South Asia and the Pacific, more than a dozen times in Pakistan alone. The attacks include the October 2002 bombings of two nightclubs in Bali, Indonesia, which killed more than 200 people, almost all of them Americans and citizens of their Australian and British war allies; the following year brought the heavy bombing of the US-managed Marriott Hotel in Jakarta, Indonesia, the site of diplomatic receptions and 4th of July celebrations held by the American Embassy; and other horrendous attacks in more recent years on US allies in Madrid and London because of the war.

When the Bush administration argues that the absence of terrorist attacks in the US since 9-11 means that its war on terrorism has created a safer world for Americans ... why do I doubt this?

The past is unpredictable
As the call for withdrawal of American forces from Iraq grows louder, those who support the war are rewriting history to paint a scary picture of what happened in Vietnam after the United States military left in March 1973.

They speak of invasions by the North Vietnamese communists, but fail to point out that a two-decades-long civil war had simply continued after the Americans left, minus a good deal of the horror which US bombs and chemical weapons had been causing.

They speak of the "bloodbath" that followed the American withdrawal, a term that implies killing of large numbers of civilians who didn't support the communists. But this never happened. If it had taken place the anti-communists in the United States who supported the war in Vietnam would have been more than happy to publicize a "commie bloodbath". It would have made big headlines all over the world. The fact that you can't find anything of the sort is indicative of the fact that nothing like a bloodbath took place. It would be difficult to otherwise disprove this negative.

"Some 600,000 Vietnamese drowned in the South China Sea attempting to escape."[4] Has anyone not confined to a right-wing happy farm ever heard of this before?

They mix Vietnam and Cambodia together in the same thought, leaving the impression that the horrors of Pol Pot included Vietnam. This is the conservative National Review Online: "Six weeks later, the last Americans lifted off in helicopters from the roof of the U.S. embassy in Saigon, leaving hundreds of panicked South Vietnamese immediately behind and an entire region to the mercy of the communists. The scene was similar in Phnom Penh [Cambodia]. The torture and murder spree that followed left millions of corpses."[5]

And here's dear old Fox News, July 26, reporters Sean Hannity and Alan Colmes, with their guest, actor Jon Voight. Voight says "Right now, we're having a lot of people who don't know a whole lot of things crying for us pulling out of Iraq. This -- there was a bloodbath when we pulled out of Vietnam, 2.5 million people in Cambodia and Vietnam -- South Vietnam were slaughtered."

Alan Colmes' response, in its entirety: "Yes, sir." Hannity said nothing. The many devoted listeners of Fox News could only nod their heads sagely.

In actuality, instead of a bloodbath of those who had collaborated with the enemy, the Vietnamese sent them to "re-education" camps, a more civilized treatment than in post-World War Two Europe where many of those who had collaborated with the Germans were publicly paraded, shaven bald, humiliated in other ways, and/or hung from the nearest tree. But some conservatives today would have you believe that the Vietnamese camps were virtually little Auschwitzes.[6]

Has the conservative view of Vietnam post-US withdrawal already hardened into historical concrete? "The agreed-upon historical record", to use Gore Vidal's term?

The way of all flesh, the way of all wars
In 1967 and '68 I was writing a column of a type very similar to this report, only it wasn't online of course; it was for the Washington Free Press, part of the so-called "underground press". In looking over those old columns recently I found three items whose relevance has not been dimmed by time at all:

(1) [From the Washington Post, 1968]: "It has never been clearer that the Marines are fighting for their own pride, from their own fear and for their buddies who have already died. No American in Hue is fighting for Vietnam, for the Vietnamese, or against Communism."[7]
[Make the obvious substitutions and we have: No American in Baghdad is fighting for Iraq, for the Iraqi people, or against terrorism. And how many of today's warriors can look around at what is happening in Iraq and convince themselves that they're fighting for something called freedom and democracy?]

(2) Arthur Sylvester, Assistant Secretary of Defense for Public Affairs, was the man most responsible for "giving, controlling and managing the war news from Vietnam". One day in July 1965, Sylvester told American journalists that they had a patriotic duty to disseminate only information that made the United States look good. When one of the newsmen exclaimed: "Surely, Arthur, you don't expect the American press to be handmaidens of government," Sylvester replied, "That's exactly what I expect," adding: "Look, if you think any American official is going to tell you the truth, then you're stupid. Did you hear that? -- stupid." And when a correspondent for a New York paper began a question, he was interrupted by Sylvester who said: "Aw, come on. What does someone in New York care about the war in Vietnam?"[8]

(3) The US recently completed an operation in the III Corps area of South Vietnam called "Resolved to Win". Now, a new operation is being planned for the same area. This one is called "Complete Victory", which should give you an idea of how successful "Resolved to Win" was. I expect that the only operation standing a chance of success will be the one called "Total Withdrawal."

Libertarians: an eccentric blend of anarchy and runaway capitalism
What is it about libertarians? Their philosophy, in theory and in practice, seems to amount to little more than: "If the government is doing it, it's oppressive and we're against it." Corporations, however, tend to get free passes. Perhaps the most prominent libertarian today is Texas Congressman Ron Paul, who ran as the Libertarian Party's candidate for president in 1988 and is running now for the same office as a Republican. He's against the war in Iraq, in no uncertain terms, but if the war were officially being fought by, for, and in the name of a consortium of Lockheed Martin, Halliburton, Bechtel, and some other giant American corporations, would he have the same attitude? And one could of course argue that the war is indeed being fought for such a consortium. So is it simply the idea or the image of "a government operation" that bothers him and other libertarians?

Paul recently said: "The government is too bureaucratic, it spends too much money, they waste the money."[9]

Does the man think that corporations are not bureaucratic? Do libertarians think that any large institution is not overbearingly bureaucratic? Is it not the nature of the beast? Who amongst us has not had the frustrating experience with a corporation trying to correct an erroneous billing or trying to get a faulty product repaired or replaced? Can not a case be made that corporations spend too much (of our) money? What do libertarians think of the exceedingly obscene salaries paid to corporate executives? Or of two dozen varieties of corporate theft and corruption? Did someone mention Enron?

Ron Paul and other libertarians are against social security. Do they believe that it's better for elderly people to live in a homeless shelter than to be dependent on government "handouts"? That's exactly what it would come down to with many senior citizens if not for their social security. Most libertarians I'm sure are not racists, but Paul certainly sounds like one. Here are a couple of comments from his newsletter:

"Opinion polls consistently show that only about 5 percent of blacks have sensible political opinions, i.e. support the free market, individual liberty and the end of welfare and affirmative action."

"Given the inefficiencies of what D.C. laughingly calls the 'criminal justice system,' I think we can safely assume that 95 percent of the black males in that city are semi-criminal or entirely criminal."[10]

Author Ellen Willis has written that "the fundamental fallacy of right libertarianism is that the state is the only source of coercive power." They don't recognize "that the corporations that control most economic resources, and therefore most people's access to the necessities of life, have far more power than government to dictate our behavior and the day-to-day terms of our existence."[11]

NOTES
[1] "Defense Planning Guidance for the Fiscal Years 1994-1999", New York Times, March 8, 1992, p.14, emphasis added

[2] Financial Times (London), August 2, 2007

[3] BBC News, December 4, 1997, "Taleban in Texas for talks on gas pipeline"

[4] Joseph Farah, editor of the conservative WorldNetDaily (worldnetdaily.com/news/article.asp?ARTICLE_ID=56769), August 6, 2007

[5] Mona Charen, National Review Online, July 20, 2007

[6] Search Google News: for more examples

[7] Washington Post, February 20, 1968, article by Lee Lescaze

[8] Congressional Record (House of Representatives), May 12, 1966, pp. 9977-78, reprint of an article by Morley Safer of CBS News

[9] National Public Radio, Morning Edition, August 9, 2007

[10] Atlanta Progressive News, June 3, 2007 (www.atlantaprogressivenews.com/views/0024-views.html)
As far as I can determine, Paul does not deny that these remarks, and others equally racist, appeared in his newsletter, but he claims that a staff member of his is the author of those remarks.

[11] Ellen Willis, Dissent magazine, Fall 1997

William Blum is the author of:
Killing Hope: US Military and CIA Interventions Since World War 2
Rogue State: A Guide to the World's Only Superpower
West-Bloc Dissident: A Cold War Memoir
Freeing the World to Death: Essays on the American Empire

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As a Viet Nam Veteran i have tried to find any info regarding the so called massacre of innocents post 1973 out side of the 'repatriotizing camps' mostly on Tiger Island. i have found nothing and this most poignant story by Wm Blum helps verify my thoughts... it's just bougus drival from Neo-cons and duped Repugs.
Great piece of work = thanks to William Blum

Darwin26
Viet Nam drafted Veteran WIA '68
Co-State Coordinator PDA Montana
www.pdamontana.org
www.williamsstudiogallery.com

http://www.opinionjournal.com/extra/?id=110010427
LETTERS TO THE EDITOR

Exaggerated Claims of Violence
The Vietnam War was worse than what followed.

BY JOHN KERRY
Saturday, August 4, 2007 12:01 a.m. EDT

James Taranto misinterpreted my words and misreads history (" 'It Didn't Happen,' " July 26). I know the tragedy that followed a tragic war. John McCain and I led the effort to locate American POWs and ultimately normalize relations with Vietnam. I traveled to Cambodia to help create a genocide tribunal to bring to justice the butchers of the killing fields.

But what did not happen was the region-wide war or immediate chaos predicted by many who believed we had to maintain our massive military presence in Vietnam. A brutal dictatorship consolidated power in Vietnam, the region's refugee crisis worsened, and two years after we left Vietnam, Cambodia's Khmer Rouge launched a genocide.

Mr. Taranto mistakenly views the violence after 1973 as a direct result of our withdrawal. In fact, the violence arose from the conditions that led us to withdraw: a Vietnamese civil war we couldn't stop supported by a Cambodian insurgency we couldn't bomb into submission. It's horrifying that so many South Vietnamese suffered. But, even accepting Mr. Taranto's estimate of 165,000 Vietnamese deaths--double that of most academic sources--this is a significant decrease from the preceding eight years when 450,000 civilians and 1.1 million soldiers were killed.

We should not repeat the mistakes of Vietnam in Iraq, but let's have an honest debate rather than a hysterical one. The agony of exiting a quagmire is that there are few certainties and no good options. That choice was created not by the advocates for changing course, but by the architects of a disastrous war.

Mr. Kerry is a U.S. senator from Massachusetts and was the 2004 Democratic presidential nominee.

About William Blum, though...In his latest book of essays, he has some comments on the Ukrainian famine of the early thirties. Millions perished. But, because Blum, is an anti-anti-Communist and the most prominent scholars on the famine are anti-Communists like Robert Conquest, in his book, "The Harvest of Sorrow, " (see, as well, his book on Stalin's Purges of the CPSU, wherein about 600,000 loyal Communists were killed on the orders of good 'ol Uncle Joe Stalin) he, w/o any counter-evidence, just disbelieves the Ukrainian famine as a Hoax.

From Collective Guilt to Collective Silence

Stuart Elliott,
New America,
June 1976

American peace groups have reacted with silence, confusion, or apology to the reports that up to 600,000 Cambodians, one-tenth of that nation's population, have died from mistreatment at the hands of the Communist Khmer Rouge. None of the peace groups contacted by New America has issued public statements condemning the harsh oppression in Cambodia. Thus organizations and individuals which once demanded that Americans accept collective guilt for the Vietnam war have now themselves adopted positions of collective silence on one of the most brutal bloodbaths of modern history.

Clergy and Laity Concerned, a moderate peace group which aimed its appeal at the middle-class conscience constituency, is apparently unconcerned about Cambodia. The CALC has issued no statement on the Cambodian slaughters, either condemning or denying. The group, according to staffer Janice Stern, is convinced that the stories were intended to propound a bloodbath theory which CALC does not accept.

Women Strike for Peace has washed its hands of Cambodia. WSP is "not into that area anymore" and has not issued any national statement on Cambodia or Vietnam. Yet at its public events and in ads in radical journals, WSP has continued to promote posters celebrating the "victories of the Vietnamese people" which include a quote from Ho Chi Minh, "We will rebuild our country ten times more beautiful."

Friends of Indochina, formerly the Indochina Peace Campaign, takes its line, as does CALC, from the Indochina Resource Center. That group published a study in 1975 whitewashing the Khmer Rouge's forced evacuation of Phnom Penh. Its monthly publication, US/Indochina Report, is little more than a propaganda organ for the Vietnamese, Cambodian, and Laotian Communists. The April 30 issue assures us the Cambodian government "has extended a policy of 'broad national union' towards those who served on the other side. All Khmers, irrespective of their [role] during the war, were eligible to vote in the Assembly elections." Of course, the story does not mention that the elections were uncontested. It does praise the new constitution, "its paramount stress on the role of the people..." but Cambodia's peasants, 85 percent of the population, received only 60 percent of the seats in the People's Representative Assembly. The same issue dismisses reports of a reign of terror as "a US propaganda campaign."

The more established peace groups are less [adept] at dismissing the reports of a Cambodian bloodbath. Dave Elder, Southeast Asia area coordinator for the American Friends Service, said that he was sorry to see such reports, but was suspicious of their accuracy. Elder [admitted] that it was hard to shake the image of "extreme order" in Cambodia, but he maintained that there was a need to be very careful in evaluation of evidence about Cambodia and he characterized the reports of the Cambodian refugees as "self-serving." Elder said that until the US pursued a more open policy toward Indochina, including the lifting of aid prohibitions to Cambodia and Vietnam, it would be impossible to know what was happening in Cambodia. According to Elder, the AFSC has an unconditional offer to provide aid to Cambodia. But he said it would be helpful in raising money if Cambodia would open up.

David McReynolds of the War Resisters League said that his organization has not yet seen any reports which are substantial enough to take a position condemning Cambodia. SANE, a non-pacifist peace group, explained that it naturally deplored any bloodletting, but it has not yet issued a national statement. According to Washington staffer Nan Randell, SANE places some credence in the reports about a bloodbath in Cambodia.

The double standard deploring violence except in cases where it is conducted by revolutionaries is still intact, but it does show some evidence of cracking. The more principled peace groups are disturbed by the reports coming from Cambodia, though they are still more reluctant to accept evidence about Communist atrocities than about the mythical American bombing of North Vietnamese dikes. Even the peace constituency which follows the lead of pro-Communist groups is apparently bothered by the fact that so little news is coming from Cambodia. The Indochina Resource Center reports that it has had an unusually high number of requests for its reply to the Time article.

In coming months it will become more and more difficult for the peace groups and American liberals to avoid the Cambodia issue. The broad outlines of Time's allegations have been repeated by the highly respected Le Monde, which puts the death toll at 800,000. Just as significantly, it is now clear that Prince Norodom Sihanouk, who served as nominal chief of state during and after the civil war, is a virtual prisoner of the totalitarian regime.

Sihanouk resigned his honorary post a month ago, and since then has been allowed to contact no-one outside of his family and his guards. The imprisonment of Sihanouk reveals the limited popular support for the Khmer Rouge. He is the one authentic national figure in Cambodia and is still capable of rallying opposition to the existing regime.

One of the most total dictatorships in history has been imposed upon the Cambodians, and the evidence of a bloodbath, while not incontrovertible, is as substantial and convincing as one could expect under the circumstances. The refusal of the peace groups and American liberals to condemn the terror, or at least to demand that the Cambodians allow an impartial international group to investigate the charges, is a betrayal or moral and political responsibility. The time has surely come to condemn the Gulag Archipelago in Cambodia.

Americans Still Traveling Down the Ho Chi Minh Trail

Stuart Elliott,
New America,
November 1977

Three thousand Americans including Ramsey Clark and ACTION director Sam Brown, crowded the Beacon Theater, a spacious New York rock concert hall, recently to give a cheering welcome to Vietnam's delegation to the United Nations. While Cora Weiss, an organizer of the reception, was shouting, "Welcome in the name of the American people," outside in a driving rain, three hundred Vietnamese protested the suppression of the Buddhist church in Vietnam, forced migration to the "new economic zones" and re-education camps, and they called upon the United Nations to force the new Vietnamese government to respect human rights.

Although the protest was largely organized by Buddhist Third Force leaders in the United States, Pranay Gupte of the New York Times nonetheless labeled them as former Thieu supporters. The tendency to characterize all Vietnamese critics of the new Communist dictatorship as Thieu supporters is an all too prevalent myth that is frequently accompanied by the related myth that those inside the Beacon Theater represented a peace movement. David Dellinger, the master of ceremonies for the reception, bragged to thunderous applause that when he visited Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon), a North Vietnamese officer told him that the American peace movement had "inspired" the forces fighting in the jungle when they had almost given up hope. When the North Vietnamese delegation was introduced, they were greeted by what one reporter called an "emotional explosion." With their hands clasped "above their heads, the Vietnamese acknowledged the tumultuous applause. The overwhelming majority of those inside the theater seemed not to be celebrating peace in Vietnam, but reveling the triumph of Communist totalitarianism in Indochina.

The reception was only a small part of a weekend designed to revive the antiwar movement in order to launch a campaign to win recognition and reconstruction aid for Vietnam. A more important event was a two-day conference sponsored by Friendshipment, a coalition of religious and political organizations which has sent over $5 million in aid to Vietnam. Billed as "Healing the Wounds of the War," the theme of the conference was more accurately reflected by the words of the song that immediately preceded Saturday's opening sessions:

Ho Chi Minh we sing your name
Through eternity no death will claim you
You'll live forever though your heartbeat is gone
As we travel down the path you traveled on.

The keynote speaker for the conference was, Dinh Ba Thi, the new Vietnamese ambassador to the United Nations. He emphasized that the Vietnamese "are determined to struggle for full human rights which are fundamentally the right to independence of all nations, the economic and social rights of all men and women" and pledged that the Vietnamese are "determined not to be deceived by wreckers and rumor-mongers who shout about human rights." Pressing business forced the ambassador to leave after concluding his speech, but he could have safely remained for there was no reason to fear shouting about human rights violations in Vietnam at the Friendshipment conference.

Over two hundred people from eighteen states attended the conference, representing seventy five organizations, with the largest delegations coming the United Methodist Church, the American Friends Service Committee, Church World Services, an agency of the United Church of Christ. The involvement of so many churchmen does not mean that the campaign for recognition and reconstruction aid is motivated by simple humanitarianism. In fact, the conference was highly political.

A primary focus was the need to play down the campaign's underlying politics so as to make it palatable to the American people. Thus, the slogan adopted was "Heal the Wounds of the War," not "Reparations for American War Crimes." The latter, however, is closer to the real goal of the conference organizers. Cora Weiss, the coordinator of Friendshipment, told the conference that "The war in Vietnam was not a mistake... not a tragedy... not a conflict... not an unfortunate accident on the path of history. The war in Vietnam was a crime." She also declared that "the legitimate struggle for independence and freedom from colonial rule waged by the people of Vietnam would not have proceeded so quickly without support from Americans who rejected the criminality of the White House and the Pentagon."

So total was the identification of the conference with the Vietnamese Communists that when questions arose about strategy and tactics in the post-war period, the attitudes of the Vietnamese were constantly cited as grounds for adopting a certain approach.

Pat McCleary, executive director of Church World Service and a recent and friendly visitor to Vietnam, presented an argument that will undoubtedly be used in selling recognition and reconstruction aid. He assured the conference that not only were the re-education camps extremely successful in rehabilitating prostitutes, but that Vietnamese communism is "moderate," "unique," and based "on the Asian culture, the Asian value system." Moreover, he argued that if the United States plays its cards right, that is, provides reconstruction aid, Vietnam will become an Asian Yugoslavia.

The conference gathered the leading ideologues and activists of the wing of the antiwar movement which is not bothered by gross human rights violations in Indochina. Among the most prominent were Gareth Porter, former head of the Indochina Resource Center and a leading American defender of the new Cambodian government; Noam Chomsky, another defender of the Cambodian government; Marcus Raskin, head of the Institute for Policy Studies; Richard Falk, David Dellinger, Barry Commoner, Don Luce of Clergy and Laity Concerned, Methodist Bishop James Armstrong, Henry Foner, of the Fur, Leather and Machine Workers Union, and Peter Weiss.

The conference was no more disturbed by the substantiated reports of what Jean Lacouture, the French biographer of Ho Chi Minh, describes as "auto-genocide" in Cambodia than it was by the mounting evidence of massive human rights violations in Vietnam. Official conference speakers generally skirted the issue of Cambodia. When the question was raised from the floor as to whether Friendshipment would do any "work on Kampuchea" (Cambodia), the answer was that "Kampuchea is a special problem in that their own interests in having the kind of relationships, in inviting Americans to visit, and so on has not been the same" as the Vietnamese. Friendshipment has sent one aid shipment to Cambodia, but the Cambodians would not provide an accounting of how the aid was distributed or even acknowledge receipt. Friendshipment believes it the "responsibility to counter the political propaganda in the media about Cambodia," but tactically it would prefer to separate Cambodia and Vietnam.

One of the first actions of the Friendshipment conference was to go on record in support of sentence reduction for Karen Armstrong, whose "antiwar" bombing of a mathematics building at the University of Wisconsin killed a young researcher.

Friendshipment's program for healing the wounds of the war is directed exclusively towards the American government. Their major goals include a campaign for food relief for Vietnam and Laos, lifting of the trade embargo, reconstruction aid, and full diplomatic recognition and normalization of relations.

There has been periodic speculation in the press about what happened to the antiwar movement. The Friendshipment conference and the reception for the Vietnamese United Nations delegation demonstrate that a segment of what was described as the antiwar movement is still alive. It also demonstrates that the Cora Weiss-Gareth Porter-David Dellinger crowd are not antiwar or peace activists. They have become partisans of the Vietnamese, Laotian, and Cambodian Communists and apologists engaged in the systematic cover-up of genocide and gross violations of human rights.

"...What is it about libertarians? Their philosophy, in theory and in practice, seems to amount to little more than: "If the government is doing it, it's oppressive and we're against it." Corporations, however, tend to get free passes. Perhaps the most prominent libertarian today is Texas Congressman Ron Paul, who ran as the Libertarian Party's candidate for president in 1988 and is running now for the same office as a Republican. He's against the war in Iraq, in no uncertain terms, but if the war were officially being fought by, for, and in the name of a consortium of Lockheed Martin, Halliburton, Bechtel, and some other giant American corporations, would he have the same attitude? And one could of course argue that the war is indeed being fought for such a consortium. So is it simply the idea or the image of "a government operation" that bothers him and other libertarians? ..."

~What , indeed, would happen with Ron Paul in the Oval "CEO's" Office? This paragraph puts into precise words most eloquently what I have been thinking but unable to articulate . The more I hear this guy talk, the more I realize he believes that it is the Corporation of the United States of America, NOT the Constitution of the United States of America. I would prefer a Constitutionalism Party as an alternative party. Libertarianism smacks of FEUDALISM to me!~

at www.antiwar.com for awhile. It's a libertarian website where John Nichols and Pat Buchanan are regularly featured.

I think you'd be surprised at how wrong your assumption is. Like Democrats, there is no "one, true" thread running through the lot of them. Ron Paul is his own man, much as Kucinich is. Not a "team" player and therefore a threat to corporate paymasters.

For me, it's the construct of ANY political party that compromises the commonweal. The power-hungry seek out the leadership positions to thwart the will of the People. Public service, my ass!

I love Ron Paul's foreign policy stance, but if I hear Ron Paul talk about "free markets" one more time , instead of a free American people, my deaf ear is going to tune Ron Paul out completely. Impeachment, Single-Payer Universal Healthcare, and Peace Dept are for MY "Life, Liberty, and Pursuit of Happiness", not corporations (that should have NO "personhood"in law at all!)

http://www.thecarpetbaggerreport.com/archives/11222.html
For a few years in my misspent youth, I was enamored with the philosophy of libertarianism. Libertarians claims to advocate a consistent political philosophy — free markets and free minds — and thus insist their party is one of true principle. But these days it looks like the libertarian emphasis is mostly on low taxes and deregulation. The other half of the equation is usually ignored.

Consider the current infatuation with Texas congressman and Republican presidential candidate Ron Paul. Paul was the Libertarian Party’s 1988 presidential nominee and is much feted by party members today. According to The Washington Post, Paul is a huge hit on the web. The paper reports, “Republican strategists point out that libertarians, who make up a small but vocal portion of the Republican base, intrinsically gravitate toward the Web’s anything-goes, leave-me-alone nature.”

That’s nice. It’s too bad Paul isn’t really a libertarian because he doesn’t advocate the government leaving people alone. He is, in fact, just another paleocon more at home in the Pat Buchanan wing of the GOP. Big deal.

Paul holds caveman views on most social issues. He elevates state power over liberty in most cases. Consider:

* Libertarians say that a person’s reproductive rights should be sacrosanct. No decision could be more personal, more private. So Paul supports legal abortion, right? Wrong. Paul’s Web site says, “The right of an innocent, unborn child to life is at the heart of the American ideals of liberty. My professional and legislative record demonstrates my strong commitment to this pro-life principle.” It goes on to list the numerous bills Paul has introduced designed to curb or outlaw legal abortion.

* Libertarians believe in open borders. They support no curbs on immigration and condemn fence-building as a solution. This is Paul’s view, correct? Nope. From Paul’s Web site: “The talk must stop. We must secure our borders now. A nation without secure borders is no nation at all.” His six-point plan calls for ending “birthright citizenship” – a move that would require a constitutional amendment.

* Libertarians assert that what you believe about religion is your own business and say government should not meddle in theological matters. Where does Paul stand? He has repeatedly co-sponsored moronic constitutional amendments pushed by the Religious Right that would give government officials the right to impose religious worship on children through the public schools and on adults through the display of religious iconography in courthouses, city halls, state assemblies and other public facilities.

* Libertarians maintain that an individual’s sex life should be of no concern of the government. They oppose laws that seek to reduce gays to second-class citizenship. Paul’s view? He says he does not support amending the Constitution to ban same-sex marriage, but he has backed legislation that would strip federal courts of the ability to hear challenges to the 1996 Defense of Marriage Act. In 1999, Paul voted for a mean-spirited provision designed to deny same-sex couples in the Washington, D.C., the right to adopt children.

Paul’s frequent support for “court stripping” as a remedy to perceived social ills should give libertarians pause. A central tenet of libertarianism is that a citizen should have some recourse when his rights are violated by the state. Paul would take that away by denying courts the right to hear entire classes of cases. Does anyone in the Libertarian Party care?

One of the reasons I grew weary of libertarianism (aside from the fact that its economic policy is cruel and simplistic) was the smug arrogance of so many of its adherents. They were forever blathering on about how unprincipled the two main parties are and derided anyone who supports them as foolish. Libertarian support for Paul — an old-fashioned paleocon from the Buchanan school who is hostile to half of the libertarian agenda — proves that the “party of principle” has a hypocrisy problem as well.

It’s always nice to see another conservative oppose the war in Iraq. I suppose that accounts for some of Paul’s popularity right now. But at the end of the day, most of Paul’s ideas aren’t interesting, worthwhile or ground-breaking. He does not deserve all of this attention.
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Discussion

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30 Comments

"Dkyzr", if Party compromises representation, then what does it say about Ron Paul that he went from a third party TO the REPUBLICAN party - especially in this recent, Fascist-Coup period?

I'm telling you, for months now Ron Paul has sounded too good to be true. And by now I'm starting to be pretty sure he isn't.

His actually DOING something to SPONSOR IMPEACHMENT would go a long way to my suspending a (rather negative) judgement on him.

Semper Fi,

-Matty in Florida

I must agree with Mr. Blum, etc., above. And - even more immediately to the point - I don't see Ron Paul taking any concrete step towards impeachment; neither signing on to co-sponsor either of the House Resolutions to impeach, nor submitting any Impeachment Articles of his own.

Combined with Paul's erstwhile big talk about impeachment, the above is shaping up to be a deceit and betrayal of the same magnitude as that by House Democrats, i.e., Judiciary Chairman Conyers.

Not good.

And yet another example of indistinguishability between Democrats and Republicans - all the same, together in one big DemoBlican Party, just like in the old Soviet Union. Except with even more lying and deception, believe it or not.

Semper Fi,

-Matty in Florida

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