Posts Tagged ‘david swanson’

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An Open letter to the Progressive movement

July 6, 2009

Dear Progressives, or liberals, or whatever labels you proudly wear or your worldview has occasioned others to foist upon you.

I’m Davis Fleetwood, I am one of you, and I’d like a few moments of your time.

Our movement, if the loose connection of websites and facebook pages and email circles we bounce around on can be called a movement, is failing.

Despite the laudable and truly valiant efforts of groups like Iraq Vets Against the War and Individuals such as Cindy Sheehan, David Swanson Cynthia McKinney, Ralph Nader and even Dennis Kucinich- Single payer healthcare has been marginalized to the fringes and all but removed from the debate, the peace movement is a complete failure, the new energy bill could actually make the environment worse, and we are no closer to a two state solution and justice for Palestine than we were under Ronald Regan.
Consider the following.

Policy is made from the center. All of our efforts in the past have been an effort to move the policy makers to the left.

We should instead focus on moving the entire center to the left.

The right wing has outfoxed us. They have their religious fanatics and their libertarians, and their Glenn Beck enthusiasts. All of those constituencies are dismissed by mainstream media and policy makers, – but their voice is loud enough to be added to the conversation, and the next thing you know the center has moved RIGHT.

Think of it like a cycling team- a few of us need to break from the pack, race out ahead, in hopes of wearing out the other teams cyclists. A few of us need to go WAY left of liberal- I mean cartoonishly left of liberal, and enough of us have to do so in enough different forums with enough conviction and sincerity so that we begin to drag the conversation the whole paradigm, LEFT. In doing so, the center- where policy is made, will follow. I’m that cyclist breaking from the pack.

In support of just such a strategy I invite you on two journeys. First, so that we know where we are going, we need to revisit the past. And I will do so in my “this day in the USA project.” 365 videos in 365 days, re-telling the history of the United States one day at a time. This project will live on a new YouTube channel- subscribes, grab it share it blog it blast it, make it the most subscribed channel this week. Give it credibility.

Certainly, the scholars among you will be able to poke holes in my daily video essays, but my lie’s will tell a greater truth while injecting a much needed sense of humor into our holier than thou disposition.
Looking to the future, I have started the 9/10 Project. The rejoinder to the Glenn Beck 9/12 project – the 9/10 project is interested in post American cartography.

That is right- the 9/10 project is so liberal and progressive as to be an open source brainstorming effort to bring about the peaceful break up of the United States.
Think of it like friends don’t let friends drive drunken campaign on a global scale. Citizens should not let their country lock and load and step on the gas pedal accelerating towards Armageddon.

Do I expect or even want the 9/10 Project to succeed?

No.

But my mistake- our mistake- in the past has always been to fight directly for what we wanted.

If an archer is trying to hit the target and the wind is coming from her left, she must aim accordingly. In aiming for a progressive agenda, the 9/10 project is aiming way to the left of said agenda, with full knowledge of the powerful forces blowing against it.

Got any other ideas?

Do share.

THIS DAY IN THE USA is joint project with THE UMPTEENTH TIMES .
See also
THIS DAY in the USA on YouTUBE • THE HERMIT on YouTUBE • Davis Fleetwood facebook fan pagetwitter

This is viewer supported political action entertainment, thank you for your donations.

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Putting War Waste on the Chopping Bloc

February 5, 2009

By David Swanson header

In the ordinary course of things in Washington, D.C., and on television, there are two separate conversations. In one conversation, everything that the government spends money on (schools, transportation, police, etc.) must be trimmed back to save money. In the other conversation, the expenses of wars and the military must be unquestioned. After what he said this week on ABC, it will be interesting to see whether Congressman Barney Frank is permitted on television anymore. He combined the two conversations. 

After a right-winger proposed more tax cuts to “stimulate” the economy and denounced any spending programs as not being “stimulus,” Frank pointed out that the largest spending program we’ve seen is the war on Iraq. Host George Stephanopoulos clearly felt the force of some galactic wind about to suck him into a different dimension in which the two conversations are permitted to overlap. He jumped in and said “That is a whole ‘nother show.” But Frank faced the taboo head-on, saying: 

“No it isn’t. That’s the problem. The problem is that we look at spending and say oh don’t spend on highways, don’t spend on healthcare, but let’s build cold war weapons to defeat the Soviet Union when we don’t need them, let’s have hundreds and hundreds of billions of dollars going to the military without a check. Unless everything is on the table then you’re going to have a disproportionate hit in some places.”

Late last year, Frank proposed cutting the military by 25 percent. When I spoke with his chief of staff, he told me that he thought 10 percent could come from ending the occupation of Iraq. So, Frank is apparently thinking of the military and war budgets as a whole and proposing to cut a quarter, with 15 percent coming out of the standard military budget. “If we are going to get the deficit under control without slashing every domestic program, this is a necessity,” Frank said. Now, I’ll be the first to point out that 25 percent is grotesquely insufficient, and that there is a perverse sort of unstated public apology here, in that Frank led the charge to throw $700 billion at Wall Street tycoons and has sat by as trillions more has flown out that golden door without any pretense of oversight. But when someone in power gets something right, our focus should be on moving it forward, not analyzing the purity of heart of a politician. 

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Let Judgment Be Bush’s History

January 16, 2009

By David Swanson • AfterDowningStreet    header
see more in NEWS & ANALYSIS

History cannot be the judge of Bush and Cheney. The corporate news really is the first draft of history, and there will be no magical leap from its dishonesty to an honest account. Most in the Washington establishment want to protect Bush and Cheney and gang, although the New York Times has now printed one column admitting the obvious point that if the outgoing criminals are not punished, their heirs will repeat their crimes. 

What is Bush’s legacy? Wars, ruined economy, destroyed relations, increased terrorism, global warming? Yes, but for the most part Bush’s legacy will be determined by what happens after he’s gone. If all power remains in the White House and Congress devolves into a royal court, that will be Bush’s legacy, and the historians who are permitted to publish their thoughts will glorify, not judge, it. If, instead, we choose to enforce the laws of the land, then judgment will be Bush’s history. In fact, the books judging the need for judgment have already been written. 

For many months, citizens have been funding an effort to send copies of Vincent Bugliosi’s “The Prosecution of George W. Bush for Murder” to state attorneys general and district prosecutors. That should continue, and we should get organizedabout electing prosecutors to office who commit to enforcing our laws. 
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(press release) FBI Building’s Surprising Inaugural Message

January 14, 2009

see all posts in ACTIVISM   header.jpg

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Contact: Jose Rodriguez, arrestbush2009media@gmail.com
David Swanson david@davidswanson.org, 202-329-7847

3,000 in Front of FBI Building for Inaugural Parade to Demand Bush’s Arrest

 
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Epiphany/ March of the Dead

January 2, 2009

By David Swanson • After Downing Street      header

nonameCongress will be greeted on day 1 this year by a march of war dead on Capitol Hill. 

The word epiphany comes from a Greek word meaning to manifest or to show. In Christian tradition the Feast of Epiphany is celebrated on January 6th, marking the day when the three wise men from three foreign lands visited the baby Jesus, the last of the 12 days of Christmas. Epiphany is also used to mean a sudden realization, comprehension, or inspiration. 

This January 6th may be the 12th day of Christmas, but it is also the 1st day of Congress. I encourage you to join those of us who plan to greet Congress with a March of the Dead, making manifest and showing to those responsible the hidden meaning of wars in three foreign lands: Iraq, Afghanistan, and Palestine. Perhaps a few members of Congress will even have an epiphany. 

Long-distance genocide rarely results in so much as a shoe thrown in someone’s face, and the dead are by definition unheard from, and by the U.S. corporate media unheard of. We have killed over 1.2 million people in Iraq alone in the past six years alone, and their presence is almost never felt on Capitol Hill. We aim to change that, beginning on the first day of the new year. We plan to march with death masks and carrying the names of those killed during the illegal U.S. occupations of Iraq and Afghanistan and those killed with U.S. weapons during Israel’s illegal assault on Gaza. 

 We will demand that the 111th Congress end the terror of war, remove U.S. troops and mercenaries from Iraq and Afghanistan, stay out of Iran, Pakistan, and Syria, and cease providing weapons for the destruction of Palestine. We will create a presence on Capitol Hill that it will be impossible to ignore. Perhaps we’ll even bring 12 drummers drumming. 

 Of course, we could stay home, watch football, and assume that on January 20th a new president will end all the wars. But there are a couple of problems with that. First, presidents are very reluctant to end wars and do not legitimately and should not have the power to make war, which belongs to Congress. Second, the incoming president has refused to commit to exiting Iraq, has proposed escalating the war in Afghanistan, and has maintained silence in the face of Israel’s assault on Gaza. While President Elect Obama endlessly promised to end the war in Iraq when he was a candidate, he also made clear that he would only commit to a partial withdrawal to be completed over 16 months, he would not specify how large that withdrawal would be, and he would back off it if military commanders told him to. 

Obama intends to keep on at the Pentagon the same Secretary of War who worked for President Bush. Bush negotiated an unconstitutional treaty with Iraq committing to a withdrawal from all cities, towns, and localities by July 2009, and complete withdrawal from Iraq by the end of 2011. Bush’s (and soon to be Obama’s) top military commanders have already said publicly that they will violate those and other requirements of the treaty. Obama’s only comments on the treaty have been in favor of it, but he has never expressed support for actually adhering to it. 

 So, by all means have hope, and believe in change. But believing in change is not nearly as important as changing our beliefs and aligning our beliefs with meaningful action. Most actions are more meaningful the more people who join in them. To join the March of the Dead on January 6, write to arrestbush@gmail.com and visit http://afterdowningstreet.org/marchofthedead 
— 

David Swanson is the author of the upcoming book “Daybreak: Undoing the Imperial Presidency and Forming a More Perfect Union” by Seven Stories Press and of the introduction to “The 35 Articles of Impeachment and the Case for Prosecuting George W. Bush” published by Feral House and available at Amazon.com.  Swanson holds a master’s degree in philosophy from the University of Virginia. He has worked as a newspaper reporter and as a communications director, with jobs including press secretary for Dennis Kucinich’s 2004 presidential campaign, media coordinator for the International Labor Communications Association, and three years as communications coordinator for ACORN, the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now. Swanson is Co-Founder of AfterDowningStreet.org, creator of ConvictBushCheney.org and Washington Director of Democrats.com, a board member of Progressive Democrats of America, the Backbone Campaign, and Voters for Peace, a member of the legislative working group of United for Peace and Justice, and convener of the accountability and prosecution working group of United for Peace and Justice.

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Bush Comparison Seen As Unfair to Dogs

December 16, 2008

by David Swanson  • The Smirking Chimp           (jump to top)

eng_shoe_gb_bm_baye_719651g-1This is the question now raised in Iraq: If they throw shoes at your face are you a combat troop or a noncombat troop? The answer may be important in helping to guide President Elect Obama’s strategy of reducing but continuing the genocidal occupation that has made a shoeless journalist one of the most beloved, if little known, people in the world overnight.

A related dilemma is this: If shoes become weapons, were the metal detectors, searches, and bribes to phony journalists successful? This strikes me as a similar question to the following: if box cutters become weapons, were the nuclear arsenal, the missile offense shield, and the empire of bases successful?
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