Muslims For Nader/Camejo

A blog on the Nader/Camejo 2004 Presidential campaigen - exposing the racket of the two corporate parties - with a special focus on issues of concerns for Muslims. This blog is UNOFFICIAL and is NOT endorsed by the official Nader for 2004 presidential campaigen. Blog update daily and several times a day - come back often! Contact: muslimfornader@yahoo.com

Saturday, July 31, 2004

Sincere Politicians

Politicians who no longer represent interests of people, and instead represent big money and big corporations must be critiqued, and their money interests exposed.

But, at the same time, we should not lose sight of politicians, who against incredible odds - continue to do their best - and stand for ideals and principles - and not $$$. Two such sincere politicians are Barabara Lee, and Cynthia Mckinney - over the next two days we'll explore their backgrounds and contrast their campaigen financing with those who represent corporations.

Come back tomorrow (Monday, August 2nd) for the first installment covering Congresswoman Barbara Lee .

Peter Camejo (Ralph Nader's running mate) has written an essay on the 2004 elections that is well worth reading, and considering the issues presented:

...there is massive popular opposition to the war in Iraq and to the USA PATRIOT Act -- possibly a majority of Americans. Yet these same people are about to vote in overwhelming numbers for John Kerry for President.

But John Kerry and his running mate, John Edwards, gave President Bush 18 standing ovations in January, voted for the war, say the war was right, insist on continuing the occupation of Iraq

...The Democrats' fear of Ralph Nader is rooted in the programmatic conflict between their Party's stance and their supporters. This is the real story of the 2004 elections.

...Ralph Nader has created a small hole in the dam. The danger is real. The Democrats are on an all out effort to attack the Nader/Camejo campaign because if voters begin to vote for what they want the entire electoral system would begin to unravel. If twenty million citizens voted for Nader it would be the beginning of the end of the two-party system.

Read more here


Friday, July 30, 2004

Who is John Kerry?!! Part III

Kerry's pushing forward his militaristic role in Vietnam, and completely ignoring his supposedly "anti-war" years, is no accident - nor is it about pulling in undecided "swing voters."

The convention put forth the real Kerry, not the one imagined by the "anybody but bush" crowd claiming he is "better than bush."

Arriving in Vietnam on November 17, 1968, Kerry chafed at patrols around Cam Ranh bay and pushed successfully for assignment to the forward, killing patrols. He was no Al Gore, peaceably smoking dope and shooting hoops on his Army base ...

Read more here
Also listen online to "Today (July 30th, 2004) on Flashpoints: Was John Kerry a war hero, or a war criminal? We discuss a new ground-breaking story on what Kerry really did in Vietnam."

Who is Kerry?!!! Part II

The convention made it clear that the Democratic Party is a war party - If that is what you want, i.e. a war president -then take your pick: Warrior Kerry or Warrior Bush!

If you want peace and justice - votenader.com!

As Sonali Kolhatkar and James Ingalls point out:

"Regardless of who gets elected, the two parties tell us, the next president will be a "Commander-in-chief": tough on terrorism, national security and Homeland Security, and easy on corporations, while paying lip-service to jobs, healthcare, and education.

According to Democrats quoted in the New York Times (July 25th 2004), this year's DNC was designed so that you "think you're looking at a Republican Convention." Kerry is reaching out to the same base that Bush is, so this election year there is hardly even the pretense of progressive values coming from the Democratic elites on the podium."

Read rest of article here


Thursday, July 29, 2004

Who is John Kerry?!!

As "the band of brothers" gathered at the convention to laud John Kerry's courage - left out of the picture by this band, and by Kerry himself, and by all the speakers at the convention was this statement that he made in 1971 against the war in Vietnam.

We have come here, not to the President, because we believe that this body can be responsive to the will of the people, and we believe that the will of the people says that we should be out of Vietnam now....

Why was this part of Kerry's life ignored, and completely left out of the picture ?

The answer is simple - John Kerry is a hawk - he is a hawk without even a disguise of a dove!


Let's take a look at the Democratic Party's presidential canidate in his own words, and past record:

Following are excerpted from John Kerry - The Me Too Canidate

"The most important thing about Sen. Kerry’s op-ed, I thought is how similar it really is to Bush administration policy, and that I say in praise of him," William Kristol, editor of the conservative Weekly Standard magazine, said in an interview with the Washington Post’s Terry Neal. Kristol is also chairman of Project for the New American Century, the pro-war foreign policy think tank that has called for war on Iraq since the mid—1990s.
"I do not fault George Bush for doing too much in the war on terror," Kerry likes to say. "I believe he’s done too little."
In mid—March, he vowed to "do whatever it takes to ensure that the 21st century American military is the strongest in the world. I will not hesitate to use force when it is needed to wage and win the war on terror."
And these excerpts from Canidate Kerry
"I was more opposed to the war than ever", Kerry told Brinkley in 2003, "yet more compelled by patriotism to fight it. I guess until you're in it, you still want to try it."
One of his fellow lieutenants, James R. Wasser, described him admiringly in these words: "Kerry was an extremely aggressive officer and so was I. I liked that he took the fight to the enemy, that he was tough and gutsy--not afraid to spill blood for his country."
Kerry enthusiastically backed both of Bush's wars, and in June of 2004, at the very moment Bush signaled a desire to retreat, the senator called for 25,000 new troops to be sent to Iraq, with a plan for the US military to remain entrenched there for at least the next four years.
Kerry supported the Patriot Act without reservation or even much contemplation.
And, in this blog, I pointed out how Kerry and Bush are virtually indistinguishable on the critical issue of Israel - Palestine.

What does one make of all this? The media will uncritically go bonkers over Kerry's speech - as they usually do after such conventions - that is their unfortunate role.

Those of us who are in the peace and social justice movements, of-course, will quickly realize the glaring omission of Kerry's "peace years" - and the implications this has for the people of Iraq, Afghanistan, and Palestine, the world over.

Kerry, himself, said it best:
Not in the least. I think we have to be in Iraq. What have I flipped on? I just think we oughtto do it right!
Our job, beginning NOW, is not to peddle meaningless "anybody but bush" slogans, but to seriously organize, and speak to the issues of peace and justice. Kerry or Bush in the White House - we will have to continue and redouble our work to end this horrible war.

For yourself, for your family, for America, for Planet Earth, this November votenader.com

Wednesday, July 28, 2004

Barack Obama - A Progressive?!! Follow the money!

Barack Obama is being hailed by many liberals and some conservatives alike (Thank you MWU! for revealing this scorecard).

A new star is born - a real mover and shaker!

Time to take a closer look - and follow the money trail...

A simple web search reveals some interesting facts:

Obama's major contributions were from the Finance/Insurance/Real Estate industries totaling over a million dollars ($1,061,279)!
Then came the lawyers, nearly eight hundred thousand dollars ($793,501)! With labor unions barely able to compete with these heavy hitters at $165,225

And like many congressional canidates (house and senate) the "pro-Israel" groups gave him a nice gift of $55,800.
Let's now take a closer look at just a few of Obama's major contributors

Henry Crow and Company comes in second at $65,500:

The firm had a significant stake in General Dynamics, a top national defense contractor, until General Dynamics sold many of its business units after Henry Crown's death in 1990; it now holds an 8% stake. The Crown family, worth an estimated $3.6 billion, ranks #132 on "Forbes" list of world billionaires.

Soros Fund Management
comes in third at $60,000

Soros Fund Management's perennially successful funds, including its flagship Quantum Endowment Fund, historically have had investment strategies based on macroeconomic trends, such as monitoring a nation's economic health to bet against its currency. (In 1992 Soros gained $1 billion worth of notoriety after investing against the British Pound.)

Next is Tejas Securities with $46,000 - But Tejas also gave George W. Bush $25,000 in 2000 (have they had a sudden change of heart?!!!)

And then there is this law firm of Kirkland and Ellis ($37,050) that proudly states on their website

The National Law Journal's survey entitled "Who Represents Corporate America" has ranked Kirkland & Ellis among the top five most frequently used firms by Fortune 250 corporations.

And the law firm of Mayer, Brown et al. ($30,500) who claim to be amongst the 10 largest law firms in the world - and who count amongst their Partners, this person Steven R. Selsberg, who proudly says on his website:

Represented Philip Morris and Lorillard in individual smoking & health cases in Texas, Mississippi, Alabama, New Mexico and Arkansas


Representing Corporate America, betting against currencies, billionaires, lawyers, financial, real estate industries?!!!! This is the Democratic Party's idea of "diversity?" -

Who are they trying to fool?!

YOU! That's Who! It is YOU who they are trying to fool!

This November, for yourself, for your family, for America, votenader.com!

P.S. Compare with Sincere Politician: Barabara Lee And check out this update on Barack Obama, the hawk from Illionis.

Tuesday, July 27, 2004

Republicans financing Democrats

Republicans financing Democrats

Much has been made of Republicans supposedly financing Ralph Nader and Peter Camejo's indepdent campaigen. In Boston, the Democrats got together to coordinate an "anti-Nader strategy" - and one of their findings was this:

"They also discussed the results of polling that found when they publicize Nader's acceptance of money and help from Republicans, it erodes his support."


If this is indeed the case - what about Democrats taking money from Republicans? Maybe that makes them a Republican canidate - come to think of it - maybe the Democrats are Republicans!

Here is the case of Senate Minority Leader Tom Daschle (the top Democrat in congress) who has Republicans lining up to give him lots of money. So much, that it caused an outcry on this conservative web site.


David Rehr, a former House Republican aide who is now a lobbyist for the National Association of Beer Wholesalers, makes no apology for contributing to Mr Daschle's campaign.

"It did raise a few eyebrows," admits Mr Rehr, chuckling. "When people looked at me - a Republican and a big supporter of this president - ...I had to tell him we would be giving to Daschle,... But it's nothing personal. It's more about trying to re-elect someone who has been with us on the issues."

And here is some info. showing that Daschle received $1,759,897 from Business, his opponent, a Republican, only received $234,900!

And what about Presidential campaigens of Kerry/Bush? A quick search of the web for the top 100 donors is revealing:  

Goldman Sachs gave a total of $3,910,296 divided almost equally between the Republicans and Democrats!
National Associaton of Realtors gave a total of $2,062,839 also divided almost equally between the duopoly!
Citgroup gave a total of 1,659,287 also divided equally!

What is going on here? Could it be that Ralph Nader and Peter Camejo are right?!! That there is no such thing as "two parties" - that this is a duopoly - duking it out amongst themselves every four years, and duping the rest of us?!!

 
On a CNN interview Nader rightly said:

"A huge amount of Republican fat cats have supported Democrats, huge amount of Republican fat cats have supported Republicans -- Democrats supported Republicans because they play both sides of the aisle."


This November, do the right thing, for yourself, for your family, for America: votenader.com


Monday, July 26, 2004

A Green Resistence!

Readers of this blog may know that some of our fellow progressives have lined up behind Kerry - as a means of removing Bush from office. While most Nader/Camejo supporters appreciate the goal of removing Bush, for many of us, it is just as important to expose both wings of the duopolistic system.

It is very questionable if Kerry is going to be any better than Bush, and a mere change of face does not at all mean a change of direction. Our cry, our dreams and hopes, from Porto Alegre, to Mumbai: Another world
is possible - Another just and peaceful world is possible!

How do we attain this world? By adopting a "strategy" of playing it safe? We are barely beginning our journey towards this world of possiblities - let's not lose heart, let's move forward with a heart full of courage.

Todd Chretien, Northern California field coordinator for the Nader/Camejo campaigen says it well:

many "sunshine patriots" are demanding that the anti-war movement that put over a million people in the streets in the spring of 2003 now line up behind a pro-war candidate. This is especially wrong-headed timing because the majority of the country is turning against the war and occupation.
This is not the time for cold feet, not the time to run away from our beautiful visions - let's, instead, move forward in solidarity!

Believing in a Green Resistance

By TODD CHRETIEN

These are the times that try men's souls. The summer soldier and the sunshine patriot will, in this crisis, shrink from the service of their country; but he that stands it now, deserves the love and thanks of man and woman. Tyranny, like hell, is not easily conquered; yet we have this consolation with us, that the harder the conflict, the more glorious the triumph. What we obtain too cheap, we esteem too lightly: it is dearness only that gives everything its value.

-Thomas Paine, The Crisis, 1776

The great immigrant revolutionary, abolitionist and supporter of women's rights, Thomas Paine, made the point in 1776 that in order to win any meaningful battle, it is necessary not only to fight when it is easy. It is necessary to fight, and in fact, it is especially important to fight when all "pragmatic" opinion counsels compromise, retreat and surrender. Had Washington's army sued for peace in 1776 at Valley Forge then the world's first representative democracy would never have been born.

Visionary abolitionist Frederick Douglass advised John Brown to abort his ill-fated raid on Harpers Ferry, not because he opposed the rebellion, but because he believed it could not succeed in its tactics. However, when John Brown was executed by the slave power, Douglass lauded him as the "man who started the war that ended slavery."

In 1937, Congress of Industrial Organization union leader John Lewis dared the government to break the auto sit-down strikes and "shoot him first." The auto bosses and Roosevelt backed down and we can thank the Flint rebels for the remnants of unions we still have today.

Rosa Parks refused to give up her bus seat to a white man, touching off a direct action movement that bucked those who advised to let the apartheid courts work with "all deliberate speed." The racist backlash was intense and led to the deaths, beatings and jailings of thousands of young Black and white freedom fighters. But Jim Crow died as well.

Any serious consideration of American history shows that Thomas Paine was right. Independence, abolition, unions, civil rights, suffrage, abortion, Stonewall. All great rebellions and reforms came into being because the minority who advocated "unreasonable" demands refused to disorganize their forces under the pressure of majority opinion. Instead, they held to their principles, gathered their forces, weathered the storm and showed friend and foe alike that "truth and not lies are the motor force of history."

Today, we are at an historical crossroads. Bush has set the world on fire. He has invaded Iraq, Afghanistan and Haiti; cheered on the Israeli war against the Palestinians; shredded our civil liberties with the Patriot Act; and wants to codify his version of the Old Testament into a constitutional ban on gay marriage. He wants to outlaw abortion and doesn't believe in global warming. No doubt, he is a danger to the planet.

However, rather than opposing this madness, John Kerry has helped Bush light the matches. He voted for the invasions and wants to send more troops. He promises more, more, more of the same for Sharon's dirty war, and adds that we should get tough with Venezuela. He voted for the Patriot Act and vows to intensify the "war on terror" if elected. There are, of course, some differences. Kerry does not want to write his anti-gay marriage bigotry into the form of an amendment. He believes in global warming, but thinks any radical action to reverse it will hurt American corporate power. He says he will appoint anti-abortion federal judges, but will follow Clinton's policy of slowly outlawing abortion to the young and the poor.

Unfortunately, many "sunshine patriots" are demanding that the anti-war movement that put over a million people in the streets in the spring of 2003 now line up behind a pro-war candidate. This is especially wrong-headed timing because the majority of the country is turning against the war and occupation. Medea Benjamin, Peter Coyote, Daniel Ellsberg, Tom Hayden, Barbara Ehrenreich, Norman Solomon and many other liberal and progressive leaders tell us that a Kerry regime "would be less dangerous" than Bush. This may or may not be true. Remember, it was LBJ who escalated the war in Vietnam, not Nixon. But, even IF Kerry is "less dangerous," he will be MORE capable of wreaking havoc on Iraq, Palestine, Venezuela, abortion, gay rights, civil rights and unions IF we sacrifice our political movement to getting behind him.

Tragically, rather than building on the great start we made in 2000 when Ralph Nader won 2.7 million votes for peace and justice, many of the very same people who helped that effort are trying to wreck it this time around. Rather than encouraging the Green Party and all anti-war organizations, unions, and civil rights groups to unite for a progressive campaign aiming to get millions of votes, they are condoning, if not actually leading, a campaign to villify as "Republican dupes" those movement organizers and ordinary people who believe Ralph Nader and Peter Camejo are right to fight for the chance to carry our mobilization for peace and justice into the ballot box.

In Los Angeles in 2000, Democratic Party leaders stood on the balcony of the Staples Center and watched the LAPD tear gas thousands of protesters. It seems to me that if we can't build a movement that learns not to vote for a party that directs police assaults on us, we don't have much hope of ever building a political challenge to corporate America. No doubt, the debate over presidential tactics will sharply separate many of us who have worked closely together in the past and will again in the future. While all those of us who want a better world should argue respectfully, debate we must because the stakes are too high to hold our tongues.

Norman Solomon wrote last month that he was registering Green precisely because its national convention nominated a candidate who promised not to challenge the two party system where it counts. He joins the chorus of liberal voices who warn us that "this is not the year." But he is wrong. Like Paine, Douglass, Parks, Lewis, Malcolm, Mario, Gurley-Flynn and countless others understood, any movement that ever aims to win, must learn to stand up for itself precisely when it is darkest. That's the only way the millions of people who hate the system that oppresses them can ever gain confidence in us to join us and transform our movement from a minority affair of protest into a majority tide of power. For whatever my effort is worth, I am registering Green this year because most of the people I know in the Green Party refused, and are refusing, to submit to the duopoly blackmail. Ralph Nader and Peter Camejo can't change the system by themselves, but every vote they receive will show the world that there are millions here in the United States who intend to conquer the hell of corporate power and the tyranny it rains down on the planet.

Hang on Citizen Paine, we're coming.

Todd Chretien was the California student coordinator for Medea Benjamin's Green Party campaign for Senate and the Nader 2000 presidential campaign. He is now the Northern California Field Coordinator for the Nader/Camejo 2004 campaign. He is regular contributor to the International Socialist Review and CounterPunch. He can be reached at: ChretienTodd@aol.com



Dennis don't betray yourself!

Dennis Kucinich was the one Democrat that progressive anti-war activists could rally around - Now, he has joined the Kerry/Edwards pro-war/anti-peace campaigen! 
  
Nader/Camejo supporters cannot follow Dennis to the "big tent" because there is no big tent - there is only a big corporate duopoly! End this charade! Dennis, return to your roots!

Here are ten reasons why there is no place in the Democratic Party for people who hold to their principles and progressive programs:
 

Kerry-Edwards supports the war in Iraq.
 
Unlike Senator Feingold, Kerry-Edwards undermines the Constitution and civil liberties in the U.S. They voted for the Patriot Act – an overly aggressive assault on our Constitution.
 
John Kerry represents corporations and the wealthy, not the working majority.
 
Kerry-Edwards does not promise health care for all. Forty-five million Americans don’t have health insurance and more and more can’t afford to keep it. 
 
Dennis Kucinich’s relationship with the Democratic Party is a one way street without any reciprocity.  
Read more reasons here!


Contrast the above anti-working family program of Kerry/Edwards - with the Nader/Camejo issue statements - take some time to read them here!









Sunday, July 25, 2004

Democrats Reject Peace Movement


The anti-war/pro-peace liberals have fallen into line behind Kerry's pro-war/anti-peace platform.

How does one understand this absurdity? Two words: cognitive dissonance:

if learning something has been difficult, uncomfortable, or even humiliating enough, people are not likely to admit that the content of what has been learned is not valuable. To do so would be to admit that one has been "had", or "conned".


As Joshua Frank points out in this article:

It was just last week that Kucinich delegates failed (they never had a chance in hell to begin with) to make “immediate troop withdrawal from Iraq” a central plank in Kerry’s narrow platform. As promised, Kerry will put more troops in Iraq, call on NATO to intervene, and essentially be a more kick-ass administrator of Bush’s egregious foreign policy then the necons are. Read more here!