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, August 14, 2004

Cynthia Mckinney



Cyntihia Mckinney had represented Georgia congressional district four for 10 years, when she was ousted in 2002, in a primary run that included tens of thousands of crossover Republican voters. These voteres wanted to punish her for 1) her outspoken advocacy for Palestinian rights, and 2) her calling for an investigation of the 9/11 tragedy - this statement was then twisted by the mainstream media who manufactured words that Mckinney never uttered!

Greg Palast did an excellent investigative report on this:

What can be read is her call for a follow-up on the revelations from the BBC and USA Today on the information about a growing terror threat ignored by Bush . . . and whether the policy response -- war, war, war -- was protecting America or simply enriching Bush’s big arms industry donors and business partners. Fair questions. But asking them is dangerous . . . to one’s political career.

Cynthia Mckinney has also been a strong supporter of human rights, including Palestinian rights, and has questioned the huge $$$ aid to Israel that Congress approves without giving due consideration to human rights violations. But more importently, she does not refrain from critiquing divisions within communities, in an interview at the Palestine Center Annual Conference (2003) she said:

The African-American community – as you know, many African Americans are Muslims themselves. But as I've traveled around, what I also have seen is that there's even a division inside the mosque. You've got the black mosque and you've got the non-black mosque, you've got the black part of the mosque. So all of these little divisions are really silly at the end of the day, because when the ship goes down, we all drown. The ship, I'm telling you, it is going down. University professors where I just came from, university professors are being threatened, cajoled, intimidated. Area studies is under attack.
Mckinney has also called for a strategic partnership between Arab and Muslim Americans and Latino and Black communities - this, unfortunately, has not taken place, and she points out accurately:
There's been too much division. As Dick Gregory says, the Arab Americans came here thinking they were white and now they found out they are colored people, just like us.

The partnership should have happened a long time ago. The bridge is the black person that prays next to you, the black American who prays next to you. That bridge was never crossed. So it's a bit late, when you're in trouble now, to come and say, I want to form a partnership with you all. It's a bit late. But because the entire country is in trouble, everybody needs help.
This year, 2004, Cynthia Mckinney again ran for office - and won a resounding 51% in the primary elections in June.
The big story is the return of Cynthia McKinney to the U.S. Congress. Voters of the 4th District gave her the nod with 51 per cent of the vote. McKinney bested a field of five other candidates in a bid for the seat she lost two years ago.
Let's now turn our attention to campaigen financing, a quick search reveals she received $251,039, 93% of this money coming from individuals, her major donors include International Longshoreworkers Union ($2000), and the Boilermakers Union ($1000) - and the only corporation appears to be Real Estate Dynamics ($2000)!

And that's it! No huge corporations, no big corporate law firms, nothing! A true grassroots campaigen!

A Sincere Politician, Cynthia Mckinney is an honorable exception to the corporate corruptions - Viva Cynthia Mckinney!

See also Sincere Politician: Barbara Lee

And contrast with Barack Obama and Tom Daschell



Friday, August 13, 2004

2005 DRAFT SQUAD

Objector.org has excellent information regarding the speculated 2005 draft. The draft-bills below were introduced by Democrats. Don't delay - start your conscientious objector status now.

While most people seem to think that George W. Bush is plotting to draft your children after he wins the election this November, it would be wise to consider that there are two bills in Congress seeking to reinstate the draft- both being pushed by Democrats!

H.R. 163 and S. 89 were both introduced by Democrats Charles Rangel (NY) and Ernest Hollings (SC) respectively. The bills were introduced in January 2003 and would require both men and women to either perform mandatory military or civilian service. Both of these pieces of legislation are currently stalled and there's no indication that they are going anywhere anytime soon. But, just when you thought the draft debate ended here comes Republican Senator Chuck Hagel (NE).

From left: Charles Rangel, Ernest Hollings, and Chuck Hagel
AKA -- DRAFT SQUAD --

Appearing on NBC's Today Show on April 21, 2004, Hagel said that mandatory military service must be considered in the face of what he described as a generational war against terrorism , with a grim forecast of the US being engaged in war for the next 25 years!







A real difference: Middle East


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Kerry's position on Israel/Palestine is expected to be a continuation (or worse) of the Bush administration: The Electronic Intifada says:

Kerry's Middle East Policy is a dangerous journey mapped out on a carbon copy of Israel's view of the conflict. After the Bush Administration's similar position and laissez faire approach to gross Israeli violations of human rights, Palestinians can expect few changes to the present misery.
You can view Kerry's expected policy here

On the other hand, we have Ralph Nader, who just released a letter to the Anti-Defamation League outlining his position to bring peace loving Israelis and Palestinians together. It seems, just as Kerry/Bush do not want to listen to large majorities of Americans opposed to US wars, these two also don't bother to learn the views of many Israelis who oppose continued conflict with the Palestinians.


About half of the Israeli people over the years have disagreed with the present Israeli government’s policies toward the Palestinian people. Included in this number is the broad and deep Israeli peace movement which mobilized about 120,000 people in a Tel Aviv square recently.As for the metaphors – puppeteer and puppets – the Romans had a phrase for the obvious – res ipsa loquitur. The Israelis have a joke for the obvious – that the United States is the second state of Israel.
How often, if ever, has the United States – either the Congress or the White House-pursued a course of action, since 1956, that contradicted the Israeli government’s position? To end the hostilities which have taken so many precious lives of innocent children, women and men – with far more such losses on the Palestinian side – the occupying military power with a massive preponderance of force has a responsibility to take the initiative

Read more here

Vote for peace in Iraq, Afghanistan, in Palestine/Israel - and in our planet. Votenader.com


Thursday, August 12, 2004

Update on Najaf - Hold Kerry Accountable!



Today, Voices in the Wilderness held a protest outside the Kerry headquarters -

Flashpoints interviewed Jeff Leys, one of the protestors, who has spent time in Iraq, he said:

"we are trying to get Kerry to issue a call for the US to cease immediately military operations in Iraq, in particular in Najaf, and to withdraw forces from Najaf...we have attempted over a couple of days for Kerry to issue such a statement, and have been met with silence by Kerry thus far...

Interviewer: people say Kerry, no matter what....

Jeff Leys:...it is critical to hold Kerry accountable right now because if we do not hold Kerry accountable, the war in Iraq is going to continue...

Kerry has moral and ethical obligations to speak out against this war, and if he cannot do so in a manner to protect the holy sites of one of the major religions of the world, then Kerry does not in any way shape or form deserve the support of progressives in this country..."
Listen to entire interview here (click on Thrusday August 12th show)

Keep writing to Kerry - see Najaf Action Alert below -

Click here to contact Senator John Kerry

Also write to Muslims for Kerry, and ask them to join the call to action (below) and that Kerry has a responsiblity to speak out, and he must be held accountable for his actions now!

Click here to contact Muslims for Kerry

And write to Muslims for Bush, and ask them to pressure their friend Bush to stop this military action immediately!

Click here to contact Muslims for Bush

Wednesday, August 11, 2004

A Call to Action: Najaf, Iraq



One of the arguments put forth by progressives who are planning on voting for Kerry, is that he is supposedly more suceptible to pressure. Meaning, that if there is a movement against war, and against the occupation, supposedly he will listen more than Bush will... in my view this is mistaken, and assumes that the problem is with Bush as an individual, and ignores serious institutional/structural problems that have emerged in US democracy.

Furthermore, so far, Kerry's view on the war on the Iraq is near identical to that of Bush... the only difference is that Kerry says "he will do it right!" (Whatever that is supposed to mean).


But let's give the progressives voting for Kerry the benefit of doubt.

Voices in the Wilderness has issued a call to action around the ongoing US attacks in Najaf, and it includes writing to Kerry to have him call for an end to all US military action in Najaf.

Let's see if Kerry responds, or if he just repeats his newly found mantra of "I will do it right!"

Here is the complete call to action.

Najaf and the Shrine of Ali

Our country’s military now declares preparations to attack the Shrine of Ali in the city of Najaf in Iraq. Our country stands on the precipice of declaring war on Islam. An attack on the Shrine of Ali is an attack on the heart of Islam and must be nonviolently resisted in our country.

The US military is urging civilians to leave Najaf. We take this as a signal that our country is preparing to turn Najaf into a free fire zone, in which all who move, civilian or not, are targeted for attack. A free fire zone and an attack on the Shrine would significantly escalate the violence throughout Iraq, increasing the danger for all Iraqis.

As the fighting and crisis intensifies in Najaf, Voices in the Wilderness calls for nonviolent acts demanding an end to the fighting. Call your Congressional Representative, US Senator and John Kerry’s campaign headquarters in your state to demand that they publicly call for an end to all US military actions in Najaf, against its citizens and at the Imam Ali Mosque. Call candidates for federal office in your state and issue the same demand. If they don’t respond positively, initiate nonviolent direct actions at their offices. Such nonviolent actions can include: an occupation of their office; a daily vigil outside of their office; a fax campaign to their office demanding they issue the statement; or a phone call campaign to their office. Also, write letters to the editor of your local newspapers and hold vigils in your local community. The time to act is now.

Voices in the Wilderness calls upon all US government officials—elected or appointed—to publicly declare their opposition to any attack by US military forces against the Shrine of Ali. We further call upon US military forces to withdraw from the holy city of Najaf and to cease all military operations against the city, its citizens and at the Imam Ali Mosque.

The Shrine of Ali is the holiest of shrines in Shia Islam. It is the burial place for Imam Ali, cousin and son-in-law of the Prophet Mohammed. The shrine is sacred to both Shia and Sunni Muslims. Attacking the Imam Ali Mosque is akin to bombing the burial site of Jesus for people of the Christian faith or the Western Wall for people of the Jewish faith.

An attack on the Mosque would also replicate the history of oppression of Shia under Saddam Hussein. In 1991, Shia rose up against Saddam Hussein, at the urging of the first President Bush. As US warplanes flew overhead, not intervening, Saddam’s helicopters massacred Shia on the ground below. Saddam attacked the Imam Ali Mosque during this time, killing those inside.

As US citizens we must say "no" to this threatened attack on the heart of Islam. We will use all nonviolent means available to us to resist it.

The violent overthrow of the Iraqi government and the subsequent military occupation of Iraq have not lead to freedom, security, and prosperity for the Iraqi people. Neither have they created the conditions in which freedom, security, and prosperity can be sown and nurtured. Quite the opposite: the threat and reality of violence is commonplace. Tens of thousands of Iraqis have been killed or injured. To this threat of violence, add the increased threat of water-borne disease and the weight of a collapsed electrical grid.

The Iraqi people are our sisters and brothers. Our humanity demands that we begin to act as if lives of Iraqis and their faith truly matter to us. As US citizens we must respond without equivocation and act to end this war and occupation.

Please see VitW's Emergency Action Concerning Najaf Iraq.

Use the following website addresses to find your Congressional Representative, US Senator or local campaign office for John Kerry:

http://www.house.gov/writerep/

http://www.senate.gov/general/contact_information/senators_cfm.cfm

http://www.johnkerry.com/contact/


The Green Party - A "leadership" out of touch!

The Green Party has , in past years, made important strides - the 2000 Nader run put the Greens on the map as an important force in US electoral politics. In California, strong showings by Peter Camejo (Ralph Nader's running mate) in the governor's race, and Matt Gonzales run for mayor in San Francisco - has earned the Greens a far more important role than in earlier years.

Given this strong showing, quite possibly the Green "leadership" was pressured (by Democratic Party operatives) into adopting the Anybody But Bush (ABB) doctrine - it was this mentality that resulted in a rigged convention in Milwaukee that nominated David Cobb over the obvious choices of Ralph Nader and Peter Camejo.

David Cobb is running a campaigen that essentially endorses the Democratic war presidential canidacy of Kerry.

This manuver has resulted in a discrediting of the important work that many Green Party members have done over the years - after all, if an anti-war party does not have the courage to stand up to a pro-war Democratic Party canidate - it becomes questionable if it has the motivation to become a major party.

An important Green principle is non-violence - when the Green Party's presidential canidate refuses to run a campaigen to counter "Yes - I support the war - Kerry," it suggests that the Greens no longer view their own principles as something to stand on.

Many Muslim Americans and Arab Americans (along with many people of color, and euro american progressives) - have considered Greens to best represent their political identity. According to one (unscientific) study , 20-25% of Muslims are planning on voting for Nader/Camejo and a similar number identify with the politics of the Green Party.

Given these issues within the Green Party, one wonders if this party "leadership" represents the grassroots anymore. And this raises important questions for Green Muslims and others who identify with the Greens - does the Green Party, as it is now, deserve our support? Can we continue to identify with a party whose "leadership" are so close to the Democrats that they run a canidate who, in turn, endorses a war canidate? Are the Greens really an alternative?

No doubt there are tens of thousands of grassroots Greens who are very opposed to the "leadership" - and are going to make an attempt to take back the party. However, the Green grassroots must also make it clear that they are an anti-war party, a party independent of the Democrats, AND one that will stand on its principles.

For more information on the issues raised, here is a reading list:

Rigged Convention, Divided Party by Carol Miller and Forrest Hill

Greens endorse Kerry: The Politics of Mendacity by Joshua Frank

David Cobb's soft charade by Joshua Frank

Green Party Shifts into reverse by Alan Maass

The Chokehold of Anybody But Bush by Sharon Smith

Chronicles of a Nomination Foretold by Jeffrey St. Clair

Green Resistence by Todd Chretien

California Greens at Crossroads by Todd Chretien

Tuesday, August 10, 2004

Neighbourhood watch



Mr. I'm reporting for duty Kerry - has proposed creating Neighbourhood Terror Watch Groups -

Angry Arab News Service has this to say:

So I was pondering the idea of John Kerry regarding the formation of terrorism watch groups in one's neighborhood.

But I realized that I have a disadvantage in my neighborhood as I do not talk to any of my neighbors, and do not know any of their names. I am the only single and the only Arab person here.

So I decided to take matters in my own hands. I stood watch all day yesterday, looking for any suspicious activities as instructed by the wise leader John Kerry (who one week wants to add troops in Iraq and another week wants to reduce troops in Iraq).

I was very vigilant as I looked around until I saw one man who certainly was suspicious: he was a Middle Eastern looking man with curly hair to boot. And he dared to speak English with a heavy Arabic accent. I was naturally alarmed.

I followed him for a whole hour, making sure that he does not see me. I kept chasing him until it led me to my own door step. That suspicious looking person was alas only me.

Having realized my mistake, I felt dejected.

And today, Ralph Nader responded to Kerry's Me Tooism
"It becomes more difficult every day to know what John Kerry stands for. At the Democratic Convention he says he would not send troops to war unless absolutely necessary, now he says he would have authorized troops for Iraq, despite what we now know.

Prior to the Convention he said he would keep the troops in Iraq throughout his first term in the presidency, last week he said he would reduce them in the first six months, then his aides clarified his statement and said reduction was ‘a best case target,’ said Nader.

"Why is he letting George W. Bush off the hook and letting down the widening anti-war movement and like-minded citizens in the U.S.A.?" Read more here

Announcing Arab Americans For Nader!

A growing number of Arab-Americans take a different viewpoint.

We believe we need a new approach that takes a long-term perspective even if it requires some short-term sacrifices.

We believe we must take responsibility for proving we can deliver either great benefit or great consequence to candidates based on their positions.

Candidates should work to earn our votes with positions based on principles of peace and justice.

There must be a price for our support and a cost for not having it.

We can no longer pledge support without knowing what we will get in return.

Click here for Arab Americans For Nader web site

Monday, August 09, 2004

And in today's war news...

Dark Cloud

While the Democratic Party "progressives" go ga ga over their new found love of war presidential canidates of Kerry/Edwards - and the Anybuddy but Bush silliness continue to hide their heads in the sand...

Iraq spins out of control, the United States is once again engaged in never ending major combat - And Kerry continues to say "Yes" to war, he would've just done it "differently"

John Kerry said Monday he would not have changed his vote to authorize the war against Iraq, but said he would have handled things "very differently" from President Bush.
Oil prices reach record highs, and NATO's peace keeping misssion is described as highly unreliable in Afghanistan!

In the midst of all this, Rep. Ron Paul - a Republican - talks about Police State USA
Every new security measure represents another failure of the once-courageous American spirit. The more we change our lives, the more we obsess about terrorism, the more the terrorists have won.

And
Stephen Zunes points out the failure of the Democrats to offer an alternative voice for peace
not only have Senators John Kerry and John Edwards continued to defend their support of the illegal invasion and occupation of Iraq, the 2004 Democratic platform complains that the administration “did not send sufficient forces to accomplish the mission.”
And Youssef M. Ibrahim writes about the Democrat neo-cons -
But to those millions who aspire to better days under a Democratic administration led by Sen. John Kerry, think again. The Democratic Party's neo-con vampires are a lot worse than the current ones - the second movie could be more frightening than the first. Read more here.
This November vote for peace votenader.org




Sunday, August 08, 2004

Mumia Abu Jamal on Voting for Empire!

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Along with challenging the established duopoly of the Democrats and Republicans - the Nader/Camejo campaigen has focused on policy issues - not merely a change of face.

In his recent commentary, journalist and civil rights activist, Mumia Abu Jamal is right on target:


Ultimately, what does it matter if Americans change the face of international policies, when it's the same, basic policy?

What the nation needs is not a new face, but a new policy -- an anti-imperialist policy.

It does not have that option before it in any of the two corporate parties.

If that deep, unsatisfied yearning continues to grow, it can only feed even more alienation from the established political system, and perhaps to the voting process itself.


Read full article here

A Kucinich delegate speaks out!



For many progressive Democrats, and even for some Greens - the Kucinich campaigen represented some faint hope of pushing for an anti-war, and a progressive platform for the Demcoratic Party. Kucinich was the hope that, whoever emerged as the victor, would be forced to listen to a groundswell of anti-war opposition within the Democratic Party.

That hope was not entirely unfounded, Kucinich promised to his supporters that he would take his message all the way upto the convention. But it was erroneous in assuming that a party that is so completely entrenched in corporatism, and so entirely dependent on corporate money -that it could possibly take a socially responsible course.

As was expected by most Greens, and Nader/Camejo supporters - Kerry is posing as a war presidential canidate - "reporting for duty" - and Kucinich's anti-war delegates at the Demo. convention were silenced into submission to the pro-war message.

There are now, some progressive Democrats who are beginning to understand these issues - and have begun to speak out, hopefully more people will have the courage to raise these important issues.

Charley Underwood writes:

So I want to say very clearly that this convention had absolutely nothing to do with grassroots politics or representative democracy. It was designed as a high-end infomercial. There was a constant drumbeat for "unity" and "message." Sadly, the message was entirely about how qualified John Kerry was to lead our nation in war. There was no mention of our desire for peace, except for some of Dennis's comments and a few unscripted remarks by Sharpton.


... they have their plan: Run like Bush-lite, then blame Nader when you lose.

The question arises: Should we now support Kerry? It's a hard one. How can we support someone whose idea of progress is to put a velvet glove on the iron fist of colonialism? How can we support someone who speaks of a willingness to support unilateral wars (under the right conditions) and whose campaign is so overwhelmingly military in his values.

... the voices of my community here came to me from across the miles, reminding me that all this strategy was nothing, compared to the death of a single child in Falluja or a single grandmother in Raffa.

Read full article here