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 28, 2004

Nader Ahead of the FBI?

Ralph Nader was ahead of intelligence 20 years ago when he lobbied for mandatory air-craft cockpit 'hardening' to prevent hijackings. The industry called in connections to save themselves from the inevitable cost of steel and bolts. It would appear 20 years later, Nader has beaten intelligence to the punch, yet again.

Was Ralph Nader ahead of the FBI and nearly all members of the US Government when he criticized Israeli influence in Washington? Weeks ago Nader was labeled anti-Semitic by the Anti-Defamation League and the Washington Post: who manipulated Nader's original quotation to make him appear racist. Nader's full reply to the ADL can be found here on August 12, 2004.

From the Jerusalem Post: Read Full

In a three-page letter dated August 5, Nader responded to Foxman by noting, "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 of the White House – pursued a course of action, since 1956, that contradicted the Israeli government's position?"

Nader lamented what he described as the lack of freedom in the US to debate and discuss the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, and he attacked the American Israel Public Affairs Committee, the pro-Israel lobby, for its influence on Capitol Hill.

"Citizen groups are in awe of AIPAC's ditto machine on Capitol Hill as are many members of Congress who, against their private judgment, resign themselves to sign on the dotted line," he wrote.

Attached to Nader's letter were copies of an article that appeared in the Nation magazine about pro-peace movements in the US, and a letter signed by hundreds of IDF reservists who refuse to serve in the West Bank and Gaza Strip.

Foxman said Nader was continuing to spread a "canard" about the Jews. "He fuels the conspiracy theory that the Jews control the White House and the Congress. And it's a lot more sinister after Iraq," Foxman said, adding that Nader's comments "border on anti-Semitism."
----

Foxman owes Nader an apology. Claiming "it's a lot more sinister after Iraq" - After the FBI suspects a top level Israeli spy in the Pentagon - in a position to influence U.S. policy toward Iraq and Iran.

By Foxman's own standards, he should accuse the FBI of 'bordering on anti-Semitism' after the FBI named the exact group Nader mentioned - AIPAC, as connected.

This makes one consider what the Anti-Defamation League's duty is? Is it merely a bulldog to protect Israel from criticism that is open and encouraged in Israel itself? Anyway you cut it, Foxman and the Washington Post own Nader an apology. Especially if the FBI finds Israelis are influencing policy in the Pentagon, let alone the White House and Congress where AIPAC does this legally.

The Peace Party

Ahmed Amr - Media Monitors - Aug 28, 2004 - An intense case for rallying behind the Nader 'Peace Party' - the full article is found here.

"If the only reason you are holding out on voting for Nader is your conviction that he can’t win – then you are merely reinforcing the religion of the War Party. You have become a major part of the problem.A generation ago, the American peace movement voted for McGovern even though they were certain he would lose. Liberals voted for Carter knowing that Reagan was the likely victor. America Firsters voted for Buchanan as a matter of principal – not because of his political prospects.

Besides, whatever happened to voting for the political agenda that would best serve the nation. This is not a horse race. It’s an election. There is more at stake here than a two-dollar bet. We shouldn’t be expected to vote on the odds – any more than we should consider voting for the candidate with the largest campaign coffers.

The time for horse trading with the pack of mules in the Democratic Party is over. Their leaders have done nothing but inflate the size of the big elephant in the room. Kerry’s battle cry is that he has better hair than the incumbent. Toss him a plastic comb and vote for the candidate with a real alternative agenda – Ralph Nader.

Independent minded Americans should forget about the polls and which War Party candidate their brother is voting for. If enough of us decide to vote for our first choice, Ralph Nader will win. If we lose this time, we will win next time. If not this Ralph – another Nader will rise to lead us to an America we can proudly leave as an inheritance to future generations. To waste such a promise on a vote for Kerry borders on criminal insanity.

The Peace Party should rather lose with honor than honor the agenda of the War Party. Let future generations know that many of us rallied to the Peace Party’s barricades even though the odds were stacked against us. Let us resolve to make no concessions to the War Party. Show no fear.

This is our Alamo and Ralph Nader is our Davy Crockett. We may lose the battle but we will inevitably win the peace by dramatically redrawing the boundaries of America’s political map.

Libertarians, Greens, independent progressives and authentic conservatives should join hands with Buchanites and rally to the Peace Party’s camp. We all need healthier choices at the political salad bar.

If we are content with a choice of the CNN candidate or the Fox nominee – we might just as well stay home and have Rupert Murdoch appoint our next president. Given the chance, what true patriot would not join the fray to deliver a crippling blow to the insidious assault on the democratic process by the unelected media titans who would rule us with the iron fist of Rupert’s Murdochracy. On that count alone, we have more in common than any issue that might divides us.

Full Article

Kerry threathens Syria, Iran, and middle-east!

Kerry (yes, that guy who wants to become President of the United States) has begun beating drums of war before even getting into the White House! What kind of a choice is this?!! We have someone in office who has taken us to war under false pretexts - and now, we have Kerry trying to outdo him every passing day!!!

In an article in the newsweekly Forward, Kerry outlines his grand agenda:

(The following main points are based on a news blog that appeared on Muslim Wake Up! )

* The main threats to US national security are Saudi funding of terror, Syria, Iran's nuclear program, and terrorism against Israel ("the one true democracy")

* Kerry plans to get an "international coalition" together against Iran

*Kerry plans to impose sanctions on Syria

*Kerry plans to have special state department office to fight anti-semitism (what about establishing a Department of Peace - hellooo Kuchinich supporters, where are you? Hellooo??!!!)

* And support for the Aparthied Wall of Israel!

Don't we Americans, and our planet, our world, don't we deserve better?!!!

The only presidential candidate that has made any commitments towards peace is Ralph Nader, and his VP candidate Peter Camejo!

I am writing this from New York City where I will be joining the Nader/Camejo contingent to march, and take a stand against war, and threats of war! It is about time, the "anybody but bush" contingent took a clear stand! Do we deserve more war under Kerry/Bush ticket, or are we going to seriously build a peace movement?!!!

This November, for your family, for our beautiful country, America, for our planet, votenader.com

Friday, August 27, 2004

In the Media / Video Vault

Peter Camejo - 1 hour interview with C-SPAN - 8/27/04 - Covering all campaign issues...

Ralph Nader interview with Democracy Now! - 7/7/04 - Nader on the Mid-East and Israel/Palestine after minute 20...

Check out Saturday, August 28th 5:00am, 2:00pm & 7:00pm (EST) Watch Ralph Nader on CNN's "People in the News"...

... Saturday, August 28th 11:00am (EST) Ralph on C-SPAN 1's National Reform Party Convention Coverage...

From the Video Vault:

The powerful GNN Ralph Nader: 'Countdown' Video.

Nader 2000 spots -

'Priceless' directed by Michael Moore - Resulted in a lawsuit Ralph won.

3 additional Nader 2000 spots + spots from late Sen. Wellstone.

BREAKING NEWS: FBI Suspects Israel Has Mole in Pentagon



(CBS) CBS News has learned that the FBI
has a full-fledged espionage investigation under way and is about to -- in FBI terminology -- "roll up" someone agents believe has been spying not for an enemy, but for Israel from within the office of the Secretary of Defense at the Pentagon.

60 Minutes Correspondent Lesley Stahl reports the FBI believes it has "solid" evidence that the suspected mole supplied Israel with classified materials that include secret White House policy deliberations on Iran.

At the heart of the investigation are two people who work at The American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC), a powerful pro-Israel lobby in Washington.

The FBI investigation, headed up by Dave Szady, has involved wiretaps, undercover surveillance and photography that CBS News was told document the passing of classified information from the mole, to the men at AIPAC, and on to the Israelis.

CBS sources say that last year the suspected spy, described as a trusted analyst at the Pentagon, turned over a presidential directive on U.S. policy toward Iran while it was, "in the draft phase when U.S. policy-makers were still debating the policy."

This put the Israelis, according to one source, "inside the decision-making loop" so they could "try to influence the outcome."

The case raises another concern among investigators: Did Israel also use the analyst to try to influence U.S. policy on the war in Iraq?

With ties to top Pentagon officials Paul Wolfowitz and Douglas Feith, the analyst was assigned to a unit within the Defense Department tasked with helping develop the Pentagon's Iraq policy.

Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld has been made aware of the case. The government notified AIPAC today that it wants information about the two employees and their contacts with a person at the Pentagon.

AIPAC told CBS News it is cooperating with the government and has hired outside counsel. It denies any wrongdoing by the organization or any of its employees.

An Israeli spokesman said, "We categorically deny these allegations. They are completely false and outrageous." The suspected spy has not returned repeated phone calls from CBS News.

Full Article

Independent Voters Sue Democrats

Independent voters sue Democrats, alleging conspiracy against Nader
By LARRY NEUMEISTER
Associated Press Writer - August 27, 2004

NEW YORK -- A group of independent voters sued John Kerry and the Democratic National Committee Friday, saying they were conspiring to stifle the presidential campaign of independent Ralph Nader and prevent creation of a third political party.

The lead plaintiff in the lawsuit filed in U.S. District Court in Manhattan was Lenora B. Fulani, New York Independent Party leader. Other plaintiffs were described as political independents and Nader supporters.

The lawsuit alleged that Republicans and Democrats have used their position of dominance in Congress and state governments to establish an election system that favors continued dominance by the two controlling parties.

The lawsuit charged that leading Democrats including Democratic National Committee Chairman Terry McAuliffe urged Nader not to run earlier this year and then "embarked on the conspiracy" when he failed to heed their advice.

A spokesman for the Democratic National Committee did not immediately return a telephone message.

According to the lawsuit, Kerry, McAuliffe and the DNC conspired to block Nader from the ballot in as many states as possible.

The defendants, it added, orchestrated propaganda campaigns, saying it was important to eliminate Nader as a factor in the race.

As a result, key challenges were made to stop Nader from getting on the ballot in Arizona, Colorado, Illinois, Iowa, Maine, Michigan, Missouri, Nevada, New Jersey, New Mexico, Oregon, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin, the lawsuit said.

In states such as Maryland, Massachusetts, South Carolina and Virginia, where there is no formal challenge procedure, the defendants tried to induce state officials to subject the Nader campaign to increased scrutiny, it said.

The effort, the lawsuit alleged, has caused Nader to be denied ballot access in Arizona, California, Illinois, Maryland, Missouri, Oregon, South Carolina and Texas.

And it has put ballot access at risk in Iowa, Massachusetts, New Mexico, Virginia, West Virginia, Wisconsin and other states, the lawsuit said.

The lawsuit said the conspiracy forced the Nader campaign to spend money on the effort to get on the ballot rather than on publicizing the campaign's message.
...
Nader said he told Kerry during their meeting that he believed he would take more votes away from Bush than from Kerry.
...
The plaintiffs sought unspecified financial damages, and an order stopping the Democrats from continuing the alleged conspiracy.

Full Article

Thursday, August 26, 2004

A Must Read for Muslims!!!

Arab-Americans and the US election
From Naseer Aruri in Dartmouth MA
August 26th, 2004 - MEI - Online

Terrific Article detailing what Muslims need to do if they are to become a powerful voice in US Politics. A must read before you vote:

August 26th, 2004 -- Arab-Americans seem confused, undecided, bewildered by the choices (or lack thereof) facing them in the forthcoming presidential elections. While George W. Bush has lost a good deal of the Arab and Muslim support that he mustered during his presidential campaign in 2000, much of that support seems now to be spontaneously re-channelled towards John Kerry, his Democratic challenger.
...
Bush’s earlier backing from the Arab-American and Muslim community was largely based on domestic considerations, being only marginally driven by issues of foreign policy. Bush’s disregarded commitment to roll back facets of President Clinton’s anti-terrorist legislation, particularly the use of “secret evidence,” together with the fact that Democratic presidential nominee Al Gore chose a pro-Likud Zionist, Joseph Lieberman, as his running mate, constituted the deciding factor for Arab-Americans. They wanted to be “relevant”, but in opting for relevance and voting for the “lesser evil” they lost sight of the longer term.

Although Arab-Americans cannot bear responsibility for the nature of the US electoral system, one might well ask whether those who want to be “relevant” in the forthcoming elections have learnt anything from their error four years ago.

The Arab-American community needs a proactive strategic policy, not a reactive one, as is all too often the case. Voting for the “lesser evil” places the community at the mercy of both parties, who can only welcome support for their candidates that comes with no strings attached. For this reason, supporting Nader, whose platform is the only one that responds to Arab-American interests and positions on Palestine, Iraq, civil liberties and respect for international law, would not only be an act of conscience but an exercise in self-assertion, and the only demonstration of real electoral strength.

Far from being a “wasted” vote, it would constitute the necessary initial investment in a long and continuing process designed to keep all future candidates apprised of the actual worth of the Arab-American vote. Had we begun that process in 2000 or long before, we would not even be debating the issues of waste and relevance at this time, two months before elections are due.

The “lesser evil”?

However, should those in the Arab-American community who seek “relevance” decide to go all out for Kerry as the lesser evil, they must not expect President Kerry to remember that their votes in the four swing states were crucial. Bush certainly chose not to remember the community’s vote in Florida, which according to some estimates, handed him the presidency in 2002.

No president before Bush II has given Israel the kind of carte blanche his Administration has provided. And yet, those Arab-American voters and activists, ironically with significant representation from the ranks of the Palestinian national movement, seem to have quickly forgotten Bush’s betrayal as they now, four years later switch their bets to the Democratic candidate, hoping he will prove to be a kinder politician.

By voting to remove Bush and Attorney General John Ashcroft, Arab-Americans will not guarantee protection of their civil liberties. One wonders if Kerry’s running mate, John Edwards, who helped review the Patriot Act, is likely to be more inclined, as vice president, to show due consideration for their civil liberties.

Leading figures in the Arab-American community shun Nader as the two principal candidates try to outbid each other in embracing Ariel Sharon’s policies and in trying to prove that their party is the genuine and principal war party.

On Palestine their rhetoric is almost indistinguishable. Kerry even tries to outdo Bush in his allegiance to Likud policy objectives, playing catch-up to Bush as he endorses Sharon’s broad violations of humanitarian and customary international law, including massacres, ethnic cleansing and assassinations, and denouncing the International Court of Justice’s advisory opinion on the illegality of the Wall. As Abraham Foxman, head of the Anti-Defamation League, put it, “there’s no significant gap” between Kerry’s position and President Bush’s support for Israel.

On Iraq, Kerry may admit that Bush rushed to war, but he will not declare the conflict a mistake from the beginning. And his presidential campaign assumed a very undemocratic position when it imposed a policy of no debate of the issue at the Democratic National Convention in Boston in July. Party bosses were able thereby to stifle grassroots demands that the Democrats describe the invasion of Iraq as a mistake and lay down a clear exit strategy for American forces.

Furthermore, Kerry’s rhetoric about building a multinational coalition and repairing international alliances, decorated with tough language about terrorism and national security, appears to diverge little from Bush’s concept of preventive intervention. Rather, the Democratic Party’s platform asserts: “With John Kerry as commander-in-chief, we will never wait for a green light from abroad when our safety is at stake.” Kerry is committed to the concept of American global hegemony, and so will not risk withdrawal from Iraq if it makes America look weak; His caution against a “hasty” withdrawal leaving chaos and disorder in Iraq would likely prove insincere.

In fact, the real difference between the two principal contenders for the presidency is more rhetorical than substantive. Bush, as the incumbent, initiates the discourse while Kerry tries to outbid him with endorsements.

But this lack of a real difference between Bush and Kerry is apparently not enough to conquer the “relevance” impulse of certain leaders in the Arab-American community. They are, in fact, “wasting” more votes by shunning Nader and failing to realize that the blame for a possible Republican victory is not to be laid at Nader’s and their own door-steps, but at those of John Kerry himself. For Kerry has failed to appeal to tens of millions of voters who oppose the war in Iraq and endorse foreign and domestic policies based on the rule of law, international cooperation, and social justice.

Read Full Article


Wednesday, August 25, 2004

USA TODAY/CNN Poll Shows Nader on the Ballot - HELPS KERRY - HURTS BUSH

From USA TODAY/CNN

The Democrats have screwed up yet again. USA TODAY/CNN Florida Gallup Poll found Nader/Camejo on the ballot actually helps John Kerry, and hurts Bush/Cheney. The poll finds if Nader/Camjeo were not on the ballot in Florida - Nader/Camejo voters would vote Bush/Cheney 48% - Kerry/Edwards 47%.

Nation wide: If Nader/Camejo are in the race - Bush 48% - Kerry 46% - If Nader/Camejo drop out of the election all together - Bush/Cheney 50% - Kerry/Edwards 47%.

In a 3 way Bush/Kerry/Nader race - Kerry's losing margin in Florida is reduced from 3% to 2%.

In each instance Nader/Camejo help Kerry/Edwards because Nader is indeed taking votes from Bush. Ask yourself if the Democrat dirty tricks and sweeping war in Iraq/Patriot Act under the rug - in exchange for fake issues: Kerry's Vietnam Service, Kerry/Edwards superior hair - are the actual reasons. Their platform is "We Are Not Bush" and people need more than that to choose diet over the real thing.

READ THE USA TODAY/CNN POLL HERE

The Politics of Ivory Snow and Tide

Arundhati Roy recently spoke in San Francisco Bay Area, i covered the talk in Berkeley in a previous blog

A transcript of her talk in San Francisco is now
availaible on-line, below are a few relevant and very important excerpts:

Scores of countries in the world will go to the polls this year. Most (not all) of them will get the governments they vote for. But will they get the governments they want?

And what of the U.S. elections? Do U.S. voters have a real choice?

It's true that if John Kerry becomes president, some of the oil tycoons and Christian fundamentalists in the White House will change. Few will be sorry to see the back of Dick Cheney or Donald Rumsfeld or John Ashcroft and their blatant thuggery. But the real concern is that in the new administration their policies will continue. That we will have Bushism without Bush.

The U.S. political system has been carefully crafted to ensure that no one who questions the natural goodness of the military-industrial-corporate power structure will be allowed through the portals of power.

Given this, it's no surprise that in this election you have two Yale University graduates, both members of Skull and Bones, the same secret society, both millionaires, both playing at soldier-soldier, both talking up war, and arguing almost childishly about who will lead the war on terror more effectively

He (Kerry) said recently that he supports Bush's policies toward Israel and Ariel Sharon 100 percent. He says he'll retain 98% of Bush's tax cuts.

So, underneath the shrill exchange of insults, there is almost absolute consensus. It looks as though even if Americans vote for Kerry, they'll still get Bush. President John Kerbush or President George Berry.

It's not a real choice. It's an apparent choice. Like choosing a brand of detergent. Whether you buy Ivory Snow or Tide, they're both owned by Proctor & Gamble.

This doesn't mean that one takes a position that is without nuance, that the Congress and the BJP, New Labor and the Tories, the Democrats and Republicans are the same. Of course, they're not. Neither are Tide and Ivory Snow. Tide has oxy-boosting and Ivory Snow is a gentle cleanser.

Read more here


Tuesday, August 24, 2004

5 Ways to Give Back to Ralph Nader

Ralph Nader has tirelessly defended consumer rights since he took on General Motors in the 1960's. He's defended us against greed, negligence, pollution, corruption of the elite and powerful. Does this matter to you?

Despite your personal views of Ralph Nader, if you or a loved one were saved by a seat-belt or air-bag he's the man to thank. Does this matter to you?

When Harvard University published the lie that African-Americans are inferior to whites -student Nader challenged them, does this matter to you?

If you don't have health-care, yet Canada, EU, Japan and Australia does... if you've lost your right to the courts... if you're not proud that 1/2 of every tax $ ends up in the Pentagon....

....If you're Muslim, name another man more willing to trade his reputation in the name of liberty and truth? Willing to restore your rights in this country and for your fellow Muslims around the world - those that are impoverished and occupied. Does this matter to you?

If these things don't matter to you...what does?

Howard Zinn reminds us true progress in America didn't come from senators and presidents -but from everyday people like you. Ralph did it - let's follow fine his example! Politics is not a spectator sport!

Here are 5 ways to give back to Ralph Nader for what he has done for us...

1.) Get involved with the Nader/Camejo campaign as a volunteer (click here) and hop on the campaign email list. (click here)
2.) Write to those harassing Ralph in Oregon and other key states - denying millions their right to vote their conscience. Write the media ignoring this fiasco, write to the Washington Post who is smearing Nader by calling him an anti-Semite...write, write, write.
3.) Buy Nader Gear before September 1st - any purchase is matched with the Federal Funds!
4.) Read: "The Good Fight" and become familiar with key issues the debates will skip!

...5.) Take one out of Ralph's play book and don't let them take your vote for granted on Nov.2. They don't own any us! We can dissent against this malignant greed by declaring Nov. 2, 2004 - Vote /\/ADER / CAMEJO DAY!!!!!

Why The Hip Hop Generation Shouldn't Vote For Kerry

Bakari Kitwana gives us the low-down on how ABB (anybody but Bush) is Kerry-speak:

"Being anti-Bush, as it's being played out, is an emotional response designed to get us on someone else's bandwagon. At best, being anti-Bush is a political sentiment, not a political perspective.

The anti-Bush crusade of course, has it's roots in the Democratic Party. The anti-Bush movement ironically was spawned by campaign finance reform, in the form of 527 non-profits. 527 groups have been around for 4 years, but have now taken on a new importance. Mostly these are Democrats who have found a creative way to keep in the game all that lovely unlimited so-called soft money outlawed by the BiPartisan Campaign Reform Act of 2002.

Essentially, the anti-Bush 527 committees are not just anti-Bush, but pro Kerry, even if it's illegal for them to say so. At the end of the day, they are Democratic party footsoldiers and these wannabe hip-hop voter svengalis aren't seeking the hardcore change that the country needs, which inspired our generation to delve into electoral politics in the first place.

Neither should we buy into the tired argument that a vote for Nader is a wasted vote. Also, we shouldn't be duped by the reasoning that somehow if you're anti-Bush and didn't vote for Gore in 2000, then you're personally responsible for the Iraq War. Again a twisted attempt to put hip-hop voters on the Kerry bandwagon.


An August 15, 2004 New York Times article about Ralph Nadar's campaign ("The Secret Shame of the Nader Booster,") quoted president of Appleseed Recordings Jim Musselman, asking the rhetorical question, "We get to choose from seven different types of Coca-Colas in the supermarket, but we should only have two choices for president?" It' an important question that gets to the heart of why we shouldn't vote for John Kerry."

Kitwana points out a Kerry fun fact:

"Of the 40 millionaires in the Senate, he's the richest, worth over $160 million. This doesn't include his wife's family net worth, which is estimated at nearly $1 billion. Wealth aside, Kerry's wife Teresa Heinz Kerry, feminist advocate that she is, defected from the Republican Party to become a Democratic just last year. This and more regarding Kerry, is the stuff that makes you go, hmmm."

Full Article

Monday, August 23, 2004

Kerry/Bush agree and agree and agree...

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The San Francisco Chronicle has done an excellent piece highlighting the similarites between the Bush/Kerry ticket - this is an important article well worth reading for the peace movement.

A few excerpts:

Kerry's speeches and interviews with his military advisers make clear that he fundamentally agrees with Bush that the United States must maintain its unquestioned military dominance, the ability to project power anywhere it is needed, and that the United States should not just react to attacks, but be willing to launch preventive or pre-emptive wars.

Kerry agrees, too, that the United States should maintain most of its bases overseas -- even as a small number are closed -- and build new ones as jumping-off points in volatile regions such as Central Asia.


analysts also agree that the underlying philosophies are markedly similar.

... even with the United States involved in an increasingly unpopular war in Iraq, the major candidates share a steadfast belief in relying on military might as a key tool for accomplishing international objectives.

... the military has been busy building new "lily pads" near the Middle East, in countries such as Uzbekistan and Kyrgyzstan...

Carter, the Kerry adviser and director of the Center for Science and International Affairs at Harvard's Kennedy School of Government....

Carter expressed Kerry's complete agreement with the construction of these "lily pads," and the more aggressive posture that they represented.

"We're in total agreement on all sides of that," said Carter. "Yes, you have to take the offensive. You can't take the defensive."

Asked if that did not suggest Kerry had more in common with Bush on military issues than was often supposed, Carter agreed.


Read more here!



Democrats continue their anti-democratic actions!

Following report via Luxomedia


Ralph Nader's efforts to get his name on state ballots are being hindered by Democrats who have mounted an extensive campaign to keep him from becoming a factor in this year's election.


Aided by a group of lawyers calling themselves the Ballot Project Inc., the Democratic Party are initiating mini-campaigns to overturn ballot signatures and deny Nader ballot access.


According to the New York Times, the Ballot Project is helping Democrats find lawyers to work pro bono in over 20 states to disqualify petition signatures and mount legal challenges to deny ballot access.


The Nader campaign is seeking Pro Bono Election Lawyers to help them counter this underhanded offensive by Democratic operatives.


If you are willing to help in this cause please
contact us.

Your assistance is greatly appreciated!


See also Shame, Democrats, Shame, and
Democracy, Yeah Right, for details...

Policy Issue: Civil Rights

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Jess Ghannam, president of
the American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee in San Francisco , in a recent article, speaks out against hate speech and hate crimes:

It has become fashionable to hate in America. Even in cities known for their liberal and progressive views, hate speech is promoted and supported in the media. Bellicose rhetoric streams out of Washington on a daily basis, proclaiming that "we are engaged in a war on terror" and that "our safety as Americans is in danger."

The targets of these rants are Arabs and Muslims, wherever we live, work and worship. Culturally we are consumed by the "war on terror" and its foreign and domestic manifestations. On the international scene, there are the massive assaults and occupations of Afghanistan and Iraq, as well as political provocations toward Syria, Iran and Palestinians. On the domestic front, we have the Patriot Act, with its secret detentions, profiling of Arab Americans and Muslims and the aggressive activities of the FBI. Read more here

Jess Ghannam also spoke at a Nader/Camejo rally in San Francisco - click here to view the video (broadband only).

Greg Bates, author of Ralph's Revolt, also has an excellent article on Racial Profiling and National Security.

Racial profiling is back. Not that it ever left. But for a time it was unacceptable for commentators to argue that law enforcement should target suspects based on skin color. Today, it's the edgy thing to advocate. This isn't racism, the claim goes, but expediency in the post-911 world.

Of course, it's always the appeal to higher values that allows racism to flourish. Prior to the civil rights movement, for example, many advocates of segregation claimed it was in the best interests of everyone. Blacks benefited from and wanted the system, it was argued. And today, it's easy to see the comparable argument about universal benefits for racial profiling of, say, airline passengers: everyone, even those targeted, is safer when those who fit the profile of a terrorist are subject to increased search. Read more here

The Nader/Camejo campaign has made civil rights a central issue, and in a policy press release calls for passage of a end racial profiling bill, opposing the extension of the Patriots Act (due to expire in 2005) , and a congressional hearing to examine the impact of rules enacted after 9/11 on security and civil liberties.

The campaign calls for:

Passage of the End Racial Profiling Act, championed by Congressman John Conyers, Jr. in the House and Senator Russell Feingold in the Senate, that would dissuade law enforcement from engaging in profiling by requiring collection of race data, and providing legal options to victims of racial profiling.

The Department of Justice to implement regulatory and procedural reforms suggested by its own Office of Inspector General designed to restore constitutional protections in government investigations and handling of detainees.

Congressional hearings on post 9-11 rules and procedures enacted by the Bush Administration in order to examine their impact on security and civil liberties.

Oppose the extension of provisions of the USA PATRIOT Act that are set to expire in 2005. Reinstate the policy of the United States Federal Communications Commission that became known as the "Fairness Doctrine" ­ an attempt to ensure that coverage of controversial public issues by a broadcast station be balanced and fair.

Read more here


These issues are not new, African Americans, Mexican and Central Americans have long experienced racial profiling in the United States. We must find solidarity around this issue because when people are profiled based on their color, religion, ethnicity, all of us lose out. And our society becomes one based on fear - instead, lets find ways to build a democratic society based on peace and justice.


Paradox of the Swinging Muslim Ballot

Paradox of the Swinging Muslim Ballot
By Costellojr

The Christian Science Monitor commentated on the Muslim vote in 2000 and 2004, characterizing 6 million US Muslims to be perhaps the most volatile voters in history.

John Zogby told the Boston Globe: "It's a complete 180 degree turn." He's referring to Muslims backing Bush by 40%, Nader 25%, Gore 24% in 2000, and today: Kerry 54%, Nader 26% and Bush - marginalized into single digits. The approval numbers are even more stunning: Bush 2000 at 90% - Kerry 2004 at 80%.

Before one can comprehend the influence of this 6 million voter bloc on the election, one must first deal with problematic sampling errors by even the most reliable pollsters; Zogby International. The problem exists in the terminology. An Arab-American vote isn't necessarily the same as a Muslim vote. The Muslim community is made up of a diverse base, only 25% are of Arab decent. The largest US Muslim groups are South-Asians at 33% (also the largest world-wide) and African-Americans at 30%. Media and polls often characterize the Arab-American vote as a Muslim vote, though 70% of Arab Americans are Christian.

If the Arab-American and Muslim vote is combined, the total voting bloc would likely top 10 million. To make matters more complex, 30% of American Muslims are converts of other faiths. I'm still waiting for a poll to see how many Americans are aware Muslims believe in Jesus. Mr. Zogby if you're reading this!

John Kerry has it easy in 2004 with 54% of the Muslim vote. Make no promises - keep no promises. Bush didn't have this luxury, he may have bit off more than he could chew. CSM found 2000 to be a difficult year for Muslims:

"Many Muslims were very happy that Bush spoke during the second debate against profiling of Arab-Americans and about the issue of secret evidence [in hearings of the INS]," says Syed Ahsani, AMA chairman in Texas.

Muslims' efforts to enter the political mainstream can be fraught with difficulty. In the New York Senate race last week, Hillary Rodham Clinton returned campaign contributions from members of the AMA after it was charged that Agha Saeed, a professor of political science and chair of the AMA and AMPCC, was a supporter of armed force against Israel. In the highly charged atmosphere, Bush also returned some contributions.

Dr. Saeed insists past comments are being misrepresented and that he has always supported the peace process. Other Muslims have run into similar challenges, and many feel there is an intense effort to keep them from making political gain.
The CSM reports this week:
The Muslim vote long fell fairly reliably into the Democratic column, but that changed in 2000. A combination of perceived slights by the Gore campaign and active wooing by Mr. Bush led to a break in the conventional wisdom. Major Muslim community groups actually went so far as to endorse Bush in 2000, in large part due to one big issue: racial profiling. On the campaign trail and in the debates, Bush used the issue to talk about his support of the Secret Evidence Repeal Act, a proposal to reverse parts of a Clinton-era law that made it easier for prosecutors to use secret evidence in terrorism cases.
Bush promised Muslims a reduction of racial profiling and in return gave them an Ashcroft flavored pie in the face: The Patriot Act. A strange gift to 60,000 Muslims who voted for him in Florida, in addition to millions of votes in close states. John Kerry has done one better for Muslims - he ignores them completely. Muslims join the Green Party as groups that are back-peddling faster in every election. In the irony of the century, they won't even accept Muslim campaign funds, as per Senator Clinton and Bush... Money talks - Muslims walk. It seems Muslim money is considered more insidious than funds from the NRA, tobacco, defense contractors, HMOs, pharmaceuticals and Enron all rolled into one.

It's ultimately unfair to classify Muslim votes purely with foreign policy and civil rights. These issues often remain on the forefront, (perhaps until Guantanamo Bay's neon signs read: "NO VACANCY" in Bates Motel fashion) though Muslims are concerned with issues that face every American. Paraphrasing: Ralph Nader: The Muslim Vote in 2004 - June 28, 2004:

"...The subject of the Muslim vote in the election of 2004 is one that is itself subject to stereotype. Stereotyped because the urgency of the times has to focus attention on issues related to civil liberties, on issues related to war in Iraq, on issues related to the Israeli Palestinian conflict. But before I make comments on those areas, it is important to know that there are many others that are all Americans issues. These include increased costs of higher education, lack of health care, growth of poverty in American society, the devastation of the environment, the unfairness of the tax system, which is shifting from wealth to work, and avoiding taxes on that which we like the least, such as pollution, stock regulations, or the addictive industry."
On Iraq:

"Our country was plunged into war with Iraq upon a platform of fabrications deceptions and lies now thoroughly and repeatedly documented. As brutal a dictator as Saddam Hussein was, and from 1979 to 1990 when he was entrenched with help from the United States and Britain, he was our government’s brutal dictator. He slaughtered communists at our suggestion, and suspected communists. He went into the war in Iran with our logistical, economic, and military assistance, and our approval.
After the Kuwaiti war, US/UN economic sanctions themselves violated international law. Economic sanctions can never be imposed to destabilize dictatorships when the main suffering of those sanctions are innocent children, women and men, civilians all. Under those sanctions, at least half a million Iraqi children and infant’s dies from contaminated water, lack of medicine, lack of medical supplies, and lack of chlorine to purify drinking water. Chlorine was a prohibited export to Iraq under those sanctions.
We do have a responsibility to the Iraqi people, but we also have a responsibility to peace and security in the world, and to the safety of our soldiers. In that vein, I’m urging the responsible withdrawal—both military and corporate—of US forces in Iraq over the next six months. Instead, I propose the introduction of peacekeeping forces of neutral countries that have experience in this matter, and nearby Islamic countries, until security can be secured. This would probably be accompanied by humanitarian aid until the Iraqi’s can get on their feet. It would also be accompanied at the earliest time by internationally supervised elections with suitable autonomies for Sunni’s, Shiites, and Kurds.
If the mainstream Iraqi’s are to distance themselves from the insurgency, they must not be confronted with a permanent military and corporate US occupation with the construction of fourteen military bases and a puppet regime. If the Iraqi people are going to be encouraged to distance themselves from the regime, they must be given a sense that they will get their country back under democratic elections, not puppet governments, and the withdrawal of the US-military-corporate-oil-company-occupation of their land. This is not what we are going to see. Both George W. Bush and John Kerry have said we should “stay the course.” In Washington DC, that phrase means an interminable fumbling, mumbling, grumbling, and humbling at the core of foreign policy."
On Bush's promise against using secret evidence:

"Duplicity is the trademark of the Bush administration. We all remember when he stood before microphones in 2000 and made statements against the use of secret evidence in immigration proceedings. So instead of secret evidence now he has given us secret imprisonment, secret arrests, secret detainment, and secret evidence. Of all hundreds of people imprisoned in Guantanamo in Cuba, they have just made two charges against two prisoners. What are they keeping them there for? Nigh on three years. What kind of law enforcement is it that the US government takes action against a lawyer in Portland, OR, or a doctor in Guantanamo, and then is embarrassed and has to drop charges."
On Israeli/Palestinian Peace: (This statement sparked a Wimbledon like volley between the ADL--- Nader --- Washington Post --- Nader...)
"Not long ago, hundreds of Israeli combat officers and soldiers signed a proclamation which stated among others that they would refuse to fight beyond the 1967 borders because they would no longer participate in any effort to “dominate, expel, starve, or humiliate an entire people.” Those were their exact words. The full proclamation can be found on their website, at www.seruv.org.il. There is more freedom to discuss the Israeli/Palestinian issue in Israel by far than there is in the United States. It is time for the US government to realize that this is not a local conflict anymore; it is not just a regional conflict anymore. It is a conflict that is producing flashpoints throughout much of the world and endangering US Citizens in those countries, US businesses in those countries, US workers in those countries, and endangering our own national security here. It is time for the US government to stand up and think for itself.

What has been happening over the years is a predictable routine from the head of the Israeli government. The Israeli puppeteer travels to Washington. The Israeli puppeteer meets with the puppet in the White House, and then moves down Pennsylvania Avenue and meets with the puppets in Congress, and then takes back billions of taxpayer dollars. It is time for the Washington puppet show to be replaced by the Washington peace show. In that, we will enhance the freedom and security of both Palestinian and Israeli people, peoples around the world, and the American people here and abroad."
On Fanaticism:
"Let me conclude on this note: the pillorying of Islam is in the nefarious tradition of pillorying of religions. Every major religion has been misused by its own violators for violent purposes. We should remember the crusades. We should remember over 200 years between 1095 and the following 200 years. Armies from Christendom moved in to Asia Minor, slaughtering as they went. In one conflict, the Christian generals took out 2500 Muslim prisoners and beheaded them—just one conflict.

We should remember that the way to honor any religion is to practice what its practitioners preach. And there’s no better way to practice what its practitioners preach, then for the practitioners to preach what they practice. Its time for the American people to realize that Muslim Americans are only the latest religious ethnic group to feel the brunt of political hysteria and abuse. The Japanese Americans were put into camps in California during WWII, no due process. Men, women, children, families, hustled out of their homes and into these concentration camps. Internments, they called them. Years ago Jewish American’s were stereotyped during the communist witch hunt, as having more than their share of that ideology. Another profiling. Another abuse. Earlier, Italian American’s were profiled as anarchists carrying bombs underneath their big coats. Another profiling. Another abuse. Irish Americans suffered during the civil war. It’s now the turn of Muslim American’s. African Americans, of course, have always suffered."
Concluding:
"We need in other words voters to look to ourselves and hold us up, all of us, to higher standards of engagement and performance as voters. I ask you to look at our website www.votenader.org for further elaborations of these subjects and all these areas in the coming weeks, and make the deliberation in your vote as to what is in the best interest of the American people and the peoples of the world. Whether it is better to support the two party duopoly that is in the grip of concentrated power and wealth, or is it better to have more voices, more choices, more leverage, over the two parties by concentrating your vote on your conscience, by voting for someone you believe in. The only way to vote where you don’t waste your vote is by voting for someone you believe in. Someone who has a record, and is key on strengthening as a first prerequisite of a political movement--strengthening the people of this country. Thank you."
Of the 40% for Bush in 2000 and the 54% for Kerry in 2004. There is one interesting fact. The portion for Nader has remained consistent at 25% in 2000 and 26% in 2004.

Let's avoid stereotyping the Muslim-American vote as a "swinging bloc" because a consistent portion have stood their ground for the Ralph Nader ticket. I wish the same could be said for Green voters, reformers, progressives, liberals. Call them what you will. Perhaps they are the real swing ballot in this election and the next?

To the people of Israel: Tear Down This Wall!

As most readers of this blog are aware, Israel has been busy constructing a huge wall around Palestinian towns and villages that amounts to a land grab.

Recently, on July 9th, the international court of justice (ICJ) issued an opinion:

By fourteen votes to one,

The construction of the wall being built by Israel, the occupying Power, in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including in and around East Jerusalem, and its associated régime, are contrary to international law”;


As expected George W. Bush issued his own opinion:

The White House, Israel's chief supporter, said it was "inappropriate" for the International Court of Justice (ICJ) to issue the ruling,


And Tweedeldum - on the Democratic end of the non-existent political spectrum, John Kerry also had his opinion:

Kerry strongly condemned the International Court of Justice's (ICJ) decision, which demanded the removal of the wall, and called for the US to block a United Nations resolution to implement the historic verdict. "I do not believe that the ICJ should even be considering this issue given that they do not have jurisdiction," a press release by Kerry on his website stated.


On July 21st, the United Nations General Assembly overwhelmingly 150 for, 6 against, 10 abstain, passed this resolution

The General Assembly today voted overwhelmingly to demand that Israel heed last month's advisory opinion of the International Court of Justice (ICJ) to halt construction on its security barrier in the West Bank, tear down the portions built on Palestinian land, and provide reparations to Palestinians whose lives have been harmed by the wall.


One might expect George W. Bush and Republican Party to blatantly disregard international law, given their illegal invasion and occupation of Iraq. But how different are the Democrats in their disregard for international law?

And, on July 22nd, Flashpoints reported that Barbara Boxer, Democrat senator from California is co-sponsoring a bill, that would condemn the International Court of Justice. Effectively condemning international law!

Contrast these twin parties' disrespect and disregard of international law with Ralph Nader's statement:

RALPH NADER: The majority of the people in Israel and the majority of Americans of Jewish faith in this country support an independent Palestinian state, as a solution -- peaceful solution to that long-drawn-out conflict. It's really interesting. John Kerry on the wall is now not even up to the Israeli supreme court, which has issued a decision quite critical of the way that the wall is being built to take existing Palestinian land, separate peasants from their farms or children from their schools. So, he ought to read the latest decision by the Israeli supreme court.


We know all about the Bush ideologues - they don't care - But why are the usually astute and principled progressive anti-war people leaping into bed with this kind of flagrant disregard for international law?

Why all this hostility towards the Nader/Camejo campaigen? All in the name of "anybody but bush"?!!

No, not in our name - we will not contribute to this charade!

Vote Nader/Camejo!




Nader Pulls Arab Support

Nader draws ire of pro-Israeli Americans
By Hussein Ibish - Daily Star


Perhaps more than any other important national political figure in the United States of Arab origin, Nader really has begun to sound like a representative of his community on issues such as Palestine and Iraq.

His frank criticism of US Middle East policy has certainly ruffled pro-Israeli feathers, but it has ensured Nader's continued appeal to many Arab-Americans, especially given widespread disapproval of US President George W. Bush's foreign policy, and disappointment that Senator John Kerry seems to offer few alternatives, especially with regard to Israel.

Nader told The Daily Star that while he has been getting considerable support, "too many Arab Americans have equipped themselves with microscopes, desperately trying to find differences between (President) Bush and Kerry on foreign policy, and there is none - they are both trying to run to the right of each other."

"We are the only anti-war candidacy and have a lot more knowledge of the Middle East than the other two," he said.

He urged Arab-Americans to "deny Bush their vote, and send a message to Kerry by voting for us, because when you are taken for granted, you are taken."

Some prominent American Muslim leaders who supported Bush in 2000 are known to be quietly but strongly supportive of Nader, but are keeping a low profile because they do not wish to be seen as indirectly supporting Bush again.

Naseem Tufaha, an Arab-American activist in Seattle, is among those involved in creating an "Arab-Americans for Nader" website, which seeks to generate support for the campaign in the community through online activism. He dismisses the idea that supporting Nader is simply an indirect way of supporting Bush, telling The Daily Star, "the Arab-American vote is being taken for granted by Bush and Kerry - we need to create an environment where candidates feel they have something to lose and something to gain from paying attention to our views."

Albert Mokhiber, a Washington attorney supportive of Nader and a former president of the American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee, told The Daily Star, "there aren't two candidates, there are three, and the other two are exactly the same on foreign policy. ... Would you rather have arsenic or cyanide?" he asked rhetorically.

"I'd rather have a vitamin, and Nader is a vitamin."
Read entire article...

The politics of Clorox bleach vs. Tide bleach

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August 18th, 2004:

A sold out crowd of 3,500 people packed the Berkeley Community Theater (California) , to hear the Indian author
Arundhati Roy, journalist, Amy Goodman, interviewer David Barasamian, and hip hop artist Boots Riley.

Amy Goodman received an extended standing ovation as she approached the podium - she spoke about the horrible tragedy of 9/11/01 - and the other 9/11 - the one in Chile: the US backed coup that brought down President Allende to be replaced by the military dictator Pinochet who killed thousands of his opponents. She reminded us about Haiti, how president Aristide was kidnapped, and taken to Congo - viewed such a threat that he could not even remain in this hemisphere. And we must also remember how so many African Americans were disenfranchised in South West Florida - only four years ago.

And this year, we have an "opposition" that does not even challenge the current administration on a war whose pretexts have been proven false. Why? Goodman said that we - the people- must challenge this "opposition."

IF we do not, and they get elected, then they will assume that their mandate is what they have said during the election campaign.

(In case of Kerry this would mean continued war, and continued occupation of Iraq - and no end to civil rights abuses i.e. the Patriot Act).


But Amy Goodman left out the ongoing anti-democratic practices that are being carried out by the Democratic Party - so that people do not have choices, and without a choice there can be no democracy.

She also left out, that just as African Americans were disenfranchised in Florida - so too, this year, the
Democratic Party is aiming to deny choice to millions, many of whom are people of color, and from working class backgrounds.

Arundhati Roy was interviewed by David Barsamian , some highlights from the interview:

We cannot expect or, wait for a "pristine resistance" because we will never find it - what is taking place in Iraq, and Palestine is a resistence against occupation. And it is our responsibility, on our end, to shore up our own resistence against empire.

Roy identified three goals/demands, with regards to Iraq:


1. Withdrawal from Iraq

2. Pay reparations for the war, and for the sanctions

3. Annul all contracts with corporations that are supposed to "rebuild Iraq" - but who are, in effect, exploiting Iraqi resources for their own profits.

With regards to the US elections:

Roy discussed the recent elections in India - where the Congress Party won against the Hindutava BJP.

But she said that the situation in the US is very different because, here, there is not even a pretense of a difference, and the two candidates are like Clorox bleach vs. Tide bleach - both owned by Proctor and Gamble!

Demonizing Bush has its downside of not taking the time to understand the machinery - and she questioned are we looking to challenge the system or not?!

Roy talked about her experience in the Indian elections, and she pointed out that many progressive activists chose not to campaigen for the Congress Party because they realized that Congress had acted to dispossess people of their lands, and were responsible for policies that were so very harmful to India's poor.


When asked about what should happen if Kerry were to win - she said that we should not miss a heartbeat, and continue our work.

Power, she said, is exercised by a dissenting public, and through oppositional politics, not through the ballot.

It is the rich who have time, the poor don't have time - and the rift we are witnessing is not a rift between countries - it is a rift between the rich and the poor.

Sunday, August 22, 2004

Now in Dem-o-vision

Why Nader won't stop speaking his mind
DAVID OLIVE - Toronto Star - August, 22, 2004

Maybe it's time for Democrats to get over their obsession with Ralph Nader.

A while ago, Nader recalled his efforts at the dawn of the airliner-hijacking era in the early 1970s to push for hardened cockpit doors. The airlines balked at the extra cost and for three decades the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration accepted their argument.

"When I turned on the TV on Sept. 11, I almost threw up," Nader said. Even now, almost three years after the tragedy, the hardened doors have been installed only on certain planes.

You can see why such a disturber of the peace is not fit to be president. Or maybe you can't.

Nader is currently the presidential choice of 2 per cent of U.S. voters, not far shy of the 2.7 per cent of the vote he captured in 2000, when, as every Democrat knows, he cost Al Gore the presidency.

That Gore ran such a desultory campaign he managed to lose his home state — that the contest was lost in Tennessee, not Florida — is seldom mentioned.

The nightmare of 2000 could be repeated this year, with perhaps 2 million votes for Nader making a difference in some of the 16 states that are too close to call. That's why GOP-affiliated groups are trying to get Nader on the ballot in many states, and the Dems, in a profoundly undemocratic gesture, are mounting court challenges to have him disqualified.

Democrats routinely attack Naderites as "spoilers," "idiots" and "egomaniacs." The misdirected vitriol helps keep them from dwelling on how easily their own standard-bearer was snookered on Iraq. And how, like George W. Bush, he lacks a convincing exit strategy from that quagmire.

Craving "electablity," Democrats have provided Nader his opening. They have embraced a candidate who opposes same-sex marriage, has doubted the merit of affirmative action, once tried to outlaw teacher tenure, and supported NAFTA over union opposition and welfare-to-work "reform" despite the objections of social-policy progressives.

John Kerry voted for the Patriot Act, a brazen assault on civil liberties not far removed from the odious Alien and Sedition Acts of 1798.

Kerry panders to the National Rifle Association with gun-toting photo-ops. Awash in corporate donations since the mid-point of his long Senate career, he is zealous in catering to big business.

"Kenny Boy" Lay, the disgraced former CEO of Enron Corp., who was feted at the Kerry manse almost a year after Enron's epic collapse, would not be among those surprised that Kerry has abandoned his "Benedict Arnold CEOs" label of the primary season for tycoons who ship American jobs abroad.

Kerry now tells that "I am going to bring Corporate America to the table — not to lecture but to say: How do we make you competitive? How do we get out of your way? Research and development tax credits? I'd make them permanent and larger. Manufacturing tax credits? That's a smart way to help."

In the aftermath of unprecedented corporate chicanery, abetted by regulators asleep at the wheel — when "Enron," and "Halliburton" should be fighting words — Kerry wants to keep Corporate America on the dole and get out of its way .

When Kerry said on Aug. 9 that he would have supported the Iraq-war resolution even knowing what we now do about phantom weapons of mass destruction and phony ties between Saddam and Al Qaeda, he tossed away the Democrats' high card — the Bush administration's craven mendacity.

A slack-jawed New York Times asked last Sunday what, if any, threshold of proof Kerry needs before letting slip the dogs of war.

Liberal media critic Eric Alterman, who has been relentless in demonizing Nader, complained that "Kerry's position (on Iraq) is pretty close to inexplicable, impossible to understand, and worst of all, contributes to Republican attacks that this is a man who cannot take a consistent stand and stick to it."

In contrast to the "mealy-mouthed" or "namby-pamby" campaign that Kerry vowed in April not to run but is now conducting, Nader is a fount of clarity.

He would drive corporate money out of politics, skew America's priorities from tax cuts and the military buildup to repairing the social safety net. And he'd quit Iraq immediately.

"There's a reason why the unions have the slogan, `Which side are you on?'" Nader said in a recent Harper's round-table on the future of U.S. liberalism. (There's a reason why Bush does, too.)

"We should list the major goals of our country," says Nader, "and ask, who is saying no. Health insurance for everyone: who is saying no? A living wage: who is saying no? It's the corporations."

The party's Plan A is to hope that enough Americans dislike Bush to defeat him without much prodding from the Democrats. There is no Plan B.

The Anybody-But-Bush tent is getting bigger by the day but will never welcome Nader.

Oh, but the Dems have found someone to openly hate. A walking, talking indictment of the Democrats' estrangement from their progressive instincts, Nader is worse than a nuisance. He's a reminder that, if the Democrats lose on Nov. 2, they will deserve to.

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