Finally a reason to get excited, as we now have before us an electable
candidate worthy of taking on George W. Bush and his coterie of
neoconservatives next November. Well, at least that's what the scared
liberals out there would have us believe. But John Kerry is neither
electable nor exciting. He is a Zionist sympathizer who supports Bush's
"road map for peace" in Israel and Palestine, as well as a corporate
Neoliberal, who voted in support of NAFTA, normalized free-trade with China,
and the US's $17.9 billion dollar "aid" package to the IMF.
Not to mention Kerry is also a proclaimed War Criminal, where he
participated in bloody swift boat patrol missions on the Mekong Delta near
Cambodia in Vietnam. And as he put it in to Crosby Noyes of the Washington
Evening Star upon his return in 1971, "[During those missions] I committed
the same kind of atrocities as thousands of other soldiers have committed in
that I took part in shootings in free fire zones. I conducted harassment and
interdiction fire. I used 50 caliber machine guns, which we were granted and
ordered to use, which were our only weapon against people. I took part in
search and destroy missions, in the burning of villages. All of this is
contrary to the laws of warfare, all of this is contrary to the Geneva
However, Kerry's defenders still claim that at least he's better than George
W. Bush. Under a selective microscope perhaps, but by and large Kerry and
Bush see eye to eye on critical issues of our times.
For instance, Kerry criticizes Bush for not having enough troops in Iraq and
says he will increase the US count by 40,000 within his first 100 days in
office (this statement came prior to Spain's announcement that they will be
pulling out their 1,300 troops by the end of June). Kerry also chastises
Bush for abusing his authority by invading Iraq, but defends his vote
authorizing unilateral force and says, "I can pledge . to the American
people: I will never conduct a war or start a war because we want to." Looks
like he'll just vote for one instead.
Back in 1998 Senator Kerry voted along with Dennis Kucinich in support of
Clinton's "Iraq Liberation Act," which has served as political leverage for
Bush's Iraq "regime change". And one year after that horrid display Kerry
voted in favor of allowing US air strikes against Yugoslavia, which gave
General Wesley Clark the green light to bomb, as William Blum put it, with
"an almost sadistic fanaticism".
Well at least Kerry is an environmentalist though, right? Not exactly.
Despite John Kerry's cozy relationship with ghoulish green organizations
like the Sierra Club and the League of Conservation Voters, he should not be
mistaken for a friend of nature. Kerry does not support the Kyoto Protocol,
and as he told Grist Magazine in an interview last year, "[The Kyoto
agreement] doesn't ask enough of developing nations, the nations that are
going to be producing much greater emissions and which we need to get on the
right course now through technology transfer." Somebody should mention to
Senator Kerry that currently, despite the US accounting for only 4% of the
world's population, we still emit over a quarter of the globe's CO2. But no,
Kerry won't call on the US to set an example to developing countries, that
would asking too much of the US.
And just last year Kerry decided not to cast a vote against a portion of
Bush's chainsaw Forest Plan (HR 1904), which authorized $760 million to thin
out dense national forests under the pretext of increasing ecosystem health.
This, combined with his support for Fast Track legislation, bombing of
Afghanistan, and chemical fumigation in Colombia to counter coca and opium
production -- provides us with a clear indication that not only is Kerry not
an environmentalist, he's also not that good at pretending to be.
So how about Kerry on the home front? Let's see, although Kerry did oppose
Clinton's 1996 Effective Death Penalty Act, he embraced Attorney General
Ashcroft's Patriot Act and the expansion of that egregious bill into Patriot
Act II as well as the Homeland Security bill. He also decided not to vote
against Bush's Tax Cuts for the wealthy, and as Public Citizen notes, Kerry
has missed ten crucial Senate votes while campaigning for the Presidency
including; an amendment to prevent energy market manipulation, a medical
negligence bill, and a vital fuel efficiency amendment.
So what is all the fuss about? Call it the real life version of "Fear
Factor", where soft-shelled liberals are forced to swallow empty hopes that
John Kerry can save them from the clutches of Bush's wrath. Time will tell
whether or not swing voters see any real difference between Kerry and our
sitting president. And as Kerry continuously fails to challenge the US's
global Empire or its domestic fractures back home, he will continue to fail
the American people -- not to mention the rest of the world.
Josh Frank is a writer living in New York. He is the co-author with Sunil K.
Sharma of an upcoming book on the rise and fall of Howard Dean to be out
this summer, as well as the author of the forthcoming book Left Out, How
Liberals Helped the Bush Administration, to be published by Common Courage
Press in December.