There’s a lot of focus on the American death toll but personally I think that’s partly propaganda exaggeration. Polls have demonstrated time and time again that Americans are willing to accept a high death toll – although they don’t like it, they’re willing to accept it – if they think it’s a just cause. There’s never been anything like the so-called Vietnam Syndrome: it’s mostly a fabrication. And in this case too if they thought it was a just cause, the 500 or so deaths would b e mourned, but not considered a dominant reason for not continuing. No, the problem is the justice of the cause.
Right after the war, by April, polls demonstrated pretty clearly that Americans thought the United Nations, not the
In fact, it is little discussed, probably for that reason. Not very many people are aware of the fact that the
The general population offers little support for the long-term effort to ensure that
On Hussein and Us
The trial [of Saddam Hussein] ought to be under some kind of international auspices that have some degree of credibility, so not something which is obviously victor’s justice, which, no matter how much of a monster one is, doesn’t carry credibility.
So first of all there’s a matter of form, but also there’s a matter of content. The trial should bring to the bar of justice his associates, those who gave decisive and substantial support for him right through his worst atrocities, long after the war with
They should also bring to justice those who were responsible for the murderous sanction regime which surely led to the deaths of hundreds of thousands of Iraqis and devastated the society so completely that they could not carry out what has happened elsewhere, where the US and Britain supported comparable monsters – namely, they were overthrown from within.
It seems not unlikely that the same might have happened in
So anyone who contributed to Saddam Hussein’s atrocities to whatever they degree they did, they’re culpable as well and in some fashion an honest trial should deal with that.
Kerry is sometimes described as Bush-lite, which is not inaccurate, and in general the political spectrum is pretty narrow in the
But despite the limited differences both domestically and internationally, there are differences. And in this system of immense power, small differences can translate into large outcomes.
My feeling is pretty much the way it was in the year 2000. I admire Ralph Nader and Denis Kucinich very much, and insofar as they bring up issues and carry out an educational and organizational function – that’s important, and fine, and I support it.
However, when it comes to the choice between the two factions of the business party, it does sometimes, in this case as in 2000, make a difference. A fraction.
That’s not only true for international affairs, it’s maybe even more dramatically true domestically. The people around Bush are very deeply committed to dismantling the achievements of popular struggle through the past century. The prospect of a government which serves popular interests is being dismantled here. It’s an administration that works, that is devoted, to a narrow sector of wealth and power, no matter what the cost to the general population. And that could be extremely dangerous in the not very long run.
You could see it clearly in the way they dealt with, what is by common agreement, the major domestic economic problem coming along, namely the exploding health care costs. They’re traceable to the fact that the
So they passed a huge prescription drug bill, which is primarily a gift to the pharmaceutical corporations and insurance companies. It’s a huge taxpayer subsidy. They’re already wealthy beyond dreams of avarice. And that’s their constituency. And as that continues, with significant domestic problems ahead, for the general population it’s extremely harmful.
Again there isn’t a great difference, so for maybe 90% of the population over the past 20 years, real income has either stagnated or declined, while for the top few percent, it’s just exploded astronomically. But there are differences and the present group in power is particularly cruel and savage in this respect.