Posted to Subscribers on 4 September 2008


At the risk of speaking to the choir, I felt to make a few comments on the current roster of candidates for high office.

Basically, aside from Ron Paul, no one has told me what I want to hear, and even Ron Paul has not always spoken to my deepest concerns. However, the other candidates are so off the mark that it's impossible to take them seriously, but we must take them seriously and this is our present dilemma.

The Environment

The biggest environmental nitwit is probably our sharp-witted new vice presidential candidate, Sarah Palin. Coming from Alaska and having children who have some indigenous genes makes her disdain for the rights of Nature something beyond mind-boggling and certainly unpardonable.

Believing that people are not the cause of global warming is, well, a little eccentric but there are solar flares that contribute their share to the seriousness of the present situation, but humanity has done much to cause the holes in the ozone layer and massive pollution. So, even if we cut Gov. Palin some slack on global warming, her position on aerial massacre of innocent animals is so regressive, cruel, and unconscionable that no amount of Bible thumping is going to bring her into alignment with the Mother of this Earth.

Since I am a total pacifist, I do not support the use of weapons and especially not for the sole purpose of spewing blood all over the pristine Arctic snow.

So, while on this note, let's look at her running mate, a man who chose Annapolis, perhaps out of inability to think independently of his family and its tradition or perhaps for some other reason that is just as incomprehensible. He chose to drop bombs over Hanoi, bombs that rained indiscriminate death on countless human beings, people living in their own country, not one of whom ever attacked our country. He destroyed property; he wrecked homes and families; and one day, on his 23rd mission of terror, he was shot down and captured. Citing these events of his past makes exciting media coverage, but how should we really understand the young John McCain, a man who was flying missions over Vietnam at the same time as I was with the State Department in Saigon.

What exactly did we know in 1967? The Pentagon Papers had not yet been leaked to the New York Times so it was not general knowledge that the Gulf of Tonkin incident never took place. However, it was easy to understand that had it taken place, it would have been provoked and used as an excuse for war. That much, I understood the night Lyndon Johnson spoke the lies that ultimately cost the lives of millions of people. Daniel Ellsberg was to say that the information he leaked "demonstrated unconstitutional behavior by a succession of presidents, the violation of their oath and the violation of the oath of every one of their subordinates." Ellsberg hoped to extricate the Nation from an unjust and wrongful war.

What did others know at that time? In my office, a very large office of economists, about half the staff were hawks and half were doves. In 1967, I understood that we had no national security interests that justified years and years of bombing. I had planned to vote for Bobby Kennedy.

Johnny Apple, New York Times reporter, had somewhat different motivations, but he did his part to make the war unpopular as did tens of thousands of conscientious objectors, war protestors, and members of the international diplomatic community.

None of this would be relevant except that John McCain implies that one of his qualifications for leading this country is the fact that he once wore the uniform of his country and "served his country" by indiscriminately destroying lives and property by aerial bombing of a country that was absolutely innocent of any affront to the United States. In short, he was not a leader or a visionary but a bully.


Over the years, we have all watched a lot of war movies and had the chance to study the psychology of heroes and victims. I suppose my favorite movie was "Harp of Burma", a story of a Japanese soldier who became a Buddhist monk and went to the prison camps and played folk songs on a Burmese harp. There is something ennobling about coming to grips with one's innermost fears and demons and emerging from this hell with the equanimity to live the life of spirit, something we are all destined to do even if we often lose our way.

In my opinion, John McCain has been astray a long time. Worse, he has capitalized on his suffering in such a way as to confuse stupidity with patriotism and leadership with mindlessness.

The Next Generation

Unlike me, all the candidates have children, and two of the four White House aspirants have sons in uniform. At a time when Joseph Biden's son is about to deploy to Iraq with JAG Corps and Sarah Palin's 19-year old son is departing on the anniversary of 9/11, others I know are doing everything possible to teach their children completely different values. These include respect for all life, that is, ALL LIFE, not just some lives. They are also teaching their children how to resolve conflicts without violence, force, or insult to others. Some are teaching their children to live with a smaller environmental impact, and a few are making plans to expatriate should the imperilism of Washington, D.C. continue to be the international menace that it now is.

If we ask ourselves what we expect in a leader, it might be reasonable to demand that the leader is better informed that the average person. We want someone who is more than a cheerleader with the power to arouse a crowd; we want someone with sound judgment and an appreciation of the ramifications of actions undertaken while in office.

I do not honestly believe we can find these qualities in either of the main presidential candidates or their running mates.


Part of the reason we cannot find the traits worthy of our votes is that all the candidates are on board with the cover up of 9/11. Only Ron Paul pledged to reopen the investigation. While many others have presented alternative explanations of what happened on that fateful day, no one can say with certainty that his or her version is factual to the extent necessary in order to have the facts accepted. However, we all know a few details that warrant skepticism of the official version, the one blared at us day in and day out so as to justify foreign wars and the shredding of the Constitution.

    1. No explanation for the reason building 7 collapsed has been provided. It housed the records for Enron investigation as well as offices for the CIA, SEC, IRS, and Secret Service, to name a few.
    2. The puts on airline stocks have not been investigated.
    3. The failure of our national security is being written off in such a way that we are asked to accept incompetence and human error when countless less serious deviations in flight path were addressed routinely and adequately in the months prior to 9/11.
    4. The war in Afghanistan was planned in July and scheduled for October and thus had nothing to do with 9/11.
    5. The policy for U.S. hegemony was also drafted prior to 9/11 and included false flag scenarios that could be used to promote the actions advocated.

Any politician who refuses to tackle these questions is essentially promising more of the same. Whether gutlessness, naivete, or concurrence with the policies dictate the position, all ought to be immediate disqualifications for high office because implied in this positioning is willingness to operate the government for the benefit of arms manufacturers and oil interests rather than the people of the United States and their desire for safety, something better achieved through sound international relations than the type of terrorism we inflict on millions of people every day.

Alternative Energy

In her speech last night, Sarah Palin advocated energy independence, but the way she wants to achieve this is through drilling in Alaska and more nuclear power plants. She provided something less than token support for geothermal power and really "alternative" energy. So, she is an insider who favors those with enormous investments in the status quo even though she spoke against those same interested parties earlier in her talk.

The truth is no one has a good energy program. The first step towards solving our energy crisis is for the government to get out of the way and let the alternative technologies unfold. We are heading for a situation in which we might be the last country in the world to embrace the air car or the water car or serious solar energy. If everyone in the sunshine states would convert, there would be plenty of energy left for those in the north.

If precisely the same amount of effort and money were focused on alternative energy as on pirating the oil from Afghanistan, Iraq, and Iran, we would have a safer world with less pollution and fear. Since this ought to be obvious to every thinking person, we have to ask if those who purport to be leaders can see the obvious or whether they are serving a different master. My hunch is they are entirely beholden to others and therefore traitors to the people of this country.

Death and Destruction

To advocate death to anything or anyone offends Creation. Thus to seek approval for policies that are militant, aggressive, bullying, and bloody is offensive. In reality, there might not be any real difference between the two parties. Besides, our votes might not be counted properly and heaven knows if there will even be an election. This said, I cannot vote for someone whose main claim to fame is that he spent years at the Hanoi Hilton while the rest of world tried to stop the war. Unfortunately, I don't believe the Democrats are offering us nearly enough of an alternative, but practically anything is better than more bloodshed and misery.

Copyright by Ingrid Naiman 2008


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