Wednesday, August 7, 2019

15 reasons why Bernie Sanders is NOT an anti-war candidate

Bernie Sanders might not be a Top Tier warmonger among the likes of George W. Bush, who oversaw a bloodbath in Iraq well-surpassing a million slaughtered human beings, or among the likes of Barack Obama, who entered the White House under the guise of ending "dumb" wars but left office with seven countries actively being bombed. Bernie may also not be a warmonger on a scale equal to Donald Trump, who not only continued - but expanded on - the worst foreign policy decisions of both Bush and Obama. And yet, a warmonger is a warmonger, no matter how small. A lesser evil is still an evil, no matter how lesser. One person killed as a result of a politician's decision to support reckless US foreign policy positions is a person too many, and any politician who supports such decisions is a politician not worth supporting. 

Bernie might not be as bad as the others, he might not be the greatest evil, but there are plenty of reasons why calling him an "anti-war" candidate is flat-out wrong. Bernie's past positions over his very long career have proven time and time again he is hardly afraid to make decisions that needlessly devalue the lives of people around the world.

1. Bernie voted in favor of HR 3107 - Iran and Libya Sanctions Act of 1996, which "imposes sanctions on persons exporting certain goods or technology that would enhance Iran's ability to explore for, extract, refine, or transport by pipeline petroleum resources, and for other purposes."

In 2001, Bernie supported HR 1954, which extended the Iran-Libya Sanctions Act of 1996.

2. In 1993, Bernie voted in support of HR 2446 - Military Construction Fiscal Year 1994 Appropriations Bill, which provided $3.63 billion for military construction.

That same year, he also voted in favor of S J Res 45 - Authorization for Use of US Armed Forces in Somalia, which authorized President Bill Clinton to use US troops in Somalia for the purpose of providing logistical support to the United Nations peacekeeping force.

3. In 1994, Bernie voted in favor of HR 4453 - Military Construction FY95 Appropriations bill, which provided $2.52 billion for military construction.

4. In 1997, Bernie voted for HR 2159 - Foreign Operations FY98 Appropriations bill, which included: $3 billion for Israel, including $1.8 billion in military assistance and $1.2 billion in economic assistance; $2.12 billion for Egypt, including $1.3 billion in military assistance and $815 million in economic assistance; $770 million for former Soviet Republics; and $215 million for international narcotics control and law enforcement.

5. Yes, Bernie voted against the 2003 US invasion of Iraq; however:

In 1998, Bernie's name was included as a YEA vote on HR 4655, the Iraqi Liberation Act of 1998, which expressed the sense of Congress that it should be the aim of the United States to remove Saddam Hussein from power. President George W. Bush later used the Iraqi Liberation Act to provide justification for military action for the 2003 invasion.

In 2003, Bernie supported HR 5010, which provided $355.1 billion in appropriations for the Defense Department for fiscal year 2003 - an increase of $37.5 billion from 2002 - as well as: $71.6 billion for procurement of aircraft, missiles, weapons, combat vehicles and shipbuilding; $7.4 billion for ballistic missile defense; and $58.4 million for foreign aid, which includes humanitarian assistance, foreign disaster relief and de-mining programs.

He also voted in favor of HR 2800 - Foreign Operations Appropriations, FY 2004 bill, which granted $1.8 billion in military and economic assistance to Egypt and $2.2 billion for Israeli military assistance.

In 2004, Bernie supported HR 4613, which allocated $25 billion for emergency defense spending for operations in Iraq and Afghanistan, and $77.4 billion for the procurement of new weapons.

In 2005, Sanders supported HR 2863 - Defense Department FY2006 Appropriations Bill, which provided $50 billion for ongoing operations in Iraq and Afghanistan.

In 2006, Bernie voted for HR 5631, which provided $70 billion for ongoing operations in Iraq and Afghanistan.

In 2007, he supported HR 1585 - National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2008, which granted $187.14 billion for Iraq and Afghanistan operations.

6. In 2009, he voted in favor of HR 2647, which authorized $309 million for research and evaluation, procurement, or deployment of an alternative Missile Defense System in Europe, and also allowed the Secretary of Defense to increase the active-duty number for the US Army to a number greater than otherwise allowed by law up to the 2010 baseline plus 30,000 troops.

7. Bernie called closing the torturous gulag at Guantanamo a "complicated issue" and ultimately rejected a proposal in 2009 to shut it down.

8. Bernie was a staunch supporter of Bill Clinton's 100-day bombing of Yugoslavia and Kosovo in 1999. At the time, Bernie held a town hall meeting where he surrounded himself with sympathetic war supporters. During the question and answer part of the meeting, Sanders yelled at two of the wars most vocal opponents and told them to leave.

9. In 2011, Bernie co-sponsored S. Res. 85, which urged the UN Security Council to take action to "protect civilians" in Libya, including the possible imposition of a no-fly zone over Libyan territory.

10. In 2014, Bernie came out in favor of levying economic sanctions against Russia: "The entire world has got to stand up to Putin. We've got to deal with sanctions."

11. Bernie didn't object to having his name included - by unanimous consent - in S.498, which backed Israel's brutal, summer-long military assault against Gaza in 2014. Similar to what happened at his town hall during Bill Clinton's bombing campaign in Yugoslavia and Kosovo, Bernie was berated by his supporters at a local event for his support of Israel during an exchange that included Sanders screaming at the audience.

12. Upon the passing on life-long warmonger John McCain in 2018, Bernie labeled McCain a "friend", an "American hero", and "a man of decency and honor".

13. Bernie stated in 2014 that he is in favor of airstrikes in Iraq and Syria to "target ISIS" and other terror groups.

14. Bernie continues to accuse Iran of pursuing nuclear weapons, even as Iran denies wanting them, and even as both US and Israeli intelligence agencies conclude Iran isn't pursuing them.

15. Bernie supported Bill Clinton's presidency both times in the 90s, he supported John Kerry in 2004, he supported Barack Obama in both 2008 and 2012, and perhaps worst of all, he supported Hillary Clinton in 2016: "Hillary Clinton will make a great president and I am proud to stand with her today." Bill Clinton, John Kerry, Barack Obama, and Hillary Clinton are as close to the establishment as it gets, and each have been responsible for their own various pro-war positions and policies over the years. The fact that Bernie was willing to endorse any of them should speak volumes.

 ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ...

See also:

Bernie Sanders has endorsed every Democrat running for president since 1996 - Bernie can't be bought, his supporters say, and maybe they're right -- but for the wrong reasons. You can't buy what is already purchased, and Bernie was already purchased a long time ago by one of two branches of the corporate-owned two party system

If Bernie Sanders was against the invasion of Iraq, why did he repeatedly vote to fund it? - He voted against the invasion, but voted to fund the occupation.

Socialists are rejecting Bernie Sanders like libertarians are rejecting Rand Paul - Bernie Sanders is a socialist, Rand Paul is a libertarian, and the moon is made of cheese

21 reasons why Tulsi Gabbard is NOT an anti-war candidate - Here's a simple and fairly comprehensive list of reasons why calling Tulsi "anti-war" doesn't jive with any form of reality

Ocasio-Cortez isn't an outsider - She's just another establishment Democrat in the making - We're expected to believe it will be different this time, but we've heard that before. We've been here before

Trump has chosen to continue all 7 of the wars started under Bush and Obama - Of the seven wars Trump inherited from Bush and Obama, he has chosen to continue every single one of them without exception

Five ways Trump is just another establishment goon upholding the twisted Bush-Obama legacy - Trump repeatedly claimed he wasn't a "career politician" and yet he didn't need more than a year in office to officially become one

There are no "outsider" Republican and Democrat presidential candidates, not even Trump - Trump - supposedly an "outsider" to a system he repeatedly calls rigged - has spent decades aiding and contributing to the system being that way by funneling money to not one party, but both

Republicans and Democrats are George Orwell's worst nightmare - Whatever the Party holds to be the truth, is truth. It is impossible to see reality except by looking through the eyes of the Party

Liar-in-Chief: An integrity analysis of Bush and Obama - Politicians have been mercilessly manipulating the public for decades, long before empty promises of "Hope/Change" and a "humble foreign policy"

 ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ...
Follow The Screeching Kettle on Facebook
Interested in contacting me? Send an email

Sunday, June 30, 2019

21 reasons why Tulsi Gabbard is NOT an anti-war candidate

Tulsi Gabbard pushes "anti-war message" at first Democratic debate, CNN boldly proclaimed in a June 2019 headline. Gabbard is the "most anti-war candidate to come along in decades" - that's the February 2019 headline from the Maui Independent. This junk narrative about Tulsi being a peacenik has been repeated over and over not only in the mainstream media, but also across Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube. 

When will this finally stop? At this point, I've written two articles on Tulsi's hawkish foreign policy views. I reiterated many of those points in a separate article chronicling the laughably idiotic statements made by various candidates at the first Democratic debate. I'm not going to write a lengthy third article about Tulsi's foreign policy - but below, what you will find is a fairly comprehensive list of reasons why calling her "anti-war" simply doesn't jive with any form of reality. 

 ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ...

1. Tulsi has supported economic sanctions against North Korea

2. When asked for her view after the release of the gruesome CIA torture report, Tulsi struggled to give a concise condemnation of their tactics, saying she was "conflicted"

3. She voted for a bill to provide "counter aggression measures" against Iran, Russia, and North Korea

4. She voted to appropriate $600 million to the Syria Train and Equip Fund and $715 million to the Iraq Train and Equip Fund to provide training, equipment, and support for Syria and Iraq under the justification of of "countering ISIS"

5. She criticized Obama in 2015 for not being aggressive enough in Syria, tweeting: "Al-Qaeda attacked us on 9/11 and must be defeated. Obama won't bomb them in Syria. Putin did. #neverforget911" and "Bad enough US has not been bombing al-Qaeda/al-Nusra in Syria. But it's mind boggling that we protest Russia's bombing of these terrorists."

6. Gabbard is against boycott and divestment campaigns that target Israel

7. She continues to push the narrative that Iran is building nuclear weapons, directly in the face of overwhelming evidence to the contrary: "The objective must remain at the forefront: we must work together to prevent a nuclear-armed Iran."

8. When Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu delivered his speech to Congress in March 2015 in an attempt to torpedo the US-Iran nuclear deal, Gabbard attended the speech instead of opting to boycott it like many other politicians chose to do. In 2015, Gabbard addressed the Christians United for Israel summit, and that same year said that the US should remain a strong ally of Israel

9. Tulsi appeared on Fox News in March 2015 for an enlightening interview with Greta Van Sustern. Greta asked Tulsi: "Do you believe that Iran wants a nuclear weapon - no matter what?" Tulsi replied: "Yes." Later into the conversation, Tulsi said she was "cynical" about whether the Iran-US nuclear deal could happen. When Greta asked Tulsi when she expects Iran to have a nuclear weapon, Tulsi said the "break out period" is likely around three months, which is "frighteningly" short.

10. Gabbard was interviewed on Fox News in 2015 and criticized Obama for his unwillingness to use the term "Islamic extremism" when referring to the so-called War on Terror

11. Asked in 2012 by Foreign Policy In Focus whether she thinks the United States would be a more credible advocate for nuclear disarmament if it got rid of its own nuclear weapons, Gabbard replied

"I think we, um … that's a good question. You know, working toward nonproliferation is definitely an objective that we need to continue to pursue. That's a good question. I don't know. I'd have to give that one some thought."

12. She voted to limit funding for the implementation of a new START treaty to reduce US and Russian nukes

13. On the issue in 2012, Gabbard said she thinks it's important to look at how the use of drones in certain scenarios has "saved lives" and how, "when strategically placed and properly used, [drones] are an asset to national security." Gabbard is for "limited" use of drone strikes: "surgical" she calls them, just like Obama.

14. Gabbard supported the 2016 National Defense Authorization Act which called for $300 million to the Secretary of Defense to provide the military and other security forces of the Government of Ukraine with security assistance and intelligence support and another $89.2 billion to the overseas contingency operations fund

15. Gabbard originally backed Bernie Sanders in 2016, but then switched at the last minute and decided to support Hillary Clinton, arguably one of the biggest warhawks in US history

16. In 2004, she voted to authorize funds for operations at Guantanamo Bay, which was well-known (even at the time) for being a disgusting torture camp

17. In 2018, she voted in support of HR 6157, a defense appropriations bill that, aside from stuffing obscene amounts of money into the pockets of the military-industrial complex, prohibited any funds from being used to transfer prisoners from Guantanamo Bay and also prohibited funds from being used to close the camp

18. Following the death of life-long warhawk John McCain, Gabbard joined a shameful chorus in helping to whitewash his legacy of bloodshed, tweeting that McCain "lived his life dedicated to serving our country." 

19. She attended an American Enterprise Institute closed-door event where she shared a space with the likes of Bill Kristol, Dick Cheney, Mike Pence, and Rupert Murdoch

20. She was one of 47 Democrats to join Republicans in passing the SAFE Act in 2015, which would have added extra requirements to the vetting process and nearly halted the admission of Syrian and Iraqi refugees into the US

21. Received campaign cash between 2012-2016 from employees of various defense companies, including Lockheed Martin, Raytheon, Northrop Grumman, and Boeing

Why focus so much on Tulsi when it comes to being a hawk and so little on the other visibly pro-war candidates? Because unlike those other candidates who are honest and open about being soulless warmongers, Tulsi's campaign is being deceptive and masking a pro-war history either behind newer viewpoints or by saying she has "evolved" on older viewpoints. And that's fine: they can call it "evolving" if they want to - but I'll call it what it actually is: more of the same pandering, flip-flopping, lying, deceptive garbage we should all very much expect from Democrats and Republicans, especially during an election.

 ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ...

Update 8/7/2019: Reason #21.5: Tulsi voted in support of a bill that included $738 billion for defense spending. 

 ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ...

See also: 

Tulsi Gabbard opposes "regime change wars" but is a proud "hawk" with War on Terror - Being against "regime change wars" isn't enough to carry around the mantle of being a peace candidate. What I would like to see Tulsi Gabbard do is explain how she expects to successfully fight the War on Terror while either supporting - or being "conflicted" on - US policies that are directly involved in creating more terrorism

Tulsi Gabbard is just another pro-war, pro-corporate establishment hack - Gabbard, like every other Republican and Democrat who has claimed to be a deviation from the norm, is unfortunately, at the end of the day, just another establishment hack

Bernie Sanders has endorsed every Democrat running for president since 1996 - Bernie has always called himself an independent, but his political history of endorsements during each presidential campaign paints a different picture - and a repeating pattern - not of an "outsider" to the corporate-owned, two-party establishment, but a long-time supporter of it

If Bernie Sanders was against the invasion of Iraq, why did he repeatedly vote to fund it? - He voted against the invasion, but voted to fund the occupation

Trump has chosen to continue all 7 of the wars started under Bush and Obama - Of the seven wars Trump inherited from Bush and Obama, he has chosen to continue every single one of them without exception

Trump lied about his views on marijuana before becoming President - just like Obama and Bush - Obama's pot policies - like so many of his other policies - expanded on and became worse than the policies of his predecessor. Unfortunately, it appears Trump is going to expand on and worsen the marijuana policies of both Bush and Obama, effectively laying the groundwork for what could easily become one of the most regressive administrations on the issue to take power in nearly two decades 


Five ways Trump is just another establishment goon upholding the twisted Bush-Obama legacy - Trump repeatedly claimed he wasn't a "career politician" and yet he didn't need more than a year in office to officially become one

The only two facts that actually matter pertaining to "Russiagate" - Trump isn't a tool for Putin. Like the presidents before him and the politicians currently aspiring for his role, he/they are tools for the military industrial complex, oil interests, banks, and other corporations

Republicans and Democrats are George Orwell's worst nightmare - Whatever the Party holds to be the truth, is truth. It is impossible to see reality except by looking through the eyes of the Part

Liar-in-Chief: An integrity analysis of Bush and Obama - Politicians have been mercilessly manipulating the public for decades, long before empty promises of "Hope/Change" and a "humble foreign policy"

 ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ...
Follow The Screeching Kettle on Facebook 
Interested in contacting me? Send an email

Thursday, June 27, 2019

17 of the most ridiculous things said at the first 2020 Democratic debate

The first part of the debate aired on Wednesday, 6/26/2019. Part II aired Thursday, 6/27.

Part I

1. ELIZABETH WARREN SAID"Who is this economy really working for? It's doing great for a thinner and thinner slice at the top. It's doing great for giant drug companies. ... It's doing great for giant oil companies that want to drill everywhere, just not for the rest of us who are watching climate change bear down upon us."

Ironic words coming from Elizabeth Warren given the countless donations she has received from many, many, many individuals tied to big corporations over the course of her career, including employees from Takeda Pharmaceutical Co., Google, Raytheon, Morgan Stanley, Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley, Comcast, and Bonanza Oil.

2. BETO O'ROURKE SAID"We have a system that favors those who can pay for access and outcomes. That's how you explain an economy that is rigged to corporations and to the very wealthiest."

I can easily explain why the economy is rigged in favor of corporations and the wealthy - because politicians like Beto take huge donations from individuals working for major corporations and then hand out favors to those corporations once elected. Individuals from corporations who have supported Beto include IBM, Exxon, Microsoft, and Capital Bank.

3. CORY BOOKER SAID"It is about time that we have an economy that works for everybody, not just the wealthiest in our nation."

Booker took $75,000 from Goldman Sachs employees, $55,000 from JP Morgan employees, and $67,000 from Morgan Stanley employees, all in 2018. If he wants to talk about an economy that works for everybody, maybe he could start by explaining those donations (along with many others) and what those donors are expecting in return from Booker for those donations.

4. TULSI GABBARD SAID"And for too long, our leaders have failed us, taking us from one regime change war to the next, leading us into a new cold war and arms race, costing us trillions of our hard-earned taxpayer dollars and countless lives."

First, on the point of going from "one regime change war" to the next, Tulsi continues to spread the pro-war, pro-regime change narrative that Iran is pursuing nuclear weapons, even though all evidence points to Iran merely pursuing civilian nuclear technology. She has also called for economic sanctions against North Korea - sanctions being an act of war. Additionally, Tulsi is a self-proclaimed "hawk" on the War on Terror. As she has said previously, "This is not a war that we chose, but it is a threat that continues and we cannot just turn our backs and pretend as though it doesn't exist. So when I say that I'm a hawk on fighting against terrorism, it is against these terrorist groups like al-Qaeda and ISIS." Tulsi has made it a clever point to be against "regime change wars" while still supporting the failed War on Terror, a campaign that has created global animosity against the United States. The War on Terror includes drone strikes, many of which have killed innocent civilians; Tulsi supports drone strikes. The War on Terror has also included Guantanamo Bay, which Tulsi has also supported keeping open. Both drone strikes and Guantanamo have been cited as two of the primary driving forces for generating terrorism against the US, which begs the question: how is Tulsi going to fight the War on Terror when she supports policies that literally drive terrorism? 

Second, on Tulsi condemning policies leading the US into a new "cold war" and arms race, here's a question: Why did she vote to limit funding for the implementation of a new START treaty to reduce the nuclear arsenals of the US and Russia? Why did she vote for a bill that provided "counter aggression measures" against not only Iran and North Korea, but Russia as well? You can't say you're against the implementation of a new "cold war" if your voting record shows support for policies that have helped instigate exactly that. 

5. CORY BOOKER SAID"There are too many people profiteering off of the pain of people in America, from pharmaceutical companies to insurers."

And yet in 2014, Booker received $328,000 in campaign donations from the "pharmaceutical and health products" industry, according to Open Secrets.

6. TIM RYAN SAID"If you go to Guantanamo Bay, there are terrorists that are held that get better health care than those kids that have tried to cross the border in the United States."

First, calling those held at Guantanamo "terrorists" when not a single one of them has actually been tried, charged, or presented with any kind of evidence, seems a bit disingenuous.

Second, it was only this week that the Center for Victims of Torture and Physicians for Human Rights released a report detailing widespread medical deficiencies at Guantanamo such as denial of care, patient distrust of medical professionals due to a history of medical complicity in torture, patient neglect, rapid rotation of medical professionals in and out of Guantanamo causing discontinuity of care, and denial to detainees of access to their own medical records. 

7. TULSI GABBARD SAID: "There are issues, like their missile development, that needs to be addressed. We can do both simultaneously to prevent Iran from developing a nuclear weapon and preventing us from going to war."

Iran has stated repeatedly it has no interest in building nuclear weapons. Iran complied with the nuclear deal, even after Trump scrapped it. Stating that Iran is attempting to build nuclear weapons is not preventing war - it is setting the stage for it by pushing dishonest, pro-war propaganda.

8. BETO O'ROURKE SAID"When the United States presents a united front, we have a much better chance of achieving our foreign policy aims and preventing the kind of genocide to which you refer, the kind of genocide that we saw in Rwanda, the kind of genocide we want to stop going forward."

Because the US has a great record when it comes to intervening in foreign countries to spread stability and prevent genocide. Examples include:

 Iraq, where upwards of 100,000 civilians were killed due to the 2003 US invasion, where birth defects from US munitions rival mutations seen after the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, and where suicide bombings and routine chaos are still the norm in 2019.

Libya, where ousting Muammar Gaddafi has led to rampant exploitation by international oil companies and the return of slave markets

And Yemen, which is undergoing the "worst humanitarian crisis in the world" according to the UN. Here, the US is actively participating in prolonging this crisis through direct support to its perpetrator - Saudi Arabia - as it fuels their planes, supplies their weapons, and funnels untold amounts of money into the collective wallets of an immensely repressive government. 

9. TULSI GABBARD SAID"The greatest threat that we face is the fact that we're in a greater risk of nuclear war today than ever before in history."

Perhaps voting to limit funding for the implementation of a new START treaty between the US and Russia to reduce their nuclear arsenals wasn't a wise choice if Tulsi believes this.  

10. JOHN DELANEY, AMY KLOBUCHAR, JULIAN CASTRO, TIM RYAN SAIDThe greatest geopolitical threat to the US is China. 

MSNBC asked the candidates what the greatest geopolitical threat to the United States was and asked them to answer in one word. Four candidates chose China, another chose Russia (DeBlasio), and we are left with no explanation as to why these answers were chosen because MSNBC had to rush off to the next Very Important Question, which was about the Mueller Report. Nevermind that five possible presidential candidates just named two nuclear superpowers as the "greatest geopolitical threat" to the United States - let's quickly change topics and spend even more airtime on a discredited, over-hyped, non-story regarding the Mueller investigation. 

It's worth noting that while the US continues building up its military along Russia's borders, Russia's military spending has actually decreased by 3.5% from 2017, and while the US spent $649 billion in 2018 on its military, China only spent $250 billion. The US military also continues its gradual encirclement of China.

Part II

11. BERNIE SANDERS SAID: "The issue is, who has the guts to take on Wall Street, to take on the fossil fuel industry, to take on the big money interests who have unbelievable influence over the economic and political life of this country?"

Who has the guts to take on Wall Street? The answer must be Hillary Clinton, since Bernie sold his soul and endorsed her even though she has basically built her entire political career acting as a spokesperson for Wall Street.

12. KIRSTEN GILLIBRAND SAID: "Well, one of the worst things about President Trump that he's done to this country is he's torn apart the moral fabric of who we are. When he started separating children at the border from their parents, the fact that seven children have died in his custody, the fact that dozens of children have been separated from their parents and they have no plan to reunite them."

When Trump took office, the Obama administration was bombing at least 7 countries. The Obama administration used a drone to murder a 16 year old US citizen and his father. The Obama administration prosecuted a record number of whistleblowers attempting to expose government corruption, it force-fed inmates at Guantanamo Bay (and also failed to close the camp), it oversaw a massive spying program that targeted both the US and the rest of the world, it pandered to corporate interests, and worst of all, it pardoned Bush administration officials complicit in human rights abuses.

The Obama administration also deported at least 2.5 million immigrants, and even locked some of them in cages - just like the Trump administration.

The moral fiber of this country wasn't in great shape when Trump took office, and while he has done nothing to make things better, it didn't start with him.

13. JOE BIDEN SAID: "President Obama did a heck of a job. To compare him to what this guy is doing is immoral."

Biden, who was VP during the Obama administration, doesn't think it's accurate to compare the Obama administration to the Trump administration, perhaps because somewhere deep down inside he actually knows how similar both administrations really are.

These similarities include: Trump's continuation of Obama's drone war, Trump continuing to bomb the same 7 countries Obama bombed, Trump continuing mass deportations of immigrants - like Obama, Trump keeping Guantanamo Bay open - as Obama did, Trump continuing Obama's mass surveillance programs, Trump killing US citizens abroad - as Obama did, Trump pandering to corporate interests - as Obama did, Trump continuing to push the US closer to war with Iran - as Obama did (through economic sanctions and cyber attacks, which are hardly balanced by the Iran nuclear deal), Trump continuing the US occupation of Afghanistan - as Obama did, Trump continuing to provoke Russia and China - as Obama did, Trump continuing the failed "War on Drugs" - as Obama did, and many other reasons.

14. ANDREW YANG SAID: "I just want to agree that I think Russia is our greatest geopolitical threat, because they have been hacking our democracy successfully and they've been laughing their asses off about it for the last couple of years. So we should focus on that before we start worrying about other threats."

Russia has reduced military spending and US military spending continues to dwarf theirs (and the rest of the world), Russia is increasingly surrounded militarily along its borders by the US military and its allies, and there's still no evidence that Russia "hacked our democracy" to any degree that made a difference in what essentially almost always amounts to nothing more than a choice between a blue turd or a red turd.

Also, most of the world - when polled time and time again - doesn't see Russia as the greatest threat to world peace, but the United States.

15. KIRSTEN GILLIBRAND SAID: "I have the most comprehensive approach, that experts agree is the most transformative plan to actually take on political corruption, to get money out of politics through publicly funded elections, to have clean elections."

The list of top individual contributors to Gillibrand working for various corporations includes:
16. BERNIE SANDERS SAID: "One of the differences -- one of the differences that Joe and I have in our record is Joe voted for that war, I helped lead the opposition to that war, which was a total disaster."

Bernie voted against the initial US invasion of Iraq, yet repeatedly voted to fund the invasion and occupation once it was underway.

In 2003, Bernie supported HR 5010, which provided $355.1 billion in appropriations for the Defense Department for fiscal year 2003 - an increase of $37.5 billion from 2002 - as well as: $71.6 billion for procurement of aircraft, missiles, weapons, combat vehicles and shipbuilding.

He also voted in favor of HR 2800 - Foreign Operations Appropriations, FY 2004 bill, which granted $1.8 billion in military and economic assistance to Egypt and $2.2 billion for Israeli military assistance.

In 2004, Bernie supported HR 4613, which allocated $25 billion for emergency defense spending for operations in Iraq and Afghanistan, and $77.4 billion for the procurement of new weapons.

In 2005, Sanders supported HR 2863 - Defense Department FY2006 Appropriations Bill, which provided $50 billion for ongoing operations in Iraq and Afghanistan.

In 2006, Bernie voted for HR 5631, which provided $70 billion for ongoing operations in Iraq and Afghanistan.

In 2007, he supported HR 1585 - National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2008, which granted $187.14 billion for Iraq and Afghanistan operations.

In 2009, he voted in favor of HR 2647, which authorized $309 million for research and evaluation, procurement, or deployment of an alternative Missile Defense System in Europe, and also allowed the Secretary of Defense to increase the active-duty number for the US Army to a number greater than otherwise allowed by law up to the 2010 baseline plus 30,000 troops.

17. KAMALA HARRIS SAID: "But on the secure communities issue, I was attorney general of California. I led the second-largest Department of Justice in the United States, second only to the United States Department of Justice, in a state of 40 million people."

While Kamala led the "second largest" Department of Justice in the US, she used her time in that position to do things like oppose a bill requiring her office to investigate officer involved shootings, expand California's civil forfeiture policies and oppose a ballot measure that would limit the state's "three strikes" law allowing life sentences for non-violent crimes, refuse to support statewide standards regulating the use of police body cameras, and once said that the left "has to get over its bias against law enforcement."

Harris also openly supported keeping the death penalty.

 ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ...

See also: 

21 reasons why Tulsi Gabbard is NOT an anti-war candidate - Unlike those other candidates who are honest and open about being soulless warmongers, Tulsi's campaign is being deceptive and masking a pro-war history

Bernie Sanders has endorsed every Democrat running for president since 1996 - Bernie has always called himself an independent, but his political history of endorsements during each presidential campaign paints a different picture - and a repeating pattern - not of an "outsider" to the corporate-owned, two-party establishment, but a long-time supporter of it

If Bernie Sanders was against the invasion of Iraq, why did he repeatedly vote to fund it? - He voted against the invasion, but voted to fund the occupation

Tulsi Gabbard is just another pro-war, pro-corporate establishment hack - Gabbard, like every other Republican and Democrat who has claimed to be a deviation from the norm, is unfortunately, at the end of the day, just another establishment hack

Trump has chosen to continue all 7 of the wars started under Bush and Obama - Of the seven wars Trump inherited from Bush and Obama, he has chosen to continue every single one of them without exception

Trump lied about his views on marijuana before becoming President - just like Obama and Bush - Obama's pot policies - like so many of his other policies - expanded on and became worse than the policies of his predecessor. Unfortunately, it appears Trump is going to expand on and worsen the marijuana policies of both Bush and Obama, effectively laying the groundwork for what could easily become one of the most regressive administrations on the issue to take power in nearly two decades 


Five ways Trump is just another establishment goon upholding the twisted Bush-Obama legacy - Trump repeatedly claimed he wasn't a "career politician" and yet he didn't need more than a year in office to officially become one

The only two facts that actually matter pertaining to "Russiagate" - Trump isn't a tool for Putin. Like the presidents before him and the politicians currently aspiring for his role, he/they are tools for the military industrial complex, oil interests, banks, and other corporations

Republicans and Democrats are George Orwell's worst nightmare - Whatever the Party holds to be the truth, is truth. It is impossible to see reality except by looking through the eyes of the Part

Liar-in-Chief: An integrity analysis of Bush and Obama - Politicians have been mercilessly manipulating the public for decades, long before empty promises of "Hope/Change" and a "humble foreign policy"

 ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ...
Follow The Screeching Kettle on Facebook 
Interested in contacting me? Send an email

Saturday, May 18, 2019

Bernie Sanders has endorsed every Democrat running for president since 1996


Bernie has always called himself an independent, but his political history of endorsements during each presidential campaign paints a different picture - and a repeating pattern - not of an "outsider" to the corporate-owned, two-party establishment, but a long-time supporter of it. 

1996 Election: "Without enthusiasm, I've decided to support Bill Clinton for president. Perhaps 'support' is too strong a word. I'm planning no press conferences to push his candidacy, and will do no campaigning for him. I will vote for him, and make that public. Why? I think that many people do not perceive how truly dangerous the political situation in this country is today."

2000 Election: From The Washington Post, 8/27/15: "Once, in 2000, Sanders introduced Nader at a speech in Vermont. Nader, he said, was 'an old-fashioned guy who believes that maybe the ordinary people should be running this country rather than the multinational corporations.' But Sanders endorsed Vice President Al Gore over Nader."

2004 Election: "Not only am I going to vote for John Kerry, I am going to run around this country and do everything I can to dissuade people from voting for Ralph Nader ... I am going to do everything I can, while I have differences with John Kerry, to make sure that he is elected."

2008 & 2012 Election: "In 2006 when I ran for the Senate, Senator Barack Obama was kind enough to campaign for me. In 2008, I did my best to see that he was elected and in 2012, I worked as hard as I could to see that he was reelected. He and I are friends. We've worked together on many issues. We have some differences of opinion."

2016 Election: "I have come here to make it as clear as possible why I am endorsing Hillary Clinton and why she must become our next president. Secretary Clinton has won the Democratic nomination and I congratulate her for that."

2020 Election: "Joe Biden is a friend of mine. Joe and I disagree on many, many major issues. I look forward to an issue-oriented campaign. But this I am confident of: at the end of the Democratic primary, whether I win, or whether anybody else wins, we are going to see Democrats come together to defeat the most dangerous president in the modern history of this country."

Bill Clinton, Al Gore, John Kerry, Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton, and now... Joe Biden? Bernie has endorsed every Democrat running for president since 1996, even after often admitting that their policies contradict his beliefs. This, we are told, is our independent outsider to the establishment?

Bernie can't be bought, his supporters say, and maybe they're right -- but for the wrong reasons. You can't buy what is already purchased, and Bernie was already purchased a long time ago by one of two branches of the corporate-owned two party system. Since then, he has actively fought to keep Democrats -- and by default, the status quo -- in power. 

 ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ...

See also:


If Bernie Sanders was against the invasion of Iraq, why did he repeatedly vote to fund it? - He voted against the invasion, but voted to fund the occupation.


Socialists are rejecting Bernie Sanders like libertarians are rejecting Rand Paul - Bernie Sanders is a socialist, Rand Paul is a libertarian, and the moon is made of cheese

Tulsi Gabbard is just another pro-war, pro-corporate establishment hack - Gabbard, like every other Republican and Democrat who has claimed to be a deviation from the norm, is unfortunately, at the end of the day, just another establishment hack


Ocasio-Cortez isn't an outsider - She's just another establishment Democrat in the making - We're expected to believe it will be different this time, but we've heard that before. We've been here before

Trump has chosen to continue all 7 of the wars started under Bush and Obama - Of the seven wars Trump inherited from Bush and Obama, he has chosen to continue every single one of them without exception



Five ways Trump is just another establishment goon upholding the twisted Bush-Obama legacy - Trump repeatedly claimed he wasn't a "career politician" and yet he didn't need more than a year in office to officially become one

There are no "outsider" Republican and Democrat presidential candidates, not even Trump - Trump - supposedly an "outsider" to a system he repeatedly calls rigged - has spent decades aiding and contributing to the system being that way by funneling money to not one party, but both

Republicans and Democrats are George Orwell's worst nightmare - Whatever the Party holds to be the truth, is truth. It is impossible to see reality except by looking through the eyes of the Party

Liar-in-Chief: An integrity analysis of Bush and Obama - Politicians have been mercilessly manipulating the public for decades, long before empty promises of "Hope/Change" and a "humble foreign policy"

 ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ...
Follow The Screeching Kettle on Facebook
Interested in contacting me? Send an email

Saturday, May 11, 2019

Tulsi Gabbard opposes "regime change wars" but is a proud "hawk" with War on Terror

Ever since Tulsi Gabbard announced she was running for president in the 2020 election, I have been immensely skeptical of her "anti-war" credentials. Aside from problematic past views, also concerning is Tulsi Gabbard's repeated use of the phrase "regime change wars", which has been picked up and echoed by her various supporters. This phrase has seemingly hijacked the narrative in anti-war circles; now it's not so much about ending "the wars" but instead, about ending "regime change wars". This distinction has raised some questions in my mind, specifically regarding whether Tulsi only strictly opposes "regime change wars" or if she opposes both regime change wars along with various aspects of the post-9/11 War on Terror. 

Enter Glenn Greenwald, and his May 2019 interview with Tulsi Gabbard. At long last, the sweet relief of clarification:

GREENWALD: Tell me if you could please the sense in which you describe yourself as a hawk. Do you support the prongs of the War on Terror that haven't been about regime change but have been things about drone assassination, even of American citizens, about Guantanamo - what is your hawkishness when it comes to the War on Terror?

GABBARD: Al-Qaeda attacked us on 9/11, killing thousands of Americans. We have continued to see that threat posed by terrorist groups like al-Qaeda and ISIS. This is not a war that we chose, but it is a threat that continues and we cannot just turn our backs and pretend as though it doesn't exist. So when I say that I'm a hawk on fighting against terrorism, it is against these terrorist groups like al-Qaeda and ISIS. Our national security is important; keeping the American people safe is the number one job that the president has.

First, to answer Glenn's question about Tulsi's position on drone strikes and Guantanamo Bay, since Tulsi didn't bother:

On drones, yes, she supports "limited" drone strikes against terror groups inside other countries. By her definition, this wouldn't count as a "regime change war" but it could still very possibly be a violation of another country's sovereignty, along with a major recruiting tool for terror groups. (More on that later)

In 2012, Tulsi said she opposes drone strikes against US citizens domestically, and while she has a negative view of civilian casualties abroad from drone strikes, she believes the "use of drones in certain scenarios has saved lives [... and] when strategically placed and properly used, [drones] are an asset to national security."

In 2013, she released a carefully worded statement outlining her opposition to drone strikes against American citizens, as long as it's not on US soil: "I applaud the [Obama] administration for clarifying that drone strikes on non-combatant American citizens on US soil are not and will not be authorized." (This does nothing to address the fact that American citizens have been killed at least three times between Obama and Trump off US soil)

On Guantanamo, Tulsi's record is very clear: she supports keeping it open, and keeping those imprisoned at the camp there indefinitely.

When the Obama administration released five high-ranking members of the Taliban from Guantanamo in 2014 (who had been held without charges), Tulsi issued a statement referring to them as "terrorist leaders". She claimed that "recent events" in the Middle East make it "painfully clear" that our "war with Muslim extremists" is far from over, adding that they are supposedly "more powerful and dangerous today than ever" and that "the freeing of five high-level Muslim extremists was short-sighted and further evidence that our leaders have forgotten that we are at war and who the enemy is." (In 2019, the New York Times reported that the "Taliban Five" have been instrumental in peace talks with the US)

That same year, Tulsi voted in support of a bill that would authorize funds to be used for operations at Guantanamo Bay.

In 2018, she voted in support of HR 6157, a defense appropriations bill that, aside from stuffing obscene amounts of money into the pockets of the military-industrial complex, prohibited any funds from being used to transfer prisoners from Guantanamo Bay and also prohibited funds from being used to close the camp.

The irony of Tulsi Gabbard being supportive of both drone strikes and keeping Guantanamo Bay open is that these are literally two of the biggest drivers of anti-American terrorism across the world.

For example, the perpetrator of the failed 2010 Times Square car bomb attack, Faisal Shahzad, was asked what his motives were for trying to kill innocent people, including children. "When the drones [in Pakistan] hit, they don't see children," he replied. "I am part of the answer to the US killing the Muslim people." Children in Pakistan are so terrified of drones that they would rather stay home than risk going out into the streets to make the trip to school, as mentioned in a landmark, must-read report by researchers at Stanford and NYU called Living Under Drones. Large gatherings for celebrations, funerals, and weddings in Pakistan have also become a thing of the past, since these types of events can be prime targets for aerial strikes. Between January 2012 and February 2013, US special operations airstrikes killed more than 200 people, and of those, only 35 were the intended targets. During one five-month period, nearly 90 percent of the people killed in airstrikes were not the intended targets.

In 2015, four ex-US air force service members with more than 20 years of experience between them operating military drones wrote an open letter to then-President Obama warning of the drone program creating more - not less - terrorism. The killing of innocent civilians in drone airstrikes has acted as one of the most "devastating driving forces for terrorism and destabilization" around the world: "We cannot sit silently by and witness tragedies like the attacks in Paris, knowing the devastating effects the drone program has overseas and at home." Drones strikes, they said, are fueling "the feelings of hatred" that ignited groups like ISIS, while also serving as a "fundamental recruitment tool similar to Guantanamo Bay."

And speaking of Guantanamo Bay, it hasn't been much of a secret that the camp is a den of jackals with a fetish for torturing inmates - many of them completely cleared of charges yet still stuck in limbo. The American Civil Liberties Union once called Guantanamo a "perverse laboratory" for brutal interrogation methods, where prisoners have been subjected to "beatings, sleep deprivation, stress positions, extreme temperatures and prolonged isolation." Guantanamo Bay also once housed a separate compound known as "Camp Iguana", which was initially designed to hold detainees aged 16 and under.

Given Guantanamo's record, it should come as little surprise that the camp has been a huge motivator for terrorism against the US. In 2010, al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula released the first issue of Inspire, their English language recruitment magazine, and Guantanamo Bay has been featured prominently in several issues.

Even high-ranking US officials know that Gitmo is creating more terrorists. US Air Force Officer Matthew Alexander said that the longer Guantanamo stays open, the "more cost it will have" in US lives. John Brennan, former CIA Director, said that the US will be "more secure" the day the prison is finally closed. Colin Powel once pointed out that Guantanamo gives "radicals an opportunity to say, you see, this is what America is all about. They're all about torture and detention centers." Joe Biden once called Guantanamo Bay the "greatest propaganda tool that exists for recruiting of terrorists" around the world.

In light of the aforementioned, here we have Tulsi Gabbard, a self-proclaimed "hawk" when it comes to the War on Terror, ironically supporting drone strikes and keeping Gitmo open - two of the very things that are fueling anti-US terrorism. Adding to this, Tulsi has also supported Benjamin Netanyahu's Israel, another generator of terrorism against the US given its routine atrocities in Palestine. Moreover, on the issue of torture, yet another major driver of terrorism, Tulsi said in 2014 that her opinion was "conflicted" regarding the CIA torture report, which detailed US actions against detainees such as beatings, mock executions, use of insects, sleep deprivation, hours of forced standing, music torture, rectal rehydration, waterboarding, diaper wearing, threats of violence against family members, and so on.

Being against "regime change wars" isn't enough to carry around the mantle of being a peace candidate. What I would like to see Tulsi Gabbard do is explain how she expects to successfully fight the War on Terror while either supporting - or being "conflicted" on - US policies that are directly involved in creating more terrorism.

... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ...


See also:


Tulsi Gabbard is just another pro-war, pro-corporate establishment hack - Gabbard, like every other Republican and Democrat who has claimed to be a deviation from the norm, is unfortunately, at the end of the day, just another establishment hack

Why the War on Terror guarantees more terrorism and perpetual warfare - Who'd have ever thought that killing innocent people pisses off their friends and families and makes them want to attack the perpetrators? Truly shocking

Trump has chosen to continue all 7 of the wars started under Bush and Obama - Of the seven wars Trump inherited from Bush and Obama, he has chosen to continue every single one of them without exception

Democrats lost the moral high ground after they ignored Obama's transformation into Bush - Kill lists, defense of torture, mass surveillance, US citizens being picked off by drone missiles, the continued buildup of a vast empire - none of it prompted thousands upon thousands of American Democrats to fill cities across the US in a fit of anger because at the time, their chosen political racehorse was in Washington

Republicans and Democrats are George Orwell's worst nightmare - Whatever the Party holds to be the truth, is truth. It is impossible to see reality except by looking through the eyes of the Party

Five ways Trump is just another establishment goon upholding the twisted Bush-Obama legacy - Trump repeatedly claimed he wasn't a "career politician" and yet he didn't need more than a year in office to officially become one

Liar-in-Chief: An integrity analysis of Bush and Obama - Politicians have been mercilessly manipulating the public for decades, long before empty promises of "Hope/Change" and a "humble foreign policy"

 ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ...
Follow The Screeching Kettle on Facebook
Interested in contacting me? Send an email