“President Dennis Kucinich” Interviewed by Michael O’McCarthy and Jennifer Lynne Ziemann

Dandelion Salad

by Michael O’McCarthy and Jennifer Lynne Ziemann
LA Free Press

The concert audience of over 1,800 fans in the Thomas Wolfe auditorium Asheville, North Carolina, was stoked. They’d come to see Ani DiFranco, but when Democratic Presidential Candidate Dennis Kucinich came on stage just before her set, the audience stood and roared.

As Kucinich talked about a “Department of Peace” for foreign and domestic policy, the crowd went crazy as if he were a rock star, cheering even louder when he called for an end to unfair economic exploitation of third world people and resources. He was clearly one of the most humane and deeply spiritual presidential candidates this country has ever seen. We spoke to him after the concert.

LA FREE PRESS: Tonight’s audience loved you. How do you convert that fervor and that movement into a voting block for you?

KUCINICH: From a practical standpoint, we signed up several hundred volunteers tonight, and many more who did not sign up will go to our website and join the effort. The people will help us work the internet and do research for us and set up rallies and become not just a part of this campaign but a movement to take this country in another direction. Ani attracts that kind of energy.

LA FREE PRESS: Your impeachment of Cheney has expanded to impeachment of Bush and Cheney. How do you see that playing out? Do you think there will be hearings or actual charges?

KUCINICH: I think there will be hearings because the American people are demanding them. The idea of Democratic leaders saying that impeachment is off the table is not where the American people are. The House of Representatives is the people‘s house, it does not belong to the Congress. Congress must assert itself as a political branch of government. To say that impeachment is off the table when there are manifest crimes that have been committed is to nullify a section of the Constitution and to obliterate the one mechanism which exists in the Constitution to correct abuses of power by the Executive.
This is a very serious matter and a profound principle of constitutional government checks and balances. The minute that Congress says under no circumstances will there be an impeachment, you not only forgo accountability in the part of the Executive but you license further abuses. It is a very dangerous thing for our leadership to have said that.
You know I am a Democrat, but my love for my country is above my love for my party, so my country is in trouble right now and I brought those articles forward in response to a deep and heartfelt concern about the direction America is going, particularly in respect to an impending attack against Iran.


h/t: After Downing Street

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Dennis Kucinich and Ani DiFranco in Boston (video)

Musharraf Plays Bush for a Fool by Prof. Marjorie Cohn

Dandelion Salad

by Prof. Marjorie Cohn
Global Research, November 20, 2007

Pakistan ‘s President General Pervez Musharraf declared a state of emergency on November 3rd after the Pakistani Supreme Court indicated it would overturn the results of an illegitimate election that would have extended Musharraf’s term as president. Musharraf quickly fired the Supreme Court justices who planned to rule against him. And his declaration of emergency attacked the entire population of Pakistan by suspending fundamental constitutional rights to life and liberty, freedom of speech, assembly and association, and equal protection of the law.

As a result of Musharraf’s action, Pakistani Chief Justice Iftikhar Mohammed Chaudhry is being held under house arrest, and over 2500 lawyers in different parts of Pakistan have been detained. The detainees include the President of the Supreme Court Bar Association and officials of the Democratic Lawyers Association of Pakistan. The government also ordered that journalists who brought “ridicule or disrepute” to Musharraf could face three years in prison.

The real motivation for Musharraf’s declared emergency is not to defend the country against “Islamic extremists,” as he claims, but to maintain Musharraf in power. He acted to prevent public protests that lawyers and political parties were organizing. And his scheme is working. Musharraf’s new brand-new, hand-picked Supreme Court ruled on Monday that Musharraf can remain in power for five more years.

Meanwhile, the Bush Administration is scurrying around in damage control mode. Musharraf’s actions would be very embarrassing for Bush — if Bush were the type of guy to get embarrassed. After all, Bush has been claiming for the past several years that he wants to spread democracy throughout the Islamic world. Somehow, Musharraf’s declared state of emergency, followed by mass arrests of his political opponents, doesn’t seem very democratic.

Bush dispatched Deputy Secretary of State John Negroponte to Pakistan to talk sense to Musharraf. Negroponte urged Musharraf to end the state of emergency. But Bush’s man didn’t complain about Musharraf shutting down the Supreme Court and replacing it with his loyalists. Negroponte also failed to tell Musharraf to release the judges and lawyers from prison. So much for democracy and an independent judiciary.

The recipient of nearly $11 billion of U.S. aid since 9/11, Musharraf will cover for his benefactor Bush to keep him from losing face in light of the Pakistani strongman’s blatant and tyrannical power grab. Musharraf has agreed that parliamentary elections scheduled for January will proceed and that he will take off his military uniform after the sham elections are held. Of course, Musharraf’s jailed political opponents will likely find it difficult to campaign effectively for seats in parliament while incarcerated under a state of martial law.

American citizens whose tax dollars are being used to prop up this ruthless and corrupt regime should demand an accounting of how their money is being spent.

Bush claims that Musharraf is an indispensable ally in his “war against terror,” and that money sent to Pakistan supports that goal. It appears from my vantage point, though, that Musharraf is playing Bush for a fool. Musharraf tells Bush he will help destroy the Taliban. However, Pakistani Professor Pervez Hoodbhoy wrote in the November 18 Los Angeles Times that some people in Pakistan believe Musharraf is “secretly supporting the Taliban as a means for countering Indian influence.” Moreover, if Musharraf wants to regain and maintain support of the Pakistani people, he will continue to support the Taliban. Hoodbhoy also wrote, “Most Pakistanis see the [Taliban] as America ‘s enemy, not their own. The Taliban is perceived as the only group standing up against the unwelcome American presence in the region.” According to Hoodbhoy, “For more than 25 years, the army has nurtured Islamist radicals as proxy warriors for covert operations on Pakistan ‘s borders in Kashmir and Afghanistan .”

Hoodbhoy’s remarks are corroborated by Adrien Levy, co-author of “Deception: Pakistan , the United States and the Global Nuclear Weapons Conspiracy.” Levy told Amy Goodman on Democracy Now!, “The [Musharraf] agenda is to destabilize Afghanistan , to create a government there which is favorable to Islamabad . These are goals which are actually contrary to the goals – very largely contrary to the goals of the West. Yet,” Levy, said, “this slowly moving car crash of the U.S. pumping billions of untraceable cash into the Pakistan military has continued since 2001 and we’re left with the position where Pakistan is devoid of democracy, democracy is weakened and feeble, and we have just increased instability, quite honestly.”

If Congress stands by and does nothing to cut off the funds to Musharraf while he maintains martial law in Pakistan , it will confirm our worst fears that Democrats and Republicans alike are making a sham of our democracy.

Marjorie Cohn is a professor at Thomas Jefferson School of Law and the President of the National Lawyers Guild. She is the author of Cowboy Republic: Six Ways the Bush Gang Has Defied the Law. Her columns are archived at www.marjoriecohn.com.

Marjorie Cohn is a frequent contributor to Global Research. Global Research Articles by Marjorie Cohn
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How the US Helped Pakistan Build Its Nuclear Arsenal (videos)


Dandelion Salad


From DN: “The New York Times revealing that the U.S. is proposing to start arming Pakistani tribes in an effort to fight against Al Qaeda and the Taliban. If adopted, the proposal would likely expand the presence of U.S. military troops in Pakistan and directly finance a tribal paramilitary force. The proposal is modeled in part on a similar effort by American forces in Anbar Province in Iraq. An estimated $350 million would be needed to train and arm the paramilitary force known as the Frontier Corps. Meanwhile Pakistan’s military leader General Pervez Musharraf is still refusing to lift martial law.”

Amy Goodman interviews Adrian Levy who in his new book Deception: Pakistan, the United States, and the Secret Trade in Nuclear Weapons which examines how five consecutive US administrations from Jimmy Carter to George W. Bush have been complicit in building and protecting Pakistan’s nuclear arsenal.

Added: November 19, 2007