By William Douglas
March 10, 2010
WASHINGTON — The House of Representatives rejected a resolution Wednesday that called on President Barack Obama to withdraw U.S. troops from Afghanistan by year’s end.
However, the 65 to 356 vote highlighted the willingness of liberal Democrats to abandon the president on a major issue even as important votes loom on health care, and signaled that many in his party are weary of waging war.
Adelaide is Australia’s festival city. Its arts festival is currently in swing. Polite debate, aesthetics and high-octane wine are putting the world to rights. With one exception. Adelaide is where Rupert Murdoch began his empire. The voracious trail starts here. No statue stands; his is a spectral presence, controlling the only daily newspaper, even the printing presses. Across Australia, he owns almost 70 per cent of the capital city press and the only national newspaper, and Sky Television, and much else. Welcome to the world’s first murdochracy.
What is a murdochracy? It is where the fealty and augmentation of Murdoch’s editors and managers are undisguised, an inspiration to his choir on seven continents, where even his competitors sing along and wise politicians heed the Murdochism: “What’ll it be? A headline a day or a bucket of shit a day?”
Enough is enough. This nation has gone so far beyond the rule of law and reason that it is almost impossible to know where to start to bring in order to right all of the terrible wrongs we have perpetrated in the last fifty years. We have seen the American military machine wreck havoc in Iraq and Afghanistan. We not only occupied Iraq, but we have poisoned the soil and made the place uninhabitable because of our use of depleted uranium in our munitions. We can deny that depleted uranium is harmless, but the facts coming in about the deformed babies being born in Iraq says otherwise. We must all come to the conclusion that not only was the invasion of Iraq a crime against humanity, but turning Iraq, Afghanistan and the former Yugoslavia into a radioactive wasteland are even larger crimes against humanity.
What most jeopardizes every American, curiously enough, is wholly within our control. 100%. Better still, substantial solutions are affordable, may be sequenced, and every dollar stays home – a bargain at half the cost of endless Iraq. Vs. killing machines, we just have to value rationality and intellectual capital, “national resources” more put upon than compromised farmland, rivers, clean air or water. Echoing the Cold War on missiles, we have a Reason Gap.
Yet this galactic, infrastructure task – to revitalize education and discovery from top to bottom – remains invisible, off the media radar. In the real world, there’s nary more from the Obama crew, beside reversing stem cell and a modicum for alternative energy.
Gérard Duménil: Cutting wages and social spending will make the crisis worse
Dr. Duménil is one of the world’s foremost theorists of neoliberalism and economic crisis and is the author of numerous influential books, many of which have been translated into several languages. These include Capital Resurgent: Roots of the Neoliberal Revolution (2004) and his forthcoming The Crisis of Neoliberalism: from the subprime to the great contraction.
Congress has the power to end the Afghanistan war with a majority vote of both houses. The House is expected to vote Wednesday on a bill requiring all U.S. armed forces to be withdrawn from Afghanistan by the end of the year.
Call your House representative and tell him or her to vote YES on H. Con. Res. 248! Congressional Switchboard: 202-224-3121