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This Is What Democracy Looks Like

Today's Note From a Madman

May 21, 2008


Diplomacy and Silence

Silence and war versus diplomacy and peace have become our choices come this November. For the past two days Republican presidential nominee has been barraging the probable Democratic nominee, Barack Obama, with accusations of inexperience and naivetť in regards to his willingness to open up dialogues with our George Bush-stated enemies in Iran, Cuba, North Korea and any other nation which he could exploit for political gain.

McCain believes his chances lie solely on aligning himself with his would-be predecessor George Bush, while at the same time says that Bush was wrong and things need to change. Only a Bushie could talk about change while keeping the status quo and "the Maverick" has become one of "them".

"Carter went over and kissed Brezhnev, remember? So it's dangerous; it's dangerous to American national security if you sit down and give respect and prestige to leaders of countries that are bent on your destruction or the destruction of other countries. I won't do it, my friends."
-McCain to a mostly Cuban-American (and Republican) audience in Miami

McCain wishes to bring about a brand new Cold War to help him win come this November. Certainly he feels the need to rile up the Cuban-American population in South Florida to do it, so in this attempt he is aligning the Communist (for now) government of Cuba with Iran.

Quite a jump, huh?

Forget the fact that Obama has said he would speak with the likes of Iran, North Korea and other Bush-labeled "Axis of Evil" states only if certain criteria were met; McCain needs something to attack, so why not make it up?

If recent history tells us anything, it tells us that diplomacy is better than turning a cold shoulder towards one's foe. Even Ronald Reagan, in his own, bizarre way, knew that. He negotiated with Iran right after (and many believe before) the hostage crisis to supply arms to the Contras in opposition to Communist Nicaragua.

And if Ronald Reagan did it, it must be right, right?

Diplomacy has given us victories in the Cold War (although President Bush has seemed to help get some of the "Cold" and "War" back into play again, even after peering into Vladimir Putin's soul). Russia is no longer Communist and no longer is the nuclear threat they once were (although no one really knows where all their old nuclear warheads are); Egypt an Israel are no longer trying to kill each other; and we had a relative peace throughout the Clinton years without a US soldier losing his or her life in a war's battle.

On the flip side of the talk-no-talk coin is what the likes of President Bush and John McCain want to do: Nothing. They want to wait out those who would be our enemies and, if that doesn't work, attack.

And what, you may ask, is their model for such a strategy?


You have got to be kidding me. Haven't we learned from Carter's botched rescue of the hostages or the Bay of Pigs or the Iraq War that talking should come first?

It's no secret that we romanticize war in our culture, even when we make it look real. But what these people (Bush, McCain and the other NeoCons) are attempting to do is to make war the only choice and use it as a political tool to keep power. Their slogan should be:


And they have many Americans believing them.

Famed Conservative and Bush-supporter Toby Keith (the Country Western star) has a song that begins:
I sometimes think war is necessary,
But every night I pray for Peace on Earth...

How do we get "Peace on Earth" if we don't speak to the other few billion people we share the "Earth" with to make that Peace?

Peace comes from negotiation; silence brings distrust, innuendo, fear and war. And whereas the latter might get you elected, the former will get you a better place to live.

-Noah Greenberg


Being analytical I am continually dismayed over the fact that woman are voting for Hillary and or against Obama because of their psychological baggage. I have heard and seen woman who voted for Bush twice and now want Hillary as president. It is no wonder slavery ended before woman got the right to vote.

-Keith A. Dewey

In response to the picture comparing Walter Cronkite's interview with JFK versus Brit Hume's interview with George W. Bush, Lew Warden responds:

Well, since you have opened up the subject with your photo of Saint JFK pitching Saint Walter, have you reflected on how much and how little our present plight in the Middle East mirrors the Vietnam war and politiciansí willingness to risk the lives of common folk to advance their personal fortunes? Of course you must know that JFK admitted getting us into the Vietnam debacle to restore his political reputation as a cold warrior and improve his re-election chances which until that move were from slim to nil. Or donít you remember how he chickened out in the Bay of Pigs operation and left his Cuban and American forces on the beach at the mercy of Castro? Or how he and Bobby contrived to murder Castro do avenge the defeat that JFK himself caused? And may well have paid the ultimate price because of his loose cannon bumblings. The history books are now getting around to reporting these sordid facts, which those of us who were old enough at the time recognized were occurring.

And lest you accuse me of Republican partisanship, I also indict Saint Ronald Reagan and the Dumb Down Dubious Devil Dubya. In my book JFK and Ronnie Babe are the two greatest disasters of the American 20th Century, and now Dubya and the Wall Street crowd who own the Republican Party, and incompetents like Diane Feinstein and Barbara Boxer and the other heroes of those who have captured control of the Democratic party are promising to be the greatest disasters of the American and possibly the Worldís 21st century.

I noted with sardonic amusement the Washington Postís article of yesterday reporting the squabble between Hillary and Obama as to whose radical antecedents are the worst: Hillary for her Communist contacts and orientation when she was a silly student or Obama for taking the Weathermen bombers to his breast and riding to political prominence on the coattails of that nutty preacher?.

Just what do these two big mouths with truly incredible fortunes to spend really believe? Both are glib and to their supporters persuasive campaigners, but please tell me what you think each-of them really believe on the Middle East issue and Iíll tell you what I think the winnerís position will be after the nomination, assuming one of them is indeed nominated. Which, in my opinion, is by no means a done deal.

Anyhow, we do live in interesting times. I hope we will survive them.

The comparison was more towards a real journalist of yesterday (Cronkite) and the Fox News talking head (Hume). But feel free to read into it whatever you please. -NG

In response to, "I remember in the 2004 election, one of the bumper sticker slogans being, 'Bush in 2004; Draft in 2005'", David W. writes:

I saw a bumper sticker last year that read: "Bush/Cheney... it's like Planet of the Apes ahead of schedule"

Loved it!

In response to the Florida vote, Victoria Brownworth responds:

I have to respectfully disagree and wonder also what kind of a person doesn't vote for important local issues. More people voted in Florida and Michigan than in any election in a decade in both states. So your son was very much the anomaly. Thousands of other people cast their votes for Obama in the primary, your son could have like they did.

Floridians didn't "agree" to the rules set by the Republican legislature. I would think you'd have more of a grip on the facts given that your son lives in the state. Maybe he didn't know that there were no less than 17 ballot initiatives and numerous local races. Or maybe he's one of those Obama voters we keep hearing about who never bother to vote?

We have 50 states, not 48. Deal with it. It's called democracy.

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-Noah Greenberg