Saturday, May 15, 2021
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Remembering the Viet Nam Era

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Viet Nam protest photo Protests_zpszyvxdduy.jpg When the neocons planned out the Bush Iraqi adventure the wave of popular sentiment toward the military arising from the first Gulf War had crested and begun to ebb. The undertow was Viet Nam. Somehow they had to make their war invulnerable to criticism. They found a shield: the troops.

Psychological operations directed against the people of the United States are not lawful. But the propaganda was so subtly crafted that the constant mantra, "Support the Troops," was never recognized for the actual message being delivered. The Iraq War was unassailable because to criticize the war was to criticize the troops. Then an unlikely propaganda ally gave the neocons 9/11. Politicians feared airing questions that begged to be asked. The military and veteran bandwagon took on a life of its own. There was no support for mass demonstrations against the war. Senior officers could take bribes and give girlfriends classified documents without indignation from our elected representatives. Support the Troops. What a contrast to the Viet Nam era. But in the end, how much support is there: compare the spending on veterans' programs to that on the continuing operations in Iraq and Afghanistan.  

Another Cop-Out by Democrats: “Super” Committee Concessions

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The Democratic Party has turned its back on the working and middle-class people of the United States once again in its recent "concession" to Republican members of the so-called "super committee" established to reduce America's debt by $1.5 trillion over the next decade.  Democrats in the debt reduction committee have proposed cuts to the tune of hundreds of billions of dollars towards Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid benefits. Not to be outdone, Republicans proposed even bigger cuts to these vital social programs.

Is it that our elected representatives don't "get it," don't care, or truly think they are the only ones who can put America's economic genie back into the bottle? As if the Occupy protestors needed anymore verification of their concerns, the latest political cop-out by the Democratic members of the super committee is an additional piece of irrefutable evidence. What's next, one has to wonder, eliminating benefits for wounded veterans?

A Time for Real Change

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It seemed like only a matter of time before the "Grand Ol' Party" began villainizing the peaceful "Occupy" protests across the U.S. and indeed, the process has begun. From a political standpoint, it makes sense that the Republican Party would attempt to debunk a protest movement that firmly challenges the "free market," "small government," set of beliefs shared by the Republicans and their elite corporatist cronies. But what started out as a peaceful movement of demonstrations aimed primarily at Wall Street greed has continued to be a peaceful movement, much to the chagrin of the GOP. The GOP has however attempted to capitalize on a small number of incidents such as the "kill pigs" graffiti in Oakland, CA.

Of course, the Occupy movements have never advocated any such beliefs and those among the Oakland Occupy constituency have denied that the "kill pigs" graffiti was done by anyone belonging to the movement. Unfortunately, perception is reality in the post-modern era of meaning and the Republican Party have proven themselves adept at turning the most unequivocal piece of logic or scientific certainty into just another discredited "opinion" (e.g. global climate change). Fortunately for those of us who support the Occupy movements, however, Republican members of Congress in particular have become so discredited in the eyes of the U.S. public that their distasteful political tactics will only serve to appeal to their voting base and those who oppose the Occupy movements outright.