Monday, June 8, 2015

I Support Antiwar Candidates! (Know Any?)

I support ANTI-WAR candidates!
(Know Any?)
This post is dedicated to the proposition that we will start to get antiwar candidates when we demand them.

There's no question that for the next 18 months, we members of the general public will be deluged with media about the 2016 presidential election.

Maddeningly, 99 and 44/100% of that media will make no mention of the need to end U.S. wars, occupations, imperialism, and militarism.

Make that 99 and 43/100%. Because at least this little corner of the media will whittle away at the problem every day.

And who knows? If each of us tells two friends . . . and they each tell two friends . . . and so on . . . and so on . . .

. . . maybe we really can take over the media with an antiwar message during election 2016!

Related posts

It looks like foreign affairs are about to take center state in Election 2016.

(See Election2016 after Paris: It's time for someone to show leadership)

The number one reason the Republican Party has become RINO ("Republican in name only") is that, for all their caterwauling about spending, they wouldn't dream of challenging the military industrial complex.

(See October 28, 2015, GOP Debate: "Your money, their DoD" )

Isn't it startling that Hillary Clinton could serve as Secretary of State and remain oblivious to the fact that people worldwide see clearly that the greatest threat is posed by existing nuclear weapon arsenals, first and foremost those of the US and Russia?

(See CLUELESS IN LAS VEGAS: Hillary's Nuclear Doctrine)

It will be the 2016 presidential election that will provide the main form of entertainment and distraction to the U.S. populace between now an the end of next year. An enormous amount of political fluff will fill our lives -- pushing aside, I suppose, vast amounts of sports fluff and shopping fluff and celebrity fluff and -- well, you get the point.

(See What Will Dominate Election 2016? (ANSWER: ISIS and #BlackLivesMatter) )


Bernie Sanders
Tuesday, June 9, 2015

I was hoping Bernie Sanders, if not posing a real-world challenge to the Hillary presidential candidacy, could at least serve to foreground the need to rein in the military.

"Bernie Sanders calls for 'war tax' on millionaires" (The Hill, March 20, 2015) shows why Sanders is a non-starter for antiwar voters. He thinks militarism and defense spending are great; the only problem is who pays for them.

AND he doesn't seem to understand democracy: we can't have a society in which the rich feel as if they somehow have the right to make decisions about how money is spent on war. (Oh . . . wait . . . . )

UPDATE August 3, 2015 - I've added my name to a petition urging Sanders to speak out on foreign policy and let us decide if he's got what it takes to earn our support: "Bernie Sanders, Speak Up: Militarism and Corporate Power Are Fueling Each Other"  It looks like the petition is getting traction quickly!

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

In the last two days I have been reading stories about the US assassination teams and the US attacks on ISIS.
I have predicted that ISIS will be one of two big topics that 2016 candidates will have to come out and say something about.

US: always attacking
I wonder: aren't US assaults precisely what ISIS is trying to provoke with its words and actions towards the US? Aren't the targeted killings and airstrikes exactly what demonstrates to the rest of the Islamic world that the US is the enemy?

I wonder if election 2016 will provide space for candidates to talk sense about how US violence creates enemies.

(Update - July 31, 2015 - see "The way to respond to ISIS is not through violence."

Saturday, June 13, 2015

The full announcement of Lincoln Chafee's 2016 presidential candidacy makes it clear we DO have antiwar candidate.

Lincoln Chafee
It is startling to see a candidate telling it like it is: "For the [Pentagon] hawks, disorder and chaos sweeping through the region would not be an unfortunate side-effect of war with Iraq, but a sign that everything is going according to plan." (Permawar, anyone?)

Some people may think Chafee's emphasis on his vote against war in Iraq is out-of-date. But if ISIS is going to be an unavoidable topic in the coming election season, aren't we going to have to talk about what caused ISIS -- i.e. the US invasion and destruction of Iraq?

Chafee's emphasis on the "ancient history" of 2003 may turn out to be just the ticket . . . !

Sunday, June 14, 2015

Reading about Barack Obama's plans to send more "trainers" to Iraq ("Trainers Intended as Lift, but Quick Iraq Turnaround Is Unlikely," by Michael R. Gordon in The New York Times, June 10, 2015), it seems unimaginable that the 2016 presidential election will not contain a stiff dose of Vietnam War history lessons.

How can we be doing this againnnnnnnn????

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Sadly, the way things are going, a confrontation between the US and Russia may be part of the 2016 electoral discourse.

I want the candidates to confront the threat of war -- but I don't want there to have to be a crisis to be the occasion.

Here are several resources on what's developing:

"Ukraine and the Apocalyptic Risk of Propagandized Ignorance" by David Swanson on the World Beyond War website

"U.S. Is Poised to Put Heavy Weaponry in Eastern Europe" by Eric Schmitt and Steven Lee Myers in The New York Times, June 13, 2015

"Why Is Washington Still Pushing for War With Russia?" by James Carden in The Nation, June 11, 2015

Again I ask: why aren't Obama and Putin talking face to face?

Start a REAL conversation at the Fourth of July BBQ this year:
I support ANTI-WAR candidates! (Know any?)
(Please retweet this message and follow @scarry on Twitter!)

July 2, 2015

I shared the suggestion above on Twitter this morning, and Lana Carson pointed out, "Dr. Jill Stein is an antiwar candidate - always has been. Why is the GP not mentioned, given their actual platform?"

Jill Stein
Presidential Campaign Announcement - Election 2016
Lana's right. Here's what it says on Jill Stein's platform page under "Peace and Human Rights":

Establish a foreign policy based on diplomacy, international law, and human rights. End the wars and drone attacks, cut military spending by at least 50% and close the 700+ foreign military bases that are turning our republic into a bankrupt empire. Stop U.S. support and arms sales to human rights abusers, and lead on global nuclear disarmament. (emphasis added)

Does anybody else even come close?

Here's an idea: Put that on an index card and carry it to your neighborhood barbeque . . . !

Jim Webb
July 4, 2015

Jim Webb is in.

According to The New York Times, "Mr. Webb has been a persistent critic of the Iraq war, adding another voice that could put Hillary Rodham Clinton on the defensive in debates for her 2002 vote in the Senate authorizing the use of force in Iraq. He warned in 2002, before the war began, that 'those who are pushing for a unilateral war in Iraq know full well that there is no exit strategy if we invade.'"

Can a military man be a credible antiwar candidate? (Can anyone who doesn't have a military record be a credible antiwar candidate?)

Considering that ISIS is sure to be in the forefront of the issues in campaign 2016, Webb's prescience about Iraq is sure to be relevant.

This antiwar election year just got interesting . . . . 

July 14, 2015

"Landmark deal reached on Iran nuclear program."

If some candidate would say, "Now that we're done being scared of the country that doesn't have any nuclear weapons, we can get to work eliminating the thousands of nuclear weapons in the US arsenal."

I'd vote for that candidate!

"A Huge Republican Field Creates Opportunity, as Well as Volatility"
July 20, 2015

There's, like, a bizillion people trying to get the GOP nomination for 2016.

I saw this layout in The New York Times and thought, "Sheesh, one of them's gotta be an antiwar candidate!"

Can I get an "amen" someone?

July 27, 2015

In today's New York Times, Professor David Vine provided a sneak peek at his forthcoming book about cutting federal spending by closing overseas bases:

"By my very conservative calculations completed during a six-year study of overseas bases, maintaining installations and troops overseas cost at least $85 billion in 2014 — more than the discretionary budget of every government agency except the Defense Department itself. Adding our presence in Afghanistan and Iraq, the bill could reach $156 billion. "(emphasis added)

(See "Don’t Just Close Bases at Home, Close Them Overseas" - Vine's forthcoming book is Base Nation: How U.S. Military Bases Abroad Harm America and the World.) Vine's conclusion: "Closing unneeded domestic and overseas bases is a realistic and necessary step toward improving the country’s financial and physical security."

Closing foreign military bases and saving a bundle - what a great point of differentiation in a crowded primary field!

I'm sure certain alert GOP candidates will be rushing to embrace this call for radical fiscal responsibility.

(You heard it here first.)

July 31, 2015

Rand Paul, R.I.P. (See "Rand Paul: Fraud, Failure, Liar" by Justin Raimondo on

August 14, 2015

Listen up, antiwar folks! "How Black Lives Matter is making Bernie Sanders a better candidate" by Kate Aronoff on the Waging Nonviolence website.

August 23, 2015

CODEPINK has identified 10 "asks" of election 2016 candidates:

10 Peace asks for Presidential Candidates
U.S. relations with the rest of the world should be based on respect, cooperation,
and demilitariation. These are the 10 points that we ask presidential candidates to agree to:

1. Reduce Military Spending, Invest at Home
2. Use Diplomacy First
3. Abide by International Law - No Unauthorized Wars
4. Work Toward a No-Nukes, Peaceful World
5. Promote Women in Peacemaking
6. Close Overseas Military Bases
7. Observe US Law Prohibiting Weapons Sales to Human Rights Violators
8. End the Militarization of Police Departments and Borders
9. Stop Illegal Detention of Prisoners in Gitmo, Hold Tortures Accountable
10. Respect Whistleblowers - and Our Privacy

Hell, I'd sit up and take notice if a candidate were willing to talk about even ONE of these!

More Related posts

THESIS: A big move toward US demilitarization counts more than the next 9 things.

ANTITHESIS: It's not enough to be isolationist; we need a leader who will build the Peace System.

Let the debate begin!

(See RAND PAUL: Don't Count Him Out So Fast, Antiwar Folks )

Hillary Clinton signaled the beginning of her 2016 presidential campaign with a spread in People magazine in June . . . not to mention the publication of a memoir, Hard Choices. It's a campaign full of "get tough" posturing.

(See One Little Word That Will Sink the Hillary Clinton Presidential Run ("Obliterate") )