Tomás Ó Flatharta

Looking at Things from the Left

Archive for the ‘Howie Hawkins Ecosocialist Candidate, USA Presidential Election 2020’ Category

Nazi Rally Scheduled in Dublin – Don’t Go! Boycott!

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A correspondent highlights a tiny rally in Dublin next Saturday – Don’t Go!

“I see Justin Barrett’s National Party, who want a Catholic Fascist Dictatorship in Ireland, have organised a little protest for Saturday ‘against the lockdown’. Even if you don’t agree with public health measures, don’t be fooled by this shit. These people want young women and girls back in slave labour laundries, young men and boys back in industrial schools, an end to birth control and women’s bodily autonomy, all non-white-Irish people to be forcibly exiled, and executions of their political opponents. All under the jackboot of a paedophile-protecting Catholic dictatorship.”

Don’t Go!

American Biden-Democrat “Hostility” to Trump – Not the same as “Opposition” – A Highly Recommended Article

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At times readers of online political commentary despair going through useless drudge that can be found on the internet. But if you keep at it, watch for sources you know are usually solid and reliable, you find excellent material. This article came to the attention of the Tomás Ó Flatharta blog via an FB friend Suzi Weissman.

https://www.kpfk.org/on-air/suzi-weissman/

It is a devastating, withering, attack on the Biden-Democrat “hostility” to the Trump administration – which is not the same as opposition. A stunning catastrophe looms now in the USA as the Trump Government “opens up” this land to the Covid-19 Monster at the Door of New York. Now, more than ever, the USA radical left must look towards the November 2020 General Election, and attempt to offer a credible alternative to the Evil Biden-Trump Tweedledee Monster. Shame on Bernie Sanders. The article concludes :

Bernie’s consistent criticism falls flat these days as he loyally signs on to the party consensus while trying to push additions and improvements. AOC is a lone voice in the wilderness daring to cast the occasional no vote.

What’s left are endangered and desperate people daring to walk off the job and appealing to their peers for support. We the people are on our own and must find our own way forward without waiting for leadership that doesn’t exist. By shedding illusions to the contrary, we open up new possibilities.

Hostility Is Not Enough – Resistance is Not Futile

An internal government document circulating in the United States projects a surge in coronavirus cases and a sharp rise in daily deaths by June 1, the New York Times reported, even as President Donald Trump urged states to lift restrictions in place to quell the pandemic.

The document, based on modelling by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, projects that COVID-19, the respiratory disease caused by the virus, will kill 3,000 Americans a day by the end of May, the Times said on Monday, up from a current daily toll about 2,000. https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2020/05/model-projects-fold-increase-coronavirus-cases-200504185028572.html

Hostility Is Not the Same As Opposition – Resistance is Needed

There is hostility, which is not the same thing.

Opposition implies a critical analysis and an alternative program, that is, an examination of what is being done wrong, why this is so, and what should change. On all three points, the loudest non-Trump voices offer confusion, distraction, and hypocrisy, not leadership around which a movement could cohere.

What is wrong? Read the rest of this entry »

Vietnam: 45 Years After the War Finally Ended – Country Joe McDonald’s Passionate Woodstock Anti-War Song Inspires Presidential Candidate Howie Hawkins

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How refreshing! Howie Hawkins, an eco-Socialist candidate in the November 2020 USA Presidential General Election, recalls a funny, sarcastic and moving Country Joe McDonald song which went worldwide in 1969 after a stunning live performance at the Woodstock Rock Music Festival. The biting realism spoke to hundreds of millions, motivating them to act in thousands of ways against the Washington War Machine.

Country Joe Rouses the Woodstock Audience in 1969:Against the Vietnam War

I can’t remember when, exactly, I first heard McDonald’s brilliantly sung call to action – probably before attending my first USA Embassy Demonstration in Ballsbridge Dublin against the Vietnam War.

I was shocked, and pleasantly impressed, to meet some some fellow school students at this venue – one of those “what are you doing here? moments” – and was even more stunned to see my teacher of Italian, Sydney-Bernard Smyth, reciting his own poems from the platform.

The anti-capitalist spirit of McDonald’s song is captured here :

Come on wall street don’t be slow
Why man this war is a go-go
There’s plenty good money to be made by
Supplying the army with the tools of its trade
Let’s hope and pray that if they drop the bomb,
They drop it on the Viet Cong

A strength of the Hawkins account is that the support he offered to the anti-imperialist cause is and was critical – the national liberation struggle led by the Vietnamese Communist Party and its leader Ho Chi Minh was a just cause, but it was not perfect or flawless. This practical intellectual framework is badly needed today. Many people outside Ireland watch the Donald Trump led horror story in America, and the honourable, but flawed, electoral left-flavoured opposition which was headed by Bernie Sanders. Sanders now takes sides in a useless reactionary contest between TweedleBiden of the Democrats and TweedleTrump of the Republicans, bringing to mind the dismal and barren electoral contest between Richard Nixon and Hubert Humphrey in 1968. Many enduring lessons were taught in the USA and across the globe by the mass movement against the Vietnam War. – John Meehan

“What are we fighting for?” – Country Joe McDonald
When I had to prepare for a 7th grade classroom debate on the Vietnam War in Spring 1965, President Johnson had begun escalating the war with the massive bombing of Operation Rolling Thunder and the deployment of a few thousand Marines to Da Nang, the first of what would become nearly 200,000 US troops by the end of 1965 and over 500,000 in 1968. I learned that the US had signed the 1954 Geneva Accords, which provided for an election in 1956 to unify Vietnam and establish an independent government. But I also learned that the US had prevented the election because it knew the winner would be Ho Chi Minh, the Communist leader of the Viet Minh, the nationalist coalition for independence that had defeated the Japanese and then the French imperialists. The Viet Minh controlled the North, but the French had retaken the South when the Japanese left with US military support from the Truman and Eisenhower administrations until the French were defeated at Dien Bien Phu in 1954 and gave up their colonies in Indochina. I read the 1945 “Vietnamese Proclamation of Independence from Japan and France.” Ho had drafted and modeled the proclamation after the American Declaration of Independence in consultation with operatives from the OSS (predecessor of the CIA), who had been helping the Viet Minh fight the Japanese during World War II. None of this was on the nightly news, which broadcast Johnson’s justifications for the war. I was outraged at the hypocrisy of the pro-war US political leaders who talked of democracy and self-determination but were opposing it in Vietnam. What are we fighting for?
When the Daniel Ellsberg leaked the Pentagon Papers in 1971, all of these violations of America’s professed values were more thoroughly documented by internal Pentagon documents. What also became clear in those leaked documents is that US political leaders knew the whole time that the US could not defeat Vietnamese nationalism and win the war. Yet they continued to send young Americans to die in Vietnam so they didn’t appear soft on Communism in domestic politics. What are we fighting for?
When my draft number came up in 1972, I enlisted in the Marine Corps and in the GI resistance to the war. When I got to Quantico for bootcamp for officer candidates, I was training with a lot of Vietnam combat veterans now in college on the GI bill and coming back in the Marines to become officers—and most of them opposed the Vietnam War. They loved the anti-war anthem of the Navy veteran, Country Joe McDonald. His “Feel Like i’m Fixing to Die Rag” captured the hypocrisies of the US war in Vietnam and the spirit of the anti-war movement inside as well as outside the military. For the military rank-and-file, the song gave voice to their real feelings about how they were treated as expendable pawns by the military brass and the country’s political leaders. What are we fighting for?
It took 19 years after the 1956 election that the US prevented for the Vietnamese, with the assistance of the anti-war movement and the GI resistance, to finally expel the last US forces 45 years ago on April 30, 1975. US leaders said we were fighting Communism. Washington’s aggressive war the cost of lives of nearly 4 million Vietnamese. The Communists won and today preside over a predominantly capitalist economy. What are we fighting for?
Today multinational corporations from the US, China (Vietnam’s millennial-old colonial nemesis), Japan, South Korea, and other nations locate factories in Vietnam to exploit cheap labor and environmental laws so lax and unenforced that the legendary General Vo Nguyen Giap, who had led the Vietnamese People’s Army in defeating the Japanese, French, and finally US occupiers, became Vietnam’s most prominent a environmental, pro-democracy, and anti-corruption dissident, criticizing Vietnamese state and party leaders on these issues until his dying day in 2013 at the age of 102. What were we fighting for?
And what are we fighting for now? It’s not for us regular people. We are not why the US now has over 800 foreign military bases. We are not why the US is officially engaged in 7 endless wars and covert special operations in well over 100 foreign countries. We are not why the US is continuing to impose economic sanctions on countries that need aid and trade right now to fight the coronavirus. The US war machine is not about defending Americans in our homeland. It is about making the world safe for profiteering by US-based global corporations.
What are we fighting for? We should be fighting to dismantle the US Military/Industrial Complex. Instead being the world’s military empire, we must demand that the US become the world’s humanitarian superpower. Let’s make the US use its wealth and knowledge in a multi-lateral Global Green New Deal that reverses climate change and provides for the basic needs of all. Let’s make friends, instead of enemies. Let’s make peace, instead of war.
— Read on howiehawkins.us/vietnam-45-years-after-the-war-finally-ended/

An accidental beginning :

The audience largely ignored his eight-song set. His tour manager said that since nobody was paying attention, why not do the number he was saving for tomorrow night? The singer walked back out, alone, and called to the masses, “Give me an F!”

That got their attention. They knew the routine. The crowd at Woodstock, half a million strong, rose to their feet and joined in Country Joe McDonald’s antiwar war cry, chanting along from the opening expletive all the way to the “Whoopee! We’re all going to die” capper. Captured in Michael Wadleigh’s Oscar-winning 1970 documentary “Woodstock,” the three rousing minutes of Mr. McDonald’s acoustic version of “The ‘Fish’ Cheer/I-Feel-Like-I’m-Fixin’-to-Die Rag” became the premier Vietnam War protest anthem.

“I never had a plan for a career in music, so Woodstock changed my life,” Mr. McDonald, now 75, said in an interview from his home in Berkeley, Calif. “An accidental performance of ‘Fixin’-to-Die,’ a work of dark humor that helps people deal with the realities of the Vietnam War, established me as an international solo performer, then the movie came out and the song went on to become what it still is today.” https://www.nytimes.com/2017/10/10/opinion/country-joe-vietnam-woodstock.html

The Two Versions of Bernie Sanders

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This online exchange is between an American Correspondent Louis N Proyect and some of Louis’s online friends including David McDonald. It makes a lot of practical political sense to me. – John Meehan

“There are two versions of Bernie Sanders – There is the old Bernie Sanders who mounted a quixotic campaign for the Democratic Presidential Nomination as a Democratic Socialist who refused corporate cash and excoriated Democrats. And there is the new Bernie Sanders who dutifully plays by the party’s rules, courts billionaires, refused to speak out in support of the lawsuit brought against the DNC for rigging the primaries against him and endorses democratic candidates who espouse the economic and political positions he once denounced.

Sanders, although he knew by September 2016 that the process was rigged, said nothing to his supporters. He was tacitly complicit in the coverup. It was left to one of the architects of the fraud, Donna Brazile, to reveal the scam. But by then it was too late.

Sanders’ capitulation in the face of overwhelming evidence of the rigging of the nomination process was political and moral cowardice. He missed the historical moment, one that should have seen him denounce a corporate-dominated party elite and walk away to build a third party candidacy.

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Undaunted Sanders Supporters Announce They’ll Continue Presidential Campaign Without Candidate

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USA : Bernie Sanders Campaign for President Over, Dead, Extinct. November 2020 Main Candidates TweedleTrump & TweedleBiden. Does Radical Left propose Credible Presidential Campaign for November 2020? Sanders sits on 100 million $$$ – TweedleBiden SlushFund???

Satire, very accurate satire, very close to the bone :

NEW YORK—Stressing that they would not allow a minor bump in the road to prevent them from delivering true change, the nation’s undaunted Bernie Sanders supporters announced Wednesday that they would continue his 2020 presidential campaign without the candidate. “Time and again, the mainstream media has predicted the end of this campaign, and they will again try to spin losing our only candidate as the clear conclusion of Bernie’s run for the presidency—but they could not be more wrong,” said Peter Symanski, a 27-year-old Sanders supporter who echoed the sentiment of thousands across the country while describing the Vermont senator’s decision to drop out of the race as “an insignificant setback” on the path to bringing a progressive vision to the Oval Office in 2020. “They said this race was over after South Carolina, they said it was over after Super Tuesday. But with or without our candidate, we will soldier ahead with our plan to bring true change in November. This race isn’t close to over.” At press time, the unwavering followers of Sanders went on to vow that if they did not find success this year, they would likely keep running the 2020 campaign until the end of the decade.
— Read on www.theonion.com/undaunted-sanders-supporters-announce-they-ll-continue-1842759626

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Debate: How Can We Continue the Bernie Revolution and Build a New Political Party?

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The Bernie Sanders Campaign to win the Democratic Party Nomination for President in the November 2020 General Election is Dead. Over. Extinct.

Radical left activists in the USA are debating where to go next. Let’s hope they achieve something worthwhile – the Biden V Trump contest is a miserable dead-end – unfortunately Bernie Sanders is choosing TweedleBiden instead of TweedleTrump.

While the COVID-19 crisis might throw the Democratic primary election into turmoil, it appears very likely that Bernie Sanders will not be able to win the Democratic nomination. This poses a question starkly to Sanders supporters — how can we best continue the momentum of Bernie’s historic campaign? Two petitions were initiated recently to address this question — one by Socialist Alternative’s Kshama Sawant and another petition by some DSA activists. Both petitions argue for Sanders supporters to build a new political party but present different strategies for the steps needed to form a new party.

In response, socialist activist Jacob Smith wrote the following critique of the petition by DSA activists. Bobby Lambertz, one of the initial signers of the petition of DSA activists, replies below. We are pleased to publish this exchange as part of our commitment to facilitating constructive debate on important questions facing the socialist and working-class movements.

The Case for a New Party
— Read on reformandrevolution.org/articles/debate-how-can-we-continue-the-bernie-revolution-and-build-a-new-political-party/

Joe Biden Staggers Into The Evil of Two Lessers Saloon

Biden: “We Have To Take Care Of The Cure That Will Make The Problem Worse No Matter What” | Video | RealClearPolitics

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Joe Biden is almost certain to be the American Democratic Party Presidential Candidate in November 2020.

Tariq Ali Brilliantly Translates a Baffling Biden Statement About the CoronaVirus into the English Language ;

People are puzzled by this one, but in fact, it’s Biden at his most lucid. What he’s saying is that he needs to be taken into care because even though he is the cure to the Trump virus he will make all the problems worse no matter what.

Comeback Kid 🧒 In Evil 👿 of Two Lessers Saloon

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Trump Is Toast? Comeback Kid Biden Staggering Into Evil of Two Lessers Saloon?

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The Coronavirus crisis will destroy any chance Donald Trump has of retaining the US presidency this November, for one very simple reason. Driven by …

Trump Is Toast

Ed Moloney thinks he has spotted a silver lining in the CoronaVirus Cloud Haunting the USA.

Comeback Kid Staggers into Evil of Two Lessers Saloon

Trump’s USA Rejects WHO Covid-19 Test Kit – Increases Likely Death and Infection Rate

Not a great deal wrong with that on first view except the Trump-dominated bureaucracy proved incapable of putting that wish into action and so there are not enough US-made test kits to meet the predicted demand. Elsewhere in the world, by sharp contrast, there is no shortage of WHO testing kits, a tribute to the power of international co-operation.

Driven by Trump’s ultra nationalist political world view, the US rejected an international plan for a COVID test kit proposed by the World Health Organisation (WHO) and decided to plough its own furrow.

The consequence of that will be a huge spike in undiagnosed Coronavirus victims in the USA who will not be treated or even put into quarantine and the numbers of those stricken with the virus, and the deaths that will follow will be proportionately higher. The US, thanks to Trump, will not come out of the Covid crisis unscarred.

A Climbing American Death Rate in the Summer Months?

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