USA: Senator McCain, a danger to himself, the USA, and the world


Bush, McCain, and the Iraq war, cartoon

One US Republican hoping to succeed George W Bush is Senator John McCain.

He first became prominent in 1999, when, as a Presidential candidate, he lost the party’s nomination to Bush.

1999 was also the year of the war against Yugoslavia.

Though Republicans then were an opposition party, both McCain and Bush supported that war.

As did the previous Republican Presidential candidate against Bill Clinton, Bob Dole.

On the other hand, the Republicans tried to impeach Clinton on the consensual sex Lewinsky affair.

Wow, what a sense of priorities [sarcasm off]!

To paraphrase US comedian Will Rogers, ever since, McCain never met a war he didn’t like.

From PEEK blog in the USA:

McCain v. McCain… a bloody tangle [VIDEO]

Posted by Evan Derkacz at 7:20 PM on January 28, 2007.

Think you know John McCain?

Brave New Films put together this devastating film on “Straight Talkin'” John McCain’s whack-a-mole positions regarding Iraq, gay marriage, and the Christian Right as the champagne smash across the bow of a new website, therealmccain.com.

One of the virgin blogs on the site includes a link to Sidney Blumenthal’s chronicle of the destruction of the myth of John McCain.

It’s called: The Myth of John McCain. Here’s a key passage:

McCain’s political colleagues, however, know another side of the action hero – a volatile man with a hair-trigger temper, who shouted at Senator Ted Kennedy on the Senate floor to “shut up”, and called fellow Republican senators “shithead … fucking jerk … asshole”.

A few months ago, McCain suddenly rushed up to a friend of mine, a prominent Washington lawyer, at a social event, and threatened to beat him up because he represented a client McCain happened to dislike.

Then, just as suddenly, profusely and tearfully, he apologised.

So much for the Republican even liberals love..

McCain’s flip-flopping in support of Bush’s escalation in Iraq: here.

Right wingers in McCain’s campaign: here.

McCain in Baghdad: here.

US Republicans and Christian and secular voters: here.

7 thoughts on “USA: Senator McCain, a danger to himself, the USA, and the world

  1. *Jeb Bush Rallies Conservatives at Summit*
    Posted by: “hapi22” hapi22@earthlink.net robinsegg
    Sun Jan 28, 2007 9:19 am (PST)
    My worst nightmare.

    ~~

    And, I might ask: Why is it that the SAME media whores who yell,
    “dynasty” whenever Hillary’s presidential candidacy is mentioned NEVER
    uttered that word when Bush 43 was running in 2000… NOR do they
    mention “dynasty” whenever they put forth the notion of a Jeb Bush
    presidency.

    Jeb Bush’s brother is president, Jeb’s father was president, Jeb’s
    grandfather was a senator. That smells of “dynasty” to me. And they are
    all the wholly-owned subsidiary of the same corporate criminals.

    There is almost nothing worse that could happen to America than to have
    another Bush in the White House … nothing.

    When you think of Jeb Bush, think of Terri Schiavo.

    When Jeb Bush says, here, that it is terrible how much money the federal
    government has been spending, who the heck does he think has been in
    charge of this country for the past six years?

    Republicans AND his brother.

    THEY are the ones who have plunged us into unsupportable debt.

    THEY are the ones who started this war of choice in Iraq.

    THEY are the ones who held NO oversight hearings, did NO investigations,
    asked NO questions.

    THEY are the ones who allowed contractors to have “cost-plus” contracts
    in Iraq, which means that whatever the contractors say they have spent
    gets reimbursed plus a guaranteed profit. What incentive was there to
    hold down costs or operate efficiently? Were lobster and champagne
    standard menu items for the staffs in those corporations with the
    “cost-plus” contracts?

    Is turning a budget surplus into a budget deficit a “Conservative” goal?

    Well, that’s what these Conservative creeps have done?

    Do NOT ever trust a Bush … they are a family of LIARS and CHEATS.

    We must NEVER have another Bush in the White House.

    Never.

    And do not be fooled by this cool baloney that’s he’s not thinking about
    2008 … do not rest for a moment … he could ride in at the last
    moment on his white steed as the “savior of the party.”

    And he will certainly be looking for his first opportunity to run for
    president.

    It’s like cockroaches … they never go away … except they hate the
    light.

    Shine a light on every evil thing that Bush family has done and never
    let another one hold public office.

    ———————————————————-

    *Jeb Bush Rallies Conservatives at Summit*

    Non-Candidate Shows Ability to Excite the Party

    by Zachary A. Goldfarb
    The Washington Post
    January 28, 2007

    At a time when the conservative movement is looking bereft, humbled
    by midterm-election defeats and hungering for a presidential candidate
    to rally around, Jeb Bush delivered yesterday in Washington a resounding
    endorsement of conservative principles, bringing his audience repeatedly
    to its feet.

    In his lunchtime remarks to the Conservative Summit, Bush struck every
    conservative chord, blaming Republicans’ defeat in November on the
    party’s abandonment of tenets including limited government and fiscal
    restraint.

    “Don’t take offense personally if I get mad at Congress,” the Republican
    former Florida governor began. “It’s important for us to realize we
    lost, and there are significant reasons that happened, but it isn’t
    because conservatives were rejected. But it’s because we rejected the
    conservative philosophy in this country.”

    He added, “If the promise of pork and more programs is the way
    Republicans think they’ll regain the majority, then they’ve got a
    problem.”

    Bush’s speech prompted three standing ovations from the audience of
    hundreds at the National Review Institute’s conference at the JW
    Marriott Hotel, reflecting the widespread concern among conservatives
    that exorbitant government spending led to the loss of majorities in the
    House and Senate and concern about whether Republicans would again
    embrace the traditional principles.

    To Ed Gillespie, a prominent lobbyist and former chairman of the
    Republican National Committee, Bush’s two terms in Tallahassee — where
    he developed a reputation as a tax-cutter and staunch spending hawk —
    exemplified conservative politics at its best, and what makes for a
    compelling presidential candidate.

    “For those who are worried if you can put forward a vigorous
    conservative policy agenda in a state like Florida and still get elected
    and still be popular: Our keynote speaker left office with approval
    ratings above 60 percent,” Gillespie said.

    “If he were former two-term governor Jeb Smith, he might be in Des
    Moines today,” Gillespie said, alluding to presidential hopefuls’
    campaigning.

    Bush says he will not run for president in 2008, however, and
    conservatives continue to look for a candidate to excite their interest.

    “So far there’s definitely a lukewarm feeling about the field, but it’s
    still early, and conservatives want to see how these guys run. And it’s
    still possible that one or the other of the candidates will really
    inspire conservatives,” said Rich Lowry, editor of the National Review.

    Two men eyeing the GOP’s conservative base as a platform for a
    presidential candidacy also gave speeches yesterday. In the morning,
    former House speaker Newt Gingrich (Ga.) addressed the conference, and
    former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney was scheduled to speak last
    night. Former Arkansas governor Mike Huckabee, mentioned as another
    presidential possibility, is expected to speak this morning.

    Gingrich, the architect of the 1994 “Republican revolution” that saw the
    GOP win control of Congress for the first time in 40 years, sharply
    criticized his party.

    “You have a Republican Party that resents ideas,” he said. “We worked
    for 16 years to get a majority, which was thrown away.”

    Gingrich, who received a warm reception, said he will not make a
    decision on running until much later this year.

    Huckabee, meanwhile, might form an exploratory committee as soon as
    tomorrow. Romney, already exploring a bid, is criticized by some
    conservatives for the liberal social views he expressed in the 1990s.

    With little disagreement at the conference about the prudence of the
    president’s strategy for Iraq, the war appeared not to figure into the
    thinking of conservatives as an issue that could further cost the GOP.

    At a Friday night panel on the state of conservatism, commentator Laura
    Ingraham argued that Republicans — if they are to have any chance of
    winning in 2008 — must wake up to the fact that Democrats are embracing
    politicians such as Sen. James Webb (Va.), a gruff military veteran who
    delivered his party’s response to the State of the Union on Tuesday by
    attacking President Bush’s Iraq plan while offering a populist economic
    message.

    “We have to be careful with conservatives not to remain in an echo
    chamber,” Ingraham said. “The party that comes off as the party that
    represents the American worker best is the party that wins in 2008.”

    Read this at:
    http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/01/27/AR2007012701171_pf.html

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  2. *Hillary Clinton’s Mission Unaccomplished*

    by Frank Rich
    The New York Times
    January 28, 2007

    Hillary Clinton has an answer to those who suspect that her “I’m in
    to win” Webcast last weekend was forced by Barack Obama’s Webcast of
    just four days earlier. “I wanted to do it before the president’s State
    of the Union,” she explained to Brian Williams on NBC, “because I wanted
    to draw the contrast between what we’ve seen over the last six years,
    and the kind of leadership and experience that I would bring to the
    office.”

    She couldn’t have set the bar any lower. President Bush’s speech was
    less compelling than the Monty Python sketch playing out behind it: the
    unacknowledged race between Nancy Pelosi and Dick Cheney to be the first
    to stand up for each bipartisan ovation. (Winner: Pelosi.)

    As we’ve been much reminded, the most recent presidents to face Congress
    in such low estate were Harry Truman in 1952 and Richard Nixon in 1974,
    both in the last ebbs of their administrations, both mired in unpopular
    wars that their successors would soon end, and both eager to change the
    subject just as Mr. Bush did. In his ’52 State of the Union address,
    Truman vowed “to bring the cost of modern medical care within the reach
    of all the people” while Nixon, 22 years later, promised “a new system
    that makes high-quality health care available to every American.” Not to
    be outdone, Mr. Bush offered a dead-on-arrival proposal that “all our
    citizens have affordable and available health care.” The empty promise
    of a free intravenous lunch, it seems, is the last refuge of desperate
    war presidents.

    Few Americans know more than Senator Clinton about health care, as it
    happens, and if 27 Americans hadn’t been killed in Iraq last weekend,
    voters might be in the mood to listen to her about it. But polls
    continue to show Iraq dwarfing every other issue as the nation’s No. 1
    concern. The Democrats’ pre-eminent presidential candidate can’t escape
    the war any more than the president can. And so she was blindsided
    Tuesday night, just as Mr. Bush was, by an unexpected gate crasher, the
    rookie senator from Virginia, Jim Webb. Though he’s not a candidate for
    national office, Mr. Webb’s nine-minute Democratic response not only
    upstaged the president but also, in an unintended political drive-by
    shooting, gave Mrs. Clinton a more pointed State of the Union “contrast”
    than she had bargained for.

    To the political consultants favored by both Mrs. Clinton and Mr. Bush,
    Mr. Webb is an amateur. More than a few Washington insiders initially
    wrote him off in last year’s race to unseat a star presidential
    prospect, the incumbent Senator George Allen. Mr. Webb is standoffish.
    He doesn’t care whom he offends, including in his own base. He gives the
    impression — as he did Tuesday night — that he just might punch out his
    opponent. When he had his famously testy exchange with Mr. Bush over the
    war at a White House reception after his victory, Beltway pooh-bahs
    labeled him a boor, much as they had that other interloper who refused
    to censor himself before the president last year, Stephen Colbert.

    But this country is at a grave crossroads. It craves leadership. When
    Mr. Webb spoke on Tuesday, he stepped into that vacuum and, for a few
    minutes anyway, filled it. It’s not merely his military credentials as a
    Vietnam veteran and a former Navy secretary for Ronald Reagan that gave
    him authority, or the fact that his son, also a marine, is serving in
    Iraq. It was the simplicity and honesty of Mr. Webb’s message. Like
    Senator Obama, he was a talented professional writer before entering
    politics, so he could discard whatever risk-averse speech his party
    handed him and write his own. His exquisitely calibrated threat of
    Democratic pushback should Mr. Bush fail to change course on the war —
    “If he does not, we will be showing him the way” — continued to charge
    the air even as Mrs. Clinton made the post-speech rounds on the
    networks.

    Mrs. Clinton cannot rewrite her own history on Iraq to match Mr. Obama’s
    early opposition to the war, or Mr. Webb’s. She was not prescient enough
    to see, as Mr. Webb wrote in The Washington Post back in September 2002,
    that “unilateral wars designed to bring about regime change and a
    long-term occupation should be undertaken only when a nation’s existence
    is clearly at stake.” But she’s hardly alone in this failing, and the
    point now is not that she mimic John Edwards with a prostrate apology
    for her vote to authorize the war. (“You don’t get do-overs in life or
    in politics,” she has said.) What matters to the country is what happens
    next. What matters is the leadership that will take us out of the
    fiasco.

    Mr. Webb made his own proposals for ending the war, some of them
    anticipating those of the Iraq Study Group, while running against a
    popular incumbent in a reddish state. Mrs. Clinton, running for
    re-election in a safe seat in blue New York, settled for ratcheting up
    her old complaints about the war’s execution and for endorsing other
    senators’ calls for vaguely defined “phased redeployments.” Even now,
    after the Nov. 7 results confirmed that two-thirds of voters nationwide
    want out, she struggles to parse formulations about Iraq.

    This is how she explains her vote to authorize the war: “I would never
    have expected any president, if we knew then what we know now, to come
    to ask for a vote. There would not have been a vote, and I certainly
    would not have voted for it.” John Kerry could not have said it worse
    himself. No wonder last weekend’s “Saturday Night Live” gave us a
    “Hillary” who said, “Knowing what we know now, that you could vote
    against the war and still be elected president, I would never have
    pretended to support it.”

    Compounding this problem for Mrs. Clinton is that the theatrics of her
    fledgling campaign are already echoing the content: they are so
    overscripted and focus-group bland that they underline rather than
    combat the perennial criticism that she is a cautious triangulator too
    willing to trim convictions for political gain. Last week she conducted
    three online Web chats that she billed as opportunities for voters to
    see her “in an unfiltered way.” Surely she was kidding. Everything was
    filtered, from the phony living-room set to the appearance of a
    “campaign blogger” who wasn’t blogging to the softball questions and
    canned responses. Even the rare query touching on a nominally
    controversial topic, gay civil rights, avoided any mention of the word
    marriage, let alone Bill Clinton’s enactment of the federal Defense of
    Marriage Act.

    When a 14-year-old boy from Armonk, N.Y., asked Mrs. Clinton what made
    her “so inspirational,” it was a telltale flashback to those
    well-rehearsed “town-hall meetings” Mr. Bush billed as unfiltered
    exchanges with voters during the 2004 campaign. One of those “Ask
    President Bush” sessions yielded the memorable question, “Mr. President,
    as a child, how can I help you get votes?”

    After six years of “Ask President Bush,” “Mission Accomplished” and
    stage sets plastered with “Plan for Victory,” Americans hunger for a
    presidency with some authenticity. Patently synthetic play-acting and
    carefully manicured sound bites like Mrs. Clinton’s look out of touch.
    (Mr. Obama’s bare-bones Webcast and Web site shrewdly play Google to
    Mrs. Clinton’s AOL.) Besides, the belief that an image can be tightly
    controlled in the viral media era is pure fantasy. Just ask the former
    Virginia senator, Mr. Allen, whose past prowess as a disciplined,
    image-conscious politician proved worthless once the Webb campaign
    posted on YouTube a grainy but authentic video capturing him in an
    embarrassing off-script public moment.

    The image that Mrs. Clinton wants to sell is summed up by her frequent
    invocation of the word middle, as in “I grew up in a middle-class family
    in the middle of America.” She’s not left or right, you see, but exactly
    in the center where everyone feels safe. But as the fierce war critic
    Chuck Hagel, the Republican senator from Nebraska, argues in a must-read
    interview at gq.com, the war is “starting to redefine the political
    landscape” and scramble the old party labels. Like Mrs. Clinton, the
    middle-American Mr. Hagel voted to authorize the Iraq war, but that has
    not impeded his leadership in questioning it ever since.

    The issue raised by the tragedy of Iraq is not who’s on the left or the
    right, but who is in front and who is behind. Mrs. Clinton has always
    been a follower of public opinion on the war, not a leader. Now events
    are outrunning her. Support for the war both in the polls and among
    Republicans in Congress is plummeting faster than she can recalibrate
    her rhetoric; unreliable Iraqi troops are already proving no-shows in
    the new Iraqi-American “joint patrols” of Baghdad; the Congressional
    showdown over fresh appropriations for Iraq is just weeks away.

    This, in other words, is a moment of crisis in our history and there
    will be no do-overs. Should Mrs. Clinton actually seek unfiltered
    exposure to voters, she will learn that they are anxiously waiting to
    see just who in Washington is brave enough to act.

    Like

  3. Stevan Graovac, an ethnic Serb living in Croatia, became a refugee after the Croatian army recaptured territory taken by rebel Serbs in the 1991-1995 conflict. Graovac fled to Serbia in 1995 and returned to Croatia three years ago, where he found another Croatian in possession of his house. He currenly lives in this tree house.

    CROATIA’S GHOSTS STALK THE BALKANS STILL

    JULIA GORINThe Baltimore Sun jegorin@erols.com

    George W. Bush recently echoed Vice- President Dick Cheney’s support for Croatia to join the European Union, a bid that has been stalled because of the former Yugoslav republic’s slowness to prosecute its 1990s war crimes, and its failure to ensure protections for minorities, including returning Serb refugees.

    But Croatia’s problems go a lot deeper than the Balkan wars of the Clinton era. Consider the fact that the country faces the possibility of being excluded from the 2008 European soccer championship. The reason: When an Italian team’s fans taunted the Croatian team’s fans by waving Yugoslavia’s old communist flag at a match last August, the other side formed a giant human swastika and gave Nazi salutes.

    Old habits are hard to break. “In World War II, Hitler had no executioners more willing, no ally more passionate, than the fascists of Croatia,” A. M. Rosenthal wrote in The New YorkTimes in 1998. “They are returning, 50 years later, from what should have been their eternal grave, the defeat of Nazi Germany. TheWestern Allies who dug that grave with the bodies of their servicemen have the power to stop them, but do not.”

    In 1995, the London Evening Standard’s Edward Pearce wrote that “you can understand Croatia best by saying flatly that if there is one place in the world where a statue of Adolf Hitler would be revered, it would be Zagreb,” Croatia’s capital.

    And The Washington Times reported: “A German tank rolls through a small village, and the peasants rushout, lining the road with their right arms raised in a Nazi salute as they chant, ‘Heil Hitler.’ Mobs chase minorities from their homes, kicking them and pelting them with eggs as they flee into the woods. Europe in the 1940s? No. Croatia in the 1990s.”

    Last month, Croatian TVbroadcast video of a speechmade 10 years ago by Stjepan Mesic, now Croatia’s President. Mr. Mesic is seen saying, “This thing they’re asking Croats to do: go kneel [in atonement at a Croatian concentration camp.] We have no reason to kneel anywhere. We Croats won twice in World War II, while all the others did it only once. We won on April 10, [1941], when the Axis powers recognized Croatia’s independence [by creating the Fascist Independent State of Croatia], and we won after the war since we once again found ourselves with the victors.”

    Such were the “allies” to whom retired American generals were dispatched in the 1990s to train against the Serbs and help restore Croatia to its Hitler-defined borders. (We later did the same for Kosovo, whose independence Washington continues to push for.) One has to wonder at the ubiquitous “Nazi” analogies hurled at the Serbs — the designated villains of the Balkans. It was Croatia, not Serbia, which was a trueto-life Nazi state where thousands of Serbs, Jews and other “undesirables” died in Second World Warera concentration camps (withassistance from Bosnian Muslims); and which as recently as 1995 ethnically cleansed 350,000 Serbs.

    To placate the European powers, Croatia has finally apprehended two of its most notorious criminals from the Balkan wars, Ante Gotovina and Branimir Glavas. The move is unpopular because, as withBosnian and Albanian Serb-killers, Croatian Serb killers are national heroes.

    While “Serb” has become synonymous with “war criminal” to the world, Croatians, Albanians and Bosnians accused of war crimes get acquitted, or get convicted and released to a hero’s welcome, or go unpunished and pursue political careers, as is the case withindic ted war criminal and Kosovo Prime Minister Agim Ceku (and RamushH aradinaj before him). All the while, the United States has refused to admit its 1990s alliance not only withN azi nostalgists but, in Bosnia and Kosovo, withM uslim forces supplied and trained by al-Qaeda and Iran.

    The Serbs weren’t angels, but they are the only Balkans players to have admitted as much and actively done something about it. The media, our policymakers and our pundits still refuse to take a messier but more accurate view of the Balkans. Nazism is not “part of the ugly past.” It was not a bout of madness that has been straightened out. The undead are among us.

    Julia Gorin serves on the advisory board of the American Council for Kosovo

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  4. **McCain Hiring Advisers He Once Disparaged As Overly Negative**

    by Greg Sargent
    Talking Points Memo
    Feb. 3, 2007

    http://www.tpmcafe.com/user/gregsargent
    Okay, it looks like one big news org is finally getting a little bit
    tough with John McCain. The /New York Times/ has just posted a piece
    pointing out

    that many of the advisers he’s hired — from his ad men to his senior
    aides — are people McCain’s aggressively faulted in the past for
    launching political attacks that he said at the time were over the line.

    The /Times/ points out that McCain has hired:

    *** Mark McKinnon, Russell Schriefer and Stuart Stevens as his ad men —
    but McCain complained in 2000 that the ads those men helped make for
    Bush distorted his record.

    *** The ad-making firm of Stevens Reed Curcio & Potholm — which worked
    on his 2000 campaign, but which also made the ads for the Swift Boat
    Vets against John Kerry in 2004, which McCain called “dishonest and
    dishonorable.”

    *** Terry Nelson, a GOP operative who played a key role in launching the
    infamous “bimbo” ad against former Tennessee Senate candidate Harold
    Ford. Another of McCain’s advisers has faulted that ad.

    One highlight of the piece: The /Times/ observes that these hires come
    as McCain “transitions from being a onetime maverick to a candidate
    seeking to gather his party around him and create an air of
    inevitability about his prospects for winning nomination.”

    “Onetime maverick” — exactly right. As in, /not/ a maverick this time
    around. If only the other news orgs would follow the /Times/’ lead…

    Read this WITH LINKS at:
    http://www.tpmcafe.com/blog/electioncentral/2007/feb/03/mccain_hiring_advisers_he_once_disparaged_as_overly_negative

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  5. OCCUPATION PROJECT ROLLS INTO McCAIN’S WORLD
    Posted by: “Charles Jenks” charles@traprockpeace.org chaspeace
    Wed Feb 7, 2007 3:23 pm (PST)
    http://www.traprockpeace.org/traprock_blog/
    OCCUPATION PROJECT ROLLS INTO McCAIN’S WORLD

    By Bill Rau for http://www.consumersforpeace.org

    Washington, D.C.
    February 5, 2007

    The arrests started just five minutes after people
    entered Senator John McCain’s (R-AZ) office in the
    Senate Office Building. The first of a planned
    three-month series of occupations of U.S. legislators’
    offices was designed to demand specific action to
    quickly end the U.S. war in and occupation of Iraq.

    About 50 people, representing nearly twenty
    participating organizations, took part in the
    nonviolent civil disobedience. Both TV and print media
    covered the event.

    The nonviolent actions will re-occur over the next two
    to three months, both at the U.S. Congress offices and
    the state offices of Senators and Representatives.
    Also, on February 5th, events were held at McCain’s
    office in Phoenix and the state offices of the two
    senators from Illinois— Barack Obama and Richard
    Durbin, the Senate Majority Whip.

    The occupation called upon Senator McCain—as it will
    in all subsequent actions—to:

    · Publicly declare that he will vote against further
    funding for the war and occupation;
    · Introduce legislation to provide full benefits and
    quality health care to returning service men and
    women;
    · Introduce a companion Senate Resolution to
    forthcoming HR Resolution 508;
    · Introduce legislation to provide funds for
    reconstruction in Iraq by neutral humanitarian
    organizations.

    According to Zanne Joi, a member of Code Pink: Women
    for Peace, the occupation of Senator McCain’s office
    was designed to appeal to his conscience, as he had
    been subject to violence as a prisoner of war in Viet
    Nam.

    Joi said that arrest was a risk necessary to
    demonstrate people’s commitment to ending the U.S.
    military actions in Iraq. Speaking outside McCain’s
    office, Gael Murphy, also of Code Pink, said that
    arrest was less a risk than was taking no action
    against the war.

    Following a briefing and making plans to deal with
    potential arrests, the demonstrators gathered in the
    hallway outside of Senator McCain’s office. Photos of
    Iraqis affected by the war and occupation were
    displayed. The names and ages of both Iraqis and U.S.
    military personnel killed during the occupation were
    read out. The naming continued as they entered
    McCain’s office. After each name, others chanted, “We
    remember you.” Another song included the line: “Cut
    the funding for the war, or we’re going to block your
    door.”

    Nine people were arrested by the U.S. Capitol Police
    who knew of the planned action beforehand. The police
    woman who met the group when it first arrived was very
    accommodating, clear but flexible in her directions
    about noise and keeping a path clear in the hallway.
    Another officer dismissed the complaints of a McCain
    staffer to stop the photography in the office. “She
    has a right to take photographs,” the officer was
    overhead to say to the staffer. At the same time, the
    ten or so police who broke up the occupation were very
    specific and official when they ordered people to
    leave the office or face arrest.

    Those arrested were led away in hand constraints.
    Among them were Kathy Kelly and Jeff Leys of Voices
    for Creative Nonviolence which has organized the
    campaign. During the occupation of McCain’s office,
    one member of the group kneeled on the floor with a
    black hood over his head. His T-shirt read, “Shut down
    Guantanamo.” He, too, was arrested.

    It was hard watching people being led away, hands
    cuffed behind their backs. But I admired their
    continued vocal statements against the war as they
    were taken down the hallway and eventually to jail for
    processing.

    For me, observing the occupation (a word that neatly
    parallels, but in contra-distinction to the Iraq
    occupation) was a rare event. I tend to avoid much
    interaction with “law makers,” except for an
    occasional letter to my senators and representative.
    On one level, I admire the determination and courage
    of people who regularly voice their opposition to so
    many harmful U.S. policies and actions. At the same
    time, I wonder: Does it change congressional
    direction? Aren’t most members of Congress so embedded
    with corporate views of well-being and U.S. “rights”
    in the world that they don’t see alternatives to
    narrow visions of “national security”? While I tend to
    dwell on those “big” issues, it is good to see and
    hear small and large groups clearly express viable
    alternatives through nonviolent actions.

    February 5th was chosen as the date to kick off the
    campaign as it was the fourth anniversary of Colin
    Powell’s speech at the U.N. during which he made false
    and distorted arguments to justify the invasion of
    Iraq in 2003. It also was the day that the U.S.
    administration asked Congress for another $100 billion
    to continue the war.

    A number of local actions are being organized for
    February, March and April as a part of the campaign.
    More information is available at the website of the
    Center for Creative Nonviolence
    (http://www.vcnv.org/), Occupation Project.

    ***
    We thank ConsumersforPeace.org for submitting this article for
    publication by Traprock.

    The views expressed in this article are those of the writer, and do
    not necessarily reflect the views
    of Traprock’s core group members, staff, volunteers or supporters.
    Traprock Peace Center,
    as an organization, does not take a position on civil disobedience.

    Like

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