US air force, Cheney honour racist Strom Thurmond

Strom Thurmond racist quoteFrom an article on the visit of US Vice President Dick Cheney to Afghanistan:

Cheney did not fly on his usual jet, Air Force Two, which was left behind at a US base in Oman, instead boarding a C-17 cargo plane maintained by the South Carolina Air National Guard, named the Spirit of Strom Thurmond, which carried him to Pakistan and Afghanistan.

Cheney was accompanied on his visit to both countries by Stephen Kappes, deputy director of the CIA and a veteran of the agency since the days when it first mobilized Osama bin Laden, Gulbuddin Hekmatyar, and other Islamic fundamentalists to wage war against the Soviet occupation of Afghanistan.

Republican Senator Strom Thurmond is one of the most racist bigots in US history.

12 thoughts on “US air force, Cheney honour racist Strom Thurmond

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  2. 50 years ago: Strom Thurmond quits Democratic Party

    On September 17, 1964, South Carolina’s reactionary senator Strom Thurmond officially quit the Democratic Party and joined the Republican Party in order to campaign for its nominee for the presidency, Sen. Barry Goldwater of Arizona.

    In announcing his decision on a statewide television broadcast, Thurmond declared that the Democratic Party was “leading the evolution of our nation to a socialistic dictatorship.” Goldwater, who was touring the South, said that politically “a piece of paper [could not be] put between” himself and Southern Democrats like Thurmond, who shared the Arizonan’s opposition to civil rights and to the Kennedy-Johnson’s administration’s supposed “softness” on Vietnam and Cuba.

    Thurmond, then 61, had previously bolted the Democratic Party in 1948, when he ran for the presidency as the States Rights or “Dixiecrat” candidate against party nominee Harry Truman, carrying the states of South Carolina, Alabama, Louisiana, and Mississippi in the process. In subsequent presidential years he threatened to repeat this performance, but always returned to the Democrats in order to maintain seniority positions in the Senate and House committees which kept civil rights legislation bottled up.

    Thurmond’s move to the Republican Party, coupled with Goldwater’s nomination for the presidency, presaged a major shift in US ruling class politics. Since the 1880s, the Southern states had been subjected to a de facto single-party monopoly by the Democratic Party based on white supremacy and bitter opposition to any social reform—a political setup ultimately enforced by the terrorist violence of Southern “lawmen” and the Ku Klux Klan. Nationally, the Southern Democrats blocked with the corrupt northern urban “bosses” like Tammany Hall in New York City.

    In the 1930s, when the Democratic Party under Franklin Roosevelt engineered its “New Deal” coalition, including the newly formed CIO unions, the alliance with the Southern reactionaries became increasingly unstable. With the upsurge of the civil rights struggles from the mid-1950s on, the southern Democrats began to jump ship.

    Goldwater’s nomination in 1964, over the bitter opposition of a more liberal-minded Republican establishment that had rallied behind Nelson Rockefeller, represented a shift in the Republican Party’s center of gravity to the West and the South, and the erosion of its traditional basis of strength, dating back to the Civil War, in New England and the Midwest.


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