This music video from the USA is a John McCain parody.
See also here.
John McCain Plays the Race Card: here.
In analyzing how Senator Obama became the prospective candidate for the Democratic party, and maybe will become the next president of the United States, and what helps and what hinders this candidacy, one should take at least three factors into account: the candidate himself and his ideas; his advisers; and his grassroots supporters.
According to Associated Press, 200,000 people came to hear Obama. Only very rarely in German history, a German politician has managed to get that many people to listen to him or her in Berlin voluntarily. So, that is remarkable. If the US Republican candidate John McCain would have made a speech in Berlin, he would have to have been satisfied with an audience of some hundreds, maybe far Right fringe people who like ideas about one hundreds years of war in Iraq and singing “bomb bomb Iran“.
So, remarkably, most of Obama’s Berlin audience were Germans who could not even vote for him. Probably, a minority of thousands were United States citizens living or traveling in Europe. In a report about Obama’s Berlin speech in Dutch daily De Pers, remarkably, all the people interviewed by reporter Thijs Roes were either African American or African immigrants to Germany.
From that report:
‘One can already see that he is also causing a change here’, Todd (30) says. The black artist from Minnesota has already been living in Berlin for eighteen years. ‘Europeans are always claiming that they are not discriminatory; however, that is not correct. Now that Obama has come so far, one can feel the change.’
Ndula, a salesman who grew up in Cameroon, agrees with Todd: ‘Obama represents everything which the Europeans are always claiming which they are ’, says the extravagantly dressed up German Obama fan. Some of the fans are over enthusiastic. ‘Obama is going to bring unlimited immigration!’, a young black man shouts, supported by his friends, draped in US American flags. Musician Jasie from Cameroon is enjoying himself. He is feeling goose pimples, he says, while shaking his head happily: ‘That remark about his complexion [in the speech] was a gift to Berlin. He knew that that remark would go down well.’
“The walls between old allies on either side of the Atlantic cannot stand,” Obama said, speaking not far from where the Berlin Wall once divided the city. “The walls between the countries with the most and those with the least cannot stand. The walls between races and tribes, natives and immigrants, Christian and Muslim and Jew cannot stand”.
Right. Somewhat missing here is the wall, so much bigger than the former Berlin wall, now being built by George W. Bush on the US-Mexican border. And the segregation walls in Baghdad; about the only “reconstruction” happening in George W. Bush’s Iraq of war and occupation.
Veterans Respond to McCain’s “Obama Wants to Lose” Remark: here.
A comment on Obama’s speech, Iraq, and Afghanistan: here.
From British daily The Guardian:
* Julian Glover and Ewen MacAskill in Washington
* Monday July 14, 2008
Barack Obama is overwhelmingly Britain’s choice to be the next US president, five times more popular than his Republican rival, John McCain, a Guardian/ICM poll shows today. Carried out ahead of the Democratic candidate’s visit to Britain next week, the poll reveals that 53% feel certain he would make the best president, with only 11% favouring McCain; 36% declined to express an opinion.
Obama will soon set off on a marathon trip that will take in Iraq, Afghanistan, Israel, Jordan, Germany, France and, lastly, Britain.
In elections, only the votes of citizens of the country involved count usually. This is also true for presidential elections in the USA, which has evolved into more of a global empire than the republic as seen by its eighteenth century founders.
It looks somewhat bitter for people in the over 100 countries where United States troops are stationed that they have in these circumstances no vote in US presidential elections. As it looks bitter for not so rich people in the USA that rich ‘insider’ people, though they, like other voters, have only one vote, have their ways of having disproportionate political influence; that elections may be tampered with, like in 2000 and 2004; etc.
“How the War Will End in Iraq” -Immanuel Wallerstein on Obama, Sadr, etc: here.
This video from the USA is called McCain‘s YouTube Problem Just Became a Nightmare.
By Bill Van Auken in the USA:
18 June 2008
The Republican Party’s presumptive candidate for president, Senator John McCain of Arizona, is routinely referred to in the US media as a “Vietnam War hero.” In speech after speech over the past month, his Democratic rival, Senator Barack Obama, has prefaced criticism of McCain’s policies with a declaration of his belief that the Republican is “a genuine war hero,” “a man who has served this country heroically” and “an American hero whose military service we honor.”
While conventional political wisdom would no doubt dismiss such rhetoric as, on the one hand, the packaging of the candidate by the Republicans and, on the other, a tactical feint on the part of a Democratic candidate lacking in military experience, the words have a far deeper and more ominous political significance.
What is the objective source of McCain’s designation as a “war hero,” a title that he parlayed into a successful political career bankrolled by the family fortune of his second wife [see also here] and abetted by the corrupt Arizona developer Charles Keating?
McCain, the son and grandson of four-star Navy admirals, was nearly a decade into a rather undistinguished career as a Navy pilot when he was shot down over North Vietnam in October 1967, landing him for the next five and a half years in a Vietnamese prisoner of war camp.
Before his plane went down, he had spent about 20 hours in combat in the skies over Vietnam, dropping high explosives on the towns and people below during short flights from an American aircraft carrier parked in the South China Sea.
He had volunteered to participate in an operation known as “Rolling Thunder” launched by the Democratic administration of President Lyndon Johnson in an attempt to break the will of the Vietnamese people. The aim was to use sustained bombing to destroy the country’s economy and infrastructure and kill or maim large numbers of its citizens.
Before the war was over, US warplanes dropped close to eight million tons of explosives—four times the bombs dropped in all of World War II—on a country roughly the size of New Mexico. This, the most intense and sustained bombing campaign in history, devastated Vietnam’s cities and destroyed its industrial, transportation and communications infrastructure.
Before the war was over, some five million Vietnamese were killed, many of them victims of US aerial bombardments.
In his book Vietnam: A History, veteran journalist Stanley Karnow presents the account given by a Vietnamese peasant of one bombing raid: “The bombing started at about eight o’clock in the morning and lasted for hours. When we first heard the explosions, we rushed into the tunnels but not everyone made it. When there was a pause in the attack, some of us climbed out to see what we could do, and the scene was terrifying. Bodies had been torn to pieces—limbs were hanging from trees and scattered around the ground. The bombing began again, this time with napalm, and the village went up in flames. The napalm hit me. I felt as if I was burning all over, like a piece of coal. I lost consciousness. Friends took me to the hospital, and my wounds didn’t begin to heal until six months later. Over 200 people died in the raid, including my mother, sister-in-law and three nephews. They were buried alive when the tunnel collapsed.”
What is described here is not an act of heroism, but a war crime carried out by what was militarily the most powerful nation on earth against an impoverished and historically oppressed country.
When McCain was shot down, he was completing such a bombing run against a power plant in a heavily populated area of Hanoi.
McCain’s survival after parachuting into Hanoi is testimony to the humanity of the Vietnamese people and was owed in particular to one Vietnamese worker who swam into the lake where the wounded pilot had landed, pulled him out before he drowned and then protected him from an enraged crowd.
One can only imagine the reaction if a foreign pilot—whose own country was never attacked—were to parachute into Phoenix or any other US city or town after bombing raids that had torn men, women and children to pieces and reduced homes to rubble.
In a 1997 interview on the CBS news program “60 Minutes,” McCain frankly acknowledged, “I am a war criminal; I bombed innocent women and children.” It was an honest statement, though hardly a convincing argument for making him president.
The fact that he was a war criminal reflected not merely his own personal actions, which in terms of slaughter were no doubt every bit as devastating as a My Lai massacre, albeit inflicted from a longer distance. Rather it was a matter of the objective character of the war itself. Clearly there were many in the top echelons of the government, its military and intelligence agencies and in both major parties who bore far greater responsibility for the waging of a criminal and counterrevolutionary war of aggression in Vietnam.
The American ruling establishment has spent more than three decades attempting to revise the history of the Vietnam War in order to conceal its own responsibility for the greatest war crimes since the fall of the Nazis and to erase the political memory of US imperialism’s defeat under conditions of mass opposition and social struggles at home.
Kicking the “Vietnam syndrome” has been the stated aim within the ruling elite at least since the first Bush administration. It was hoped that the first Persian Gulf War and then the invasion of Iraq would somehow sweep aside the popular aversion to US wars of aggression that was the bitter legacy of Vietnam.
McCain’s admission in 1997 notwithstanding, his lionization as a war hero has very much been a part of this effort. Meanwhile, his own conceptions about the Vietnam war have played a decisive role in shaping his attitudes towards Iraq and a potential new war against Iran.
McCain’s POW Defense: Devaluing Our Service and His Own: here.
McCain and youth: here.
McCain cartoon: here.
McCain and Iraq: here.
FearWatch ’08: Keeping an Eye Out for GOP Fear-Mongering: here.
Iraqis on Obama vs. McCain: here.
This is a music video of Chuck Berry – Johnny B. Goode live.
From British daily The Independent:
No, Johnny, No: Chuck Berry joins chorus of musicians snubbing McCain‘s campaign
By Leonard Doyle in Washington
Wednesday, 11 June 2008
For a US presidential candidate, there is nothing better than a rocking anthem to pump up the crowds and project the sort of imagery that could help win the keys to the White House.
The Republican hopeful John McCain may be pushing 72, but his “town hall” events can be as noisy as the stadiums where Barack Obama appears on stage to the strains of U2’s “Beautiful Day.” But the McCain camp is having trouble settling on a suitable campaign anthem. After searching for months, it finally picked “Johnny B Goode” – Chuck Berry‘s rock ‘n’ roll classic from 1958. The high-power guitar licks and “Go, Johnny, go” chorus put a spring in Mr McCain‘s step. When asked why he chose it, he quipped: “It might be because it is the only one [the artist] hasn’t complained about us using.”
Berry, 81, may not have complained about his song being appropriated by Mr McCain, but he has made it clear he would prefer Barack Obama in the White House. “America has finally come to this point where you can pick a man of colour and that not be a drawback,” Berry said. “It’s no question, myself being a man of colour. I mean, you have to feel good about it.”
The anointment of Mr Obama as the Democratic presidential candidate was, he added, “definitely a proud and successful moment for all the people of this country – not just black people, but Americans in general”.
Berry, known as the “father of rock ‘n’ roll”, recounted: “In the Fifties there were certain places we couldn’t ride on the bus, and now there is a possibility of a black man being in White House.” “Free at last, free at last, thank God Almighty, free at last,” he added, quoting Martin Luther King.
There was a groan at McCain headquarters as it suffered yet another musical derailment. An attempt to use Abba’s “Take A Chance On Me” also bombed. “We played it a couple times and it’s my understanding [Abba] went berserk,” Mr McCain said.
Mr McCain is not the first political candidate to stumble into a musical minefield, only to discover their theme song is not what was originally imagined. Objections often come in the form of letters to “cease and desist” by offended songwriters or musicians. Sometimes the lyrics are discovered to be off message. The McCain team had earlier alighted on John Cougar Mellencamp’s “Pink Houses”. The Mellencamp back-story as a hard-living rocker who had cleaned up his act seemed to perfectly project Mr McCain’s maverick image as a rule-breaking but deeply conservative sonofabitch.
That scenario went into meltdown when aides realised Mellencamp is a Democrat activist who supported the presidential contender John Edwards, even appearing with him on the campaign trail. Mellencamp asked Mr McCain to cease and desist. Not only that, but “Pink Houses” is a song about missed opportunities and wasted potential, so the lyrics are not exactly on-message for a presidential campaign.
Mr McCain then used the theme from Rocky after the head of MGM, a McCain backer, gave his approval. But MGM did not own the rights to the track.
Republicans seem to have a tin ear for music. For a while in 2004, George Bush’s re-election theme was the rock standard “Still The One”. However, it turned out that the songwriter John Hall was an environmental activist who had been campaigning against nuclear power since 1979.
David Cameron [of the British Conservative Party] will have some sympathy with Mr McCain. The Tory leader recently incurred the wrath of Paul Weller for expressing his liking for The Jam’s song “Eton Rifles”.
From Sam Stein’s blog in the USA:
June 2, 2008
In the summer of 2005, John McCain‘s chief strategist Charlie Black, working for his firm Black, Kelly, Scruggs & Healey, was paid $60,000 to lobby the U.S. government on behalf of the Chinese oil conglomerate CNOOC. At the time, CNOOC was mounting an aggressive bid to buy Unocal, a California-based oil giant, and Black was tasked with churning up congressional support. But the bid ultimately fell through, in part because of objections over the China oil industry’s ties to Iran, a country in which it had already invested tens of millions of dollars.
“This transaction poses a clear threat to the energy and national security of the United States,” wrote Rep. Joe Barton, a Texas Republican. …
Flash-forward nearly three years and Black‘s old client — which later scored a $16 billion deal with the Iranian government — could now create major headaches for his current boss. On Monday, McCain, in a speech at the American Israel Public Affairs Committee, called for a broad and aggressive international campaign to divest from Iran.
Maybe McCain‘s “Bomb, bomb Iran” macho talk aims at erasing the tracks of his buddy Black’s link to the Iranian regime … like Dick Cheney’s warmongering against Iran may try to cover up Cheney’s Halliburton’s selling of nuclear components to Iran … and Donald Rumsfeld’s war against Iraq took attention away from the chummy 1980s Rumsfeld-Saddam Hussein relationship …
McCain and Hagee: see this cartoon.
McCain adviser [Black] suggests that Republican campaign would benefit from another 9/11 attack: here.
This video from the USA is called John McCain’s Myanmar (Burma) Connection.
From The Independent weekly in the USA:
By Leonard Doyle, The Independent. Posted May 13, 2008.
The McCain campaign reeks of special interests.
Two top aides to the Republican presidential nominee John McCain have been forced to resign over their ties to the Burmese military junta, providing yet another embarrassment for Mr McCain who is trying to present himself as the scourge of special interests in Washington.
Douglas Goodyear, who had been chosen to run the 2008 Republican convention, said he was resigning “so as not to become a distraction in this campaign” after it was revealed he was connected to a lobbying firm that has represented Burma’s military leaders.
Newsweek reported at the weekend that the DCI Group, a lobbying firm, represented Burma until last year. Mr Goodyear, its chief executive, “was paid $348,000 in 2002 to represent Burma’s military junta, which had been strongly condemned by the State Department for its human-rights record and remains in power today,” the magazine said.
Mr Goodyear had been given the important task of running the Republican convention in Minneapolis this summer and the controversy threatened to highlight the role of lobbyists in Mr McCain’s campaign.
While Mr McCain publicly portrays himself as a crusader against special interests, many of his closest advisers are former or current lobbyists. Doug Davenport, another McCain aide and former DCI chief executive, has also quit.
Top McCain Campaign Adviser Outsources U.S. Jobs: here.
At a town hall meeting today, Senator McCain made a stunning admission when he announced that his energy policy would aim to reduce our dependence on Middle East oil, which would in turn ensure that we never have to fight another war there again.
“My friends, I will have an energy policy which will eliminate our dependence on oil from Middle East that will then prevent us from having ever to send our young men and women into conflict again in the Middle East.”
Think about how amazing this is. McCain is essentially saying that our quest to “spread democracy” throughout the Middle East is a sham. It has nothing to do with freeing oppressed people, or protecting Israel, or defending ourselves against future attacks. It’s about gaining control of foreign oil. Stunning. Will this get any significant media play?
So, after George W. Bush’s financial man Alan Greenspan; after the Australian pro-Iraq war Howard administration; basically, even after George W. Bush himself; and long after the opponents of the Iraq war: John McCain at last admits the obvious.
Recently, McCain admitted as well that Bush’s Iraq war had killed “hundreds of thousands” of Iraqis. Though that was still less than realistic estimates of over a million dead, it was more than George W. Bush is willing to admit.
Which makes McCain’s talk about one hundred years of United States war in Iraq all the more disgusting and absurd.
McCain and Islamophobia: here.
From Socialist Unity blog in Britain:
LABOUR PARTY BLOGGERS ADVERTISING JOHN McCAIN
That’s correct, JOHN “CONSERVATIVE VALUES” McCAIN!!! I was searching through Bloggers4Labour trying to work out why there were so few Labour bloggers promoting Ken Livingstone, when I noticed this paid advert on their web page for the right-wing, republican, fruit-cake who pledges that if he wins the presidency US troops will be in Iraq for the next one hundred years.
This Labour Party supporting webpage proudly states that the advert is “paid for by John McCain 2008″.
Not completely surprising, considering that: