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« Race, Poverty, and the Inner City --- 40 Years Later | Main | Ask Dominic MacSorley... »

Bill Moyers Rewind: After The War (2002)

In 2002, NOW WITH BILL MOYERS broadcast this report about aid workers in Afghanistan. From producer William Brangham, the story follows Dominic MacSorley and the aid organization CONCERN WORLDWIDE, also featured in this week's report about aid workers in the Congo.
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I think that we should pull back are troops from the war in Afganistan.

Military Industrial Complex Has High-jacked the Constitution And Democracy

Who Is McCain?
A dangerous wounded soul; full of hate and suppressed unfulfilled-desire complexes
Unfit To Be The President Of, Even, A House
http://www.presstv.ir/detail.aspx?id=48828§ionid=3510303
Load up on guns and bring your friends
Mon, 24 Mar 2008 22:01:46
By Hedieh Ghavidel, Press TV, Tehran

Once upon a time there was a country named America which was founded on repressing and murdering its original inhabitants and on the ideas of equality and freedom from injustice.

And since it is a long story, we fast-forward to the present year and the presidential elections.

In the year 2008, 71-year-old Arizona Senator John McCain is the Republican frontrunner, a clumsy soul who, wherever he goes objects seem to find a way to run into him; a man who graces the audience with rolling his eyes and fidgeting like a bored teenager and who blinks too much when he is caught lying.

A man who has promised to "always tell the truth about his intentions and his beliefs" and most importantly "straight talk".

All nations, not just Americans, want their political leaders to be in control and to carry themselves with dignity. They take pride in leaders who do not behave like junior citizens and have no desire for a bad comedian to govern their country.

However, the four-time senator, who is likely to become the next US president, fits the stereotype of a showman politician who entertains voters by singing "bomb bomb Iran" and does not object to people asking him "how to beat the b**ch" when referring to his democratic rival and colleague.

Lies in disguise

In 2003, Vietnam vet McCain, a strong advocate of the war on Iraq, predicted that, 'victory will be rapid, within about three weeks' and since then he has been promising the American public that the war will soon be over.

"It's clear that the end is very much in sight. … It won't be long. It, it'll be a fairly short period of time," he claimed in April 2003.

"We're either going to lose this thing or win this thing within the next several months," he told Meet The Press in November 2006.

"My friends, the war will be over soon, the war for all intents and purposes," he said in Ohio February 2008.

However, in January 2007, McCain had a lapse in his memory. Gone from his mind were the remarks he had made over the past four years as he stood in front of the camera and said, "the American people were led to believe that this would be some kind of a day at the beach which many of us fully understood from the beginning that it would be a very very difficult undertaking."

"I knew it was probably gonna be long and hard and tough and those who voted for it and thought that somehow it was gonna be an easy task then I'm sorry they were mistaken, maybe they didn't know what they were voting for," he told MSNBC in 2007.

His memory was reset to before 2003 and he no longer knew or could be convinced that he was in fact one of the original supporters of the Iraq war.

The bright future

McCain later argued that the handling of the Iraq war was a mistake, not the initial invasion of the country.

The senator next informed voters, in concrete terms, how under his guidance the USA would continue to wage war, conveying that the best way to export democracy and lifestyle is at the point of a gun.

In January 2008, in response to a question pointing out that George W. Bush had talked about staying in Iraq for 50 years, John McCain said 'make it a hundred'.

His 'quick victory' was now a centennial stay in which at least four generations of American youth would have to "willingly" die to satisfy the insatiable greed of politicians and corporations for power and oil.

He also let the public know how sorry he was that "there's going to be other wars. We will never surrender but there will be other wars". McCain stated in Florida in January, "It's a tough war we're in. It's not going to be over right away. There's going to be other wars,"

In Afghanistan, he was hasty to tell not only US officers but also the British troops they should prepare for a 100-year commitment in Afghanistan.

There is no reason why anyone should question why a US senator sees it as his right to dictate or even suggest what the British military should do? Perhaps he is unaware that the UK has yet to become the 51st American state.

Internal affairs

The long-time civil servant appears clueless not only about current world affairs but, surprisingly, about critical issues facing America, the country he believes he has the wisdom to 'lead'.

In a recent Atlanta meeting he eloquently acknowledged the US financial strain, "So, I would say that, oh, it's very likely, and more and more economists are saying that we are probably, quote, 'in a recession'".

The same day, in a CBS 60 Minutes interview, he declared 'the fundamentals of the US economy are still very strong'.

"A lot of this is psychological. A lot of it's psychological! Because I agree the fundamentals of our economy is still strong," the Arizona senator said on January 23.

Strange remarks at a time when the United States has reportedly suffered a 63,000-job loss just in February and is headed full-speed toward an economic collapse.

When politicians concede that there is possibility of a recession, it actually means they are already knee-deep in one and most likely headed for a major depression.

Strange to claim 'it's all in your head' when economists say the United States is facing 'the most serious combination of macroeconomic and financial stresses' in at least a generation.

America, the beacon of freedom, the self-appointed leader of the free world, is learning fast that things are not so free. Of course, the country's massive debt and collapsing economy is nothing to worry about when credit is always available and any crisis can be dealt with by shopping, as was suggested to Americans after 9/11.

Plan for the youth of America

Senator McCain may not be much of an economist, but he knows enough about family planning and the threat of over population to dream up more wars in order to cull a few.

His plan will provide vocations for the thousands of unemployed youth by sending them to fight overseas, assisting in the death of countless innocent civilians along with American and European soldiers.

A quick troop reshuffle and more unemployed can be shipped off to fight and show their patriotism by losing limbs and dying for their country.

Bring in oil, fight overpopulation and create new job opportunities with war. What better way to kill a few birds with one stone?

Fantasizing about the world

In a trip to Jordan, the presidential nominee-in-waiting claimed with confidence that it is 'common knowledge and in the media that al-Qaeda is going back into Iran and receiving training and are coming back into Iraq from Iran, that's well known. And it's unfortunate'.

"I'm sorry, the Iranians are training extremists, not al-Qaeda," McCain corrected himself only after Senator Joseph Lieberman who was unsuccessful in catching his attention leaned over and whispered in his ear.

Under sharp criticism, he then resorted to the common conservative tactic that his mishap was to blur 'the differences between groups with different goals and ideologies in order to create the illusion of a united Islamofascist enemy'.

"To think that I would have some lack of knowledge about Sunni and Shia after my eighth visit and my deep involvement in this issue is a bit ludicrous."

It is ludicrous! It was not the senator's fault that his aides had not explained political concepts and world affairs to him in simpler language. The self-proclaimed 'most qualified leader' is not to blame for needing to be schooled in different subjects.

Perhaps someone should encourage him to use the cue-card system invented for Ronald Regan when he was running for office as a means of damage control.

Treading on the president's toes

Old man John is also in a bit of a rush to personally escort Bush out of the White House and lay claim to the oval office. In the last leg of his badwill tour, aimed at reassuring Americans he is out there doing business for USA Inc, after a meeting with the French president in Paris he announced:

"President Sarkozy has already recommended that we join together with meaningful sanctions on Iran that would deter them on their path of acquiring nuclear weapons."

Apparently, the senator has no desire to wait until securing the presidency before starting to shop for allies and it is his turn to insist on determining the fate of other nations as the leader of the United States.

Temper, Temper

There are others who ask how the future of America will be if Senator McCain becomes president, as he is notoriously hot tempered and infamous for his run-ins with other Republican senators. "Everybody on The Hill has a McCain story".

Iowa Senator Charles Grassley who was subject to McCain's "I'm calling you a f****** jerk!" said in an interview that he was so upset by the tirade that he did not speak to him for two years.

Many say Americans should be worried that if he becomes president and turns his temper on the Secretaries, and they refuse to speak with him not for two years but merely a few weeks, what will become of America amid the subsequent political chaos.

"F*** you," McCain shouted at Texas Senator John Cornyn last year.

"Only an a****** would put together a budget like this," the Arizona senator told the former Budget Committee chairman, Senator Pete Domenici, in 1999.

If McCain's foreign policy reflects his impulsive temper, will any corner of the world be safe from his wrath?

Some like the Mississippi Senator, Thad Cochran, have gone far enough to say that the thought of McCain's presidency "sends a cold chill down my spine; He is erratic. He is hotheaded. He loses his temper and he worries me."

What a wonderful person to have within reach of the missile launch codes.

The conspiracy theorist

There are some who have accused the senator of paranoia after he declared Tehran is attempting to influence the upcoming general election by increasing the casualties of the US-led war in Iraq.

"We still have the most lethal explosive devices coming across the border from Iran into Iraq," said the Arizona senator.

Traitor

Although he spent six years in captivity during the Vietnam War, he is well-known as a person who has done more than anyone else in Washington to bury the POW/MIA (Missing Personnel Act) and especially the POW/MIA Rescue Act, a bill which would have granted political asylum to any southeast Asian national who brought a living American POW to freedom.

Why would a former POW oppose such a bill?

Even though he likes to present himself as a hero, facts show he violated the Military Code of Conduct four days after being captured on Oct. 26, 1967, in exchange for better medical treatment.

The Code specifically orders American personnel to give the enemy no information other than name, rank, serial number, and date of birth, yet McCain admitted to exchanging military information during his six-week hospital stay in a May 14, 1973 interview.

Government records show that less than two weeks after he was taken to the hospital, Hanoi's press began quoting specific military information only Admiral McCain's son could have told them.

Records also show that McCain continued to collaborate with the Vietnamese after he recovered from his injuries and that he conducted several anti-US broadcasts.

This could explain why he personally traveled to Hanoi in May of 1993 with soon-to-be Ambassador to Vietnam Pete Peterson and convinced the country to agree that they would never make public their interrogation files of American POWs.

Corruption

The number five of the famous 'Keating Five', the senators accused of corruption in 1989, after a lengthy investigation by the Senate Ethics Committee was announced to have been only 'minimally' involved in the scandal in 1991.

While 'minimally' involved does not mean not guilty, it also does not mean he was acquitted of corruption charges!

Losing American jobs

McCain's role in the US Air Force decision to award a lucrative contract to build airborne refueling planes to a team, including the European parent of Airbus, instead of the Chicago-based Boeing should not be overlooked.

The deal would have enabled Boeing to support some 44,000 new and existing jobs in 40 states.

"Having made sure that Iraq gets new schools, roads, bridges and dams that we deny America, now we are making sure that France gets the jobs that Americans used to have. We are sending the jobs overseas, all because John McCain demanded it," said Democratic congressman Rahm Emanuel.

Something to think about as it may well represent the policies he will undertake in regard to the American economy, job losses and countless US businesses moving offshore to maximize profits.

Health

John McCain underwent a melanoma operation in August 2000 and while experts have said his health prospects appear favorable, the 71-year-old senator's refusal to make public his detailed medical records or even the names of his physicians seems rather suspicious.

A skeptic would ask why all the secrecy if there is nothing to hide? Some say that in his eagerness to fulfill his dream of becoming the oldest man ever to be elected as first term president, the senator wants to keep certain issues from the attention of the public.

The senator's mental capacity and awareness have also come under fire; his frequent memory lapses, such as when he had a 180-degree change of heart only "11 minutes" after making a controversial statement on MSNBC's Hardball in 2006.

The economics-challenged McCain's indecisiveness about issues such as whether the US economy is going strong or tumbling toward recession has also been cited.

Many say that, given McCain's advanced age and his history of cancer, it is not certain that he will serve out his term if elected, so Americans, and indeed the world, should be concerned with who his chosen running mate will be.

Change / No change

Change has been a key slogan in the current election process. It has been said that if American's want change, they are looking to the wrong candidate. Intent on using most of the Bush advisors, the senator is clearly saying his presidency would be an extension of the Texan's reign.

Another question raised is how a person who mocks his fellow Congressmen and women by dubbing Washington the 'city of Satan' can be respected while he is furiously campaigning for the position of Head Devil?

It is suddenly like a scene from Saramago's novel Blindness, an epidemic has broken out and people with no physical problem fail to see what is happening right under their noses.

Americans are headed toward electing a man who says he 'doesn't agree with what the majority of American people want' and his favorite punch line is 'no you can't'.

Luckily, we realize the remote is still in our hands, hit the pause button and think so much for a government "of the People, by the People, and for the People".

Then without hesitation, we press the stop button.

If you have any comments or questions please contact hedieh.ghavidel@presstv.ir

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I appreciated much about the show, but how can violence in Congo be discussed without mentioning rape? I was so disappointed that this perennial aspect of war and its effect on the women and girls we saw was not acknowledged AT ALL. I know the emphasis was on food distribution and hunger, but other forms of violence were discussed. The silence around rape perpetuates the problem.

[Editor's note: Please note that the issue of rape in the Congo is addressed on the Web site. I would like to also draw your attention to the upcoming film on HBO about the subject. Thanks for your attention.]

http://www.pbs.org/moyers/journal/04042008/profile2.html

http://www.hbo.com/docs/programs/thegreatestsilence/index.html

You forget that aid workers are little more than a referee for desperate displaced people. I imagine the Congo is more violent and depressing than Afghanistan (Especially considering the Congo's sexual violence recently in alternative media.
A follow-up in this area of Afghanistan would be very informative. It's at the other end of the country from Sara Chayes in Khandihar. Most important quote, McSorley,"Poverty and terrorism are inextricably linked." That's true anywhere.

I checked out Fresh Air 4/03/08. Jack and Grady are correct. It's extremely informative.We're in big trouble ourselves.

This is not the appropriate place to post this but it is urgent! To understand why we will have something a little worse than the Great Depression next year and for decades see April 3rd's episode of Fresh Air (WHYY archive)with Terry Gross in which the dark economy is explained by Prof. David Greenberger, a former federal commodities regulator. See also links to related Wessel and Borosage articles on Tax Payer's Bill of Rights page. Bill Moyers must address this issue soon. It pre-empts virtually everything else because of how we're being duped.

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