Former Georgia congresswoman Cynthia McKinney, who captured the Green Party presidential nomination in Chicago, is at this juncture in history the only vehicle through which progressives can both register their outrage at Barack Obama and begin the process of rebuilding a mass, Black-led movement for real social change. Meanwhile, the frequency of Obama's right turns seem to increase in direct proportion to the nearness of the general election. Surely no one with a brain any longer believes that Obama is a closet progressive, or even a genuine liberal. The question is, how many progressives will put their votes and resources to honorable use?
The closer the Illinois senator gets to the White House, the farther he projects the Iraq occupation into a future just as murky as that envisioned by George Bush and John McCain. In Obama's endlessly conditional world, withdrawal from Iraq must be done "responsibly" --meaning, in actuality, that the US must retain the power to keep the Iraqis "responsive" to American military, economic and political demands. A US military pullout (of who knows how many troops, since Obama has always been elusive on the question) must be "honorable"--meaning, it should not give the appearance of weakness or admission of criminality. Most important, the US must emerge from the withdrawal (or reduction, or draw-down, or other conjure-word) in a position of "respect"--a total impossibility, unless respect actually means evoking terror throughout the neighborhood at the very thought of ever again provoking the Americans into violating the laws of modern civilization.
Obama is confident he can retain the "peace candidate" label while erecting successive obstacles to actual, physical withdrawal from Iraq, and while simultaneously pledging to add 92,000 troops to the US Armed Forces in order "to fight two wars and defend our homeland." His confidence is well-placed, not just because he is the Big Money Candidate in the current historical shift of corporate dollars from Republicans to Democrats--money that buys a mass version of reality--but because generations of two-party homogenized gibberish has rendered millions of Americans incapable of distinguishing between fact and fantasy, between waging war and pursuing peace.
The true voices of peace speak clearly, in simple language. "The US should withdraw all troops and mercenaries from Iraq in as orderly a fashion as possible," says Cynthia McKinney. "This withdrawal should be quickly accomplished, since the troops and the equipment were all pre-positioned in the area to start with, at the start of the invasion."
No flim-flam, no equivocations, no inventing of excuses to prolong the crime against peace (a Nuremburg capital offense). McKinney speaks as both a former US Representative and movement activist, one of the architects of the Reconstruction Party's Power to the People Platform, which declares:
We need an end to all wars and occupations by US forces, including in Iraq and Afghanistan. We need an immediate cessation of funding for war. We need prosecution for all individuals guilty of violating the law, including having committed or authorized crimes against humanity, crimes against the peace, torture, or war crimes, We need a...