Backtalk, January 22, 2006

Gore Channels Taft


This is why you’re my favorite political writer. No one can accuse you of being a Gore fan (I’m certainly not) but you take the time to commend his honesty when he acknowledges the Democrats’ share of the blame for today’s sorry state of affairs.

It may be a small thing, but given the level to which American political discourse has sunk I cherish the spirit of honesty and integrity that you have consistently shown. Keep it up, man.

~ Jim Priest

I am sorry – I do not think it means a change in American politics – Gore sounded like this about two years ago when he addressed George Washington University. Robert Byrd also sounded like this when pimping his own book and excluded from the Democratic Convention in 2004.

What it means when a Democrat starts talking like Samuel Adams is that his political career is over and he is free to say whatever he wants without the DNC caring – he’s no longer a factor on the national stage.

What this means is that Gore has abandoned pandering to the great moderate middle and has been relieved of his desperate fear of offending someone somewhere and that means he’ll never get near a nomination again in his life.

That’s what it means when a modern politician starts sounding like someone to pay attention to.

~ Jay Hailey

A Challenge That Cannot Be Ignored

As Mr. Roberts points out, shame on the Democrats for not standing shoulder to shoulder with Al Gore. The Dems had better start showing some courage and get in the Bush administration’s collective face. Otherwise, they’d be of more service to the country as street cleaners and road repairers. This is the perfect time for the party to reestablish itself by defending – loudly – the Constitution and the Bill of Rights and by representing the average working American.

Could the general Democratic cowardice stem from the party being owned by Big Gas, Big Oil, Big Banking – the same folks who own the Republican party?

~ Dennis Quick, Senior Staff Writer, Charleston Regional Business Journal

Paul Craig Roberts replies:

Perhaps Israel’s Likud Party owns the Democrats as well as the Republicans.

I just wanted to point out that the NY Times actually did cover the speech.

You can accuse them of playing it down, failing to understand the importance of a major speech accusing the president of violating the law and the constitution, but they did have an article on it.

If you claim they didn’t cover it at all you leave yourself open to attack by the right-wing who will try to smear and discredit you and claim you are lying.


~ Scott M.

Paul Craig Roberts replies:

The attachment will not open so I cannot see what it is. Myself and a number of other colleagues searched the NYT online thoroughly for any sign of the Gore speech. The only mention was a paragraph at the end of a long article on ALCU lawsuit for Bush’s illegal spying. The paragraph gave very little information other than that Gore gave a speech. Friends purchased the print edition and found nothing on the speech. Perhaps the Times had a later edition that covered the speech, after catching so much flack about ignoring it. I must have received 200 e-mails from people who were unable to find anything about the speech in the NYT. They were astonished.

Guess What? Democracies Are Not Always Peaceful

In an interesting article, Leon Hadar notes that young democracies are prone to starting wars because “Leaders of these countries attempt to rally support by invoking external threats and resorting to belligerent, nationalist rhetoric and slogans.” Remarkably, he omits to mention how well this description happens to fit the United States over the last few years.

Given the eagerness with which the U.S. launched the war in Iraq, it is clear enough that wars can be started by democracies, regardless of whether they are new or mature. Recent history clearly disproves the thesis that democracies are inherently peaceful.

~ Patrick Cummins

Leon Hadar replies:

Dear Mr. Cummins:

One could make an argument that in a constitutional democracy or a liberal democracy there should be checks and balances and other mechanisms, including a free press, operating on the executive branch and constraining its ability to conduct war. Our tragedy is that the system we should have had in this country didn’t work when it came to the Iraq war. Instead, we got an impotent Congress, an obedient media and a war.

Another Undeclared War?

In this article Mr. Patrick has mentioned that Israel, Pakistan and India developed nuclear weapons clandestinely. Well, this point regarding India is not true. I don’t agree with the term “clandestine” associated with India. India first exploded its nuclear bomb in 1974; the whole world knew about it; the world also knew that we had a nuclear weapons program. The second time we exploded was in 1998. There is nothing legal or illegal about it; we didn’t sign NPT so we are not obligated not to develop for our security. How would you feel sandwiched between two enemies? But you’ve got to remember that India doesn’t have the record of proliferating the weapons like Pakistan or China.

Please don’t be under the assumption that we had a clandestine nuclear weapons program, our nuclear weapons program was known to everyone. It is Israel that even now neither confirms not denies the existence of its nuclear weapons. The sanctions that were put on India after the 1998 explosions was not because we had clandestine program but because by exploding we set a bad example….

~ Raghu

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