Hawk Fights Hawk for Mass. Senate Seat

The battle for Senate has been joined in Massachusetts between Scott Brown, a hawk, and Elizabeth Warren, another hawk. Warren began as the darling of the “progressives” here, but as her stance on Iran, the ongoing wars, and the plight of the Palestinians becomes known, the bloom is off the rose.

On the first day of her campaign, Warren was criticized far and wide, even among those who sympathized with her, for failing to answer questions from the press with anything but the most equivocal of bromides. There was one exception, however. She was asked, in what sounded like a planted question, how she felt about the Palestinian effort to put a petition for statehood before the U.N. General Assembly. Warren’s answer was crisp and certain. She opposed it.

Warren is no anti-interventionist. Here are some examples from her website (emphasis mine).

On Iran: “Iran is a significant threat to the United States and our allies.  Iran is pursuing nuclear weapons, it is an active state sponsor of terrorism, and its leaders have consistently challenged Israel’s right to exist. Iran’s pursuit of nuclear weapons is unacceptable because a nuclear Iran would be a threat to the United States, our allies, the region, and the world. The United States must take the necessary steps to prevent Iran from acquiring a nuclear weapon. I support strong sanctions against Iran and believe that the United States must also continue to take a leadership role in pushing other countries to implement strong sanctions as well. Iran must not have an escape hatch.” What will be the human costs of these sanctions? Warren does not ask, but she can check with fellow Democrat Madeleine Albright to see if the price is “worth it.”

On Afghanistan: “Our brave service members have done all that we could have asked them for and more in Afghanistan, but it is time for them to come home. We need to get out as quickly as possible, consistent with the safety of our troops and with a transition to Afghan control. I believe that this can be done faster than the current timeline.” What our government has asked our brave service members to do is to terrorize the population with night raids and bombing runs and to prop up a corrupt and unpopular puppet government. Warren would have us leave Afghanistan, but not until we are assured that the puppet government is secured.

On “terrorism”: “These threats are not going away.  We must remain vigilant. Al-Qaeda has operations or affiliates in Pakistan, Yemen, Somalia, and elsewhere around the world. We need to continue our aggressive efforts against al-Qaeda, and we need to continue to support the efforts of our intelligence, law enforcement, homeland security, and military professionals.” In other words, the drone attacks and clandestine wars will continue if Warren has anything to say about it. The phony “war on terrorism” must go on and on and on, in Warren’s view.

On Israel: “As a United States senator, I will work to ensure Israel’s security and success. I believe Israel must maintain a qualitative military edge and defensible borders. The United States must continue to ensure that Israel can defend itself from terrorist organizations and hostile states, including Iran, Hamas, Hezbollah, and others.” If Warren gets her way, the flow of billions from the strapped American taxpayer into Israel’s bellicose pocket will go on, allowing Israel to continue its slaughter of Gazans and others, all “terrorists,” to be sure. Although Warren goes on to pay lip service to a “two-state solution” in Palestine, she fails to mention on her site that she is dead set against those uppity Palestinians going to the U.N. to get their mini-state.

Warren’s campaign is increasingly sappy — clear evidence that she does not want a campaign of issues. Her interventionist proclivities are detestable to a big chunk of voters whom she needs. In one appeal for donations, Warren pointed out her links to Girl Scouts and their cookie sales! Given her desire to tighten the sanctions that make life increasingly difficult for the children of Iran, she might adopt as a slogan “Let them eat Girl Scout cookies.”

Warren’s opponent, Scott Brown, is no better. He too has been a poodle for the military-industrial complex and AIPAC in his brief and undistinguished sojourn in the Senate. Brown took office in a special election after the death of Teddy Kennedy at a time when disillusionment with Obama was growing ever stronger, and many votes poured in for him as a form of anti-Obama protest. He continued on his merry way with his betrayal of those who supported and donated to him, a lot of them right here in Massachusetts.

These political figures are not that important in and of themselves. But they illustrate a grand bargain in almost every campaign for national office these days. Scott Brown promises to lower taxes, a promise that’s always broken, if in turn he is permitted to back the wars of Empire. What kind of morality lies in that bargain?

Elizabeth Warren is the same. She will give you a consumer protection agency, she says, which may save you a few pennies. In turn she wants you to let her sanction defiant nations and slaughter innocents far and wide in the developing world. That is the bargain she offers. What kind of morality lies in that bargain?

Author: John V. Walsh

John V. Walsh writes about issues of war, peace, empire, and health care for Antiwar.com, Consortium News, DissidentVoice.org, The Unz Review, and other outlets. Now living in the East Bay, he was until recently Professor of Physiology and Cellular Neuroscience at a Massachusetts Medical School. John V. Walsh can be reached at john.endwar@gmail.com