Tag Archives: Biden

Winners and Losers 2008

Here is a list of winners and losers for 2008.

palin-fail

As befits a year in which the economy collapsed and wars dragged on, the list of losers is longer than the list of winners.

Two names made the list of both winners and losers.

Feel free to add or subtract names and to add commentary.

The year isn’t over, so the list may change.

Winners

Barack Obama
Michelle Obama
Hillary Clinton
Rachel Maddow
Pixar
Bankruptcy lawyers
Facebook
Robert Gates
Jonas Brothers
Bill Ayers
Heather Mills
Sarah Palin
Democrats
Beyoncé
Harrison Ford
Joe Biden
Robert Downey, Jr.
The Taliban
Mexican drug cartels
Prisons
AIG
Lawrence Summers
David Axelrod
Rahm Emanuel
Paul Volker
Vladimir Putin
Tom Daschle
John Podesta
Britney Spears
Keith Olbermann
C.C. Sabbathia
Philadelphia Phillies
Brett Farve
will.i.am
Eli Manning
Bank of America
Christopher Buckley
Walmart
Mark Begich
Muntadhar al-Zaidi
Somali pirates
Guy Ritchie
Emo vampires
Carla Bruni
Google
Tom Udall
Mark Udall
John Kerry
Al Gore
Kay Hagan
Mickey Rourke
Mike Huckabee
Jeff Merkley
Michael Phelps
Jason Lezak
Heath Ledger
Rafael Nadal
Repo Men
Global warming
Handguns

Losers

OJ Simpson
Bernard L. Madoff
Anthony Pellicano
George W. Bush
John McCain
Republicans
Alan Greenspan
Realtors
Iraq
Paul McCartney
Newspapers
Local television
Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac
William J. Jefferson
Circuit City
Lehman Brothers
Detroit
John Edwards
Myspace
Steve Schmidt
Chinese milk
Star Wars
Yahoo
Wachovia Corp.
Washington Mutual
Karl Rove
Sam Zell
Richard H. Davis
U.S. Automakers
The South
Mortgage brokers
Ben Bernanke
Henry Paulson
Same Sex Marriage
Merrill Lynch
Book publishers
Airlines
Homeland Security
Rush Limbaugh
The Fed
Britney Spears
Rod Blagojevich
Scooter Libby
Bill Clinton
Jeremiah Wright
Mitt Romney
Jesse Jackson
Jesse Jackson, Jr.
Las Vegas
California
Arnold Schwartzeneggar
Eliot Spitzer
Gordon Smith
Raffaello Follieri
Workers
Sarah Palin
Ted Stevens
Washington Mutual
Yeshiva University
Africa
India
Bill O’Reilly
New York Mets
Plaxico Burress
Broadway
Phil Gramm
Museum of Modern Art (MOCA) Los Angeles
Mikheil Saakashvili
Christopher Cox
Joe Lieberman
Jewish charities
Public schools
Community colleges
John E. Sununu
Elizabeth Dole
Miley Cyrus
Countrywide
Angelo Mozilo
Max Mosley
Kwame Kilpatrick
Heath Ledger
Roger Clemens
Baytown, Texas
Galveston Island, Texas
Missouri
The Bill of Rights

Advertisements

Hillary Clinton Isn’t a Foreign Policy Issue — What We Should Really Care About

Does it matter whether Hillary Clinton is Barack Obama’s secretary of state?

Who is the secretary of state is far less important than the question of Obama’s foreign policy — and I’m not sure that I know what that is, even in general, at this point.

As far I as I can figure, Obama isn’t very far from Bush on most foreign policy issues (without, hopefully, the stupidity) and that concerns me far more than whether Hillary Clinton should be secretary of state.

During the course of the campaign, as the economy became the focus of debate, questions about foreign policy receded.  Even so, Obama seemed to me to move closer to Bush on a wide range of foreign policy issues, from the war in Afghanistan to support for the territorial claims of the current regime in Georgia. 

Overall, Obama maintained a fuzzy “feel good” foreign policy stand with vague bromides such as “secure loose nuclear materials from terrorists” (who is in favor of loose nukes?), “direct diplomacy without preconditions to end the threat from Iran” (who doesn’t want to end the threat from Iran?) “rebuild our alliances” (anyone against that?) and “renew American diplomacy” (okay, but how?).

Aside from the still unresolved question of what Obama will do to end the war in Iraq, these questions concern me:

Will Obama continue the Bush policy of deploying missiles in Eastern Europe despite the threat such missiles pose to the Russians?

Will Obama put teeth in the U.S. opposition to Israeli settlements in Palestinian territory?

How will Obama work with Mexico and other countries to reduce illegal immigration and reduce drug traffic into the U.S.?

How will Obama seek to change NAFTA and CAFTA?

What countries should be admitted in NATO?

What should the U.S. or the U.N. do about the ongoing genocide in Darfur?

What should the U.S. do about the many other disasters now taking place in Africa (Somalia, Congo, Zimbabwe)?

The list, of course, could (and should) be expanded.

The fact is that we don’t know the answers to these questions.

When we’re talking about Obama’s foreign policy, these are the questions we should be discussing, not whether Hillary Clinton (or anyone else) should get the corner office in the state department.

Don’t Blame Bush

The blame is already being dished as John McCain’s presidential campaign sputters toward a crushing election defeat and the Democrats are poised to take control of the White House and both houses of Congress.

mccain-and-bush

Most of the pointing fingers are aimed at the universally loathed George W. Bush, who has become the public face of both economic catastrophe and battlefield disaster.

Other leading candidates for the role of principal victim in the Republican blame game are John McCain – he didn’t run a tough enough campaign or didn’t appeal enough to the party’s evangelical or populist base – and Sarah Palin – she wasn’t ready to be president or didn’t broaden her appeal beyond the party’s evangelical or populist base.

But George W. Bush is not the cause of the Republican Party’s looming election debacle, and neither John McCain nor Sarah Palin is the reason for their party’s 2008 collapse. 

Americans like to personalize politics, preferring to embrace or repudiate personalities rather than policies.  When we evaluate our politicians, we talk about their personal qualities – such as leadership, competence, integrity, consistency, and authenticity.  We like to say that we vote for the candidate not the party.

For this reason, our public debate on the causes of the Republican has focused on questions of Bush’s incompetence, McCain’s temperament, and Palin’s ignorance.

But blaming any or all of them for the coming massive Republican defeat misses the real culprit and lets too many others off the hook.

The cause of the Republican’s imminent electoral disaster is not the personal qualities of their elected officials and candidates, but the fundamental beliefs and policy assumptions of the Republican Party. 

It is these fundamental beliefs and policy assumptions that have caused the nation’s economic meltdown, which has in turned caused the meltdown of the Republican Party.

And every single Republican office holder, from the president to the lowest down-ticket county official, regardless of their personal qualities, shares in the blame.

The modern Republican Party, and every Republican, has embraced these two basic beliefs:

  • No to government regulation of markets and the economy.  A fundamental belief of every Republican is that the economy works best – that is, it is more productive and creates more wealth – when unconstrained by regulation.
  •  No to taxes.  Every Republican believes that taxes, especially on the wealthiest Americans, should be always lower and eliminated whenever possible.  Under no circumstances should there be a tax increase, even in order to fund necessary government program. 

These two fundamental tenets of Republican policy have created the economic crisis the nation is now suffering, and nearly every other crisis that the nation is now facing can be traced to Republican adherence to these principles – including our soaring national debt, our crumbling infrastructure, our failing schools, our ecological vandalism, our oil dependency, our exploding prison population, our shameful veterans hospitals, and our inequitable and dysfunctional heath care system.

Every other Republican talking point – from abortion to immigration to support for continuing the war in Iraq – is contingent and conditional.  There are Republicans who disagree with the party leadership on these issues.

But there are no Republicans who have not sworn eternal hostility to taxes and economic regulation.  One simply cannot be a Republican without embracing these two fundamental policies that have brought near catastrophe to the world economy, to the operations of federal, state and local government, and, finally, and deservedly, to the Republican Party itself.

What has brought America to the brink of disaster and the Republican Party to the brink of an election defeat of historic proportions?

It’s not just Bush.

It’s not just McCain and Palin.

It’s Republicans.

Each and every one of them.

Don’t let Rush Limbaugh, Newt Gingrich, Tom DeLay, Chris Shays, or your local Republican senator or schoolboard member put the blame on someone else.

As another famous Republican once said, they’re all bad.

Karl Marx Would Be Offended

WFTV reporter Barbara West’s question to Joe Biden – “You may recognize this famous quote. From each according to his abilities to each according to his needs. That’s from Karl Marx. How is Sen. Obama not being a Marxist if he intends to spread the wealth around?” – would have upset Karl Marx even more than it upset Joe Biden.

colour_marx

The phrase “From each according to his abilities to each according to his needs” was the ideal and slogan of nineteenth century democratic  socialism. 

But it was not a slogan of Marx or a principle of communism.

On the contrary, Marx used the phrase only once, when he was criticizing the democratic socialists for what Marx believed was their naive or “utopian” hope for fundamental social change without violence or dictatorship.

In his Critique of the Gotha Program (1875) and elsewhere, Marx argued that radical change would require a “dictatorship of the proletariant” before the socialists’ ideal could be realized.  What was necessary, Marx argued, was a society based on the principle of “”from each according to his ability, and to each according to his labor power” – that is, according to their actual contribution to (the new) society.

For Marx, no one was entitled to anything based solely on their “need.”

Marx would be offended — and probably heartbroken — that more than a hundred years after his death, people are still confusing him with democrats.

No Laughing Matter: The Palin Doctrine of Presidential Power

burning-constitution2Vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin’s recent statement that she looks forward to being elected vice president so she can be “in charge of the senate” has mostly generated laughter rather than outrage.

 Palin was asked by Colorado third-grader Brandon Garcia “What does the vice president do?”

She responded: “A vice president has a really great job because not only are they there to support the president’s agenda, they’re there like the team member, the teammate to the president. But also, they’re in charge of the United States Senate, so if they want to they can really get in there with the senators and make a lot of good policy changes that will make life better for Brandon and his family and his classroom. And it’s a great job and I look forward to having that job.”

I first saw a clip of Palin’s answer on Keith Olbermann’s show on MSNBC, where his take on Palin’s view of the vice presidential power was to assume that she is ignorant of the far more limited legislative role of the vice president, as defined in Article I of the U.S. Constitution: “The Vice President of the United States shall be President of the Senate, but shall have no vote, unless they be equally divided.” 

constitution_quill_pen

Olbermann said “So the vice president is not in charge of jack, Governor, let alone in charge of the senate, and you are not as smart as a third-grader.”

I don’t think that ignorance explains Palin’s answer.

Instead, I think that there is quite a bit of method to Palin’s madness.

This is the second time that Palin has referenced the Dick Cheney-John Yoo conception of expansive executive power.

As I noted in a blog post on Palin’s stunning articulation of expansive executive power in the vice presidential debate with Joe Biden – where she said that the Constitution provides “flexibility” in vice president’s role, including the power “not only to preside over the Senate” but also to exercise “more authority . . . if [the] vice president so chose to exert it” — Palin’s interpretation of the powers of the vice president is not the laughable  product of ignorance of the Constitution. 

Rather, Palin demonstrated that she has consciously and very specifically adopted the Dick Cheney-John Yoo theory of an Imperial Executive with absolute power outside the Constitutional system of checks and balances. 

As I said in my earlier post, Gwen Ifill’s question regarding the power of the vice president was “one of the very few questions that Palin has answered where one could come to the conclusion that she has thought about this before.”

Much as we love to laugh at Sarah Palin, this is no laughing matter.

constitution

Clearly, Palin is not the sharpest knife in the drawer when it comes to the intellectual rationales behind public policy and political theory.

How is it, then, that the often painfully ignorant Sarah Palin is so conversant with a very particular, and relatively obscure, interpretation of the Constitution’s framework regarding the nature of executive power?

I do not know the answer to that question, but I am coming to believe that it might well explain why John McCain ended up picking Palin to be his running mate.

Is it possible that, far from being a completely off-the-wall choice, Palin was picked precisely because she is an adherent to the Cheney-Yoo view of expansive and unchecked executive power, and is willing to implement this view when in office?

Given McCain’s age and health, one could spin a conspiracy theory that it is Sarah Palin, rather than John McCain, who the McCain campaign believes will actually be the president if their ticket wins, and that their plan is to exercise unlimited and illimitable executive power.

Not funny.

Not funny at all.

News from the VP Debate: The McCain-Palin Coup

News was made at the vice presidential debate between Joe Biden and Sarah Palin last night, but few noticed it, and no one has yet analyzed its far reaching and frightening implications.

fascism1The news came when the discussion turned unexpectedly to the powers of the vice presidency.

Moderator Gwen Ifill noted that Biden had said earlier in the year that he would not want to be vice president and that Palin had asked what a vice president does every day.  Ifill then asked the candidates “What it is you think the vice presidency is worth now?”

In her answer, Plain first claimed that her question about the daily activities of the vice president was not a reflection of genuine ignorance but only a “lame joke.”

Then she veered suddenly in a very strange direction:

“Of course, we know what a vice president does. And that’s not only to preside over the Senate and will take that position very seriously also. I’m thankful the Constitution would allow a bit more authority given to the vice president if that vice president so chose to exert it in working with the Senate and making sure that we are supportive of the president’s policies and making sure too that our president understands what our strengths are. John McCain and I have had good conversations about where I would lead with his agenda.”

After Biden spoke about why he had accepted Barack Obama’s offer to be his running mate, Ifill turned back to Palin, asking her one of the very few “follow-up” questions of the evening:

“Governor, you mentioned a moment ago the constitution might give the vice president more power than it has in the past. Do you believe as Vice President Cheney does, that the Executive Branch does not hold complete sway over the office of the vice presidency, that it is also a member of the Legislative Branch?”

Palin’s answer was uncharacteristically clear and unequivocal and — even more unexpectedly – firmly rooted in a specific interpretation of the Constitution and constitutional history:

“Well, our founding fathers were very wise there in allowing through the Constitution much flexibility there in the office of the vice president. And we will do what is best for the American people in tapping into that position and ushering in an agenda that is supportive and cooperative with the president’s agenda in that position. Yeah, so I do agree with him that we have a lot of flexibility in there, and we’ll do what we have to do to administer very appropriately the plans that are needed for this nation.”

The media have become so accustomed to hearing nonsense and gibberish from Palin that her clarity and specificity on this arcane point of Constitutional law and the Separation of Powers went almost unnoticed, although on MSNBC both Chris Matthews and Rachel Maddow attempted to draw attention to it.  Even so, the question they asked – “What did she mean?” – went unanswered.

So let us ask again: What did Palin mean when she said that “the Constitution would allow a bit more authority givento the vice president if that vice president so chose to exert it” and “our founding fathers were very wise there in allowing through the Constitution much flexibility there in the office of the vice president. And we will do what is best for the American people in tapping into that position and ushering in an agenda that is supportive and cooperative withthe president’s agenda in that position. Yeah, so I do agree with him that we have a lot of flexibility in there, and we’ll do what we have to do to administer very appropriately the plans that are needed for this nation.”

On February 23. 2006, Salon published an article by Sidney Blumenthal entitled Cheney’s Coup. Blumenthal wrote that “On March 25, 2003, President Bush signed Executive Order 13292, a hitherto little known document that grants the greatest expansion of the power of the vice president in American history. The order gives the vice president the same ability to classify intelligence as the president. By controlling classification, the vice president can in effect control intelligence and, through that, foreign policy. Bush operates on the radical notion of the ‘unitary executive’, that the president has inherent and limitless powers in his role as commander in chief, above the system of checks and balances. By his extraordinary order, he elevated Cheney to his level, an acknowledgment that the vice president was already the de facto executive in national security. Never before has any president diminished and divided his power in this manner. Now the unitary executive inherently includes the unitary vice president.”

What Blumenthal referred to as “the radical notion of the ‘unitary executive’” was explained in an earlier article by Elizabeth de la Vega, also published in Salon, entitled Big Brother is Watching You. “[O]nly recently,” de la Vega wrote, “has the world received notice that President Bush’s ‘I can do anything I want’ approach to governance has a name: the Unitary Executive Theory of the Presidency.”  As de la Vega pointed out,  the Unitary Executive Theory was offered by Bush administration officials as a rationale for “President Bush’s recent confession to a crime: repeatedly authorizing the National Security Agency to intercept domestic electronic communications for foreign intelligence purposes without a court order in violation of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act. FISA contains no exception for the president, but Bush claims his action is legal because: 1) Congress endorsed it in its Sept. 18, 2001, Authorization to Use Military Force in response to Al Qaida’s September 11th attacks, and 2) he has inherent power as chief executive to act as he deems necessary in wartime.”

Under this theory, the powers of the president and vice president are not limited to those powers that are specifically enumerated in the Constitution, but include the broad and unlimited power to take any action whatsoever that the Executive Branch deems necessary to protect the United States (for example, torture of prisoners and warrantless wiretapping of U.S. citizens), regardless of the contrary views of the Congress or even the courts.

As Cheney told the Wall Street Journal, “[G]iven the world that we live in…the president needs to have unimpaired executive authority.”

The primary advocate for the claim that the Executive Branch has unlimited and unreviewable power has been the former head of the Bush administration’s Office of Legal Counsel, John Yoo.

As Yoo asserted in his infamous “Torture Memo” (officially titled “The President’s Constitutional Authority to Conduct Military Operations Against Terrorists and the Nations Supporting Them”):

“The President’s constitutional power to defend the United States and the lives of its people must be understood in light of the Founders’ express intention to create a federal government ‘cloathed withall the powers requisite to [the] complete execution of its trust’ … [I]t is clear that the Constitution secures all federal executive power in the President to ensure a unity in purpose and energy in action … the constitutional structure requires that any ambiguities in the allocation of a power that is executive in nature – such as the power to conduct military hostilities – must be resolved in favor of the executive branch .. [While] Congress’s legislative powers are limited to the list enumerated in Article I, section 8, while the President’s powers include inherent executive powers that are unenumerated in the Constitution . . .[No] statute, however, can place any limits on the President’s determinations as to any terrorist threat, the amount of military force to be used in response, or the method, timing, and nature of the response. These decisions, under our Constitution, are for the President alone to make.”

What is striking is the extent to which Sarah Palin’s comments in the vice presidential debate tracked the Bush administation’s assertion of, and rationale for, the Cheney-Yoo theory of unlimited and absolute Executive power.

Given that Palin has never before shown any in-depth knowledge of American history or Constitutional theory, it is also apparent that this particular issue has been of special interest to her and her handlers.

Indeed, this was one of the very few questions that Palin has answered where one could come to the conclusion that she has thought about this before.

Any doubt that Palin was specifically invoking the Cheney-Yoo theory of an Imperial Executive with absolute power outside the system of checks and balances is removed by noting Palin’s repeated use of the key phrase “flexibility.”

As David Cole observed in The New York Review of Books, “all of Yoo’s departures from the text of the Constitution point in one direction—toward eliminating legal checks on presidential power over foreign affairs. He is candid about this, and defends his theory on the ground that it preserves ‘lexibility’ for the executive in foreign affairs. But the specific “lexibility’ he seeks to preserve is the flexibility to involve the nation in war without congressional approval, and to ignore and violate international commitments with impunity. As Carlos Vazquez, a professor of law at Georgetown, has argued in response to Yoo, ‘flexibility has its benefits, but so does precommitment.’ The Constitution committed the nation to a legal regime that would make it difficult to go to war and that would provide reliable enforcement of international obligations. Yoo would dispense with both in the name of letting the president have his way.”

What this means is that the Cheney-Yoo rationale for absolute Executive power has been part of the background planning for the McCain-Palin administration, and that those who are fashioning a future McCain-Palin regime have already anticipated taking actions that would require justification by a Constitutional theory of absolute and unlimited Executive power.

In this context, even more chilling is Palin’s promise that she and McCain will “do what we have to do to administer very appropriately the plans that are needed for this nation.”

With Palin’s endorsement of the notion of unlimited Executive power, that promise was a threat.

Here, then, is the news that was made in the vice presidential debate: The McCain-Palin administration already has a plan to use military force against its perceived enemies, both foreign and domestic, and this plan requires a theory of unlimited Executive power to ““do what we have to do to administer very appropriately the plans that are needed for this nation” regardless of whatever the Congress, the courts, or anyone else might think.

That’s called totalitarianism.

And the McCain-Palin administration already has a plan to implement it.

The Biden Doctrine: Joe Biden’s Call for U.S. Military Force in Darfur Offers Hope to the Victims of Genocide

darfur_conflict

Photograph by Brian Steidle

Anyone who has seen The Devil Came on Horseback, the heart-breaking documentary film about the genocide in Darfur, will recall ex-marine officer turned unarmed observer Brian Steidle’s comment that “If these photos were seen”  — that is, the photos that Steidle himself took of the atrocities committed against civilians, including women, children, and babies, by Sudanese forces and government-backed Arab militias – “there would be troops here in no time.”

What Steidle meant was that if the American people could see what was happening in Darfur, they would not allow the Sudanese slaughter of the innocents to continue, but would demand that America use its military might to force an end to the genocide that has already killed more than 300,000 people and displaced more than two million others into refugee camps where they are subjected to constant government attacks, rape, malnutrition, starvation, and disease.

Steidle now readily acknowledges that his belief in America’s willingness to put boots on the ground to protect Black Africans in Darfur was naïve:  “I honestly thought, as I wrote in an email home, that if the people of America could see what I’ve seen, there’d be troops here in one week…. Man, I am so naive. Because that’s not true at all. They’ve seen it now. And we’ve still done nothing.”

devil-on-horseback1

As Richard Just recently noted in a brilliant and disturbing essay in The New Republic on the ineffectual American response to the genocide in Darfur, “All the information – the dispatches, the websites, the columns, the books, the films – have not roused anybody with the power to stop this tragedy actually to stop it.”

Faced with the reality of genocide in Darfur, Steidle, the ex-marine, wished that he could take matters into his own hands. “If we had a mandate to defend these people,” he wrote, “and if I was looking through a scope instead of looking through the lens of my camera, these [Sudanese military] vehicles would be done. These people could return to their village, and they’d be safe.”

But there still is no international or American mandate to effectively defend the people of Darfur.

In Steidle’s words, the United States and its allies have “done nothing” to prevent the continued killing of unarmed Darfuri men, women, and children.

A village burned by the Janjaweed. Photograph taken by Brian Steidle.

A village burned by the Janjaweed. Photograph taken by Brian Steidle.

The reasons for our impotence and inaction, according to Just, are many: “True, we were poorly served by a small-minded president and his bungling administration. But did liberals demand the right things of him? Did we push for what would really save the people of Darfur? Or did we get trapped by the inclinations of our worldview, and advocate for too little?”

There is at least one American political leader who is clearly on record in support of Steidle’s military approach to stopping the killing of Darfur’s innocents – Democratic vice presidential candidate Joe Biden.

At an April 11, 2007, hearing of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, which he chairs, Biden said “I would use American force now. I think it’s not only time not to take force off the table. I think it’s time to put force on the table and use it.”

Biden argued that 2,500 U.S. troops in Darfur could “radically change the situation on the ground now.”

“Let’s stop the bleeding,” Biden said. “I think it’s a moral imperative.”

Biden’s engagement with the crisis in Darfur goes back to at least 2004, when he and Senator Feingold wrote to President Bush, urging him to take action to prevent the genocide unfolding in Sudan.  Biden visited the Oure Cassoni refugee camp on the Chad-Sudan border (after being denied a visa to go into Darfur) in March 2005 and met with refugees and African Union commanders. On his return, Biden called for NATO to send combat troops to Darfur.  In February 2006, Biden pressed his Senate colleagues to support NATO enforcement of a Darfur no fly zone to prevent air attacks by the Sudanese government against Darfuri civilians.

More recently, on April 23, 2008, Biden told the Foreign Relations Committee “Genocide is happening on our watch. What are we going to do about it? What we’re doing now is not working.”

Further chilling evidence that “what we’re doing now is not working” came this week with the news that Sudanese troops opened fire inside a Darfur refugee camp, killing at least 27 people.  Sudanese government troops in over 100 trucks with mounted machine guns surrounded the sprawling Kalma camp, home to more than 90,000 people who have been forced to abandon their homes and flee from Sudanese army and Arab militia attacks on their villages, and opened fire.

You can see a short film by Doctors Without Borders showing the atrocious conditions in the Kalma camp here.

In response to this most recent outrage, the Bush administration issued an appallingly tepid statement saying that the United States was “concerned by indiscriminate weapons fire by Sudanese government forces on the Kalma internally displaced persons camp” and calling on the Sudan government (which planned and committed the attack) to “thoroughly investigate this incident and ensure that such actions are not repeated.”

refugees-darfur1

In his TNR piece, Richard Just reports the hands-off policy toward Darfur of “[current World Bank president and then United States Deputy Secretary of State] Robert Zoellick, who by that time had become Bush’s point man on Darfur: ‘It’s a tribal war. And frankly I don’t think foreign forces want to get in the middle of a tribal war of Sudanese.’ … If Omar Bashir [the president of Sudan] knew of Zoellick’s comment, then he would also have known that he would win in Darfur. And he has won.”

Despite the Bush adminsitration’s saber-rattling bluster aimed at other parts of the globe, it has been meek to the point of complicity in regard to the genocide in Darfur.

That meekness toward the regime in Khartoum is likely to change under an Obama-Biden adminsitration.

Before he was nominated for vice president, Joe Biden had vowed that he would use his Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairmanship to hound a president Clinton or Obama into real action on Darfur.

Perhaps as a leading voice in an Obama administration, Joe Biden will lead the United States to take the military action necessary to end the “genocide that is happening on our watch.”

UPDATE

"In Darfur" by Winter Miller, produced by Moving Target Theatre

"In Darfur" by Winter Miller, produced by Moving Target Theatre

Those who live in Southern California may be interested in the play In Darfur, written by Winter Miller, presented by  Moving Target Theatre in partnership with Orange County for Darfur.

"In Darfur" by Winter Miller, produced by Moving Target Theatre

"In Darfur" by Winter Miller, produced by Moving Target Theatre

For detailed information about the play, as well as performance times, dates and locations, see the websites of Orange County for Darfur and Moving Target Theatre or call (949) 300-4100.