Drawing the Line (UPDATED 2/7/06)

It's time to get very serious, folks. I humbly submit the following. I encourage you to send it to anyone and everyone you can think of, friend or foe alike. You may distribute it at will. I don't care if you refer to P!. You may turn it into a petition, if you like. You may, if you wish, "sign" it here by leaving a comment. Suggestions for additions or amendments are gratefully accepted.

Be at peace.

I/we, the undersigned, pledge to support in any and all public elections, only candidates who pledge to hold unwaiveringly to the following positions if elected:

  • the United States government shall immediately withdraw all troops from the sovereign State of Iraq and shall transfer its military bases and assets to the Iraqi people;

  • the United States government shall renounce any and all present and future military actions in and/or against all foreign countries, especially including Iran, Syria, Venezuela, Cuba, and Bolivia;

  • the United States government will transfer all prisoners currently held in military or military-affiliated captivity to criminal courts either in their own countries or in the United States, to be tried in fair and open trials with adequate defense;

  • the United States government will renounce forever the use of nuclear weapons and/or other weapons of mass destruction, unilaterally destroying any and all such weapons in its possession and/or under its influence;

  • the United States government and other state and local governments in the United States, will legally protect the rights of all persons to autonomy and self-determination with respect to reproduction and sexual/social partnership;

  • the United States government and state and local governments shall implement immediately and continuously methods and programs to redistribute wealth among its citizens, so that there shall be no more than a 10% gap between its wealthiest and poorest citizens. These methods and programs must include full, free access to quality health care, public education, and social welfare programs;

  • the United States government, foremost the United States Senate and the United States House of Representatives, will prohibit any and all financial contributions by both private and public entities to the campaigns, offices, or persons of any candidates for public office, while providing equal financial support to all candidates for the office of the President, Senate, or House through public taxes. No candidate shall be allowed to use personal funds in a campaign for any elected office. All candidates must be afforded absolutely equal time and resources to present their views on national, regional, and local media;

  • the United States government, specifically the Executive branch, will create a Department of Peace and Reconciliation at the Cabinet level, which shall work to establish effective, non-violent, non-military avenues to world peace;

  • the United States government and state and local governments will make laws to significantly restrict the personal ownership of all firearms; these goverments will also make laws to prohibit the creation and existence of private military/security entities operating either within the domestic borders or in foreign countries;

  • the United States government will significantly open itself to the critical scrutiny of all of its citizens, curtailing the use of its secrecy apparati and submitting all planned domestic and foreign policies and actions to public scrutiny.

UPDATE/MUST READ: "My So-Called 'Epiphany'" by Paul Craig Roberts at CounterPunch. Excerpts:
A number of readers have asked me when did I undergo my epiphany, abandon right-wing Reaganism and become an apostle of truth and justice.

I appreciate the friendly sentiment, but there is a great deal of misconception in the question.

When I saw that the neoconservative response to 9/11 was to turn a war against stateless terrorism into military attacks on Muslim states, I realized that the Bush administration was committing a strategic blunder with open-ended disastrous consequences for the US that, in the end, would destroy Bush, the Republican Party, and the conservative movement . . .

I have always objected to injustice. My writings about prosecutorial abuse have put me at odds with "law and order conservatives." I have written extensively about wrongful convictions, both of the rich and famous and the poor and unknown. My thirty-odd columns on the frame-up of 26 innocent people in the Wenatchee, Washington, child sex abuse witch hunt played a role in the eventual overturning of the wrongful convictions.

My book, with Lawrence Stratton, The Tyranny of Good Intentions, details the erosion of the legal rights that make law a shield of the innocent instead of a weapon in the hands of government. Without the protection of law, rich and poor alike are at the mercy of government. In their hatred of "the rich," the left-wing overlooks that in the 20th century the rich were the class most persecuted by government. The class genocide of the 20th century is the greatest genocide in history.

Americans have forgotten what it takes to remain free. Instead, every ideology, every group is determined to use government to advance its agenda. As the government's power grows, the people are eclipsed

We have reached a point where the Bush administration is determined to totally eclipse the people. Bewitched by neoconservatives and lustful for power, the Bush administration and the Republican Party are aligning themselves firmly against the American people. Their first victims, of course, were the true conservatives. Having eliminated internal opposition, the Bush administration is now using blackmail obtained through illegal spying on American citizens to silence the media and the opposition party.

Before flinching at my assertion of blackmail, ask yourself why President Bush refuses to obey the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act. The purpose of the FISA court is to ensure that administrations do not spy for partisan political reasons. The warrant requirement is to ensure that a panel of independent federal judges hears a legitimate reason for the spying, thus protecting a president from the temptation to abuse the powers of government. The only reason for the Bush administration to evade the court is that the Bush administration had no legitimate reasons for its spying. This should be obvious even to a naif.

The United States is undergoing a coup against the Constitution, the Bill of Rights, civil liberties, and democracy itself. The "liberal press" has been co-opted. As everyone must know by now, the New York Times has totally failed its First Amendment obligations, allowing Judith Miller to make war propaganda for the Bush administration, suppressing for an entire year the news that the Bush administration was illegally spying on American citizens, and denying coverage to Al Gore's speech that challenged the criminal deeds of the Bush administration . . .

Many patriotic readers have written to me expressing their frustration that fact and common sense cannot gain a toehold in a debate guided by hysteria and disinformation. Other readers write that 9/11 shields Bush from accountability, They challenge me to explain why three World Trade Center buildings on one day collapsed into their own footprints at free fall speed, an event outside the laws of physics except under conditions of controlled demolition. They insist that there is no stopping war and a police state as long as the government's story on 9/11 remains unchallenged.

They could be right. There are not many editors eager for writers to explore the glaring defects of the 9/11 Commission Report. One would think that if the report could stand analysis, there would not be a taboo against calling attention to the inadequacy of its explanations. We know the government lied about Iraqi WMD, but we believe the government told the truth about 9/11 . . .

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