Norman Solomon: Like every other president since the 1940s, Barack Obama has promoted nuclear power. Now, with reactors melting down in Japan, the official stance is more disconnected from reality than ever.
Norman Solomon: And so, the secretary of state condemns awful Iran, invoking “our sense of human dignity, the rights that flow from it and the principles that ground it.” But don’t hold your breath for any such condemnation of, say, Saudi Arabia — surely an “awful” government that “routinely violates the rights of its people.”
Norman Solomon: We need to build a grassroots progressive movement — wide, deep and strong enough to fight the right and challenge the corporate center of the Democratic Party.
Norman Solomon: Demagogues in the Republican Party, and their Democratic allies, will say this is about amnesty and open borders. No matter how many times they repeat it, it won’t be true.
Norman Solomon: It’s already history. In mid-August 2010, the U.S. commander in Afghanistan launched a huge media campaign to prevent any substantial withdrawal of military forces the next summer.
Norman Soloman: And if, these days, “U.S. troops in the field” are not as inclined to express “frustration at having to fight a war without sufficient resources,” the latest boosts of Pentagon outlays for war in Afghanistan merely reflect the unhinged escalation of a war effort that should not exist.
Norman Solomon: With unemployment so common that it’s widely seen as a long-term fact of life, a tacit fatalism has seeped into political discourse and the mass media. In short, what should be unacceptable has gained acceptance.
Norman Solomon: For months, the McChrystal star had been slipping. A few days before the Rolling Stone piece caused a sudden plunge from war-making grace, Time Magazine’s conventional-wisdom weathervane Joe Klein was notably down on McChrystal’s results: “Six months after Barack Obama announced his new Afghan strategy in a speech at West Point, the policy seems stymied.”
Norman Solomon: When Israel attacked the Gaza aid flotilla, Congresswoman Jane Harman was engaged in a parallel assault. Israel’s government relied on the efficacy of violence; Harman’s campaign was counting on the power of paid media. In both cases, the targets were advocates of human rights for Palestinian people.
Norman Solomon: In sharp contrast to Jane Harman, Marcy Winograd would not just instantly join the Progressive Caucus — she would immediately be one of its most intrepid and resilient members. Anyone who has ever worked with Marcy is sure that her progressive commitments are unshakable. That’s why Democratic Party power brokers are doing all they can to defeat her.
Noman Solomon: If President Obama has his way, Elena Kagan will replace John Paul Stevens — and the Supreme Court will move rightward. The nomination is very disturbing, especially because it’s part of a pattern. The White House is in the grip of conventional centrist wisdom. Grim results stretch from Afghanistan to the Gulf of Mexico to communities across the USA.
Norman Solomon: It’s one thing to support a Blue Dog Democrat in a general election against a Republican. It’s quite another thing for members of the Progressive Caucus to defend a Blue Dog Democrat against a primary challenge from a genuine progressive Democrat. In the case of the Harman-Winograd race, the best grassroots response from progressives around the country will be to strongly support the Winograd campaign between now and Election Day, June 8.
Norman Solomon: As new sequences of political horrors unfold, maybe it’s a bit too easy for writers and readers of the progressive blogosphere to remain within the politics of online denunciation. Cogent analysis and articulated outrage are necessary but insufficient. The unmet challenge is to organize widely, consistently and effectively — against the warfare state — on behalf of humanistic priorities. In the process, let’s be clear. This is not a defense budget. This is a death budget.