I’m sorry, but this is absolutely unconscionable. Colin Powell was a chief architect and abettor of a monstrous war crime that murdered tens of thousands of innocent human beings for no reason. The evidence is overwhelming that he knowingly, deliberately lied in his famous UN testimony about Iraq’s non-existent WMD that convinced so many moderates and Democrats to support the mass murder in Iraq. (This is aside from his direct collusion in covering up mass-murder atrocities by American troops in Vietnam, which is where he made his bones as a “safe pair of hands” for the National Security apparat.)
Yes, I want to see Donald Trump defeated more than anything. Yes, I understand the need for a broad, popular front against this lunatic gangster – and also against the “establishment” Republicans, the Wall Street mavens and huge corporations and oligarchs who enable and empower him and McConnell and the whole party. (Like massive GOP donor Meg Whitman, like Guiliani-employed lobbyist Susan Molinari, like union-bashing, vote-suppressing, ex-Fox News hate-peddler John Kasich – all of whom spoke at the Democratic convention this week.)
But there were 40 million eligible voters who didn’t vote in 2016: people who were turned off by the system but didn’t vote for Trump, who weren’t lured by his siren song of hate, who are out there, ready to be inspired and convinced to vote for a better world. There are millions of young voters newly eligible to vote in 2020. All of these people – who aren’t Republicans (“moderate” or otherwise) – are living through a period of unprecedented chaos, fear, uncertainty and breakdown. Why, in God’s holy name, would you “reach out” to actual war criminals, to lifelong Republican hacks who have supported the GOP’s extremist agenda for decades, when you have a cornucopia of voters out there who want nothing to do with the Republicans, but desperately need for the Democrats to show they are committed to a deep, genuine change in a system that has left them so hopeless and alienated and in despair?
Then again, the convention is also going to feature a big speech by Bill Clinton, the Democratic paladin who, by his own Secretary of State’s admission, killed half a million Iraqi children with the murderous sanctions he and Tony Blair imposed on Iraq. (At a time when they knew for a fact that he had no WMD programs, as I and many others wrote about years ago.) The death of these children was “worth it,” said Clinton’s factotum, Madeline Albright, on national TV. So the sad fact is that perhaps the DNC doesn’t see Powell’s collusion with mass murder as a scandal, a detriment, a moral horror to be shunned at all cost; perhaps they see it more as a laudable bipartisan comity on mass murder that they hope to continue in years to come.
In any case, even in realpolitik terms – which we are all adjured to abide by these days, setting aside any notions of morality and justice and common decency we might have – how will dredging up a mass-murder accomplice from nearly a generation ago inspire those alienated from a ruinous system to come out and vote? Any “moderate” Republican – although I defy you to look at the GOP from Reagan and Gingrich to Dubya and Cheney to Trump and McConnell and show me anything that looks like “moderation” – but anyway, any Republican out there with a scintilla of conscience and concern for the country is already going to vote against Trump. What need then for these fawning exaltations of mass murderers, torture accomplices and creepy servants of rapacious elites?
Again: I know that we face a moment of maximum national peril. I’ve been railing for the entire 21st century against the bipartisan developments that have led us to this abyss. I am well aware that our corrupted system has left us with only one effective choice to oust the monstrous mafia of Trump, Barr, Pompeo, Miller and all the rest before they plunge the entire country, and perhaps the world, into irretrievable oblivion. And as I’ve said many times before, I will do what I must do in this dire situation.
But if you ask me to like it, I won’t do it. If you ask me to praise the wretched, bloodstained, morally corrupt “choice” I’ve been given, I won’t do it. And if – God grant! Lord, hear my plea! – we oust the filthy gangster Trump and all his minions from power, then I will fight, with everything I have, against the immorality of his successors who think that the mass murder of innocents, the mass murder of children, aggressive war, torture and immiseration is something they are happy to celebrate and be associated with.