{Empty title} | The Nation

Mr. Cockburn impresses me as someone who has been sheltered. He seems immune to the pains and sufferings of ordinary Americans. I believe this because he dismisses the three major Democratic presidential candidates without rational-objective specifics.

He complains because former Senator Gravel was marginalized early on, yet whines that Congressman Kucinich, Mike Gravel's outsider ally, "gives me no hope." First of all, Gravel was able, on national TV, to proclaim his opinion that the political system is corrupt, and excused his declaration of bankruptcy to "screw" a credit card company as reasonable and dutiful. Kucinich was also able to salute Gravel as the heroic enabler of getting the Pentagon Papers into the Congressional Record and to a major publisher. These are lessons that were taken into consideration by the American public, yet neither candidate was able to build up a competitive campaign or organization. These candidates did not have a lot of support. That is not the fault of the National Democratic Party, or the American political system.

Cockburn glosses over the three major Democratic presidential candidates in a spurious and superficial manner. He cares more about Senator Edwards' hair-do than his pro-labor agenda. He dismisses Senator Obama's stump speeches as insubstantial, but does not remark on the quality of Obama's talking points in the debates.

I disagree emphatically with his opinion that Senator Clinton "is the candidate for corporate power at home and empire abroad." As an anti-war Vietnam Vet and an avid anti-imperialist, I know full well the tragic abuse of military power. But I would never conclude an isolationist approach to international realpolitick. Our absurd misuse of the US military historically discredits a rational more valid usage of said military in peacekeeping, de-escalation, and protective situations, as well as specific anti-terrorist operations, done with prescience and genuine international support.

Why does Cockburn rail against Hillary Clinton's previous support for the NATO bombing of Belgrade? Does he not remember or acknowledge the terrible intransigence of the Serbian artillery and snipers that perpetrated the siege of Sarajevo, or the Serbian Army's ethnic cleansing and wholesale slaughter of Muslims in the Balkans?

After September 11, 2001, Senator Clinton did call for a war on terror, along with 99 percent of the American public. But she is bright, with a dynamic intellect, and evolving, and does not have a personal interest in war profiteering as do the Republican neocons. There is a huge difference of quality, ethics and intellect here that Cockburn does not appreciate.

His "soft spot" for Governor Huckabee is not well constructed. I don't understand his sentiment that Huckabee has a "populist" allure, when the governor's stated opinion in favor of a national sales tax is his major contribution to economic progress. He favors Congressman Paul's isolationist stance. He does not defend this in any rational way. Anyone who takes literally the hands-off approach of the libertarian program has to understand how this favors massive unchecked corporate power, but with a more progressive economics that corporate power can be helped toward a more constructive citizenship.

I find Cockburn's article is unbelievable. He wants some "excitement," and as I said before, evinces a sheltered life.