Amy Goodman talks health care and wars with Ralph Nader and Dennis Kucinich

March 18, 2010 | By | 3 Replies More

Amy Goodman dedicated an entire hour to discuss health care and the ongoing U.S. wars with Ralph Nader and Dennis Kucinich (video below).   It was an intense and insightful discussion–truly worth watching. As you might imagine, much of the discussion focused on Kucinich’s willingness to vote for Obama’s version of health care.  As Kucinich made clear, however, the fact that he is voting for this bill does not mean he supports it.  The bill essentially disgusts him, but he believe that voting no would be even worse.   Amy Goodman injects the topic that Kucinich is facing massive pressure by his own party to get in line.   As I mentioned at the top, the discussion is intense.

At about 45 minute mark, the topic turned to foreign policy.  Ralph Nader asks how we can possibly “get the American people angry” regarding the war and corruption in Afghanistan. At the 50-minute mark, Dennis Kucinich discusses the actual costs of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. He warns that war has become ordinary and acceptable to Americans, despite the homicidal actions of private contractors, despite the unimaginable costs and despite the lack of any meaningful objectives.

Mr. Nader argued (at minute 54) that President Obama has stifled dissent at his White House, just like President George W. Bush.

President Obama is like President Bush in this regard: he doesn’t receive dissenting groups in the White House. He froze out the single-payer advocates, including his longtime friend, Dr. Quentin Young, in Chicago, Illinois. And he’s freezing out dissenters, dissenting groups from meeting with him in the White House. They can’t get a meeting with him. He’s surrounded by warmongers. He’s surrounded by the military-industrial complex. But he won’t meet, for example, Veterans for Peace. He won’t meet Iraq Veterans Against the War. He won’t meet the student groups and the religious groups and the business groups and others who opposed the Iraq war back in 2003. What is he afraid of here?

You know, we’re supposed to have a new wave with the Obama administration. Instead, we have the same old—the same old same old. And I think the whole idea—just let me make this—the whole idea that Obama is for things, but they’re not practical—he’s for single payer, he really doesn’t like war, but, but, but. But he goes along, and he goes along. We have to have the American people give the White House a measure of political courage here, because it’s not going to come from inside the White House.

Juan Gonzales asked Ralph Nader why we aren’t seeing more demonstrations against these wasteful wars by the American people:

[During] the 2004 election with Kerry and Bush, the antiwar movement, most of the groups, gave Kerry a pass and broke off their mass demonstrations. It broke the momentum. Momentum is very important in mass demonstrations. Second, there are fewer people in Congress that these—the antiwar people can cling to. That’s a demoralization effect on people. And third, it costs a lot of money to put these demonstrations on, and there aren’t many super-rich antiwar Americans, like George Soros and others, who are putting some money to get the buses and get the demonstrations all over the country. And finally, the Washington Post, New York Times, they do not give adequate coverage to antiwar demonstrations, compared to the coverage they’ve been giving to the tea parties. Just check the column inches in the Washington Post covering the tea parties, compared to blocking out pro-Gaza, pro-Palestinian demonstrations, for example, when the Israelis invaded Gaza, or the upcoming demonstrations against the war. All of this demoralizes people. And they say, “What are we doing this for?” So, unfortunately, the political leaders are not leading, and the President is not leading.

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Category: Health Care Reform, Iraq, Politics, The Middle East, War

About the Author ()

Erich Vieth is an attorney focusing on consumer law litigation and appellate practice. He is also a working musician and a writer, having founded Dangerous Intersection in 2006. Erich lives in the Shaw Neighborhood of St. Louis, Missouri, where he lives half-time with his two extraordinary daughters.

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  1. The so-called interview | Dangerous Intersection | March 19, 2010
  1. Erich Vieth says:

    From the Independent:

    "Five years of occupation have destroyed Iraq as a country. Baghdad is today a collection of hostile Sunni and Shia ghettoes divided by high concrete walls. Different districts even have different national flags. Sunni areas use the old Iraqi flag with the three stars of the Baath party, and the Shia wave a newer version, adopted by the Shia-Kurdish government. The Kurds have their own flag."

    http://www.independent.co.uk/opinion/commentators

  2. Courage Required says:

    When one of the only congresspersons left in Congress with a significant track record of putting people's needs above corporate greed [Dennis Kucinich], decides (at the 11th hour) to vote for a health care "reform" bill that puts corporate greed ahead of people's needs [not to mention the fact that the bill is blatantly fascist and unconstitutional]…

    …how do you think that affects the morale and initiative of activist community?

    Is betrayal too strong a word?

    Would Gandhi (whom DK professes to admire) have voted for this bill as an "acceptable compromise" to meet the people's needs for health care?

    True leaders, such as Gandhi, both demonstrate courage, and inspire it in their followers.

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