In Philadelphia, the Democratic Party is holding its national convention following a bitter struggle between Hillary Clinton (War Hawk and winner) and Bernie Sanders.
Bernie supporter Kshama Sawant (COUNTERPUNCH) believes:
The central issue is whether we should follow Bernie’s lead in supporting Hillary’s corporate politics, or continue the political revolution by building our movement independent of the DNC. While I supported Bernie’s primary campaign, spoke at Bernie rallies, and initiated Movement4Bernie, I believe we simply cannot follow him in his decision to back Hillary. Our political revolution now risks being turned into its opposite, and funnelled into support for the DNC’s neoliberal agenda.
Backing corrupt establishment politicians is no way to defeat the right-wing – it will only embolden them and allow the political agenda to continue to be pushed further rightward. This failed strategy of lesser evilism is what has brought the 99% to this point.
Some will listen to Bernie and fall in line behind Hillary. But that instinct may hit a snag for some as a result of WikiLeaks releasing DNC e-mails. From Saturday's snapshot:
Michael Sainato (OBESERVER) points, out, "In its recent leak of 20,000 DNC emails from January 2015 to May 2016, DNC staff discuss how to deal with Bernie Sanders’ popularity as a challenge to Clinton’s candidacy. Instead of treating Sanders as a viable candidate for the Democratic ticket, the DNC worked against him and his campaign to ensure Clinton received the nomination." Tom Hamburger and Karen Tumulty (WASHINGTON POST) add, "One potential complication is that Sanders’s supporters are crucial to Democratic hopes of retaining the White House in the fall. They bring to the contest both passion and a potentially vast donor base."
Tom Cahill (INFORMATION CLEARING HOUSE and US UNCUT) reports:
Green Party presumptive nominee Jill Stein says WikiLeaks’ explosive new release of Democratic National Committee emails prove the Democratic Party intentionally sabotaged Bernie Sanders’ campaign. Stein is urging Sanders to withdraw his endorsement of Hillary Clinton and explore collaboration with the Green Party.
“This latest revelation from WikiLeaks underscores how much the media is in bed with the DNC to circle the wagons around Hillary,” Stein told US Uncut in a phone interview. “The corruption and underhanded tactics and deception and conspiratorial efforts to silence Bernie and delegitimize him — I mean, welcome to the Green Party. This is what we’ve been up against forever.”
Gloria La Riva is the presidential candidate for the Party for Socialism and Liberation and she weighed in on the DNC e-mail scandal:
These latest revelations show once again that our so-called ‘democratic’ political system is irredeemably corrupt, that big money – not the votes nor the interests of the people – is the decisive factor. It’s a system that cannot be reformed, but must be replaced with a new system, a socialist system where the great wealth created by working people is taken out of the hands of the banks, corporations and the super-rich. That is the way, the only way, that the popular demand ‘get money out of politics’ can actually be met.
The e-mail scandal has already forced Hillary's personal friend Debbie Wasserman Schultz to resign as chair of the Democratic National Committee but she attempted to speak on Monday and was loudly booed.
Russell Mokhiber (COUNTERPUNCH) points out that the California delegation also voiced their opinions:
When Elizabeth Warren voiced her support for Hillary Clinton, the rabble began chanting — “Goldman Sachs, Goldman Sachs.”
When Elizabeth Warren said that “Hillary will fight to hold big banks accountable,” the rabble responded with “release the transcripts, release the transcripts.”
When Bernie said he remembered Hillary “as a great first lady who broke precedent in terms of the role that a first lady was supposed to play as she helped lead the fight for universal health care,” the rabble, knowing full well that Hillarycare, like Obamacare, was written by the insurance industry, started chanting — “Medicare for all, Medicare for all.”
When Bernie said “I served with her, in the United States Senate and know her as a fierce advocate for the rights of children,” the rabble responded with “super predators, super predators.”
Writer Liza Featherston (author of FALSE CHOICES: THE FAUX FEMINISM OF HILLARY RODHAM CLINTON) Tweets:
Ppl griping abt rude convention protests must be unaware that almost every positive social change in US history came about through protest.
WSWS spoke with protesters:
The protests as a whole have been significantly larger than those at the Republican National Convention. While several hundred turned out in Cleveland to oppose the nomination of Donald Trump, thousands of Sanders supporters have come to the first two days of the Philadelphia convention.
Inside the DNC, Sanders delegates booed when Sanders told them to support Hillary Clinton, and a similar mood reigned outside.
The World Socialist Web Site spoke to dozens of protesters. The reporting team brought attention to the Socialist Equality Party’s 2016 presidential campaign and distributed hundreds of copies of Jerry White's and Niles Niemuth’s election statement.
Sanders supporters expressed a range of reactions to his endorsement of Clinton. Some hoped it was just a ploy and that he would show his real stance when he spoke at the convention. Others felt betrayed.
Megan, who was wearing a T-Shirt that read “Stop War,” said, “I feel that with Hillary in power we will be in perpetual warfare. [War] is a real profiteering enterprise for her and her supporters, most of them defense contractors, Wall Street guys, Saudi Arabia – who all like war.”
Megan stated that Hillary “would never be my candidate.”
Iraq War veteran Ramon Mejia Tweeted:
Berta Cáceres’ Daughter Protests at DNC, Demands Justice for Her Slain Mother http://remezcla.com/culture/berta-caceres-protest-dnc/ … #ItTakesRoots #Justice4Berta
Covering the protests can lead to abuse as Abby Martin discovered. Iraq War veteran Mike Prysner (THE EMPIRE FILES) Tweeted:
In his speech Monday, Bernie did endorse Hillary. Activist and Academy Award winning actress Susan Sarandon Tweeted:
Writer Doug Henwood (MY TURN: HILLARY CLINTON TARGETS THE PRESIDENCY) offers these related Tweets:
Barry Grey (WSWS) maintains:
The program of global militarism at the heart of the Clinton campaign is combined with the ferocious promotion of racial and gender politics. The purpose of this ideological offensive is to broaden the base of support for imperialist war to include privileged sections of the upper-middle class, black and white, who are intent on carving out for themselves a bigger share of the economic spoils from the impoverishment of workers in the US and around the world.
Hence the relentless promotion of identity politics, and especially racial politics, by the media in general and, in particular, the New York Times. The Times hardly allows a day to go by without an article, editorial or op-ed piece declaring race to be the overriding issue in American society and depicting a nation seething with white racism. As always, racism and racial politics are weapons in the war of the ruling class to divide and demobilize the working class.
[. . .]
There is only one political party and only one campaign that are fighting for the political independence of the working class and the building of an international movement against war based on a socialist and revolutionary program: the Socialist Equality Party and the SEP campaign of Jerry White for president and Niles Niemuth for vice president.
Presumed Green Party presidential candidate (their convention is in Houston, next month) Jill Stein was in Philadelphia. Liz Meriwether (VULTURE) reports:
It had been cloudy all afternoon, and when Jill Stein took the stage, the thunder started. “They sabotaged a revolutionary campaign!,” she joked. Big applause. Her platform and Bernie’s platform were a “marriage made in heaven,” she continued, and "We are here —" The sound cut out. After a few seconds, it returned. “We are here together!” A chant of “Jill not Hill” erupted. Soon after, the sky opened up, and the rain came.
The Green Party rally broke up quickly as people ran from the pouring rain. A speaker had told the crowd earlier that “Mother Nature herself has an inherent and unalienable right to exist.” And this evening, Mother Nature herself was exercising that right. Some supporters took refuge under the trees — “This looks like a strong branch!” — while others made a run for the street. I ended up with a group of women who were still in a good mood, and one of them jumped and splashed in the puddles with her water sandals. “You’re drunk, Erica!” one of her friends exclaimed. A spontaneous chant of just the word “Rain! Rain! Rain!” started, and then a man’s voice yelled out: “Rain for everyone!”
Gary Johnson is the presidential candidate for the Libertarian Party. He Tweets:
Presidential candidate Gloria La Riva issued the following statement regarding using your power:
Hillary Clinton was a champion of the Iraq invasion. One million Iraqis died as did thousands of U.S. service members. She demanded the bombing of Libya in 2011 and now Libya, like Iraq, is in fragments. She is currently leading a militant struggle to criminalize the BDS movement that stands in solidarity with Palestinian people. The leading Republican neoconservative imperialist "experts" are supporting Clinton in 2016 and raising money for her campaign. You cannot support an imperialist war hawk and have a political revolution at the same time.Our campaign stands with those people in the Bernie Sanders movement who do not agree with the idea of supporting Hillary Clinton. Even though I am running an independent socialist campaign for president I was hoping that Sanders would win the Democratic nomination. I urged registered Democrats to vote for Sanders in the closed primaries in the critical states of New York and California. I knew how much the Democratic establishment and Wall Streets billionaire bankers were trying to crush Bernie in their support for Clinton.
Now Bernie Sanders has officially endorsed Hillary Clinton, just weeks away from the the convention in Philadelphia. Those who have declared themselves “Bernie or Bust” and “Never Hillary” now face intense pressure to unite behind Clinton. It is unfortunate that Sanders himself felt that pressure. The whole impetus and attraction of the Sanders campaign was to fight the 1% and the status quo, of which Clinton is the complete embodiment and preferred candidate!
In his endorsement of Hillary Clinton, Bernie extolled Hillary Clinton's virtues in addition to arguing that people must unite to stop Trump. Yes, Trump is an odious bigot, racist and misogynist and we should continue to organize a mass movement against him. But every four years the "progressives" are told to prevent the greater evil by supporting the corrupt capitalist politicians who use the Democratic Party branding and then implement the same anti-people policies as the Republicans once they are elected. This is precisely why one of every two people in this country now lives in or near poverty. We need a real political revolution against both ruling class political parties.
I urge Sanders’ supporters to not only vote socialist but to get involved with our socialist campaign, and to help build a powerful grassroots people’s movement to fight the billionaire class before and after the elections.
The entire rigged primary process has demonstrated the utter bankruptcy of the Democratic Party as a vehicle for real social change.
Only the people organized and fighting together can truly make history. Millions of people, especially young people, now look to socialism as an alternative to the capitalist system that is robbing them of a future.
Yes, Hillary supported the Iraq War -- with one vote after another.
And how has that ongoing, illegal war turned out?
1 out of 10 #Iraqi children is displaced. That's 1.5 million children who need food, water & health care.
And today, the US Defense Dept announced:
Strikes in Iraq
Bomber, fighter and remotely piloted aircraft conducted seven strikes in Iraq, coordinated with and in support of Iraq’s government:
-- Near Rutbah, a strike suppressed an ISIL tactical unit.
-- Near Mosul, a strike struck a large ISIL tactical unit and destroyed two ISIL vehicles, five ISIL assembly areas, an ISIL command-and-control node and an ISIL supply cache.
-- Near Qayyarah, two strikes destroyed six ISIL rocket rails and an ISIL vehicle bomb factory and denied ISIL access to terrain.
-- Near Ramadi, a strike struck an ISIL tactical unit and destroyed two ISIL fighting positions, an ISIL vehicle, and an ISIL weapons cache.
-- Near Sultan Abdallah, a strike struck an ISIL weapons storage facility.
-- Near Tal Afar, a strike struck three separate ISIL media facilities.
Task force officials define a strike as one or more kinetic events that occur in roughly the same geographic location to produce a single, sometimes cumulative, effect. Therefore, officials explained, a single aircraft delivering a single weapon against a lone ISIL vehicle is one strike, but so is multiple aircraft delivering dozens of weapons against buildings, vehicles and weapon systems in a compound, for example, having the cumulative effect of making those targets harder or impossible for ISIL to use. Accordingly, officials said, they do not report the number or type of aircraft employed in a strike, the number of munitions dropped in each strike, or the number of individual munition impact points against a target. Ground-based artillery fired in counterfire or in fire support to maneuver roles is not classified as a strike.
As for Monday's violence, Hari Sreenivasan (PBS' THE NEWSHOUR) explained, "In Iraq, at least 14 people were killed and dozens were wounded, when a suicide bomber rammed a checkpoint. It happened at a busy entrance to a Shiite town some 50 miles north of Baghdad. The Sunni-dominated Islamic State group claimed responsibility. Meanwhile, a string of bombings inside Baghdad killed nine more people."