Jack Random

Jack Random is the author of the Jazzman Chronicles (Crow Dog Press) and Ghost Dance Insurrection (Dry Bones Press). See The Chronicles have been posted on the Albion Monitor, Bellaciao, Buzzle, CounterPunch, Dissident Voice, Pacific Free Press and Peace-Earth-Justice. www.jazzmanchronicles.blogspot.com

Sunday, 03 December 2006 20:00 GFP Columnist - Jack Random

altAs a common man with a life outside of politics, I entered the world of political discourse with a cause born of the conviction that the future of American democracy depended on the emergence of an Independent Movement that could break the stranglehold of two parties dominated by the same corporate interests.

Something happened along the way that caused me to defer my primary cause. The nation was attacked, the people were terrified and the government launched a policy of aggressive war designed to capture a lion’s share of the world’s most precious resource.

Somehow, the cause of political independence – freedom from corporate governance – no longer seemed pressing. Suddenly, stopping the war machine became a moral imperative, overwhelming all other concerns.

Monday, 13 November 2006 20:00 GFP Columnist - Jack Random

altThere is a feeling on the left that when we win, we lose, and when we lose, we lose spectacularly. Restated, we have become so accustomed to losing that we cannot accept victory when we see it.

There will come a time to criticize the new congress but, for me, it must come after acknowledging that something positive has occurred. The people have listened to our pleas and spoken out in the only means provided them. The face of government has changed.

I spent the day after the election keeping a low profile. It had been so long since I had anything to celebrate in politics, I overplayed my hand. In a fitting allegory for the Republican demise, I paid a price for my indulgences.

Sunday, 15 October 2006 20:00 GFP Columnist - Jack Random

altIn 1956, Senator John Kennedy published a collection of biographical essays entitled “Profiles in Courage.” The Pulitzer Prize winning book featured a selection of historical figures representing the concept of political courage. Each profile portrayed a political figure who took an unpopular stand to uphold personal conviction.

It is striking that fifty short years ago the concept of “political courage” was not considered an oxymoron. By contrast, in today’s electoral environment, one would be hard-pressed to come up with a single example of political integrity – no less courage.

In an age when Karl Rove is not only admired but practically deified, when massive voter suppression and disenfranchisement are held up as the tools of genius rather than betrayal, when election fraud and electronic vote flipping are considered gamesmanship, and when campaign finance reform is translated into an orgy of spending and a free pass for unlimited character assassination, to muse on profiles in political courage would itself be an exercise in intellectual dishonesty.

Tuesday, 03 October 2006 20:00 GFP Columnist - Jack Random

alt“If it wasn’t Iraq, it’d be Afghanistan.” Senator John McCain, 26 September 2006.  The Republican argument for war took a bizarre turn when Senator John McCain, America’s premier warlord and the man who would be emperor, suggested that it did not matter where we fought the “terrorists” – if not Iraq, he reasoned, they would have gathered in Afghanistan.

Put yourself in Iraqi shoes. Your occupier finally confesses: We just wanted a war, any war would do. You just happened to draw the short end of the stick.

If we just needed a war, why not choose Sudan? We could have prevented genocide and retained the moral high ground but I guess Sudan did not have enough oil for the neocons. I guess it was not close enough to the Saudis and Iran. I guess we did not have enough footage of the Janjaweed atrocities. We had Saddam. It was in the bag – a cakewalk.

Monday, 25 September 2006 20:00 GFP Columnist - Jack Random

altDespite the explosion of violence in Iraq, the ongoing disaster in Afghanistan, the revelations of sanctioned torture and illegal rendition, the spectacle of Republican divisions in the congressional ranks, a Senatorial affirmation of the White House deceptions, and an intelligence community reminder of the obvious, the antiwar movement has little to cheer about these days.

Not long ago, with the midterm elections approaching, we took some satisfaction in observing the steady decline of support for the war in Iraq. After five years of an insane foreign policy and the most imbalanced economic policies since Calvin Coolidge, it appeared that the party of war was headed for a train wreck – a self-inflicted wound softened only by years of gerrymandering.

Less than fifty days before the midterms, the president’s poll numbers ticked upward on the strength of the president’s mindless defense of his calamitous policies and pro-war Republicans suddenly had new life.

Monday, 07 August 2006 20:00 GFP Columnist - Jack Random

altBy the established policies of the American government, Iran would be justified in attacking American military installations in Iraq – including the fortified Green Zone of Baghdad – without any further provocation.

The right to “preemptive” strike, by any other term, as delineated by the Bush neocons in the “Global War on Terrorism”, holds that a nation has the right to attack any other nation that poses a threat or conceivably could pose a threat at some time in the foreseeable future.

Given that we have issued repeated threats and methodically followed the same path we used in the blood-letting ritual preceding the Iraq War, if Iran was in the least trigger happy or inclined to engage western powers militarily, they would already have struck.


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