Archive for July 6th, 2009

The Age of Paine

Scott Tucker | Truthdig | July 3, 2009


“We have it in our power to begin the world over again,” wrote Thomas Paine in “Common Sense,” the revolutionary pamphlet published in January 1776. Ronald Reagan quoted those words on July 17, 1980, when he addressed the Republican National Convention and accepted his party’s presidential nomination. Reagan led a coalition of corporate oligarchs, imperial crusaders and Christian fundamentalists to power, and to this day Reaganism remains the official gospel of the old guard in the Republican Party. The republican and social democratic ideals of Paine are long lost to many modern partisan Republicans and Democrats, but many memorable phrases of Paine still fill the mouths of career politicians.

When the Iraq war, a broken health care system and a plunging economy gave the Democratic Party a political advantage, Barack Obama raised hopes and promised change. When Obama gave his inaugural address on Jan. 20, 2009, he too quoted Paine, this time from the first of 13 articles collected in “The American Crisis”—an article Gen. Washington ordered read to his troops before crossing the Delaware River on Christmas 1776 to fight the Hessian mercenaries of King George III: “Let it be told to the future world … that in the depth of winter, when nothing but hope and virtue could survive … that the city and country, alarmed at one common danger, came forth to meet it.” Reagan and Obama each lifted some good lines from Paine for their own rhetorical purposes; but each likewise cared more for stagecraft than for the original script.

Original article

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AFP, Monday, July 6, 2009


US Vice President Joe Biden said, in an television interview, that the United States would not stand in the way of Israel in its dealings with Iran’s nuclear ambitions.

“Israel can determine for itself — it’s a sovereign nation — what’s in their interest and what they decide to do relative to Iran and anyone else,” Biden told ABC television’s “This Week” Sunday.

“Whether we agree or not. They’re entitled to do that… We cannot dictate to another sovereign nation what they can and cannot do when they make a determination, if they make a determination, that they’re existentially threatened.”

But the top US military officer meanwhile warned of the dangers posed by any military strike against Iran.

“It could be very destabilizing, and it is the unintended consequences of that which aren’t predictable,” Admiral Mike Mullen, the chairman of the US Joint Chiefs of Staff told “Fox News Sunday.”

Full story here.

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A senior Iranian official, reacting to comments by US Vice President Joe Biden, on Monday said his country would respond “in a very full-scale and very decisive way” if it were attacked by Israel.

Report: Ahmadinejad says he wants public talks with Obama

Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said he wants to engage President Obama in “negotiations” before international media, a semi-official Iranian news outlet reported on Saturday.

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