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Palin: Big Oil’s new champion Saturday, 30 August, 2008

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Press TV – Palin: Big Oil’s new champion.

Sarah Palin strongly supports oil drilling in Alaska and off the US coastline.

For many, John McCain’s choice of Sarah Palin for presidential running mate came as a surprise. Political heavyweights such as Mitt Romney or Tim Pawlenty had to stand aside for the little-known Alaska governor with “telegenic” looks.

McCain’s choice may not have been predictable but it shows him moving further towards the interests of the industry most concerned about a Republican victory this November – Oil.

US oil firms have given John McCain three times more declared campaign money than to Democratic nominee, Barack Obama. Big oil contributions to the Republican Party outweigh oil money to the Democrats by a similar ratio.

Sarah Palin hasn’t been in the game long enough to have shown all her political colors but on one key issue she has made herself abundantly clear. Oil drilling in the Alaska National Wildlife Refuge.

Palin describes it as “nonsensical” that the president should have to “ask the Saudis to ramp up production of crude oil” while “sister state” Alaska has the oil that “hungry markets” in America need. (more…)

Americans bewitched by Obama’s fairy tails Friday, 29 August, 2008

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Press TV – Americans bewitched by Obama’s fairy tails.

By Afshin Rattansi

As Barack Obama made his speech before nearly 84,000 of his supporters at a Denver stadium as the official Democratic nominee, Press TV asked the former Alaska senator, Mike Gravel about the Illinois senator’s promises.

Press TV: Mike Gravel, what’s your thoughts about Obama’s speech?

Gravel: Well it is a political speech and where there is the political speech by the person campaigning for president of France…of Britain…it is what you should expect and its so typically American and as you pointed out you know these conventions paid for not only by Corporate America, I mean, they got enough power to go ahead and appropriate federal funds for this and state funds and local funds so the taxpayers pay for this pep rally not as much as the Corporate America. In fact, you see, what is worse than that, you can not find out the details of these corporate sponsors for ninety days. So you can not really make a case for this.

You were rattling off some names earlier but there is a lot more detail than that to be discovered and it would be by the time it comes up. This is capitalism at its best and at its worst. (more…)

Georgia war for Obama, McCain Friday, 29 August, 2008

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Press TV – Georgia war for Obama, McCain.

Putin: US created the conflict to benefit the candidates

John McCain and Barack Obama are making capital from the South Ossetia standoff which the US engineered for the competing candidates’ sake.

In a CNN interview, the Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin accused the United States of having opened the conflict in the region to help invigorate the US presidential race with a specific view to boost the chances of Sen. John McCain for the White House.
“The fact is that US citizens were indeed in the area in conflict during the hostilities…following direct orders from their leaders,” he added.
Putin’s stance is shared by the Russian Ambassador to the UN, Vitaly Churkin as well as several others of the Russian officials.
“It is hard to imagine that (Georgian President Mikheil) Saakashvili embarked on this risky venture without some sort of approval from the side of the United States,” he told Russia’s NTV television earlier in the month.
Wednesday in an interview with the Press TV, Russian Duma Deputy Sergei Markov also accused the Bush administration of serving McCain and Vice President Dick Cheney’s interests while claiming that the two US officials had started the Iraq war ‘without any real cause’.
He alleged that McCain was baiting Russia through criticism “because he is a crazy militant and wants war. It is ‘McCain paranoia”.
Putin’s revelations remarks, however, were attacked by the State Department deputy spokesman, Robert Wood and White House spokeswoman, Dana Perino who described the former Russian president’s comments as “patently false.” And though that is the official rejoinder, the history of this administration makes clear it has no compunction of lying through its teeth in the face of clear evidence.

The real cost of the convention Friday, 29 August, 2008

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Press TV – The real cost of the convention.

Over 100 years ago a man called William Hanna said, “There are two things that are important in politics. The first is money, and I can’t remember what the second one is.”

Hanna transformed how presidential elections are fought in the US. During campaigning for democratic candidate William McKinley, he went to big business and Wall Street and came back with over $3.5 million which helped push McKinley into the White House in 1897. Hanna was the forefather of Big Money Politics in the US.

Today, Big Money dominates American politics like never before. 2008 looks set to become the first $1 billion election campaign in history, with both Barack Obama and John McCain likely to raise over $500 million each in their bid to become president according to a former head of the Federal Election Committee (FEC). (more…)

Press TV – Biden’s record on US wars Wednesday, 27 August, 2008

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Press TV – Biden’s record on US wars.
By Junot Castelyn and Will Young, Press TV, Tehran

Barack Obama’s choice of Joe Biden for his running mate presents a reassuring face to those concerned about Obama’s relative naivety. What is tragic for the antiwar movement is that Biden’s long years as a Washington foreign policy insider reflect deep-rooted support for US military intervention to achieve geopolitical aims.

IRAQ

Unlike Barack Obama, Biden supported Republicans in holding that Iraq posed both “a long term threat and a short term threat” to the United States. Biden was reminded of the statement in an interview last year, long after the disinformation on Iraqi WMD had come to light. He replied, “that’s right, and I was correct about that.”

Biden, along with most Democrats, also voted in favor of the war funding bill in May 2007. At the time, Biden was himself running for president and criticized Obama for voting against the bill. Biden tried to hedge his bets, saying he “didn’t like” the bill he had just voted for, effectively saying he had voted for a bill he didn’t agree with.

Since the botched invasion and the subsequent pains of occupation, Biden has been an advocate of the fatally flawed “three-state solution” which Iraqis have criticized as a recipe for wars over borders, resources and multicultural cities like Baghdad and Kirkuk.

AFGHANISTAN

Borrowing the terminology of the Bush administration, Biden advocates what he calls a “strategic surge” in Afghanistan. “We need more troops-but not many” and “the right kind of troops,” Biden said, echoing Barack Obama’s criticism of Iraq as a “dumb” war.

His military hardware want list for the Afghan project reads like a Lockheed Martin promotional catalogue. Biden believes that US forces need “more fixed-wing aircraft and helicopters for mobility, more surveillance drones, more satellite tasking, more [armored vehicles] for troop protection.”

Years on the CFR have not gone to waste in developing in Biden a high-handedness well suited to the US military-industrial complex, “the Afghans are patient people, but they’re not seeing an effort worthy of a superpower.”

IRAN

On Iran, Biden is equivocal. In line with mainstream American opinion, he is opposed to Iran’s nuclear program but vague on the military option. Though refusing to rule it out, Biden has called it a “bad option” – reminiscent of the Iraq war funding bill which Biden voted for but “didn’t like.”

In perhaps the only foreign policy issue which clearly differentiates him from the Republicans, Biden has said that talking about regime change has, “accelerated [Iran’s] efforts to get the bomb”.

But Biden’s foreign policy expertise didn’t extend to knowledge of Iran’s cultural make-up. “America needs to show the Arab world that we’re not bent on its destruction,” he declared in 2001. Iranians are Persians, not Arabs.

ISRAEL AND PALESTINE

Just like Obama with his speeches to AIPAC and the Knesset, Joe Biden has passed the initiation rite into the highest reaches of US politics by giving his unequivocal support to Israel.

“I am a Zionist. You don’t have to be a Jew to be a Zionist,” Biden told Israel’s Shalom TV in 2007. In the same interview, Biden gave a stark justification of supporting Israel in terms of economising on the US military presence in the Middle East.

“Imagine our circumstance in the world were there no Israel. How many battleships would there be? How many troops would be stationed?” he asked.

In other remarks, Biden has said Palestinians have to accept Israel’s refusal on the right of return for Palestinian refugees, saying that this would “destroy the Jewish nature of the [Israeli] state.” Balancing this, he also said that Israel would have to dismantle “most” of its settlements in the occupied territories.

Barack Obama’s Iraq war pullout smokescreen gave him a critical edge in his defeat of Hillary Clinton. The danger now is that Joe Biden’s long years serving the Senate Council on Foreign Relations blur the truth of his consistent support for US wars.

Obama slams McCain for terror ad Tuesday, 26 August, 2008

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Press TV – Obama slams McCain for terror ad.

Senator Barack Obama

Barack Obama’s camp sues a conservative group, financing a TV ad linking the Illinois Senator to William Ayers, a Vietnam War-era terrorist.

The Obama campaign on Monday released a letter sent to the Justice Department last week demanding a criminal investigation of the “American Issues Project,” the vehicle through which Dallas investor Harold Simmons is financing the terror advertisements.

The project is “a knowing and willful attempt to violate the strictures of federal election law,” Obama general counsel Bob Bauer wrote to Deputy Assistant Attorney General John Keeney, according to Politico website on Tuesday.

The Obama campaign – along with tens of thousands of supporters – has urged television networks not to air the ads. The effort has met with some success: CNN and Fox News are not airing the attacks. (more…)