Wednesday, November 08, 2006

A comment elsewhere by Michael Cavlan, and my response

Here is a comment (posted after my last entry) by Michael Cavlan, Green Party Candidate for U.S. Senate:

First, I would respectfully request that the TC Indy Media collective put this on the front page. Not because of the importance of this story and commentary but because I feel sure that given the nature of this post, angry liberals will post multiple stories in an attempt to make it go away.
My name is Michael Cavlan, the Green Party candidate for the US Senate in the last election cycle. I am so proud of what our little campaign did over the past two years.

The goals of this campaign were many. This includes being a voice for the Peace and Justice communities, speaking out as a credible advocate for Single-Payer Healthcare, Depleted Uranium, religious bigotry and a whole host of other issues that we knew would never be covered by the other campaigns.

For me, as an individual, self described Indy Media Journalista and political activist however, the three most important issues to bring to the forefront was my experiences of Electoral Fraud in Ohio 2004, the loss of habeus corpus and the biggest threat to our democracy, a corporate media which is silient and/or complicit in all the above issues. I intended to use my experiences as an election observor in Ohio and the medias lack of coverage in what was, at that time the most important issue facing our democracy, to make that point.

What saddens me deeply was that we would eventually hold people in the Peace and Justice communities, who claim to stand for these issues accountable.

When I first decided to run October 2004, I analyzed myself as a candidate. I knew that I was a Registered Nurse, fairly articulate, fairly intelligent and not unattractive. I say this, not as a matter of arrogance but simply knowing these were important qualities as a candidate. I also knew that my experiences with conflict in northern Ireland made me a credible spokesperson on the issue of war, terrorism and the dangers of those who use religious bigorty to further their political agenda as well as the related issue of loss of civil liberties..

I also understood that the Democratic Party would find a way to sideline the Peace Movement. I also knew and expected that the Democrats would do a "switch and bait" campaign as they always have. It was expected. When Ford Bell arrived and started "speaking truth" and what the Klobachar campaign actually stood for and the anger that the corporate wing of the Democrats felt towards what he and others were saying, I thought well here you go. Then the Peace First campaign began. Both Ford and I were signers on to that campaign.

Of course, I could tell you about my own pesonal experiences with Amy Klobachar, but I don't have to. You all already know what Amy, the annointed DLC candidate stood for. To quote Amy at the Resource Center Of The Americas "we need to remember that the troops are in Iraq to protect our freedoms." That is a direct quote from Amy Klobachar.

You all knew this about Amy Klobachar. You all also knew that the US Senate had just passed a bill, giving another $70 Billion to the war on Iraq. Passed by 100% of the Senators.

Knowing this, knowing the character of Amy Klobachar and knowing that she was ahead in the polls by 20%, most of you then dutifully marched down and voted for your pro-war Democrat. Because that is what "change course" means, and you know it.

Like I said, we eventually held the people who claim to be "anti-war" and pro "social justice" accountable. Our campaign was intending to be a voice to bring forward these issues critical to our democracy and our world. You showed the most unbelievable cowardice, given that Amy Klobachar has a 20% lead in the polls. More importantly though, you can no longer claim to be a supporter of Peace and Justice. You voted for the Democratic wing of the war machine, no excuses accepted. You have voted against your own self interests for Peace, Justice and Single-Payer Healthcare.

Our campaign recieved 10,722 or 0.49% of the vote in Minnesota, while Amy Klobachar recieved 1,700,000 or 59%..

I now only acept those people who did not vote for Mark Kenaddy or Amy Klobachar as being true believers in Peace.

Many of you will see me at a variety of events in the future. Some of you will come forward and say "Mike, I voted for you". I will tell those who say this, no you did not vote for me, you voted for Peace. Others of you will look uncomfortable and perhaps say "Sorry Mike" and try to give an excuse. Do not say sorry to me, Say sorry to the unknown people killed as a result of your complicity in the war.

We held you accountable and you failed. You did not fail us, you have blood on your hands. You failed yourself.

These Are My Words And I Take Responsibility For Them.

Michael Cavlan RN
Candidate US Senate

I find Michael's comment "I now only acept those people who did not vote for Mark Kenaddy or Amy Klobachar as being true believers in Peace." pretty troubling. We did have a couple peace candidates on the ballot elsewhere, like Keith Ellison, Mark Ritchie, we tried hard for Becky Lourey and Ford Bell. While it would have been possible to sink Klobuchar in the same fashion as Hatch (harder, though Amy actually had a well run campaign and a serious organization, unlike Hatch), or at least bird dogged her on the war issue, I think Amy and her core campign staff can appreciate the fact that I helped, that I helped her to get a seat at the table with her for peace interests, for the environment, and sustainable development. What motivated me was not Amy's purity on issues, though she got closer, slowly (i.e. saying "no permanent bases in Iraq"), what motivated me was the hope that somehow, an anti-war dem not handpicked by the DLC and DSCC might sneak through, e.g. Peter Ashdown and/or Jean Hay Bright.

What has to happen is the peace community must aggressively increase its numbers, its electoral campaign competence, and not rely on ideological purity and either metaphysical or romantic notions for comfort. This is a material struggle in the material world, and ideas must be communicated, in the conscious waking world by physical media, as soundwaves, as leaflets, as blogs, music or artwork.

The Green Party, and the IP lost because they do not have a competetive statewide network. I tried to help, but I could not do all of the work, or pay for, really, any of it.

My experience is that my peace energy, my capacity to do this work with a physical fucking body, and my limited dollars, goes further outside of America than it does here. But small gains here, if it increased the number of people willing to do the work with me on the ground over there, or they amount of money dedicated, and informed how it was spent, that was tempting enough to leave that stretch of villages in Aceh, where people felt safer for having a a pair of foreign eyes around, that moderated the potential for violence from all corners.

The Green Party is dead as a competitive organization, the IP has 4 more years to build a serious statewide organization.

I recommend that the more sober and competent parts of the Green Party join with the DFL's progressive caucus and get behind, quickly, a presidential bid by someone who can be trusted on the war... I am not sure who that would be, but maybe Kucinich, Feingold, or Bill Richardson. Also, we need a peace candidate for U.S. Senate for the DFL in 2008. Michael Cavlan, as annoying and correct as you are, you deserve a shot at that, as does Fitzgerald, or Jack Nelson Pallmeyer, maybe Becky Lourey or Irene Folstrom. Fundraising and campaigning for that endorsement battle and likely primary fight begins ASAP...

Ford Bell failed us all by blinking before filing closed for the primary. Either he was duped, or he was duping all of us.

Peace First will be back, in some form, and there is a steering committee for that, check with or for more information.

I am totally willing to prove the question raised by Daniel and Philip Berrigan, as quoted on Jack Rossbach's site, "Are peacemakers willing to take the same risks in making peace that soldiers are prepared to take in making war?". Some of us are. Too many are unwilling to drive a few hours and do outreach about the issue in rural Minnesota. I know that both you and Robert Fitzgerald have done that on White Earth, in plenty of other remote and wild places, too. And so did Papa John Kolstad. But none of you created a robust network of volunteers willing to do the work.

A more serious 'Peace First' strategy will invest in the same travel, in well planned and well advertised events in areas that did not generate "Peace First!" delegates.

And the process of electing delegates has to be fair. Or we will sink more fraudulently-endorsed DFL candidates in the same ways in future cycles...

But I really want to get back to my project in Aceh... and be a witness of, not an actor upon, their elections in December.

When I was on that tarmac in Banda Aceh, surrounded by hawks like Wolfowitz, foreign militaries, Indonesian radicals in jumpsuits marked "MUJAHIDEEN"" in bright yellow FBI style typeface, I think I might have exagerrated to some of them the interest of the American people in standing for peace in protests that predated the Iraq invasion.

I would hate to be on the next threshhold of peace vs. war in the East and use your metric, your troubling quote as the basis for measuring Minnesota's interest in peace with the Islamic world. "Only 4% of Minnesota desires peace."

I think they would have found a way to give us some trouble there if that were the story.

In the same way I hope I advanced the cause of peace by not bird-dogging or disrupting Klobuchar when I had the opportunity, I am sure that I helped prevent an incident of exactly the kind Wolfowitz needed as a pretext by not loudly pointing him out as the architect of Iraq's invasion, that hot, humid, dark night on a runway in Aceh before the peace deal, after the tsunami.


Blogger archaeo said...

Thanks for your refreshing views. Add this to your vote fraud concerns:

OHIO 2004: 6.15% Kerry-Bush vote-switch found in probability study.

Defining the vote outcome probabilities of wrong-precinct voting has revealed, in a sample of 166,953 votes (1/34th of the Ohio vote), the Kerry-Bush margin changes 6.15% when the population is sorted by probable outcomes of wrong-precinct voting.

The Kerry to Bush 6.15% vote-switch differential is seen when the large sample is sorted by probability a Kerry wrong-precinct vote counts for Bush. When the same large voter sample is sorted by the probability Kerry votes count for third-party candidates, Kerry votes are instead equal in both subsets.

Read the revised article with graphs of new findings:

Ohio Presidential Election: Cuyahoga County Analysis
How Kerry Votes Were Switched to Bush Votes

12:37 PM  

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