Signature 12,180 on <em>The Nation</em> Letter to Obama


vanden heuvel twn.jpegKatrina vanden Heuvel, Jane Hamsher, Juan Cole, Gore Vidal, Robert Greenwald, Matt Stoller and others headline a letter to be delivered to Barack Obama before the Democratic National Convention.
To some degree, the letter appeals to Obama to be Obama, the one we saw during the primary and not some faded or compromised version.
I am now signature 12,180 on this reasonable letter whose central points are:

~ Withdrawal from Iraq on a fixed timetable.
~ A response to the current economic crisis that reduces the gap between the rich and the rest of us through a more progressive financial and welfare system; public investment to create jobs and repair the country’s collapsing infrastructure; fair trade policies; restoration of the freedom to organize unions; and meaningful government enforcement of labor laws and regulation of industry.
~ Universal healthcare.
~ An environmental policy that transforms the economy by shifting billions of dollars from the consumption of fossil fuels to alternative energy sources, creating millions of green jobs.
~ An end to the regime of torture, abuse of civil liberties and unchecked executive power that has flourished in the Bush era.
~ A commitment to the rights of women, including the right to choose abortion and improved access to abortion and reproductive health services.
~ A commitment to improving conditions in urban communities and ending racial inequality, including disparities in education through reform of the No Child Left Behind Act and other measures.
~ An immigration system that treats humanely those attempting to enter the country and provides a path to citizenship for those already here.
~ Reform of the drug laws that incarcerate hundreds of thousands who need help, not jail.
~ Reform of the political process that reduces the influence of money and corporate lobbyists and amplifies the voices of ordinary people.

Some should count me as a top ten signatory on the following paragraph — and I would appeal to the Obama team to begin to demonstrate not only how it will requisition experience on its national security and foreign policy team but how it will “re-organize” this experience to produce results that will get America’s national security position out of deep red. Pentagon-hugging is not an answer I can believe in:
The Nation letter states:

These are the changes we can believe in. In other areas–such as the use of residual forces and mercenary troops in Iraq, the escalation of the US military presence in Afghanistan, the resolution of the Israel-Palestine conflict, and the death penalty–your stated positions have consistently varied from the positions held by many of us, the “friends on the left” you addressed in recent remarks. If you win in November, we will work to support your stands when we agree with you and to challenge them when we don’t. We look forward to an ongoing and constructive dialogue with you when you are elected President.

Excellent letter. Obama and his team should read, re-read, and then demonstrate by word and deed that they understand.
— Steve Clemons


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