Howard Dean: Imperial Democrat?

Yesterday, there was quite a lot of attention given to an interview DNC chair Howard Dean gave to a San Antonio radio station. The sound bite everyone pulled from it is his quote that the "idea that we're going to win the war in Iraq is an idea which is just plain wrong." In other words, it's right to say we can't win it -- a.k.a. "we lost." Nothing new there. Maj. Isaiah Wilson, the official historian of the U.S. Army for Gulf War II concluded in July, 2003 -- a few months after the U.S. had invaded -- that the U.S. had "lost its dominance." Yet another way of saying, "we lost."

But the real thing that bowled me over about what Dean said, is just how bloody imperial his tone was about what to do with Iraq (disclosure, I worked on Dean's presidential campaign in Vermont). After making the call to spend two years withdrawing, and to "bring the 80,000 National Guard and Reserve troops home immediately," I didn't like what I heard:

"We ought to have a redeployment to Afghanistan of 20,000 troops, we don't have enough troops to do the job there and it's a place where we are welcome. And we need a force in the Middle East, not in Iraq but in a friendly neighboring country to fight (terrorist leader Musab) Zarqawi, who came to Iraq after this invasion. We've got to get the target off the backs of American troops." [emphasis mine]

In other words, Dean wants there to be thousands of U.S. troops in the Middle East, just not in Iraq. We need to base them in a country from which we can continue to launch attacks on Iraq. Dean cynically names the fake spectre of Zarqawi as the rationale, and doesn't mention oil. Just why exactly, do we need a force in the Middle East, and why has Dean chosen to believe that U.S. troops are welcome in Afghanistan, when it's a U.S. puppet in charge of rolling out the red carpet?

I'll tell you why. Howard Dean has made the Faustian bargain, and bought into the imperial foreign policy of the D.C establishment. It boggles the mind that Dean and his colleagues in Washington haven't been forced to give a reason for why the U.S. army is parked on top of all that oil.

ACLU By ACLUSponsored

Imagine you've forgotten once again the difference between a gorilla and a chimpanzee, so you do a quick Google image search of “gorilla." But instead of finding images of adorable animals, photos of a Black couple pop up.

Is this just a glitch in the algorithm? Or, is Google an ad company, not an information company, that's replicating the discrimination of the world it operates in? How can this discrimination be addressed and who is accountable for it?

“These platforms are encoded with racism," says UCLA professor and best-selling author of Algorithms of Oppression, Dr. Safiya Noble. “The logic is racist and sexist because it would allow for these kinds of false, misleading, kinds of results to come to the fore…There are unfortunately thousands of examples now of harm that comes from algorithmic discrimination."

On At Liberty this week, Dr. Noble joined us to discuss what she calls “algorithmic oppression," and what needs to be done to end this kind of bias and dismantle systemic racism in software, predictive analytics, search platforms, surveillance systems, and other technologies.

What you can do:
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