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OpEdNews Op Eds    H3'ed 9/27/15

Comprehensive Progressive Agenda & Wishlist Report

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But in plain terms the entire agenda means serving the interests of the military-industrial complex and the multi-national corporations, and in the massive support given to the waging of endless, destructive, and "preemptive wars" against the rest of the world in forms of wars against communism, terrorism, Islamism and drugs that the much of the world opposes and resents. The global war of terror alone touched 60 countries. By all measures, every one of these wars are continuation of colonial wars through which the Western powers have sought over hundreds of years to force their will upon weaker societies they thought worth disrupting, oppressing and exploiting.">Critics charge that the "war on terrorism" is an ideology of fear and repression that creates enemies and promotes violence rather than mitigating acts of terror and strengthening security. The worldwide campaign has too often become an excuse for other governments as diverse as South Africa and Ethiopia to use it as pretext to repress local opposition groups and disregard international law and local laws.

The result is that entire regions of the earth live in utter terror. There are now nine civil wars raging in Islamic countries between Pakistan and Nigeria, and seemingly everywhere nations are collapsing, trembling or are under attack and producing waves of migrants totaling so far more than four million refugees in other countries.

The exposed greed and violence that characterize the permanent war driving these conflicts is concealed inside the empire behind the cant of patriotism and security, which sanctify imperialism and racism. Its effects are everywhere and victims are always the same.">Eduardo Galeano once wrote that "each time a new war is disclosed in the name of the fight of the good against evil, those who are killed are all poor. It's always the same story repeating once and again and again", who are then being pushed permanently into the global underclass and or converted into millions of refugees fleeing wars, the new wretched of the earth. In 2015 alone,">342,000 of those migrants had reached Europe."> W.E.B. Du Bois, writing of similar past empires, warned more broadly about the far-reaching effects of the permanent occupation, especially in terms of ushering of rapid globalization with its attendant crisis, by writing, "Here, are no labor unions or votes or questioning onlookers or inconvenient consciences," Du Bois writes. "These men may be used down to the very bone, and shot and maimed in 'punitive' expeditions when they revolt. In these dark lands 'industrial development' may repeat in exaggerated form every horror of the industrial horror of Europe, from slavery and rape to disease and maiming, with one test of success--dividends."

Instead, it is time for a different paradigm shift in giving foreign aid that is entirely distinct from the conduct of the permanent war, a one that lends support only to the least of the least developed countries but only through the UN's">millennium development goals, the best-known and most effective foreign intervention project ever.

The United Nations Millennium Declaration, marked in September 2000, comprising of eight Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) -- which aim for "eradicating extreme hunger and poverty, achieving universal primary education, promoting gender equality and empowering women, reducing child mortality, improving maternal health, combating HIV/AIDS and Malaria, ensuring environmental sustainability, and developing a global partnership for development", all by the deadline of 2015 -- frames an outline consented to by all the world's nations and all the world's driving humanitarian foundations. They have stirred uncommon endeavors to address the issues of the world's poorest. The UN is likewise living up to expectations with governments, civil society and different accomplices to expand on the energy produced by the MDGs and go ahead with an aspiring post-2015 development agenda.

The UN's 193 countries at the 2015 General Assembly at U.N. Headquarters are expected to sign off on the Sustainable Development Goals, comprising 17 goals, with 169 targets, which are hoped to provide a framework to combat poverty, climate change, inequality and hunger. Seven months of negotiations have produced a document: OUR WORLD.pdf">Transforming Our World: The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.

31. Embargo against Cuba

Lift">Embargo against Cuba, ending the 50-year exclusion of Cuba from the Organization of American States, by scraping the">Trading With the Enemy Act (TWEA) of 1917,
which has been used against Cuba by every President since John F. Kennedy in 1962. Lacking a Congressional declaration of war, TWEA was instead intended to define the terms of the embargo (generally described by Cuba and the United Nations as a blockade).

The enduring folly of this failed policy reminds us of the sensible road not taken: "For the thing we should never do in dealing with revolutionary countries, in which the world abounds, is to push them behind an iron curtain raised by ourselves. On the contrary, even when they have been seduced and subverted and are drawn across the line, the right thing to do is to keep the way open for their return." Walter Lippmann, July 1959.

32. Guantanamo Bay

Set up in January 2002 inside of the Guantanamo Bay Naval Base in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, "Gitmo" broadly houses many detainees whom U.S. authorities are unwilling to transfer them to the U.S. to stand trial due to stiff resistance from Republicans in Congress and whom have likewise been regarded unsuited for extradition or discharge.

It's time to close down">Guantanamo Bay prison, a re-invention of nineteenth century imperial outpost that ought to disgrace liberal Americans' conscience: the foreign terror suspects subjected to beatings, waterboarding and rectal feeding, among other brutal acts of violence, the refusal of internationally observed lawful techniques, the repetitive suicides and hunger strikes conceived of despondency.

33. Fair elections

Legitimize">minor parties (Green, Socialist, and so on) to keep running unhindered in every one of the 50 states. In many states, for a party's contender to win in a contest, he/she must pick up a backing proportional to certain rate of voters all together for the party to continue to be poll qualified in the entire state. Case in point, in all states, major parties are yielded access to the ballot, awarded on a victor take-all basis, meaning a candidate who comes in second or third in a particular state does not win a single electoral vote regardless of his percentage of the popular vote. Most others, however, don't even permit minor parties to keep running in primaries that all that much determine the result. Thus, minor group hopefuls in these states can run just in general elections, if any.

The major parties have been hostile to the minor parties since mid 1800s, who have built a labyrinth of cumbersome regulations and systems that make it troublesome for minor parties and independent contenders to pick up a spot on the general race poll. "What happens is third parties act as a gadfly," said">Sean Wilentz, director of the American Studies program at Princeton University. "There'll be an issue that's being neglected or that is being purposely excluded from national debate because neither party wants to face the political criticism that it would bring. A classic example was slavery."

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I am an accounting instructor in Iowa. As a progressive, my mentor was the late Sen Paul Wellstone of Minnesota. I worked for him in all his campaigns since 1992 until his death in a plane crash in 2002. In all regards, he was a constant (more...)

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