Mark Ortiz is running for congress in the 8th district, making a total of four Democrats looking to claim Hayes's seat (if we count Lloyd Scher, who we haven't heard from in a while). I'm sure we'll all be learning more about Mark in the coming days and weeks, but it sounds from his announcing press release that his central issue is the war. He's against it.
I've copied the full text of the press release below, but first let me offer this fortune-cookie message: only one of these guys is going to be the official Democratic nominee. I think so far we can assume that each is running because he loves his district and his country, and to get a chance to go to congress, they have to argue and pick at each other. That's a good thing to the extent that it generates informed debate about the issues and enhances the winning candidate's understanding of the people of the 8th; it's a bad thing to the extent it gets ugly and balkanizes the base.
I am pleased to announce to the press that I am again a candidate for Congress.
I have been telling people less formally since the Charlotte Labor Day Parade that I intend to file. I have said on my website since October that I am running. However, I have soft-pedaled the effort until now, because I wanted to see whether a better-resourced candidate would step forward to oppose the illegal and immoral campaign of conquest currently being conducted in our name in Southwest Asia.
I and others of like mind were hoping Larry Kissell might be such a candidate.
Last night (Wednesday, January 11), Larry addressed a Charlotte audience for the first time. He spoke for about half an hour, without mentioning the war once. His first question from the audience was, “What is your position on the war in Iraq?”
His answer was that he could not bring himself to call for any US troop withdrawal for at least a year, and any withdrawal after that would depend on how things go.
Not good enough. Not even close.
The war on Iraq is a war of aggression, and it is wrong. Worse, it is part of a larger scheme of regional conquest and global domination. The Project for a New American Century, whose members include Dick Cheney, Donald Rumsfeld, and Paul Wolfowitz, declared during the Clinton administration its intent to “reshape the face of the Middle East” and establish an enduring military presence in the region. In one of the Downing Street documents, George W.
Bush writes to Tony Blair that he has no intention of stopping with Iraq; he intends to invade a series of other countries. Among those Bush mentions are Iran, Saudi Arabia, and Pakistan.
The PNAC plan is aimed at achieving “full spectrum dominance”: a world where the White House can impose its will by force on anybody, anywhere; a world where there are no viable rival powers.
It is obvious what role the Southwest Asian conquest plays in this. Although the US currently imports only 14% of its oil from that region, it is the primary oil source for the European Union and China. The oilmen in charge of this administration intend to lock up Europe’s and China’s oil supply, and release it to them only if they continue to buy our promissory notes, vote as we wish in the UN, and generally do as Washington tells them.
Europe and China are not blind. They see this coming. They oppose Washington’s aggression, and are hastening to build ties with the other oil-rich nations in Bush’s sights.
This is the stuff world wars are made of. If we do not put a stop to this madness peaceably and democratically, it will end where all campaigns of global domination have ended: with our nation bankrupt, or in ashes, or both.
Those shilling for this global domination campaign fall into two camps: the outright, rabid imperialists, and the controlled opposition.
Mr. Hayes falls into the first category, with his outrageous claims of a Saddam-9/11 link, and his claims that there is no torture or abuse in Bush’s illegal offshore prison camps.
Tim Dunn, with his website demand for a “strategy to win” - as if PNAC didn’t have one - is probably closer to the first category than the second. If, as I’ve heard rumored, he softens his position and calls for “phased withdrawal”, he may be closer to the second category than Larry Kissell. His website reflects no such change, though.
The classic controlled opposition position is that we maybe shouldn’t be doing this, but we’re committed now, so we have to stay a while longer. The game these people are playing is to string the doubters along until the enduring bases can be built in Iraq, until the next 9/11-style provocation can be staged (yes, I still insist 9/11 was an inside job), and the next phase of the regional invasion can be launched.
Thinking voters should not fall for either of these lines.
And there is evidence that a lot of voters are thinking this way. Nationwide, polls are showing as much as 70% of Americans now saying we shouldn’t be in Iraq. An Elon University poll of North Carolina voters this past fall showed 57% disapproval of Bush’s handling of the war, and a narrow majority saying we shouldn’t be in Iraq at all. If current trends continue, this will be a clear majority by November 2006.
This eminently sensible sector of public opinion deserves a candidacy that speaks to their concerns and offers decisive leadership.
I want the job.
For the triumph of the democratic principle,