Friday, October 17, 2008

Experience vs. Inexperience

Photographs by Associated Press
HONORS FROM THE CHAIRMAN Senator John McCain presenting Freedom Awards from the International Republican Institute to Vice President Dick Cheney in 2001; Condoleezza Rice, now the secretary of state, in 2004; and President Bush in 2005.
(photo and caption not connected to below email and is borrowed from New York Times article entitled Democracy Group Gives Donors Access to McCain)

received in email today. good piece on McCain's role in undermining democracies and plotting coups!:
October 17, 2008
Experience vs. Inexperience

by Ray Torres
Dear Voter,

My knowledge of John McCain foreign policy experience is disturbing. In the 1980s he served on the advisory board to the U.S. chapter of the U.S. Council for World Freedom. They worked with the CIA to fund the Contra war, who mission was to overthrow the democratically elected government of Nicaragua. In 1983 I was in Nicaragua with Witness for Peace and accompanied a bus load of widows from the Rio Coco farming cooperative whose husbands had been massacred by the Contras. We went to the U.S. embassy and dumped the American bullet casings at the gate of the Embassy. The Congress with pressure from Witness for Peace cut off funding to the Contras but the Council for World Freedom kept illegally funding the blood shed. This summer I returned with Witness for Peace to Nicaragua and meet with the Veterans of the Contra War, the former Contras who said that their American funders promised them land and money but the response from the Embassy, “We make a lot of promises that we don’t keep.”

In 1993, McCain became Chairman of the International Republican Institute (IRI) a post which he has held for the past 15 years. The IRI has intervened in about 30 countries mostly with US taxpayers money. One of their programs was the Haiti Democratic Project that paid Sweatshop Owners and Politicians to come to Miami and plot how to undermine the popularly elected President. The situation got so bad that the US Ambassador complained that the IRI was undermining negotiations for a political settlement. This disruption set the stage for the violent coup of 2004 that overthrew the democratically elected President of Haiti. In the early 1990s I heard President Aristide of Haiti preach at First United Methodist Church of Germantown, when he was in exile in the 90s. In 1994 I went to Haiti with our church delegation to twin with a Peasant Association which is still transforming Haiti. In 2006 went on a Witness for Peace trip to Venezuela and confronted the Embassy staff with the IRI involved with the April 2002 failed coup in Venezuela. The President of the IRI congratulated the coup leader and then had to retract the statement when hours later the people threw off the coup. The strange response from the embassy staff, “Our mouths are duck taped on that issue”. We have no control over what a non-governmental organization like the International Republican Institute does in Venezuela, for that you need to see Washington. McCain needs to be held accountable for his role in undermining the will of Poor people and increasing their misery. The Poor I have worked with have had enough of McCain leadership that favors the rich over the poor. Barack Obama inexperience has to be weighed against this sad record of leadership.

Ray Torres, 144 W. Durham St. Phila., PA 19119 # 215 753 9022 (for identification purpose only) co Chair of Haiti Committee, First United Methodist Church of Germantown

(FUMCOG) Chair of the Mid-Atlantic Witness for Peace and co-leader of the Haiti delegation to bring back Philadelphia’s Ash from Haiti 1997
Partner in Progress, Haiti, board member