Fri, 13 August 2010
Tom Hayden, who columnist Dan Walters of The Sacramento Bee once called "the conscience of the Senate", is an American social and political activist, politician, and regular contributor to 'The Nation' who is perhaps most famous for his involvement in the anti-war and civil rights movements of the 1960s as well as in animal rights (The Hayden Act).
Hayden was elected to the California State Legislature in 1982, where he served for ten years in the Assembly before being elected to the State Senate in 1992, where he served eight years till the year 2000. He continues to serve as a member of the advisory board for the Progressive Democrats of America, an influential "grass roots" organization created to expand progressive political cooperation within the Democratic Party. With Medea Benjamin, he is also a co-founder of 'Code Pink'.
Ahead of next week's primary elections in CA and with Colorado's own primaries now behind us, 'It's the Economy's' Claudia Cragg spoke with Hayden about the economy, the potential financial collapse of some states including California, Obama's stimulus package, small business and, importantly, why politicians on both sides continue stubbornly to refuse to debate the real 'elephant in the room', as Hayden puts it, the cost to the US and its people of its ongoing wars.
Hayden starts here by discussing that theme and the Pentagon's 'Long War' doctrine, "a 50 - 80 year war against Islamic terrorism" which he says comes at a huge cost to the economy and to the nation as a whole.
UPDATE - The following is reproduced here with the kind permission of Tom Hayden:
Published on Friday, November 12, 2010 by The Nation
Persistent waffling on dates for American troop withdrawals from Afghanistan has eroded any remaining patience with the Obama White House among peace activists and voters, a majority of whom favors a timeline for US troop withdrawals.
Nancy Youssef of McClatchy reports that the White House has decided to de-emphasize its pledge to begin withdrawing US forces by next July, and adopt a new goal of withdrawing by 2014. The New York Times on Nov. 11 described the new policy as "effectively a victory for the military." Seeming to miss the point entirely, the White House immediately declared it was "crystal clear" that there will be no change to the July 2011 date for beginning the drawdown.