Andy Martin: Contrarian Commentary

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Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Andy Martin on the Annapolis Peace Conference: Part Two

Executive Editor

“Factually Correct, Not
Politically Correct”





(CHICAGO)(November 27, 2007) My earlier column expressed skepticism about the Annapolis Peace Conference. And indeed it was a delightful photo op. But something happened at Annapolis that will have enduring consequences for all of the parties.

First, a little background. George Bush and I have had a very rocky relationship because of my ability to read him as no one else can. I predicted Bush would go to war against Iraq. In 1999. And in 2003, I was there in Baghdad, sounding the alarms when everyone was telling Bush things were going well. And so I can say “I know George Bush” in a way that few can document because of my record of understanding him and predicting his actions.

Bush, however, was only a supporting actor in Annapolis.

The true superstar was Mahmoud Abbas.

Israel, of course, is a powerful nation, with a well-armed military force and a cohesive government. Israeli power must be respected.

Mahmoud Abbas commands nothing. He has no military power. No government to speak of. Behind his back, Israelis used to ridicule him. Americans don’t know quite what to make of him.

I think I also understand Mr. Abbas.

While Abbas was still only an understudy to Yasser Arafat I visited his residence in the West Bank. Unlike other warlords, Abbas had a minimal security presence. His home was not an armed camp. He did not fear his people. He has no fear today. Abbas may be the most underrated leader in the world.

The one indispensable man at Annapolis was Abbas. The Israeli government would continue to function if P. M. Ehud Olmert disappeared. Likewise, for sure the U. S. Government will change hands in January, 2009, and we will still be a presence in the Middle East. But without Abbas, there could have been no Annapolis conference. America may have assembled the participants, but they came to a “conference” because Abbas was there to represent the Palestinians.

He has revived the Palestinian national movement and given it legitimacy. The picture of Abbas and Olmert embracing Bush will be an enduring image. These men were visibly at parity.

In 2000, I produced the Andy Martin Peace Plan (“AMPP”) based on my decades of experience in the Middle East. Slowly, but inexorably, the U. S. Government is moving in the direction I have proposed since 2000. In 2000 I stated that a peacekeeping contingent was essential, and suggested the U. S. lead such a force. The Bush administration has now accepted my proposal and has begun to study the issue.

Likewise, I stated that parity between Israelis and Palestinians was an essential ingredient and precondition to peace. The two parties are not yet at parity, but Abbas is leading Palestinians to a level of parity that will make peace possible. Olmert may have spoken again Tuesday of “painful” concessions. I think in his heart he knows that those painful concessions are closer to reality. Abbas has seized control of the peace process and is driving the parties to the point of no return, where peace will be unavoidable and inevitable.

Finally, and this is the crucial factor, Abbas has convinced Bush to invest Bush’s ego in the process. In 1999, I predicted Bush would go to war, and sadly I was right. In 2007, I predict that Bush will arrive at some sort of peace before he leaves office. Most likely he will increasingly adopt the AMPP as his blueprint. One can expect that both sides will leave the peace process snarling, but at some point peace becomes unavoidable and inevitable.

The 2001 Taba peace proposal, abandoned and ridiculed by Israelis, is now the starting point for the final countdown. Ultimately, even Hamas will not be an obstacle to peace.

In 1973, President Richard Nixon saved the State of Israel, for which he never received any appreciation. There is no “Nixon Square” in Tel Aviv or Jerusalem, no visible memento of appreciation for Nixon. Nixon was a Republican. Israelis may have been looking ahead to 2009, when they expected a Democrat to occupy the White House. I think President Bush is going to preempt them. Another Republican.

Israeli bombs and missiles have proven helpless and harmless to wound Abbas. Each time the opposing leaders refer to each other as friends, another step is taken, another barrier is crossed. Bush will probably have to “Clintonize” the final status dealings, and beat both sides with a baseball bat, but Bush is capable of doing so where Clinton was not. And I believe Bush has now become invested in the peace process.

Some of my readers have accused me of being an optimist because I expect peace between Israel and Palestine. But I have not been a sap. Despite the withering criticism I receive from pro-Israel supporters, I have adhere to my view that Israel cannot endure as a nation in the Middle East under the current state of siege. Likewise, at some point Israelis will come to accept that Palestinians will never surrender their birthrights. Attention must be paid.

In the United States, new leaders in both political parties will realize that it is time to start seizing opportunities instead of squandering them, and get Israelis and Palestinians to agree.

At the end, Bill Clinton realized he had mishandled his opportunity. Demonizing Arabs led him nowhere. He tried to recover, but it was simply too late, and his time ran out. Bush has finally faced reality, long before Clinton did. Which is why Bush is going to succeed where Clinton failed.

As a student at the University of Illinois I entered the advanced program leading to a commission as a military officer. We had to enlist in the U. S. Air Force Reserves and were given the opportunity to visit air bases and use some of their facilities. I was always impressed by the fact that many bases, and especially SAC bases, had a sign at the entrance that said “Peace Is Our Profession.”

The U. S. had overwhelming military power, but that power was directed at maintaining peace, not making war. President Eisenhower was a master at controlling the balance and tension between latent power and peace.

Sadly, we gradually lost Eisenhower’s steady direction and control. Perhaps inebriated by our own rhetoric about being the “sole superpower,” we forgot that the ultimate role of power is to preserve peace, not to embrace war.

Americans are now, once again, rediscovering and coming to the realization that America is truly greatest when “peace is our profession.” Annapolis may have been a nothingburger meeting in so far as getting anything substantive done. But my feeling is that Mr. Bush is now a changed man. And that change is for the better. Bush has belatedly realized that to be a great leader, or any leader at all, peace must be his profession. Making war has led him nowhere.

Something important is going to happen before January, 2009. And that “something” might just be peace.

Chicago-based Internet journalist, broadcaster and media critic Andy Martin is the Executive Editor and publisher of © Copyright by Andy Martin 2007. Martin covers regional, national and world events with forty years of experience. He has almost forty years of experience in the Middle East, and is America’s most respected independent foreign policy and intelligence analyst. Andy is currently a candidate for U. S. Senator from Illinois. He holds a Juris Doctor degree from the University of Illinois College of Law. Columns also posted at; Comments? E-mail: Media contact: (866) 706-2639. Web sites:

Saturday, November 24, 2007


Executive Editor

“Factually Correct, Not
Politically Correct”


(CHICAGO)(November 25, 2007) I am going to be busy next Tuesday (November 27th) and so I thought I would get one piece of busy work out of the way early, by writing about the outcome of the Annapolis Conference on the Middle East. How can I write about an event that hasn’t yet happened? It’s no happening.

I start with several biases, which I will list. First, I am an optimist that Palestinians and Israelis will eventually make peace. Soon thereafter, they will all feel stupid at the way they wasted sixty years of their collective history. So, yes, I am an optimist on peace.

Second, President Bush is sincere in his desire to reach a solution. President Clinton came close to a Palestinian-Israeli solution, and the Nobel Prize he coveted, but Bush has more chance of achieving a deal. Nixon-to-China is the metaphor. Bush is desperate for a legacy. Cutting the Gordian Knot of the Middle East would surely overshadow the fiasco in Iraq. Bush has openly and consistently committed himself to the Two-State solution. That’s important. History shows that when he’s a believer, he puts his beliefs into action. Don’t we know it.

Third, Bush is going to realize he has to apply pressure on the Israelis, where pressure needs to be applied. Not next week, but soon. I believe Israelis need to be pressured because time is not on their side; indeed, the sands of time (dare I use that cliché) are against them. And Israel’s impossible conditions for peace are the principle barrier to a deal. What pressure can the United States impose on Palestinians? None. They live under occupation.

The Annapolis conference itself will be a waste of time. Anyone reading this column has been to a meeting, or conference or convention. Allowing one day to solve the problems of the world is like, well submit you own suggestion. It’s goofy. What is taking place on the 27th is worse than nothing at all. It is a photo op that will leave everyone unhappy and everyone free to criticize the lack of progress. How do you “conference” with fifty nations? At once. Are 50 nations really part of the solution? Obviously not.

Ironically, peace may be advanced precisely because the Annapolis conference is going to be an embarrassing failure, not because it succeeds. At some point Bush is going to have to impose his will. If he were serious about a solution, he would invite two parties and only two parties to the White House, the Israelis and Palestinians, allow each of them a maximum of three people per group, and lock the whole lot in the basement until the proverbial papal smoke was rising to signal a deal.

By creating a carnival in Annapolis, we have shown that the U. S. is not really in control of the situation. Yet.

Condo (“This Condo should be Condemned”) Rice seems to know nothing about negotiations or solutions. She is probably as bright as everyone says but she has no Middle East “street smarts.”

On July 27, 2000, after the initial phase of President Clinton’s efforts to achieve a solution/Nobel Prize, I announced the Andy Martin Middle East Peace Plan. I recently posted the 2000 release on the net. It is a public document and can also be purchased from for a small fee. My comments came in the wake of the collapse of the “Camp David” peace conference, when President Clinton was trying to scapegoat Palestinians for the conference’s failure. I knew the scapegoating would prove counterproductive, and it did.

At my 2000 news conference I outlined the critical factors that could bring peace:

1. There must be parity between the parties. As long as U. S. policy favors Israel, there will be no peace. Only when the United States decides to recognize both parties as standing in parity to each other will a settlement be possible. Parity remains the essential ingredient for peace today. Arabs know that; Israelis do too. Americans are afraid to admit the obvious. But my view in 2000 that the United States must recognize the existence of Palestine as a state before, not after, negotiations remains as true in 2007 as it did in 2000.

2. “Peace” would not come suddenly or overnight. Hostilities would persist from extremists on all sides. The type of “peace” Israelis were (and still are) demanding was not attainable in one fell swoop. Unless and until the United States also realizes that “peace” would not mean complete tranquility for a period of time, no realistic solution was or is possible. In the long run peace is inevitable. In the short run, every activist could engage in violent acts and many most probably would. Violence could not be allowed to undermine the imposition of peace through the U. S.’s recognition of Palestine.

3. The United States would have to patrol the peace. I suggested the 82nd Airborne. Only with a U.S. security commitment to both sides, and the guarantee that neither side would invade the other, as is currently the case, would peaceful relations have a realistic opportunity to develop.

4. The United States would take the lead in resolving the “right of return.” I suggested we sweeten the post by offering visas for Palestinians holding a right of return. Many would come here. Some would be received into Israel. Others could exchange their rights for monetary compensation. “Is it better to buy peace, or better to buy weapons,” I asked. We can sill empty the refugee camps if we want to reach an agreement.

Seven years later my views have stood the test of time. The war I predicted, broke out. The legerdemain over Israel’s borders continues, with The Wall. Even Israel’s supporters realize that Israel inches closer to becoming a pariah state.

It is a tragedy of our times that the Israel lobby seeks to brand any intelligent discussion of Israeli/Palestinian issues as “anti-Israel,” or worse still “anti-Semitic.” That is simply not the case. Israel’s best friends are those whom the lobby has scourged and cast into the wilderness. History reflects the lobby has been on the wrong side of history. Disastrously wrong.

Comparing a deal today with a deal seven years ago, is the Middle East a safer place for Israel than it was seven years ago? Who can make that claim? Are the “oil nations” more or less powerful than they were seven years ago, when oil sold for a fraction of today’s price? Is the United States stronger? The hourglass of history is emptying once again. When the risks become apparent to all concerned, and belatedly to Condo herself, that’s when the real negotiating will start. After Annapolis.
Chicago-based Internet journalist, broadcaster and media critic Andy Martin is the Executive Editor and publisher of © Copyright by Andy Martin 2007. Martin covers regional, national and world events with forty years of experience. He is currently a candidate for U. S. Senator from Illinois. He holds a Juris Doctor degree from the University of Illinois College of Law. Columns also posted at; Comments? E-mail: Media contact: (866) 706-2639. Web sites:



(MIAMI)(July 27, 2000) U.S. Senate candidate Andy Martin will hold a telephone news conference Thursday, July 27th to propose a peace plan which will avert war in the Middle East. Martin will also criticize Hillary Clinton and President Clinton for "playing politics with peace."

"I propose a peace plan that will avert war and bring peace to the Middle East," Martin says. "Only the United States can avoid a war."

"First, the President and Hillary must stop playing politics with peace. They are using the peace process to solidify the Jewish vote. This is not in America's interest. America must remain neutral. America must put United States, not Israeli, interests first, last and always.

"I speak with considerable expertise on the Middle East. My family has been involved in the region for almost 100 years. My grandfather was one of the British liberators who marched into Jerusalem in World War I. My parents were involved in the Middle East, as was I. And I have contacts who follow the European Union and its internal workings very closely.

"First, we must recognize that we have a conflict with two horrible, historic victims.

“The people of Israel were victimized by the crimes of the Third Reich. It was proper for the United Nations to create the State of Israel. But in creating Israel, the U.N. took from a people, the inhabitants of Palestine, who had done no wrong to anyone, and who saw their homes taken, and their lives uprooted in a war not of their own making. The Palestinians are also victims. I am pleased that honest Israeli historians are now admitting these unpleasant facts.

"Second, the United States must stop pretending that Israel is 'negotiating' to give the Palestinians a state. The State of Palestine will not be created by Israel. It was created by the 1947 United Nations resolution. Israel is not giving Palestinians anything. Palestinians are recovering what is lawfully theirs.

"Third, extremist Israeli politicians must stop preaching theology to a secular world. God did not create the State of Israel. It was created by the United Nations. Israel itself is a creation of international law.

"Fourth, the United States must stop playing politics with Jerusalem. The laws passed by American politicians of both parties, pandering to the Jewish vote, ordering the U.S. Embassy to Jerusalem, violate International Law. At the present time Israel unlawfully occupies portions of Jerusalem. Until this illegal occupation is ended the U.S. would violate international law by placing an embassy there.

"My peace plan calls on the United States to create the State of Palestine by announcing, promptly, that on September 13, 2000, the United States will formally recognize the State of Palestine as encompassing all the land of United Nations Resolution 242 and the West Bank. By accepting the inevitable the president would regain and control the initiative.

"Resolution 242 is international law. Neither Israel nor the United States can pretend that international law does not exist, or seek to 'negotiate' an extortion of land from people who are protected by Resolution 242.

"Recently The New York Times carried a harrowing story of how Israel is committing mini-genocide against the Palestinian people by denying them water. It is tragic that a state that was created in response to the darkest horrors of humanity should stoop to these vile tactics.

"I know many Jewish people will think I am making extreme suggestions. I am not. If my plan is not implemented, here is what will happen:

"First, there will be a brief war in the Middle East. Israel will react unlawfully, as it has threatened to do, defy international law, and 'annex' land that does not belong to it. These acts will be nullified by the United Nations. Israel will be branded an outlaw state.

"Second, based on my information and sources, if Israel defies international law and annexes any part of the land covered by Resolution 242, the European Union will step to the fore and impose an embargo on Israel. To date the U.S. has been the leader in the peace process. But if the U.S. abdicates a meaningful, neutral role, the initiative will pass to the European Union.

"If the president does not stop posturing and do the right thing, he may not only precipitate a war. He may defeat his own Democrats. If war breaks out there will be another oil embargo. The economy will go into recession on the eve of the election. As an independent Republican I do not seek to profit from this horrible scenario. But if Clinton ignores my plan, he will destroy what remains of his legacy.

"The Twentieth Century saw the deepest, darkest days of humanity in the Third Reich. We must not begin the new millennium with a breakdown of international law," Martin says. "I wish the People of Israel peace, I wish the People of Palestine peace, and I wish for the United States to bring peace, not war, to the Middle East."

For further information and to participate in the news conference at 1:00 P.M., please call (888) 320-2639. Web site © Copyright by Andy Martin 2000

Wednesday, November 21, 2007


Executive Editor

“Factually Correct, Not
Politically Correct”





(CHICAGO)(November 21, 2007) A son of Rock Island died in New York on November 12th. He reminds us just how bold and adventuresome Illinoisans were in pioneering and discovering the world in the Twentieth Century. Lester Ziffren left behind a legacy of escapades and occupations that is difficult to comprehend in today's homogenized world. He was 101. His life spanned most of the twentieth Century.

Ziffren was born in Rock Island, Illinois and started writing for local newspapers in the Quad Cities.

He went on to report the Spanish Civil War, to work for United Press, which became UPI, and to survive as its oldest employee. Ziffren later represented the United States as a diplomat and commercial spokesman.

Today we can press a button, and bring up distant newspapers, histories, photos and sounds of strange lands. They are not so strange any more.

We forget that only a few decades ago the world was a much bigger place. An unknown world. Newswires traveled across the Atlantic and Pacific, but not much else did. Before World war II commercial airline service barely existed. You took a boat and you took your time. When you went somewhere, you were there.

At a time when young people are abandoning print media and newspapers are struggling to survive, it is difficult to believe that the Chicago Tribune published a legendary Paris (yes, France) edition. The late Chicago Daily News also had a Paris edition. In the aftermath of World War I, intrepid Americans began to replicate the British experience and populate Paris, France as though it were Paris, Illinois.

Today we have become lazy. Because we are there on the tube, the closeness of phosphors on a screen may lead us to remoteness and complacency about the world.

Ziffren was in Madrid when the prelude to World War II, the Spanish Civil War, broke out. Communists, fascists, Nazis, adventurers all flocked to Spain. The brutality and carnage was unbelievable, and prompted Picasso to paint "Guernica," the scene of a legendary slaughter. By then Ziffren had escaped From Spain, fearing for his life.

Hemmingway was also in Spain. But Ziffren scooped all of them at the outset. Today, if something is happening around the world, we can sit at our desks and watch events unfold on a web cam. The experience is not the same. We call it "real time." But is it real?

The French writer/adventurer/philosopher Andre Malraux wrote of the "homme engagé," the man of action in the middle of the action.,8816,903235,00.html

A computer console is hardly a scene, or source, of action.

What drove Ziffren to Europe, to Hollywood, to South America and ultimately to New York? I wish I had met Mr. Ziffren. I would have liked the answer to that question and many more. Ziffren was truly an homme engagé.

In the meantime, Illinois can reflect on the adventurousness of its citizens a hundred years ago. And hope that we will continue to pioneer and explore new worlds. Here one earth and beyond. Mr. Ziffren will be watching.

[This column is based, in part, on material that originally appeared in the Washington Post.]
Chicago-based Internet journalist, broadcaster and media critic Andy Martin is the Executive Editor and publisher of © Copyright by Andy Martin 2007. Martin covers regional, national and world events with forty years of experience. He is currently a candidate for U. S. Senator from Illinois. He holds a Juris Doctor degree from the University of Illinois College of Law. Columns also posted at; Comments? E-mail: Media contact: (866) 706-2639. Web sites:


Executive Editor

“Factually Correct, Not
Politically Correct”


(CHICAGO)(November 21, 2007) Regular readers of this column know Senator Barack Obama does not catch a lot of slack from me. In fact a recent diatribe in The Nation Magazine accused me of leading as "right-wing smear machine" that had devastated Obama's campaign.

But, as regular readers also know, I "call 'em as I see 'em," and when Barry's right I back him. Especially against The Witch.

Obama actually said something truthful this week about his childhood. Usually Obama is feeding us his gauzy myths about "Dreams from My Father," and similar disinformation.

Obama said "I spent four years living overseas when I was a child." See e.g.:

The Witch promptly pounced with the sarcastic reply that "Now voters will judge whether living in a foreign country at age 10 prepares one to face the BIG…"

Actually, Obama was right; he was telling the truth. And The Witch was wrong. But then how would she know. She grew up in Park Ridge (Illinois).

And, I can speak in Obama's defense from personal experience.

First, the obvious: children crave conformity, uniformity, continuity, stability and predictability. All of us know that, because all of were children at some point in our lives. Some of us still are. If anyone doubts my sociological observations, you can peek at Eboo Patel's memories of childhood in today's Washington Post, "Mom, I want a baloney sandwich in my lunchbox. PERIOD." Now that's conformity.

I grew up on the campus of Wesleyan University in Middletown Connecticut. That was our park. I delivered papers there, and happily accepted slices of pie, cake and other baked goods from the fraternity houses where I delivered newspapers. It was in some respects an idyllic existence. What could be more predictable than having a job, and making deliveries seven days a week? At age 11. And growing up with the same kids from first grade until seventh grade.

Then my family moved to Oxford, England where I lead a double life for the next two years, Adolescent by day. Oxford student by night. It was a mind bender. I was thrown into two alien worlds, one with other adolescents and one with mostly young adults. Learning and living in that strange environment made me more flexible, and more comfortable in all sorts of ways. We traveled to the World's Fair and stayed in youth hostels. We were on the continent, visiting new friends.

I came home, alone (yea!), a young man on an ocean liner, and landed in New York as someone who had left as a child and returned as an adult. I would never be the same.

Had I stayed in Middletown, well, who knows. But I was never the same. I had seen the world. Had met Vietnamese kids (before anyone knew where Viet-Nam was) and had seen my best friend cry his heart out the day the King of Iraq was assassinated.

Anyone who has lived in different worlds, in different stages of life, knows that these experiences change us forever. Even "study abroad" during college can be transformational. Which is why college kids love going to Europe, love backpacking summers, and sometimes stay on during college or after graduation.

Clinton seeks to equate traveling in her Air Force jet as the president's wife with the transformational childhood experiences Obama had in Indonesia. She's dead wrong. You gotta love The Witch. The wronger she is, the nastier she gets. (You can hiss here.)

Traveling in an American presidential bubble is no way to see the world, or to transform your character, personality and views on life. On Air Force 1-1/2? Meeting "the people?" Come on Witchie. Well, Hillary did kiss Suha Arafat. (Hissing allowed.)

Kids playing, that's transformational. Obama is 100% correct.

The best proof has nothing to do with me, Obama or The Witch. Just look at Army Brats.

Why have the children of our military families, who have to move every several years, at home and around the world, been so successful as a group? Because travel, exposure to different people, sometimes even different cultures, all help to make someone flexible, and provide coping skills in adult life. Just ask Senator John McCain.

Again drawing on my own adult experiences in Asia and the Middle East, it was the skills I learned dealing with international kids in prep school and at Oxford that allowed me to travel through some of the most dangerous conflicts in recent history, often exposed to great risk, and always be protected by local people who took a liking to me. I'm alive to prove it. (You can hiss here if you support my opponent in the primary.)

Indeed, one of my selling points as the "most qualified" Republican to face Senator Dick Durbin is that I have lived a full life all around the world, while he has been totally immersed in politics and political chicanery all of his adult life. Not much exposure there. Unless you think that backstabbing prepares you for foreign adventures. I know the world. Durbin doesn't.

And so, this week The Witch betrayed her provincialism. She attacked Barry Obama where he is actually strongest. Obama had real problems as a child. But he saw the world and survived.

While I don't come from a multi-racial family and so my experiences are much more limited than Obama's, I grew up in a partially immigrant family. I was bilingual from birth. I had a hard time, as I am sure Obama did at some point, understanding why some people would discriminate against my wonderful Greek relatives. Indeed, I am almost unique among Republicans in that I experienced familial discrimination firsthand. Which is why I am so committed to civil rights and civil liberties. Back to childhood. Again.

And so, Hillary, you leave my Barry alone. If Barry needs beating, I am the man to do it. Just ask The Nation. Obama knows I will thrash him when he inflates his resume. Or dreams dreams that never materialized in reality.

As for You, my Dear Witch, you are the poorer for never having experienced what Obama and I did: a disruptive and transformational childhood. On the other hand, you have lived with Bubba and all of his mistresses. Now that was transformational. But look what it transformed you into.

Note: For those of you who have wondered why has not tackled the story of The Witch, your prayers have been answered. has a Hillary series on tap, hopefully starting next week. Watch for The Witch Watch: Searching for Hillary. Only in And nowhere else.
------------------------------------------Chicago-based Internet journalist, broadcaster and media critic Andy Martin is the Executive Editor and publisher of © Copyright by Andy Martin 2007. Martin covers regional, national and world events with forty years of experience. He is currently a candidate for U. S. Senator from Illinois. He holds a Juris Doctor degree from the University of Illinois College of Law. Columns also posted at; Comments? E-mail: Media contact: (866) 706-2639. Web sites:

Monday, November 05, 2007


Executive Editor

“Factually Correct, Not
Politically Correct”


[Disclaimer: Because he is a candidate himself, Andy Martin does not endorse any presidential candidate; his columns merely represent impartial observations on the presidential campaign]

(CHICAGO)(November 6, 2007) I have been following the Ron Paul presidential campaign (RPPC) for some months. Indeed I have been planning to write this column for some weeks. But today’s show of financial force by the RPPC mandates a close look at Paul’s appeal.

The RPPC raised $4.2 million in one day. Amazing. Something is happening in the Republican Party. I am not quite sure what.

“Regular” Republicans do not particularly care for Mr. Paul’s views. And many cheer Rudy Giuliani’s rejoinders over the congressman’s positions on foreign policy. But still, you don’t raise $4 million in one day without a growing national movement. While the media have begun to prune the presidential marquee for future debates, Paul’s fund raising prowess ensures that he will be with us well into 2008.

I understand what Paul’s message is, and I agree with some of his agenda. But what part has caught fire? Is it the antiwar segment within the Republican Party that has found a voice? Is it Paul’s libertarian views on domestic issues? I can’t say for sure. But something has captured the imagination of a lot of people who are making online contributions to the RPPC.

Initially, the Paul campaign was the object of ridicule by political professionals and pundits in Washington. Paul is obviously not collecting money due to his imposing personal presence. Not at all. And his delivery is actually quite understated. Even when he is attacked, he doesn’t shoot flames back at the opposition. Still, over 37,000 people gave money in a single day, November 5th.

I got an unsolicited campaign contribution in the mail yesterday. It was for $30. I know how hard it is to collect money, especially when the “party” is not behind you. So I am all the more impressed by Paul’s performance.

Paul’s campaign put on a little promotion for the 5th, and it succeeded beyond anyone’s wildest expectations. When people open the Washington Post on Tuesday there will be shock. Four million dollars in one day? What? Ron Paul?

Which brings me to my point. In every election season, someone surprises, someone comes out of the second division to challenge our assumptions about the unfolding campaign. In 2000, John McCain ambushed George Bush in New Hampshire, and the Bush campaign came close to unraveling. I know a lot about what happened in South Carolina and I won’t go there. Eventually McCain supported Bush and the rest is history.

McCain was an even more loyal Bushie in 2004, and since then he has sought to defend the Iraq war, if not the tactics being used. McCain has supported the “surge” and I am sure he supports more action and activism in the region. But because of the war’s unpopularity, McCain’s fund raising has been anemic and his campaign almost expired over the summer. McCain has been forced to become the McCain of 2000 all over again, in 2008. He’s trying.

Paul says “get out” of Iraq and “stay out” of Iran and return to traditional Republican nonintervention in foreign conflicts. Is that the message catching fire? I find it hard to believe Paul’s proposal to abolish the Federal Reserve System is the propellant for a flash fire of fund raising. Still, I am left with an open mind and no easy answer. Why now? I have followed Paul’s political career for decades and, frankly, he has surprised me with his current support. On the other hand, he can’t be that far outside the “mainstream,” because he has been reelected for decades from his home district in Texas.

Nevertheless, I think Paul will actually become the “John McCain” of 2008. Paul is raising more money than McCain, Fred Thompson and other poll-heavy candidates. With a growing campaign war chest, the Paul message is going to be amplified. Money brings visibility, and visibility brings poll numbers. Very likely even voters. Paul is not going to suddenly shoot to #1, but he is going to become an increasing presence in the primary campaign.

And one critical factor favors Paul: the long campaign. Many Republicans assume the nomination will be decided on February 5th. Maybe, maybe not. Some candidates will surely be over. But I believe Paul’s fund raising machine is not going to slow down. I project and predict his money will keep flowing from whence it came. And so Paul will have adequate funding, and perhaps even growing funding, to keep putting out his message up to the Republican National Convention.

Will Paul collect a lot of delegates? Probably not. But he will likely have enough of a delegate presence to keep fighting right onto the convention floor. For sure he is not going to endorse Rudy Giuliani.

And so we are left with the conundrum. What is fueling Paul’s fund raising? Is it the antiwar message? The libertarian agenda? Or is it a rejection of all of the other Republican candidates? I wish I could be more certain. I’m not. But I am comfortable predicting Paul is well on the way to being the John McCain of 2008. He has already surprised, and I expect the surprises to keep coming.

As for the other presidential candidates. I bet that today, Tuesday, they will be as surprised as I am.

Chicago-based Internet journalist, broadcaster and media critic Andy Martin is the Executive Editor and publisher of © Copyright by Andy Martin 2007. Martin covers regional, national and world events with forty years of experience. He is also a candidate for United States Senator from Illinois. Columns also posted at and Comments? E-mail: Media contact: (866) 706-2639. Web sites:;

Saturday, November 03, 2007


Executive Editor

“Factually Correct, Not
Politically Correct”


Obama had a golden opportunity to skewer Hillary Clinton, and he was afraid to do so. He is the Cowardly Lion of the Democratic Party.
How could someone talk "tough" on Sunday and be a pussycat two days later? Obama must have been talking trash when he was interviewed by the New York Times. Barry gives a great speech, but he is no debater and no cross-examiner. Maybe that's why he has no courtroom record.

(CHICAGO)(November 3, 2007) Last Sunday Barack Obama gave the New York Times a front-page interview. The story said a new, "tough" Obama would tackle Hillary Clinton in the upcoming debate. At the actual debate, moderator Tim Russert asked the obvious question. You said in the New York Times you were going after Hillary, so "Where's the beef?"

Obama wilted, and backed off. How could he hype his new aggressiveness on Sunday, and then deny he was being aggressive on Tuesday? He's an embarrassment to his supporters. He is a "champion" who is not a champ. If they had cast Obama in the movie "300," he would have to stay home with the women. Or as we say down home in Southern Illinois, "That dog won’t hunt." Barry O said he was a predator on Sunday, and ended up being a pussycat on Tuesday.

Friday (November 2nd) Obama was back on the front page of the New York Times. It is painfully obvious that even as people in Chicago have come to the realization Obama is not presidential material, the New York Times persists in giving him front-page coverage to salvage his sinking campaign. Obama's views are no longer "exclusive" front-page news in Chicago's newspapers, not even in the Sun-Times. But in the New York Times, Barry O is still the Sulzburger Family's last, best hope to derail Hillary Clinton. So the front-page coverage continues in New York even as we in Illinois now know better. More's the pity.

Yesterday Obama sent out an e-mail with an extract from the debate. It was his "moment" of confrontation when he told Hillary to release her secret Bill Clinton-era presidential files. Bill Clinton has demanded in writing that Hillary's files be kept from the public until 2012. I wonder how he picked that year. What are they hiding?

Hillary tried to dodge the question over the files. Obama promptly put his hand up to comment and Russert recognized him. Obama should have gone in for the kill, and said "Hillary, stop dodging. It's time for some pillow talk with Bill. Ask him 'Bill, please revoke and reverse your secrecy letter.' Stop stalling and stop pretending the National Archives are to blame, when your husband is the one who imposed the secrecy demand." Boom. He could have blown Hillary away.

Instead, Obama went into a rambling, convoluted discourse that eventually got around to the issue of the secret files. But in the mumbo jumbo about everything else, Barry O fumbled the point that Mrs. Clinton should simply talk to her husband, and ask him to revoke his secrecy letter.

Cross-examination is a talent that is partly learned and partly innate. I was taught "Federal Courts" in law school by a brilliant trial lawyer who went on to become a federal judge, Judge Prentice Marshall. Professor Marshal taught me the rudiments and significance of cross-examination. I had a natural talent for combat in the courtroom. I have cross-examined lying witnesses who collapsed on the witness stand, and cross-examined evasive witnesses that reveled hidden truths in Perry Mason moments. I am comfortable in the courtroom, and the arena, as those who have seen me debate on TV will agree.

As for Obama? He screwed up a golden opportunity. The man is not a warrior; he is not even a competent lawyer. I would not want Obama representing me anywhere near a courtroom. He can't take the pressure. He has no presence as a debater. He has no presence as a cross-examiner. He has no ability to go for the jugular. And he wants to run against Team Clinton? Obama compared himself to Rocky Balboa? Come on. Casper Milquetoast is more like it. He had a classic opening to skewer Hillary, and he botched it.

What does all this mean for the Democrats?

1. Obama is doing exactly what I said in my column last week, deflating.

2. John Edwards is a lawyer. He knows how to go in for the kill. That poor boy didn’t get rich by backing off a battle in the courtroom. As Hillary stalls because of the utter mendacity of her botoxed presentation, Edwards is going to pass Obama and become #2. Once Edwards realizes that he really has to do what he really has to do, take on Hillary or see his campaign die, he will be up for the task. Obama is not. Obama's deflation opens the way for Edward's reflation.

3. There is an Obama who could sit in the Oval Office, but she's not running. Michelle is the "real Obama." Michelle vs. Hillary, now that would be a fair fight. She must have been sitting on the sidelines cringing as her husband fumbled a great campaign opportunity to tackle Hillary.

Barack vs. Hillary? It's enough to make me scream, "Barry O, you just can't cut it in presidential campaign combat. You may be the $75 million dollar fundraiser, but you're still a cowardly lion. Money can't buy bravery.

"Over to you, Michelle."

------------------------------------------Chicago-based Internet journalist, broadcaster and media critic Andy Martin is the Executive Editor and publisher of © Copyright by Andy Martin 2007. Martin covers regional, national and world events with forty years of experience. He is currently a candidate for U. S. Senator from Illinois. Columns also posted at; Comments? E-mail: Media contact: (866) 706-2639. Web sites:;

Thursday, November 01, 2007


Executive Editor

“Factually Correct, Not
Politically Correct”




(CHICAGO)(November 2, 2007) General Paul Tibbets died yesterday. He flew the B-29 that bombed Hiroshima.

Tibbets was born in Quincy, Illinois. Like many young men of the early 1930's his family drifted away, to Florida. Later Paul joined the Army Air Forces and became a respected pilot.

Ultimately he was chosen to lead the secret team that planned the nuclear attacks on Hiroshima and Nagasaki. I can only say "Thank heaven" for these men.

We forget the absolute brutality of the Japanese military forces, and the atrocities committed against Chinese, Koreans, Americans, British and any others who encountered Japan in World War II. The Japanese raped Nanking in 1937 and bayoneted pregnant women; it was one of the world's great atrocities in history. China was helpless, and other nations did nothing to help stem the Japanese rampage.

When I began as a student at the University of Illinois, two years of basic ROTC (Reserve Officer's Training Corps) was still mandatory. Later, I was accepted into the advance corps ROTC for a military commission, and enlisted in the Air Force Reserve.

The men who trained us were mainly World War II and Korean veterans. They had flown over Nazi Germany, and reduced Hitler's Thousand Year Reich to rubble. They also leveled the Japanese war machine. They turned the tide in Korea. One of the officers/professors, Major J. D. Faulk, wanted me to be a fighter pilot in the worst way. But the clandestine life, rather than the uniformed services, held more allure for me. Despite the Major's encouragement, I did not become a pilot.

More than half a century later, we tend to see World War II, and war itself, in soft, sepia tones. Some people question whether bombing Japan was necessary. Pacifists condemn the United States for doing so. I do not.

Bombing Japan was absolutely necessary. Japan would have never surrendered.

The U. S. Marine battles of Okinowa and Iwo Jima had presented graphic evidence of the bloody conflict that lay ahead. Thousands of Marines died subduing tiny islands.

My late Uncle Bill Vasiliou was an enlisted man in the Pacific. My uncle brought home war souvenirs, as did many soldiers. He often told me of the brutality of the enemy and the fear men had of being captured—and tortured—by the Japanese. The Army was preparing to land on the Japanese homeland. My uncle said he was a dead man if his unit was in the initial assault. Casualties would have been enormous. Hundreds of thousands of Americans, at a minimum, would have died to subdue the Japanese.

When I later went to prep school in England one of my friends was a young master who loved gory World War II books about Japanese prison camps and the abuses committed in them. Later, I read actual histories of the war in the Oxford Public Library. There is still much that WW II can teach us, about weakness, evasion, prevarication and procrastination. WW II also teaches there is no substitute for victory.

Today, because of the Holocaust, we remember the medical experiments and other atrocities committed by the Nazis more vividly than we remember the evils of Imperial Japan. Almost everyone has forgotten the horrific torture and unbelievably criminal medical experiments committed on human beings by the Japanese. The Japanese empire was every bit as evil as the Nazi regime.

Japan today bears almost no comparison to the Japan of World War II, although occasionally streaks of the old militarism surface. It is to America's credit that after conquering the Japanese, we civilized them, and imposed on them institutions that have ensured peace into this century. There is no glory today in being a Kamikaze pilot or dying for the Emperor. Young Japanese do not bayonet pregnant women.

My father also served with great distinction in WW II as a commando in the Mediterranean; that is why I have read so much military history. As a little boy I assumed that warfare had become extinct. As a young man I saw in Viet-Nam that it had not. Today we are at war again, though under very different and tragic circumstances. Having survived enough wars and revolutions for one lifetime, I salute General Tibbets for his great accomplishments, and hope he is on a flight plan straight to heaven.

General Tibbets saved my father's life, and my uncle's life, and the lives of hundreds of thousands of other American fathers and uncles, not to say countless of hundreds of thousands of Chinese, Koreans and others who risked savagery and death at the hands of Dai Nippon if WW II had continued.

Well done, General. And Thank You.

Chicago-based Internet journalist, broadcaster and media critic Andy Martin is the Executive Editor and publisher of © Copyright by Andy Martin 2007. Martin covers regional, national and world events with forty years of experience. He is also a candidate for United States Senator from Illinois. Columns also posted at and Comments? E-mail: Media contact: (866) 706-2639. Web sites:;