SocraticGadfly: RIP to Green Party leader Kevin Zeese

September 06, 2020

RIP to Green Party leader Kevin Zeese

Heard about this just an hour or two ago via Ballot Access News. And here's a brief on Antiwar.

And, as with David Graeber, no, it's "not too soon" to have an RIP that is qualified in its praise.

And I have got the receipts.

First, last fall, Reese and partner Margaret Flowers, like Rainer Shea, and Aaron Maté and all the other allegedly outside the box foreign policy stenos, indicated that they believed people in Hong Kong simply couldn't fight for civil liberties on their own but had to be getting incited by the U.S. government.

Related? Zeese claimed that allegations of mass detention camps and other Chinese actions against Uyghurs were simply untrue. Reality? Internal Chinese documents, never denied by Beijing, had leaked about this almost a year ago. (I have a separate blog post on this coming up.) And, his Popular Resistance site strawmanned this by claiming that people calling out China were all claiming they were doing genocide, when such claims were NOT made. (Some people have claimed that, as in Tibet, Beijing is practicing cultural genocide, and I see at least a degree of truth in that.) And yes, it's not just Zeese. Flowers coauthored stuff with him, per that first link in this paragraph. It's also a good piece for chronicling the political journey of Max Blumenthal and perhaps wondering why he says what he does on Grayzone. (Note: I don't agree with all of its claims, though; especially on Assad's Syria, the situation is more complex than it presents.)

Here's another, where they "go there" by claiming the only Uyghur radicals fighting Beijing are Islamic militants. Zeese and Flowers also write blank-check support for Beijing's reaction to the coronavirus. Here's another by the duo on Hong Kong which falsely claims "Hong Kong is a part of China." Until 2047 and the expiration of the Basic Law, I do not consider Hong Kong part of China.

I have consistently rejected such twosiderism, whether from the stenos, or from Greens involved enough in politicis they should know better. And, twosiderism, with all of its problems, it is. I mean, I can condemn American imperialism and American treatment of minorities and at the same time criticize Chinese imperialism and Chinese treatment of its minorities. It's really not that hard.

And, over the last 12-18 months, this has been pissing me off more and more. Whether it's Uyghur detention camps, pushing countries in South Asia and sub-Saharan Africa into debt peonage over Belt and Road Initiative projects, or racism against Africans, Xi Jinping's China has plenty to answer for, and leftists enabling Xi Jinping Thought aren't helping.

(To a lesser degree, this is true in Venezuela. Yes, the U.S. would like to topple Nicolas Maduro, and yes, Juan Guido is its willing puppet. But, protesting this while whitewashing all the things Maduro has done wrong is unacceptable. Hell, whitewashing Hugo Chavez for not modernizing the Venezuelan oil industry after nationalizing it, and not doing more to diversify the economy, is also wrong.)

Second, I assume Zeese supported Flowers' version of single-payer, which refused to have doctors and hospitals take a haircut and have other reforms, along with getting rid of private insurance. Jill Stein also supports the PHNP version. I've long said doctors and hospitals are approximately one-third of the problem with US health care costs. I've also said that I want neither private individuals and businesses, nor the government, going broke over national health care. In addition, many Europeans say that just getting rid of private insurers won't fix a multitude of cost problems with America's health care system.

Third, while I still think Ian Schlakman was a whiner, and put up to it by Dario Hunter, over this year's dual party line of presidential nominee Howie Hawkins, he, like Zeese and Flowers being from Maryland, makes me wonder just how dysfunctional the Maryland GP is, and how much of that is Zeese's fault.

Fourth? Twittergate over Howie's candidacy. As Howie has drawn lots of flak from other Greens over his stance on Russian election meddling, I wonder if he and Zeese sparred over that, or over China, since he was Howie's press spox.

Credit where credit is due. Zeese long ago did a lot of good work fighting against the War on Drugs. He's done other good work for the Green Party since then. But he, as representative of a class of leftists on foreign policy issues that do as much harm as good, as I see it, was problematic.

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