In our society, telling the truth is a crime that rarely goes unpunished. Disobedient Media spoke recently with former Congresswoman and 2008 Green Party Presidential Candidate Cynthia McKinney. McKinney has long been a groundbreaking truth-teller who blazed a trail outside the false dichotomy of US political parties before the rise of social media.

Disobedient Media was humbled to speak with Cynthia McKinney regarding her latest book, How The US Creates “Sh*thole” Countries

McKinney explained that her book includes work from a wide variety of contributors, including former Senator Mike Gravel, Christopher Black, Sami Al-Arian, James Petras, Dr. Paul Craig Roberts, Baffour Ankomah, S. Brian Willson, Maribel Aponte-Garcia, Kevin Barrett, Alba Carosio, Thomas Cox, Robin Eastman-Abaya, Richard Falk, Edward S. Herman, Wayne Madsen, Danny Haiphong, Charles Onana, David Petersen, James Petras, Alberto Robillato, The Saker, Mark Schuller, Jose Maria Sison, and Keith Harmon Snow.

McKinney told us that the purpose of the book was twofold: to show that there is a broad spectrum of support for peace, and to give people of national repute from diverse backgrounds an opportunity to work together and to get to know each other. She said:

The composition of the contributors is extremely important, because this book is not only [comprised of] people from the left, or only people from the right: not only Democrats, not only Republicans, even though I think Democrat and Republican is becoming archaic now in terms of identifying people because of the deep transformation within the Democratic Party where you’ve got former CIA agents now running as Democrats for Congress.”

Former Congresswoman and 2008 Green Party Presidential candidate Cynthia McKinney

McKinney continued: “The old political schema no longer works, and these [contributors] are people from all kinds of ideological backgrounds. Some of them have been in prison, some of them have been placed into forced exile, some of them sacrificed limbs on their body, in the case of S. Brian Willson, to protest US war policy abroad, and yet they were all able to come together and establish as a fact, that peace has a broad constituency in the United States.”

One has to appreciate that such a text would never have been possible were it not for McKinney’s unique ability to speak to people from different backgrounds and points of view.

Given the ongoing debate as to the viability of working with those from opposite sides of the political spectrum, McKinney’s book is especially timely in its encapsulation of cross-ideological collaboration. She told us:

“This is unlike what we get from established political parties: we don’t get a conversation about peace. Definitely when you take someone like Paul Craig Roberts, former Assistant Secretary of the Treasury for Economic Policy for Ronald Reagan, you see that we’ve got people who have come together and established that there is a broad constituency for Peace.”

McKinney iterated that the book also establishes that people from drastically differing ideologies also understand that: “Much of the woe that is experienced by people in other countries has been caused by the US. So that too is path-breaking. This book establishes an admission of guilt for the United States for conditions that exist in the rest of the world.”

Mckinney said: “The US has basically destroyed opportunities for people in other parts of the world, in every other part of the world including in the Americas. United States foreign policy is a pernicious influence. We can see just how the United States has influence in Ecuador. Ecuador used to be free, and now all of a sudden Ecuador is no longer free, and that has a direct bearing on the life of an activist whom we all cherish and adore.”

McKinney added that the conclusion of the book discussed the way in which Americans have likewise suffered during the US’s involvement in war: “As Americans of my age learned, you can’t have guns and butter. That was the analogy that was made during the Vietnam War. The United States has supported this war machine and has conducted these wars abroad that have enriched certain individuals in the United States, but has impoverished the people.

“So the final chapter of the book is the United Nations report on poverty [in the US]. You really can’t have guns and butter. The United States has put up with a lot from its leaders. Its leaders have been mis-leaders, and it’s time for us to come together in a political way, to say enough is enough.”

Given McKinney’s twelve years of experience as a Congresswoman, and her fearless refusal to stray from the truth, she has a uniquely valuable perspective on the political shifts that have taken place in the US over recent decades. She told Disobedient Media:

“Politics in the US is changing very profoundly, and people aren’t paying attention to it. If people aren’t paying attention, they will end up with an entirely different political system, that has strayed so far away from the Constitution that the US will no longer be Democratic and it will no longer be a Republic… The noose is being put around the neck of the Republic, and the Constitution won’t mean a thing. We won’t mean a thing. Citizenship won’t mean a thing.”

She said: “The only thing that can save us and the world is a change in US foreign policy, and the only way we can change US foreign policy is for the people to care. The only way for people to care is for people to come together from these different walks of life with different experiences and understand that everyone doesn’t live the safe, secure life with access to the necessities that certain individuals in the US are able to have. We need a coalition of the willing.”

McKinney added: “The Democrats support the war state, Democrats support the US descent into a police state. The Democrats had a real opportunity to ask real questions about Brett Kavanaugh’s confirmation, yet, the Democrats stayed away. What did the Democrats not ask any questions about? Well, Brett Kavanaugh was involved with the investigation of Vince Foster’s death, and no questions were asked there.

There’s a lot that could have been mentioned. He was an apologist for the George W. Bush election theft, but they stayed away from that. So the conclusion that I make is that the reason the Democrats did not champion typical Democratic issues that you would have thought they would have championed… The Democrats are staying away from those issues because they are deep state issues.”

In light of her experience, Disobedient Media asked the former Congresswoman what advice she would give to young activists and all of those who have, over recent years, woken up to the falsehood of the two-party system, but who feel hopeless regarding their ability to create meaningful change. McKinney told this writer:

“What I would ask people to do – particularly young people, is to become uncomfortable. By that, I mean to go into neighborhoods they never go into. Talk to strangers that are obviously different. Just ride discomfort to the point of comfort, so that you are comfortable being a path-breaker.”

“Don’t accept what is. Look through what is, to what could be. Develop eyes that can see through reality. Peter Dale Scott was my dissertation advisor. He was the one that coined the term ‘deep state,’ ‘deep politics,’ etc. He said that his methodology was to look and see what is not there, and that’s what I’d ask young people who care about their communities and the world, is to develop eyes that can see what’s not there. What’s not there is probably the most important thing.”

Cynthia McKinney’s book, How The US Creates “Sh*thole” Countries, is available via Clarity Press. Disobedient Media will continue to provide a platform for voices the establishment would prefer were not heard.

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