time to stop beating around this Bush and start
beating up on him--but good. There is no set of
humanitarian or democratic principles by which
this administration would not have been removed
in any sane society. The last election was questionable
at best, and his reckless, dangerous and criminal
actions in the ensuing years have shown the whole
world he is unfit to govern. The only democratic
remedy, impeachment, was set aside early and forcibly
by an opposition still afraid of its own shadow.
It did make some sense, early on, to argue that,
since the Greasy Oil Plutocrats (GOP) controlled
both houses, it was a waste of time and energy.
political calculation is the currency of a failed
"democracy," and Washington is crawling with sellouts
and political weathervanes. In the Sausage Factory
that is the legislative process, anyone who wants
to get anything done had best be ready to hold
her nose and roll up her sleeves. Still, principle
still counts for something. To hear either of
the Mega-Parties talk, you'd think they were all
about principle. Grandiose rhetoric covers the
tiniest focus-grouped nuances; minor tweaks to
failed policies are disguised as major ideological
shifts, their proponents bravely marching, Quixote-style,
into the windmill of their ever-so-slightly differing
maybe it's time for a simple, radical proposition:
Truth is True. Of course Republicans will fight
impeachment like crazy--so what? Anyway, it's
past time to put to rest the right-wing myth that
Nixon was "hounded out of office" by the opposition.
By the time Barry Goldwater met with Nixon to
tell him the jig was up, he reported that the
president could expect no more than ten votes
in the Senate. "And," he is reported to have added,
"I'm not one of them." Politicians don't always
toe the party line, especially when it is one
drawn in the sand by a crook.
damage done to decades-long international agreements,
to the reputation of the US, and simply the revulsion
at all the atrocities commited in our name, is
almost beyond calculation, and quite likely beyond
repair. Cornered at every turn, the thieves and
liars of this junta respond to every new self-inflicted
crisis with greater abandon. There are dangerous
and powerful forces trying to keep this man in
power, and there is no doubt that confronting
them head on will prove difficult. But there is
no choice left. The iceberg whose tip is now poking
its way into the eye of a weary world is gargantuan,
and will not melt of its own accord. These men
intended all along to shred the Geneva Convention,
the US constitution and every safeguard in between.
The "Iraq Prison Abuse Scandal," a misnomer if
ever there was one, is not about a few hicks on
a rampage. Anyone with a brain could see that
immediately, and once again we were proven right.
The attempt to end-run the CIA and establish a
fully secret system of torture and "intelligence
gathering" lays bare the core of these men's "principles:"
utter contempt for democracy and due process.
should be something of a clue to learn that the
CIA was too accountable for these guys. The CIA,
as we well know, is loath to bend any rules or
skirt accountability in pursuit of its own shadowy
goals. Doug Feith, apparently, knows better than
the CIA, and he wouldn't trust them for...well,
let's say for all the assassination manuals in
has become the unspeakable, torturous mess we
knew it would, and they still won't come clean.
That's why they mustn't be let to leave of their
own accord. Next January is far too long, too
many wars, atrocities and frayed alliances too
late. These guys, and yes, I mean all of them,
from Dubya and Lon Chaney on down--these guys
have to go now. And I don't mean back to cutting
brush in Crawford. (What's the deal there, by
the way? Does this guy live on a billion acres
that he cuts himself, or what? Isn't he done yet?).
not back to Crawford or off to some slimy lobbying
firm--they need to go sit in a dock in the Hague
and await the judgement of the world. The world's
responsibility is to convene an ad hoc tribunal
to prosecute the war crimes of the Iraq war--just
as they do with other rogue nations who refuse
to subject themselves to the conventions of international
law. Our responsibility in the US is to facilitate
the process by first removing the war criminals
from power, and then not stopping the international
peacekeeping force when they come to arrest them.
Why? Of course, it is often shocking to turn the
looking glass around, but if we try to see what
the rest of the world sees, these are the logical
next steps. Instead, the internal "debate" grows
more and more deaf to the outside world. The Democrats
have already picked their pro-war candidate, and
he is staying the course, while rumors about a
"unity ticket" with McCain swirl above the wreckage
of the international scene. What planet are we
on? I actually saw an article recently chiding
the left with the spectre of 1968, claiming that
it was our fault (the antiwar crowd) that Humphrey
lost. Huh? I guess it couldn't have been Humphrey's
fault that he saddled himself with Johnson's War.
At least he was the sitting vice president--what's
as long as we're playing the bogus counterfactual
history "whose fault was Nixon" game, there are
plenty of turns to go around. Assume that RFK
had not been killed in June of 1968. Having won
the California primary, he was poised to wrest
the nomination from Humphrey, relieving the Democrats
of their war burden, and would presumably have
swept to victory over Tricky Dick. Imagine...no
Houston Plan, no destabilizing Chile--maybe a
few million still alive in Southeast Asia....
Well, maybe it's a bit tongue-in-cheek, but the
point is history is not an a la carte menu. You
can't pick and choose once the opportunities are
only way the Democrats can lose this election,
as I see it, is to fail to embrace and stay ahead
of the exploding buyer's remorse now coming into
focus over the quagmire in Iraqnam. The RFK analogy
is with us still, in the person of Dennis Kucinich.
Kucinich is RFK for 2004--the late-surging candidate
whose war stance-deemed opportunistic by some,
too establishment by others--represents the hope
of the party but whose candidacy, alas, is not
to be: RFK's because he was shot in the head,
and DJK's because he was shot in the image, budget,
soul...take your pick. But it doesn't graft well
a generation later. No bullets were necessary
to doom Kucinich's candidacy, and no matter what
changes between now and July, it is exceedingly
unlikely that Democrats in the "disciplined,"
slick "modern" era would abandon the walking disaster
that is the Kerry candidacy--although they should
be thinking hard about it.
of course, it's beside my point. Who cares who's
running in November? Impeach the bastards now.
By the time the dust settles and the indictments
are all handed out, we may well have come far
enough down the chain of succession to where a
new government might mean something: Bernie Sanders,
or Kucinch, and Barbara Lee. Full speed ahead....
2004 Daniel Patrick Welch. http://danielpwelch.com/.
Writer, singer, linguist and activist Daniel Patrick
Welch lives and writes in Salem, Massachusetts,
with his wife, Julia Nambalirwa-Lugudde. Together
they run The Greenhouse School http://www.volunteersolutions.org/volunteer/agency/one_157700.html.
Posted: May 25, 2004