Brian Clarey of Yes Weekly, the alternative weekly newspaper in Greensboro, NC, has written about Ralph Nader's and others' calls for the impeachment of George W. Bush in the aftermath of the Downing Street memo leak. Clarey writes:
"And why not? The US Constitution outlines the grounds for impeachment thusly: “The President, Vice President, and all civil officers of the United States shall be removed from office on impeachment for, and conviction of, treason, bribery, or other high crimes and misdemeanors.”
President Clinton was impeached in 1998 by the House for perjury, obstruction of justice and abuse of power, though the Senate later acquitted him of these charges in a close vote. Richard Nixon, who resigned before the impeachment process reached a vote, also had charges of obstruction and abuse leveled against him.
Clinton had an affair with an intern. Nixon took the fall for a GOP rife with corruption and intrigue rather than give the names of his shady cronies, with whom he was inextricably linked. Both did what they could to prevent the truth from surfacing and both paid a price."
Unless I am mistaken, I believe this is the first newspaper I've seen to support an impeachment of Bush. There is a comment on the newpaper's website (after the article) by a "Jim McDermott." He doesn't identify himself as Congressman Jim McDermott, who has been an outspoken critic of the President. I can't help but wonder, though...
UPDATE: Dave Zweifel had this piece, titled "We've seen enough to impeach Bush," in the Madison Capitol Times on June 20th.
In November 2003, critics of the Iraq war could not believe their own ears. Neocon Richard Perle admitted, quite freely, that the attack upon Iraq was initiated with naked contempt for international law. He was proud of the part he had played in the illegal war.
At the time, defenders of the British government had said, in short, "Oh, no! Not Britain. We would never agree that the rule of law should be ignored, like the United States is doing."
The Downing Street memos show that Britain was, indeed, willing to participate in the political bamboozling of the masses in order to join the "US hegemon" in the war upon Iraq.
If you can't beat 'em, join 'em.
Perle gave away the game that day, and the Downing Street memos' leak has forever connected and sealed the Perle admission with the lies of Bush and Blair.
Read these excerpts from the Guardian article, November 20, 2003 (LINK):
"International lawyers and anti-war campaigners reacted with astonishment yesterday after the influential Pentagon hawk Richard Perle conceded that the invasion of Iraq had been illegal. In a startling break with the official White House and Downing Street lines, Mr Perle told an audience in London: "I think in this case international law stood in the way of doing the right thing."
President George Bush has consistently argued that the war was legal either because of existing UN security council resolutions on Iraq - also the British government's publicly stated view - or as an act of self-defence permitted by international law..."
"..Mr Perle's remarks bear little resemblance to official justifications for war, according to Rabinder Singh QC, who represented CND and also participated in Tuesday's event.
Certainly the British government, he said, "has never advanced the suggestion that it is entitled to act, or right to act, contrary to international law in relation to Iraq". [*note: see Downing Street memos - the divergence in opinion may have been there, but the intent was to go along with the U.S. - regardless. The plan was to help the U.S. to establish a casus belli for war. They ultimately failed to convince the Security Council.]
The Pentagon adviser's views, he added, underlined "a divergence of view between the British govern ment and some senior voices in American public life [who] have expressed the view that, well, if it's the case that international law doesn't permit unilateral pre-emptive action without the authority of the UN, then the defect is in international law".
Mr Perle's view is not the official one put forward by the White House. Its main argument has been that the invasion was justified under the UN charter, which guarantees the right of each state to self-defence, including pre-emptive self-defence. On the night bombing began, in March, Mr Bush reiterated America's "sovereign authority to use force" to defeat the threat from Baghdad.
The UN secretary general, Kofi Annan, has questioned that justification, arguing that the security council would have to rule on whether the US and its allies were under imminent threat..."
Note: I rediscovered this Guardian article while going through my own archives here at Iddybud. Sometimes blogging really pays off.
"I think it has been a remarkable success story to date when you look at what has been accomplished overall and I think the president deserves credit for it."
- Dick Cheney offers his assessment of US policy in Iraq in Autumn, 2004.
Statements like this one may have helped George W. Bush to win the 2004 American election (along with those "special" Diebold machines, a very Bush-friendly Ohio Attorney General, and scaring the living shit out of Americans with exaggerated tales of terror), but in the end, they have not helped him to convince the public that he is winning the fight for Iraq.
Bush's war has been a failure, so much so that the U.S. may now be resorting to the act of deliberately initiating civil war in Iraq in order to achieve its political goals.
Here's the conundrum: A powerful resistance front in Iraq, including the Sunni Association of Muslim Scholars (AMS) and the Sadrists, will refuse any kind of dialogue with Iraq's new Prime Minister Ibrahim Jaafari unless there's a definite timetable for the complete withdrawal of the occupation forces. Back in America, the public is screaming for a timetable for a pull-out of U.S. troops, and Republicans like Walter Jones of North Carolina are making public appeals in Congress for something concrete from the Bushites.
No one really seems to want the U.S. troops to be where they are today - except the neocons and the Bush administration, who sent the troops there on the wings of the most dreadful lie ever told to America.
In March, 2004, while Bush was preparing to return to the UN for the proposal of a new resolution, he had said:
"Al-Qaida wants us out of Iraq because al-Qaida wants to use Iraq as an example of defeating freedom and democracy." -(LINK)
We know this is not exactly the truth. It wasn't only Al-Qaida. An overwhelming number of everyday Iraqis would like the U.S. to leave.
Before the public lowers the boom on Bush - seeking to impeach him for the disaster he created when he misled the nation - his administration must find the fastest way out.
The American public thinks Iraq is a mess. Consult any current public poll and you'll see for yourself.
Sunni Arabs and Kurds are virtually on the brink of civil war in northern Iraq at this time. The Kurds claim the city of Kirkuk as their own, and they want Kirkuk to be the capital of the Kurdish region, a goal that inspires ire in most Iraqis. Kirkuk has been described, even by U.S. officials, as a “powder keg.” It also happens to sit on top of one of Iraq’s richest oilfields. What the Kurds want most of all is to control Northern Oil - part of the Iraqi National Oil Co, in charge of the oilfields west of Kirkuk. It is apparent that Sunni Arabs will not settle peaceably with the Kurds on this issue.
In the absence of a realistic political solution, Iraq may eventually be forced to disintegrate, which would be a geopolitical nightmare - destabilizing the entire Middle East. Interestingly, a significant number of Kurds would like to see this happen, after years of seeing their people murdered at the hands of brutal dictators. The Bush administration fears that self-determination, desired by most Kurds of northern Iraq, could lead to the establishment of an independent Kurdish state and seriously challenge US control of the oil resources of northern Iraq.
According to a June 10th article in the Asia Times by Pepe Escobar, there are neocon-friendly forces in Washington DC who are planning a "divide-and-rule" plan for Iraq, which would be a way to keep a weakened Iraq from being united and democratic, and this is in direct opposition to what the President has told the American people he wants to achieve. The objective would be "the perpetuation of Arab disunity."
The plan would be "sold" under the admission that the recently elected, Shi'ite-dominated Jaafari government is incapable of controlling Iraq and bringing the Sunni Arab guerrillas to the negotiating table. More significantly, the plan is an exact replica of an extreme right-wing Israeli plan to balkanize Iraq - an essential part of the balkanization of the whole Middle East.
The act of the U.S. resorting to 'Iraqification' - using Shi'ites and Kurds to fight Sunnis - is a sign that we know we have lost any vision we may have had about "winning" the war. It has been an unwinnable war all along, and President Bush was never up-front with the American public about that fact. (Just as he was never up-front while leading the American masses toward war).
"Call it Iraqification; what it actually means is sectarian fever translated into civil war. Operation Lightning - the highly publicized counter-insurgency tour de force with its 40,000 mostly Shi'ite troops rounding up Sunni Arabs - can be read as the first salvo of the civil war......'Iraqification' means in fact 'Salvadorization'. No wonder old faces are back in the game."
Escobar writes that the Sunni-Arab guerillas "have the means to destabilize the country for decades, if they're up for it." If I am reading Escobar's Asia Times article correctly, and I hope it isn't true, then I can assume he is telling us that the U.S. desires to keep these diverse political terrorist-groups at each others' throats - which would mean a sustained civil war.
Many Kurds, who have hoped for independence, are dancing with anticipatory joy. A Kurdish citizen in Iraq has written:
"...of the Kurds who took part in the elections, a whopping 98 % expressed a desire for a civil divorce. In the branch of science called politics, the fancy name for this kind of behavior is called self-determination. It is considered a political axiom in much of the world except in the lands administered by dictatorships. Now that Iraq is a ward of Uncle Sam, you would think that the Kurdish desire to go it alone would have been respected and accepted. ......to paraphrase Senator John Edwards, help is finally on its way to the Kurds and Kurdistan, and it is with some sadness that I note, not from the children of Jefferson, but from the disciples of enforced ignorance who have vowed to destroy Iraq. When their work is complete, we will take our place behind East Timor as the newest freed nation in the world. Then, and only then, I will rise for the dance of liberation and emancipation in honor of all those Kurdish patriots who shed their blood so that I could see freedom........I can’t wait for the RIP sign to rise over the abomination that cost five million Kurds of Iraq 250.000 deaths in 35 years on the watch of one monster from Tikrit. When that day comes, and if by some magic I were granted a wish, I would have loved nothing better to do than rush the news to the high heavens and inform Winston Churchill, the British Colonial Secretary, that his out of wedlock bastard has, finally, thank God, died. After rejoicing in his heartache, I would have looked up for Uncle Omar of Halapja and cheered him up with the good news that the flag of Kurdistan now flutters over the memorial that honors him and his friends in the city of Halapja."- By Kani Xulam, KurdishMedia.com
Nikolas K. Gvosdev, editor of The National Interest is not so sure that "democracy" will provide the solution to what ails Iraq. He says:
Consider Bosnia, where efforts to forge a unified country among three hostile ethno-religious groups has proven extremely difficult — even when the parties share a common language. We forget today how Bosnia's first free elections in November 1990 were cited as a triumph for democracy. Sixteen months later, Europe's most destructive conflict since the end of World War II erupted.
Bush was unprepared for what would happen once he sated his thirst for deliberate revenge and tackled Saddam, unilaterally, while lying our nation into the war. What he has done, by going into this half-assed, is to not only increase terrorism, but also to open Iraq up to civil war (whether it's intentional, as Escobar contends, or not). The greatly increased risk of political influence upon vulnerable regional Iraqi populations by anti-American forces in Middle Eastern nations (such as Iran) cannot extend a promise of security, stablity, freedom or democracy anytime soon.