Saturday, April 14, 2007

Making Visible What's Already There

Since the Democratic Party leadership has declared itself unwilling to impeach Bush and Cheney - what does one have to do to get impeached?! - it's up to the rest of us. We have a majority of the American people in favor of impeachment, but that majority needs to show itself and act.

There are two facets to this. One, people who recognize what needs to be done need to step forward and act on that knowledge. They need to show it ... off! They cannot remain passive in the face of this tyranny. Otherwise, the tyrants win.

People need to ask themselves: Is that what I want? Is this the kind of country I want to live in where everyone's being spied on by the government and people can be held indefinitely without charges and captives can be tortured and subjected to kangaroo military tribunals? Where our government can flout international law and commit the gravest war crime of all, invading another country that has not threatened and has not attacked us? Where towering lies by the government and by right-wing media are common practice and where the mass media accepts and tolerates these lies or, at best, raises tiny, meagre protests about these lies? Is that the kind of world I want my children to live - or die - in?

Two, though we have a majority on our side, the vast majority of people in this country still know only a fraction of what this regime has been doing. If they truly knew what has been going on and what this extremist, theocratic fascist (theo-con as I recently heard it described) movement is really up to, then they would recognize how much is at stake here. People need to read and learn.

That's why we wrote Impeach the President: the Case Against Bush and Cheney. This book needs to be read by far, far more people than have read it to date. While the other books on impeachment are excellent, ITP is the only one that treats the Bush/Cheney regime as a movement with a program, outlook and agenda. And it's the only one that gets into why they've been doing what they've been doing and why they've been allowed to get away with it. This last point is crucial because what has been going on is much, much more than the actions of a couple of reactionaries in the White House.

If more people understood how egregious the complicity has been and is now between the Democratic Party leadership and the mass media with the Bush regime, then they would stop sitting around thinking that a Democratic president in 2008 is going to fix everything.

What does it tell you about the Democratic party leadership that when the Military Commissions Act of 2006 was being debated in Congress - a bill that legalized torture and that stripped people of habeas corpus rights - they refused to filibuster this horrible, unthinkable, barbaric bill? The Democrats had the votes to filibuster and block the bill. They wouldn't do it. Instead, we had the pathetic spectacle of John Kerry and Diane Feinstein complaining while casting their votes that the GOP would use their no votes in November 2006 to punish the Democratic Party. As if their partisan jockeying was even the point! As if legalizing torture and destroying a right that's nearly 900 years old (habeas corpus) were not what was being carried out.

And the Democratic Party isn't stopping this war, despite the unmistakable message sent by voters in November 2006 that brought them back the majority in Congress. The Democratic Party leadership has authorized enough money to keep this war going into 2009 and their so-called time table for withdrawal is non-binding. It has no teeth in it whatsoever. Why are they doing this? The DLC is biding its time and trying to stall until November 2008. They figure that's all they have to do to get their person in the White House.

Meanwhile, every single day this regime and this war goes on, people are being tortured and killed. Every single day this regime remains in power is another day that dealing with global warming isn't happening. Think about the amount of damage that can and will occur under Bush and Cheney between now and January 2009. To date because of our invasion of Iraq close to a million people have died and 3,000 plus Americans. What's it going to take to end this madness?

The impeachment movement is relatively small at this point. Like an army in the field engaged in pitched battle with the other side, the outcome of this battle will depend upon whether reinforcements arrive and join the battle. The people who are currently politically active are not enough to make this happen. Not by a long shot. The latent support for impeachment must become manifest. People need to step forward and throw in their lot with the forces fighting for an entirely different future than the ugly, dictatorial, lying, scandal-ridden, anti-rationalist, anti-science, murderous government we now have.

What's it going to be? A single person stepping forward can make a huge difference. The 2,000 people at UC Santa Barbara who shut down classes and walked off campus and blocked the freeway in protest in February 15, 2007 was started by one student. ONE student.

I started this website last week and have gotten a huge response in terms of visits to the site. But these visits have to become something much more. People have to come forward and volunteer to be organizers. People need to go out into their communities and create a stir with t-shirts, armbands and flyers.

You can make your own cheap armbands to hand out with flourescent duct tape and printing IMPEACH on them. Orange would be a good color. Or peach. To facilitate this you can get a stamp made that you can use over and over.

Not acting is the same thing as choosing the side of the tyrants and torturers. Is that what you want?

Step up! Declare yourself! Choose! Which side are you on?

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