Sunday, July 30, 2006

Restoring America's image -taking a very different path

I have given much thought as to how to bring American hope and stature back into the World. My thoughts coalesced this morning after two pieces of information fell into place. The first was supplied by Tom Friedman, of the NY Times in his latest article, "On the eve of madness, yet again, in the Middle East."

In the article Friedman said, "America should be galvanizing the forces of order - Europe, Russia, China and India - into a coalition against these trends. But we can't. Why? In part, it's because our president and secretary of state, although they speak with great moral clarity, have no moral authority. That's been shattered by their performance in Iraq.

The world hates George Bush more than any other U.S. president in my lifetime. He is radioactive - and so caught up in his own ideological bubble that he is incapable of imagining or forging alternative strategies."

The other piece of information was provided by my local newspaper's Editorial page. It was written by Todd Hooper, the Republican candidate for Congress, who is opposing Democratic Congresswoman, Lynn Woolsey. (Woolsey called for the impeachment of George Bush just before our June primary, in which she beat her Democratic opponent, who was trying to unseat her.)

The Republican candidate, Todd Hooper, states, "Impeaching the President would be a colossal distraction for Congress and the nation, and particularly misguided at this junction in our history. Solutions to critical issues - the war, immigration, federal deficits, education - would be delayed and distorted by the circus atmosphere. Even most Democrats in Congress don't want impeachment because they know that nothing productive would result. We learned this from President Clinton's impeachment process."

Friedman is correct about what this President has brought us in the world. And I totally disagree with Todd Hooper. Impeaching President Bush AND VP Cheney is probably the one single thing that would send a message to the rest of the world that the American people have reclaimed their government.

It would put into perspective our disagreement with the stated policies of Bush and Cheney from their acceptance of torture as a means to deal with prisoners from Abu Grahib to GITMO, renditions of people we capture and scoop of the streets of cities in Italy and elsewhere, to violations of the Geneva Convention, and the illegal spying of Americans without FISA Court approval. In addition we would be saying loud and clear that we think we need to use more diplomacy in the world, we should be uniting our supporters and dividing our enemies and not through military means.

I have said many times over the past 5 years, I am ashamed at what our government has done on behalf of America. If Americans aren't ashamed they should be before it is too late. So I can't think of anything more important to the world and our country than to initiate impeachment proceedings against them. And to Todd Hooper's claim most Democrats in Congress don't want impeachment because they know that nothing productive would result and we learned this from the Clinton impeachment, I say wrong again. Maybe that is what you learned, Todd. I learned it was a waste of time to drag a President (Clinton) through impeachment process for covering up an illicit, but personal affair, which is not the same nor as serious a matter as a President (Bush) who has repeatedly broken the laws he swore to uphold, violated the Constitution of the United States and will violate a treaty, namely the Geneva Convention, (which we were major players in its formation after World War II) and the authorization of NSA spying on Americans in direct violation of our law which stated that this must be approved by a FISA Court. Even the ABA has scolded the President on his repeated use of "signing statements", over 800 to be more precise, in which, while he signs the law passed by Congress into effect, he states he will not follow the laws.

This is how to bring hope back to a very fearful world with apocalyptic events shadowing common sense and civility. It is time for us all to speak out. Friedman has stated courageously the obvious but unspoken truth. Reading carefully between the lines, he is saying a very similar thing. Because there is little hope this President will change. As Andrew Sullivan, of The New Republic and writer for Time, said this morning on the Chris Matthews show, "he (Bush) has a fantastically strong denial mechanism – that’s how he has survived his whole life! It means he can deny the reality in front of him, especially as a recovering alcoholic – has a very clear idea of black and white and can’t tolerate gray.”

There is still time before the whole world blows up, but time is running out and Americans must be willing to see how things are not going well under this President. We are not better off today than we were 7 years ago. That is what Todd Hooper needs to address as he has embraced a party which has failed America. At least Congresswoman Woolsey (D) has a very positive and powerful suggestion of how to right the wrongs that have been done. I say Bravo! It isn't an easy solution but it is a courageous one and one that would gain the respect of the world.


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