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Impeachment may be the solution

By
August 29, 2007

President Bush is, quite reasonably, appealing to history to salvage his legacy since his prospects don’t look good in the short term. Despite current efforts to put the best possible face on conditions in Iraq, the news continues to be bad.

For example, last week, one day’s news reported the assassinations of two Iraqi governors, as well as the admission by U.S. Ambassador Ryan Crocker that southern Iraq was plagued by “a lot of violence.” In northern Iraq, a truck bomber killed 45 people, and others died elsewhere.

The day also brought the news that Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki was playing the democracy card, rejecting criticism from the Bush administration that his government isn’t making sufficient progress on bridging the divisions between Sunnis and Shias — or between Shias and Shias, for that matter. His government also was reluctant to divide up the oil. Al-Maliki, just back from three days in Syria, said, “No one has the right to place timetables on the Iraq government. It was elected by its people.” A “gotcha” moment.

Finally, the day brought news of 14 American troops getting killed in a helicopter crash, bringing the total of American dead to 3,721. Another soldier was killed elsewhere. At least 15 families will get bad news.

So it wasn’t a good day in Iraq. But, all in all, it was a typical day, nothing particularly unusual.

Crocker insists that all of these problems are “fixable,” and undoubtedly the report that he and Army Gen. David Petraeus will deliver to Congress in a couple of weeks will be optimistic in the attempt to reinforce our resolve to face the difficulties of the so-called way forward.

But the word “failure” is probably too weak to describe accurately our situation in Iraq. After all, it’s possible to fail in the pursuit of a good cause, as well as succeed in a bad one. Iraq was a bad one from the beginning. Nevertheless, for a long time Bush insisted on “staying the course.” With Petraeus and the surge, we changed course. But I suspect that the only way out of Iraq is to admit we were wrong and reverse course.

This wouldn’t be easy; we’re not used to admitting we were wrong. But I predict a calming effect on the situation. To a large extent, the motivations, desires and needs that govern relations between human beings are the same as those that govern relations between nations. And nothing defuses antagonism like an admission of error on the part of the dominant party.

“Hearts and Minds,” the Oscar-winning 1974 documentary about Vietnam, depicts a woman-on-the-street who asks this question about that quagmire: Why can’t we just admit that we were wrong? That’s what we expect grownups to do when they make mistakes.

But how do we admit we were wrong? One way would be for the electorate to speak clearly with their ballots. They did so in November 2006, but, unfortunately, the election has had no impact on the course of the war so far.

Another way would be to impeach Bush. At other times, in other places, leaders who made major blunders — whether it was their fault or not — were expected to resign or commit suicide. In this case, neither is likely. And in practical terms, impeachment is unlikely, as well. Between the rigid party loyalists and the congressmen who are waiting longingly for the balance of Bush’s term to expire, the votes are not available.

But in theory, impeachment is an attractive idea, not as a punishment for Bush, but as a way of saying that, knowing what we know now, we would never have gone into Iraq, which is a proposition that even thoughtful pro-war citizens should accept. It would be a way of taking this war away from our leaders who have mishandled it so badly.

Soon, the American death toll in Iraq will reach 4,000. And before we know it, we’ll be at 5,000, wondering how we let all those brave soldiers slip away.

(John M. Crisp teaches in the English Department at Del Mar College in Corpus Christi, Texas. E-mail jcrisp(at)delmar.edu.)

17 Responses to Impeachment may be the solution

  1. MomCat

    August 29, 2007 at 4:22 pm

    Seal,

    Your considered plan makes more sense than anything thus far proposed.

    If you’ll run for POTUS, you’ll certainly have my vote, and, I daresay, a landslide majority by the citizens of this country who currently despair of any common sense approach to salvaging this democracy.

  2. mary cali

    August 29, 2007 at 5:32 pm

    Vietnam Vet asked where the money is coming from.
    We are borrowing heavily from overseas, particularly China. Isn’t it ironic that capitalist USA will be paying communist China interest on our debt for the forseeable future. This interest money does not fix a US bridge nor buy a US bullet. It goes into the pockets of the communist Chinese so they can expand their military.

    During WWII the country raised money by selling war bonds to US citizens. The interest on that debt went to American primarily. Add another layer of incompetence and hypocrisy to the Republicans who have enabled this adminstration to sell our fiscal future to communist China.

    No matter how disappointed people are in the Ds, they are all we have at the moment to counter the delusional and cultishly loyal Republicans. They need to be supported as the important work of getting out of Iraq goes on.

  3. anthny

    August 29, 2007 at 6:56 pm

    anthny The fix is in for 2008, no matter who you elect the machine is in place to put who the New World Order wants. They rule the country and they have ruled since after WWl.
    The whole point of Iraq was to bankrupt the country and put us useless eaters into slavery.
    The world as we knew it is over, the criminals have come out of the closet and don’t give a dam about our ambiguous constitution or the rule of law.
    So battan down the hatches and think beyond going to the mall or any other form of distraction.
    They have been hinting around that another 9-11 will happen and there have already been put options on certain companies like when the airline stocks before the last blk opts.
    Just think New World Order and the North American Security and Prospertiy Union between USA, Canada, and Mexico. Kinda sounds like what the Japanese were doing in Asia, during WWll. Asia for the Asians.
    Remember that Iraq is full of contractors who are making millions on tax payers money and when whistle blowers rat them out they end up in prison, being fired or worst.
    This was all planned before the Bush was selected by the supreme court.
    So kiss your wonderful Democracy goodbye. The founding fathers wanted a Republic. The majority is always wrong.

  4. SEAL

    August 30, 2007 at 4:44 am

    I say again, the democrap candidates must get out front on this “another terroist attack” idea and pouplarize the fact that, if there is a second one, it will be the fault of Bush and the repugnant party just as the first one was. It’s their watch, their failure, and their responsibility.

    This should be led by Obama, Edwards, and Howard Dean. Hillary’s opening comment about it giving the advantage to the repugnants indicates that she is in on it and just setting it up. She couldn’t possibly this stupid. I am still amazed that none of the candidates responded to what she said.

    They should point out how the Bush gang screwed up and allowed the first one to happen and if it happens again they will be double to blame. Maybe that will stop the gansters from whatever they have planned.

  5. SEAL

    August 30, 2007 at 5:03 am

    Thanx for your support, Momcat, but I doubt many would vote for someone with my medical prognosis and the amount of narcotics I consume every day of my life. Start with 120mgs of Oxycontin every 6 hours plus 3 other pain killers. Add the chemo that keeps the cancer killed, the Dextramethasone full of steroids, the blood thinners, antibiotics, Xanax to calm the effects of some of the drugs, Anbeins to sleep, IV infusion to strengthen my damaged and weakened bones, and whatever else they come up with and watch the voters reaction.

    If not for that, I would run. I think the people are ready for someone who tells it like it is and a lot of them would come out and vote for the first time.

  6. Caine

    August 29, 2007 at 9:20 am

    They don’t need to impeach, just stop the funding. But the spineless democrats in office are afraid to do this. They are afraid they will be labeled as traitors. BAH! The democrats have done little to put a stop to Bush’s running over the world, doing what he pleases. It makes me sick. The democrats should be more scared of doing what they are doing now instead of doing something to stop this madman!

    Next month Bush will ask for another $50 Billion and again the democrats will allow him to get what he wants!! And the war again will continue!

    I doubt this stupid war will even end after the next election. At least not for a few years in to the next presidency, no matter what party wins!!

    Pathetic!!

  7. gene

    August 29, 2007 at 9:41 am

    “Pathetic” you said (Caine) above. Your right but I think it goes way beyond just being pathetic. Hard to even come up with words that express the disgust with congress and especially our “commander in idiot”. Murderer, looser, evil, human wast/garbage, lier, criminal, monster, freak, psycho…….and yet he remains in office along with something even more disgusting (Cheney) and America continues (for now but not for long) to motor on and spend.

  8. www.nazilieskill.us

    August 29, 2007 at 9:46 am

    Even micro-organisms have enough sense to run from danger and get rid of waste. The Bush mob of traitors and crooks are a dangerous threat to this nation. Yet we are unable to spit them out. Is it AIPAC money that has us by the throat?

    John Hanks, Laramie, Wyoming

  9. Sandra Price

    August 29, 2007 at 9:50 am

    I can’t see a need to vote for anyone in either party. There isn’t even a lesser of two evils! I will vote against any incumbant meaning Congressman Trent Franks who is nothing but a clone of George W. Bush. I don’t care who is running against him.

    I need a party that represents individual choices without turning our government into a socialized collective. That lets out the GOP and the Dems. If we can rid D.C. of corruption, we may not have to worry about which party wins in 2008.

    The GOP is leading the corruption numbers and they show no desire to clean up their act. Our backs are against the wall and there is no place else to move. As long as I can vote against Trent Franks, it doesn’t matter who is in the White House as the choices are bad and worse.

    I’ve had enough of the religious right and would love a secular third party candidate. I won’t live long enough to ever see one.

  10. RSW

    August 29, 2007 at 3:46 pm

    Aye! Never vote for the same person twice. In fact, never vote for the incumbent. Even if the incumbent leaves office and runs again later. Never vote for an incumbent who wants to change offices.

    Even dead men get votes. Even dead men sometimes win.

    Oldernwiser

  11. Soldat

    August 29, 2007 at 10:03 am

    One only has to look at the membership roll of the Council on Foreign Relations to understand both how we got into this mess and why we won’t get out – no matter which party clone is elected.

    I say no matter which because the only candidates who aren’t members of that organization cannot be elected, I.E. Ron Paul or Dennis Kucinich – the rest of the field are just water carriers for the CFR, as is the majority of the MSM.

  12. Elmo

    August 29, 2007 at 10:33 am

    The Democraps are too chickenshit to even hold impeachment hearings. They’re afraid that it will be seen as playing politics the way the Repugnicans did with Clinton’s impeachment. But as any game theorist can attest, Tit for Tat is the only strategy that always succeeds — reward cooperation with cooperation and respond to defection with defection.

  13. vietnam vet

    August 29, 2007 at 10:49 am

    vietnam vet
    Will some one please tell me where this 50 billion dollars are coming from? we already owe china trillions of dollars, and God knows who else.This country is broke. Will some one please help me to understand this madness!!!

  14. Bill Jonke

    August 29, 2007 at 11:25 am

    Depression, anyone?

  15. Nogood

    August 29, 2007 at 1:22 pm

    Sad situation, isn’t it? Here we are, after six years of being subjected to an Adminstration that even from the beginning had no intention of governing, but dictatorship was the only thing on their mind. But, who do we have that really has the interest of the American citizens at heart?

    I literally dispise the sick bastard that now sits in the Oval Office, but I don’t see anyone on stage that excites me. Where have all the heroes gone? Do we even have “leadership” in our vocabulary now?

  16. SEAL

    August 29, 2007 at 3:51 pm

    If we can get to and through the 2008 election and install a democrat regime, the first thing we should do is admit that Iraq is out of control, we don’t have the resource to fix it, and ask the world for help at the United nations. That is the only way america can save face and get out with dignity.

    The whole world needs to agree and send troops from their nations to lock the damn country down, UN troops up and down every street, conficate all weapons, disband the existing government, declare amnesty except for al Qaeda, fix the electric and the water and only then hold new elections under conditions that will allow everyone to vote in safety. Hire Iraqis and fix all the infastructure. Get the oil flowing to create an economy so the people could go back to work and support themselves in peace. Break the killing habit and replace it with the work habit. Let the new government draw up a new constitution the people want and everybody stay there until Iraq security forces and police are able to handle it.

    Simply stopping all the killing would break the cycle and dilute the power of all those little wanna be dictators that fuel it. The big plus is the oil would pay for everything and stop the drain on us. We would no longer be the enemy, the UN is in charge.

    All we have to is ask for help without stupid conditions like stealing the oil. It belongs to Iraq. They should decide who to contract with and sell to.

    The beauty of it is Asking for help is not admitting failure. Its working for a cooperative solution for everyones benefit. It would certainly make the big powers like Russia and China and France plus all the other Middle East nations feel a lot better about the situation. I think they would jump at the idea.

  17. erika morgan

    August 29, 2007 at 10:17 pm

    Sign me up for this plan too, thanks for the breath of sanity, its long overdue.

    The question here is about impeachment, we need these hearings so we can understand our government and identify where and by whom the breaches that led us to our present sorry state, have occurred. We must investigate and prosecute each and every wrong doer to the fullest extent of the Law. If we find traitorous acts, the death penalty must be employed; we let the Nixon crowd, and the Reagan contra affair to go unpunished which was a fatal mistake, because that clemency has encouraged disregard for the power of the “Rule of Law”, and a puffed up the idea of financial advancement for the powerful and his friends literally over the bodies of our people.