I Can’t Wait
By David Swanson
Remarks for World Can’t Wait Rally at White House, Wednesday, Nov. 2, 2005:
I don’t know about the world, but certainly I can’t wait any longer to end this war or to impeach this president. One more death, American or Iraqi, is too many.
Actually, what I said is not true. We do know something about the world. We know that polls that were done last year were unable to find another country on the planet that would have elected Bush or even made it close enough for him to steal.
Even in this country, we know that African Americans and Latino Americans and Jewish Americans and Female Americans and Unionized Americans and Urban Americans and Non-Military Americans and Non-Religious Americans voted against him. And we know that the Christian white guys, not to mention vets and military families, are coming around. Just look at how Harry Reid stood up yesterday and announced the birth of an opposition party in the United States Senate. George W. Bush is becoming a uniter, not a divider, after all. It’s just that he’s uniting the country against himself.
What else do we know about the world? We know that Argentina is planning a major protest for Bush’s visit. We know that the Prime Minister of Italy is having to oppose the war in hopes of getting reelected, even though he owns 80 percent of his country’s media. We know that the British Ministry of Defense recently found that 82 percent of Iraqis want U.S. troops to stop liberating them right away.
The Pew Research Center released data in June on attitudes around the world toward Bush and the United States. The findings were not pretty.
In every nation surveyed, more disapproved than approved of Bush’s so-called re-election. In most countries 60 or 70 percent or more disapproved.
When asked whether U.S. foreign policy considers others’ interests, 67 percent of U.S. citizens said yes, but in most countries only around 20 percent or less said yes.
Asked which nations they think of favorably, most Europeans ranked China above the United States.
During the course of Bush’s occupation of the White House, the percentage of Brits who approve of the U.S. government’s actions has dropped from 83 percent to 55. Among Canadians, approval has dropped from 71 to 59, among Germans from 78 to 41, Indonesians 75 to 38, Turks 52 to 23.
What is the world so upset about?
Well, it’s hard to speak for the world, but we do know that most of the world never believed the lies that launched the war and never supported the war. It’s not that the world is heartless. Other nations expressed great sympathy on September 11, 2001 and thereafter. It’s more that the world is not stupid. People just never believed the hype.
If anyone did believe the hype, it was a group of Americans that included the U.S. Congress. Certainly Bush and his cronies did not themselves believe the lies they were peddling. Their own top experts told them that various claims were not credible, and they went on national television and stated them as fact again and again.
The International Atomic Energy Agency had told them there was no indication Iraq had the ability to develop nuclear weapons. The CIA had told them the forged documents re alleged attempts to purchase uranium were obvious forgeries. The Energy Department had told them the aluminum tubes were not of a type that could be used to develop nuclear weapons. Hussein Kamel, whom they repeatedly cited as a source, had told them that all WMDs had been destroyed. The inspections verified this. The Germans told them that their source, named “Curveball”, was “out of control” and “a waste of time.” The Czechs had told them there was no Iraq-Al Qaeda meeting.
They knew they were lying. The world told them. We told them. Courageous members of the U.S. Congress told them.
One of the Congress Members who shouted it the loudest was Dennis Kucinich. He has now introduced a Resolution of Inquiry into the White House Iraq Group. This was the group, led by Rove and Libby, that was tasked with selling the public the war. The Resolution is H Res 505, and it will come to a vote in committee in about 10 days. The time to ask your Representative to Co-Sponsor it is now.
You know, back when talk of impeaching Clinton was the only story on the news, week after week, 36 percent of Americans favored impeachment proceedings, and 26 percent favored actual impeachment. A few weeks ago, before the Libby indictment, a poll commissioned by After Downing Street and conducted by Ipsos Public Affairs found that 50 percent of Americans want Bush impeached if he lied about the war. If we shout that loudly enough, it will climb even higher.
We owe it to the world to do so.