By David Swanson
There are now 37 Congress Members backing an investigation into grounds for impeachment related to the war. Rep. Hilda Solis has joined the list of cosponsors of House Resolution 635, introduced by Congressman John Conyers.
This compares to 17 members backing Rep. Jim McGovern’s bill to cut off funding for the war.
Why are 20 more members on one of these bills than on the other?
Well, public disapproval of Bush is now higher than it was of Nixon when he resigned, and higher than public disapproval of the war.
But, more importantly, many citizens (myself included) no longer believe Congress has the power to affect anything other than by removing Bush and Cheney from office.
Here’s a comment that was posted yesterday on www.afterdowningstreet.org beneath an article asking for pressure on Congress to oppose a war on Iran:
–Why would we think that Congress matters on this? Won’t Mr. I’m-the-Decider go ahead and do whatever he (or more accurately Cheney) wants to, claiming that as Commander in Chief it’s his decision and his alone? Even if Congress passes a strong resolution saying “Don’t,” he’ll just issue another signing statement saying “I’ll obey it only if I want to, you can’t interfere with me so don’t even try.” In 2003 I was naive enough to think that he wouldn’t invade Iraq without a UN resolution. Now we know how this Administration works. I’ve signed the petition anyway, but really I wonder if lobbying Congress (on anything other than impeachment) is pretty much a waste of time and energy.–
Why do I bring this up? Because there remain those in the peace movement, and in every other movement, who believe they can accomplish their ends by pressuring Congress to do something other than impeaching Bush and Cheney.
If you are in the group of people who believe you can end a war, prevent a war, protect immigrants, raise wages, restore labor rights, stop global warming, or accomplish anything else by lobbying Congress, can you please read the Boston Globe’s summary of Bush’s habit of simply ignoring laws passed by Congress?
We do not any longer have an executive branch and a legislative branch, a president and a congress. We now have a dictator and a court of advisors whose advice is usually designed to flatter the dictator and is generally ignored.
We’re lobbying Hitler’s legislature, asking for peace and justice. Peace and justice are good causes. There’s nothing more important, and it’s good to be focused on them. But at some point we must awake to the reality of what it will take to achieve them. The first necessary step is to peacefully and justly remove the current administration from power and restore to our government a system of checks and balances.
If this were not true, or were we willing to buy the defeatist prediction that impeachment is impossible (compared to what, ending the war? prosecuting presidential blow jobs?), it would still be the case that we can best end the war by demanding accountability for the lies that launched it.
In November, 2005, the Christian Science Monitor published an article with the headline “Why Iraq War Support Fell So Fast,” which concluded: “John Mueller, an expert on war and public opinion at Ohio State University, links today’s lower tolerance of casualties to a weaker public commitment to the cause than was felt during the two previous, cold war-era conflicts. The discounting of the main justifications for the Iraq war – alleged weapons of mass destruction and support for international terrorism – has left many Americans skeptical of the entire enterprise.” In April, 2006, Sean Wilentz, published “The Worst President in History,” where he cited Bush’s lack of credibility as the chief reason for his low approval ratings, saying: “No previous president appears to have squandered the public’s trust more than Bush has.”
The Village Voice recently offered this advice to the peace movement: “Pick the right target: In a string of recent Gallup polls, around 60 percent of respondents said they disapprove of the way George W. Bush is handling Iraq. The dislike of Bush, however, is stronger than support for troop withdrawal. So instead of using the war to taint Bush, the peace movement might use the growing revulsion toward Bush to kill the war.”
At many events in recent months, activists have expressed fatigue with regard to the ongoing accumulation of evidence, and have articulated a passionate and urgent desire to see Bush and Cheney held accountable for launching a fraudulent and criminal war. It is widely understood that if there is no accountability for this war, future wars of aggression become more likely. In addition, the current administration’s disregard for the law and for the actions of Congress, combined with Bush’s recent declaration that the war will last as long as he is in office, has given currency to the argument that the swiftest way to end the war may be to impeach and remove Bush and Cheney from office.