A Bleak Anniversary

Random Lengths News | March 21, 2007
This week our nation observed a bleak anniversary, the start of the Iraq war four years ago and with no better justification now than we had when it was started. Bush is now moving to add not just 21, 500 more troops as promised in his State of the Union address, but has added some 8,500 more on top of that. This he has done without any further authorization from Congress and against the will of the people.

This last week, two Cuyahoga County, Ohio election workers were convicted and sentenced to 18 months for rigging a recount of 2004 presidential election ballots. The excuse they gave was simply that they wanted to avoid the effort involved but in sentencing, Judge Peter Corrigan indicated he believed there was an even more widespread conspiracy. This is the second closest presidential election in my lifetime, wherein John Kerry lost by only 133,000 votes.

Last week, the scandal broke on the political firing of nine Department of Justice attorneys and Congress is now rightly investigating the Bush Administration’s motives. The US Attorney for the Ohio office was not among them. And there appears to be no further federal investigation into the Ohio election recount rigging.

Last week, Valerie Plame finally testified before Congress after I. Scooter Libby, Dick Cheney’s Chief of Staff was convicted of lying to the FBI, among other things. She rightly wonders why there is no further investigation or indictments against those inside the White House who revealed that she was an active CIA agent -- a violation of federal laws. Is there a US attorney who would like to be fired this week I wonder?

Last week, I went to have lunch at a local Mexican restaurant and the price of gas jumped by five cents in the hour that it took me to have a burrito and an ice tea. The price of a barrel of oil is some $20 lower today than it was several months ago, when prices spiked and ExxonMobil revealed their fourth quarter profits of $56 billion. The price at the pump, if you haven’t noticed is about as high now as it’s ever been and the protestors who were screaming “NO BLOOD FOR OIL� seem to be losing the debate except ...

Seventy percent of the American people now disapprove of this war and this president. And it has become clearly apparent that not only did Bush lie to get us into this war, that he is lying to us now to continue this war and that he and those closest to him have lied about the firings of the US Attorneys in the Department of Justice. His people lied about the exposing of a CIA officer for political reasons -- her husband John Wilson exposed Bush’s lie about weapons of mass destruction in Iraq and I am sure, if anyone in the press had the balls to ask, he’d lie about the price of gas at the pump. It has gotten to the point where you could count on the President lying about what he had for breakfast.

I could go on at this point and the list would be endless, but even this list from last week I admit is depressing enough.

My Republican friends, yes I do have a few, and some of them still somehow think Bush is right, will exclaim, "But all presidents lie!"

Well sure, right, we were either shocked or amused when Clinton lied about sex, but that lie didn’t cost the nation hundreds of billions of dollars, cost us the lives of 3,222 soldiers or wound thousands more. That lie did not spike oil prices, nor did it place us in a conflict that is losing us more allies than we are winning on a daily basis. Clinton’s lie, for which he was impeached but not convicted, did not bring this nation to the brink of a regional world class war with such far reaching implications that we may have to fight it for a decade or more. This is the threat of constant war -- a war that is not about the defense of our nation, or this republic, or its creed of liberty and justice for all. This constant war, in the end, is against everything that we hold dear.

Following Bush, Cheney and Rove down this path is not only NOT the path for victory, no matter how they define it, but will in the end be our very demise.

Some call for impeachment, some might settle for censure, and others for indictments, or long prison terms but in the end, after the NeoCon Bushites have laid waste to much of the Middle East, compromised any hope of peace in Palestine, drained the US Treasury to profit their corporate cronies, and wrecked the US Constitution, I think that the appropriate thing to do is to treat them like the prisoners at Guantanamo. Designate them as "Enemy Combatants," take them to a military tribunal, and after sentencing for war crimes, treason, and all of the other high crimes against the state, they should be collectively marched out against a brick wall and shot, or maybe hung like they do in Baghdad.

Their names should forever be stricken from any place of prominence, or public buildings and monuments, but even this would not erase the stain of their actions on this nation, nor be sufficient penance for their crimes, because in the end these true believers have the undeterred faith that they are right, no matter what the evidence is to the contrary.

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Founded in 1979 as a counterbalance to the conservative, corporate- owned daily paper, Random Lengths News draws on the rich history of the Los Angeles Harbor Area. The name harkens back to a description of the lumber that used to...
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