The "I" Words
Don't abandon Uncle Sam, He needs you!
The United States needs world leaders to orchestrate an "intervention". Using Alcoholic Anonymous12-step terminology; an intervention is a gathering of concerned friends and family members who confront individuals about their destructive behaviors--usually involving the excessive use of drugs or alcohol. Although George W. is a recovered alcoholic, perhaps his power-drunk, flagrant disrespect for international and constitutional law is only a cry for help. Let's at least give him the benefit of the doubt.
Anyone concerned about Bush's contumacious behavior is in good company. One of the world's most revered and respected statesmen, Nelson Mandela's recently told Newsweek: "the attitude of the United States is a threat to world peace". He goes on to explain that what the U.S. is saying with its actions is that "if you are afraid of a veto in the Security Council, you can go outside and take action and violate the sovereignty of other countries. That must be condemned in the strongest terms." Given Mandela's clarity and conviction perhaps he would agree to facilitate the intervention.
Why do the self-possessed, "can do" American people need an international intervention from the rest of the world? The answer is simple. Congress is powerless to quell the 24-hour/7day infomercial being waged by the Bush administration and launched by the mainstream media to promote a war on Iraq.
According to Tim Reid in Washington, the Office of Global Communications is launching a $200 million campaign to convince the entire world that Bush is right about a preemptive strike. This media cocktail might explain why some Americans are intoxicated by the idea of a bloody Iraqi confrontation. Inundated with images of waving flags and veterans saluting young soldiers set to a rousing soundtrack, Americans are drugged into equating violence with patriotism.
Although many Americans are outraged by Bush's arrogant manipulation of both Congress and the U.N. Security Council, the war cry is so deafening, one can barely hear the dissenting masses uttering the "I" word: .I-M-P-E-A-C-H-M-E-N-T. Rumor has it that the "I" word has indeed been whispered--however faintly--in the hallways of ours nations capitol.
Article 1 Section 10 explicitly gives Congress, not the president, the power to declare war and Article 6 Section 2 states international treaties and agreements supercede the law of the land. Sidestepping congress and bypassing the UNSC are two constitutional violations that would make Bush eligible for impeachment.
Unfortunately, in Washington no one wants to risk political suicide by saying it aloud or take the risk of having persecuted the "lone ranger" in the event that he actually stumbles into Hussein's living roon. And now, as it turns out, Congress, knowing that Bush will go it alone anyway, may cave in to his demands and give him what wants--enough wiggle room to attack Iraq without having committed any constitutional violations. And as one person lamented "the impeachment path is futile: how do you impeach someone who has no regard for the law and wasn't elected in the first place"?
It is truly ironic that our previous president was politically castrated and threatened with impeachment for having sex with an intern while our current leader is deified for violating international and constitutional law and promoting bloodshed in the Middle East. The danger for Americans is not simply the terrorists lurking outside our borders but the terrorists who are spreading fear in Washington.
Since 911, numerous writers and journalist (myself included) have lost jobs for questioning the war on terrorism and the motives behind U.S. acts of force and aggression. Democratic Congresswoman Cynthia McKinney, from Georgia was recently targeted and her congressional career destroyed for publicly questioning U.S. motives in the Middle-East and for defending the right of the Palestinian's to have a homeland. She was attacked and labled "anti-semitic" and unpatriotic and in September lost her congressional seat.
The U.S. needs international support to counteract the media campaign in America. The mind numbing advertising blitz has citizens dazed and confused. Even those normally capable of rational and critical thought--seem to be humming the Battle-Hymn Of The Republic while envisioning American soldiers marching across Iraqi soil donning red, white and blue Nikes. As our American civil liberties evaporate, opposing voices are drowned out by the Bush/Cheny/Rumsfeld marching-band triumvirate.
Across this country rallies, marches and demonstrations are organized daily against the preemptive strike in Iraq. Just yesterday while President Bush attended a $1000 plate fundraiser for Republican Lamar Alexander in Nashville TN, (the country western music capitol of the world), a last minute rally brought nearly 500 people together to protest.
This was an impressive turnout for a modestly populated, southern, conservative city--considering the rally took place on a weekday morning when most people are working. Over 30 organizations joined forces along with numerous community leaders. Also present was Naomi Tutu, daughter of South African Archbishop Desmond Tutu, who gave a rousing speech pleading for Americans to question their government's actions and demand that Bush adhere to international and constitutional law.
Although the rally was truly an historic event, the story was buried on page eight of the main newspaper and given little credibility by any of the media (local and national). Some of the news coverage referred to the crowd as "peace lovers" or "peaceniks" and understated the number of protesters to be "about 100". There was no mention of the dozens of signs demanding that Bush obey International Law or Congress. One local newspaper even characterized the rally as an "anti-Israel" gathering after spotting a lone woman in the crowd carrying a sign depicting the plight of her Palestinian people.
While protestors rallied in the streets of Nashville, Bush took photo ops with local hob-nobbers who were eager to be seen standing beside a gun-slinging cowboy with a multi-million dollar marketing campaign. Later on, the pumped up Texan recited the pledge of Allegiance with some middle school aged children in East Nashville. In his best Clint Eastwood voice he stated that although he too wanted peace, "some times in order to have peace, you must have war". Spoken like a true outlaw.
What if there was an intervention and nobody came? Uncle Sam needs you, now!
Molly Secours is an writer/videographer/activist in Nashville TN. She can be reached at: (firstname.lastname@example.org)