On Sunday, 25 March 2007, actor Sean Penn said
Let’s unite not only in stopping this war, but in holding this administration accountable.
Stopping the war
Before the invasion and occupation of Iraq, there was a very well-organized and well-publicized march across many countries. Of course, the mainstream media did their best to misrepresent the protesters, but the protesters’ message was clear: Don’t invade Iraq.
In 2004, Sen. John Kerry (D-MA) campaigned for president and argued that he would manage the Iraq occupation better than Pres. George W. Bush. The American anti-war movement stopped their campaigning and supported his pro-war candidacy while simultaneously discouraging third party and independent anti-war voices from participating in the presidential race.
In 2006 the US grew more displeased with the ongoing occupation. In the mid-term elections, Americans shuffled the deck chairs of the Titanic by putting Democrats in power in both houses of Congress. In mid-May 2006 House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s spokesman Brendan Daly said that impeachment would be “off the table” for Pelosi. Why? Pelosi told the Washington Post “You never know where it leads to.”.
The Democrats’ first order of Congressional business included a few non-binding time-wasters which left the occupation intact: the US is still in Iraq with no signs of leaving any time soon.
In March 2007 the Democrats voted to give Bush $124 billion to continue the war (more than he asked for) and a timetable to end the war that is so far off in the future the timetable can easily be redrafted or canceled.
Holding this administration accountable
By late March 2007 no serious organized opposition to Pres. Bush has mounted. At the rate the Democrats get around to putting up a real challenge to Bush, Bush won’t have much of his term left. Impeachment is a first step; consider this excerpt from Democracy Now! on Monday, February 23rd, 2004 (audio, video, transcript)
Amy Goodman: We interviewed Dennis Kucinich. He said that he thought this would be the stupidest thing to try to impeach him because after all it’s a Republican Congress, they wouldn’t do it, and it would gain sympathy for Bush that the highest — the way to — in a sense to impeach him is to vote him out of office for the people to impeach him.
Ralph Nader: Well, impeachment is not conviction. Impeachment basically is a very fair public hearing in the House of Representatives to determine whether he should be charged with high crimes and misdemeanor, and if he is, it goes over to the Senate for a trial. But I think that our founding fathers put this in the Constitution to hold presidents accountable between elections, and it certainly would highlight the issue, and isn’t this the president who campaigned in 2000 on responsibility and accountability, and that actions should have consequences? So, I favor the use of the impeachment powers.
It’s unlikely that Pres. Bush will face a war crimes trial after he leaves office. I don’t recall anyone caring about, say, Bill Clinton bombing the Al-Shifa pharmaceutical factory in Khartoum, Sudan after his second term expired.
So how long will it take to get most people to see that neither major corporate American political party wants to end the occupation of Iraq? There are objectors in both of these parties, to be sure, but not enough to make a difference.
More on recent developments: