Revolution #74, December 24, 2006
January 4 Demo to Demand: Impeach Bush
“The day Congress opens, World Can’t Wait will lead a major challenge
to the political direction in this country since the election. A regime
as criminal as the Bush regime still allowed to even remain in office?
No! An unjust war started on lies, allowed to continue for four years
despite an election where people meant to express how strongly they want
it stopped? No! The Democrats, now the majority, allowing debate only
on how to run the war more effectively, and saying that impeachment can’t
even be considered? No!
“BUSH MUST GO! IF WAR CRIMES, TORTURE, AND CRIMES AGAINST HUMANITY ARE NOT REASON TO IMPEACH, WHAT IS?
“This is no time to ‘wait and see.’ This is a critical time to take action and demand action. Open the investigations and start impeachment, now!”
national director for World Can’t Wait—
Drive Out the Bush Regime
Today, all eyes are on Iraq. The situation there deteriorates every day, sliding toward a state of chaos. The contradictions in the unstable Iraqi government, the explosive conflicts in the region, and the rifts within the U.S. ruling class are all heightening.
But what sometimes gets lost in this is the dire situation of the Iraqi people. Dahr Jamail’s recent article, “ ‘Today Is Better than Tomorrow’: Iraq as a Living Hell” collects e-mails from people still living there to describe the largely unreported agony caused by the U.S. occupation. One correspondent writes, “I hope I can show you how the dogs have started eating the dead bodies which lie in the streets of Baghdad now… The U.S. troops and Iraqi police leave the dead bodies in the streets for one or two days… I think they intend to do this because they want everyone, including the children, to see this.”
Millions of people in this country voted in November in the hope of stopping this. Now those hopes are running right up against what Bush, the proponents of the Iraq Study Group and the Democrats in Congress are actually doing. For all the very real conflicts among them, none of them are aiming for an immediate end to this unjust and immoral war of occupation, or even raising any real challenge to it. All of them aim to maintain U.S. domination in the region despite the current disastrous state of the war—an illustration once again that the Democratic Party operates from an imperialist strategic calculus and that it is in fact an imperialist party.
These same Democrats now tell people to wait—that there is little they can do to end the war, and the thing now is to look to the presidential election of 2008. The dynamic where the outrage of the people is suppressed and diverted into channels like the NEXT election—that ends up shoring up the system and even the Bush Regime itself—has to be challenged and ruptured with. The contradiction between the opposition that millions are trying to register and the wall of imperialist interests they are running up against, and being thwarted by, can slide back into passivity and despair. Instead, it must, through action, be transformed into more resolute opposition to endless war and the whole Bush Agenda.
As part of doing that, we call on people to wholeheartedly support the challenge issued by World Can’t Wait and others to demonstrate on January 4 in DC, at the opening of Congress.
War Crimes Must Not Be Tolerated
The Bush Regime has flouted international law and conventions as well as domestic constitutional law. It has arrogated to itself the right to suspend habeas corpus, it has engaged in mass searches and spying without warrants, and it has defined the powers of the “Commander in Chief” to be above the law. By all legal and moral standards, there is no way it should be allowed to remain in office. This case has been powerfully made by the Bush Crimes Commission (bushcommission.org), and we urge everyone to get the Bush Crimes Commission DVD, watch it, and then help get it out.
Even as we go to press, the Hamdan decision—in which the Supreme Court upheld the right to habeas corpus for prisoners in Guantanamo—has now been reversed on the basis of the Military Commissions Act—which passed with bipartisan support in September. We learn, in a December 15 New York Times article, that the treatment of prisoners at Guantanamo has become even harsher and more inhumane in the months since that law was passed.
The indictments of the World Can’t Wait Call all remain true:
“YOUR GOVERNMENT, on the basis of outrageous lies, is waging a murderous and utterly illegitimate war in Iraq, with other countries in their sights.
“YOUR GOVERNMENT is openly torturing people, and justifying it.
“YOUR GOVERNMENT puts people in jail on the merest suspicion, refusing them lawyers, and either holding them indefinitely or deporting them in the dead of night.
“YOUR GOVERNMENT is moving each day closer to a theocracy, where a narrow and hateful brand of Christian fundamentalism will rule.
“YOUR GOVERNMENT suppresses the science that doesn’t fit its religious, political and economic agenda, forcing present and future generations to pay a terrible price.
“YOUR GOVERNMENT is moving to deny women here, and all over the world, the right to birth control and abortion.
“YOUR GOVERNMENT enforces a culture of greed, bigotry, intolerance and ignorance.”
And NONE of these indictments are being seriously challenged by the “newly victorious” Democrats.
Complicity Must Be Called Out, Challenged…and Rejected
The torture and pre-emptive war spearheaded by the Bush Regime—and which is being accommodated, condoned and legitimized by Congress—has to be categorically repudiated. People have a responsibility to seriously and massively mobilize to STOP this. To fail to do so—when you have the knowledge these crimes are being committed in your name—is to be complicit. And both the world today and people of the future will judge harshly not just the perpetrators of these crimes but also the people who stood by and allowed it to go on.
This point must be made to people, sharply. There IS a way to not just stand against this—which itself is crucially important—but to mobilize others to do so. And January 4 poses the next opportunity—and the next challenge—in doing that.
The opening of Congress must be met with people who refuse to accept the inane and intentionally numbing prattle that this session will open with. Instead, the question must be the war crimes now going on and being planned, and the urgent need to halt them. And the fact is that mass action on the steps of Congress that day—in the context of massive distribution of the World Can’t Wait Call—can politically burst through the fog to assert those terms. War crimes must be halted and Congress itself must be forced to impeach Bush to that end. There must be hearings to force the extreme criminality of the regime into the light of day and an actual move to politically drive Bush from office…and this truly can’t wait.
At the foundation of this effort must be the World Can’t Wait Call to drive out the Bush regime (online at worldcantwait.org). This Call gives people a real sense of the Bush regime’s intolerable crimes and fascist trajectory, and the urgent need to STOP it. The powerful and positive morality of the Call inspires people to throw off silence and paralysis, to have confidence in the fact that we speak for the majority, here and around the world, to speak with conviction to those still fooled, and to dare to take up the example of those who have stood with right on their side and prevailed against tremendous odds.
Taking up this initiative means uniting with others who are calling for impeachment. Some of those people and groups may also tend to follow or get drawn into politics that attempt to contain impeachment within the framework of what is acceptable to the Democratic Party. To those who would counsel toning down your message to what Congress would be willing to adopt…or who want to drag the politics of impeachment down to the level of technical intricacies of congressional process…or who do not want to create mass consciousness about WHY Bush should be driven from office and his program repudiated…or who shy away from challenging people’s prejudices, we have to be consistent and clear. Such a course leads, whatever one’s intentions, to a cynical political pragmatism that ends up accommodating to the status quo and vitiating any real chance to change the political direction of this society.
We have to struggle to get people to step into a different framework and to see that this can only change—and that impeachment, as one way to change it, will only be put back “on the table”—through political mobilization of people who make a demand for it that can not be ignored or marginalized. The Call itself should be used very consistently and broadly among all those working for impeachment; the political and moral terms it sets, its sense of history and of the future, are great “clarifiers.”
Our work is not to write a “brief” acceptable to Congress, or to rely on lobbying the Democrats to “do their duty.” It is to create the kind of political situation and conditions in society where the people are setting the political terms and pushing the reality that YOUR GOVERNMENT is committing War Crimes onto the national political stage—and where those in Government have to respond to that or lose legitimacy in the eyes of the people.
Nothing positive or lasting can be accomplished without a radically different dynamic being created in society by people themselves taking the fate of history into their own hands. Change—positive change, that is—has only ever been made in this country by people in their masses taking courageous and determined political action in the streets; it has never come about without society-wide upheaval that radically challenged the status quo.
This can happen here and it can happen now if we reach out to people with the vehicle they need to express this. Impeachment demanded now in the wake of the election—and in the context of truly massive distribution of the World Can’t Wait Call—can accelerate the kind of mobilization needed from the people to Drive Out the Bush Regime.
And what impact would it have if the Bush Regime was not able to bludgeon and bomb its “way forward”? What might the world look like if instead of the U.S. ruling class managing to reach consensus on how to manage Iraq and secure the Middle East, the Bush Regime were forced from office by massive political opposition from below and the U.S. were forced to withdraw from Iraq? What impact would this have on the rest of the world—including on the millions who now see their only alternatives as either Islamic fundamentalism, or going along with uncontested U.S. domination?
There is time but not a lot of time to reverse the direction here, before the Regime is able to maintain its initiative and close down the remaining space in society for opposition; before the torture cells they are continuing to construct in Guantanamo become a larger living metaphor for society that is locked down, blinded, and stupefied. The Bush regime must not be allowed to brutally bludgeon its way through this crisis. For communists and revolutionary-minded people in particular, there is an urgent need to mobilize to stop this whole direction and, in so doing, to boldly bring forward the larger revolutionary solution to a system that has given rise to a monstrosity like the Bush regime.
World Can’t Wait is made up of people from many different political perspectives - but all of them would benefit from creating the kind of political situation where Bush is driven from office — where the rebellion and upheaval coming from the people opens up positive potential for the future of humanity and banishes the dark ages that Bush and the religious fanatics of this world are calling up from the depths. Let January 4 be a powerful signal to both the rulers and to the millions growing ever more disturbed and angry over the way things continue on the same disastrous course that there is another way.
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