Thursday, June 01, 2006

You Break it, You Own it!

On May 30, 2006 Alaska's Senator Lisa Murkowski attended a meeting in Juneau to discuss what to do about the situation in Iraq. To be sure our War President has gotten us in a real dilly of a pickle there and the extrication process will be difficult, expensive and cost many more lives. Unfortunately, we have no choice. We HAVE to deal with it; as Colin Powell famously said, "You break it, you own it!"

We've damned sure broken 'IT". Here's the letter I sent to our senator:

May 31, 2006
Senator Lisa Murkowski
322 Hart Senate Office Building
Washington, DC 20510

Dear Senator Murkowski:

I attended the forum on Iraq in Juneau yesterday and wish to thank you for spending the time to listen to Juneau’s citizens. Sadly, it seems unusual these days for a US Senator to take the time for such an event and I think it is safe to say we all very much appreciate your doing so.

I also want to commend you for your courage and fortitude to endure a seemingly endless litany of angry comments (some very much so) on this issue. The forum seemed heavily attended by opponents to the war with very little representation from the other side - I noted only one speaker out of about forty seemingly in ‘favor’ of the war. I believe you got a good impression of the passion this issue arouses in our country. This is also being borne out by recent polls. I also believe that the ‘powers that be’, i.e., the current administration ‘ain’t seen nothing yet’. Our country is finally waking up to this nightmare brought upon us, and upon Iraq and the world by our current ‘War President’ and his administration.

Besides the consistency of the opposition to the Iraq War and angry denunciations of George W. Bush, his administration and Republicans in general, two things stand out in my mind from this meeting. Both were comments that you made.

The first was the statement - which you made almost in amazement - that the House of Representatives was “actually going to debate the war”. I was stunned. Not because they ARE going to debate this issue, but because the debate is to take place NOW, almost four years AFTER the decision to go to war. If there ever was a definitive mark of a dysfunctional Congress, that was it. I am ashamed, saddened and heartbroken at the failure of our Congress to fulfill their responsibilities and mission to the American people. That my opinion is widely shared is indicated by appalling low approval ratings that Congress now holds - even worse than President Bush’s if that is possible.

The second thing that stands out - and sorely so to me - was your flat statement made during your close that “I’m not going to impeach George W. Bush and Dick Cheney”, period.

This was of course after being urged to do so by several speakers at the forum. Had you added “unless required” your remark would not have stood out so glaringly. However as presented your remark can only mean that your partisan loyalty transcends your responsibilities and duties as an elected representative OF THE PEOPLE. Must you be reminded the PEOPLE keep you in your present position, and the PEOPLE pay your salary?

There may be times when a President or members of his administration SHOULD BE impeached for cause. The provision for and causes are defined in the Constitution, with the interpretations being left to Congress who are in the end supposed to be responsible to the PEOPLE. The way I see that is it your RESPONSIBILITY to determine, and then prosecute an impeachment SHOULD THAT BE REQUIRED. To make the statement “I’m not going to . . .” is a flat abdication of responsibility and your sworn oath. It is also not incidentally prejudgment of the issues. To give the benefit of a doubt perhaps your statement did not relay exactly what you meant to say. I encourage you to clarify those points for the public.

There was much anger expressed at this forum at the assault on civil rights and personal freedoms, both at home and abroad by this administration. You must take serious note of this and relay these feelings to your colleagues: Denial of basic rights and freedoms eventually will result in drastic adjustments - in extreme cases even violent resistance and revolution. We’ve witnessed this elsewhere in the world and have no reason to believe our country is immune. Wise & prudent leadership must consider this component carefully. Unfortunately, few observers accuse our current administration of being either wise or prudent. In fact, it is quite the opposite.

I, like many Americans am very angry at attempts at being shouted down by a vociferous and powerful minority. We’re used to being called ‘unpatriotic’, ‘treasonous’ and being told “if you aren’t for us, you’re against us” by those who have appointed themselves as ‘real Americans’ but whose values don’t bear much resemblance to constitutional ones. In fact it is akin and parallel to the Su’uni vs. Shi’ia factions in Iraq. I am appending some comparisons in the enclosed page.

I urge you to have the courage and independence to uphold the sworn duties and responsibilities of your office and to your constituents.

/S/ (your Alaska constituent)


PARALLELS between the GW Bush Administration and the Saddam Regime

In an eerie parallelism, the US military under GW Bush has mounted attacks against the very same Shi’ia who opposed Saddam Hussein (Al Sadar) - utilizing many of Saddam’s very own former Su’uni forces to assist in the suppression of that faction.

Here are some other parallels which almost make it seem Bush could have taken lessons from Saddam:

Saddam - from official White House report
"Saddam Hussein frequently infringes on citizens' constitutional right to privacy. Saddam routinely ignores constitutional provisions designed to protect the confidentiality of mail, telegraphic correspondence, and telephone conversations. Iraq periodically jams news broadcasts from outside the country, including those of opposition groups. The security services and the Ba'th Party maintain pervasive networks of informers to deter dissident activity and instill fear in the public."

(I leave it to you to make this comparison - it should not be at all difficult!)

Saddam - from official White House report
"In August 2001, Amnesty International reported that Saddam Hussein has the world's worst record for numbers of persons who have disappeared and remain unaccounted for."

1. (Amnesty International Report to UN, 5/3/06: “there is clear evidence that much of the ill-treatment has stemmed directly from officially sanctioned procedures and policies, including interrogation techniques approved by Secretary of Defense Rumsfeld for use in Guantánamo and later exported to Iraq.”)

2. (United Nations Committee Against Torture, 5/19/06: “The Committee’s findings point to a systematic failure of the USA to live up to its international obligations, including under the Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment, and to protect detainees from abuse. The USA should take these findings to heart.”

3. (Amnesty International press release 5/23/2006: "The United States has become a world leader in avoiding human rights accountability; a case in point is the reliance of the United States government on private military contractors, which has helped create virtually rules-free zones sanctioned with the American flag and firepower,")

Saddam - from official White House report

"The UN and Kuwait say Iraq has not returned extensive Kuwaiti state archives and museum pieces . . ."

While not precisely & exactly parallel, the looting of Iraq museums and antiquities while the US military inexcusably stood by or participated is a comparison: Reuters report, 4/17/2003: “Two cultural advisers to the Bush administration have resigned in protest over the failure of U.S. forces to prevent the wholesale looting of priceless treasures from Baghdad's antiquities museum.”)

No comments:

Post a Comment

You may post anything you wish in comments. I guarantee all will be read. But, due to personal attacks and deliberate flaming, I will not agree to publish all comments.