George W. Bush has clarified the most vital reason why he must be impeached and removed from office as soon as possible: the slaughter in Iraq, and his clear statement that it will not end while he is in the White House.
Bush has made his departure the light at the end of the tunnel.
If he stays, more killing is inevitable. If he goes, a quicker end to the war is not certain, but it is more likely. Nobody expects Dick Cheney to pull out of Iraq if he succeeds Bush. But a successful impeachment and removal will reshape all American politics, and open up the possibilities.
Bush's escalating unpopularity has moved impeachment talk out of the margins, toward the mainstream. Increasingly worried GOP hacks portray it as an attack on Bush's ability to protect the country, and on our soldiers.
But polls now show a majority of US troops in Iraq say the war should end in 2006, not 2009. More than 80% of the Iraqi people want the US out now.
By pledging to prolong the slaughter, Bush endangers both our troops and our national security.
The war is destroying the American army. It recruits and trains hordes of anti-American terrorists. It is dividing and bankrupting our nation.
Impeachment and removal have become vitally necessary to preserve whatever defenses the US has left against international terrorism.
Bush supporters also say that ending the war is a policy decision, and not a legal issue. But lying to Congress and the public to bring the nation into a war is a clear violation of the president's Constitutional oath. Bush's abuse of the Fourth Amendment and other laws in his wiretapping campaign is also an impeachable offense.
The impeachment of Andrew Johnson, which was really about his policy toward the south after the Civil War, was on trumped-on charges. He was not removed.
The impeachment of Bill Clinton, which was really about his being Bill Clinton, was also on trumped-up charges. He was not removed.
But the threat of impeachment against Richard Nixon was based on the very real illegalities of lying and covering up a series of Watergate-related acts. He also could---should---have been removed for the illegal bombing of Cambodia, and other crimes stemming from the Vietnam war.
Nixon resigned at the brink of being removed. The impeachment campaign did have an important impact on curtailing his intent to prolong the slaughter in Vietnam, which finally did end with Nixon out of the White House.
George W. Bush now says he won't end his Iraq attack without being removed from office. Unlike the cases of Andrew Johnson and Bill Clinton, there is more than ample legal ground for doing just that. And the support is escalating.
It has become a matter of life and death. Let's roll.
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