(Article changed on September 2, 2013 at 10:58)
As people who spent nearly the entire two terms of the President Cheney (given Bush was never actually running anything) administration calling for impeachment, and who will endure to our last breath continuing to call for prosecution of all Cheney administration officials who authorized torture and other war crimes, we have some credibility when we warn that President Obama is apparently about to cross a very big red line.
Leadership is not about acting solo. Real leadership is about motivating and inspiring people to FOLLOW and JOIN with you. If the evidence of the use of chemical weapons by Assad is so clear, and as compelling as they say it is, there is absolutely no excuse for not taking the time to make that case to the world, and building a world consensus for action. If the Obama administration fails to even attempt to do so, there can be no more glaring confession that they have absolutely no world leadership skills whatsoever.
Whatever else you want to say about the Bushies, at least they bothered to manufacture the charade of an international coalition of some kind. But the White House declared yesterday that they think they can take unilateral action without the support of any other country in the world, without even the consent and express approval of the people of the United States or their Congress.
Now let us tell you what else we will not support. We will not support any impeachment resolution that even mentions Benghazi, low level IRS administrators or travelgate. Impeachment is a remedy reserved for HIGH crimes, not incompetence or even bad judgment. And certainly none of the trumped up tempests in a thimble that Republicans have doggedly latched onto for the last 5 years for totally partisan political purposes rises to that level.
In truth, President Obama has already committed at least one other high crime while in office. That is obstruction of justice in impeding the prosecution of Cheney, Bush and their whole gang for ordering torture, which was used to get the false confessions to sell the American people on invading Iraq. His overt and proactive protection of these war criminals is precisely what he thinks gives him immunity to revisit their crimes and worse.
In fact, the happiest guy on the planet if Obama barges ahead on his own would be George Bush, who stuck his head out of the hole he'd been hiding in long enough to give us his opinion that Obama had a "tough decision." President Obama has NO decision, because it is not his OPTION to unilaterally start firing off cruise missiles without the direct approval of Congress. This would be the biggest abuse yet of the intentionally snaky Authorization To Use Military Force of 2001, a measure that itself must be repealed immediately.
For President Obama to further escalate expansion of the commander-in-chief as dictator rationale would be to let George Bush even further off the hook than he already is. When asked if the UN did not also reject his own proposed invasion of Iraq, we got to hear the classic George Bush contemptuous evil snicker yet again. Frankly, if we were the least bit interested in his opinion on anything we would write him in prison where he belongs. And if Obama is allowed to get away with it, and our next president is Lynn Cheney, who will you howl to then when she does the same and worse?
In the meantime, the fawning fluff-heads in the mainstream media are falling all over themselves this morning, salivating at the sexy cruise missile video footage they hope to get soon, and talking about this as if it is already a done deal. And they boast about poll numbers that purport to show that Americans support bombing other countries as long as none of our people are put in harm's away. In other words, it's OK with us to commit war crimes as long as we do not get our own hair mussed up. Are the American people really that craven?
If there were a world champion of droning, sonorous, self-righteous pontification, surely that man is John Kerry, who went on and on today about "international norms" and "innocent civilians", and how the United States needs to act to preserve credibility in our word. Where was our word when WE wiped out the city of Fallujah with CHEMICAL weapons? Yes, that's right, white phosphorous, a chemical weapon that indiscriminately burns flesh right down the bone. Was that not a case of indiscriminately attacking an entire area controlled by the "opposition" with chemical weapons, the precise case Kerry is making today? Who has ever been held responsible for that? Who are we to pontificate to the rest of the world about anything?
The Americans soldiers who laughed while they slaughtered civilians, including professional journalists, which we know about from the video exposed by private Manning, have those soldiers ever been held accountable for anything? Of course not, because their defense would be, and the evidence would show, that they were acting according to APPROVED rules of engagement at the highest level.
Is there not an "international norm" against torture? Are not Cheney and Bush CONFESSED and BRAGGING torturers? We have an attorney general who at his confirmation hearing agreed that waterboarding is torture. Why has he not even tried to prosecute this? Do we have an actual justice system in this country, or just a system of selective and vindictive and punitive prosecution. where we throw the whole law library shelf at the whistleblowers and everybody else walks?
If we had even a scintilla of respect for international law, George Bush would be in a docket right now, not out playing golf. Dick Cheney would be indicted for masterminding the senseless murder of a million people in Iraq, who he cares about less that the birds with crippled wings he slaughters on his "hunting" trips. Who are we to pontificate to anyone else about international law?
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