The way Hugo Chavez spoke about Bush's appearance before the U.N. General Assembly was chillingly on target. He said aloud what the majority of the international body gathered must have been already thinking.
He was, "talking as if he owned the world . . ." Chavez said, "Truly. As the owner of the world."
He echoed the words of the Iranian president who, earlier, cast the U.S. as an imperialistic warmonger bent on oppression. "By causing war and conflict," Ahmadinejad said to the assembly, "some are fast expanding their domination, accumulating greater wealth and usurping all the resources, while others endure the resulting poverty, suffering and misery.
"Is it Iranian forces that have occupied countries neighboring the United States, or is it American forces that are occupying countries neighboring Iran?" Ahmadinejad asked NBC's Brian Williams in an interview.
It's frustrating to watch these leaders who Bush has so thoroughly demonized - who have their own problems with their own seemingly autocratic regimes - posturing against our country, and suffer the realization that our own despotic leader has yet to be deposed for his crimes against Americans and others. Problem is, the world sees a wimp with a big mouth when Bush swaggers around like he did in his address to the assembly, ordering their affairs, and we're left to defend against the blow-back. There could be economic isolation, political isolation, or outright hostility involving more attacks on the nation in reaction and response to Bush's reckless muckraking. The American people are left to pick up the pieces of our democracy that Bush so willingly hurls around the world out of his dictatorial carpetbag.
That's why seeking impeachment proceedings against Bush and Cheney is such an imperative. The ideological battle that we should be waging is against the Bush regime's hijacking of our country and the crashing of our democracy into the Iraqi desert. Now they want more bodies to fuel their occupations as they plot yet another assault on yet another sovereign nation. It's clear that Bush won't pull back from his military slap-fights with eyes closed unless he's forced to by the American people through the action of our representatives. We have to demand that they step up and hold him accountable, or face removal and censure for their own complicity in the imperious charade.
It's not enough to satisfy ourselves that there are others pointing out that our country has spawned the likeness of the Devil. The majority of Americans, and those who we intended to lead us, merely stood aside and deferred to his manufactured mandate to conquer. It's amazing how Americans dismiss the aspirations and pride of these 'lesser' nations that Bush would dictate to as either a threat or an insignificance. We are very much past any point of grace that would allow the world to separate the responsibility for Bush's illegitimate crusades from our own intentions. Citizens of countries all over the world regularly rise up en masse against their own corrupt, despoiled regimes.
We in the U.S. pride ourselves in our original struggles for freedom and liberty at our country's founding; likewise celebrating the struggle for the freedom and liberty of those pitiful citizens our nation once so oppressed. Yet, most of us are timid about challenging our government to continue to live up to and uphold those very ideals as they arrogantly engage our resources and our soldier's lives abroad for interests that they alone decide are in our interest. The majority of Americans have long opposed the Iraq occupation, yet Bush persists in behaving as if our democracy allows him to be the ultimate 'decider.'
Thomas Jefferson had no sympathy for a federal government which had violated its compact with the governed. After he assumed office, President Jefferson, faced with the prosecutions of scores of Americans under the censorship of the Alien and Sedition Laws, released those charged and pardoned them. Writing in opposition to the Alien and Sedition act, Jefferson wrote that, ". . . whensoever the general government assumes un-delegated powers, its acts are un-authoritative, void and of no effect."
Jefferson asserted that, "The several states composing the United States of America are not united on the principle of unlimited submission to their general government; but that, by compact, under the style and title of the Constitution of the United States, and of certain amendments thereto, they constituted a general government for general purposes, delegated to that government certain powers."
Later Jefferson would describe his ascendance to office, and liberation of those prosecuted for speaking out against the government, as, "in its form; not effected indeed by the sword, as that, but by the rational and peaceable instrument of reform, the suffrage of the people." He also had a caution about the remedy of impeachment (of his Judiciary) that should merit our attention.
"It should be remembered, as an axiom of eternal truth in politics," Jefferson wrote, "that whatever power in any government is independent, is absolute also; in theory only, at first, while the spirit of the people is up, but in practice, as fast as that relaxes. Independence can be trusted nowhere but with the people in mass."
And, so it is that the future direction of our republic rests with our own responsibility to vigilance against the abuses and actions of those we intend to lead us; effective with our votes, our advocacy, and our involvement in every instigation of democracy that confronts us. In order to get our leaders to present America to the world as a reliable, responsible neighbor, instead of an aggressor and an adversary, we need to challenge them to live up to their responsibility to hold the Executive accountable.
We need to speak and act as if we own the country. As a matter of fact, we do.