I’m a former career Army man that retired in 1995. I am originally from NY but retired here to South Carolina after spending ten years in Florida. I have two Senators and a congressman that are so right wing that I might as well have no representation in Congress. That might bother me except for this nagging thought that most of us have no real representation in Congress. Why do I say that? I will get to that subject soon. Please stay with me here.
We are embroiled in a pre-emptive war. This is a war that was started by us against a nation that had not done anything to warrant an invasion from the United States. Some say it was to obtain oil, others say it was to stop the oil from flowing so that American oil corporations could reap more profits (read “Armed Madhouse by Gregg Palast, Plume Books). Some say it is to put an American presence in the Middle East, some say it was to install a US friendly democracy there. Whatever the reason, the war was wrong. Everyone in this nation except for the rightist of the right, and extreme neo-cons, all believe that this war was immoral and there is a running debate as to whether it is even legal.
Whatever the facts are, this war does not benefit the American people. It might benefit certain politicians and certain corporations, but as far as it having any real benefits to the American people, it has none. There should have never been an authorization for the use of force, but hindsight is 20-20. What is disturbing is that now, after everything that has been discovered about WMD’s and the plans of Saddam Hussien, we are still occupying Iraq. You may counter this charge with something like we are not “occupying” Iraq, but that is semantics, we are in reality, occupying a nation that is in the middle of a civil war that our actions have brought about. As a former soldier, I will tell you that we have no chance of winning this war with the assets that we have on the ground in Iraq. The American people know this too.
We also realize that we have lost many of our constitutional rights during this phoney “War on Terror”. This war is nothing more than a way to limit the rights of American citizens. So far we have seen Posse Comitatus severely weakened with a rider to the Insurrection Act. We have seen the President allow suspect treatment of prisoner of war. Some equate this torture with the Military Commissions Act of 2006, which by the way, also threw out the Writ of Habeas Corpus to any “enemy combatant” tried on non-US territory. We now have a concentration camp built at Guantanamo, Cuba. We have seen this President let the NSA use Wiretaps and electronic surveillance against US citizens in violation of the FISA court that allows this by letting the government get a warrant 72 hours after the act. We have seen the Patriot Act allow Federal Investigators to search our homes without our knowledge if as long as we are designated “terrorists” agents. We have also seen this President use “signing statements” continuously since he took office that allows him to abridge laws he doesn’t feel that he should observe in the name of a wartime “Unitary Presidency”.
We saw the lies leading up to the invasion of Iraq and we see these same lies being used in regard to Iran. In a few days we will see Three Aircraft Carrier Battle Groups off the coast of Iran while Congress does nothing. This is the largest concentration of sea power in the history of the world and this raises no concerns in Congress?
For all of the issues I have described, the US Congress does nothing concrete to stop the abuse of power or to restore the rights that American citizens have lost during the last six years. The 9/11 attacks have not been throughly investigated as to just who was responsible for these attacks and why there were so many odd circumstances surrounding the attacks. Even if Osama Bin Laden was totally responsible for these attacks, we should still have a criminal investigation to put this matter to rest. Also, someone in the administration outed Valerie Plame, putting her and her colleagues in danger and destroying her use as a covert agent. If this investigation lands at the President’s or Vice-President’s door, they should be impeached and prosecuted.
The American People are well aware of what needs to be done. The American People are well aware of who needs to do it. This President and his Vice President need to be impeached. You might believe that it is only the far left that wants this, and this could well be the mistake of judgement that destroys the Democratic Party once and for all. We realize that you are letting American soldiers continue to be used as target practice so that Democrats can still have the Iraq war for a campaign issue next year. The American People know this also and they are not happy about it. You authorized this war and as Senator Gravel has said, Congress can Un-authorize this war. You can impeach, do whatever it takes to stop the killing that has taken over 600,000 Iraqi lives and over 3,300 American ones, not counting those that die in the air on the way to Ramstien or the ones that die Stateside. We have estimates of 35,000 severely wounded, I suspect more. We are in an immoral war and we have an almost dictatorial President and Congress plays political theater.
I said at the beginning of this article not to discount what I will say. I say that again. I haven’t touched on half of the issues that American citizen’s are furious about. I am not a seer, nor do I make empty threats. I am just letting you know that for all of your bluster and political circus, we see the Kucinich bill ignored by Congress and we see Congress continue to fund this war time and time again. We are starting to realize that there isn’t a dime’s worth of difference between the Democrats and Republicans. We know that your campaigns are financed by corporate interests and special interest groups, yet everyone snickered when Sen Gravel said that our government is controlled by the Military Industrial Complex. The American people know who you owe favors too and who is responsible for putting most of you in office, and it isn’t the American people. We know for example that The Lady Speaker had 66% of her campaign paid for by corporations and special interest groups. Harry Reid only had 29.9% from PAC’s. Rep. Steny Hoyer, The Majority leader in Congress had over 72% paid by Pac’s for his campaign.(opensecrets.org, The Center for Responsive Politics) These numbers are scandalous. In fact, what has happened to the Federal government for the last six years is scandalous. Just remember this, the American people want results and we want then soon. Consider this a wake-up call. Go back to business as usual, and you might find in 2008 you have no business.