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Sectors of the peace movement in the U.S. — at least those which still show signs of having a pulse — have seized upon the Downing Street Memo which might finally draw out in some substantive fashion the deceitful manner in which the U.S. moved toward the invasion of Iraq. The group AfterDowningStreet.org has called for an inquiry into possible impeachable offenses committed by Bush.
Meanwhile other people in the U.S. who continue to back Bush are focusing on "how to end the insurgency." They talk of the U.S. military casualties in Iraq and see that Donald Rumsfeld now states that the insurgency could last 12 years.
The two camps actually answer each other. If you want to end the insurgency — or resistance, depending on your views — then make an honest accounting of what your own government has done. Doing that will be perceived and respected by others. Bush lied the country into war and initiated the war in an unconstitutional manner. The fact that the Congress, the media, and, to a large extent, the U.S. public were complicit in this does not absolve Bush. They each should be judged as expeditiously as possible, but Bush should be impeached — now.
Doing so will have an impact in the Mideast and beyond.
After the February 15, 2003 protests, the leadership of Hezballah said they would no longer burn U.S. flags. They perceived that substantial parts of the U.S. public were outwardly opposing the then-impending invasion of Iraq. They changed.
More recently, the Iranian people also perceived how the U.S. functions: They were basically threatened no matter who won their election. They discerned that that the U.S. attacked Iraq even though Iraq did not have weapons or mass destruction and was allowing access to UN inspectors (despite the fact that such inspections had been used for espionage against Iraq in the past). Based on this, the Iranian people did the obvious thing: They voted for the candidate who is almost always described as the "hardliner" — but on economic issues sounds like a socialist — and not the WTO-loving "reformer."
Such actions by Iranians might tick off liberals in the U.S., but if these liberals had done their alleged job and really changed U.S. politics, the dynamics would be different in the Mideast.
There might still be a bit of time to redress this before further calamities occur.
An impeachment of Bush, for the right reasons — and not for some peripheral technicality — might be the surest, quickest way to ending the violent resistance in Iraq, ending further bloodshed and beginning a real democratic process which is designed by Iraqis in accord with the region and not U.S. administration and corporate ambitions. All the people in Iraq — including the resistance which the administration tells us it is speaking to, at least on days they are not dismissing them as "terrorists" — will take note. And, like Hezballah, which is converting itself to a political party, they will change.
The people of the U.S. can demand an impeachment of Bush and signal to the people of Iraq, the Mideast and the world that they will take matters into their hands and show they want a modicum of people and justice on this planet. That is, if the people of the U.S. actually do want a modicum of peace and justice on this planet.
SAM HUSSEINI has just returned from the Mideast to the U.S. Some of his writings are at www.husseini.org.