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January 15, 2007

Every Damn Year

It's always worth rereading "A Time to Break Silence" on Martin Luther King Day, since every year since 1967 we've been blowing up somebody:

The war in Vietnam is but a symptom of a far deeper malady within the American spirit, and if we ignore this sobering reality...and if we ignore this sobering reality, we will find ourselves organizing "clergy and laymen concerned" committees for the next generation. They will be concerned about Guatemala and Peru. They will be concerned about Thailand and Cambodia. They will be concerned about Mozambique and South Africa. We will be marching for these and a dozen other names and attending rallies without end, unless there is a significant and profound change in American life and policy.

ALSO RECOMMENDED: Bernard Chazelle's new essay "Bush the Empire Slayer"

Posted at January 15, 2007 07:19 AM | TrackBack

Nothing yet for this year that I could find. Here's Bush's celebration of the Rev.'s legacy from last year:

Posted by: Lloyd at January 15, 2007 10:36 AM

Speaking of breaking silence, missus charley, m.d. and I have sent the following letter to our senators and congressperson:

Impeach and Remove Bush and Cheney Together; U.S. Out of Iraq, No War with Iran

We believe that the actions of President Bush and Vice President Cheney constitute impeachable offenses -- particularly, but not limited to, the criminal war in Iraq which was based on lies. In addition, we believe that it is an urgent matter to prevent them from doing yet more harm to our country, our fellow citizens, and the world by continuing and even enlarging that war. According, we call on you, with your colleagues, to impeach and convict them, together, as soon as possible. We wholeheartedly agree with the views of Dave Lindorff, published January 10 at

...American troops are dying and getting maimed every day in a doomed project whose only purpose, clearly, is keeping President Bush...from having to admit to the worst foreign policy disaster in the history of the nation. It's exactly like the situation during Nixon's presidency, when he just kept the war in Indochina grinding on, expanding it into Cambodia, killing all the while, simply because he didn't want to have to be the president who lost a war. Bush's goal, clearly, is to run out the clock and hand the job of surrendering in Iraq to whoever it is that succeeds him in 2008.

As for impeachment, the situation is similar. As we learned on December 20 -- when Bush issued yet another so-called "signing statement," this time claiming the right to have federal authorities monitor and read citizens' first-class mail without obtaining a court order -- every day that this president sits in the Oval Office, the Constitution, American civil liberties and the rule of law are at risk. There is no time for delay.

Nor is there any need for hearings to "get the dirt." The dirt is everywhere in Washington. A federal judge has already declared that Bush is a felon, having deliberately violated the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA). There is no need for a House Impeachment Panel hearing on that issue; the Judiciary Committee could just publish the judge's ruling and re-label it an Article of Impeachment. Likewise the president's authorization of and toleration of torture. The US Supreme Court, last June in a case called Hamdi v. Rumsfeld, issued a decision finding that the president had violated the Third Geneva Convention and the U.S. Criminal Code. Again, there is no need for a committee investigation; the Judiciary Committee could just publish the majority opinion of the high court and retitle it an Article of Impeachment.

As for the other impeachment issues -- the signing statements, the revocation of habeas corpus, the round-up of foreign residents of the Islamic faith, the abandonment of the citizens of New Orleans, etc., etc. -- we need hearings, to be sure, but those hearings should start immediately. There is no legitimate excuse for delay. [end of quote from Dave Lindorff]

We realize that a dual impeachment and conviction hasn't happened before, but the situation clearly calls for it. As long as the Bush-Cheney Administration has a free hand, it will harm our country. We ask you to defend our freedom by removing from office the most serious threat to it in our lifetimes.

The tragedy of Iraq has no simple solutions, but whatever we can or will do for the people there in the future, bringing our troops home must be the first step. Congress should use its power of the purse for this, and soon.

Posted by: mistah charley, ph.d. at January 15, 2007 10:58 AM

I think this is the best passage:

"Somehow this madness must cease. We must stop now. I speak as a child of God and brother to the suffering poor of Vietnam. I speak for those whose land is being laid waste, whose homes are being destroyed, whose culture is being subverted. I speak for the poor of America who are paying the double price of smashed hopes at home, and death and corruption in Vietnam. I speak as a citizen of the world, for the world as it stands aghast at the path we have taken. I speak as one who loves America, to the leaders of our own nation: The great initiative in this war is ours; the initiative to stop it must be ours. . . .
If we continue, there will be no doubt in my mind and in the mind of the world that we have no honorable intentions in Vietnam. If we do not stop our war against the people of Vietnam immediately, the world will be left with no other alternative than to see this as some horrible, clumsy, and deadly game we have decided to play. The world now demands a maturity of America that we may not be able to achieve. It demands that we admit that we have been wrong from the beginning of our adventure in Vietnam, that we have been detrimental to the life of the Vietnamese people. The situation is one in which we must be ready to turn sharply from our present ways. In order to atone for our sins and errors in Vietnam, we should take the initiative in bringing a halt to this tragic war."

It is chilling how accurately it describes our current situation.

Posted by: Rex at January 15, 2007 12:31 PM

Sorry, that's imprescindibles.

Posted by: Nell at January 15, 2007 10:44 PM