Or, Why We Need to Impeach the Prez and Darth Vader Today!

If anyone still needs a reason why we need to commence impeachment proceedings against Bush and Cheney immediately instead of just waiting for their term to expire, here’s several:

1. Their arrogance, carelessness or simple ignorance could drag us into a wasteful war with Iran or any of several other countries they don’t happen to like at the moment. Or, they could gratuitously make some of those country’s men sufficiently dedicated to attack us at home again.

2. Their strutting insensitivities and perennial clumsiness could also finish alienating the few allies we have left who might still trust or like us.

3. Their egos, lack of experience and aggressive whims could finish their depletion of our military capability and morale.

4. They could auction off the national forests, parks or other important assets.

5. They could assist in sending ever more jobs, not to mention our dollars, overseas and mortgage our future and independence deeper in debt to countries that would be delighted to see us stumble.

6. They could appoint still more unremovable, partisan and injudicious judges who would then be able to rigidly continue enforcing Bush’s bankrupt ideology for decades to come.

7. They could pardon all the criminals within their current administration and among their campaign contributors. They could simultaneously dismiss all ongoing regulatory efforts and suits attempting to keep our air breathable, our water drinkable, our food edible and our goods safe to use.

8. Their spying on opposition leaders could find enough material to blackmail them into submission, although it appears that may have already happened.

9. They could even initiate a coup to keep them selves in power by suspending the Constitution to “protect” us from “terrorists,” rounding up and permanently jailing or torturing anyone protesting as an “enemy of the state.” Or if not, what they have done already in emasculating the other branches of government will likely insure that future administrations will be able or at least attempt to be equally dictatorial.

10. They could drive us into a deadly recession or depression. Oops. Probably too late for that one.

Most important of all perhaps. If they escape without punishment of some sort, it pretty much invalidates all that this country once stood for.



Or, Why There Aren’t More Protests in the Streets

The problem with the Bush Administration is that it has been so bad, so often, in so many ways, for so long, it has nearly destroyed our ability to be appalled. What would have once utterly horrified us, torture by our people being but one example, now seems commonplace, even expected. What would have once had us out in the streets mad enough to do something about it, now seems impossible to confront because there are simply too many forms of evils and insanities to fight and on so many different fronts and levels. It feels almost like trying to keep the tide from rolling in. Where once there would have been youthful enthusiasm to oppose, the unrelenting nature of the disasters and attacks being perpetrated by Bush and his minions ultimately generates ennui, inertia, fatigue and hopelessness symptoms slowing our responses molasses-like. Worse yet, too many people who might once have been in the forefront of the opposition are now too embarrassed, conflicted or cowardly to do so given their earlier fear generated, mob frenzied complicity in the excesses and abuses occurring in the immediate aftermath of 9/11.

It’s all so depressing, it cancerously overwhelms and paralyzes our ability to cure or even effectively combat the hideous disease emanating from the Capitol.



TO: Editor of Commentary Section
Oped Page
Oregonian Newspaper
1320 S.W. Broadway
Portland Oregon 97201

Dear Editor:

Your paper printed a lengthy diatribe by ____________ on January 13 that “the liberal media” (not defined, but apparently any journalist who dares disagree with him) was responsible for “losing” the Vietnam War. In selecting that piece for prominent display, did you happen to notice there was not a word either by him or you on whether we should have been there in the first place? That’s surprising given the recent admission the Gulf of Tonkin “Incident” used to justify the massive escalation was entirely fabricated by our leaders at the time.

Even if the Vietnam ruse de guerre had not been a bold faced lie, did you happen to notice there was not a word about whether the government there actually deserved to be propped up? And if it did, did it deserve the profligate expenditure of young American lives, not to mention our treasury and out hard earned credibility at all levels? Even ignoring genuinely debatable issues about South Vietnamese dictatorship and official corruption, didn’t you at least find it interesting that the same Communist government of the North we fought so hard against back then was last year loudly trumpeted by avowed Conservative Bush to award them “favored nation” trading status (the same Bush, by the way, who somehow found a way to avoid going there when he was in uniform)? So much for preserving the “national honor” which Conservatives profess they love when the prospect of new sources for lining their pockets apparently so easily trumps it.

There seemed to be a lot of pride in Mr. ___’s description of how good we were at piling up bodies back then. It’s true. The average grunt, particularly of the field ranks usually did his best which was pretty good despite the risible brass foolishly dictating frontal assault tactics like at Hamburger Hill (my old unit). On the other hand, shouldn’t there have been at least some reflection by Mr. ___ or your paper that a B-52 bomb run from 20,000 feet is not very good at discriminating between armed combatants and unarmed two year olds (not that we were ever very good at telling friend from foe even from across a table). There was not a word, not even an obtuse expression of regret, about the perhaps millions of admittedly dead and maimed, many of which were uninvolved, the “collateral damage” so blithesomely still being dismissed today as irrelevant?

It is conceded that Mr. ___ is probably correct when he claims reporting the actual news, rather than merely parroting whatever the military press releases said, hastened our exit. He is also spot on that the Viet Cong apparatus was essentially eliminated during the Tet defense. Nevertheless, he seems to have forgotten, as you apparently have, that the devastating Tet “surprise” which finally converted the journalists from being Army PR flacks back into genuine reporters was how stunningly massive the Tet attacks were in contrast to what our military had been alleging the Cong was still capable of doing. That was the big “surprise,” not the mere date of the attacks. The reporters might never have stopped trusting the military so completely but for the deceptions and duplicities the military had been playing up to that point. Unfortunately, once credibility has been lost due to exaggeration, it takes a generation to rebuild.

Mr. ___ is entitled to his forgetfulness, even his animosity toward the press in general. My problem is not with him although I disagree with his conclusions. I too share a modicum of that antipathy toward the Oregonian editorial staff or possibly the ownership if it is steering the direction.

I do understand why the Oregonian would want to print traditional right wing opinions like those of Mr. ___, no matter how much they ignore now confirmed history. After all, the word “Liberal” has been so smeared by people like Mr. ___ that your paper has become terrified of a mere label. But, isn’t your job description as journalists to resist such debasing of the English language? More over, isn’t it your ethical responsibility to courageously and, more importantly, accurately report the facts rather allow your readership to be mislead out of fear?

Your printing without comment correcting Mr. ___ rewriting and obfuscation of history sadly perpetuates a number of myths that became popular after that misadventure in Southeast Asia. The dangerous aspect is that because of that institutional memory loss we ended up repeating in Iraq many of the same arrogant ill considered mistakes.

So, stop being so gutless. When you print something, add the corrections. Certainly do so when the preponderance of the evidence is in. Perhaps the Democrats will never grow a backbone to stand up to such misinformation being disseminated by individuals like Mr. ___, but our democracy might not survive unless at least the press does.