Iraq: Five years of occupation, five years of war crimes
.Before the war in Iraq started, former U.S. Attorney General Ramsey Clark, announced the launch of an impeachment effort at a rally of a half million people on January 18, 2003 on the National Mall in Washington, D.C. ImpeachBush.org, which houses the “Vote to Impeach” on-line referendum has been visited by millions of people and more than one million have signed the on-line petition or paper petitions that have been circulated door to door in neighborhoods around the country.
The Final Call reporter Nisa Islam Muhammad went one on one with Mr. Clark to explore the significance of the fifth year of war and American’s response to the call for impeachment.
(Final Call) FC: Why call for the president’s impeachment?
(Ramsey Clark) RC: “This is just one of many efforts to awaken the American people to the peril of the Bush presidency. This is the largest grassroots impeachment effort in U.S. history. Impeachment is not a political question. It is a constitutional duty. It is the means by which the people, through their elected representatives, can protect their country from a lawless “President, Vice President and all civil Officers of the United States” by removing them from office.
“President Bush is committing crimes hand over fist. The most important thing we can do is to remove him. Ten months is a long and dangerous time in a failed Presidency that promises to pursue its misbegotten policies to its last day, during which it can cause irreconcilable conflict and irreversible decline in U.S. global influence for better or for worse.
“A million Americans, as of this date, have cast their vote to impeach the Bush cabal on this single website and easily 99 million more share that concern, but have not found the opportunity, or motivation to act. Yet, impeachment now will have far greater effect on the conduct of the next Presidency than the November elections, whatever party and candidate wins.
FC: What is the significance of one million people voting for impeachment as we enter the sixth year of war?
RC: “We have come to the fifth anniversary of the Bush Administrations war of aggression and violent occupation of Iraq–a chosen course of criminal conduct–that has brought death, destruction, division, alienation and staggering costs predicted to reach into the trillions of dollars.
“If we don’t stand up for impeachment now, presidents from now on will always have a free rein. Impeachment now will end the Bush Presidency and inform the next several, at least, that the American people will not tolerate lawless wars on foreign peoples and American Principles.
Impeachment now will stop the continuing course of criminal conduct of the Bush Administration, which becomes more dangerous each day. President Bush is working at a frenetic pace to prove in the face of all the facts that his policies are right and heroic. Consider this, President Bush has vetoed Congressional legislation prohibiting torture by the CIA. Congress failed to override the veto by the required 60 percent of the voting members in the House, all in March 2008. This tells U.S. intelligence agencies and military forces as well as the world at large that the U.S. will continue its criminal practice of torture in violation of international and U.S. law, a continuing impeachable offense.
President Bush is pressing the Government of Iraq that his policies created, for a binding bilateral treaty recognizing a permanent U.S. military presence in Iraq and a major share of oil exploration, development, production, distribution and control rights in Iraq for U.S. oil companies. The new $700 million U.S. Embassy in the heart of Baghdad will be the center of power in Iraq. Both are continuing impeachable offenses.
President Bush continues to threaten, among others, North Korea, Sudan, Syria and most of all Iran with the use of force, a violation of the UN Charter equal to the actual use of force. The threats are impeachable offenses. Considering his history, it would be nÃ¡ive and negligent to fail to act to prevent President Bush from further military aggression. Impeachment is the only sure way.
All of these activities and others of the Bush administration involve new impeachable offenses committed within the last few months. How many more impeachable acts will occur if we fail to achieve impeachment now?
FC: How is President Bush justifying his actions?
RC: Speaking before the National Religious Broadcasters convention in Nashville, Tennessee on March 11, 2008–the first of three speeches President Bush has planned on the subject of his war and terrorism in advance of the testimony of General Petreaus and Ambassador Crocker before Congress next month–he insisted, “The decision to remove Saddam Hussein was the right decision early in my presidency” to a standing ovation. “It is the right decision at this point in my presidency, and it will forever be the right decision.” They’re still boasting. They look at this as the right decision instead of the deadly decision that it was. In the speech to Religious Broadcasters, President Bush frequently spoke of his desire to spread freedom and democracy, arguing, “The effects of a free Iraq and a free Afghanistan will reach beyond the borders of those two countries … It will show others what’s possible.” Does President Bush believe Iraq and Afghanistan are free and democratic? Does he believe any country in the world would want to trade its condition for the present condition of Iraq or Afghanistan? Does he know of a village that wants to be destroyed so it can be saved? The poorest country on the planet wouldn’t trade places with Iraq.
FC: What does the future hold?
RC: The probability that President Bush will strike Iran with missiles before the end of his presidency is a high risk. Perhaps he will act in the fall to make military concerns dominate the November elections. Then will he say “The decision to prevent a madman from possessing nuclear bombs was the right decision late in my Presidency … and it will forever be the right decision?”
My two major points are that the people must stand up. When they do the world will say finally they stood up against the crimes of their government and secondly the people found their power to resist the government’s military impulse. If they could see us standing up, they would have greater respect for us.
FC: Thank you.