Impeach

I have come to the conviction we must move forward with impeachment. The sonofabitch has itched for impeachment from the first moment he took a net serve of an election – that fell his way with Daddy’s help – and mandated it into a literal crusade for arms dealers and oil companies. Selling the war with ever-changing ephemeral motivations should have merited an uprising, but we all let him do it, while we all muttered our foreboding and a few Cassandra’s like Krugman and Obama prophesied to no one’s ears. No one, with such an experienced team in place – Powell, Cheney, Rumsfeld – expected such riveted incompetence.

There is, besides our own sins of omission making us complicit, the argument – which I have nursed myself until now despite my outer lip service against the war – that impeachment would be divisive and difficult for the country, that it is only two more years, that we would end up with Cheney, which would be no better, that nothing would get done in the meantime…

But all these arguments pale before the horrible fact of what has been done in our name, in America’s name, just coming home now since the election to the majority of Americans, long-shielded by the administration’s control of the message. This tragedy, on the scale of Vietnam but without even the diminsihed moral force of Johnson and McNamara behind it, needs to be aired, grieved, and the stain expunged from the national fabric. Vietnam stuck in the national craw for 30 years – only going through the ritual of impeachment now will give us a hope of recovering from this debacle in Iraq.

Impeachment will do nothing for the Iraqi people, but neither will anything else. We will have to live with this unraveling and watch it murder more children on our television screens. No one’s saying Saddam was great, or that the Irais bear no responsibility, but we have made it so much worse, for ourselves and for them. The insurgency won by controlling the message, the narrative. Rumsfeld controlled territory, and viewed the war in that way – logistics, command, technology – while the insurgents used time and the message to bring the giant to its knees.

We saw this begin in the Korean war (WWII was really about grunts on the ground, and the land under their feet), and the Vietnam War was the first where the message became more powerful than the bombs. The wily old Muslims running the Iraqi insurgency knew this. Like Rome, in this declining empire that is America, we spend more and more of our national treasure on smaller and less effective wars – one of the sure signs, along with the widening disparity between the top tier and the bottom – of the approaching Kali Yuga. Learn to grow food – it will be startlingly expensive – and hope the changing weather will allow you a crop.

The Israelis have turned into the ‘Nazis’ of their own land – we see these reversals all the time. Is there any reason to think that the fate of the Iraqis – a limited life of food staples and no electricity – won’t ultimately become ours? How long will such a thing take? I know, I am old, so I become apocalyptic – it may be generations, not decades as I think, or years as Quan thinks.

But meanwhile the last election shows us that we still have democracy, that Diebold doesn’t have a hammerlock on the vote counting and Rove is not an unassailable genius. To have a country worth living in, we must build the groundswell for impeachment. It will be the country-healing equivalent of South Africa’s Truth and Reconciliation Commission. Impeach the sitting president, for the sake of the tattered remnants of the American dream.

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