I promise to impeach president | VailDaily.com

I promise to impeach president

Matt Zalaznick

Democrats gunning to retake the House in 2006 should add this pledge to their campaign promises: I will punish President Bush for taking the country to war with criminally faulty information. One count of murder for each American sailor, solider, Marine and pilot killed in Iraq? Indictment on war crimes for the tens of thousands of Iraqis bombed in their villages? Force W. to apologize to our allies and the rest of the world for attacking a country that although it was run by a homicidal maniac posed no real threat to the U.S. homeland?W.’s supporters argue that the president, Dickie and Condi weren’t lying about fighting them over there because the rest of the world’s intelligence agencies also believed Saddam had a arsenal full of big bombs, nasty chemicals and diabolical plans. But it’s those same, flag-waving supporters who insist consistently that the rest of the world is too low a standard for the Home of the Brave. Surely justice is too much to expect from the feckless Democrats, even if they win back the House. Harry and Hillary and little Chuckie Schumer are still too busy dipping their toes in the political tub, testing the temperature of electoral waters, to capitalize on the Republicans’ current crisis. But should they wrest control of half of Congress, the Democrats should show Americans that presidents can’t go bumbling off to war pursuing Third Reich-style fantasies of installing a 1,000-year Republican political majority. Scooter may go to jail for laying about leaking the name of a CIA agent, Tom DeLay may serve time for financial improprieties, and Richard Nixon lost his job for eavesdropping and lying about it. But it all sounds quaint compared to what George W. Bush has done to Americans, Iraqis and everyone else on the planet. Americans, instead of gaining safety and confidence, may be the most despised people in the world. Every nation, even a superpower, needs friends. And Iraqis, instead of spending time throwing flowers at American soldiers, risk being killed every time they leave their homes to go to work.And instead of a rigidly focused effort to snuff al-Qaida and its off-shoots, or stifle the spread of nuclear weapons, W. has distracted the world with his idiot’s crusade. While he’s been making life worse for millions in Iraq (and not making it any better for millions in New Orleans), civilians have been bombed to death in London, Madrid, Bali and Amman, and Iran and North Korea continue to progress on their menacing Manhattan projects. What else has the lie-based war achieved? Rummy ignored the fact that terrific violence ensues every time the stifling lid of fascism is peeled off a society – especially when the society is roiled by cultural, religious and economic animosities. Iraq is proof the world is still suffering the effects of the West’s poor handling of the death of the Ottoman Empire, which collapsed almost 100 years ago. The world has been more violently jostled by the Bosnian and Chechnyan crisis, but we will surely see more trouble from the former Soviet Union. The countries of central Asia, some of which have already imploded, are ripe for war, the formation of new al-Qaidas and other catastrophes. But the boneheaded brain trust in W.’s Iraq working group didn’t want to be a bunch of killjoys by planning for the post-Shock-and-Awe upheaval. With the evidence for invasion flimsy, with half-hearted allies like Honduras and Costa Rica, they didn’t want visions of Vietnam to spook Americans out of supporting their precious war. They didn’t mention Kurdish seccession or outraged Turks, civil war or invading Iranians. If Democrats win back the House and persuade enough Republicans to vote to impeach W., it could spark a bout of national reconciliation, a blue-and-red state understanding of the administration’s blunders. And the lame duck, saved by the Republican Senate from conviction, will waddle off into the ignominy that history will surely bestow him. Hey, the 2006 elections just may be W.’s last chance at unifying the nation.City Editor Matt Zalaznick can be reached at 949-0555, ext. 14620, or mzalaznick@vaildaily.comVail, Colorado

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