I Confess, Now It's Bush's Turn
I have a confession to make. I am guilty of wanting to overthrow the government of the United States of America because I believe that the president and the Congress have committed high crimes in their invasion and occupation of Iraq. Furthermore, I believe that there are other areas of governmental responsibilities that they have deliberately managed to the detriment of citizens.
There, I have said it.
That said, George W. Bush signed an executive order on July 17, 2007, that authorizes him to arrest and to seize the property of anyone who interferes with the policies of the government concerning Iraq.
Is the executive order legal?
If he thinks it is, when will he come to arrest me?
I am waiting, but I am afraid. I am not afraid of being arrested. I am afraid they will continue in office, and they will destroy the nation and all it stands for while we look on in disbelief.
I am afraid that my children will inherit a dictatorship. I am afraid we will not have the guts to forbid it.
The president and the Congress have signed death sentences and condemned hundreds of thousands of American soldiers and Iraqis to a lifetime of being crippled in body and mind. They are now prolonging this agony to play politics with more human souls.
What more is there to fear?
They need to be removed from office.
There is no more sacred icon in America than the soldier who defends his or her country from threats from abroad or from within. Politicians weep at deployments and funerals and promise that soldiers' service and sacrifice shall be rewarded.
My experience is that words are cheap and these promises are not kept. It is a pattern of behavior that is defining American government.
Iraq or Afghanistan veterans are confronted daily with roadblocks and frustrations in trying to get help to cope with the scars of war. My son, Ben, once said, "If you want to understand the baggage soldiers will bring home from this war, spend a night in my Ramadi barracks and listen to grown men scream and weep all night about what they have seen and done."
We are experiencing that truth today in spite of the cover-ups by our government and the military. It is well documented.
Any government that lies about taking care of its defenders is a government to fear. When we sit by and let it happen, we participate in the behavior as well. When will the veterans' organizations storm Congress and demand accountability and redress from government on behalf of their brothers and sisters?
At the rate of the current progress, these new veterans will be completely forgotten and neglected like the Vietnam veterans were.
Even a lie wrapped up the flag is still a lie.
The cost of the war on Iraq in human terms and in the face of such sheer illegality and brutality is impossible to rationalize. It is clear that the president and the Congress are so ashamed of their legacy of carnage in Iraq, they forbid or ignore independent investigations hoping it will go away or be replaced by something else - hopefully not of their making or accountability.
It is so barbaric that Americans have been numbed into silence. But that is changing. All over the nation communities are making it clear that continued slaughter in our names is not acceptable.
When will the religious communities look deep into their traditions and tenets of faith and demand an end to the slaughter? Are the peacemakers still blessed?
The honored American traditions of the rule of law and the primacy of human rights have been desecrated by the president and the Congress: They approve of spying on citizens without cause; tapping telephones without warrants; kidnapping, imprisoning and torturing people without real trials; the suspension and negation of the Bill of Rights and the Writ of Habeas Corpus: and violations of the Geneva Conventions by targeting civilians. All demean what America stands for.
Our president and the Congress have violated these sacred traditions. Where are the lawyers who promise to honor and to protect the law?
The pattern of deception does not end there: The failure to deliver universal health care to the extent that Americans pay many times more than poorer nations for health care: the lack of any energy or environmental policy that degrades our planet; taxes on poor and moderate income families that rise while the wealthy get all of the tax breaks, but our president and Congress bill us for a military that costs as much as the rest of the world combined.
What kind of future is that? How long will you stand for it?
I am working to replace this government, to overthrow it because it is not only illegitimate but because it threatens me and those I love. I encourage you to do likewise.
Work to impeach the president and others in his administration ( www.maineimpeach.org).
Join thousands of others and travel to Kennebunkport to on Aug. 25 confront the President directly ( www.kportprotest.org ).
Confession is good for the soul.
I feel much better already.
Dexter Kamilewicz lives in Harpswell. In 2006, he was an independent candidate for the U.S. House from Maine's 1st District.