Now that the Democratic party has chosen a presidential nominee, it is time to take a small breather to refocus on the war in Iraq which has been generally ignored by most of the major media outlets during the primary. It's important to reincorporate the war back into the discussion being that it's the most significant issue in the general election.
Setting aside the explosive revelations from Scott McClellen, last week the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence unveiled its "Phase II" report regarding the Bush administration's purposeful manipulation of prewar intelligence that was used as a justification to invade and occupy Iraq.
The committee's chairman, Senator Jay Rockefeller, made the following statements in a press release:
"In making the case for war, the Administration repeatedly presented intelligence as fact when in reality it was unsubstantiated, contradicted, or even non-existent. As a result, the American people were led to believe that the threat from Iraq was much greater than actually existed."
"It is my belief that the Bush Administration was fixated on Iraq, and used the 9/11 attacks by al Qa'ida as justification for overthrowing Saddam Hussein. To accomplish this, top Administration officials made repeated statements that falsely linked Iraq and al Qa'ida as a single threat and insinuated that Iraq played a role in 9/11. Sadly, the Bush Administration led the nation into war under false pretenses."
As a veteran of the Iraq war this is enough to turn my fingers into fists. I don't know why exactly; it isn't like I didn't already know it. I think I just finally accepted the sad reality that there will be no accountability.
When I say "accountability" I'm not talking about what will be written in the history books. After all, Bush loyalists love to say that history will be the judge of his presidency.
I'm talking about concrete ramifications for Bush's lies that resulted in the deaths of over 4,000 US troops, an overextended & broken military, over $500 billion spent, repeated combat tours for our troops, VA hospitals flooded with veterans seeking care for physical as well as emotional injuries, and an uncountable number of dead Iraqi civilians.
Not to mention that these horrors all remain underway with no end in sight -- meaning more death, destruction, and debt.
Congressman Dennis Kucinich, to his credit, is making a strong attempt to hold this administration accountable for it's criminal activity by introducing 35 articles of impeachment in the House of Representatives. However, Kucinich's efforts are unlikely to move forward due to political fears Democrats are facing going into the election.
If full blown impeachment hearings of President Bush would result in Barack Obama losing to John McCain, then I totally concur that impeachment is a risk that is arguably not worth taking.
But is it conceivable that the American people would hold Democrats accountable in November for trying to impeach Bush for what many would describe has "high crimes and misdemeanors?" After all, the Republicans impeached President Clinton for a far less impeachable offense and they got the White House and maintained a majority of Congress through 2006.
The Republicans remain fearless and completely unconcerned with political viability. They are running in 08' on a platform of insanity that continues the occupation of Iraq, and makes Bush's tax cuts and economic policies permanent. All in the face of multiple public opinion polls indicating that nearly 80% of the American people feel that Bush has put this country on the wrong track. I just hope they (the Republicans) pay for it in November.
Here is a reality check for all those like me who had their hopes up -- George W. Bush will not be impeached. Under the circumstances all we can hope for is that Congress will contain him long enough to leave office and minimize the remaining damage he can inflict on this nation, Iraq, and possibly other countries -- like Iran.
While we stand by hoping for Congress to prevent George W. Bush from initiating any more disasters -- we must not forget that it is up to us to bring about change this election. After all, it is ours to lose.
It's disgraceful that the key players in the Bush administration who intentionally lied us into the Iraq war will not be held accountable, but it's their disgrace to bear for eternity. I'll focus on the comfort that there is light at the end of the tunnel and it's coming soon.
I think retiring GOP Congressman Tom Davis said it best:
"The Republican brand is in the trash can... if we were dog food, they would take us off the shelf."
Amen to that.