We have an old saying in my adopted state of Texas and you may have it in your own state too: "Those who don’t learn from history are doomed to repeat it." America is not unique for perpetuating a history that was founded on genocide and where violence is constantly relied upon for problem solving, but this is our country and how can we finally learn the lessons of war and corrupt regimes?
Our history is also rife with giants who have gone before us who either affected true and relevant change, or who have at least alleviated temporary suffering. Women now have the right to vote and participate fully in our government due to giants such as Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Susan B. Anthony and Jeannette Rankin. Slavery was abolished because of the brave efforts of some like Harriet Tubman, Bronson Alcott, Harriet Beecher Stowe, and Frederick Douglas. The Civil Rights movement was enriched by the presence of ministers like Martin Luther King, Jr. and Joseph Lowery among many others. Active duty soldiers joined with the anti-war movement during the Vietnam conflict to help bring a close to that other most recent illegal war of aggression.
We have had government officials of gigantic stature also. Senator Wayne Morse from Oregon was only one of two Senators who prophetically voted against the Gulf of Tonkin resolution in 1964 and lost his seat in 1968 because he encouraged active protest against the Vietnam conflict. Jeannette Rankin, the first female House Representative, voted against entry into WWI and WWII and was an uncompromising peace activist her entire life. Senator George McGovern of South Dakota was a highly decorated WWII pilot who also became a peace Senator and currently has a very reasonable plan for ending the war in Iraq . House Representative Barbara Lee (D-Ca) was the first and only one in either house of Congress to vote against the September 2001 Authorization to use Force which earned her accolades from the peace movement but death threats from the war movement. A few current Congress Reps voted against Bush’s War of Terror and always vote "nay" on giving him more money to fund his killing sprees: Lynn Woolsey (D-Ca), Dennis Kucinich (D-Oh), Maxine Waters (D-Ca) and Ron Paul (R-Tx) among just a shamefully few others.
With 21 Democratic Senators voting against Russ Feingold’s (D-Wi) bill for withdrawal and Democratic House Reps voting against Jim McGovern’s (D-Ma) withdrawal bill one begins to wonder if the giants work on K Street and the midgets work in Congress.
The majority could not pass the weak Feingold bill and the once strong but watered down McGovern bill, but the majority Democrats in all of their weakness don’t even come close to matching the corrupt and criminal Republicans who have, in the best tradition of moral midgets and blowhard cowards perpetrated crimes against humanity in Iraq and Afghanistan . Shock and awe was a war crime. The list of other crimes against humanity include but are not limited to: killing more innocent civilians in the initial invasion of Afghanistan than were killed here on 9-11; Haditha, Falluja, Sammara, Ramadi, Abu Ghraib, Guantanamo, FISA, Downing Street Minutes, yellow cake uranium, slam dunk, smoking guns in the form of mushroom clouds, ad nauseum. The entire Bush Administration has been functionally criminal: when are the majority Democrats going to hold these people accountable? History and the future demand culpability and control. Are their any giants in the Republican party who will join the quest for justice and in reining in an almost unstoppable juggernaut that threatens our entire American way of life and is destroying an entire region in the Middle East?
I have had several meetings with Congressman John Conyers (D-Mi, and chairman of the House Judiciary Committee) and he has some reservations about impeachment, even though he wrote a brilliant indictment against BushCo last year and since then, I don’t think the Bush crime mob have become all of a suddenly innocent. There are three things we as grassroots activists can do to help prod John Conyers into being the giant that he really is and whom we as card carrying members of humanity need:
- Pressure Speaker Pelosi to give the impeachment green light.
202-225-0100. Send her some Progressive Democrats of
- Pressure your Congress Rep to co-sponsor Dennis Kucinich’s
H. Res. 333 (Impeachment Resolution against Dick Cheney)
202-224-3121 (Congressional Switchboard)
- Sponsor an impeachment workshop (www.afterdowningstreet.org) in your
home district and
Invite your Congress Rep to attend during their Memorial
Weekend break. What a better way to honor our past fallen
soldiers than by trying to insure that their deaths are not in
With Bush's poll numbers at a record low and with approval for his war of terror in Iraq even lower, it really wouldn't take giants to remove him from office and end the war---regular sized people who remember their oaths of office and their duties to the Constitution and their constituents will do.
Our soldiers in the field are gagged by their oaths and the people of Iraq apparently have no voice in the policies and peace of their own country, so it is up to us to be the voices of peace and justice.
We are the giants that we have been waiting for.