Our ancestors saw much merit in beating the bushes in order
to flush them for hunters. It made a lot of sense to them. Could there be even
greater merit for us today if we stop beating around this Bush and finally hold
him accountable for the mess he, knowingly and criminally, got us in?
Congress simply refuses to get to the point, the country
only getting deliberations and resolutions that do nothing to stop the war in
Iraq while doing everything to tell the world that we are an unrepentant,
warmongering nation. But while acknowledging that, let�s not rush to judgment
by blaming this indecisiveness, or apathy, solely on the legislators of the
110th Congress, Republicans or Democrats. Congress people may be just acting
out what their constituents are really all about.
Somehow a sizeable number of Americans, hopeful progressives
among them, thought that the country was poised for a measurable change -- at
least in reference to the war in Iraq -- by having a spanking new Democratic
Congress. Wrong on two counts! First, this 110th Congress could hardly be
called a Democratic Congress. Second, Democrats, unlike the fairly homogenous
Republicans, come in a true rainbow of denominations, from the bluish
Jefferson-Paine followers to the reddish Republican wannabes.
How can anyone call the 110th a Democratic Congress? Control
of the Senate is being held hostage by a single vote; the super-vote of an
elected Independent, three-term Senate Democrat, and truly an Ameri-Likudian at
heart: Joe Lieberman. For all intents and purposes, Senator Harry Reid only
commands a ghost majority, particularly on war and foreign policy issues. As
for the House, Speaker Nancy Pelosi doesn�t have a clear, ideologically-clean,
overriding majority; not when well over 10 percent of her Democratic troops are
but wolves in sheep�s clothing, ranging from moderate to ultra conservatives.
So, expect nothing from this Congress . . . on the War in Iraq
. . . on domestic issues . . . on anything. Nothing of substance that can bring
a message loud and clear . . . a message telling us, and the world, that Bush�s
America is nothing but a nightmare of the recent past. Unfortunately, the bad
dream remains very much with us, even if some people decided last November to
give Tweedledee the vote, instead of Tweedledum . . . or, is it the other way
around? Change in America is not likely to be initiated by Congress, at least
not by this 110th Congress.
If Americans want change, and they really mean it, they must
force it at the local and state level, and forget about the people they�ve sent
to the Capitol in D.C. It�s the small towns and big cities that need to make
declarations rebuking America�s foreign policy and its byproduct: war, war and
more war; rebuking jointly the president and the vice president and calling for
both their impeachments. Until there is such a groundswell of public opinion,
and it becomes conclusive that we must stop beating around this Bush, there
will be little hope for change, and definitely no end to the involvement in
A few communities have already sounded off via their elected
officials in city hall. And, Vermont has recently done its patriotic deed as
well. But little else has happened; most people seem willing to wait for the
natural turn of events: the 2008 presidential election.
So, although a majority of Americans now readily accept the
premise that they were lied to before Iraq�s invasion; or that the prospect of
terrorism looms larger now than before; or that the US level of credibility
with much of the world is in shambles . . . none of those things seem to matter
much, so the prospect of impeachment ranges from zero to none.
In matters of peace and war, societal compassion plays the
key role. And we don�t seem to have that. Results from recent
studies that were conducted to measure human compassion indicate that
although we may be moved by the suffering or death of one specific person, we
become insensitive to the suffering or death of many, becoming oblivious to a
My Lai, or a Haditha, or a Fallujah . . . wars, genocides or holocausts. I don�t
know whether the studies look exclusively at the psychological, social,
political and institutional makeup of just Americans . . . or if it�s a
humankind sort of a thing. In either case, it is a sad result, one that many of
us suspected, but preferred or pretended that it not be true.
If compassion will not move Americans to impeach Bush,
perhaps economic issues will. We are unlikely to make it to the next
presidential election before it�s discovered that we had a multi-year weak
economy masked by pseudo wealth creation and spending, resulting from a housing
market that was shaping up as a house of cards. And as that house of cards
falls, something now at its very early stages, it won�t be long before millions
of Americans -- short on compassion, and long on greed -- turn their backs to
Bush, blaming him for his share of the problem . . . as well as theirs. For the
lack of compassion, some may think of this outcome as sweet revenge.
� 2007 Ben Tanosborn
Tanosborn, columnist, poet and writer, resides in Vancouver, Washington (USA),
where he is principal of a business consulting firm. Contact him at email@example.com.