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Democrats' Hearing Calls for Bringing Troops Home from Iraq


By Joey Lomicky

Though they congregated in a small, cramped room of the Cannon House Office Building, the issue at hand was far bigger.

Washington, D.C. - Scripps Howard Foundation Wire - infoZine - For more than three hours Thursday, 30 members of Congress participated in an informal hearing, called by Rep. Lynn Woolsey, D-Calif., to support a military exit from Iraq. Frustrated that she could not get Republicans to schedule such a discussion before either the Armed Services or International Relations committees, she said she organized her own discussion to "break the silence on Capitol Hill."

"So we've taken matters into our own hands," she said. "There's been very little appetite among the congressional leadership for open discussion about how we might end the war. ... The administration's rationale for war turned out be based on dubious intelligence at best and outright lies at worst."

Democratic members of Congress drifted in and out, and one Republican put in an appearance as six witnesses, including a former senator, a retired general and a former U.S. diplomat in Iraq, discussed how the country should bring troops home.

"To have victory, you must have an end strategy, maybe not in full detail, but one nonetheless," said Rep. Walter Jones, R-N.C., who has been criticized by other Republicans for his stance on Iraq.

Antonia Chayes, a professor of international politics at Tufts University's Fletcher School of Law in Medford, Mass., said American forces in Iraq are responsible for suppressing the counter-insurgency, fighting a war and peacekeeping - something she called an "impossible task."

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"We should constantly be reviewing our policies, constantly be looking at those sanctions to make sure that they are directed toward that purpose. That purpose is every bit as important now as it was ten years ago when we began it. And frankly they have worked. He has not developed any significant capability with respect to weapons of mass destruction. He is unable to project conventional power against his neighbors. So in effect, our policies have strengthened the security of the neighbors of Iraq, and these are policies that we are going to keep in place." - Colin Powell, FEB 2001

Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld should be impeached and then arrested.

ATTENTION CONGRESSIONAL DEMOCRATS. We know you know in your heart that what Bush, Cheney and Rumsfeld have done with Iraq far exceeds the moral AND legal test for impeachment and shows them to be a clear and present danger to the United States of America. You must stand up and say so.

You have a duty to the American people, yourself and humanity to GO TO THE MAT for bi-partisan, well funded and transparent congressional investigations leading to impeachment. Shut down the governments business if that's what you have to do to move this forward and pound it into the American mind. Use whatever guerilla parliamentary procedure available to you. Say and do nothing else until the GOP agrees to investigate what any sane and just mind considers horrific crimes. No legislation, no issue, no job, nothing you can personally gain or lose is more important (or potentially politically effective) than this effort. Nothing is more important than cutting this cancer from our government. Our safety, perhaps even our very survival depends on it.

Mountains of evidence make clear these people have behaved in ways that make them war criminals and traitors. You must stop them before they take us to war again, before they sell out our national security again, before they destabilize the world to the point of no return. It is your right and your duty. Only you and your fellow elected congressional Democrats can get this done. This is why the people elected you.

Stand shoulder to shoulder, stand tall. Walk down the hall, grab your fellow elected Democrats by the collar, walk out onto the steps, and start saying what you believe. Say it loud, say it together and say it all the time, and you will drag the media and the American mind along. They have committed impeachable offences, they are destroying our national security and our good name, and they are profiting greatly from it. They must be held to account before we follow ancient Rome into the ashes of history.

I PROMISE YOU, in the end, not only will you know you've done the right thing, but you'll come out on top POLITICALLY as well. The American people will come to know traitors and criminals in their midst if you show them often enough what they look like. And in the end, they will be grateful. America needs leaders again. America needs heroes. Will you step up?

Senator Rockefeller, if you let Pat Roberts go back on his word to investigate the administrations use of intelligence, history will hunt you down and punish you in the same breath as those who have committed these despicable acts. Where are you? What could be more important than ensuring our leaders don’t twist intelligence to make fraudulent cases for war? As a member of the United States Senate you have the power to make sure this goes forward. You will have to put it on the line to be sure, but this is the right thing to do. Senator, we beg you, live up to your name. Stand tall in important ways.

Congressmen Waxman, Conyers, Lee, Rangel, thank you for all your letters, requests, complaints to the administration and the GOP leadership. You have done far more than most. You have shown you know right from wrong, that you have a heart, and you retain most of your humanity. But all that and a buck will buy America a cup of coffee. You have said many words that needed to be spoken. But it is clear we need different words now. We need words like IMPEACHEMENT and ARREST. Words like TREASON and HIGH CRIMES. Words like WAR PROFITEERING and CORRUPTION.

We, the American people, need to hear from you how the conservatives SOLD OUT THE SECURITY OF OUR COUNTRY, OF OUR CHILDREN AND OUR LOVED ONES in order to try and COVER UP THEIR FRAUDLENT CASE FOR WAR. They LIED to bring this nation to war. We need to hear these words from you and your fellow congressional Democrats EVERY DAY.

These are simple concepts and the evidence is clear. Once you push these words and ideas into the American mind the game will be over. In fact, you have the chance to crush the Republican Party. With this war and the way in which we were driven to it you have the great weight of the truth. Avail yourselves of it often enough and you will crush the conservative movement.

It is clear the intransigence of this administration and the GOP leadership knows no bounds. They won’t budge until the American people demand it. The way to make that happen is for you and your fellow Democrats to shut-it-all-down, by whatever means necessary, until the evidence and consequences of their crimes are detailed in congressional investigations and front and center in our media culture. Your action will force Joe Sixpack to come to a conclusion about what you are saying. The cold, hard reality of the evidence and a few GOP rats fleeing the ship to avoid the rising water will take care of the rest.

You owe your constituents and humanity a course of action that is effective. Time is short. The situation is dire. Our rate of decay is exponential. We’re losing entire cities at a time. Impeachment was designed to save the nation from just this kind of leadership. It’s time for you to get out there and speak truth to power.

Now is your time. Write a chapter of great American history or forever be damned to the footnotes in another tale of empire gone by. America as we know it depends on your actions in the next weeks and months. History has an especially keen eye on these days. May it hold you in high regard. God speed…

Domingo Chavez
Los Angeles, CA

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