To the Mayor and Portland City Council
(send to your city council)
IMPEACHMENT AS A SYSTEM REMEDY
The thief came to steal, kill and destroy; the Son came that we might have life in abundance (John 10,10).
The war-mongerer, the preacher of holy war, is also the job killer and accidental president.
He disqualifies himself by quoting Elvis and describing Iraq as a model democracy.
High crimes, war crimes, crimes against peace and misleading Congress and the American people are impeachable offenses. Lying to lead us into war, lying to Congress and the American people about weapons of mass destruction and connections to Al-Qaida, manipulating facts and intelligence to fit a rightwing policy of imperialist conquest (cf. Project for a New American Century), invading Iraq and killing 250,000 civilians who were no threat to us, seizing Iraqi oil under Bremer’s 100% privatization law – are all outrages, high crimes and misdemeanors, betrayals of the trust of the American people.
The imperial presidency with 750 signing statements undermines the division of power and the system of checks and balances. Blurring the distinctions of offense and defense and representation and corruption produces only cynicism and public mistrust.
The pen is mightier than the sword. Nonviolence is stronger than violence as open arms are stronger than a clenched fist. Hope even hope as thin as a thread can be life-giving in a time of denial and group-think. Every war has two losers (William Stafford). You can not win a war any more than you can win an earthquake (Jeanette Rankin, 1914).
Truth is the first casualty of war. Language is perverted when offense is termed defense and corruption called representation. Military logic threatens to displace social logic. The law of the stronger is the law of the jungle, the law of the warrior cult, the macho, bully and megalomaniac leading to glorification of violence,
Disintegration and capitalist contradiction lead to rightwing extremism, hostility to foreigners and violence and cause the paralysis of all institutions, the state, university, media and unions. Another world is only possible when fear-mongerring and war-mongering are replaced by interdependence and social logic, when long-term necessities are not eclipsed by special interests and self-serving myths.
Hypocrisy, lies, intimidation and group-think are marks of the authoritarian personality, of disassociation not unity. As prejudice is a stepping stone to understandcing, predatory capitalism and exploding inequality are forerunners to a social market economy,
Beware of war hysteria! If all you have is a hammer, everything looks like a nail! They that take the sword will perish with the sword and doublespeak. They that try to solve political problems militarily follow the way of self-destruction.
America has changed from being a source of hope and strength to a threat and source of mockery, a department of double standards that confuses Lockheed profits with community well being. Public spirit can be regained when the blatant corruption and hubris of the Bush-Cheney-Rumsfeld axis are excised.
250,000 civilians have died in Iraq (cf. UK Lancet medical report). This brings us to Kairos time, the time of decision, supplanting everyday time. We are called to mourning and resistance, to speaking truth to power and identifying with the voiceless, the weak and poorest, to developing alternatives to greed and selfishness.
Retired generals warn of a great war and demand Rumsfeld’s resignation. Books and articles speak of a Cheney-Rumsfeld-Bush axis forming a shadow or parallel government where ad hoc groups form foreign policy and security policy and facts and intelligence are twisted to fit a rightwing agenda.
Beware of false prophets who shout “Globalization” or “Commerce Center” – beguiling Portland out of $51 million, describing the old Chevy dealership as a landmark or destruction of downtown as revitalizing the mall. Investment, distribution, redistribution, taxation, energy and security policy seem to fall prey to rightwing extremism, hostility to foreigners.and market radicalism.
America has a welcoming tradition, not only a tradition of fear. Our social nature like the constitution and the future of the planet are under attack in this dangerous, troubling time. The war on the poor has seemingly replaced the war on poverty. Social security, a New Deal program that has kept tens of millions from poverty for seven decades and keeps alive the economy in the outsourcing era is assailed. Future generations are threatened with massive deficits from out-of-control wars of aggression and corporate tax cuts.
What a joy to be internationalistas, to see life as a gift not a possession and the future as interdependent partnership! The Sky Train in Vancouver B.C. (computer-operated light rail, no conductor, every 2 minutes in rush hour)) could wean us from the car-tastrophe. The 100-year old Carnegie Community Center bustling with classes, counseling and games before Reagonomics could give us ideas and visions about a more human Portland.
Go to Vancouver, a little stress-free Arcadia – now enjoying a budget surplus! The mosaic works; people listen and respect one another. Learn Canada time! Amtrak roundtrip from Portland costs $80. If you go in July or August, you’ll be surrounded by dozens of snow-capped mountains. The Work Less Party in Vancouver like the Zapatistas speak of two winds and one world where many worlds fit, where everyone has a place.
Peace be with you, Shalom not Sharon! Vote for impeachment! City Hall could become Impeachment Hall.
Love’s enemy is indifference. The spiral of revenge is not the solution. The short-term fixation, the path of least resistance, must change to long-term necessity, to truth-telling, redefining work, security and strength, resisting fatalism, nihilism, the indispensable nation and market fundamentalism.
War criminals judging war criminals is a sign of the last days, of the triumph of fear mongering, the gospel of self-destruction and military logic. International law and the UN Charter aim at ending the scourge of war and aggression, limiting war to self-defense and Security Council authorization.
The future could be open and dynamic, not closed and static. Exchanging roles is part of the non-hierarchical goal where open arms replace the clenched fist and stability and public spirit rest on partnership more than status, jobs and money.
That there is no alternative is a lie, setting efficiency and profit logic over compassion and social logic, veiling horror and immorality, facilitating self-serving interests and relieving people from self-criticism and from facing history and pre-history. That there is no alternative is not realism but fatalism. The law of the stronger is the law of the jungle. The big stick policy and new world order are veils for Americanization. Globalization is often experienced as Americanization as news is often experienced as celebrity scandal and history as instant history.
Myopia and triumphalism exclude criticism and offer instant history.
Noam Chomsky once said, whatever America does is the peace process.
Vote for impeachment! Dissent is most patriotic. Peace and resistance are part of our nature as antibodies are part of our bodies.
Allow me a few comments on economic policy, on the neoliberal myths that allow profit logic and the market to seem sacrosanct.
The market is a tool helpful after the people decide what kind of society they want. The uncontrolled market can turn rights to education, health care and housing into privileges. Corporations repress weak purchasing power and weak domestic economies through takeovers, buying German universities or Canadian publishers. Profits soar and investments fall while wages stagnate. Perhaps we fell for the simplistic supply-side myth (low wages brings low unemployment) and repressed demand-side necessities (redistribution through progressive taxation, increased demand leads to more living wage jobs).
The economy should be an aspect of life, not a steamroller crushing visions and ideals. The corporate press like elite consciousness is a frozen press where alternatives do not exist, the market is sacrosanct, problems are stylized as interferences with the market and bankruptcies are just normal business practice.
If faith can move mountains, it can move an accidental president to retirement and save the planet. The work of peacemakers is an eternal work. La Lucha continua! Viva la Causa! The struggle continues! Long live the cause of social justice!
Marc Batko firstname.lastname@example.org http://www.mbtranslations.com
www.scorecard.org (for pollution, water and air stats)