ACTION ALERT: It's Time to Exercise the 'Bush Option': Move to Impeach the President If Iran Is Attacked
February 24, 2012 Ralph Lopez / War Is a Crime & Ali al-Fadhily and Dahr Jamail / InterPress Service
During the Bush years, Judiciary Committee Chair John Conyers considered impeachment proceedings. While Conyers refused to impeach, he make it clear that, if Bush attacked Iran, impeachment proceedings would quickly follow. Bush must have believed him. Now the warhawks are calling for an attack on Iran and, as recently as January 25, Obama has said no options were "off the table." Once again, with peace and the Constitution at risk, Conyers has fallen silent.
Where is Conyers with Impeachment Threats
Against President for Iran Attack Now? Ralph Lopez / War Is a Crime
(February 9, 2012) -- It may have been the one and only thing which prevented an attack on Iran during the Bush years. Chairman of the Judiciary Committee John Conyers spent years fending off nationwide calls to impeach George W. Bush over the invasion of Iraq, the shredding of the Constitution after 9/11, and other high crimes and misdemeanors culminating in a summer of 2008 "non-impeachment impeachment hearings," in which witnesses such as Rep. Brad Miller, Rep. Maurice Hinchey, Rep. Walter Jones, Rep. Dennis Kucinich, constitutional scholar Bruce Fein, former Rep. Elizabeth Holtzman, Vincent Bugliosi and many others came together to implore the committee to bring articles of impeachment.
At one point, Conyers closed to the committee room to any further audience members, prompting calls of "Shame! Shame! Shame!" from the packed halls of the Rayburn Building to which people had traveled from across the country, but established numerous closed-circuit television viewing rooms for the public in other parts of the Hill.
Conyers refused to impeach, but did in fact draw one hard line in the sand, saying that if Bush attacked Iran, it would guarantee impeachment proceedings. George Bush must have believed him. Now as the crazies beat the drums for war with Iran, driving Obama almost irresistibly to war, Conyers has fallen silent. As recently as January 25, Obama said no options were "off the table."
If we attack Iran, it will be an excuse to pour millions of rounds of utterly demonic -- there is no other word -- depleted uranium ammunition into a country, which has done us no harm, which acknowledges the right of navigation in international waters but merely insists that it will not be bullied.
The US is determined to impose sanctions no matter what Iran says about its weapons programs, in a perfect replay of the run-up to the invasion of Iraq. Then as in Iraq, this will kill and maim entire generations of the most innocent life imaginable, that which sits and will sit in their mothers' wombs.
One of the most little-noted after effects of the invasion of Iraq is the rate of horrifying birth deformities caused the the US's use of these weapons, with rates of birth deformities now running as high as 75% in Fallujah. The Iraqi nation, for all practical purposes, is destroyed. Hospitals do not know how to care for or deal with the epidemic.
A country still rife with problems like clean water and sewage systems ravaged by the war is struggling with how to care for these babies for life. The greatest evil of the Iraq war, no one ever talks about. (See: "DU-Induced Birth Deformities in Iraq" by William Shannon.) [Also see related story below.]
President John F. Kennedy sat alone in the war councils during the Cuban Missile Crisis demanding to know of his generals how what they wanted, strikes on Cuba, would not culminate in World War III. Our youngest president faced hawks in politics and the military who assured him that he would be made to look like a weak appeaser if he did not give them what they wanted: war. Kennedy stood firm.
When General Curtis Lemay taunted him in the war room that "you're in a pretty bad fix" Kennedy shot back: "You're in it with me." Kennedy may have been making it eminently clear that he was playing hardball, and if he were to go down, he would make sure that the generals who helped make it happen would go with him.
When Conyers drew his line in the sand, the system of checks and balances for once worked. He also, as a junior congressman, led the impeachment of Richard Nixon. I am no great fan of Joe Biden, but I believe he would make a perfectly fine, if unremarkable, Democratic president. I don't care what anybody thinks.
The war drums are beating, and the time to speak is now or never. The parallel to the Cuban Missile Crisis is not as far-fetched as some would believe. Pakistani nukes are probably already one step from Al Qaeda thanks to the Islamist-riddled Pakistani officer corp, and an attack on Iran might force an open coup which would place the Pakistani arsenal at the disposal of revenge-minded factions. W
hy Iran is being demonized, a country greatly wronged by the US in the past, while Pakistan, a proven threat which has been caught helping the Taliban in Afghanistan, is left alone is a mystery.
The Israeli people should be furious that their hawkish leaders are playing this dangerous game, and the world would be safest now if they drove them out of office. On NPR the other night the topic was "Is it time for an attack on Iran?" -- with one guest saying "yes" and the other saying "not yet." Host Tom Ashbrook kept referring to the emails and Facebook posts he was getting from his horrified listeners at Nice Peoples' Radio, marveling that the overwhelming sentiment was "WE WANT A DIFFERENT CONVERSATION!"
Obama has said repeatedly that he finds outside pressure healthy and useful, saying "make me do it." Now is the time to do that with respect to talk of war with Iran. Joe Biden would make a competent president.
Millions more depleted uranium rounds into another Middle Eastern country. 75% deformities in Fallujah. This great evil must not come to pass.
Birth Deformities in Iraq Due to Depleted Uranium and Chemicals
USA's HORRIFYING DEPLETED URANIUM DEFORMITIES & CASUALTIES International News OverBlog
Iraq's 'Special Weapons' -- Fallout on Babies Ali al-Fadhily and Dahr Jamail / InterPress Service
FALLUJAH (June 27, 2008) -- Babies born in Fallujah are showing illnesses and deformities on a scale never seen before, doctors and residents say. The new cases, and the number of deaths among children, have risen after "special weaponry" was used in the two massive bombing campaigns in Fallujah in 2004.
After denying it at first, the Pentagon admitted in November 2005 that white phosphorous, a restricted incendiary weapon, was used a year earlier in Fallujah. In addition, depleted uranium (DU) munitions, which contain low-level radioactive waste, were used heavily in Fallujah. The Pentagon admits to having used 1,200 tonnes of DU in Iraq thus far.
Many doctors believe DU to be the cause of a severe increase in the incidence of cancer in Iraq, as well as among US veterans who served in the 1991 Gulf War and through the current occupation.
"We saw all the colours of the rainbow coming out of the exploding American shells and missiles," Ali Sarhan, a 50-year-old teacher who lived through the two US sieges of 2004 told IPS. "I saw bodies that turned into bones and coal right after they were exposed to bombs that we learned later to be phosphorus.
"The most worrying is that many of our women have suffered loss of their babies, and some had babies born with deformations."
"I had two children who had brain damage from birth," 28-year-old Hayfa' Shukur told IPS. "My husband has been detained by the Americans since November 2004 and so I had to take the children around by myself to hospitals and private clinics. They died. I spent all our savings and borrowed a considerable amount of money."
Shukur said doctors told her that it was use of the restricted weapons that caused her children's brain damage and subsequent deaths, "but none of them had the courage to give me a written report."
"Many babies were born with major congenital malformations," a paediatric doctor, speaking on condition of anonymity, told IPS. "These infants include many with heart defects, cleft lip or palate, Down's syndrome, and limb defects." The doctor added, "I can say all kinds of problems related to toxic pollution took place in Fallujah after the November 2004 massacre."
Many doctors speak of similar cases and a similar pattern. The indications remain anecdotal, in the absence of either a study, or any available official records. The Fallujah General Hospital administration was unwilling to give any statistics on deformed babies, but one doctor volunteered to speak on condition of anonymity -- for fear of reprisals if seen to be critical of the administration.
"Maternal exposure to toxins and radioactive material can lead to miscarriage and frequent abortions, still birth, and congenital malformation," the doctor told IPS. There have been many such cases, and the government "did not move to contain the damage, or present any assistance to the hospital whatsoever.
"These cases need intensive international efforts that provide the highest and most recent technologies that we will not have here in a hundred years," he added.
The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) expressed concern Mar. 31 about the lack of medical supplies in hospitals in Baghdad and Basra.
"Hospitals have used up stocks of vital medical items, and require further supplies to cope with the influx of wounded patients. Access to water remains a matter of concern in certain areas," the ICRC said in a statement.
A senior Iraqi health ministry official was quoted as saying Feb. 26 that the health sector is under "great pressure", with scores of doctors killed, an exodus of medical personnel, poor medical infrastructure, and shortage of medicines. "We are experiencing a big shortage of everything," said the official, "We don't have enough specialist doctors and medicines, and most of the medical equipment is outdated.
"We used to get many spinal and head injures, but were unable to do anything as we didn't have enough specialists and medicines," he added. "Intravenous fluid, which is a simple thing, is not available all the time." He said no new hospitals had been built since 1986.
Iraqi Health Minister Salih al-Hassnawi highlighted the shortage of medicines at a press conference in Arbil in the Kurdistan region in the north Feb. 22. "The Iraqi Health Ministry is suffering from an acute shortage of medicines...We have decided to import medicines immediately to meet the needs." He said the 2008 health budget meant that total expenditure on medicines, medical equipment and ambulances would amount to an average of 22 dollars per citizen.
But this is too late for the unknown number of babies and their families who bore the consequences of the earlier devastation. And it is too little to cover the special needs of babies who survived with deformations.
Ali al-Fadhily is a correspondent in Baghdad and works in close collaboration with Dahr Jamail, a US-based specialist writer on Iraq who has reported extensively from Iraq and the Middle East.
Posted in accordance with Title 17, Section 107, US Code, for noncommercial, educational purposes.