March 6, 2007, Volume 14 Nr. 7, Issue 226
Sheehan in Vermont: Nothing Left For the
Cindy Sheehan, the grieving peace mom, accompanied by Jon Nichols, author, reporter, and writer for The Nation Magazine, two of Vermont's Iraq war veterans, Adrienne Kinne Matt Howard and Drew Cameron, who spoke about their experiences and their antiwar positions, Veterans For Peace, and local Vermont peace activists, toured the State of Vermont, the weekend before Vermont's annual Town Meeting Day (first Tuesday in March). This year, 2007, the country turns its focus on Vermont as two resolutions make their way to a vote on March 7. The resolutions call for: 1) pulling the troops out of Iraq, and 2) impeaching George W. Bush. The wording of the resolutions differ from town to town, but the intention is the same: to bring credibility back to the executive branch and to reconstitute the United States Constitution which is badly damaged by the corrupt and immoral oil regime of Bush, Cheney, Rice, Rove, et al. The resolutions are also designed to help restore the out-of-kilter system of necessary checks and balances between the executive and legislative branches of government. Officially called The Vermont Town Meeting Democracy Tour, the Sheehan events took place all across Vermont, drawing attention to the possibility that a small rural state like Vermont can, once again, lead the nation in the direction of peace, justice and sanity. Vermont demands that those in the White House be held accountable for their high crimes and misdemeanors.
I listened on-line to The Vermont Town Meeting Democracy Tour's first stop and testimony which took place at the Vermont Statehouse where Cindy Sheehan was invited to speak. I attended the events at Castleton State College, Castleton VT, and at Manchester, VT. Both events were very well attended, Manchester standing room only. I heard from close friends about what took place in Rutland, VT that morning. What stands out most strikingly is that the pro-war side no longer has any credibility. No longer having any rational, nor legal, nor moral justification to continue supporting the war and G.W. Bush, the pro-war folk are left to their own nasty devices of attacking the anti-war messenger. Swift-boating, spreading lies, character assassination, are all they have left to comfort the cold cockles of their insidious hearts.
The lies that led to Shock and Awe have now morphed into lies that attempt to mask their own complicity. These are the deceptions that continue to kill and maim hundreds of thousands of people. The attacks against Cindy Sheehan are in response to her powerful and truthful message and do not require any rebuttal whatsoever. The attacks against Cindy Sheehan are vengeful and nasty attacks on Sheehan's person and include such inane accusations that she had abandoned her son, Casey, at the age of 4. She did not. Her marriage of 29 years ended as a result of the stresses brought about The pro-war crowd attacks Cindy Sheehan as a mom, because they know this hurts her deeply. The despicable behavior of the few remaining supporters of the Bush regime suggests that attacking others is, like attacking Iraq, a fixed mindset, a misguided zealotry for a lost cause, and resentment for having to be held responsible for the debacle. Yes, pro-warriors and Bushites, the deaths of 660,000 Iraqis, over 3,000 US folk, hundreds of “coalition” troops, hundreds of thousands of people maimed and suffering IS on your hands.
It is the Right wing lowlife who invents stories of Cindy Sheehan's bad motherhood and marriage. If George W. Bush had a mother as loving and caring as Cindy Sheehan, he would not so callously kill and send others to be killed. If G.W. Bush had a family life like that of Casey Sheehan, George, Jr. would understand what death and the loss of a loved one is. If George W. Bush were Cindy Sheehan's son, he would know what attending a funeral for a loved one was all about, and he would have attended his first funeral for a dead U.S. citizen who died because of his lies and deception. Casey Sheehan's parents did not go golfing when one of their children died. George W. Bush's parents did. Cindy Sheehan's mind is deeply troubled by the death and destruction in Iraq. George W. Bush's mother, Barbara Bush's mind, is another matter altogether. Barbara Bush said,
...why should we hear about body bags, and deaths, and how many...Or, I mean, it's not relevant. So why would I waste my beautiful mind on something like that?
Why should George W. Bush suffer? People like Cindy Sheehan are supposed to do that. Then be attacked by the Right wing gang who protect their inept “president” from paying for his crimes by making the innocent pay for them.
At the Castleton State College stop, a young man in his upper teens or early 20s sat in a front row seat wearing a tee shirt that read, “Go back to California”. Sheehan used this to point out that she would rather be with her family in California. She said that she couldn't, however, because, George W. Bush had killed her son. When Sheehan said that she no longer had a son, the misguided young ingrate blurted out, “You have other children though!” So this is what the United States of America has come down to: an unfeeling president, incapable of human emotion and empty of grief or remorse is the role model for our youth, spreading his disease of non-empathy.
John Nichols, of The Nation Magazine, writes of The Vermont Town Meeting Democracy Tour,
...we come to celebrate the wisdom of Dan DeWalt, Ellen Tenney and the thousands of other Vermonters who have chosen to embrace a Jeffersonian vision of how Americans relate to their federal government, and to take some of that wisdom back to the rest of the country.
The Jeffersonian view that Nichols makes reference to comes from Thomas Jefferson's Manual, a guide to the United States Constitution. In it, the people of a state can petition their State legislature to pass a resolution that moves forward articles of impeachment to the floor of the U.S. House of Representatives. Thomas Jefferson knew that there could come a time where the executive branch consolidates too much power, with the Congress no longer being a co-equal branch. He feared that, and so he gave the people the power to impeach the president. That is what The Vermont Town Meeting Democracy Tour is all about. That is why the Bushites have their collective panties tied up in knots. That is what they are afraid of. That is why, they attack the messenger and not the message. Their demented cause is lost. Their faith in an unelected president shattered. Their era is ending. History is about to repeat itself. Just as Richard Nixon, in the end, was held accountable, so will the people hold George W. Bush accountable. Nixon was nobody's fool. Bush, quite the contrary. Both, however, will share a common place in US history as failed presidents. George W. Bush will have the distinct dishonor of being the worst president the United States as ever had, and the country may never recover from it.
The two resolutions being voted upon across Vermont on Town Meeting Day, March 6, 2007, are based upon the following two petitions:
1. "Shall the voters of the town of ________ advise the President, Congress and Vermont’s state and federal office holders that Newfane and its citizens strongly support the men and women serving in all branches of the United States Armed Forces in Iraq and believe that the best way to support them is to bring each and every one of them home now and take good care of them when they get home."
2. “Shall the sense of the voters of the City of __________ be that the incumbent President and Vice-President of the United States, George W. Bush and Richard Cheney, have committed impeachable offenses and should be removed from office under Article 2, Section 4, of the United States Constitution.”
Impeachment proceedings are warranted because the evidence strongly shows that G.W. Bush and Dick Cheney are guilty of,
1. Deliberately misleading Congress and the US public regarding the threat from Iraq in order to justify a war against Iraq, and intentionally conspiring to defraud Congress.
2. Ordering the National Security Agency to conduct electronic surveillance of American citizens without seeking warrants, thus violating the unlawful search and seizure clause of the US Constitution.
3. Allowing and ordering the torture of prisoners and extraordinary rendition in contravention of the US Constitution forbidding cruel and unusual punishment.
4. Ordering indefinite detention without access to legal counsel, without charge, and without the opportunity to appear before a civil judicial officer to challenge the detention, all in violation of U.S. law and the Bill of Rights.
5. Using the political offices of the chief executive and his understudy to punish his critics, vis-a-vis Joe Wilson and Valerie Plame.
A state can, indeed, initiate impeachment. The good citizens of the State of Vermont are about to start the process on March 6, 2007. Similar efforts are or will be taking place all around the United States. Information on “do-it-yourself” impeachment and Jefferson's manual can be found at: http://impeachforpeace.org/ImpeachNow.html The Vermont impeach website is http://www.vtimpeach.com Impeachment must take place as the United States Constitution demands it. And, so do the collective consciences of United States citizens who believe in protecting it. Vermonters demand it. John Nichols told the crowd in Brattleboro on the final stop of the The Vermont Town Meeting Democracy Tour in Vermont, "America is watching Vermont. The world is watching Vermont.” Indeed it is. And as Vermont goes, so goes the nation. On March 7, WCAX-TV, Burlington VT announced that, “36 towns had voted in favor of the impeachment resolution, 22 voted in favor of the troops resolution.” Impeach George W, Bush and Dick Cheney, now. End the illegal war in Iraq.
Jozef Hand-Boniakowski is co-editor and co-publisher of Metaphoria along with his life partner and wife, JeanneE. He is 30-year veteran retired teacher and a member of Veterans For Peace. His writings have appeared in Metaphoria, After Downing Street, Buzzflash, Counterpunch, Thomas Paine's Corner, Rense.com, Omni Center, Rutland Herald, Times Argus, and others.