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[casi] !OT Washington Post: public ire over Iraq growing

Date: Wed, 23 Jul 2003 02:37:41 -0400
Subject:  Bush Deserves To Be Impeached & Public Ire Over
Iraq Is Increasing

1.  Bush Deserves To Be Impeached - Toronto Sun Op-Ed
Column - July 20, 2003 by.Eric Margolis -- Toronto Sun
Contributing Foreign Editor

2.  Antiwar Groups Say Public Ire Over Iraq Claims Is
Increasing - Washington Post - July 22, 2003

Bush Deserves To Be Impeached
by.Eric Margolis -- Toronto Sun Contributing Foreign
Editor     Toronto Sun Op-Ed Column - July 20, 200


Of course, all politicians lie.

But lying to get one's country into an unnecessary war is
an outrage, and ought to be an impeachable offence.


Antiwar Groups Say Public Ire Over Iraq Claims Is

By Evelyn Nieves;.Washington Post Staff Writer
Tuesday, July 22, 2003; Page A03

SAN FRANCISCO -- The letters are pouring in like a water
main break -- fast and, yes, furious.  From Alabama:  "We
want to know the truth!" >From Arizona:  "If there's
nothing to hide, what's the harm in a bipartisan inquiry?"
>From Mississippi:  "We must get to the truth -- whatever
it is!"

About 400,000 people from every state have contacted
members of Congress in the past three weeks as part of a petition that asks Congress to investigate the
controversial claims that led to the war on Iraq, with
more than 50,000 people signing on to the liberal.activist
Web site in the past five days alone.

"It seems more and more people who supported the war are
signing on," said Eli Pariser,'s campaigns
director.  "They're angry.  People who in the past couple
of weeks before the war decided to support it are swinging

For organizations that opposed the war, these are busy
days.  Not since hundreds of thousands of people across
the country marched in antiwar rallies in the weeks before
the U.S.-led invasion has the rationale for the preemptive
war come under such fire.  The groups hope to galvanize a
broad spectrum of the American people, a majority of
whom.supported the war, but with reservations.  The goal
is to persuade public officials to support an independent,
bipartisan commission modeled on the panel investigating
the Sept.  11, 2001, terrorist attacks.  In the week since
the administration admitted that President Bush's State of
the Union speech in January should not have mentioned that
the British had "learned" Iraq had tried to buy uranium
from Africa for a nuclear weapons program, antiwar groups
say that more and more Americans have been contacting
them, looking for answers.

"You know an issue has momentum," said Andrea Buffa,
co-chair of the United for Peace and Justice coalition,
"when people are coming into your office to ask if there's
a protest planned about it."

And, with other intelligence claims about an Iraq nuclear
program under scrutiny, weapons of mass destruction yet to
be found and U.S.  soldiers dying in Iraq nearly every
day, antiwar coalitions are seizing on the public's
growing concerns over the war, as recent polls have
indicated, to try to reenergize their movement and force
an examination of the process and the policies that led to
the war.

So far, Congress has been split along party lines on the
issue of formal reviews and the issue, some in the
movement fear, could become a strictly partisan one,
diluting its appeal.  The.Democratic National
Committee.has begun running a television ad accusing Bush
of deception -- ads the Republicans have asked
broadcasters not to air.  Last week, Senate Democrats
proposed examining the prewar intelligence, while
Republicans in the majority voted against the proposals,
each side accusing the other of playing partisan politics.
(Republicans also say that intelligence reviews are
already underway in House and Senate committees.)

But antiwar groups, almost by definition also anti-Bush,
say they hope this issue reaches beyond party politics.
They point out that two House bills -- one to create a
nonpartisan, independent commission on the intelligence
questions, the other to create a committee in the House to
investigate the controversy (and to complete its findings
before the 2004 election), are sponsored by California
Democrats who voted to authorize the war, Reps.  Henry
Waxman and Ellen Tauscher, respectively.

Both United for Peace and Justice and Win Without War, the
largest mainstream antiwar coalitions, with hundreds of
member groups, including the National Council of Churches
and the AFL-CIO, have launched campaigns that include
petitions demanding an investigation into the intelligence
that led to war, print and television ads that accuse Bush
of misleading the nation with discredited or unproven
claims about Iraq's nuclear arsenal and suggestions for
organizing at the local level to reinvigorate the broad
movement that developed in the weeks before the war.

"Since the war started we've had a pretty lackluster
response from the grass roots and this issue has really
lighted a fire," said David Cortright, co-founder of Win
Without War and president of the Fourth Freedom Forum, a
foreign policy think tank that advocates nonviolent
conflict resolution.  "Our strategy is to keep trying to
reach those persuadable voters.  We're going to do a new
ad and pick major cities -- say, Detroit or Des Moines --
to air them and at the same time try to work on local
events.  Local groups will lobby their members of
Congress.  We'll have a series of public communication
action efforts."

Groups such as Cortright's Fourth Freedom Forum, which
investigated several administration claims, including
linking Saddam Hussein to al Qaeda, say they have been
ready for this moment to disseminate the information they
have gathered over the past several months.

The public is clearly anxious for information, said Erik
Gustafson, a Gulf War veteran who founded the Education
for Peace in Iraq Center (EPIC) in 1998 to call attention
to what opponents of U.S.  policy describe as a
humanitarian catastrophe created by economic sanctions
imposed on Iraq because of the 1991 war.

"The number of people who actually read our e-mail alerts
was 3,000 last June and 10,000 this June, which gives you
some indication of interest," he said.  But, he added, the
public also clearly needs the authority of a full-scale
official investigation.  When he tried convincing
Americans that the case for war had not been made, he
said, "the greatest challenge was the number of people who
said, 'There must be something there.' But I think even
the Americans who will say that war was a good idea
overall want accountability."

Like members of the large antiwar organizations -- EPIC
considers itself neither antiwar, per se, nor anti-Bush --
Gustafson's organization has been asking the public to
lobby Congress for an investigation into the claims about
weapons of mass destruction, as well as the chaos that has
gripped much of Iraq since the war.

But some of those who were raising questions about the
claims for war early on remain skeptical that these
efforts will lead to any meaningful investigation.  Mark
Karlin, editor of, with 2.4 million readers
per month, said his readership doubts anything will come
of the disputed intelligence claims.  "I think the
BuzzFlash readership is very skeptical that this is going
to be kept alive," he said, "because they've heard claims
outed before and nothing has come of them."

Still, Win Without War and are already calling
a 30- second ad they co-sponsored, which aired over the
past week in the Washington and New York area cable
markets, an unqualified hit.  The ad, which labels Bush a
"misleader," brought in thousands of people to the Web site to sign the petition.  The coalition
said it will place ads in at least 10.other cities over
the next two weeks.

Waxman's bill doubled its co-sponsors in the week after
the ad aired, from 23 to nearly 50, said his chief of
staff, Phil Schiliro.  "And we expect quite a few more
directly as a result of the petition," he added.

Last Wednesday, co-sponsors of Waxman's bill began reading petition letters on the House floor after the
last vote of the night.  Rep.  Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio) said
he and his colleagues were doing this because Republicans
wouldn't allow them to debate the subject of an
investigation on the floor.  He said they plan to read
letters every night until the August recess.


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