Democrats Blow Chance to Hold Bush Accountable for Iraq Policy
Friday, July 1, 2005
Scott McLarty, Media Coordinator, 202-518-5624, email@example.com
Nancy Allen, Media Coordinator, 207-326-4576, firstname.lastname@example.org
Greens press Downing Street Memo and evidence of massive deception, responsibility for thousands of dead Iraqi civilians and U.S. troops, and the need for impeachment, while Democrats cautiously criticize Bush's Iraq strategy.
WASHINGTON, D.C. -- Green Party leaders accused Democratic Party elected officials of failing to hold President Bush sufficiently responsible for betraying the trust of the American people, after the President used the 9/11 attacks to justify the administration's planned invasion and occupation of Iraq during his speech on Tuesday, June 28.
"What the President told America in his speech wasn't grounds for cautious criticism -- it was grounds for impeachment," said Elena Everett, chair of the North Carolina Green Party and Co-chair of the Green Party's Peace Action Committee. "None of the Democratic leaders who criticized Mr. Bush are willing to admit that the enormity of his deception deserves impeachment. None of them are willing to demand a halt to the slaughter of Iraqi civilians and U.S. troops by ending the occupation."
Democratic Party leaders avoided criticism of the war itself, and instead focused on Mr. Bush's military strategy and leadership style. Rep. Nancy Pelosi ( Calif. ), House minority leader, said, "The president missed an opportunity tonight for straight talk to the American people." Sen. Ted Kennedy ( Mass. ) called the President's Iraq policy "adrift." A statement by Democratic Chief Deputy Whip Diane DeGette ( Col. ) accused the Bush Administration of "poor planning." Sen. Joe Biden ( Del. ) said, "I really do think [the war is] winnable, but you've got to keep the American people following with you. That's why I urged them to give the speech."
While some noted the disconnect between 9/11 and the Iraq war, none of the Democratic leaders quoted mentioned the Downing Street Memo, which documents the administration's intention in mid 2002 to launch a military invasion while President Bush called such an action a "last resort." All support continued military occupation, despite indications that the U.S. military presence will be longterm, will lead to further strife and massive casualties, and cannot guarantee democracy in Iraq.
Greens have called the President's actions and statements grounds for impeachment, and have demanded an immediate withdrawal of U.S. troops from Iraq .
"The invasion made the world less, not more secure from terrorism," said Rebecca Rotzler, Co-chair of the Peace Action Committee and Deputy Mayor, Village of New Paltz, NY. "The only connection between the war on Iraq and the war on terror is that, by invading Iraq -- where al-Qaeda had zero or negligible presence before the invasion -- President Bush opened up Iraq to al-Qaeda, which is exploiting the chaos there and using Iraq as a training camp."
"In his June 28 address, despite earlier admissions that there was no connection between Iraq and the 9/11 attacks, President Bush cynically and dishonestly tried to exploit fears of terrorism as a justification for the war and continued occupation of Iraq. Such willful deception is consistent with the revelation of the Downing Street Memo that intelligence needed to be 'fixed' to justify the invasion. As long as Democrats -- except for a few like Rep. John Conyers [Mich.], who held a hearing on the Downing Street Memo -- treat the Administration's actions as a mere policy or strategy disagreement and a matter of insufficient planning, we hold the Democratic Party as responsible as Republicans for the mounting death and mayhem in Iraq and lawlessness of the Bush White House," said Ms. Rotzler.
Green Party of the United States
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"Downing St. Memo is Evidence for Bush Impeachment"
Green Party press release, June 9, 2005
"Impeach Bush and Cheney" web page, featuring the Green Party's July 2003 resolution on impeachment and the text of the Downing Street Memo http://www.gp.org/impeachbush.shtml
Green Party Peace Action Committee
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