Please take a moment to read, then ask yourself where you stand.

October 27, 2007

Salt Lake City, Utah

Address:
by Mayor Ross C. “Rocky” Anderson

Today, as we come together once again in this great city, we raise our
voices in unison to say to President Bush, to Vice President Cheney, to other
members of the Bush Administration (past and present), to a majority of
Congress, including Utah’s entire congressional delegation, and to much
of the mainstream media: “You have failed us miserably and we won’t
take it any more.”

“While we had every reason to expect far more of you, you have
been pompous, greedy, cruel, and incompetent as you have led this great nation
to a moral, military, and national security abyss.” “You have
breached trust with the American people in the most egregious ways. You have
utterly failed in the performance of your jobs. You have undermined our
Constitution, permitted the violation of the most fundamental treaty
obligations, and betrayed the rule of law.”

“You have engaged in, or permitted, heinous human rights abuses
of the sort never before countenanced in our nation’s history as a matter
of official policy. You have sent American men and women to kill and be killed
on the basis of lies, on the basis of shifting justifications, without
competent leadership, and without even a coherent plan for this monumental
blunder.”
“We are here to tell you: We won’t take it any more!”
“You have acted in direct contravention of values that we,
as Americans who love our country, hold dear. You have deceived us in
the most cynical, outrageous ways. You have undermined, or allowed
the undermining of, our constitutional system of checks and balances among
the three presumed co-equal branches of government. You have helped lead
our nation to the brink of fascism, of a dictatorship contemptuous of our
nation’s treaty obligations, federal statutory law, our
Constitution, and the rule of law.”
“Because of you, and because of your jingoistic false
‘patriotism,’ our world is far more dangerous, our nation is
far more despised, and the threat of terrorism is far greater than ever
before. It has been absolutely astounding how you have committed the
most horrendous acts, causing such needless tragedy in the lives of
millions of people, yet you wear your so-called religion on your sleeves,
asserting your God-is-on-my-side nonsense – when what you have done
flies in the face of any religious or humanitarian tradition. Your
hypocrisy is mind-boggling – and disgraceful.

What part of “Thou shalt not kill” do you not
understand? What part of the “Golden rule” do you not
understand? What part of “be honest,” “be
responsible,” and “be accountable” don’t you
understand? What part of “Blessed are the peacekeepers” do you
not understand?
Because of you, hundreds of thousands of people have been
killed, many thousands of people have suffered horrendous lifetime
injuries, and millions have been run off from their homes. For the sake of
our nation, for the sake of our children, and for the sake of our brothers
and sisters around the world, we are morally compelled to say, as loudly
as we can, ‘We won’t take it any more!’ ”

“As United States agents kidnap, disappear, and torture
human beings around the world, you justify, you deceive, and you cover up.
We find what you have done to men, women and children, and to the good
name and reputation of the United States, so appalling, so unconscionable,
and so outrageous as to compel us to call upon you to step aside and allow
other men and women who are competent, true to our nation’s values,
and with high moral principles to stand in your places – for the
good of our nation, for the good of our children, and for the good of our
world.”

In the case of the President and Vice President, this
means impeachment and removal from office, without any further delay from
a complacent, complicit Congress, the Democratic majority of which
cares more about political gain in 2008 than it does about the vindication
of our Constitution, the rule of law, and democratic accountability.

It means the election of people as President and Vice President
who, unlike most of the presidential candidates from both major parties,
have not aided and abetted in the perpetration of the illegal, tragic,
devastating invasion and occupation of
w:st=”on”>Iraq. And it means the election of
people as President and Vice President who will commit to return our
nation to the moral and strategic imperative of refraining from torturing
human beings.

In the case of the majority of Congress, it means electing people
who are diligent enough to learn the facts, including reading available
National Intelligence Estimates, before voting to go to war. It means
electing to Congress men and women who will jealously guard
Congress’s sole prerogative to declare war. It means electing to
Congress men and women who will not submit like vapid lap dogs to
presidential requests for blank checks to engage in so-called preemptive
wars, for legislation permitting warrantless wiretapping of communications
involving US citizens, and for dangerous, irresponsible, saber-rattling legislation
like the recent Kyl-Lieberman amendment.

We must avoid the trap of focusing the blame solely upon
President Bush and Vice-President Cheney. This is not just about a few
people who have wronged our country – and the world. They were
enabled by members of both parties in Congress, they were enabled by the
pathetic mainstream news media, and, ultimately, they have been enabled by
the American people – 40% of whom are so ill-informed they still
think Iraq was behind the 9/11 attacks – a people who know and care
more about baseball statistics and which drunken starlets are wearing
underwear than they know and care about the atrocities being committed
every single day in our name by a government for which we need to take
responsibility.
As loyal Americans, without regard to political partisanship —
as veterans, as teachers, as religious leaders, as working men and women,
as students, as professionals, as businesspeople, as public servants, as
retirees, as people of all ages, races, ethnic origins, sexual
orientations, and faiths — we are here to say to the Bush administration,
to the majority of Congress, and to the mainstream media: “You have
violated your solemn responsibilities. You have undermined our democracy,
spat upon our Constitution, and engaged in outrageous, despicable acts.
You have brought our nation to a point of immorality, inhumanity, and
illegality of immense, tragic, unprecedented proportions.”

“But we will live up to our responsibilities as citizens, as
brothers and sisters of those who have suffered as a result of the
imperial bullying of the United
States government, and as moral actors who
must take a stand: And we will, and must, mean it when we say ‘We
won’t take it any more.’”
If we want principled, courageous elected officials, we need to
be principled, courageous, and tenacious ourselves. History has
demonstrated that our elected officials are not the leaders – the
leadership has to come from us. If we don’t insist, if we
don’t persist, then we are not living up to our responsibilities as
citizens in a democracy – and our responsibilities as moral human
beings. If we remain silent, we signal to Congress and the Bush
administration – and to candidates running for office – and to
the world – that we support the status quo.

Silence is complicity. Only by standing up for what’s right and
never letting down can we say we are doing our part. Our government,
on the basis of a campaign we now know was entirely fraudulent, attacked
and militarily occupied a nation that posed no danger to the
w:st=”on”>United States.
Our government, acting in our name, has caused immense, unjustified death
and destruction.
It all started five years ago, yet where have we, the American
people, been? At this point, we are responsible. We get together once in a
while at demonstrations and complain about Bush and Cheney, about
Congress, and about the pathetic news media. We point fingers and yell a
lot. Then most people politely go away until another demonstration a few
months later.

How many people can honestly say they have spent as much
time learning about and opposing the outrages of the Bush administration
as they have spent watching sports or mindless television programs during
the past five years? Escapist, time-sapping sports and insipid
entertainment have indeed become the opiate of the masses. Why is
this country so sound asleep? Why do we abide what is happening to our
nation, to our Constitution, to the cause of peace and international law
and order? Why are we not doing all in our power to put an end to this
madness?
We should be in the streets regularly and students should be
raising hell on our campuses. We should be making it clear in every way
possible that apologies or convoluted, disingenuous explanations just
don’t cut it when presidential candidates and so many others voted
to authorize George Bush and his neo-con buddies to send American men and
women to attack and occupy Iraq.
Let’s awaken, and wake up the country by committing here and
now to do all each of us can to take our nation back. Let them hear us
across the country, as we ask others to join us: “We won’t
take it any more!”

I implore you: Draw a line. Figure out exactly where your own
moral breaking point is. How much will you put up with before you say
“No more” and mean it?
I have drawn my line as a matter of simple personal morality:
I cannot, and will not, support any candidate who has voted to fund
the atrocities in Iraq.
I cannot, and will not, support any candidate who will not commit to
remove all US troops, as
soon as possible, from Iraq.
I cannot, and will not, support any candidate who has supported
legislation that takes us one step closer to attacking
w:st=”on”>Iran. I cannot,
and will not, support any candidate who has not fought to stop the
kidnapping, disappearances, and torture being carried on in our name.
If we expect our nation’s elected officials to take us seriously,
let us send a powerful message they cannot misunderstand. Let them know
we really do have our moral breaking point. Let them know we have drawn
a bright line. Let them know they cannot take our support for granted
– that, regardless of their party and regardless of other political
considerations, they will not have our support if they cannot provide, and
have not provided, principled leadership.
The people of this nation may have been far too quiet for five
years, but let us pledge that we won’t let it go on one more day
– that we will do all we can to put an end to the illegalities, the
moral degradation, and the disintegration of our nation’s reputation
in the world.

Let us be unified in drawing the line – in declaring that we do
have a moral breaking point. Let us insist, together, in supporting our
troops and in gratitude for the freedoms for which our veterans gave so
much, that we bring our troops home from
w:st=”on”>Iraq, that we return our government
to a constitutional democracy, and that we commit to honoring the
fundamental principles of human rights.

In defense of our country, in defense of our Constitution, in defense
of our shared values as Americans – and as moral human beings
– we declare today that we will fight in every way possible to stop
the insanity, stop the continued military occupation of Iraq, and stop the
moral depravity reflected by the kidnapping, disappearing, and torture of
people around the world.

3 thoughts on “Please take a moment to read, then ask yourself where you stand.

  1. Thanks Jenn

    We can thank my dear aunt for sending this on to me and knowing that I would want to read it. I had rather thought that it tied in a bit to your post which I linked.

    Furthermore I have a blog post brewing to follow. But it may take a few days.

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