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What Does It Mean To Win An Illegal War?

Mark A. Goldman                                            Dated: 3/16/07, Reedited 3/24/08


I hear members of Congress talking about how concerned they are and how wrong it would be if our troops had to experience defeat in Iraq.  They want our troops to experience a win.  But how can soldiers engaged in an illegal war experience a win?  What does winning an illegal war mean?  Does it mean that we will not give up until we are able to extricate ourselves without having to pay a price for our war crimes?  Is that victory?

If Bush had not already done everything in his power to destroy what used to be our Constitution and International law, not only would he and his immediate cronies be tried for war crimes, so would every member of Congress.  


Every member of Congress should have and could have done more than they did do to stop those crimes from continuing. 


Under Article VI of our Constitution which includes the Nuremberg Principles, that was their duty and responsibility.  Tell me, who under the terms of Nuremberg, in this administration or this Congress, is innocent? 


Every member of the House should have offered up articles of impeachment when they saw that crimes were committed, particularly when they couldnít get their party to speak with one voice to stop the carnage. 

Instead they surrendered their allegiance to party leaders in an attempt to protect their own careers at the expense of the Constitution, their oath of office, and also the homes, lives, and limbs of hundreds of thousands of innocent people.  And when asked why they didnít speak out, the only excuse any of them give is that it would have been a useless exercise because they ultimately would not be able to get enough votes to succeed, as if that should matter. 


We send our kids into battle and expect them to fight even if it means their death or dismemberment.  When told to fight, they fight. We tell them theyíre being sent to defend the Constitution.  If we expect our soldiers--our children--to fight without knowing ahead of time if they will win or lose, isn't it reasonable shouldn't we expect our elected officials to fight to preserve and protect the Constitution at home... even if they're not sure they can win? Didnít they take the same oath our soldiers took?  Shouldn't we expect some semblance of courage?  Members of Congress are not going to die in battle or lose their arms or legs.  Apparently moral courage is a lot more rare in the halls of government than physical courage is on the battlefield.  Why is that?


And by now every member of the Senate should have spoken out in defense of the Constitution, too, asking members of the House to submit those articles.  Why didnít they?  Didnít they think torture was a crime?  Didnít they think the loss of habeas corpus was a scurrilous attack on the Constitution?  What about signing statements, renditions, indefinite detentions, the loss of privacy, the misuse of the FBI, criminal negligence, no more fair trials, no right to know what crime you are being tried for, or what the evidence is against you?  No right to be represented by an attorney?  What about dropping depleted uranium weapons and cluster bombs in populated areas, bombing hospitals, lying to Congress, lying to the American people, lying to the United Nations? In alll of these things our so-called commander-in-chief is saying, ďI am not only above the law; now I am the law; and the Constitution is just a goddamn piece of paper.Ē


For US Representatives and Senators to remain silent in the face of all these egregious crimes is nothing less than treason, a national disgrace beyond anything we have experienced in our history heretofore.


So what are we to do now that we see our government has betrayed us?  I believe anyone who failed to live up to his or her oath of office ought to be removed from government. 


Both major parties have betrayed their country.  But nothing in the Constitution requires that elected officials belong to a political party.    Canít we find at least 535+2 honorable citizens among 300 million of us who can be trusted to keep their oath of office? 


I understand how some citizens might be so completely oblivious to what's been going on, that they are prepared to vote for these people again come next election.  But that would be a travesty.  In fact, not only are many citizens prepared to vote them into office again, they intend to promote two of them to the high office of President and Vice-President.  What a disgrace.


In very real terms, we are no longer living under the rule of law that our Founding Fathers intended.  Both national and international law is in tatters.  The Great Experiment is in shambles.


We need to take back our government.  If elected officials wonít defend our Republic, isn't it up to us?  There is no one else.  If we donít act now, how will we explain to our children how their freedom was lost on our watch?


What we need now is a revolutionÖ  not a revolution where you shoot people or make a ruckus, but a revolution of the spirit; a revolution of courage and determination where you fight for your country and your freedom and your dignity.  How do you do that?  Above all else, you do it by refusing to vote for people who have betrayed you. 


But can we win?  I say, that's not the operative question.  We donít have to know who will win before the battle is even begun any more than our soldiers need to know if they will win before they take up arms.  All we need to know is that if we want to live in freedom; if we want our children to live in peace; if we want to preserve our republic, and if we want our republic to be administered by public servants who can be counted on to keep their word of honor, then we have no choice.  We must do what needs to be done.  We need to start over.  We need to find people who will truly be honorable guardians of the public trust. Itís time to fight the good fight; for freedom and for our posterity.  And yesÖ I believe we can win. 


We can win if we can stand together with a common purpose. 


I'm asking you...


Will you stand with me so that I can stand with you?

Mark A. Goldman
and Candidate for President of the United States

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