They can't impeach me for bombing Cambodia. The president can bomb anybody he likes.--Richard M. NixonCable news says that the bloggers are flooding the internet about the revelation of Deep Throat. The “Nixon apologizers” are having their say, Woodward and Bernstein are actually sitting together for interviews, Ben Bradlee says he was smart and lucky, his boss Katherine Graham, who owned the Washington Post and backed the decision to run the stories on Watergate, well, she’s dead.
I have a question. This has been bothering me since the first scent was in the air 32 years ago that Nixon, the President, might be in trouble for the same shit he had been pulling for 30 years prior to Watergate—smearing his opponents, the democrats, as “pinko commies” in order to assure election and/or re-election as a republican patriot.
Here’s my question: at the time of the Watergate debacle, the United States was engaged in a huge incursion in a very small Southeast Asian country, Vietnam. Today, there are 150,000 troops in Iraq. The US had 500,000 troops in Vietnam. The US has lost roughly 1600 Gi’s in Iraq. American deaths numbered over 50,000 over the course of the Vietnam War. Nixon was elected in 1968 the first time. When he took office in 1969, he said he would work for an “honorable peace,” kind of like Bush saying we’ll get out of Iraq when the Iraqis can govern themselves. By 1972, when Nixon was re-elected over George McGovern, the Vietnam War waged on, and there was no end in sight. Walter Cronkite listed the war dead every week, around 100 or so GI’s, and there were “peace talks” in Paris in order to forge a deal. But the war waged on, and the American people had no idea what the fight was about anymore. The so-called anti-war movement, which was actually a ground swell of sentiment against the war while the Nixon people tried to paint it as a hippie nuisance—VP Agnew called the war protesters who numbered in the millions “an elite corps of impudent snobs,” right before he was indicted and had to quit as VP because of improprieties he was involved with when he was governor of Maryland—the anti-war movement wanted American military out of Vietnam at all costs.
Through a series of press reports and other substantiation, the news became prevalent that US forces had invaded Cambodia, a neighboring country to Vietnam which harbored anti-US forces and, along with the unmitigated might and the presence of communist China, was causing interference with US forces in Vietnam.
The US incursion into Vietnam was “OK’d” by a congressional resolution known as the “Gulf of Tonkin Resolution,” which said that US gunboats were fired upon in the mid 1960’s by the North Vietnamese communists, so it was OK for the President, then President Johnson, to retaliate against hostile acts with any military intervention necessary—against North Vietnam. It didn’t matter, and wasn’t known at the time, that the “Incident” of the Gulf of Tonkin was made up in order to get that congressional OK-- that was the authorization from congress for the Vietnam incursion—not a real “declaration of war,” like the US Constitution stipulates is the sole power of congress to do, but nonetheless a “permit” for Johnson to start bombing the hell out of North Vietnam.
The subsequent invasion of Cambodia, under Nixon, with a very heavy impetus by Henry Kissinger--security adviser to Nixon and number one reason for the Watergate debacle because he told Nixon he wanted the “press leaks plugged up” i.e. the infamous “plumbers unit”—The Cambodia invasion was 1. secret; 2. without congressional authorization or knowledge; 3. illegal and unconstitutional.
I was VERY disappointed that Nixon was not impeached for high crimes and misdemeanors relating to this action--his “widening” of the Vietnam War into Cambodia, in secret, without appropriate authority from congress, AKA “we the people.”
My question: Bush and his group—Cheney, Rumsfeld, and Wolfowitz—have taken the United States into a felonious war in Iraq. The real problem was renegade fanatic terrorists influenced or controlled by Osama Bin Laden. The reasons for the invasion and occupation of Iraq have been proven to be phony, as phony as any reason to invade Cambodia under President Nixon. Nixon was charged with impeachable offenses for covering up a “third rate burglary,” the Watergate caper. His conduct of the Vietnam War was never an issue with the House Judiciary Committee, for which he should have had to answer.
So--Can’t we nail Bush on some charge for showing favoritism or whatever, or kissing Saudis on the mouth, or an inability to speak English?--so we can impeach his ass too, like we did Nixon over Watergate, even though at that time it was for all the wrong reasons?
Can’t we get Bush for some reason other than sending our troops off to fight a war for no reason, which doesn’t seem to be an impeachable offense based on the lack of action from congress?—We couldn’t impeach Nixon for a bad war, how are we gonna get Bush for a fake war? We’ve got to catch him having sex with someone—other than Laura, that is.