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Hold politicians accountable

Michael Poffenberger | Tuesday, October 7, 2003

This Thursday, as Vice President Dick Cheney visits the Notre Dame campus, a broad coalition of students and community members committed to peace and justice will meet at the War Memorial fountain at 10 a.m.

We will begin the morning with a prayer that Americans will consider taking a step back to look at the disconcerting direction in which our country is headed, a direction that has much to do with the actions of Vice President Cheney.

Setting aside Cheney’s other controversies – such as his consistent stand against environmental protection, his opposition to the movement to end apartheid in South Africa, his voting against equal rights for women and his deep ties to corporate interest – the current state of affairs in Iraq demands attention from Americans. The administration’s handling of the situation represents a deep betrayal of American ideals. Our president justified the invasion of a sovereign nation with lies and misleading rhetoric; he presented blatantly false evidence in his State of the Union address, and 70 percent of Americans wrongly believed that Saddam Hussein had ties to al-Qaeda. What we are left with is a war that cost taxpayers more than a hundred billion dollars, included the flagrant violation of international law and caused the deaths of hundreds of our servicemen as well as tens or hundreds of thousands of Iraqi lives, including an estimated five to 10 thousand Iraqi civilians. And in the end, this war was without just cause: where are the weapons of mass destruction?

Every day, the situation in Iraq seems to be increasing in violence and volatility. It is time that the members of the Bush administration, including Vice President Cheney, admit they were wrong and that the war in Iraq was atrociously unjust. It is time to bring in the authority of the United Nations.

We will be demonstrating on Thursday to send the message that we are holding our politicians accountable to their words and deeds. We hope that you will accept this invitation to join us in raising our voices to work for a more just and humane world.

Michael Poffenbergerjunioroff-campusOct. 6