I credit The World Can’t Wait’s founding work to “drive out the Bush regime” in the summer of 2005 with helping to change public perception of George W. Bush from “dumb” to “dangerous.” As the former president will stand at the World Trade Center on Sunday memorializing those killed on 9/11/01, we should keep firmly in mind the truly massive crimes unleashed under the rubric of the “global war on terror.”
A million copies of the Call to Drive Out the Bush Regime went hand to hand that summer, six years ago. Tens of thousands signed it, grabbed by this: “The Bush regime is setting out to radically remake society very quickly, in a fascist way, and for generations to come. We must act now; the future is in the balance.”
On Thursday, November 2, 2005, on the year-anniversary of Bush’s election, tens of thousands marched around the U.S., inaugurating the effort to drive out Bush and Cheney, and reverse and repudiate the Bush program.
It was the overwhelming intensity with which high school students at more than 200 schools left school and walked out, sometimes for miles, to join organized political protest that stunned everyone. Bronx kids who had never left the borough somehow made it to Union Square, covered in “drive out Bush” stickers, to march down 14th Street and up to Times Square.
Even then, the middle school students remembered only Bush as president, and only war since 9/11. And now at 18 they’re in the military occupations, or on the streets with not much to do; some relative few are entering college.
Many more crimes were carried out during the Bush years. They did indeed set in place a war they predicted would last “generations.” By 2008, when much of the world heard the name “George W. Bush” they thought “war criminal.” And this began to happen in the United States as well.
We didn’t succeed at driving out the regime. Many people who could or should have heeded the call for mass visible protest independent of the Democratic Party did not, and chose instead to confine their actions to voting for Democrats in 2006, and even more in 2008.
So now the United States has a president who not only won’t “look back” at the war crimes and torture carried out by the Bush era officials now gathering in New York City, but who presides over aggressive U.S. wars in six countries.
The mission of World Can’t Wait, post-Bush, is “stopping the crimes of our government.” Nothing can be more timely, or required, of people living in the United States.
I ask you to:
Become a sustaining supporter of World Can’t Wait
Protest the Bush era war criminals wherever they are
Memorialize the victims of the U.S. “Global war on terror”
Take action on the 10th anniversary of the US invasion of Afghanistan