GROWING WHITE HOUSE INSANITY
Drive Institutional Resistance
by Jeffrey Steinberg
On March 14, the Los Angeles County Democratic Party Central Committee voted to authorize the charter of the Franklin Roosevelt Legacy Club. The initiators of the Club—Quincy O'Neal and Cody Jones—are elected members of the Central Committee, and have been involved in leading the day-to-day organizing in California against the fascist policies of George Shultz's leading operatives, Vice President Dick Cheney and California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger.
O'Neal and Jones are also leaders of the LaRouche Youth Movement (LYM), the nationwide youth organization of American statesman and former candidate for the Democratic Party Presidential nomination, Lyndon LaRouche.
"Over the course of the past several years, of waging successive, successful proof-of-principle fights, we saw that if the Democratic Party were to succeed in defeating the disastrous course of the Cheney-Bush Administration, we must bring the best of its traditions, that of Franklin Roosevelt, to life within the Party. Thus, we created the Club as a vehicle for that expression," said Cody Jones, vice president of the club.
"The chartering of this club," said Harley Schlanger, the Western U.S. spokesman for Lyndon LaRouche, "will invigorate the debate over the essential changes in policy now, which can assure a Democratic landslide in the 2006 mid-term elections." According to O'Neal and Jones, the club plans to hold a series of policy forums, to shape the Democratic Party's agenda for the mid-term elections. These forums will focus on discussion of the vital infrastructure projects, science-drivers, and other FDR-vectored policies that must be initiated immediately, to avert an irreversible plunge of the U.S. physical economy into collapse, leaving the vast majority of Americans in a state of abject poverty.
Other LYM branches are expected to launch similar initiatives, and the Lyndon LaRouche Political Action Committee has launched a nationwide drive to saturate the Democratic Party at the grass-roots level with copies of LaRouche's draft Democratic Party Platform, contacting hundreds of county chairs and other local Party and trade union activists, and circulating tens of thousands of copies of the LaRouche document within the Party ranks.
Commenting on the initiative, and the extraordinarily positive response so far, LaRouche said, on March 18: "The effort to date demonstrates that the Democratic Party does not have a 'LaRouche problem.' They have a 'George Soros and Felix Rohatyn problem' which they are going to have to deal with. Outside the Washington Beltway and Wall Street, where the overwhelming majority of current and future Democratic Party voters are to be found, there is tremendous receptivity to the ideas that we are putting out, especially the need to revive the Franklin Roosevelt legacy of concern for the 'forgotten man and woman.' What is the Democratic Party, if not the mass of voters from the lower 80% income brackets, who are suffering today in this outsourced, globalized, incredible shrinking U.S. economy; who hate the tyranny of the current Bush-Cheney Administration; who see the fiasco that we have gotten ourselves into in Iraq; and who want a genuine, viable alternative?
"Synarchist bankers George Soros and Felix Rohatyn personify the penetration of that international financier faction into the back rooms of the Democratic Party within the Washington Beltway, just as George Shultz personifies the presence of the same 'economic hit-men' inside the upper echelons of the GOP. It is their globalized agenda that has brought on the very crises that the Democratic Party is being called upon to redress."
A Growing Resistance
The fact that LaRouche and his collaborators have taken the lead, without hesitation and without let-up, for the past four years, in going after Shultz and Cheney as the architects of the disastrous Bush Administration policies, has clearly borne fruit. A growing institutional upsurge against the worst of the White House actions has reached a new threshold, as new bipartisan and non-partisan initiatives have been complemented by moves from within the permanent institutions of government, to force a policy shift, if not an outright house-cleaning.
The message being delivered to President Bush: Get rid of Dick Cheney and the entire neo-con gang, and bring a new team of sane, experienced advisors in to lead the country through the next two trying years—or face your own political downfall. According to senior Republican Party sources, both the Reaganite and "Bush 41" wings of the Party have signed on to this message. And the view now shared by all the living former Presidents is that the White House is dysfunctional and the United States cannot survive if that situation is allowed to continue.
One factor driving the moves against the failures of the Bush-Cheney White House, is the growing recognition that the American public has had it with the Oval Office bungling-and-worse. A poll by the non-partisan American Research Group, released on March 15, showed that 48% of all eligible voters endorse a Senate censure resolution against President Bush for authorizing wiretaps on Americans inside the United States without a court order. Seventy percent of registered Democrats and even 29% of registered Republicans favored the censure, evidencing the extent to which a large portion of Bush and Cheney's own Republican Party have abandoned them. And 61% of Democrats and 18% of Republicans support impeachment of the President.
The censure resolution was introduced into the U.S. Senate on March 13 by Sen. Russ Feingold (D-Wisc.). In his speech motivating the motion, Feingold asserted that Congress will need to "consider a range of possible actions, including investigations, independent commissions, legislation, or even impeachment." "The President authorized an illegal program to spy on American citizens on American soil, and then misled Congress and the public about the existence and legality of that program. It is up to this body," Feingold demanded, "to reaffirm the rule of law by condemning the President's actions. All of us in this body took an oath to support and defend the Constitution of the United States and bear true allegiance to the same. Fulfilling that oath requires us to speak clearly and forcefully when the President violates the law. This resolution allows us to send a clear message that the President's conduct was wrong."
On March 15, the same day the American Research Group poll figures were released, a non-partisan Iraq Study Group was announced, drawing together ten prestigious figures, many of whom served in senior government posts under the last three Presidents. The group held a press conference at the U.S. Institute for Peace, one of four think-tanks backing the effort (the others are the Center for Strategic and International Studies, the Center for the Study of the Presidency, and the Baker Institute for Public Policy), at which a bipartisan group of Senators and Representatives showed up to signal their full support for the effort to look "with fresh eyes" at the Iraq quagmire, and work on viable solutions. Among the Senators who attended were John Warner (R-Va.), the chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee, and Joseph Biden (D-Del.), the ranking Democrat on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. All told, 35-40 Senators and Representatives, all of whom have visited Iraq since the March 2003 U.S. invasion, have endorsed the project.
The Iraq Study Group is co-chaired by James Baker III, former Secretary of State, Secretary of the Treasury, and White House Chief of Staff under Ronald Reagan and George H.W. Bush; and retired Rep. Lee Hamilton (D-Ind.), former chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, co-chairman of the 9/11 Commission, and the current head of the Woodrow Wilson Center. Members of the Commission include former CIA Director Robert Gates; former New York City Mayor Rudolph Giuliani; former senior advisor to President Clinton, Vernon Jordan; former Clinton White House Chief of Staff Leon Panetta; former Clinton Secretary of Defense William Perry; former U.S. Senators Charles Robb (D-Va.) and Alan Simpson (R-Wyo.). A tenth member, yet to be publicly named, will be a Republican, according to panel members. According to CNN, it will be recently retired U.S. Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O'Connor.
Institutional Moves From Within
Sources close to the Bush Adminstration report that senior foreign policy and national security professionals are doing their part to force a policy shift from inside the government. In one such move that could represent a major setback for Cheney and others who are pushing a near-term military showdown with Iran, the State Department confirmed on March 17 that the U.S. Ambassador to Iraq, Zalmay Khalilzad, has been authorized to begin direct talks with the Iranian government about Iraq. Khalilzad confirmed that talks could begin soon in Baghdad, between himself and an Iranian emmisary, to be delegated by the country's Supreme National Security Council secretary, Ali Larijani. While both the U.S. and Iranian governments said that the talks would be limited to the subject of Iraq, Larijani has been one of they key Iranian officials negotiating with Russia and Europe over Iran's nuclear power program.
Any direct talks betweeen Washington and Tehran would undercut the war party inside the Bush Administration. The announcement about the proposed U.S.-Iranian talks came just a day after LaRouche was interviewed on Iranian national radio's English language broadcast (see transcript).