Speak Out - Drive Out the Bush Regime

Statements from a wide array of individuals and organizations about why they are taking up the Call for November 2nd.

Wednesday, October 12, 2005

From a student at Columbia University...

From a student at Columbia University...

Imagine that you live in a place where a natural disaster is expected to strike. The local leaders order everyone to evacuate to avoid the catastrophic loss of life and human suffering that will result.

Now imagine that you are left behind: because you had no means to flee or you had no where to go or you did not have the money to pay for shelter and food while you waited until it was safe to return. The only man in the nation who has the authority, power, and resources to quickly and efficiently bring you, your family, and all others in your predicament to safety is in the next state …on vacation.

Only once it is too late to act, too late to save those who could not save themselves- he comes to survey the damage.

President Bush chose to let the chips fall where they may for the poor in New Orleans. The self appointed evaluator of the fitness of others to rule their nations sat by and let only God knows how many die. Had this happened in Iran, there is no doubt he would have been planning “Operation Irani Freedom” the next day. There would have been no end to the outraged speeches on morality and human rights emanating from the White House. Yet there have been no apologies from George W. Bush, no acceptance of responsibility, only entreaties that we not “play the blame game.”

There is no game to be played here. Instead of acting when he heard there was imminent danger to American citizens, President Bush stayed on his Texas ranch and only deigned to cut his vacation short when the outcry and criticism by elected officials, the press, and the public at his lack of response became so overwhelming that he could no longer sit back and watch. The outcry peaked unexpectedly on a live NBC telecast when rap star Kanye West emotionally declared “it's been five days ...America is set up to help the poor, the black people, the less well-off, as slow as possible.”

However, the crime of omission happened long before that sentiment was uttered. We have witnessed what is likely the biggest avoidable disaster in U.S. history. Ironically, the very people Bush allowed to die in the floodwaters in New Orleans are the parents and grandparents of those he sent to die in the deserts of Iraq.

In a nation that has proclaimed that all men are created equal, that liberty and justice stand above all else, and that it is a beacon for human rights and morality that the world should emulate, such conduct on the part of its leader cannot be tolerated.

On Wednesday, November 2, 2005 there will be a nationwide student walk out to show our President that this type of callous disregard for the welfare of the poor is unacceptable. We hope that the students at Columbia University will head the call for action and join the protest.