U.S. Rep. Cynthia McKinney (D-Ga.) headlined a panel of four advocates who criticized the Bush administration and its justifications for the Iraq War in a discussion hosted by a very liberal organization Monday night in Funger Hall.
Sponsored by World Can’t Wait – Drive out the Bush Regime, the panel discussion featured a journalist, a CIA veteran and activists who spoke about President George W. Bush. The panel attracted about 150 people.
McKinney criticized Bush’s response to the consequences of Hurricane Katrina, which devastated the Gulf Coast in August 2005, as well as ongoing international conflicts.
“In the United States, those guilty of crimes must pay, especially when they live at 1600 Pennsylvania Ave.,” she said. “If we can’t be held accountable at home, how do we expect to hold others accountable abroad?”
McKinney, who had charges against her dropped for allegedly striking a Capitol Hill police officer in April, lost Georgia’s Democratic primary. She will not return to office after her term expires in 2007.
Titled, “It’s Worse Than You Think: Where the Bush Regime is Taking the World and Why They Still Must Be Stopped,” the panel also included former New York Times foreign correspondent Chris Hedges, who spoke about the Christian right movement.
Hedges, a member of the Presbyterian Church and son of a minister, criticized the evangelical movement’s intolerance towards opposing views and warned of an emerging global Christian empire.
“This ideology has the seeds of religious fascism,” he said, comparing the Christian right to Nazism because of its intolerance of opposing groups and viewpoints.
“All Americans must give up passivity and defend tolerance,” he said in conclusion.
Debra Sweet, national coordinator of World Can’t Wait, called on Congress to drive out the Bush administration. She expressed her regret that pre-emptive war and war crimes had been carried out in the name of protecting America and its citizens.
“If war crimes, torture and crimes against humanity are not grounds for impeachment, than what is?” she asked over thunderous applause from the audience.
In an interview, Sweet also explained that Democrats had not done enough to oppose Bush and that more needed to be done politically on college campuses before any major changes can take place.
“Everyone is aware that campuses today are quiet and passive. We can’t have social movement without the youth interested in seeing things broken apart and changing,” she added.
World Can’t Wait has organized protests against the Bush administration since its formation in the summer of 2005.