by John Nichols
Published on Thursday, August 16, 2007 by The Nation
Dennis Kucinich may not be a front runner in the race for the Democratic presidential nomination.
But the congressman from Cleveland has succeeded in distinguishing himself from the other contenders when it comes to speaking those truths that are self-evident.
And in an era of mass delusion and denial on the party of leaders in both major political parties, stating the obvious can be a radical act.
Such is the case with Kucinich appropriate answer to the latest move by the Bush-Cheney administration to ramp up hostilities with Iran. That move — the unprecedented attempt to label Iran’s 125,000-strong Republican Guard as a “specially designated global terrorist” group — is, as the congressman says “nothing more than an attempt to deceive Americans into yet another war — this time with Iran.”
No one who has paid even the slightest attention to the Bush-Cheney administration’s approach to Middle East affairs can doubt that Kucinich is right. Yet, his is a lonely voice of clarity amid the din of Democratic obfuscation that aids and abets this White House’s worst instincts.
“The belligerent Bush Administration is using this pending designation to convince the American public into accepting that a war with Iran is inevitable,” argues Kucinich.
“This designation will set the stage for more chaos in the region because it undercuts all of our diplomatic efforts,” he adds. Explaining that, “This new label provides further evidence for Iran’s leaders that there is no point to engage in diplomatic talks with the United States if our actions point directly to regime change.”
Delivering the response that should be coming from New York Senator Hillary Clinton, Illinois Senator Barack Obama and especially from Delaware Senator Joe Biden, who chairs the Senate Foreign Relations Committee when he isn’t campaigning for president, Kucinich argued that, “Our nation is better served by demanding sensible and responsible diplomatic foreign policy initiatives from the Bush Administration.”
Kucinich, who has proposed impeaching Vice President Cheney for continually prodding the country toward an unnecessary war with Iran, may not get the political credit he deserves for calling out this administration. But history will recognize him as the man who sounded the alarm when the Bush administration moved America closer to the brink of disaster.
John Nichols’ new book is The Genius of Impeachment: The Founders’ Cure for Royalism. Rolling Stone’s Tim Dickinson hails it as a “nervy, acerbic, passionately argued history-cum-polemic [that] combines a rich examination of the parliamentary roots and past use of the ‘heroic medicine’ that is impeachment with a call for Democratic leaders to ‘reclaim and reuse the most vital tool handed to us by the founders for the defense of our most basic liberties.’”