World Have Your Say -

Live from Cleveland: Day Two

  • David Mazower
  • 8 Nov 06, 05:24 PM

We're on air now - click here to listen.

Hi I'm Nicola. We’re coming live from WCPN in Cleveland, Ohio. We've just heard that US Defence Secretary, Donald Rumsfeld, is resigning his position. The Democrats have won control of the House of Representatives, and the race for the Senate is too close to call. We’re asking America what they think about the results and this surprise announcement from Rumsfeld.

Let's kick off with this email from Ohio:

Christopher“I would guess that Rumsfeld looked forward to an eternity of being grilled by congressmen and women about everything he did. He will probably end up getting a nice highly paid job in the private sector where he doesn't really have to be accountable to anybody.”

And up on the phone:

Rob from the UK says: "There’s a lot of anger being directed against Bush and Rumsfeld. Anger should be directed towards your European allies who do nothing but criticize you. Your so called allies, the Germans, the French sit back and offer no support. It’s only Tony Blair that has supported you. America is trying to help. When it does help it gets criticized, when it doesn’t help it gets criticized. They are in a catch 22 postion."

Some comments from our Cleveland Audience:

“The war on terror is not in Iraq and never was.”

“We need to bring diplomacy back. We’re wasting our time on Iraq. We need to win the hearts and minds of the worlds Muslims.”

Chrisfrom Canada responds to Rumsfeld’s resignation with the following email:

“What’s the atheist equivalent of hallelujah?”

More comments from the audience:

“The US seems to feel we can give democracy. This is an illusion that is very short sited.”

“The minimum wage is going to be raised. We are going to get rid of these elitist neo-cons. We have the first Muslim African American in congress.”

“The biggest problem in American voting is that not enough people do it.”

The conversation has now moved on to Iraq with a caller from Baghdad:

Lubna in Baghdad: “I have great admiration for American democracy. I’m not optimistic about the current situation in Iraq. I don’t think the Democrats will do much for us. We live in a very harsh situation in Iraq. The American troops invaded our country three years ago. If they left now they would leave a mess behind them.”

Clayton in Texas says: “I would volunteer to go back to Baghdad if we had sufficient troops to do the job in the right way”

Response from the audience:

“Having the Democrats in power will mean more dialogue and a change for Iraq. They will be able to reach out to the international community.”

“Terrorism is not just a problem of the United States. It is a global problem. Bush needs to start building a global community that can work on the war on terror together.”And here's a text message:

“Terrorism is not just a problem of the United States. It is a global problem. Bush needs to start building a global community that can work on the war on terror together.”

George from Germany called in to the programme to say: “It’s all about Iraq, Iraq, Iraq. We in the Western world have to face one problem; and that is Islamic extremism. The plans for the 9/11 attacks began long before George Bush was president. America is pulling back and this is not correct.”

And final thoughts from the audience:

“We need to be very concerned about the control of the senate”

“I’m hoping we can address the higher education issue. I’d love to see something done with that.”

“I’m hoping we can have an honest dialogue with the international community.”

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  • 1.
  • At 06:37 PM on 08 Nov 2006,
  • Sebastian wrote:

Impeach Bush!

If the Congress can file articles of impeachment for what President Clinton did, we better have Congress file articles of impeachment for President Bush!

Articles of Impeachment


President George W. Bush


Vice President Richard B. Cheney,
Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice,
Secretary of Defense Donald H. Rumsfeld, and
Attorney General Alberto Gonzales

The President, Vice President and all civil Officers of the United States, shall be removed from Office on Impeachment for, and Conviction of, Treason, Bribery, or other high Crimes and Misdemeanors. - - ARTICLE II, SECTION 4 OF THE CONSTITUTION OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA

President George W. Bush, Vice President Richard B. Cheney, Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, Secretary of Defense Donald H. Rumsfeld, and Attorney General Alberto Gonzales have committed violations and subversions of the Constitution of the United States of America in an attempt to carry out with impunity crimes against peace and humanity and war crimes and deprivations of the civil rights of the people of the United States and other nations, by assuming powers of an imperial executive unaccountable to law and usurping powers of the Congress, the Judiciary and those reserved to the people of the United States, by the following acts:

1) Seizing power to wage wars of aggression in defiance of the U.S. Constitution, the U.N. Charter and the rule of law; carrying out a massive assault on and occupation of Iraq, a country that was not threatening the United States, resulting in the death and maiming of over one hundred thousand Iraqis, and thousands of U.S. G.I.s.

2) Lying to the people of the U.S., to Congress, and to the U.N., providing false and deceptive rationales for war.

3) Authorizing, ordering and condoning direct attacks on civilians, civilian facilities and locations where civilian casualties were unavoidable.

4) Instituting a secret and illegal wiretapping and spying operation against the people of the United States through the National Security Agency.

5) Threatening the independence and sovereignty of Iraq by belligerently changing its government by force and assaulting Iraq in a war of aggression.

6) Authorizing, ordering and condoning assassinations, summary executions, kidnappings, secret and other illegal detentions of individuals, torture and physical and psychological coercion of prisoners to obtain false statements concerning acts and intentions of governments and individuals and violating within the United States, and by authorizing U.S. forces and agents elsewhere, the rights of individuals under the First, Fourth, Fifth, Sixth and Eighth Amendments to the Constitution of the United States, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, and the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights.

7) Making, ordering and condoning false statements and propaganda about the conduct of foreign governments and individuals and acts by U.S. government personnel; manipulating the media and foreign governments with false information; concealing information vital to public discussion and informed judgment concerning acts, intentions and possession, or efforts to obtain weapons of mass destruction in order to falsely create a climate of fear and destroy opposition to U.S. wars of aggression and first strike attacks.

8) Violations and subversions of the Charter of the United Nations and international law, both a part of the "Supreme Law of the land" under Article VI, paragraph 2, of the Constitution, in an attempt to commit with impunity crimes against peace and humanity and war crimes in wars and threats of aggression against Afghanistan, Iraq and others and usurping powers of the United Nations and the peoples of its nations by bribery, coercion and other corrupt acts and by rejecting treaties, committing treaty violations, and frustrating compliance with treaties in order to destroy any means by which international law and institutions can prevent, affect, or adjudicate the exercise of U.S. military and economic power against the international community.

9) Acting to strip United States citizens of their constitutional and human rights, ordering indefinite detention of citizens, without access to counsel, without charge, and without opportunity to appear before a civil judicial officer to challenge the detention, based solely on the discretionary designation by the Executive of a citizen as an "enemy combatant."

10) Ordering indefinite detention of non-citizens in the United States and elsewhere, and without charge, at the discretionary designation of the Attorney General or the Secretary of Defense.

11) Ordering and authorizing the Attorney General to override judicial orders of release of detainees under INS jurisdiction, even where the judicial officer after full hearing determines a detainee is wrongfully held by the government.

12) Authorizing secret military tribunals and summary execution of persons who are not citizens who are designated solely at the discretion of the Executive who acts as indicting official, prosecutor and as the only avenue of appellate relief.

13) Refusing to provide public disclosure of the identities and locations of persons who have been arrested, detained and imprisoned by the U.S. government in the United States, including in response to Congressional inquiry.

14) Use of secret arrests of persons within the United States and elsewhere and denial of the right to public trials.

15) Authorizing the monitoring of confidential attorney-client privileged communications by the government, even in the absence of a court order and even where an incarcerated person has not been charged with a crime.

16) Ordering and authorizing the seizure of assets of persons in the United States, prior to hearing or trial, for lawful or innocent association with any entity that at the discretionary designation of the Executive has been deemed "terrorist."

17) Engaging in criminal neglect in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, depriving thousands of people in Louisiana, Mississippi and other Gulf States of urgently needed support, causing mass suffering and unnecessary loss of life.

18) Institutionalization of racial and religious profiling and authorization of domestic spying by federal law enforcement on persons based on their engagement in noncriminal religious and political activity.

19) Refusal to provide information and records necessary and appropriate for the constitutional right of legislative oversight of executive functions.

20) Rejecting treaties protective of peace and human rights and abrogation of the obligations of the United States under, and withdrawal from, international treaties and obligations without consent of the legislative branch, and including termination of the ABM treaty between the United States and Russia, and rescission of the authorizing signature from the Treaty of Rome which served as the basis for the International Criminal Court.

  • 2.
  • At 07:45 PM on 08 Nov 2006,
  • Michelle Tiedje in Lincoln, Nebraska U.S. wrote:

All throughout Bush's presidency and the reign of the Republican Party in Congress, there has been an effort on the part of the neocons to ensure the continuance of their rule by pitting one half of the country against the other. This is a political strategy put forth and enacted by Karl Rove: bring so-called "value" issues (like abortion and gay marriage) to the forefront of elections by whatever means necessary in order to mobilize social conservatives ("the base") and then use the votes of these citizens - who think these extraordinarily wealthy neocons actually care about the everyday problems ordinary people like them face - to bring to power more like-minded neocons who will become part of this movement to put the interests of the wealthy upper-class before those of the average American. All throughout their reign, the neocons have used the support of socially conservative voters to enact legislation in keeping with their own agenda (even the tax cuts Bush passed, while they did in fact give money back to members of the lower classes, were FAR more advantageous to the super wealthy than to the average working-class American - READ ABOUT IT if you don't believe me). The minimum wage has remained abysmally low throughout the nation - unchanged for nearly 10 years -, college tuition continues to be raised across the nation (by as much as 10-14% each of the last 3 years before I graduated in December of 2005) while the funds of the Federal Pell Grant to individuals continues to dwindle as the number of students in need of its assistance increase dramatically, the federal surplus has DISAPPEARED while the deficit continues to grow exponentially EACH DAY, gas prices have skyrocketed, corporate and political corruption have grown, we attacked a country (and get this once and for all people - even Bush and his cronies have outright admitted this though they continue to mention Iraq and 9/11 together in speeches regarding national security) WHICH HAD NOTHING TO DO WITH THE ATTACKS OF SEPTEMBER 11, 2001! I could go on and on with a list of legislation enacted, actions taken and decisions made (to the detriment of the average working American not to mention our world reputation as the land of the free) since the Bush and the neocons took control six years ago. All the while engendering hatred of anyone who disagrees with the neocon agenda - labeling them "liberals" (now a dirty word in the mouths of neoconservatives). Why, oh why, America have we fallen for this?

And what's more, now that Bush and the other neocons have realized they have lost majority in the House and likely the Senate as well they are starting to speak of bipartisanship?! Where was the bipartisanship when the neocons were in control? Their behavior toward anyone who opposed their agenda has been appalling, and now that they have lost they are making grand speeches about how we have to work together. Now Donald Rumsfeld is resigning, now there is talk of "flexibility" and "adjustment of tactics" in Iraq, now - instead of being a "cowboy diplomat" who cares nothing about world opinion and nothing for global perspective - Bush is a conciliatory bipartisan man. Give me a break! Don't forget, America, that this is all a result of republican losses. Don't forget how the neocon republicans have used the votes of social conservatives to make the world a better place for themselves and their own kind at the expense of the average working-class American. Don't forget how they have successfully manipulated our fear and concern for our country to turn us against each other. Our country shouldn't be like this. We can do better than this. Bush and his friends are changing their language because they lost this time around and they don't want to lose again. They have their eye on the elections of 2008 and they will say and do whatever is necessary for the time being if it means restoration of neocon rule in the future. Let's take the lesson of the past six years to heart. Never forget what it did to us, what it turned us into, and please let's never make the same mistake of allowing ourselves to be used as political pawns in a game which concerns itself only with the wants of wealthiest in American society. I for one never will.

  • 3.
  • At 08:05 PM on 08 Nov 2006,
  • T.K. Gretick wrote:

I appreciate the BBC coming to Cleveland to help us monitor this election. I wish the moderator had not chastised the woman who mentioned that Bush is not our elected president.

As I recall, the moderator cut her off and admonished her for Bush-bashing, stating that Bush indeed was democratically elected, even though he had no basis for this assertion.

The issue of Bush being legitimately elected is still under debate by good minds throughout the country. The subject of safe and valid elections is of great concern; it is the foundation of democracy itself. Moreover, we cannot proceed forward to a future of greater integrity within our government if we now refuse to thoroughly examine what went wrong in our voting process.

Rumsfeld was a vestige of the Eisenhower and Ford Years who should have left a long time ago. I hope ALL of the Republicans and Democrats will start the work of political opening towards other parties. The present system in the USA is like Communism and Nazism, an anachronism.

  • 5.
  • At 01:50 AM on 09 Nov 2006,
  • Gigi wrote:

I was part of the studio audience today for the broadcast….it was an awesome experience hearing what my neighbors in Northeast Ohio are feeling about the results of the election and what our neighbors around the World were thinking about us! Although the majority of the discussion was about the war in Iraq, it was great that people did bring up the concrete changes we are looking for here in Ohio ---universal health care, education reform, raising the minimum wage, and one thing I think we forgot, repealing some of the provision of the Patriot Act. Thank you World Have Your Say for coming to Cleveland and please come back again, soon!

BBC WHYS was the best in US Election Coverage

  • 7.
  • At 03:05 PM on 09 Nov 2006,
  • Tracy Gretick wrote:

Wow. No reponse to or posting of my comment yesterday.

I guess it's "World, Have Ros's Say," not "Have Your Say."

Ros should never have shut that woman up in Cleveland yesterday when she referenced the possibility that Bush was not legitimately elected. Shame on you. We CANNOT move forward unless we are willing to examine our process. Shame on you again, Ros. If you are going to profess to letting people have their say, then let them. You allowed all other sorts of comments, but not that one.

Shame on you.

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