Salt Lake City Mayor: “We won’t take it anymore!”


Richard Moore


Address by Mayor Ross C. "Rocky" Anderson on October 27, 2007

Submitted by davidswanson on Mon, 2007-10-29 16:45. October 27 2007 reports

Salt Lake City, Utah --

Today, as we come together once again in this great city, we raise 
our voices in unison to say to President Bush, to Vice President 
Cheney, to other members of the Bush Administration (past and 
present), to a majority of Congress, including Utah's entire 
congressional delegation, and to much of the mainstream media: "You 
have failed us miserably and we won't take it any more."

"While we had every reason to expect far more of you, you have been 
pompous, greedy, cruel, and incompetent as you have led this great 
nation to a moral, military, and national security abyss."

"You have breached trust with the American people in the most 
egregious ways. You have utterly failed in the performance of your 
jobs. You have undermined our Constitution, permitted the violation 
of the most fundamental treaty obligations, and betrayed the rule of 

"You have engaged in, or permitted, heinous human rights abuses of 
the sort never before countenanced in our nation's history as a 
matter of official policy. You have sent American men and women to 
kill and be killed on the basis of lies, on the basis of shifting 
justifications, without competent leadership, and without even a 
coherent plan for this monumental blunder."

"We are here to tell you: We won't take it any more!"

"You have acted in direct contravention of values that we, as 
Americans who love our country, hold dear. You have deceived us in 
the most cynical, outrageous ways. You have undermined, or allowed 
the undermining of, our constitutional system of checks and balances 
among the three presumed co-equal branches of government. You have 
helped lead our nation to the brink of fascism, of a dictatorship 
contemptuous of our nation's treaty obligations, federal statutory 
law, our Constitution, and the rule of law."

"Because of you, and because of your jingoistic false 'patriotism,' 
our world is far more dangerous, our nation is far more despised, and 
the threat of terrorism is far greater than ever before.

It has been absolutely astounding how you have committed the most 
horrendous acts, causing such needless tragedy in the lives of 
millions of people, yet you wear your so-called religion on your 
sleeves, asserting your God-is-on-my-side nonsense - when what you 
have done flies in the face of any religious or humanitarian 
tradition. Your hypocrisy is mind-boggling - and disgraceful. What 
part of "Thou shalt not kill" do you not understand? What part of the 
"Golden rule" do you not understand? What part of "be honest," "be 
responsible," and "be accountable" don't you understand? What part of 
"Blessed are the peacekeepers" do you not understand?

Because of you, hundreds of thousands of people have been killed, 
many thousands of people have suffered horrendous lifetime injuries, 
and millions have been run off from their homes. For the sake of our 
nation, for the sake of our children, and for the sake of our 
brothers and sisters around the world, we are morally compelled to 
say, as loudly as we can, 'We won't take it any more!' "

"As United States agents kidnap, disappear, and torture human beings 
around the world, you justify, you deceive, and you cover up. We find 
what you have done to men, women and children, and to the good name 
and reputation of the United States, so appalling, so unconscionable, 
and so outrageous as to compel us to call upon you to step aside and 
allow other men and women who are competent, true to our nation's 
values, and with high moral principles to stand in your places - for 
the good of our nation, for the good of our children, and for the 
good of our world."

In the case of the President and Vice President, this means 
impeachment and removal from office, without any further delay from a 
complacent, complicit Congress, the Democratic majority of which 
cares more about political gain in 2008 than it does about the 
vindication of our Constitution, the rule of law, and democratic 

It means the election of people as President and Vice President who, 
unlike most of the presidential candidates from both major parties, 
have not aided and abetted in the perpetration of the illegal, 
tragic, devastating invasion and occupation of Iraq. And it means the 
election of people as President and Vice President who will commit to 
return our nation to the moral and strategic imperative of refraining 
from torturing human beings.

In the case of the majority of Congress, it means electing people who 
are diligent enough to learn the facts, including reading available 
National Intelligence Estimates, before voting to go to war. It means 
electing to Congress men and women who will jealously guard 
Congress's sole prerogative to declare war. It means electing to 
Congress men and women who will not submit like vapid lap dogs to 
presidential requests for blank checks to engage in so-called 
preemptive wars, for legislation permitting warrantless wiretapping 
of communications involving US citizens, and for dangerous, 
irresponsible, saber-rattling legislation like the recent 
Kyl-Lieberman amendment.

We must avoid the trap of focusing the blame solely upon President 
Bush and Vice-President Cheney. This is not just about a few people 
who have wronged our country - and the world. They were enabled by 
members of both parties in Congress, they were enabled by the 
pathetic mainstream news media, and, ultimately, they have been 
enabled by the American people - 40% of whom are so ill-informed they 
still think Iraq was behind the 9/11 attacks - a people who know and 
care more about baseball statistics and which drunken starlets are 
wearing underwear than they know and care about the atrocities being 
committed every single day in our name by a government for which we 
need to take responsibility.

As loyal Americans, without regard to political partisanship -- as 
veterans, as teachers, as religious leaders, as working men and 
women, as students, as professionals, as businesspeople, as public 
servants, as retirees, as people of all ages, races, ethnic origins, 
sexual orientations, and faiths -- we are here to say to the Bush 
administration, to the majority of Congress, and to the mainstream 
media: "You have violated your solemn responsibilities. You have 
undermined our democracy, spat upon our Constitution, and engaged in 
outrageous, despicable acts. You have brought our nation to a point 
of immorality, inhumanity, and illegality of immense, tragic, 
unprecedented proportions."

"But we will live up to our responsibilities as citizens, as brothers 
and sisters of those who have suffered as a result of the imperial 
bullying of the United States government, and as moral actors who 
must take a stand: And we will, and must, mean it when we say 'We 
won't take it any more.'"

If we want principled, courageous elected officials, we need to be 
principled, courageous, and tenacious ourselves. History has 
demonstrated that our elected officials are not the leaders - the 
leadership has to come from us. If we don't insist, if we don't 
persist, then we are not living up to our responsibilities as 
citizens in a democracy - and our responsibilities as moral human 
beings. If we remain silent, we signal to Congress and the Bush 
administration - and to candidates running for office - and to the 
world - that we support the status quo.

Silence is complicity. Only by standing up for what's right and never 
letting down can we say we are doing our part.

Our government, on the basis of a campaign we now know was entirely 
fraudulent, attacked and militarily occupied a nation that posed no 
danger to the United States. Our government, acting in our name, has 
caused immense, unjustified death and destruction.

It all started five years ago, yet where have we, the American 
people, been? At this point, we are responsible. We get together once 
in a while at demonstrations and complain about Bush and Cheney, 
about Congress, and about the pathetic news media. We point fingers 
and yell a lot. Then most people politely go away until another 
demonstration a few months later.

How many people can honestly say they have spent as much time 
learning about and opposing the outrages of the Bush administration 
as they have spent watching sports or mindless television programs 
during the past five years? Escapist, time-sapping sports and insipid 
entertainment have indeed become the opiate of the masses.

Why is this country so sound asleep? Why do we abide what is 
happening to our nation, to our Constitution, to the cause of peace 
and international law and order? Why are we not doing all in our 
power to put an end to this madness?

We should be in the streets regularly and students should be raising 
hell on our campuses. We should be making it clear in every way 
possible that apologies or convoluted, disingenuous explanations just 
don't cut it when presidential candidates and so many others voted to 
authorize George Bush and his neo-con buddies to send American men 
and women to attack and occupy Iraq.

Let's awaken, and wake up the country by committing here and now to 
do all each of us can to take our nation back. Let them hear us 
across the country, as we ask others to join us: "We won't take it 
any more!"

I implore you: Draw a line. Figure out exactly where your own moral 
breaking point is. How much will you put up with before you say "No 
more" and mean it?

I have drawn my line as a matter of simple personal morality: I 
cannot, and will not, support any candidate who has voted to fund the 
atrocities in Iraq. I cannot, and will not, support any candidate who 
will not commit to remove all US troops, as soon as possible, from 
Iraq. I cannot, and will not, support any candidate who has supported 
legislation that takes us one step closer to attacking Iran. I 
cannot, and will not, support any candidate who has not fought to 
stop the kidnapping, disappearances, and torture being carried on in 
our name.

If we expect our nation's elected officials to take us seriously, let 
us send a powerful message they cannot misunderstand. Let them know 
we really do have our moral breaking point. Let them know we have 
drawn a bright line. Let them know they cannot take our support for 
granted - that, regardless of their party and regardless of other 
political considerations, they will not have our support if they 
cannot provide, and have not provided, principled leadership.

The people of this nation may have been far too quiet for five years, 
but let us pledge that we won't let it go on one more day - that we 
will do all we can to put an end to the illegalities, the moral 
degradation, and the disintegration of our nation's reputation in the 

Let us be unified in drawing the line - in declaring that we do have 
a moral breaking point. Let us insist, together, in supporting our 
troops and in gratitude for the freedoms for which our veterans gave 
so much, that we bring our troops home from Iraq, that we return our 
government to a constitutional democracy, and that we commit to 
honoring the fundamental principles of human rights.

In defense of our country, in defense of our Constitution, in defense 
of our shared values as Americans - and as moral human beings - we 
declare today that we will fight in every way possible to stop the 
insanity, stop the continued military occupation of Iraq, and stop 
the moral depravity reflected by the kidnapping, disappearing, and 
torture of people around the world.


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