An open letter to Bush, Osama...
A fervent pitch for peace to the people of Iran, Iraq, Israel and the US.india Updated: Jan 14, 2007 16:27 IST
First let me speak to the people in Iran.
There is a large majority of Americans who are terrified by our governments inability to hear our voices. We do not want war. Not with you, not with anyone. We admire your ancient culture and respect your religious beliefs. While our government takes steps toward instigating another illegal war, this time on your great nation, we, the majority of United States citizens, are trying everything that is in our power to prevent this.
We have recently elected new officials in Congress, which we believe and hope will stand up with us in our desires to put an end to our current administrations designs of global occupation. However, we seem to have very little say in these matters anymore. While we may scream at the top of our lungs about how we feel, write letters to our officials, protest in the streets, demand accountability for our leaders actions, our president ignores us and continues his one-man circus act.
I wish to apologise to the people of Iran now, and assure you that we will do everything in our power to prevent our government leaders from another grave mistake in foreign policy.
Now, the people of Iraq hear me out.
Please understand our sorrow in what our leaders have done to your nation. While most of us believe that Saddam Hussein was a terrible dictator, we also understand that for many years, our country supported him and only deposed him as the president of Iraq when it was beneficial to our government. Our leaders lied to us about the threat of weapons of mass destruction in Iraq.
Most of our citizens at the time were quite fearful over what was happening in the world due to the attacks on September 11, 2001, and our president used that fear to further his personal agenda. It was WRONG. It was not our place to overthrow a dictator; it was yours if you so choose.
However, now your country is in ruins and many people die every day. Our president has just said that this is "unacceptable" to him. As usual, it seems that his words are woefully inadequate. Unacceptable is not a word to use when tens of thousands of people have died, and many more will in the time to come.
We cannot fix this mess. We can only make it worse. The majority of American people want our troops to be drawn down in your country to allow the Iraqi people a chance to help themselves. Please understand that we do not want to just abandon you. We wish to support you with our finances, our expertise in technology, our moral support, anything except more lives.
I know that you have suffered beyond anything that the US has ever suffered. But now is the time to send a message to the world that you do not need the United States to continue to occupy your sovereign nation. On behalf of most American citizens, we are eternally sorry for what we have allowed to be done to you.
To the people of Israel I'd like to say we understand.
We recognise your struggles in the world. We understand that for many years you were persecuted. However, that does not give you the right to do to others what has been done to you. I'm not suggesting that you bare all of the responsibility for the struggles in the West Asia, but you're not helping to solve it either.
Your fight is for property. Your fight is for recognition. Your fight is for peace. May I suggest to you that if after 60 years nothing has changed, maybe you're going about it the wrong way? I know that you will illicit images of bombings and terror to reinforce your actions. But please consider, violence in response to violence, only leads to more violence.
There must be a better solution. There is plenty of space to allow two separate and sovereign nations to exist. Israel and Palestine. I understand that there are more issues to discuss here, however, we have to start somewhere.
Do we really want to blame all the ills of life on "the other guys"? This sort of thinking is shortsighted and full of its own bigotry. And please, before dismissing me as just another anti-Semite, look at my name and understand that we share the same heritage.
To the people of the United States: are you afraid?
I am. Not of Al-Qaeda, not of Sunni or Shia militias, not of insurgents, not of so-called "Islamofascist", not of dirty bombs, not of having to "fight them here", not of a nuclear Iran, not of planes blowing up, not of anthrax in the mail, not of Hamas, not of Hezbollah, not of Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMDs), or of terrorist cells in my backyard.
I am not afraid of any of the things that our government has worked so hard to scare me into believing is at my doorstep. Instead, I am afraid of our government. Can we forget about the lies that we were told over and over again by our leaders? Can we forget about the atrocities committed in our name? Can we forget the way the rest of the world sees this great nation now?
Can we stand by while legislation such as the Military Commissions Act dissolves our basic civil rights? Can we stand back and let our leaders listen to our phone calls, read our mail, investigate our library cards, or read our e-mails? I sincerely hope not.
Our president has given himself the authority to deem anyone at any place an enemy combatant. With this label, one can be arrested, detained indefinitely in Gitmo (Guantánamo Bay, Cuba) or some other military prison without charges being levied against them, and tortured. Or, if they are lucky, they will be brought to trial.
Just not allowed to see or confront the evidence against them under the guise of national security.
It could be me for just writing this letter. It could be you for just reading it. Is this our country? Is this what the United States of America has turned into?
No more freedom of speech, lest we anger the president. No more freedom of assembly, lest we anger the President.
No more right to a trial by a jury of our peers, no more protection against self-incrimination, unless you can withstand the torture.
We are at his mercy. We did the right thing during the November elections by taking steps to put an end to this lunacy. However, it can't stop there. We need to take a step back, Democrat and Republican alike, to examine the horrendous damage that has been done and continues to be done, to us, and in our name.
The Revolutionary War was fought by brave people for a noble cause. This country was founded by people who refused tyranny and oppression. The majority has spoken and now action is necessary.
Stand up for what is right by putting an end to the war in Iraq, the war on the American people, and the instigation of more wars on innocent people. Are we Americans or not?
To the American troops
Please understand that you have our unwavering support. We know that you have your duty and take it very seriously. Rest assured, we will get you home. The majority of your fellow Americans is trying everything that we can to end this war. Please know that our hearts break each day when we hear the news of another fallen soldier. Most of us do not support this war, BUT WE WILL ALWAYS SUPPORT YOU AND YOUR FAMILIES.
Mr President, are you listening?
I know that you do not care about my feelings, or that of any other American. Sir, I voted for you the first time. I am deeply ashamed of it and will forever have the blood of hundreds of thousands of people on my hands because of it. Almost every person in the world knows you are wrong.
Almost every American citizen knows that you are wrong. You surround yourself with only people who agree with you, until they agree no more. Don't you dare think that you stand for me or the vast majority of American people. You never have. We are not nearly as ignorant as you would like to believe we are.
So bide your time in office, Mr President. We are not going to allow you to destroy us anymore. Only a coward allows people to die instead of standing up like a man and admitting they were wrong. Know this sir, that legacy that you care for so much will forever be tainted with deception and death.
Our surfer Brian Bloom can be contacted at email@example.com.
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First Published: Jan 14, 2007 15:51 IST