I’m writing this letter to you in hopes that you can help, because it certainly doesn’t seem like anyone else can.
When you were president, I didn’t agree with some of the things you did; but I never felt the kind of genuine concern for the future of this nation that I do now, with your son in the Oval Office.
Mr. Bush, I urge you to contact George and have a long, earnest talk with him about … well, about anything you like, really, but somewhere in the course of that conversation, would you please remind him that this is a nation that is increasingly united in its certainty that Iraq is a mistake.
We’re still not sure what to do about it. People like me think we need to swell our occupying force by at least ten times what George is recommending and prepare for an occupation that will be measured in decades; others believe we should withdraw as soon as we can. But no one seriously believes another 21,500 soldiers is going to have a significant, favorable effect — except, apparently, Condoleezza Rice and your son.
Mr. Bush, this situation is serious. While our forces remain bogged down in Iraq, we are losing control in Afghanistan and North Korea is actively rattling its little atomic saber. In the vacuum of US diplomatic leadership, the situation between Israel and Palestine is essentially a roller-coaster; and Iran and Syria are now beginning to jump on the anti-US dogpile.
It’s my belief that George has made the mistake of assuming the US can and should act unilaterally, rather than engaging the UN and asking for the help of our (largely former) allies. I know, and you do as well, that it’s difficult to admit to being wrong, particularly publicly; but everyone except George seems to know that he’s backed us into an untenable corner. Please, Mr. Bush, try to explain to him how much better he’ll feel, how much more soundly he will sleep at night, after confessing to his mistake and making amends for it.
We are a very forgiving nation, when offered a humble apology; but we tend to punish hubris very harshly.
There are lots of wild rumors out there regarding why George seems to be so set on ignoring the clear desires of the people of the US, and others are now circulating about his apparent gung-ho willingness to engage Iran (as well as, possibly, Syria) in a fight that simply won’t succeed. The Nazis collapsed partly because they were fighting a war on three fronts. How many more battle lines does George plan to draw for us? I’m fairly certain — as are most Americans and many of our foes — that our military cannot afford another fight right now.
Mr. Bush, my greatest concern is that your son, who claims to be a born-again Christian, sincerely believes in the bizarre eschatology of right-wing fundamentalist fanatics; that is, he sincerely believes in the truth of Revelation, the inevitability of Armageddon and the return of Jesus Christ to earth. If he does believe these things are possible, then my fear rises that he thinks he is precipitating that very return by the actions he is taking now. By engaging the Middle East in a multifront war, he doesn’t see that the human misery and suffering — as well as the destabilizations which might take centuries to resolve — will not lead to some kind of “rapture” or the descent of any sort of god from the clouds. So please, Mr. Bush, explain to him that the consequences of his being wrong are significant enough that — even if he’s totally sure of himself — he really cannot afford to continue as he has been.
Because, in ten years’ time, when his little god hasn’t returned, he will drink himself into complete stupidity, and probably end up shooting himself in the head in shame. I’m sure you don’t want that to happen to him, and the only way to prevent it is to convince him now that his religiously-driven course of action is simply the wrong one.
Mr. Bush, for the sake of this nation, the nations in the Middle East, and the lives of millions which will be lost if George continues to have his way, I ask you to convince your son that he needs to learn the values of speaking softly, listening attentively, and behaving with humility.
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