I hope that this email falls into the hands of someone with authority.
I am a 34 year old business owner originally from St. Louis, Mo. and now living in San Francisco, CA. I have never emailed the government and my participation in government has always been limited to voting 4 times a year for president.
I do want to chime in on the “Iraq” issue and, as I said, hope my voice in someway, somehow is heard by those in power and empowered.
I am choosing to use an email as my vehicle because others methods aren’t suited for my needs, especially protesting. (As you well know, they protest everything here in San Francisco and, because of that, I feel it often falls on deaf ears.)
When I have voted in the past, I almost always choose the Republican party because I believe in the will of the individual, a will I am choosing to exercise right now.
To sum up my feelings on this Iraq situation, it smells rotten and of “relative” retribution.
Point by point:
Link to Al-Queda: Al-Queda is the enemy and no linkage to Iraq has been sufficiently demonstrated.
Relative Retribution: “You tried to kill my father and now I must kill you”. The president looks like a son out for vengeance. When you are the president, you must put your own feelings aside.
How others view the US: This is the most important component of the whole issue. The U.S. must tread extremely lightly. Here we are telling all these other countries that they are not allowed to have weapons of mass destruction when we have more than all of them put together. From their perspective, HOW PRESUMPTUOUS!
Premptive Strikes must be reconsidered: In the wake of 9/11, it makes logical sense to say that we will preemptively take out people that we deem dangerous. But we simply cannot do this in most situations, and not the current situation is Iraq.
It’s about oil: I sincerely hope that all of this is not about oil as many suspect.
We failed the follow up. That’s our fault: Iraq lost a war to us many years ago and agreed not to produce weapons. We failed through the years to monitor this. Now, after 9/11, we come in saying “you’re not allowed to do this or that”. It’s like billing someone for 10 years of service when we were suppose to bill them monthly. It’s our fault we did not do this. You can’t simply demand payments. You must give it time. And that time is reflected in these inspections and should continue to be.
Clint Eastwood, move over: This harks back to how the world views us. We’ve been talking tough and are now prepared to act tough. Fine. If we continue down this road, we will take out Iraq and obliterate the world’s opinion of us. In addition, we will give justification to all the smaller countries to act preemptively, as North Korea has recently stated. North Korea this week said: “If the US attacks Iraq because they have weapons, then they will attack us eventually. So, we might as well attack them first.” This statement is logical and our actions are justifying that mentality.
Why Inspect? Today, February 14th, the inspectors came back saying essentially, “We did not really find anything.” If we attack now, after hearing that, we are definitely war-mongers. Why did we have inspections in the first place if we were not going to listen to the results?
The bottom line:
Attacking Iraq is a bad idea.
WHAT SHOULD WE DO THEN?
I don’t believe in criticizing behaviors without offering alternative approaches. So, here is what I believe to be a good approach on this date.
Seize this opportunity: The result of the inspections makes the near future a perfect time for us to slowly change our mentality.
Speak positively about peace: This may hurt, but Bush or Powell, should go on the air speaking about how the “inspections worked” and that (this may really be painful) “Iraq seems to be honoring the wishes of the security council”. No more negative war-mongering or talk of security council irrelevancy.
Change the world view of us:
The world right now is in an extremely fragile state. Do we want to exacerbate this with a war on a weak enemy? No. We need to change the world’s view of us and especially our politics.
Our President, George Bush, needs to go on an advertising campaign for America.
He needs to go on our networks, and especially Al-Jazeera, and let them know what America is all about. And of the uptmost importance, RELIGION!
The Muslim world currently thinks that we just want to kill them all-our rhetoric of late is doing nothing to prove otherwise. Exhort the commonalities of all religions-the love of mankind and desire for peace.
Let the world know that we are not out to “take over” or commercialize their ways. Let them know we will respect their cultures and ways as long as they do not violate human rights. And let them know that we will not preemptively strike anyone, except those who have harmed us and continue to want to do so.
And Al-Queda is the only one that fits this description.
Thank you for your time.
Get your copy of his latest book entitled Obvious Conclusions, stories of a Midwestern emigrant influenced and corrupted by many years living in San Francisco and abroad. It just received its first outstanding review "...reminiscent of David Sedaris or Augusten Burroughs" on Amazon UK.