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One American Speaks to the Rest of the World

One American Speaks to the Rest of the World
Yes, W., there IS a rest of the world...

By Paul Chasman

An Open Letter To The Rest of the World,

As a United States citizen, I wish to apologize for the disrespect my country¹s leadership has shown you. I want to assure you that George W. Bush does not represent everyone in America, possibly not even a majority. He has disregarded our needs just as he has yours.

Most of you rightfully say you will not support a U.S. invasion of Iraq. While Bush casually threatens thousands of human lives in a blatant power grab, your almost unanimous unwillingness to acquiesce serves as a reality check. A "preemptive strike" would permanently transform the perception and role of America from peacekeeper to aggressor. An unprovoked attack, unsupported by the world community, could catapult the world into unprecedented chaos.

We are trying to stop him. Some of his father¹s closest advisors, respected military men like Brent Scowcroft and Anthony Zinni, have publicly denounced Bush¹s intentions. Secretary of State Colin Powell has been a voice of reason. Our representatives have demanded the right to approve an attack and so far have been presented meager evidence to warrant it. Editorial pages are filled with letters and columns by liberals and conservatives urging the president not to instigate war. However, like you,
he has told our citizens what we think doesn¹t matter; his mind is made up and he¹s going to do it.

The proposed attack is not the only front on which my country's administration has thumbed its nose at you, our global neighbors. Our president has refused to endorse the Kyoto Treaty despite the fact that the European Alliance, Russia, Japan, and almost every nation in the world has signed. America is the world¹s biggest polluter, yet George Bush refuses to enter a constructive dialogue to address global warming, overpopulation, poverty, and our toxic environment. He arrogantly refused to attend the Johannesburg Summit, signalling that your concerns are not on his agenda.

President Bush dismantled the antiballistic missile treaty, exempted America from the war crimes tribunal and has stacked the deck for the rich against the poor with his trade policies. He irresponsibly withdrew from the Israeli/Palestinian peace process for a year, allowing the situation to fester and explode, creating more MidEast instability than Saddam Hussein could have hoped for. He has alienated his allies on so many fronts, I wonder what support he can expect if he manages to topple Hussein and finds that can't put out the MidEast fire by himself.

George Bush has simplemindedly warned you, "You're either with us or you¹re against us.² He and Attorney General John Ashcroft have sent the same message to Americans. They have created a repressive atmosphere, labeling dissent "unpatriotic." They illegally incarcerate people, denying them attorneys, outside access, or due process; they are escalating wiretapping and computer intrusion; they campaign to encourage citizens to spy on each other. Our courts consistently rule against the Justice Department's unconstitutional policies, yet the administration remains undeterred from eroding our civil rights.

I want to thank all the countries who offered support following the 9/11 attacks. You did so knowing that many of you have suffered even greater losses and trauma on your own soil. You seemed to be saying, "Now you understand what we have been through; we are united in our suffering." You welcomed us with open arms. I am ashamed that my country's administration has squandered your goodwill. We, the majority of voters who did not elect Bush recognize the destructiveness of his tenure. We will do everything in our legal power to affect attitudes and policy so we can blunt his damage and, in the future, elect officials who will lead with wisdom. I hope soon, the United States will behave as a responsible member of the world community and that once again, you will call us your friend.


Paul Chasman
is a musician and United States citizen.

© Scoop Media

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