Open Letter to Bush: You Are Disgracing America
Open Letter to Bush: You Are Disgracing America -- Resign or Be Impeached
By Bernard Weiner
The Crisis Papers
Dear George W. Bush,
Congratulations! With your decision to bomb and invade Iraq, you are about to make yourself both an enemy of the state and an international war-criminal.
Everyone has been telling you not to do it, that attacking Iraq -- absent an overt provocation, and without domestic and international consensus behind you -- is neither in America's best interests, nor in the best interests of world order and the global economy.
That everyone includes your father, the former President, along with his security advisors; your top military brass; your longtime allies; the Security Council of the United Nations; the world's major religious leaders; millions of ordinary citizens marching for peace across the world; leaders of Arab and other Muslim countries; an increasing number of conservative and moderate Republicans; etc. etc.
The fact that even with your threat-and-bribe machine working overtime, you couldn't even round up a majority on the Security Council to give some cover to your desire to "shock-and-awe" your way into war should have told you something. Clearly, people are afraid of America's military power, but you wield absolutely no moral authority -- zilch, nada, none. Few wish to follow you into the maw of immorality; few wish to wind up with you in the war-crimes dock at The Hague.
After the terrorist attack on 9/11, America owned the sympathy of the world; now the U.S. is a pariah nation, a rogue state. At the time of the terrorist attack of 9/11, America was solvent; now the American economy is in tatters (and still you want to cut taxes again, plunging the country into further debt). In September of 2001, America was a country devoted to the Constitutional protections of due process of law; now, using "national security" as a cover, the U.S. is lurching into a neo-fascist, Big Brother police-state.
In short, Mr. Bush, you and your policies are destined to bring ruin not only to yourself but to our beloved country as well, and to much of the world. It is time for you to resign the office into which you've been placed -- I was about to say resign "for the good of the country," but clearly that concept has little meaning for you. If you choose not to resign, rest assured that you will be impeached.
All your policies seem designed with other agendas in mind: "For the good of" your financial backers and corporate supporters; "for the good of" your ideological friends; "for the good" of your re-election campaign. Even if we were to believe your professed motivations -- that, in the end, we will come to see that your policies were initiated for the good of the country -- the way you're going about it demonstrates appalling ignorance, gross incompetence, and an insulting manipulation of the American people.
You seem consumed by self-righteousness -- believing that you, and you alone, are the servant of God in this desperate march to violence (leading to the obvious question: How are you different from Osama bin Laden and other such fundamentalist terrorists?) -- and by your stubborn adherence to a worldview presented to you by right-wing extremists.
For more than 10 years, these Project for the New American Century thinkers -- whom you have appointed to positions of great power in your Adminisration, who now ARE your Administration -- have been urging American leaders to grab-and-take in the world, since the U.S. is the lone world Superpower.
Somehow, they think only of how easy it will be to conquer militarily, and thus to control the world's natural resources and to keep any other competitor-states from arising. But these rightwing ideologues have no sense of what is moral, or even what the consequences of their theories will be, once put into action.
Once before, in Vietnam, an arrogant United States thought itself unbeatable in a war with a smaller, weaker nation. It possessed all the napalm, all the high-tech bombs, all the B-52s. But it lacked some essentials: a sense of what was right, a deep understanding of the culture it was attacking, a supportive citizenry at home. The U.S. was humiliated and forced to withdraw, and, to this day, its brave soldiers never knew why they were supposed to be there.
The U.S. may well win the Iraqi battle you're unleashing. But, once again, America will lose the war. The world will unite in its hatred and disdain for your policies. The already shaky U.S. and global economies could well dive into a deep Depression. Terrorism will flower. Friendly governments will be overthrown. Domestic dissent will be tenacious. The United Nations may well falter as an institution.
In short, there is little good that will come of this, even if you are gone and Saddam Hussein and his tyrannical, dangerous reign are ended and his weapons destroyed. The damage done to America's reputation, and to the interwoven economies of the world, will be totally disproportionate to this "victory." Pre-emptively, you will have unleashed the cruel gales of war, and you will be carried away by those same winds into the dustbin of history, spat upon by ordinary citizens and leaders alike for your stubborn adherence to nonsensical policies that are inimical to America's traditions and best interests.
The Third Reich that was supposed to last a thousand years was over in a dozen. The New American Century in the world, the Pax Americana, will last less than that. And all for greed and gluttony -- for power, for control, for pre-eminence. What a waste of blood and treasure and good will.
The irony is that you probably could have accomplished virtually all your goals with traditional diplomacy and politics. It might have taken a bit more work and creativity, but the world would no doubt have followed the gentle, guiding lead of the world's sole remaining Superpower. But, no, with your incompetent arrogance and bullying approach, and your impatient haste to grab what you could get quickly, you accomplished little more than alienating your friends and animating your enemies. And thus began your slide into oblivion.
If it was just you, we could tolerate, even enjoy, your fast trip into history's dumpster. But you're going to take a good share of the world with you, and you will never be forgiven for that -- for all the bleeding and pain and social dislocation you will engender -- and for how you've besmirched the good name of the United States of America. Shame on you, sir. You have disgraced yourself, your country, our Constitutional form of government. Those sins against America and the world will be your legacy forever.
Bernard Weiner is a poet and playwright, with a Ph.D. in
government & international relations; he has taught at
various universities, been a writer/editor with the San
Francisco Chronicle for nearly 20 years, and now co-edits
The Crisis Papers (