"Freedom is not merely the opportunity to do as one pleases; neither is it merely the opportunity to choose between set alternatives. Freedom is, first of all, the chance to formulate the available choices, to argue over them -- and then, the opportunity to choose." ~ C. Wright Mills
Dear Mr. President: Step Down
Harry Truman once said: "The buck stops here." Truman acknowledged that the office of the presidency bore the ultimate responsibility--or blame--for whatever political disaster befell the nation. Remember your words, sir, of approximately ten months ago: "Mission Accomplished"? As I recall, you seemed to strut and gloat with personal pride on the deck of that aircraft carrier as you declared the war over. Which leads me to wonder: if you could take the credit then, however prematurely, can you take the blame now?
Who could have foretold the disaster in Iraq, you wonder? Who could have predicted the rising cost--in blood and money--of the entire operation!? Well, not less than three billion people around the globe, most of us without the benefit of government intelligence, relying simply on our common sense, predicted a staunch resistance by Iraqi citizens trying to defend their homes. The only "experts" who seemed to recommend a pre-emptive strike were a few Neocons, retired generals and newscasters. Not surprisingly, these same advisors of yours now seek to distance themselves from their flawed advice. When former Secretary of State Lawrence Eagleburger said on CNN that 'None of us involved in this, expected the reaction that has happened,' we knew he was dead wrong--because most rank and file veterans had predicted the block to block fighting more than a year ago!?
One critic without access to either Pentagon or CIA intelligence wrote over six months ago: "As the guerilla war heats up in Iraq, and the number of American dead mount, the 'Mission Accomplished' line, like the "Bring 'em on' line, is returning to haunt him." Six months ago, columnist David Lindorff also predicted of President Bush, "Caught in an embarrassing situation, he'd prefer to lie his way out than face up to his responsibility." Mr. President, cease the charade. Step down and salvage what small measure of personal integrity you may yet retain. Distance yourself from the dead-enders in your administration who casually dismissed resistance months ago in Iraq. As a student of history, I suspect you have less input into this disastrous Middle Eastern quagmire than LBJ had in Vietnam: That is, your responsibility, while considerable, is hardly absolute. Step down now and let the true architects of this disaster suffer the same fury and ignominious fate as McNamarra, Nixon and LBJ. The secret agendas of the Neocons--Oil, empire and Israel--now lie fully exposed and call into question their divided loyalties. Certainly, the loyalties of an American president like yourself should begin and end with America, with her Constitution, and with the doctrines of your personal Christian faith, shouldn't they? Sadly we see that all three beliefs have been badly betrayed, to advance a narrow agenda that runs counter to the American republic. Should you continue on this ill-fated course, as your pride dictates, the legacy you achieve will be worse than that of your wartime predecessors. Deeply flawed men, they left a black granite memorial as a testimony of their folly plus two million dead foreigners and, very likely, lost their immortal souls in the process. As one Christian to another, I sincerely suggest you avoid that fate. Despite the assurances of some well-tailored Pharisees posing as Christians, suggesting that you pound Iraq and especially Fallujah, the kingdom of heaven is rarely attained through the use of retaliatory air strikes using radioactive bombs and missiles.
The recent encirclement and siege of Fallujah portends a grave escalation. Do you really want to emulate the scorched earth policies of the Israeli Defense Forces? Vietnam veteran Stewart Nusbaumer calls this war in Iraq--which is far from over--The Chickenhawk War, and unfortunately you were drafted. "It is the same ignorance that lead America into the quagmire called Vietnam, and is now leading America into a quagmire called Iraq," said Nusbaumer. Unlike the draftee of that Vietnam era, however, you have the option of refusal.
One admirable distinction of your policy in Iraq was the removal of an odious dictator. However, the slim distinction between a "just war" and an oppressive occupation has long since slipped away. Should you continue stubbornly on your present course, the ironic possibility--that you may have unified the Iraqi people--becomes ever more likely. Sunni and Shiite appear to have finally put aside century-old differences to take up arms for their country. Like American Colonists uniting against the hated Redcoat and the mercenary Hessian soldiers, the Iraqis may simply be striving for that liberty of which you so often speak. Bloody, yes, but what we may now be seeing is one form of democracy in action. Mr. President, you've achieved your aim and any further escalation in Iraq will have tragic consequences for everyone involved.
Please, step down or reconsider your course.