Tuesday, April 24, 2007

A Letter for All Our Pols

This morning’s news rings with the escalation of Washington rhetoric about the war between Democratic Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and the prez. “No more will Congress turn a blind eye to the Bush administration’s incompetence and dishonesty,” says Reid. The newspaper was kind in changing Mr. Bush’s misused “a” to “an” in quoting him as saying “I will strongly reject an artificial timetable for withdrawal . . .”

I wish I could stand and cheer the Democrats’ attacks on BushCo and to a certain extent I can, but the bottom line is that both of they and Bush are just lying and grandstanding. If the Democrats really wanted to shine light on BushCo’s incompetence and dishonesty they could easily do it. After all the administration’s duplicity and incompetence are lying there in plain view, but the truth is that both sides are more concerned about maintaining American business as usual than about shining the light of truth and humane improvement on the dark, dingy secrets of American policy motivations.

In contrast, please take a moment to read the letter reprinted below. Written in 2001, it clearly states the real problems we and the world face. (To read it in song lyrics, check the archives for my blog titled “Bob Dylan Didn’t Show” published in December, 2006. http://branney.blogspot.com/search?updated-min=2006-01-01T00%3A00%3A00-06%3A00&updated-max=2007-01-01T00%3A00%3A00-06%3A00&max-results=2)

Dr. Robert M. Bowman, a retired Lieutenant Colonel from the USA Air Force, in an open letter to the USA President, George W Bush (2001):

"We are not hated because we practice democracy, freedom, and human rights. We are hated because our government denies these things to people in third world countries whose resources are coveted by our multinational corporations. And that hatred we have sown has come back to haunt us in the form of terrorism..."

"We are the target of terrorists because we stand for dictatorship, bondage, and human exploitation in the world. We are the target of terrorists because we are hated. And we are hated because our government has done hateful things. In how many countries have we deposed popularly elected leaders and replaced them with puppet military dictators who were willing to sell out their own people to American multinational corporations?"

"We did it in Iran when we deposed Mossadegh because he wanted to nationalize the oil industry. We replaced him with the Shah, and trained, armed, and paid his hated Savak national guard, which enslaved and brutalized the people of Iran. All to protect the financial interests of our oil companies. Is it any wonder there are people in Iran who hate us?"

"We did it in Chile when we deposed Allende, democratically elected by the people to introduce socialism. We replaced him with the brutal right-wing military dictator, General Pinochet. Chile has still not recovered."

"We did it in Vietnam when we thwarted democratic elections in the South which would have united the country under Ho Chi Minh. We replaced him with a series of ineffectual puppet crooks who invited us to come in and slaughter their people, and we did. (I flew 101 combat missions in that war....)"

"We did it in Iraq, where we killed a quarter of a million civilians in a failed attempt to topple Saddam Hussein, and where we have killed a million since then with our sanctions. About half of these innocent victims have been children under the age of five."

"And, of course, how many times have we done it in Nicaragua and all the other banana republics of Latin America? Time after time we have ousted popular leaders who wanted the riches of the land to be shared by the people who worked it. We replaced them with murderous tyrants who would sell out and control their own people so that the wealth of the land could be taken out by Domino Sugar, the United Fruit Company, Folgers, and Chiquita Banana."

"In country after country, our government has thwarted democracy, stifled freedom, and trampled human rights. That's why we are hated around the world. And that's why we are the target of terrorists."

"People in Canada enjoy better democracy, more freedom, and greater human rights than we do. So do the people of Norway and Sweden. Have you heard of Canadian embassies being bombed? Or Norwegian embassies? Or Swedish embassies. No. We are not hated because we practice democracy, freedom, and human rights."

"Instead of sending our sons and daughters around the world to kill Arabs so the oil companies can sell the oil under their sand, we must send them to rebuild their infrastructure, supply clean water, and feed starving children. Instead of continuing to kill thousands of Iraqi children every day with our sanctions, we must help them rebuild their electric power plants, their water treatment facilities, their hospitals; all the things we destroyed in our war against them and prevented them from rebuilding with our sanctions."

"Instead of seeking to be king of the hill, we must become a responsible member of the family of nations. Instead of stationing hundreds of thousands of troops around the world to protect the financial interests of our multinational corporations, we must bring them home and expand the Peace Corps. Instead of training terrorists and death squads in the techniques of torture and assassination, we must close the School of the Americas (no matter what name they use). Instead of supporting military dictatorships, we must support true democracy; the right of the people to choose their own leaders. Instead of supporting insurrection, destabilization, assassination, and terror around the world, we must abolish the CIA and give the money to relief agencies."

"In short, we do good instead of evil. We become the good guys, once again."

"The threat of terrorism would vanish. That is what the American people need to hear. We are good people. We only need to be told the truth and given the vision. You can do it, Mr. President. Stop the killing. Stop the justifying. Stop the retaliating. Put people first. Tell them the truth."


Thank you Dr. Bowman for telling it just like it is. Why can’t our politicians admit it and lead us to change our ways?

And finally, here is a quote that makes ultimate sense. We should all do what we can to help those around us understand what we are doing in Iraq every day so that they too can help stop it. The comparison below is so apt:

I keep hearing from US politicians and the US mass media that the "situation is improving" in Iraq. The profound sorrow and alarm produced in the American public by the horrific shootings at Virginia Tech should give us a baseline for what the Iraqis are actually living through. They have two Virginia Tech-style attacks every single day. Juan Cole

When the power of love overcomes the love of power, the world will know peace. – Jimi Hendrix

Yours in Peace - BR

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