By Patricia Hartland
How are you? I am fine, more or less, except for a little
arthritis in the knees, but I don't let it slow me down. I
thought it was about time to write; I know you haven't heard
much from me since the media consolidated into a couple of
corporate empires. They have a lot on their minds, what with
getting rid of the Fairness Doctrine and gutting the FCC and
pursuing increasingly monopolistic mergers and all, so it's
not surprising they haven't been relaying much about me and
other ordinary American citizens.
Anyway, I'm doing okay, although things are looking a little
dicey on the economic front. My brother got "permanently laid
off" from his job at Goodyear. The weather has been pretty
screwy lately, too. I'm worried about global warming, and
really frustrated that my government isn't making progress
on it. And, since I'm on the subject, let me reiterate my
apologies for the way Mr. Bush flipped the bird at you on
the Kyoto treaty. Yes, we do face a lot of challenges bringing
our pollution under control in such a heavily industrialized
country, but that's no excuse for bad manners, and I'm sorry.
I hear you're worried about what we're up to with the "War
on Terror" (or Terra, as Mr. Bush calls it- kind of ironic,
isn't it?) And, by the way, thanks for your warm outpourings
of sympathy and support as we were reeling from the horror
of 9/11. Really thank you. It brought tears to my eyes,
hearing how many of you came out and held vigils, sent messages,
prayed, and all the other ways you showed support. It was
an awful time for me and your actions meant a lot.
So anyway, the "War on Terror." Believe me, I'm as worried
as you are. I honestly thought we were going to send in some
commando units, supported by a major but temporary
troop deployment, clean out bin Laden and the al-quaeda guys,
and then concentrate on helping Afghanistan form a stable
government. I figured we'd leave a detachment on deployment
there to help Mr. Karzai get his act together, but then focus
on economic and social aid to make some amends for whatever
damage we'd have to do in nailing the terrorists.
Anyway, that's all I meant when I told Mr. Bush I
was behind him in going after terror. Oh, I figured we'd probably
do things to follow up on the rest of the al-quaeda threat,
but after your generous offers of help I assumed we'd be working
jointly with you. I figured we'd be doing things like sharing
intelligence, planning small-scale commando operations and
maybe taking out a few key leaders here and there. If we were
all working together on it, sharing information and stuff,
it looked like we'd have a pretty good chance of success.
So no, I have no idea where Mr. Bush came up with that "axis
of evil" stuff. I know that we have long-standing disagreements
with some of you, and I'm far from approving of how some of
you behave at home and in public, but I don't think that was
very helpful. You've mentioned that I'm kind of na´ve about
the complexities of geopolitical interaction, and I guess
you're right, but even I can see that was silly.
Um, Columbia? Listen, I know you guys are in major crisis,
but can I offer a little advice? Don't take any help
from my government, okay? Especially military help. Talk to
President Luong and the people of VietNam if you don't believe
me. It's really, really, really not worth it. It's not that
I don't want to see things get better for you guys. I do,
honest. I think if you had some functioning infrastructure
and a few alternatives to coca growing things would probably
improve a lot, but you'll have to get rid of the drug lords,
You get it? You'll have to get rid of them. I'm sorry,
I know they have most of the weapons and almost all the money.
I know it'll cost you plenty in lives and terror and pain.
And I know that a lot of your troubles can be traced to my
government's misguided actions and ridiculous drug policies.
I'm really awfully sorry about it.. If they'd asked me, I
would have told them to keep out of your business, except
maybe offering humanitarian aid, and forget about the stupid
"drug war," but they don't ask me.
Anyway, I'm thinking about you, Columbia, and praying that
you find a way out of your troubles. I've told my government
before, and I'll certainly tell them again, we need to cut
you a lot of breaks on the economic and humanitarian aid front.
But please tell them "no thank you" on the aircraft
and weapons, and send those bozos from MPRI home. They don't
represent me; they don't represent my government. They may
be American citizens, but their only real loyalty is to the
money they're making off your deaths, the loss of your homes,
the rape of your natural resources.
Well, I better go now. I promised my husband I'd get the
basement cleaned out if he'd do the garage this weekend, and
I'm not about to let him off the hook. I'll write again, we'll
try to stay in touch this time, okay? Thanks for all the news
you've been sending. I scan the Internet for it eagerly. And
special thanks to you BBC guys - you're a lifeline. Anyway,
best to everyone until next time.