Letter to Bush: You Are Disgracing America - Resign or Be
March 20, 2003
By Bernard Weiner, The
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