Open Letter to George W. Bush

A very long open letter giving some advice to the american president.

Dear Mr. President, I am a person who enjoys a comfortable life in a western european democratic society, and I am grateful for the peace, liberty, security and the comparatively high standard of living I have the mercy to enjoy. You are the leader of the most powerful country in the world, and like most people on this planet I never had a chance to vote for or against you becoming president, although your decisions have quite an impact on my life and the society I live in. Therefore I feel to have the right to question your actions and address you in person, even if I do not expect that you will actually read or answer this letter. You might be offended by this letter because it is neither “political correct” nor shows the respect that would be deemed appropriate when addressing a head of a state, but I did not write this letter for the sake of offending you. I had to write this letter to express my humble concerns about the directions this world is headed under your leadership, and to raise my voice on behalf of many people in this world who see things from a different perspective than you and the people around you. In case this letter actually gets your attention, I hope you will find it at least partially helpful in finding some reasons why many of your action have turned out undesirable results. I do not envy you for your office, as it does not seem to be much fun being president, and the world is a cruel and complicated matter to deal with. No man can deal with such a burden without a lot of good friends and full support from the family, and obviously you enjoy both. Friends become most important when times get rough, and times have definitely been rough during your presidency, and you must have been grateful for the support you received from the people around you all the time. I have no idea which of those numerous actions you have taken during you presidency were you own ideas, and which were originally proposed by friends and staff members, but many actions are extraordinary questionable, especially those actions were you ordered people being deprived of their human rights, with the only “crime” they committed was to be in the wrong place at the wrong time. I am aware that politics is a very complicated matter, much more complicated than science, business or military command because politics is about future behavior of an unimaginable number of people you do not know. The world being too complicated to deal with it using gut feeling, mankind has developed numerous mechanisms and principles to guide a mans actions, like science, philosophy, religious beliefs and laws. These are the essence of the lessons history has taught to mankind. You may choose to ignore scientific, philosophical or religious advice, and you may even choose to ignore the law and ethical issues in your actions. You may even get away with it if you are powerful enough, but only as long as you are powerful enough, and there is a price attached to doing so. I am not sure if you are aware of the price, and whether you are willing to pay it, but this does not change the fact that you, your friends, your family, your country will pay. Your country and the american people are already paying in dollars, fear and dead soldiers, but what you feel right now is just a small down payment on the total you will be presented over the next decades. 9/11 was just one bill you have been served because of questionable actions of former administrations, but future administrations will have to struggle for existence, and even may not be able to keep America afloat amid the waves you undulated. It it always easy to judge with hindsight, but some of your actions have already had disastrous consequences, prematurely ending the life of hundreds of thousand, and making life more miserable for hundreds of millions, but it is arguable that this might have been the lesser evil; at least, no spectacular terrorist attack on U.S. soil has happened so far after 9/11, and this may be attributed to your actions. However, you are loosing momentum, costs are piling up, no progress is visible and no victory is in sight, and you or your successor will not be able to sustain the current situation for a very long time. How do you intend to win? How much can you escalate the situation, and will escalation bring you closer to victory? You have just set your feet on a path that has been walked by many leaders in the last century: The path where the end seems to justify the means. I do not intend to compare your actions to the actions of a Mao Zedong, Joseph Stalin or Adolf Hitler, but these three leaders are the most lucid examples for leaders who believed that the end justifies the means, and who went unrestrained to such extremes that we can not imagine the horror they brought to the people. Compared to World War II, both Iraq wars were just minor police actions. In WW II, on some days more people were killed in a couple of hours than in Iraq during both wars, and a president of the United States is almost a pawn compared to the unrestrained power of these dictators, who could kill anyone for any reason they wanted, and repeat it millions of times. In their time and their country they were very popular, worshipped almost like gods, which is also something you are far away from, so every comparison to them is just ridiculous. I also do not believe that you ever ordered to kill someone to get rid of that person. Although, I am not sure on this about your vice president, who has been involved in all kinds of dark and dirty government activities for decades. Being you, I would be really scared having this guy by my side. However, some of your administration’s actions do suspiciously look and smell like coming directly from a totalitarian poison cabinet. For example, calling something “Department of Homeland Security” sounds like something straight from George Orwell’s 1984, who took his inspiration not only from fascism and stalinism, but also from the post-war United Kindom and the United States of America. “Department of Homeland Security” sounds like a mixture of Orwell “Ministry of Peace” and “Ministry of Love”. Fortunately the CIA and the FBI as whole were not included in the DHS, and the Secret Service seems to be mostly intact and separated from offices under the umbrella of the DHS, but even considering mixing a police organization like the F.B.I. with a secret service like the CIA is a horrible thing. The Nazis had their G
estapo, later declared a criminal organization in the Nuremberg trials, and like East Germany’s Stasi they operated without judicial oversight. I hope your country gets spared from such a development. Although I do not think that the Department of Homeland Security or the other fifteen agencies and offices of the U.S. Intelligence Community are anywhere near Gestapo or Stasi yet, tendencies of a movement towards this direction seem to be on your agenda. By the way, who did come up with calling a law “Patriot Act”? It may have been a clever political move, but it sounds like Orwellian newspeak, and playing the patriot card can badly backfire if in the long run the results do not meet the expectations. At least “Patriot Act” was much more clever than calling something “Total Information Awareness Program”. How could you allow putting the term “total” into the name, not to mention the logo screwup? In Germany, there is the “Bundesstelle für Fernmeldestatistik" (Office for Telecommunication Statistics), a name that intends to bore the enemy to death, and does a good job to keep it out of the media. But let me get back to the “War on Terror”. Why does everything have to be a war in the U.S.? You had a “War on Drugs”, you were also accused to wage “War on Science”, “War on Freedom”, , “War on Workers”, “War on Allah”, “War on Muslims”, “War on Sex”, “War on Fun”, “War on Marijuana” , “War on Journalism”War on Civilians” and a “War on Truth”. Others are waging a “War on Christmas”, “War on Spam”, “War on Cisco”, “War on Christians” , “War on Women”, “War on Apple”, “War on Cats”, “War on Caps Lock”, “War on Taxes”, “War on Junk”, “War on Hackers”, “War on Pigs”, “War on GOP” and a “War on Modern Menaces”. There is even talk about a “War on War”. This is really an inflation of a word that stands for the periods of greatest suffering in the history of mankind. Clausewitz in his most famous book defined the essence of war: “The war is an act of violence in order to force the opponent to the fulfillment of our will.“ So if the opponent is Terrorism, how exactly do you intend to force Terrorism to fulfill you will? I admit this sounds like finickiness, but why didn’t you call it at least “War on Terrorists”? The war on Terror or Terrorism is a war against an idea and a state of mind, but you can not force an idea to fulfill your will, no matter how violently you act. You can embrace or you can fight an idea, but you can not coerce an idea into anything. Yes, you can kill, deter or capture Terrorists, but this does not help to ged rid of Terrorism, because Terrorism is like a plague that infects minds, and especially easy it infects the minds of those who have come in contact with violence, torture or grave injustice. You and your advisors simply picked the wrong target, and by doing so, you created conditions that turned a small outbreak into a global epidemic. You are just fighting the symptoms, not the cause, and by misdirecting all your huge resources, you are wasting them, and you are steering your whole country into a defeat. You stepped into a trap, and every move you made since 9/11 has fueled the idea of Terrorism, and you even contributed to spread terror and fear not only in your country, but all over the world. Whoever devised 9/11, it was a full victory for Terrorism, and by they way you handled it, in the eyes of world and even in the eyes of many americans now you have become a Terrorist. According to recent polls, a majority of americans now think that you lied to them about 9/11, and many are even convinced that 9/11 was an inside job. How could it have come that far? I would attribute it to sloppy investigations, excessive secrecy, cronyism and the administration too often caught lying, so many people think this administration is capable of making every conceivable mess for a personal gain. To fight against an idea, you have to put other ideas in place, ideas that are so powerful that they can displace the idea of terrorism. In order to convince other people that your idea is good, you have to live it and breath it. You have to be a blazing example for this idea, and as a leader, you have to make sure all the people acting for you are ambassadors for your ideas. You have kids, so you know it does not work to tell them: “Do what I say, not what I do.” It does not help to pay lip service to the idea of Freedom and Democracy, you have to live it, and make the people to feel it. You obviously think that the end justifies the means, but it is the
other way round: to envision the end, look at the means. Especially if goals are abstract, like Freedom or Fraternity, the only way I judge the campaigner’s goals is by the means he uses. It was easy to see that communism would not be a paradise just by looking at the means the Soviets resorted to, even if their cause, creating a just society, sounded noble in theory. And these are your visible means: You dropped bombs, sent tanks, put people in prisons where many of them were tortured. How could you believe this could convince anyone that your Freedom and Democracy is something desirable? You managed to make this words sound like doublespeak. When you would tell that you are going to bring Freedom and Democracy to my country, I would take my family and run for my life. Probably you believed that after replacing a rogue government in Afghanistan and Iraq, and let the people vote, prosperity and freedom would come and justify the means. This is a very naive view of the world, and I doubt you really still believe it. Maybe you believed it because it worked in Germany and Japan after WWII, but Germany was a completely different situation, and the Americans also behaved completely different here. When the G.I.s came to Germany in 1945, they liked it there, and they liked the Germans. In most other european countries the G.I.s came through, they were not treated very friendly, although the G.I.s gave their blood to free them from German occupation. The French for example did cheat and steel from your troops, and even the English people looked down upon you soldiers and treated many G.I.s like beasts. In Germany however, people were so scared from the Russians that they welcomed the Americans as lesser evil, and millions of men were dead, so a lot of women even welcomed american men. The american G.I.s, having fought their way through a devastated and hostile Europe, suddenly found themselves in clean rooms with soft beds and white linen, beautiful girls and disciplined men who just wanted to leave the war behind and rebuild their country. Your soldiers felt a bit like home, and there was mutual respects, and things went quite smooth here, and because of these special circumstances the occupation of post WWII – Germany is not useful as a precedent for “liberating” Afghanistan and Iraq. A better example to look at would be how Douglas MacArthur dealt with the situation in Japan, with people who had a completely different culture: “MacArthur himself arrived in Tokyo on August 30, and immediately set several laws: No Allied personnel were to fraternize with Japanese people. No Allied personnel were to assault Japanese people. No Allied personnel were to eat the scarce Japanese food.” “His first priority was to set up a food distribution network; following the collapse of the ruling government, and the wholesale destruction of most major cities, virtually everyone was starving.” “Once the food network was in place, at a cost of up to US$1 million a day, MacArthur set out to win the support of Hirohito.” “While other Allied political and military leaders pushed for Hirohito to be tried as a war criminal, MacArthur resisted such calls, arguing that any such prosecution would be overwhelmingly unpopular with the Japanese people.” It is sad that you have not put a man like Douglas MacArthur in charge of Iraq. I do not suggest you should have made friends with Saddam Hussein, but by shipping exile Iraqis with questionable character from the U.S. and putting them into key positions, treating all people from the old government as criminals and not committing enough resources to help the suffering people, you screw up royally. The British faired much better, but they could not make up for your mistakes, and you were in charge there. It worked much better in Kurdish provinces, where you let people take care of themselves because you could treat them as allies. By indiscriminately demonizing everybody connected to the Baath Regime, you laid the seed for new terror and put the country to the brink of civil war. For example, Tarek Aziz looks like someone you could have picked to help you out, and there surely must be have been many other respectable figures rooted in Iraq society and former government you could have come to terms with. But blinded by the arrogance of power you probably did not even consider such a step. You should have known that you can not treat the whole ruling elite as criminals and still control the country. Now you face the opposition of a large number of educated, well organized and respected leaders that operate from the underground, and a population that will dance on the streets the day you leave. Most people now have the impression that their life was better under Saddam Hussein. What a disservice for the idea of Freedom and Democracy. However, all this is just a screw up, and everyone has the right to screw up things from time to time, even the President of the United States. What really strikes me is how and why you destroyed your personal credibility and dishonored the United States of America by ignoring and downplaying the Geneva Conventions. The Geneva Conventions are not just pieces of toilet paper, they are international treaty signed by 194 countries in the world, and it is the result of unimaginable horrors that happened during numerous wars in the 19th and 20th century, and it is not only a tremendous indignity to all those millions who fought, suffered and died in these wars, it is a crime. All signatory states of Geneva Conventions were required to enact sufficient national law to make grave violations of the Geneva Conventions a punishable criminal offense, and so did the United States. And if you were at the receiving end of your actions, you would have no doubt about if the violations in Iraq and Afghanistan were grave or not. In a war, bad things happen. But after fighting the war, those who survive must continue to live in a civil society. Thats why people came up with these rules, even for war. It is not just a matter of being humane, it is a very practical thing, and it is meant not only to protect the weak, but it also protects the strong from beeing overwhelmed by the emotions war sets free. As the president and the commander-in-chief, you have the duty to protect and care for all the soldiers that serve you. By downplaying the Geneva Convention, you have not only set new precedents for the treatment of your soldiers in case they will be captured in a real war against a real enemy, you have also ruined the life of many of your own men who now face charges because they went too far, like in Abu Ghraib, Haditha, Ishaqi, Hamadiya, Mahmudiyah, Mukaradeeb and many other places with incidents that have not yet surfaced. You did recently say that the Geneva Conventions are not precise. Have you read them? You should have done it. Although complicated, they are very precise, they even contain the amount of pay a prisoner of war is entitled to. Did you pay the Iraqi POWs? I have serious doubts about it. I will take the liberty
and tell you something about the Geneva Conventions although I am not a lawyer, but the conventions are written in clear, easy to understand english words, even if it is british english. There are four conventions, but for the “War on Terror” number 3 and 4 are the important ones. Number 3 is about “Treatment of Prisoners of War”, and Number 4 is about “Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War”. Any person falls in one of two categories, soldier or civilian. There is nothing in between. Soldier or Civilian. Your newly invented category of “Unlawful Combatants” does not appear anywhere in the Geneva Conventions. It is criminal bullshit, just “designed to put detainees beyond the reach of any law”. And any law you come up with for them will not be accepted by the international community, and any conviction or punishment you will make using your private “law” is just another criminal act against existing international law. So what does the existing international law say? There are some criteria to distinguish between soldiers and civilians, but no matter what category a person falls into, under no circumstances torture or inhumane treatment is permissible, and the threshold for what constitutes inhumane treatment is low, and even threatening someone with pain is not allowed. And again, it does not matter whether the person in question is a soldier or civilian. There are indeed persons where none of the conventions apply: Foreigners from a country that has normal diplomatic representation in the United States. These people are supposed to be protected through normal diplomatic means, like informing the ambassador of this person’s country and granting access in case this person is being accused of crimes. But let us start with what the Conventions have to say about prisoners of war. At least there had been a regular Iraqi army fighting for three weeks, and many prisoners were made who were definitely prisoners of war. Now compare some excerpts from the Third Convention “related to Treatment of Prisoners of War” to the pictures you have in mind from the advance of coalition troops during the early days of the war: (Art 13): "Prisoners of war must at all times be humanely treated." "…Prisoners of war must at all times be protected, particularly against acts of violence or intimidation and against insults and public curiosity." (Art 17): "No physical or mental torture, nor any other form of coercion, may be inflicted on prisoners of war to secure from them information of any kind whatever. Prisoners of war who refuse to answer may not be threatened, insulted or exposed to unpleasant or disadvantageous treatment of any kind." (Art 60): "The Detaining Power shall grant all prisoners of war a monthly advance of pay…" Now let us assume that most of the people detained after May 1th 2003 are no prisoners of war, although most of higher ranking soldiers were probably detained after this date. If they were not granted POW status, that would make them civilians. The difference between being granted POW and civilian status is that you can not punish a soldier for carrying weapons and killing in battle, while you can charge a civilian for that. Mercenaries for example are to be treated as criminal civilians. Unlawful combatants are civilians who shoot, bomb and kill. For example, many of the private security guards in Iraq could be charged for crimes against Iraqi or U.S. law after May 1th 2003 if they were using weapons to pursue insurgents. The same applies to all CIA operatives who were active in Iraq or elsewhere after this date. They are also not protected by the third convention and can be tried as civilians for their unlawful actions in many countries, including the U.S. However, even CIA operatives are protected by by the fourth convention in the same manner as any terrorist. Do you want your operatives be treated as “Unlawful Combatants”? Here are some excerpts from the Fourth Convention “related to the protection of civilians during times of war "in the hands" of an enemy and under any occupation by a foreign power.” (emphasisis added) (Art 3): … the following acts are and shall remain prohibited at any time and in any place whatsoever with respect to the above-mentioned persons: – violence to life and person, in particular murder of all kinds, mutilation, cruel treatment and torture; – taking of hostages; – outrages upon personal dignity, in particular humiliating and degrading treatment; – the passing of sentences and the carrying out of executions without previous judgment pronounced by a regularly constituted court, affording all the judicial guarantees which are recognized as indispensable by civilized peoples. (Art 31) No physical or moral coercion shall be exercised against protected persons, in particular to obtain information from them or from third parties. (Art 71) No sentence shall be pronounced by the competent courts of the Occupying Power except after a regular trial. Accused persons who are prosecuted by the Occupying Power shall be promptly informed, in writing, in a language which they understand, of the particulars of the charges preferred against them, and shall be brought to trial as rapidly as possible. The Protecting Power shall be informed of all proceedings instituted by the Occupying Power against protected persons … The notification to the Protecting Power … shall be sent immediately, and shall in any case reach the Protecting Power three weeks before the date of the first hearing. … The notification shall include the following particulars:


(Art 72) Accused persons shall have the right to present evidence necessary to their defence and may, in particular, call witnesses. They shall have the right to be assisted by a qualified advocate or counsel of their own choice, who shall be able to visit them freely and shall enjoy the necessary facilities for preparing the defence. I am sorry for bothering you with all those boring details, but my feeling is that the people around you might have forgotten to mention them, and you did not find the time to read this stuff, given your tight schedule in times of emergency. Maybe your lawyers told you there are some loopholes in all these international treaties and laws, but what you and your subordinates have done is clearly against the words and the spirit of these treaties, and as a president it is not your duty to look for loopholes, it should be you noble duty to defend those principles and values that made the United States the epitome of Democracy and Freedom. But look what you have done: You ruined a reputation that took two hundred years to build, and you gave the world the impression that the signature of a president of the United States under an international treaty is not worth the ink when the next administration has a different opinion. It tells every country in the world the that U.S. is no longer a trustworthy partner, and every treaty you make or have signed in the past will be looked upon with suspicion. You also should not be surprised if even more countries in the future will ignore some treaties, for example when questioning CIA operatives or american tourists. And what have you gained? Just one terrorist has been brought to justice in five years. The victims still have no peace because almost nobody has been found guilty by a court, and as as long as they have not been convicted, they are innocent. And it will be hard to ever bring them to justice because you tainted all the evidence by using illegal methods like torture to obtain the evidence. And not only you failed to bring the guilty to justice, you detained thousands of innocent people who will hate the U.S. forever. Whose stupid idea was that? Do you know what happens when you treat innocent people even worse like criminals, and even torture them? You not only create new terrorist, you give them also a just cause, boost their morale and and a solid base of support and sympathy, while you discredit yourself as a promoter of freedom, democracy and human rights. Where is the moral ground you are standing on? It is crumbling away day by day, and now you are standing on a stinking pile of filth in the midst of rotten carcasses that used to be sanguine ideals that made America prevail in previous wars. Another set of decisions puzzles me also. As a president, you have the privilege to choose many people for important positions not only in your administration, but you have also a lot of influence on who heads all kind of agencies, like the FEMA for example. Of course it is just human and normal to pick people you like and you can trust. However, the most important criteria is that the people you pick are up to task and make a good job, because if they screw up, their screw-up will be your screw-up. The overall impression is that you have chosen a number of persons for important positions who were not up to the job you gave them, and this is a bad thing. It is bad for you, it is bad for the people you have chosen , and it is bad for America. You alienated many of the best minds and talents in your country, including many upright servicemen, civil servants, scientists and artists, just like in a totalitarian regime. This is why totalitarian regime always fail in end: They are weakened by sleaze and cronyism, and usually the leaders can’t sustain the resulting price in form of lost lives and lost wealth long before they fall prey to more succesful pluralistic states. Why do you think did the Soviet Union fail? Not because communism was defeated by the west in the cold war, with all their resources they could have lasted another hundred years, just look how a communist regime in a poor country like Cuba or North Korea manages to survive. No, they crumbled because the political system was rotten down to the roots, and when the wind of change in the form of one man, Michael Gorbachev, came along, the whole system tipped over like a festered tree. Man, you are living in bubble, like those communist leaders who were told every day how great they are because they had no real friends who had the guts to tell them the truth. You do not make a great job, you are ruining your country, and all of Americas enemies must be happy to see how just one terrorist attack can bring a superpower down. The tragic thing is, I can not applaud to their victory, because it will bring the whole civilized world down, including my country. These people are my enemies just as your enemies, and I hate to see them gain ground every day. If you mismanage a corporation, the corporation will sooner or later go bankrupt. The U.S. can not go bankrupt that easy, it is too big, too rich and too powerful, and it would take probably more than a couple administrations like yours before the U.S. would hit the bottom like Germany in the late 1930s. When the Nazis saw that they were running out of money, they started WWII and just stole from their neighbors to keep the system going. This was often a popular last resort for a leader facing a grave economic crisis, but there is not enough wealth in the vicinity of the U.S. to pull the same stunt, probably only Canada might be worth invading. All other countries are too poor or too far away to make it a profitable endeavor. Just look at how bad the balance on Iraq looks right now. You are burning money there so fast that you will never be able to recoup before their oil wells run dry, and even raiding Iran probably won’t be worth the money. The U.S. has a much better way how to tap into the wealth and the resources of the world as long as it can peacefully manage the wealth of the world, and you have hordes of the best investment bankers in the world who know how to accrete money, and as long as they do a good job, the world will cue up to bring it’s wealth to America. However, money is like a herd of shy animals, and you have to be very careful not to scare the money away. Once it starts to flee, it will be like a stampede, and nothing can stop it. In the last century, the U.S. have build a hegemony including Europe, the Middle East and Japan, and while the U.S. were the big boss, they took their duty serious to take care of their hegemony, and everyone prospered. Today, you allies in the hegemony look irritated and with suspicion towards the United States, and have diverted
from the course of unconditional solidarity with the U.S. they were following for decades. They ask themselves if you intend to "upgrade" your hegemony into an empire. Was it really necessary to push that hard for an invasion of Iraq and alienate many of your best friend countries in the world? And because a growing number of people in those countries that stayed close to you did disallow your policy on Iraq, the heads of at least two countries who supported you strongly have lost their jobs: José María Aznar López in Spain and Silvio Berlusconi in Italy. Your most important ally, Anthony Charles Lynton Blair, is still in power, but his popularity is declining towards a point where he might be even more unpopular as John Major in his worst times, and this given that Blair did a quite good job and had been the most popular british prime minister ever before he decided to go to war with you. You will probably think that a good politician has to do unpopular things from time to time, and I agree with that. However, when 90% of the population disapprove a decision like the Spanish people the Iraq war, you need a miracle to survive the next election, and a leader behaving like this does not only damage his own reputation, but also discredits his party and all other political ideas he stands for, so the long term damage might be substantial. Again here is a pattern of trading an unsustainable short term advantage for grave long term consequences. At least, Aznar’s loyalty to the U.S. must have attributed to the warm welcome he received as a scholar at the Edmund A. Walsh School of Foreign Service at Georgetown University in Washington, and together with his other job as a board member of Rupert Murdoch’s News Corporation he seems to enjoy an interesting a comfortable life as a respected scholar and businessman. I wonder what the future has in stock for you after your term will end. It is hard to imagine you as a scholar, but guiding other members of your family and taking care of various businesses should make you happy, unless all those people you pushed in various corners and all your questionable actions will come back to haunt you. You have bended rules, broken laws and caused so much controversy that it is very probable that armies of lawyers will come forward as soon as you and your friends will no longer be in power. Being you, I wouldn’t even trust fellow republicans to stay by your side when things start to get rough. You will have to rely on your family and a few grateful businessmen who owe you some big favors, and probably you can put also faith in some long time friends you made at Yale. A few days ago the Military Commissions Act of 2006 has been passed by senate. Colloquially it is called Bush’s “Torture Bill”, but after reading it, I did not find the name appropriate. I now do understand why Senator McCain also approved this bill; it really seems to intend to limit torture and cruel treatment of detainees, but given your administration’s track record, it is doubtful it can actually achieve that. Then again, used by your opponents, this bill could give you a hard time, given that this bill is retroactive and now there is implicitely even a penalty for outsourcing torture to other countries. It also does not shed a good light on America that your definition of torture in the bill falls a bit short compared to what the Geneva Conventions define as torture. Anyway, a better name for the bill would be “Tainted Evidence Rescue Bill”, or “Secret Trial Approval Bill”. A shorter, more sticking name might be “Kafka’s Trial Bill”. Although it is possible that if this bill is executed with good faith it might improve the situation for the detainees, it will be a nightmare for every person on this planet if used as a political tool, and given the low moral standards to which not only U.S. politicians of all flavors seem to adhere, this nightmare will come to many. From what I have seen in the last decades, every law with abuse potential has been abused, and this law does not even need to be abused to cause disasters. Seriously, was it really necessary not only to ignore the constitution, but also try to damage it severely by making such a catastrophic bill? Don’t you feel the vibration emanating from the graves of the founding fathers, whose unbalanced masses are spinning at an outrageous turn rate? And you should see the uneasiness in all democratic countries all over the world watching this. Now you really fell far behind every european country and many american and asian countries in terms of democracy, human rights and justice, and you are going to loose even more faithful allies in the free world. Most human-rights respecting countries will be very careful now when you ask for support, given the new parliamentary sanctioned low human rights standards in your country. After getting the bill passed, you must feel relieved, because you probably feel that you can now start to clean up the Guantanamo and secret detainee camp mess. But this relief will be short. Iraq does not get any better. Afghanistan is getting worse. Pakistan is acting up. The U.S. economy faces serious threats. Your budget is a disaster, and you owe the Chinese alone thousand billion dollars. The hurricane season has started. The polar caps are melting. Iran will have nuclear bombs. And the worst of all: the housing bubble has started to implode, and hedge fonds beyond the control of any single human being might bring the world economy to a grinding halt at any time. I pray to the lords every day that nothing really bad happens to the world while your administration is in charge of almost half the military power and the largest economy in the world. I honestly have been looking for things where I could say: You did a great job here, build on that. I really tried to be fair in judging about your work, but I did not find a single thing I could point out and say: Well done. Maybe your reelection could count as such a thing, but even your victory there was tainted by the circumstances. You have failed on every account known to me. I believe that it is your single-hearted desire to make this world a better place for everyone. However, the harder you tried, the worse things have gotten. The reason is, you tried too hard, you moved too fast, and you cared too little. After 9/11, you had the sympathy of the world, and it was at your hands to lead it into a century of freedom and prosperity. But you let the world down. Combining the resources of the United States, the European Union, Japan, India, Canada, South Korea, Australia and Taiwan would have easily brought over 60% of the world economy behind your efforts. Including all other democracies, it might have been even over 70%. And given the over 300 billion dollars you already spent on Iraq, there could have been a world-wide 1000 billion effort to fight the roots of evil using brains and bread, not bombs and blood. You could have used the U.N. and the international court of justice to punish those responsible
for terror, including every head of any state harboring or supporting terrorists. The reason why you didn’t is because the United States do not trust anyone, not even it’s friends. Maybe you think that there can be no real friendship between countries because they all compete for the same resources. Feeling so alone, the worlds only superpower, you do not really respect any other country. And you do not respect the United Nations. And the countries in the world feel this lack of respect. Most countries tolerate it because they have no real choice. An open political confrontation with the U.S. is not easy to persevere. Previous administration were much more tolerant and patient with their allies, and I think it was a good thing for everyone. Maybe it was also because of the existence of the Soviet Union – you had to be the nicer guy or risk that other countries move closer to the eastern block if you bully them too much. Extraordinary power requires an extraordinary noble character – normal humans easily get corrupted by it, so the arrogance of your administration is just a normal human reaction. It does not mean that you are all bad guys. It just means that you were not extraordinary enough to be up to the gargantuan tasks you faced, and when you felt it deep inside, you couldn’t admit it, because to admit your failures you all would have needed even more nobility of mind than would have saved you from failing in the first place. So you lied to yourself until you all believed that you are doing a great job, while the gap between reality and your perception widened. When I served in the army, there was a saying that the U.S. military thinks that every problem can be solved with a huge enough explosion. And you definitely tried to blast many problems away, but this is also not how the world generally works. The largest power in this world comes from hearts and minds, and you should have learned this lesson in Vietnam. The U.S. in Vietnam fired on the average more than a million rounds per killed enemy fighter, and you dropped much more explosives on Vietnam than in WWII, but the result was a mortifying defeat, and you ruined your WWI and WWII reputation as the saviors of freedom for decades. Now you are facing another defeat in Iraq, but you still don’t know it. The sad thing is, you could have done better, and there must be thousands of people in your service who could have told you how. The history repeats itself. You had the choice between another Japan or another Vietnam, but you have chosen Vietnam because you were all blinded by superpower arrogance, overconfident on the outside, but in reality lacking the patience and the confidence to hear and listen to dissenting voices, even suppressing them. The best friends are those who tell you the truth – not those people who tell you what you want to hear. So what now? The situation is not hopeless, but you are so deep in shit that it is hard to envision how to clean up. No matter what you do from now on, there will be a huge price to pay, and you can’t make things undone. The hundred thousands of new enemies you created will not go away anytime soon, no matter what you do, and it will take decades to rebuild the reputation of the U.S. you have ruined. You seem to intend to escalate the situation by attacking Iran, but be warned: The Iran is about five to ten times as powerful as Iraq, and this time you would have a real war at your hands, not a police action thing like invading a starving Iraq. Just look how Israel fared in Lebanon recently – this was not a good rehearsal. And denying Iran the Nuclear bomb is not a sufficient reason for possibly killing a million of people. Pakistan has it, India has it, Israel has, and even South Africa once had it. Have you ever read the Treaty on the Non-proliferation of Nuclear Weapons? If you have, how can you expect any non-nuclear-weapon State to feel bound to it if the nuclear-weapon States have ignored the promise given in Article VI? When will you sign a "Treaty on general and complete nuclear disarmament", as your country has agreed on in 1970 in the Non-proliferation treaty? On the other hand, Iran might have a good reason to exercise the “right to withdraw from the Treaty if … extraordinary events … have jeopardized the supreme interests of its country”. A threat of invasion by the U.S. definitely “jeopardized the supreme interests” of a country. I do not want to see nuclear weapons in the hand of Iran, but I do not want to see them in the hands of any country in the world, especially not in the hands of the only country in the world that has used this nuclear weapons against civilians, as the United States of America did in Hiroshima and Nagasaki. The names of these two cities are forever engraved in the collective memory of mankind, and the world does not remember them as acts of boldness. And it was not necessary. Even after the bombing, Japan refused to surrender, and the military was ready to fight to the last man before beeing dishonored by abandoning the emperor. If the emperor himself had not demanded surrender, you could have dropped another hundred nukes and still had to invade the country. However, the price you had to pay for using the bomb was the nuclear arms race with the Soviet Union, which could have been avoided at that point. The United States and the world have been on the brink of nuclear holocaust several times, the last time in 1983 a nuclear holocaust almost happened because of a computer malfunction, and it has not been an American who averted it. As a result of Hiroshima, until today the threat of nuclear annihilation of the United States persists. In almost any conceivable situation the use of nuclear weapons on Iran would be a war crime, and even threatening a country with the use of nuclear weapons is a grave violation of International Humanitarian Law. Already the discussion of using nuclear weapons on Iran can be seen as conspiration to commit a war crime and is punishable even if never carried out. No sane person should even consider such a thing, and you should immediately remove any person from duty who dares to mention it as a viable option in a potential conflict with the Iran. You are already known to the world as someone who has little respect for human rights, but you don’t want to go down in history as a nuclear mass murderer. So better don’t even think about it, and make sure no one else in you vicinity does. You would face a mutiny not only of the arab world, but Japan and Europe would not forgive it, either. And don’t forget China and Russia. Especially China, whose nuclear arsenal is quite small would be tempted to start a new nuclear arms race, and in a short time you would have thousands of new strategic missiles pointing to your homeland. If this is what you want, just go ahead. America messed up Iran once already when Eisenhower ordered the CIA to remove the democratically elected government under Mohammed Mossadegh and brought a tyrant called Reza Pahlevi into power, who did such a bad job that he lost the country to Ruhollah Khomeini and the muslim hard-liners you are worrying about today. Just leave these guys a
lone, America has already screwed up their life enough, and the people there neither want to be freed nor bombed, and they have not attacked any other country since Iran exists. But they were attacked by Saddam Hussein, heavily supported by the U.S. at that time. I understand that you do not like the idea of them having nuclear weapons, but to me it is a miracle that they have not already obtained them, given that Israel has them illegally for many years. Why do you tolerate the Israelis to have nuclear weapons? It would be much easier for you to keep Iran from getting them if you would force Israel to nuclear disarmament, although you might not be able to do that. Israel has for many years successfully “used” it’s nuclear potential to force the United States to keep up diplomatic and conventional weapon support, because otherwise the threshold to the use of nuclear weapons would be much lower. However, although they came close, even Israel has not used it’s nuclear weapons during the last four wars, for good reason. And you don’t want to use yours again either, believe me. On the other hand, if you really want to see Iran nuked, just withdraw all your support for Israel and wait what happens. Israel probably has the better nukes for this anyway because they had to plan for using them on severly limited space. They probably have even enough neutron bombs to kill a large part of Irans population while leaving most of the infrastructure intact. However, Israel would not survive the political fallout, and neither would you. Now, if escalation is not a good option, what else could you realistically do? How about a 180 degrees turn of your policy? Withdraw from Iraq, send all the detainees home, let Afghanistan deal alone with it’s fate? Defeat all the constitution-gouging anti-terror legislation? Must probably sound like a dangerous pipe dream to you. But this is exactly what is going to happen sooner or later. You know that the current state of affairs is unsustainable, and escalating will even shorten the time until radical changes in the U.S. policy will become inevitable. So why not start right tomorrow? A good starting point would be a solution for the Israel-Palestine problem. As in every conflict, the root here is the struggle for resources. Israel has only such a tiny patch of land in this world that they cling to every acre of it. They annexed it from the palestinians by every method they could conceive, and rarely paid the previous owners a fair price. The palestinians were understandingly quite pissed about it and still are, but today they mainly struggle for their existence and a chance for their children to live in dignity. If you spend some billions on building houses, farms, roads, irrigation, water supply, electrical grid, schools and hospitals, the palestinians would be Israel’s and America’s best friends after two or three decades. Give the money monthly to a joint Israeli-Palestinian committee, and if they don’t agree on how to spend it, they won’t get any money at all. They also jointly control how the money is spend, and if any side wants to buy weapons, they can if they both agree. Israel did cost the U.S. taxpayer about $250 billion (purchasing power adjusted) in about 50 years, plus the $117 billion for Egypt and $22 billion for Jordan your country paid for the peace treaties with Israel, which was a wise thing to do, given that the oil crisis alone did cost a multitude of that. So if you start with shelving out about one billion per month for Israel and Palestine together, which is what you are spending on Iraq every four days, it would be not that much more than the estimated total of at least five billions Israel received last year, but in long run it would be much cheaper for the U.S.. Throw in some dozen billions for Syria and Lebanon, and you will wonder how unattractive it will be for the kids in the region to become Terrorists. The problem in distributing the money will be of course corruption, so make sure that a significant portion directly gets into the hands of the people. Just let everyone in the country pick up a cheque every month, for example. Now what to do about Iraq? Iraq is pretty fucked up. A rigid stop-loss strategy is the only expedient option left. The people in Iraq hate Americans, and this won’t change anytime soon, no matter what you do. I would split Iraq up in at least three parts and then drop the problem into the hands of the United Nations. Draw up new borders. Let China, Russia, Europe, Japan and the Arabs take care of it, and bring your soldiers and civilians home. A general amnesty for everyone could make a good start, and eventually the people in Iraq will get tired of killing each other after some time like the people did in Lebanon. Afghanistan is going to be hard in the long run, too. Probably splitting it up is also the best option. Let the Taliban also have a few provinces. Anyway, all these artificially drawn up borders will pose a problem for centuries, so split it up, let them fight it out, and let them reunite peacefully after some time like it happened in Europe. Finally, what to do with all those loose terrorists in the world who hate America and our decadent western way of life? Well, many of them will resort to other ways to reach their goals if they get a chance to do it, so finding out if there is a way to give them what they are fighting for is an option in some cases. Support the people who want to modernize Islam. Make it attractive for terrorists to refrain from terrorism. Grant terrorism dropouts immunity. Make hate speech a crime. And strengthen the United Nations so that any country not playing by the rules will not only be effectively isolated, but every leader who does not respect human rights will find himself in front of an international court. And all those terrorist who will still not lay down their weapons: Treat them like every other criminal who kills. And you should also reconsider your stance on death penalty. It should be only God who gives and takes life. If you claim the right to kill someone for whatever reason, others will claim the right, too. Human life must be sacred. I know, this must all sound to you like a left-wing fantasy, and turn you stomach upside down, but this planet has become a small one, and in the next decades weapons of mass destruction will be so easy to create, that we must not have a single place on this planet where the law and the human rights are meaningless. Only then mankind will be able to master all the scrutinies the universe has in stock for us. Sincerely A Concerned Human

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