To all my friends:
I sincerely hope that you are doing all right in spite of the recent attacks on our country. As far as I know, I have no direct personal ties to those who lost their live, but I have mourned along with everyone else. Generally, I have found little solace in the words of our elected leaders. The nation is moving toward war much too quickly, without any apparent target. To completely eradicate terrorism is an impossibly elusive goal. How will we know when we have won? Our approach must be diplomatic. We need to cooperate and hear the concerns of other nations. In the meantime, we should be rebuilding our country. Our civil liberties are also at stake. I am concerned for those of us who will be unjustly spied upon/accused because of their names, looks, or culture. Let us be careful what liberties we give up in the name of security. You know it will be a long fight to get them back once the immediate threat is gone.
Write your representatives. Wave the peace flag. Organize a protest. Get informed and get involved! I know alot of you are already. I look forward to hearing from you all.
p.s. I am attaching a letter I wrote to one of my representatives. You can find your reps on the internet by using the link below. http://www.workingforchange.com/activism/action.cfm?itemid=11918
I commend you for standing against President Bush's call for unrestrained military action. There may come a time in the near future when that reality becomes necessary, but the administration’s current effort appears emotional and rushed, when we need to be rational and methodological. Although a New York Times poll showed public support for war (85%), when the second question was asked, "even with civilian casualties?" 25% backed off, tipping the balance closer to about 63%. That shows the naiveté of many Americans toward the concept of war.
The terrorists undoubtedly expect us to retaliate with vengeance. Such a reaction, however, will degrade our credibility among even our most staunch supporters. Until we find the perpetrators or discover their plan, we have no justification for military action. If we begin a war, we must have a very concrete, moral purpose, and a goal that will end the war when reached. The President is creating unrealistic expectations by promising the eradication of international terrorism. It is this very haughtiness that breeds anti-American sentiments.
While we should encourage the aid of other nations in seeking out the terrorists, it is dangerous to force countries to make impossible decisions whether to support "us" or "them." Our leaders must engage in discussion rather than force. It is unfortunate that President Bush only now, in pledging war, realizes the value of international cooperation. Hopefully, in the presumed peace that will follow, Americans will renew their pledge to international cooperation and global welfare, and begin to address the growing inequalities that exist even in our own country.
Our priorities in this time should be rebuilding our country and its defenses. At the same time we must be very cautious not to compromise our civil liberties. Our civil liberties are so important to America’s identity, they will be critical in giving us the strength and resolve to rebuild our nation. To inflict an authoritarian state on Americans would not only hand victory to the enemies of freedom, but would create other enemies of the state, potential terrorists within our own country.
The courageous way of fighting this battle is through dialogue and cooperation, rather than through force and retaliation. The immediate reaction of anger that was felt by all Americans must subside, and give way to more constructive sentiments. My greatest concern is that our leaders are gearing up for a military campaign that will never end, one that will destroy the freedoms that make America a unique land of opportunity, resolve, and tolerance.