Dear Mr. Powell,
Like most Americans of either
political persuasion, I think you are a fundamentally
decent person, principled, and honest. Heck,
I would have liked to see you as the first American
Vice President with a Democratic ticket (this
country apparently isnt ready for a black
or a woman President, though many other democracies
have jumped through at least the latter hoop
on the long road to civilization).
It is therefore with sincere hope
that I ask you to formally resign from the Bush
administration before the upcoming elections.
That, of course, would help the American people
put in perspective a President who ran a campaign
as a compassionate conservative,
only to clearly demonstrate that he is neither
(he is not treating gays or Haitians with compassion,
and the ballooning deficit that he created makes
it clear that he sure aint fiscally conservative).
More importantly, your resignations
would help the rest of the world avoid four
more years of an administration bent on destroyng
the environment for economic gain, on demolishing
nations to score cheap political points, and
on risking the destabilization of international
finances just so that a crooked minority of
rich people can get just a tinsy bitsy more
rich than they already are.
However, the fundamental reason
for you to resign is because you are a decent
man, and resignation at this point is the only
decent thing to do. Mr. Powell, most Americans
believed you when you went to the United Nations,
sticking your neck way out in order to substantiate
Bushs case that Iraq was a clear and present
danger to the US, that Saddam Hussein was building
an arsenal of nuclear and biological weapons
(you know, nothing compared to what the US already
has, but thats another matter...), and
that he was also somehow connected with Osama
Bin Ladens Al Qaeda operations.
A year after the beginning of
the war we know beyond reasonable doubt that
Iraq was not a direct threat to the United States,
for the simple fact that there are no detectable
amounts of weapons of mass destruction on Iraqui
territory. Moreover, it is true that Al Qaeda
is now connected to Iraq, but it is the American
invasion and the fall of Hussein that has created
that connection, in yet another example of alleged
good intentions gone bad in American international
policy (other examples include the funding and
political backing of both Osama and Saddam,
when it was convenient to do so against the
Soviet and Iranian threats respectively -- I
particularly like that photo of Don Rumsfeld
shaking hands with Hussein, back in 1983).
Of course, intelligent observers
did have serious doubts about your show at the
United Nations to begin with. I mean, simply
pointing to fuzzy dots on a satellite image
and saying see? Here, this is a chemical
weapons factory! did seem a bit far fetched
even then. I, for one, didnt believe you
for a second. But there was your perceived honesty
and integrity that did leave some reasonable
doubt that you could be, after all, right.
Well, you were not, and it seems
to me that the only decent thing to do at this
point -- if you really are as honest and deserving
of respect as I still think you may be -- is
to admit that you and Bush were wrong, and leave
the latter to face the consequences.
Yes, I know, you have been saying
that surely no decent person can regret the
departure of Hussein and the liberation of Iraq.
I completely agree on the first point, though
the second one will depend greatly on what will
happen there during the next few months (you
dont really think that an Iran-style theocracy
would be an improvement, do you? And yet, at
the moment that seems the most likely outcome
of upcoming democratic elections).
But that wasnt why you and
Bush (and Cheney, and Rumsfeld, and the rest
of that fine gang) advocated war. If it were
a matter of loosing American lives and jeopardizing
American international prestige in order to
liberate oppressed people, why start with Iraq?
Pakistan or North Korea would have made much
worthier targets, especially considering that
we know they have nuclear capability. Not to
mention other croocked countries, such as Saudi
Arabia (remember that Bin Ladin and most of
his followers come from there, not from Iraq?),
or Iran (look at what sham the democratic
elections have been there very recently).
No, what you said to the world
that fateful day at the United Nations was that
the reason for the US to invade Iraq was that
Hussein was working toward developing the capacity
for direct nuclear strike on America. He wasnt,
you were wrong, and honest people of integrity
admit their mistakes and try to amend the consequences,
if possible. It is the decent thing to do, Mr.
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