President George W. Bush
The White House
1600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW
Washington, DC 20500
Subject: Mr. Bush's war
Dear President Bush:
I am in complete agreement with you that setting a schedule for withdrawal of U.S. troops from Iraq is not realistic. Those elected officials and candidates for office who are calling for the withdrawal of U.S. troops from Iraq in order to advance their own political aspirations are, in a word, wrong.
It would be irresponsible as well as contrary to the best interests of the United States to withdraw troops until a sustainable and acceptable level of stability is achieved. This is obvious to all of us, and those who are trying to play this issue against you will only be hoist by their own petard.
Mr. President, whenever I hear your voice on the radio saying the words, "Stay the Course," I feel deeply disappointed. I expect better from an American President. Everyone sees through this "Stay the Course" slogan, just as we see through the self-serving chuckle-heads who call for immediate withdrawal of United States troops from Iraq.
People recognize honesty. It gets our attention. You will gain yourself and the Republican Party immediate respect by recognizing and taking responsibility for what is actually taking place. A much more genuine phrase, which I urge you to immediately substitute for your "Stay the Course" dodge, would be "Pay the Price".
The world's best troops continue to serve in Iraq because their Supreme Commander declared a pre-emptive war without making the most elementary long term plans. I will admit that at the time I too was in favor of your proposed war in Iraq. I too gave no thought for what the consequences might be. I learned a lot when I saw the region sink into instability. I assume that you, sir, have learned from the experience also.
The American Soldier continues to Pay the Price, including maiming and death. The American taxpayer continues to Pay the Price. America's reputation in the world has been severely damaged by this, the most pronounced initiative of your presidency: Mr. Bush's war.
We remember the banner that hung behind you on the USS Abraham Lincoln on 1 May 2003. The United States fighting men and women are amazingly tolerant of you, sir. I am a customer service representative. I sometimes speak with soldiers who have completed tours of duty in Iraq. Some of these volunteers I speak with have been injured. When I express appreciation to our troops for their service, they invariably respond graciously. These are indeed the best soldiers in the world.
The American People (aside from those who have profited from the war in Iraq), are Paying the Price. Thanks to your generous intervention, the Iraqi People are Paying the Price. The dead, the wounded, and those with a sharply reduced quality of life, are Paying the Price, as evinced by conditions in Baghdad, which are very miserable and have been for some time; much worse than before your ill-advised military endeavor. There is also a horrendous Iraqi refugee crisis thanks to you, Mr. President.
Have you changed your reading habits since your interview with Fox TV anchor Brit Hume on 2 September 2003, when you stated that you do not read newspapers? It is my understanding that some people find it helpful to cultivate the habit of genuinely seeking to understand, to some degree, what is taking place in the world. Your stated technique, per the interview on 2 September 2003, seems hopelessly insipid. At that time you described your approach to staying informed this way: "I glance at the headlines just to kind of get a flavor for what's moving. I rarely read the stories, and get briefed by people who probably read the news themselves". People who probably read the news themselves. No one would suggest that a President forgo daily briefings, and we know that you are a busy man, but I think most people would encourage you to take advantage of more diverse sources. For instance, a combination such as the BBC, the Associated Press, and the Christian Science Monitor (a sort of triangulation that uses news sources of significantly different origins…). And, just for kicks, a lot of us consult the information promulgated by that den of traitors, that diabolical cartel of subversives, the subtle and treacherous liberal press. Perhaps even the New York Times or Washington Post, which sources certainly indulge in sensationalism, but also report a good deal of fact, and may even have a greater number of moderate journalists and editors on their staffs than you or I would assume. If you make this type of effort, you can learn things, sir. You may even find it stimulating.
Because of your professed methods of gathering information, I can not be certain that you know that the water taps in Baghdad are frequently dry for extended periods. I hope you will excuse me for saying so, sir, but your apparent ignorance is embarrassing to the American People. Our President, the current guest in our White House, on the face of the evidence- of the things he says for the whole world to hear- does not know what the hell is going on.
We are Paying the Price. The least you could do, Mr. President, is publicly recognize the fact.
With best regards always,
Douglas B. Cloud -U.S. Citizen, Registered Voter Independent Party douglascloud[at]verizon[dot]net
cc: this is an open letter and will be diligently promulgated
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