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A Letter to a Congress Member
Letters are effective when they're in your own words. Don't copy this one. Just learn from it.
Dear Senator Coburn:
Thank you for your prompt response. I feel I must, with respect, disagree
with your decision not to support a Congressional Resolution of Inquiry into
the President's long-ago decided upon war against Iraq.
The Downing Street Memos and other documents dated as early as 1999 clearly
illustrate this administration's determination to launch an unprovoked war
of aggression against Iraq. The marketing of this lethal "product", as
White House spokesman Scott McLellan has so callously labeled it, was based
upon a carefully constructed platform of deliberately misconstrued and
misused (not "faulty", as Bush would have us believe) intelligence
reinforced by a propaganda campaign replete with nightmarish visions of
mushroom clouds looming above American cities.
I strongly disagree with the contrived notion that war was the last option
available to Bush and Blair. There was no need for war - Iraq was
completely contained and posed no threat to its neighbors. They knew that
Iraq was in no way connected with the 9/11 attack, and possessed no weapons
of mass destruction.
You ask why the President would seek to make his case before the United
Nations if he had already made his decision to go to war? It is simple and
obvious: to lend a false sense of legitimacy to his case. Bush and Blair
never expected Iraq to agree to inspections. Saddam Hussein surprised and
disappointed them by cooperating with the UN weapons inspectors. The few
missiles that were found were destroyed without his objection. President
George Bush was the person responsible for recalling the inspectors before
they could complete their investigations - before they could completely
dispel his public WMD smokescreen. The rush to war was fueled by the fear
that the lack of any evidence to support their claim of Iraq's "threat"
would become obvious to the American public and to Congress. Iraq was
caught in a classic Catch 22. Bush and Blair kept calling for Saddam to
disarm: "They aren't disarming!", "They aren't disarming!", "Saddam
Hussein is not disarming!", "We know what a disarmed country looks like, and
Iraq doesn't look like that!" when they knew without a doubt that it
couldn't disarm, because it had no WMD of which to disarm itself!
I question your statement that this war is being waged on sound legal and
Constitutional grounds. As I understand it, only Congress has the authority
to wage war, not the President. Has Congress done this? Has it declared
war against Iraq? Or did it place the decision in the hands of a President
who then committed an almost inconceivable act: lie to convince Congress
and the American people to give him the authority to wage an unnecessary and
unprovoked war in order to secure his own political capital.
In 1999, Bush was already speaking privately about the advantages of
"He was thinking about invading Iraq in 1999," said author and journalist
Mickey Herskowitz (who had been hired by Bush to ghost-write his
autobiography). "It was on his mind. He said to me: 'One of the keys to
being seen as a great leader is to be seen as a commander-in-chief.' And he
said, 'My father had all this political capital built up when he drove the
Iraqis out of Kuwait and he wasted it.' He said, 'If I have a chance to
invade·.if I had that much capital, I'm not going to waste it. I'm going to
get everything passed that I want to get passed and I'm going to have a
successful presidency." Herskowitz said that Bush expressed frustration at a
lifetime as an underachiever in the shadow of an accomplished father. In
aggressive military action, he saw the opportunity to emerge from his
father's shadow. The moment, Herskowitz said, came in the wake of the
September 11 attacks. "Suddenly, he's at 91 percent in the polls, and he'd
barely crawled out of the bunker."
More damning still, in my opinion, is this statement, which can be found at: http://www.commondreams.org/headlines04/1028-01.htm
According to Herskowitz, George W. Bush's beliefs on Iraq were based in part
on a notion dating back to the Reagan White House - ascribed in part to
now-vice president Dick Cheney, Chairman of the House Republican Policy
Committee under Reagan. "Start a small war. Pick a country where there is
justification you can jump on, go ahead and invade."
That is exactly what the Bush administration did. They fabricated the
justification and then they jumped on it, and went ahead and invaded.
If we as elected representatives and individual citizens did not understand
this in the run up to the war, we have no excuse now. The facts are out
there, in spite of George Bush's attempts to obscure and deny them. We just
need to do the reading and connect the dots. The Downing Street Memos can
serve as a guide. An unprovoked and illegal war is being fought in our
names. American troops and innocent Iraqis are dying as you read this
letter. It is our moral responsibility as human beings to stop the
bloodshed. It is our moral responsibility to demand the truth and to demand
accountability for the actions of this President and his administration. I
expect you as my Congressman to pursue every avenue available to you to
expose the true road to war in Iraq. Supporting a Resolution of Inquiry
would be an appropriate first step. I urge you to follow Representative
John Conyers' courageous lead. The people of this nation hunger for the
truth. We thirst for it. And make no mistake, we WILL have it.
Very sincerely yours,
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