President Barak Obama
The White House
Washington, DC 20500
Dear President Obama,
Thank you for expressing your grief over the killings at Sandy Hook Elementary School. Your eloquence touched me and, I am sure, most Americans as we try to come to terms with this latest tragedy. I was particularly struck by your mention of how you and Michelle will hug your daughters more closely, and tell them you love them. It is obvious that you feel deeply the senseless killing of these children and school staff. You spoke as a man and as the president of a nation in shock.
While listening to your remarks, I could not help thinking about Tuesday mornings at the White House when you meet with your staff to discuss who to add to your list of people to be assassinated by US airborne drones. I could not help thinking of those men and women, and sometimes children, who are caught up in your policy of killing people you perceive as enemies of this country. I wonder if you think of them with children or parents they hug. I want to believe you think killing these people will protect people in this country. If you do, you are wrong.
Just as I cannot imagine the pain and anger of those parents whose children were killed at Sandy Hook, so too I cannot fathom the reaction of the loved ones of those killed by the drones you let loose in Afghanistan, Pakistan, Yemen, Somalia and the Philippines. I suspect that they react in ways very similar to the people in Newton, Connecticut. Many of them probably want to avenge the deaths. Who else will die in the US and abroad as a reaction to the assassinations you have warranted?
You clearly, and rightly, feel for the lost lives in Newton; those children were cut off before their precious lives could be fully lived. Do not the people you intend to kill, and the people who happen to be near them and die, also have precious lives? Do you have a hierarchy of precious lives; are there those whose lives are somehow less precious and not worthy of your human feeling? Might that kind of hierarchy also exist for those you target? If so, how do you propose to end this cycle of death?
Vermont Action for Peace
Producer & Host - Gathering Peace
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