Dear President Putin,
I am an American citizen and my name is Timothy V. Gatto. I was once a Sergeant in the U.S. Army and actually held your nation to be my “enemy” during those bad old days of the Cold War. I was stationed on top of a mountain outside of a little town called Rockenhausen in what then was known as The Federal Republic of Germany (West Germany). I remember living on that nuclear weapon site and being scared to death anytime we went over DEFCON 3. I believe that you also must have some experiences that were not so pleasant during that era.
I would like to take a minute and talk about this missile system that the President of my country (I almost called him “my” President, but I can’t get myself to actually put something like that on paper) wants to install in Poland. You must be aware of the fact that this missile system doesn’t work, and no matter how much money that the government of the United States puts into it, it will in all actuality, never work. Why Bush is putting these missiles in Eastern European countries beyond my understanding. Much of what this President does is beyond my understanding.
You must understand Mr. Putin, that many of us in the United States are not very supportive of this President. You might also remember that under our Constitution, he may only serve two terms in office, and unless he declares himself a dictator (and in that case we all will have problems) the next person that is elected President will in all likelihood remove those missiles from the countries that border on your country. I would also like to apologize on my own behalf for what this man has done by placing these missiles so close to your country. It was not a very good way to show good intentions, whether the system works or not.
Mr. Putin, you must understand that a return to the “Cold War” is something that most Americans and I’m sure that most Russians don’t want. It was a terrible way to grow up and a terrible way to spend a large part of my life. To go back to that type of mindset because of the actions of one man would be a terrible waste of all the time and effort that many Russian and American people put in to end the war of words and the threats and the weapons systems that made up “the cold war”. Since George Bush seems to be intent on this ignoble venture, you must be the world statesman that I feel you have the capacity to be.
The entire world realizes that what Bush is doing is a mistake, have no doubt about that. Whether or not the Polish government can refuse the “incentives” that our government will no doubt lavish on them is up in the air so to speak, but you can be confident Sir that the next administration will get those missiles out of there faster than you can say “Warsaw Pact”. Yes Sir, we don’t want to fool around and get that crap started up again. It’s bad enough trying to placate 50 million mean-spirited Muslims without stirring up a hornet nest with you folks. I guess what I’m trying to say here is that the present President is just looking for things to divert the American public’s eyes off of the Middle East.
I understand that from what I have heard Mr. Bush say, was that you didn’t mind us putting in all of those missiles on your border. If you didn’t tell that to him, it would be a big help to those here in the United States to hear that directly from you. It’s not that we don’t trust our President, but it sure does seem unlikely that you would tell him something like that. OK then, I guess we don’t trust him all that much. It takes awhile Mr. Putin to trust someone that just invades another country because they supposedly has weapons of mass destruction and then to find out that is was all a big lie. I’m not stupid, I know that all politicians lie, but Jeez, this guy doesn’t seem to stop (Sorry, that’s not your concern).
So here’s the deal Mr. Putin, I just want to remind you that those missiles that are going into Poland really don’t work anyway, the people of the United States are very embarrassed that he’s putting them there (knowing that Iran is still a decade away from actually shooting an ICBM over Europe and hitting us), and that they will be taken out once we get ourselves a new and improved President. It’s been absolutely great having no Cold War this past decade (except for the Russian Mafia moving in on the East Coast) and we hope we can keep this good-spirited relationship going for awhile longer.
It’s like the old movie where they say “pay no attention to that man behind the curtain!” and the curtain is pulled away by a little dog, and you see who the great wizard really is. Well in this case it would be Dick Cheney, the man who is now pretending to be the Vice-President of the United States. Oh, one other thing Mr. Putin, don‘t disregard this letter because you believe we Americans are responsible for electing these two men to lead our country. In case you didn’t get the word out there in Russia, we didn’t really didn’t elect them. There seems to have been a set of glitches at the voting booths. You should actually be dealing with President Gore. Isn’t that a hoot? Well I’ve got to get ready to write my Sunday column in which I try to castrate all of the far-right neo-cons. I hope things are going well for you and your lovely wife.
Timothy V. Gatto