Crossposted from Axis of Logic
Avocat Honoraire au Barreau de Boulogne-sur-Mer
22 rue de l'Eglise
Mr Barack Obama
President of the U.S.A.
10th March 2009
I am a 77 years old retired Avocat, in poor health and living in the north of France, but, in my time, I have had practical hands-on experience of international law at the highest world-wide level and of criminal law (among other disciplines) at all levels. By chance, I have never visited your country, but friends on your side of the Atlantic do their best to inform me of what is going on in the U.S.A. My professional experience makes me feel free to give you frank advice as might any senior lawyer to a younger colleague.
You have come to your present post at a comparatively young age, and this should ensure that you have the strength and vigour to stand up to the pressures which you are now facing, and will inevitably continue to face. Unfortunately, in order to get elected, you had to make some vague perhaps excessively wide campaign quasi-promises which you should now yourself review critically and with the greatest of care, without accepting advice from persons who have other interests at heart than the well-being of both the U.S.A. and the wider world outside its borders. You have taken a solemn oath to protect the true interests of your country, and you should bear them constantly in mind, whatever anyone tries to get you to do.
It is appropriate to inform you that I have for many years very closely followed events in the Near and Middle East, and I feel that you appear to be heading for disaster in your handling of intervention in that area and in Afghanistan and Pakistan to the east of it.
The genuine interests of the U.S.A. anywhere in the world are to make life everywhere safer for all, since your fellow-citizens cannot benefit from any hostility which then goes on to become hatred. This hatred in its turn finally inspires the oppressed to take action against the U.S.A. as the clearly perceived oppressor, whether directly or indirectly. Extremely clever propaganda by some of the world's greatest experts seems to have made you (like many of your people, and despite your father's heritage) believe that you must continue the war against Islam waged by several of your predecessors, and which Mr George W. Bush cynically called the "War against Terror".
I am myself a committed and practising Catholic Christian, and I have many dear friends who belong to other bodies inspired by their belief in Jesus or who are followers of Judaism or of Islam. Knowing such people, I do not believe that any genuine believer in the merciful God who is love can ipso facto be treated as my enemy or as the enemy of justice and freedom.
Those who wish to pervert their religion into one of hate are far too common, ranging from al-Qaeda to Zionism and including many preachers (particularly in your country) who encourage hatred in the name of Christianity. These latter should be encouraged in their turn to re-read the Ten Commandments and the Beatitudes. The U.S.A. can have no interest in continuing their support for invaders and oppressors, as they do at present in many parts of the world, and, most notably of all, in the Holy Land, where the Muslim and Christian indigenous people have for over sixty years suffered at the hands of invaders. You need look no further than to this chronic injustice to see why your country is the object of so much hatred, not only on the part of Arabs but also (far more widely) throughout the Muslim ouma (community) all around the world.
You need to be bold and to face the fact that the roots of what your immediate predecessor called "Terror " lie in the actions of successive administrations in the U.S.A., who have signally failed to take account of the feelings or of the reasonable interests of so many defenceless victims of oppression, often with massive financial, military and diplomatic backing from the U.S.A. This means that you must bring about real tangible CHANGE (to quote your campaign slogan) in your country's behaviour.
The world does not need any lead from the U.S.A. to promote justice and freedom, but it desperately needs to see that your country is willing to work with all men and women of good will towards peace and harmony on every continent. Every time that your administration makes a move which is hostile to another country, the world is that bit more destabilised, and the likelihood of further attacks on your country and on its citizens increases.
I beg you, in the name of humanity, to make that CHANGE, so that we can all benefit from a more stable and thereby more peaceful and just world. Think of your own children's future, and that of all the other children in the world.
Siv O'Neall was born and raised in Sweden where she graduated from Lund University. She has lived in Paris, France and New Rochelle, N.Y. and traveled extensively throughout the U.S, Europe, and other continents, including several trips to (more...)