A decade ago, in the days preceding the impending attack on Iraq, I penned an open letter to the US president at the time, George W. Bush. In it, I implored him to reconsider the war plans being drawn up for an invasion of a country that had nothing to do with the Sept 11, 2001 attack in New York.
The excerpted version goes as follows: "Dear Mr. Bush. My conscience compels me to write this to you. Shortly after you were elected, a heinous crime took place on your shores. In your quest to stamp out terrorism, you bombed Afghanistan. And when that failed to capture the alleged mastermind of September 11 you elected to alarm your constituents into believing that the Al-Qaeda was freely operating all over Iraq. When that claim drew a challenging reaction not only in your country but from around the world, the people of the United States were suddenly confronted with an ominous threat: Weapons of mass destruction!
You took your case to the United Nations. There were even some menacing samples of such weaponry presented to the world body to back your assertion that Iraq was preparing for a massive onslaught on your country. And you drew concessions from the UN to sanction detailed inspections of Iraq's offensive machinery.
The inspectors have been poring over Iraq for some months now. There have been no smoking guns located yet. Nothing capable of remotely striking US interests either in the US or in bordering regions around Iraq. Meanwhile, you collared the ever-obedient Tony Blair into trotting forth and marketing your doomsday scenario at the hands of the Iraqis.
Your Pentagon generals, we are told, would employ the strategy of raining down ten time the bombs on Iraq in the opening hours than was used in the Gulf War back in 1991. A "shock and awe' punch meant to maximize damage and demolition; a showering inferno over innocent people who had absolutely nothing to do with that dreadful day on September 11.
You may lead your public to believe that your God-fearing virtues are the reason behind this determination to take war to the Iraqi people. So who would really suffer and die? Nameless and faceless people to the media circus preparing to cover this latest spectacle, but victims nonetheless whose memories will forever be etched painfully in the minds of their loved ones.
Turn towards your family for a moment, Mr. Bush. Would you welcome any acts of aggression towards Laura or your daughters, carried out under the condescending pretensions of saving humanity? Or is it your belief that while an American life is significant and worthy, all others are considered not?
I fervently hope that deep down in your soul, the morality of this impending aggression has given rise to conflicting seeds of doubt; that giving peace a chance, and inspectors more time to do their jobs is the honorable thing to do.
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