Some people say, writing letters, protesting, and forums of all sorts do no good. I can not stand by and not raise my voice in dissent to more war. This is not just a commitment to railing against wars started, continued or waged by governments, but it is a call for me and those I love to learn new ways to operate in the world. How do I let go of aggression, resentment, ego, sarcasm, fear, gossip as strategies? These are acts of war! True story. I say I'm against war, but I am not against talking shit about someone, defending MY position, making enemies, may times without conscious thought or a backward look. So, yes, waging material war and murdering and raping people and land is a gross form of aggressive warfare, but it is built upon smaller acts of aggression: discrimination, intolerance, superiority and other forms of power plays. So, I composed a letter, not the most eloquent, but full of my heart, to President Obama. I hope he reads it, I hope, I pray, I fervently want there to be room for us to solve problems without killing, without making money off of murder, without this having to be "the way it is" because someone with a lot of dough is talking in his ear about being "tough on terrorism." There is obviously more going on than I can ever know, but just because I like this guy and not the last one, doesn't mean I support war, this war, any war.
So, here it is:
Dear Mr. President:
I am extremely disappointed in your decision to send 30,000 more troops to Afghanistan. While I whole-heartedly support the safe return of women and men who are in the battle zone, I also am afraid for the Afghan women, men and children who will continue to die at our hands, by your command. You said that America has never been a colonial power, (a lawerly equivocation sir), but we certainly are currently engaging in deadly imperialist tactics in Afghanistan, Iraq and other places in the world.
Why are we there? For Osama Bin Laden? Please. If we're there for oil, strategic position, or poppy, be more honest about that. Frankly, with unemployment reaching nearly 30% for some communities (Detroit), shouldn't the State of Emergency be sounding loudly for our own doomed economy?
I am one of your strongest supporters. As a act of love and conscience, I ask you to drop the smooth facade and truly lead us somewhere brave and enlightened, some place that does not follow the same script of greed, war, corporations, blind capitalism, crusading Christianity and xenophobic hatred.
Are you REALLY dedicated to making America a place of thoughtful leadership and citizenry? Or will you go down in history as another aborted dream, who crumbled to the will of those filled with lust for power and greed for resources?
I love you sir and your family.
Shante Tanishia Smalls