Today's the date of the Virtual March on Washington
and, due to concerns that my employers might not be too enthusiastic
about my sending political
e-mail from work, I'm not going to participate. However, I composed some letters a few days ago and popped 'em in the mail--hopefully, they've had time to make it to the White House
and to my Congresscritter
s by now.
The text of the letters I sent is reproduced below...
Dear ((President Bush, Senators Hutchison and Cornyn, and Representative Combest)),
I am writing because of the concerns about the upcoming Iraq invasion that I share with many people across our nation and across our world.
I am not foolish enough to think that my voice will be listened to. The decision to invade was made long ago, several years before 9/11, by my reckoning. No matter what I say, no matter how many people in America protest, no matter how many people worldwide protest, the invasion will go on.
However, though I do not expect my government to listen, I will eagerly add my voice to the crowd. I do not favor the upcoming invasion of Iraq. Thanks to the Internet, I have been able to carefully read many, many pages of evidence and opinion, and I believe that Saddam Hussein does not threaten America at this time. I have seen no proof that he is an ally of Al Qaeda. There are greater and more important threats that we, as a nation, must face, including the nuclear threats of North Korea and the continuing existence of Osama bin Laden and Al Qaeda. I do not believe that our economy can currently sustain a major invasion and long-term occupation, especially not without the support and aid of our international allies. We do not have the world support that will be necessary for this invasion, we have no exit strategy for the war, and we've shown no interest in rebuilding anything afterwards. I do not favor this war. And I believe that this invasion will only serve to strengthen Al Qaeda and America's enemies.
I also believe that the administration has behaved in a manner that I can only describe as rude. I grew up in Texas and was taught how to play nice with others, and I know that, if I had treated my childhood playmates with the same impoliteness and arrogance that we have shown to the nations that should be our allies, I would have spent my youth friendless, ignored, and despised by my schoolmates. We must start communicating with our allies, rather than trying to command them. We must start treating our allies as our friends, rather than as useful tools. We must start respecting our allies' rights to disagree with us, rather than demanding that they behave like yes-men. We must stop squandering the goodwill that we enjoyed in the days after the September 11th attacks.
Finally, we, as a nation, must stop equating dissent with either anti-American or pro-Saddam feelings. There is, simply, no correlation. Disagreeing with the government is a punishable offense in places like Iraq, but not here in the United States. We are very fortunate, as I'm sure you agree, that the protections of the First Amendment allow us the freedom to protest and disagree. The fact that many citizens, pundits, and even politicians prefer to deride dissenters as traitors instead of trying to persuade them or refute their arguments is a depressing commentary on the value our nation seems to place in the Constitution and the First Amendment.
Thank you for your time.
Personally, I think sending letter
s by snail mail
makes a bigger impact
on our legislator
s than e-mail
does. Not all of these politician
s really seem to understand the concept of e-mail, and I've heard that many of them see a mail
ed letter as taking more effort than a few lines typed into Outlook and clicked into the ether
. That isn't to say you shouldn't participate in the Virtual March--much of the idea behind this is to force our representative
s in Washington
to confront the fact that many citizens oppose the upcoming Iraqi invasion
. But it wouldn't hurt, once you've sent your e-mail or made your telephone
call (though I doubt the Capitol will be accepting any phone calls after about 9 a.m., haw haw haw) to spend a few dimes on some stamp
s and send your missive
s off by the mail, just in case. And hey, you folks who favor
the war should participate, too. Make sure your representatives hear your
voice, as well.
, bring on the illegal telephone surveillance
and assorted dirty tricks