TAKING FULL RESPONSIBILITY
Dear President Bush, Vice President Cheney, Secretary Powell, Members of the House Committee on International Relations, Members of the Special Oversight Panel on Terrorism, Members of the Subcommittee on the Middle East and South Asia, and esteemed Members of Congress:
We are writing to express our deep sense of sorrow at the recent attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon and to thank you for your leadership during this trying time.
There is no doubt that these attacks were terrible, unfathomable crimes, and whoever committed them must be brought to justice. There is no doubt that action on behalf of the United States is completely warranted....
However if our goal, as a nation, is to ensure that this never happens again, then we need to be very careful about the steps we take in the next several weeks. Military aggression against Afghanistan will only serve to further debilitate an already suffering nation and to align more people against the United States. Violence in the wake of this tragedy will breed more hard-liners, more hatred of America, and more unspeakable acts of terror.
If we attack Afghanistan, there will be civilian casualties. There will be waves of sympathy and anger throughout the Muslim world. And without a doubt, the innocent victims of our strikes and those who sympathize with those victims will no longer see the United States as a "beacon of freedom." They will see us as yet another in the long line of oppressors that have tormented their nations. Their sons and daughters will grow to revile us, and to undertake more terrible actions against us. Throughout history, the dangers of invading Afghanistan have been many. The New York Times summed it up perfectly last week, speaking of Afghanistan as "a battleground and graveyard for the interests of great powers." Neither Britain nor Russia achieved any of their foreign policy goals in Afghanistan. Instead, they left broken and dispirited, having done nothing but reinforce the hatred that the local people already felt for the West.
You have said that in dealing with terrorism we are facing a "new kind of enemy." If this is the case, then shouldn't the methods we use to combat this enemy be new as well? Mr. President, I humbly urge you to refrain from further violence and to seek a broader, long-term solution to the problem of terrorism. Specifically, I suggest that you establish an international coalition of nations that are committed to deal with terrorism not through military aggression but through examining the root causes of the problem and agreeing upon unified action.
We suggest that you establish this coalition not through intimidation but through mutual cooperation.
We suggest that your administration open a taskforce on terrorism thatwill approach the problem from a historical context and make appropriate recommendations on U.S. foreign policy.
We suggest that U.S. policy towards the Middle East be thoroughly reviewed and that policies that provoke terrorism, such as economic sanctions against civilian populations, be revoked.
And finally We suggest that the United States commit itself to working in concert with the rest of the world to reach a definitive solution to the Israel-Palestine issue.
These are the type of actions that will prevent terrorism. More violence,more hatred, more anger most certainly will not.
In closing we highly recommend that America firmly commits to developing alternative clean energy resources..
The Light Party