This is the letter I emailed to President Bush and my representatives in Congress. Do you have a letter you would like to share?
Dear President Bush and Members of Congress,
As a citizen and Christian, I am writing to all of you. You will soon be receiving a report from General Petraeus on â€œprogressâ€ in Iraq. Will he paint a rosier picture of progress than the GAO painted a few days ago? Will you, Mr. President, go into denial mode because your unilateral invasion of Iraq has been a miserable failureâ€”a quagmire shall we say? Will you, members of Congress, go along with this continued refusal to face the facts?
I am concerned about what this war is doing to the soul of our nation. Congress, in a furor of manipulated â€œpatriotism,â€ abdicated its power to declare war and gave it to you, Mr. President. You prevaricated and told us that Saddam had Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMDs) when, in fact, he did not. When that lie failed, you switched gears and told us that we had to fight the terrorists over there so we would not have to fight them over here. They were not in Iraq until our immoral, unilateral invasion drew them there. When some among us balked at this immoral war, you told us we had to support the troops (I do support the troops and I know that the best way to support them is to bring them home now!)
I often wonder. If we were going for the terrorists, why did we not attack Saudi Arabia? After all, that is where the majority of the 9/11 terrorists came from. Now there is evidence that our good â€œfriend,â€ Saudi Arabia had been bankrolling terrorists. We even want to sell them weapons. I hope the weapons we sell them will not be used on us. Saddam, at one time, had WMDs because we gave them to him to use against Iran. Osama bin Laden was armed to the teeth because we gave him weapons to use against the Russians in Afghanistan.
If the truth of the matter be known, it would be clear that this war is a war for oil, water, and our hegemony in the Middle East. It is not about democracy for the Iraqi people. We have killed hundreds of thousands of them to set them free. We have left their country in shambles. We have destroyed the infrastructure in Iraq. We have in fact destabilized the Middle East.
I heard a report the other day about a new book about your presidency. You told the biographer that you often cried about what you had to do as President. You did not have to do Iraq. (You wanted to do Iraq because the powerful Neocons told you to do so. It is part of the Project for the New American Centuryâ€™s plan to protect American â€œinterestsâ€ in the Middle East and in the world. In fact, your brother, Jeb, Vice President Cheney, Paul Wolfowitz and Donald Rumsfeld were among the signatories on the PNAC Statement of Principles.) Back to the point, I too would cry if I had caused the deaths and maiming of so many American soldiers. I would sob uncontrollably every time I visited Walter Reed. I too would cry if I had caused the deaths of hundreds of thousands of innocent Iraqi men, women, and children. Your PR sound bite a few weeks ago that showed you jogging with double amputees made me cry. I really felt like you were using those men to support your political agenda!
But, it is not only you who need to repent and have a change of heart. We, the American people, need to repent and have a change of heart. We fancy ourselves to be a Christian nation. We want to continue to enjoy a lifestyle unknown in the history of the world. In order to support out lifestyle, we need to dominate and exploit others for their resources which we greedily consume. We need the murder of war to solidify our domination of the world. We need the sweatshops of the world to provide us with cheap goods to support our comfortable lifestyle. St. Francis of Assisi nailed it, â€œIf we have possessions, we have to have weapons to defend them.â€
We need to repent because we are willing to let you murder, dominate and exploit in our name so we can live even more comfortably. Jesus was nonviolent and for Christians war is murder and murder is wrong. There is no theory that can justify this unilateral war of aggression. Christians believe that Jesus was serious when he told us to love our enemies. Yet, we will not even talk to our enemies until they kowtow to us. We cannot continue to resort to violence in order to achieve peace. Acorns do not become pear trees!
I call for a revolution of heart in this great nation. I call for a return to Christian principlesâ€”love your enemies, pray for those who persecute you, feed the hungry, give drink to the thirsty, shelter the homeless, clothe the naked, care for the sick (might his include healthcare for our children?), and visit the imprisoned. Put away your swords. Return good for evil.
As a nation, we have strayed far from these principles and I call upon you as leaders to bring us home. Letâ€™s have a surge of true values. Let us trade domination for compassionate assistance. Let us abandon war, the arms race and nuclear weapons so we can alleviate human suffering in this country and around the world. If we would dare to do this, we would find that we are striking at the very roots of terrorism.
â€œLove one another as I have loved youâ€ is still as valid today as it was two thousand years ago. Mr. President and members of Congress, please lead our nation in this revolution of heart.
J. Patrick Mahon
5266 Pine Crest Road
Young Harris, GA 30582