Memo to the Bush Administration: – Government (300 Level Course)
As a citizen of this great country as well as a voter and tax payer, I feel that it is my civilian duty to give my opinion to those that run the government; my government. What you eventually decide to do with this information is clearly up to your discretion but it should be realized that it was people just like me throughout this country that brought you and your staff to office and in a little over three years will be in a position to do so again. This is not to sound like a threat in any way; it is just a reminder that our forefathers created a government “for the people and of the people.”
While I may not be a direct constituent of the office of the President, I am under your jurisdiction politically speaking. Thus your being in office is to provide one main purpose: to protect my civil liberties and to ensure my freedom. Therefore I am obliged to help you in this effort and I am doing so by offering my thoughts on the world around us, and our role in its future.
The recent events in New York City and Washington D.C., tragic as they were are in a different manner than those that I feel inclined to talk to you about. They were a direct threat to the safety of our country, its freedom, and the safety of the free world. While this events were devastating they are in the past and we have began to slowly plow ahead. Some action must be taken, but whatever action is will have to be decided by your administration and the great members of Congress and the Senate. While the American citizen may offer his opinion in what steps should be taken, we have no jurisdiction in this manner, it solely lies in you, and we have elected you to deal with this troubled times. Whatever steps are taken will ultimately receive popular support.
The area that I need to address is that of the role of the United States of America in foreign affairs and foreign intervention. This is an area of major global concern and a hotbed for controversy. As a spectator in this continuous game I feel that a line has to be drawn when it comes to our government dealing with issues outside of our borders. These issues themselves can be divided in two. Issues that present a direct threat to our allies or to the democratic process of peace in the world by one country invading another. And then there are the issues that involve differing people who are at odds and hail from the same area. These are the issues that we must be mindful of.
Historical events such as World War II, the Cold War, and the Persian Gulf War are classic examples of a direct threat to democracy. They are commonly characterized as a battle between good and evil. Great men have served this country during these times, be in on a battlefield, in a plane, on a naval ship, or in the Senate chamber. These men intervened and took up a fight because they felt that the risk taken was worth the potential gain. Meaning that the fights they fought were going to bring about some good. It may have been lives that were no longer being ethnically cleansed, or the personal safety involved in knowing that nuclear weapons would never be used, or the halting of an enemy who had no regard for political and social borders and boundaries. Whatever there reasons were for taking the actions that they did, they were legitimate. These are the good men that your administration should learn from. Unfortunately there are also men that you should learn from, but not for what they did right, for what mistakes they made.
This leads to the second issue of international concern and the reason that I am writing to you in the first place. Since 1945, the United States has been the dominant force in the international spectrum. In retrospect, this has been both a good thing and a bad thing. It has been good in some of the instances that I have mentioned, in ways that have been conducive to lasting peace, as we have thwarted many of our enemies. Yet often times we go to far. It is these instances that cause many Americans sickness.
We are a great nation; I believe that we are the greatest. We are strong, we are united, and we are a forceful opponent, yet we are often foolish. We have to realize that being the world’s “big brother” is not a free pass to try to go in and bully others. Often times we do enter situations with the best of intentions and when they do not work out to our approval we ask ourselves why. Then let us sit back and think. It is because we are threatening, even when we do not do it intentionally, others are threatened by our military, by our government, by our sheer numbers. I plead with you and the entire administration at that to determine just where and when democracy is being threatened and then and only then deal with it as a whole. Please do not jump into situations without first checking to see if there is anywhere safe to land, do not make the same mistakes that those before you made. If you do that we only cost lives, and by costing American lives you lessen the overall value of life and in a strange way, that makes you the same as many of those that you are constantly fighting against.
Do not send troops to Somalia, only to have them killed by the people that they were trying to protect. People who tied them to trucks and drug American bodies through the streets, cheering and celebrating as if they had done something wrong. That could have been your son or my son, in fact it was someone’s son, and as unfortunate as the situation became in Somalia, let it be. There are hungry depraved people there, yet every major American city has hungry and depraved people living on street corners. Here, within our borders, not thousands of miles away.
Do not send troops to Kosovo, to try and tame ethnic hatred that is a thousand years old. It will do no good, and bring the U.S. nothing in return. It will only cost more of our lives. Never sends troops to Vietnam, do not even try to duplicate any of those efforts. Dropping our boys in foreign lands on foreign terrain to fight native peoples is the same as leading a lamb to a slaughter. Do not send troops to Rwanda, for the people there lack an appreciation for human life and to a killer a black man and a white man is still a man. They would kill one of us the same as they killed each other.
I am trying to say that we as a country should choose our battles wisely. Many times in the past our help may have been needed, but ultimately we came out of situations having gained nothing and lost a great deal. Being the world power does not have to translate into physical strength, for the mind is powerful as well. Why not use it when dealing with these issues.
When our help is desperately needed and will serve a useful cause, I can speak for the American people in saying, “give it.” When our help with actually help very little and merely be intrusive, do not take the risks involved. Throughout history we have stepped on more toes and made more enemies attempting to help than we have by fighting. Ultimately do what you feel is right, but do not take risks with American lives. I will not stand for it, my fellow Americans will not stand for it, and it should never satisfy you. And remember that while you take every action that you will take, we will be watching.