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An open letter to President Barack Obama

COUNCIL MEMBER CHARLES BARRON | 9/15/2011, 12:38 p.m.
An open letter to President Barack Obama

Mr. President, I write this letter to you on the day after the 10th anniversary of the horrific attack on the World Trade Center in New York City on Sept. 11, 2001. My prayers and heartfelt condolences go out to the families who lost their loved ones.

Yesterday, I watched a documentary by a videographer who was filming a fire station that became one of the first responders to the World Trade Center tragedy. Although I was very much aware of the death and destruction caused by the Sept. 11 catastrophe, the detailed footage of the indescribable human devastation in this documentary will be etched forever in my memory.

Mr. President, I truly believe that an even-handed, humane foreign policy that is based on peace, fairness, justice and negotiations, not unnecessary military aggression, is the best homeland security for this nation. America's foreign policy has led to the killing of hundreds of thousands of innocent Iraqi civilians and the deaths of over 5,000 American soldiers in Iraq; the killing of tens of thousands of innocent Afghan civilians and the deaths of over 1,700 American soldiers in Afghanistan; the killing of thousands of innocent civilians by unmanned drones in Pakistan; the killing of thousands of innocent people in Libya; and the economic sanctions against Zimbabwe are causing untold death and destruction.

On Libya and Zimbabwe, Mr. President, you should reach out to Minister Louis Farrakhan and Sister Viola Plummer of the December 12th Movement and the Freedom Party. Their analyses and perspectives on those two African nations would be very helpful to you. Mr. President, giving billions of our tax dollars to the state of Israel for the continual occupation of Palestinian land is politically and morally incorrect. America's so-called Middle East policy has caused unconscionable death and destruction in that region.

No form of terrorism is acceptable or justifiable. I denounce all forms of the intentional targeting and killing of innocent civilians-that's terrorism. Mr. President. Terrorism is wrong whether it is state-sponsored or organization-sponsored. It's wrong.

Mr. President, innocent lives lost due to America's bombings abroad are not collateral damage; Mr. President, it's terrorism. The hate for America is not based on the foolish notion that people are jealous of American democracy. Some question whether there is real democracy in America. The growing hate for America in many countries around the world is because the American government is responsible for the deaths of thousands of innocent men, women and children. Let's get real!

Mr. President, you are a student of history. Look at America's history of supporting brutal, murderous dictators: Papa Doc and Baby Doc Duvalier in Haiti, Batiste in Cuba, Pinochet in Chile, Marcos in the Philippines, Somoza in Nicaragua, Eric Gairy in Grenada, Mobutu in Zaire (the Congo), the Shah of Iran, and the list goes on and on. These men are villains of humanity, cold-blooded killers and terrorists. I haven't even mentioned Vietnam! Mr. President, I think you get my point.

There is no amount of homeland security that can protect us from those who despise America so much that they are willing to kill themselves to take the lives of innocent American citizens. Our only and best defense, once again, is a humane foreign policy that promotes peace and justice.

If one of America's main objectives was to kill Saddam Hussein and Osama bin Laden, well, you've done that-now bring the troops home and give peace a chance. The cost of war has been trillions of dollars. This money can be used to declare war on poverty and unemployment right here in America, particularly in the Black and Latino communities and other struggling working-class communities.

Many of us believe all of this killing is about greedy monopoly capitalism, globalization, hegemonic imperialism and controlling the wealth and resources (like oil) of the world to benefit a few rich elites. Please prove us wrong by developing a humane foreign policy that prioritizes human need over human greed. Mr. President, act now!

The hour is late, but the opportunity is great!