Friday, October 1

To Those Who Lost the Debate (an open letter)

To those who lost the debate on foreign policy between John Kerry and George Bush:
To the women and children of Iraq and to all their loved ones who, by the tens of thousands, have been blown to pieces, poisoned, shot, crushed, drowned, suffocated, tortured, humiliated, hideously disfigured, or terrorized by U.S. and "coalition" forces;

To all the Iraqi men whom U.S. corporate and military interests set out to "liberate" and who now have been boxed together with the catch-all phrases "insurgents," "terrorists," and "the enemy";

To all the innocent civilians and the justified homeland defenders resisting U.S.-led imperialism in their own land who will be blinded, mutilated, crippled, deformed, or killed in Iraq in the days and years to come;

To the forefathers of the Iraqi people who fought against British Imperialism in the 1920s in what now seems the recycled blueprint for today's U.S.-led catastrophe of international banditry;

To the practice of international law, which George Bush ridiculed as being a weak appeal to "popularity" and unaccountable judges, and which John Kerry failed to champion or defend;

To the citizens and candidates for political office in the U.S. who are excluded or removed from public forums lest they speak openly against the outrages perpetrated by the U.S. government in the name of "freedom" and "liberty" and other concepts that state and media interests never tire of selling and sullying;

To the Palestinians, who are subjected to inhumane living conditions and unchecked violence at the hands of Israeli forces, and to the many peace-loving Israelis who resist their government's abusive and illegal actions;

To the citizens of Haïti, whose democratically elected leader was removed by force by deceitful U.S. intervention and who, in the wake of this coup, have suffered a natural calamity without the support of organized government or assistance from the U.S.;

To those whose only exposure to American citizens who are not weapon-wielding soldiers comes in the form of movies wherein Arnold Schwarzenegger empties machine guns into people and dances past explosions or Tom Cruise and actors of his ilk conquer foreign women and defend the "world" against the extraterrestrials that always gravitate to Washington, D.C.;

To all of you, and to many others, an apology is in order for your having been absent or dismissed in the "debate" between George Bush and John Kerry and suppressed by corporate influences from public discourse and the imaginations of many Americans.

Knowing the perils of public apology, in lieu of such a declaration, I mark here my hope and aspiration that we who have not forgotten you will one day break through our nation's orchestrated silence and overcome the pathological powers that, today, in the mouths of our political leaders, make the words "democracy" and "freedom" ring as a menace or death knell in your ears.