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9 Dec, 2007

An Open Letter to President George W Bush: God Does Not Love Liars and Killers

Originally Published:09 Dec 2007


Dear Mr President,

It’s just a few days before the spirit of Christmas, and once again, you appear to on the verge of making decisions that will impact my livelihood and the welfare of my family. The fact I have no way of making you accountable for those decisions is a problem for me, so it is perhaps only fair that I exercise my right to freedom and democracy to tell you what I think.

Let me cut to the chase. Show the rest of the world some respect and stop insulting our intelligence. Think carefully, very, very carefully before initiating another conflict which could potentially become, in your own words, World War III.

If you want to destroy yourself, your country and your people, that is your right. But you have no right, no right whatsoever, to inflict the consequences of your decisions on the rest of the world. We did not vote you in, and we are unable to vote you out, but we have to suffer the consequences of your folly.

The conclusion by your intelligence agencies on Iran’s nuclear issue is a moment of truth. It is a sign of the real America rising, an America that was once known as a principled, values-based, free and democratic country. Although you have vigorously trashed those ideals, there are still many who cherish and abide by them.

When US intelligence reports are not doctored by your vice president nor influenced by Israeli disinformation campaigns, they tell the truth. Yet, you reject the outcome. How someone of your stature is capable of making, leave aside believing, any of the comments we see you uttering on TV is really beyond imagination.

The worldview from the White House can be radically different from elsewhere. In the Gulf, millions of low-income labourers are becoming poorer still due to the depreciating dollar. Worldwide, racial and religious tensions are spreading. Environmental disasters loom. Economies are wobbly. Viral pandemics are a constant threat. With barely a few months left before you exit, stage left, do you really want to launch another wider war?

Your track record is not good. Many of us still remember that moment before you first became president when, in a TV interview, you were unable to name the President of Pakistan. Your first cabinet was supposed to include a foreign-policy “dream team”. Several of them have since resigned or been fired in disgrace.

You, too, have much explaining to do over Iraq – where are those weapons of mass destruction you so brazenly talked about? Saddam Hussein insisted that he did not have any. He turned out to be telling the truth. UN inspectors spent weeks checking out the sites fingered by US/Israeli intelligence agencies, and found nothing. Yet, you and your “dream team” insisted that he was concealing them and that finding them after an invasion would be a “slam dunk.”

So who was wrong? Instead of making an apology, you changed your story. How can you sleep peacefully at night knowing that hundreds of thousands people have died as a result of those lies?

I too, believe in the same God you do, and I know one thing for sure – God has no love for liars and killers.

Now you are at it again, this time wanting the Iranians to prove their innocence. My understanding of a fair and rational judicial system in a free democracy is that it is up to the prosecutors to prove the guilt of the accused. At the moment, your own investigators say they have no evidence. Yet, you want the accused to “come clean”. Come clean about what?

The good news is that there are still a few men and women of honour left in your country. You were clearly humiliated by this report, but far from humbled. But I am confident that honour and goodness will triumph over evil.

Should you acquiesce or otherwise authorise an attack on Iran, there is a good chance that your own generals may refuse to follow your orders. The military, too, is an institution of honour, and honourable generals know that behind all their star-wars hardware, toys and gizmos and gadgetry, human lives are at stake. It is very likely that having been sent once to do your bidding on false pretexts, they will NOT allow themselves to be used again.

Call it a 21st century Mutiny on the Bounty. But the US military, if it remains an honourable institution with the wider interests of the American people and the world at heart, will not execute orders they know to be wrong, immoral and unethical.

In this case, disobedience and insubordination would really be democracy at its best.

Take a good look around you. Your ability to shape the world is fading rapidly. If an election was to be held right now, you would lose, and lose badly. The people of Australia have voted out your deputy sheriff. In the Internet era, it is becoming difficult to fool all the people all the time. Real democracy is on the march. You were quick to gloat when the Venezuelan public rejected President Hugo Chavez’ bid to become president for life. Today, the rest of the world is gloating that your own investigators have turned on you.

At least a humbled Chavez acknowledged the results. You don’t seem to care. Who’s the better Christian?

I certainly hope you do not seek to become president for life. In which case, please just stick to the problems you already have on hand in the little time you have left. You still need to deliver on that long-promised Palestinian state – an actual state, not just more talk about creating one. The conflict of Iraq is far from over, believe me. The people of Iraq will not accept a long-term US presence there. If, on top of all this, you take on Iran, you will lose. Even as millions more lose their lives and livelihoods.

Worry about your place in history and the fraying American empire. Show some of that compassion and repentance Christianity preaches, especially with the spirit of Christmas coming up. Have mercy on the rest of the world. It’s the least you can do.

Think, Mr President, think really, really carefully.

Sincerely, Imtiaz Muqbil