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April 05, 2006

Being Right Isn't As Much Fun As We Anticipated

In the week before the worldwide February 15, 2003 demonstrations on Iraq, I wrote an "Open Letter to Europe" about them that Alternet and Moveon picked up. The point of the letter was to tell Europeans how important it was for them to pressure their governments to stand up to the Bush administration, and thank them for doing so.

I thought the letter had been lost in the mists of time, but I recently found it was preserved by

The text is below. I think it stands up pretty well, except for my apparent belief it was possible to stop Bush from invading.


Dear friends,

We, the undersigned citizens of the United States of America, are writing to ask for your help.

We are already grateful for your principled opposition to our government's misguided and dangerous policy toward Iraq. Despite the deceptive claims of the Bush Administration and the poor coverage of the crisis by our media, huge numbers of Americans have evaluated the facts for themselves and join with you to oppose our government's drive toward war.

Like many of you, we believe that war will not lead to future peace in the Middle East but to more violence and death -- not just in Iraq but eventually throughout the region, as well as in the United States and across the globe. With you, we believe that war will not bring about the liberation of the Iraqi people but visit upon them even greater catastrophe than in the past.

We are doing everything within our power here in America to change our government's policy. However, we fear this war cannot be stopped without strong opposition from the nations of Europe.

We, and the rest of the world, therefore look to you for support in this daunting task we share.

We ask that you attend the antiwar rallies this Saturday, Feb. 15 in London, Paris, Berlin, Istanbul, Rome, Barcelona, Amsterdam, Warsaw and other cities across Europe. An overwhelming turnout in the streets will show your governments and the world that Europe says no to preemptive war. Before and after the demonstrations, write, speak out and protest in every way possible.

We ask also that you demand that your governments support the French-German initiative for additional inspections. If your government currently backs the Bush Administration, make it clear that they should withdraw this support. If your government is standing against the Bush Administration, make it clear that you support their actions and call upon them to stand firm.

Finally, we ask that, when the threat of war recedes, you join together with us in non-violent efforts to help the long-suffering Iraqi people in their struggle for democracy and freedom.

After the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, we were deeply moved by Europe's messages of sympathy and support. Those of us who visited the sites of the attacks in the weeks that followed will always remember the comfort we took in the letters posted nearby sent from your families to ours.

Today, we need your unity more than ever -- or we fear that Sept. 11 will be only the beginning of a terrible spiral of violence that will engulf the Middle East, the United States and the world.

However, we believe this frightening vision of the future need not come to pass. As former U.S. President Dwight Eisenhower, who was Commander General of the Allied Forces in World War II once said, "I like to believe that people in the long run are going to do more to promote peace than our governments. Indeed, I think that people want peace so much that one of these days governments had better get out of the way and let them have it."

Let this be the moment when the people of the world, for the first time, truly come together to force our governments to give us peace. Please stand with us on February 15 and in the future, as we stand with you.

Posted at April 5, 2006 06:00 PM | TrackBack

Damn, J.

Have you had your eyes checked for farsightedness?

Posted by: oyster at April 5, 2006 10:30 PM

Maybe you should rename this site "Cassandra," whose accurate prophecies were deemed "not credible" by the pundits of her time.

After we invade Iran, it will be harder to write "tiny revolutions" anyway.

Posted by: Cal at April 6, 2006 04:12 AM

I predicted that being right wouldn't be as fun as we predicted. Not exactly. Actually I told people in 2003 that I hoped Bush was right, since he was going to do what he wanted and it sure would be nice if it didn't turn the world into a flaming cauldron of hatred and war. I guess in my case, I get to say that being wrong was as fun as I predicted. No, I just get to say, isn't this fun?

Posted by: hedgehog at April 6, 2006 01:05 PM