In my last diary, I suggested that the US pull out of Iraq after the elections and divert their resources to flood and tsunami relief. This may very well be the best solution for the problem. However, that is a situation which is not going to happen. It is almost impossible to ask a President to act against his core beliefs.
What I think we should do is a letter writing campaign asking the president to develop a specific timetable for the withdrawal of American troops from Iraq, the location, capture, and trial of Bin Laden and the Guantanamo Bay prisoners, and for him to visit the areas devestated by the tsunami.
What I have learned is that many parts of the American system still work, including the exerting of public pressure. We exerted public pressure on Sinclair and they watered down their documentary on John Kerry. We exerted pressure on Congress and forced them to abandon their reckless plan to make Tom Delay immune to congressional accountability and return to their old rules which force him to step down from his post if he ever gets indicted.
Even Bush will give in to public pressure. After he promised only a stingy $15 million and refused to come out of his ranch, public pressure forced him to raise his pledge to $35 million and then $350 million. And now, he's made himself more visible on the issue and appointed Clinton and Bush I to do fundraising for the tsunami victims.
We can never force an elected official to act against his core values. We cannot, for instance, ask Bush to become a Buddhist. But we can force him to keep promises that he's made in the past and explain to him through letters and through the media how policies are within the framework of his values. And stroking his ego never hurts, either.
Here is my letter:
Dear Mr. President:
In the 2000 campaign, you promised to bring to Washington leadership which you found lacking in the previous administration. In 2000 and 2004, you promised to establish a presidency based on compassionate conservatism. With your Inaugural Address and your State of the Union Address coming up in the next few weeks, this is a perfect time for you to exercise the leadership and compassion you promised when campaigning for office.
The War in Iraq and the tsunami have been two events which have been on the hearts and minds of most Americans these days. I ask you to take bold steps to bring about the goodwill of many people around the world. Here is what I ask:
- The war in Iraq has been dragging on indefinitely, with no end in sight. I ask you to develop a specific timetable for the withdrawal of our troops with specific objectives and a specific target date for the end of our involvement.
- While Saddam Hussein has been captured and imprisoned, Osama Bin Laden, the man responsible for 9/11, is still at large. I urge you to develop a specific plan to hunt him down, arrest him, and put him on trial.
- There are 500 detainees in Guantanamo Bay who may or may not have been involved with Al Qaeda. When Bin Laden is captured, I urge you to either charge these men with crimes and try them in a court of law with Bin Laden or release them depending on the evidence against them.
- The battle with Al Qaeda is a battle for the hearts and minds of Muslim people around the world. You have consistently campaigned on a promise of showing compassion to people. I urge you to go to Indonesia, Thailand, Sri Lanka, India, and Somalia and meet with some of the victims of the tsunami. This is a perfect opportunity to show the Muslim world that you are the compassionate man while all Bin Laden does is hide in his caves and bluster threats against the American people.
If you do these things, you will earn the respect of many people around the world. Many people around the world are looking to you to provide the leadership you said you would bring in the 2000 campaign. Now is the time to deliver on your promises in the campaign and develop your legacy in the years ahead.
The President's contact info:
The White House
1600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW
Washington, DC 20500