Dear Mr. President,
If the latest news from journalist Seymour Hersh is accurate, you are in the planning stages of using nuclear force against Iran. I, along with everyone responding in agreement below, respectfully implore you to entirely eliminate this reckless plan from consideration.
I'm sure many historians would agree that this line of action will accomplish nothing but to ensure continued and, in fact, escalated terrorist attacks against our nation and its allies for generations to come. Moreover, it will set off another nuclear arms race which, in addition to industrialized nations, will include hastened efforts by terrorists and other zealots to acquire this technology. Any perceived short-term gains will most definitely be negated by severe and deadly long-term consequences. Consequences which, even after 9/11, are difficult to fully envision. You must know this. If you don't, then God help us all.
And if the administration's political potency needs a boost, try drinking Red Bull. Demagogue a minority group. Create a wedge issue which will stymie your Democratic opponents in this year's midterm election. You're good at that. Hell, clandestinely change Senator Clinton's prompter during her next speech so it includes the phrase: "Nigga' please!" Do anything but this.
I assure you, if Iran begins to weaponize its nuclear program, the I.A.E.A. will find out about it. Then the world will stand up together and pressure Iran to disarm -- by force or otherwise. America must not go down this path again... alone.
You and your administration is known for its uncompromising approach to foreign policy. After six years and much conflict, we understand this. We get it. Your base gets it. Everyone gets it. There's no longer any need to reinforce this. We also get that it's the policy of the administration to, as you like to repeat, protect the American people by any means necessary. While we all appreciate the sentiment, there are some actions that, while they appear on the surface to be both bold and decisive, will do far more harm than good. This nuclear planning is precisely the latter.
Look to the Kennedy Administration's actions during the Cuban Missile Crisis and what might've occurred had cooler heads not prevailed. Then ask yourself, would you like your administration to be forever known as a confederacy of irrational hotheads who pulled the nuclear trigger and thus precipitated another several centuries of terrorism and a renewed arms race? Or would you like to be known as the administration that, like the Kennedy team, employed common sense, rationality, and diplomatic innovation to avert another crisis?
In the case of Iraq, I'm afraid it's too late. That incompetence ship has sailed. However, you have an opportunity here to approach things differently -- to perhaps weave a thread of honor and dignity into your legacy. Ultimately, we have no real say in this. You will do what you deem necessary. But if you opt to pull the trigger, we expect you to be a man and face your opposition without hiding behind filtered audiences and media apologists. We expect you to take full responsibility for whatever may happen in retaliation the next day or in decades to come.
It's up to you.
April 9, 2006