An Open Letter to the Iraqi People

The U.S. military ordeal in Iraq is scheduled to end in December, but the Pentagon seems to be unwilling to let go. For months we’ve witnessed the bizarre spectacle of U.S. military officials practically begging Iraqi leaders to ‘invite’ American troops to stay longer. The Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Admiral Mike Mullen is at it again this week in Baghdad, trying to get the Iraqi government to change the 2008 U.S.-Iraq security agreement.

Until recently, President Obama has held to his campaign pledge to withdraw all U.S. troops by the end of the year, but now his administration is waffling and has suggested through unnamed sources that it would like to keep at least 10,000 troops there beyond the December 31 cut-off date. I think we need to send a clear and unequivocal message from the American people against this insanity.

I’ve been imagining an ‘open letter’ to the Iraqi people that might go something like this:

“We write to reassure you that the American people do not want U.S. military forces to remain in your country beyond the agreed date of December 31. Most of us never wanted our troops to invade and attempt to occupy your country in the first place. While we oppose any further U.S. attempts to intervene militarily, we want to express our friendship and support for the Iraqi people. We hope that our governments can develop a new foundation of cooperative relations based on mutual respect and sovereign equality. We pledge to work for greater peace and understanding between our peoples.”

Any takers? Is this worth trying?

5 thoughts on “An Open Letter to the Iraqi People

  1. I will certainly share this information on 9.11.11 during Doylestown Meeting’s Nonviolent Responses to Terrorism forum. As you & Professor Lopez make clear in “Uniting Against Terror”, the smaller the US military footprint in the ME the better. The quote you use from Shibley Telhami, “The most pervasive psychology in the Arab world today is collective rage and feelings of helplessness,” is particularly chilling. The continued presence of the US military in Iraq only adds to the rage & humiliation.

  2. Oh, sorry, I didn’t answer your question. Yes, I think it is worth your time to publisize such a letter. Do you intend it mostly for a US audience? How could you get it to the people of Iraq?

  3. US “war on terror” had been borderless and open-ended. Trillions of Dollars have been shed. Two unjustified wars have been unnecessarily waged and illegally authorized. Ironically and bizarrely, Justice has been done by four bullets shot towards bin laden chest while hiding himself beyond his wife.

    I’m certain that US people are not naive. They are broadminded. So. please, Don’t be decieved by your deceptive politicians again

  4. Hello David,
    I think the letter is a great idea and expresses the sentiment of a large portion of the American population. As the founder and president of the Wisdom, Mediation and Dialogue Foundation (wmdfoundation.org) I think it is equally important to express our sincere and authentic “I’m sorry” to the American & coalition soldiers as well as the Iraqi people for the tremendous loss of life and limb suffered in this conflict. The combination of a sincere expression of empathy, in conjunction with a statement of direct action is a powerful and compelling action.
    It is possible to express yourself in this way as well on our website mentioned above in the “I’m Sorry Gallery”

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