March 16, 2003
I have become politically active. Below is a copy of a letter I e-mailed today to both of my senators and representative. You can find the address and contact information for your elected officials here. I urge you to participate in your country by writing your elected officials no matter what your beliefs or opinions. Do not allow the large special interest groups to make decisions that are beneficial to them without adding your voice to the debate.
The Honorable [insert name] United States Senator Dirksen Senate Office Building Washington, DC 20510
RE: Iraq, Terrorism, and the Patriot Act II
I am contacting you as a concerned citizen. I wish to state that I am opposed to any military action against the country of Iraq or Saddam Hussein. There appears to be no clearly stated goal for this action, and, what is worse, no clear plan for the aftermath of this action. I am also unconvinced that there is any credible link between Saddam Hussein and the terrorist attack on the United States in September 2001. Finally I am deeply concerned about the use of these two issues to draft new legislation restricting the Constitutional freedoms I have as a United States citizen while increasing the powers of law enforcement.
With no clearly stated goal for military action against Iraq I fear that it will continue to escalate and grow long after the first salvo is fired. Unlike the 1992 Gulf War, where the world was united in its purpose and had the clearly stated goal of removing Iraq from Kuwait, this proposed war has divided the world and seems to be increasingly a contest of wills between our country and the leader of Iraq. The United States was instrumental in the creation of the United Nations following World War II. The events of the past few weeks have clearly demonstrated why that organization is vital to the citizens of the world. If the current administration cannot convince the world, through the UN, that war against Iraq is the only viable solution, then we should look for other solutions.
It is obvious that the terror attack of September 11, 2001 was used to generate support for, and pass the Patriot Act. The increased monitoring and arrest powers contained in that law are a dangerous precedent. The Patriot Act II is even more scary as it continues this erosion of personal liberties and freedoms, and it includes no 'sunset' clause limiting its lifetime. I am directly opposed to its passage.
In recent travels outside the United States I was engaged on more than one occasion by citizens of other countries who all expressed their concern about US foreign policy, and their increasing fear of the United States. Imagine my shock and dismay at learning first hand the the new attitude of fear and distrust the people of the world hold for the US.
As a concerned citizen I would like to request that you do not support the passage of the Patriot Act II, and that you do not support the United States engaging in military action against the People of Iraq without unanimous world support. For I fear that if these two events do happen, the United States will have slipped dangerously close to becoming a fascist state, and "that government of the people, by the people, for the people [will] have perish[ed] from the earth."
Mark H. Nichols