Thursday, September 4, 2008

A Letter to Governor Palin Regarding the War

Mrs. Palin,

You have endured much over the last week or so: attacks on your record, your experience, and even attacks on your family. Your introduction to mainstream America has been a tabloid circus, and I apologize for that. Sadly, it is the world of politics, and I cannot change it.

I cannot say that I would vote for your ticket. Indeed, my experiences compel me otherwise. I may be young, but I have lived much, and sadly my experiences in life have taught me one thing: that there is something very wrong with American society, and there are too few who are able or willing to see it. There is much suffering in our country, Governor, and sadly I feel that your party is too often the source of it. People starve and suffer, both here and abroad, and on nearly every issue I must say that I disagree with you. I disagree fiercely, some might even say venomously. They would not be wrong.

I could criticize you on many counts. I could say that your voting record is a train-wreck of corruption; I could say that your involvement with Senator Ted Stevens only betrays your true willingness to cozy up to back-room politics. I could comment on your involvement with a radical secessionist group, and question the judgement of a government official who does not believe in the power of the American government to achieve legitimate good. I could comment on the sad situation regarding your daughter, Bristol, and on the bitter irony that one who votes against funding for teen mothers suddenly finds her own house visited by such travail. I could comment on how you enable a party that ridicules peace as weakness, that values free-markets over free speech. I could comment about how your ideology moralizes and tries to legislate values that run contrary to human nature, only to have its own believers fail under such policies' insupportable burden.

But I'm not here to comment on any of that. No, no, as we small-town folk are fond of saying, "I have bigger fish to fry."

Do you truly wish to know, Governor, why I will not be voting for you and Senator McCain? Do you truly want to know WHY I look at you and see only what is wrong with my country? Do you? Regardless of your answer, I plan to tell you anyway. It's actually fairly simple.

You have spoken in the past of your faith. You are a devout woman, as I am a devout man, though no doubt you would find my faith somehow "un-American." No matter. You have spoken in your own church, this Wasilla Assembly of God, of our engagement in Iraq as "a task from God." You believe that our mission there is one of divine importance, one whose plan must be "God's plan." You have taken our war in that country, and assigned it a Holy label.

So I ask you, Governor Palin, who have admitted to "not really considering" the war in Iraq, this one question: What, Governor, about that engagement, can possibly have come from God?

Already, I know what you're going to say. You're going to try to talk to me about the oppressions of Saddam Hussein, about the lack of religious freedom that existed under his regime. No matter that you remain ignorant of the fact that Christians lived and worshipped openly prior to the war; no matter that your running mate cannot even distinguish between Sunni and Shiite (to say nothing of Druze or Chaldean). No, I can hear you spouting already about our sacred mission to spread Freedom; never mind that in the last eight years, countless people, both American and otherwise, have starved on the reduced-calorie version your party would offer us. You will talk to me about how people are prospering, how the world is safer than it has ever been.

So I ask you, Governor Palin: safer for whom?

For our fellow Americans, who according to our policy experts are actually LESS safe than they were post-9/11? For the citizens of Iraq, who now daily must cope with kidnappings, executions, and public bombings? For the women of Iraq, the secular of whom can no longer wander outdoors without donning the headscarf from which we fought to liberate them? Certainly not our servicemembers overseas, whose morale collapses daily under the weight of equipment shortfalls and repeated deployments? Surely not their families, who bear the burden alone, or the forgotten veterans who do the same? Safer for your son, who leaves for that place soon himself. I wonder: will he be going as an officer, or as one of the enlisted who bears the true burden?

Are you willing to bet your son's life on the word of your God?

Our VA denies our heroes proper treatment, while our recruiters lie us into uniform. On all sides of the divide, people suffer and die, and you would still tell me that this war has been executed under the banner of Christ, of God? I ask you, Governor Palin: What kind of God do you follow? Certainly no loving God I was ever raised with; certainly no God I would be willing to follow. So when you wonder why I and my kind will not be voting for you, I answer you in return: Because you are so certain in your justice, in your virtue, that you cannot see the evils carried out in your name. Worse yet, I do not even think that you would be willing. I would speak to you of my friends, fallen and ignored, and you would call me a traitor for invoking their memory. But it is you, Governor, who are the traitor. You, and your entire party, your entire belief system.

When our goodwill abroad is vanished, when our Armed Forces collapse under the weight you have asked them so selfishly to bear, you will have none to blame but yourselves. Your ideas about this war are monstrous, a sin against the American spirit. You, madam, justify your sins in the name of God, and then you ask us to support you in that belief--we who would die for you, we who would kill for you. Your statement in that church, Mrs. Palin, says all I need to know about what you believe.

This may be your Holy Vision of "Country First," Governor, but it is certainly not mine.


Seven of Six said...

Great letter Milo! *bows in awe*

She sure played up the deployment of her son on 9/11. I was wondering about OPSEC? I guess if your the new V/P nominee you can violate troop movements, while using your son as a tool for propaganda.

Anjha said...

publish it Milo.

Send it out.


These people are dangerous.

Milo said...

Thanks guys. Seven, great points all, and I hope I addressed them accurately. As for the rest, publish it where? That's my question.

Seven of Six said...

The opinion page in newspapers... see which one's will pick it up.
Left is Right has a place where you can pick up all the newspapers online.

Also, Veteran sites... Garry Trudeau... Common Dreams... TruthOut... Everywhere!!!

Seven of Six said...

It stands alone as is but it wouldn't hurt to put the I was a soldier in Iraq.

iamcoyote said...

Great job, Milo! And SoS is right, everyone reads LTEs and comix in their papers, for sure. Good place to get it seen.