My Letter to Barack Obama
I've contributed to your campaign and I have your bumper sticker on the back of my car but I feel a little embarrassed by it now. I felt very frustrated that you missed the vote condemning MoveOn.org (I'm a member) and I am now alarmed that you missed the vote that gave Bush the green light to launch another illegal, immoral, obscene war in the Middle East.
Something has gone horribly wrong with our country when a democratically controlled Congress helps eviscerate the checks and balances that should put limits on an out of control Republican President. We the people gave the Democrats control of the Congress based on their promises to end the war in Iraq. Now they have given Bush tacit approval to attack Iran. By labelling parts of Iran "terrorists" Bush can use the previous sweeping powers Congress gave him to justify an attack on Iran. Even if your vote wouldn't have stemmed the tide of this madness, staying on the sidelines makes you appear cowardly and spineless.
There are many factors in our country that have combined to bring us to this brink of WW III and marshal law in America. Make no mistake, if we attack Iran, the retaliations will reverberate with rapidly increasing intensity. In my view the most egregious factor has been the right-wing corporate control of the media. The biggest divide in America right now is between those who watch tv and those who don't. None of the corporate media outlets (including PBS, and now the Wall Street Journal) are fair and balanced. They've been herding the Democrats to the right and excluding those who don't follow the herd. They viciously attack you when you make a stand for anything that is not to the right of Hillary Clinton. They tried to dehumanize the democratically elected Mahmoud Ahmadinejad in order to soften up the American public for another unwarranted, unjust, obscene war.
I've been inspired by your message of unity and bringing our country together to a middle ground. But the middle ground is not between the lies of FOX news and the lies of CBS news. The middle ground is between the lies of the corporate media and the truth of those who have stopped believing the US media. Lies to get us into an obscene war are fine. Lies to keep us in that war are fine. Lies to start a new war are fine. But when someone dares speak the truth to stop this madness, Congress in their infinite wisdom condemns them and then gives Bush carte blanche to start an even more ruinous war.
We desperately need change in this country. We the people yearn for a leader who will bring real change. But you're not going to hear about it on the six o'clock news and the leader for change is not going to be someone who follows the demands and whims of a war fueled corporate media.
James is retired and resting in New Mexico.