Dear President Obama,
It's me again.
I know how busy you are, so I'm not surprised that you haven't answered my first letter.
I do thank you for not going ahead and sending the 40,000 more troops that your general has asked for. The fact that you are thinking about it gives me some hope that you are weighing the options.
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But given the way things are going in Afghanistan, what with so many of our soldiers dying there in the past few months, I imagine you find yourself agonizing over what to do.
So I would like to call your attention to some words written by a very brave and smart Afghan woman by the name of Malalai Joya. Now 32 she is the youngest woman elected to the Afghan Parliament in 2005.
"Democracy will never come to Afghanistan through the barrel of a gun, or from the cluster bombs dropped by foreign forces. The struggle will be long and difficult, but the values of real democracy, human rights and women's rights will only be won by the Afghan people themselves. So do not be fooled by this façade of democracy."
Anything I say cannot possibly be more persuasive than her words in helping you in your decision making regarding whether or not we stay in her country. But I must add my own plea.
Please, get us out of Afghanistan now.
New York, NY
Rita's brother, Abraham Zelmanowitz, was on the 27th floor of the North Tower on September 11th, 2001. Although he could have easily escaped, he chose instead to stay with his friend and coworker Ed Bayea, a paraplegic in a wheelchair, who could not leave. Abraham told all who passed them on their way down that he would wait with Ed until help came. They both died. Zelmanowitz's death was used by George W. Bush in a speech to the United States Congress to help rationalize and justify the invasion of Afghanistan.