Tuesday, September 07, 2010

Open Letter to President Barack Obama

Your candidacy for the presidency initially inspired a great deal of optimism; however, I have been disheartened recently by a number of positions you have taken especially in the realm of foreign policy. You have recently publicly embraced the doctrine often referred to as exceptionalism – the idea that the United States is somehow entitled to behave on the international arena in ways that we would condemn if other nations behaved in an analogous manner.

Application of this worldview by your administration has now become quite evident. I refer here to the use of robot military drones to attack suspected terrorist positions with deadly force anywhere in the world that is deemed necessary regardless of national sovereignty or national borders often causing the deaths of innocent civilians. These attacks have been launched against peoples in Pakistan, Somalia, Tunisia and Afghanistan. In addition, you have apparently approved of extrajudicial killing of even American citizens abroad who are suspected of terrorist activity.

This is the behavior of a rogue nation – these acts are justified by a right of power without the requirement of the rule of law. This is not only morally reprehensible, but it also sets a precedent that other sovereignties can emulate whenever they feel justified by what they believe are national security interests.

The further escalation of the war in Afghanistan will, in my judgment, ultimately damage your presidency, for there is no real winning or losing in this conflict. Furthermore, the continued use of American military power In Afghanistan, our extraordinarily large military budget that overshadows the rest of the world, our extensive bases throughout the world are striking examples of our will towards empire and the destabilizing effect it has on the prospects for world peace.

I urge you, Mr. President to reconsider your foreign policy priorities and incorporate the same humanitarian and compassionate principles that you have utilized so effectively within the framework of your domestic agenda.

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