An Open Letter to President Obama from Michael Moore

By Michael Moore, MichaelMoore.com, 30 November 2009

Dear President Obama

Do you really want to be the new "war president"? If you go to West Point tomorrow night (Tuesday, 8pm) and announce that you are increasing, rather than withdrawing, the troops in Afghanistan, you are the new war president. Pure and simple. And with that you will do the worst possible thing you could do — destroy the hopes and dreams so many millions have placed in you. With just one speech tomorrow night you will turn a multitude of young people who were the backbone of your campaign into disillusioned cynics. You will teach them what they’ve always heard is true — that all politicians are alike. I simply can’t believe you’re about to do what they say you are going to do. Please say it isn’t so.

By Michael Moore, MichaelMoore.com, 30 November 2009

Dear President Obama

Do you really want to be the new "war president"? If you go to West Point tomorrow night (Tuesday, 8pm) and announce that you are increasing, rather than withdrawing, the troops in Afghanistan, you are the new war president. Pure and simple. And with that you will do the worst possible thing you could do — destroy the hopes and dreams so many millions have placed in you. With just one speech tomorrow night you will turn a multitude of young people who were the backbone of your campaign into disillusioned cynics. You will teach them what they’ve always heard is true — that all politicians are alike. I simply can’t believe you’re about to do what they say you are going to do. Please say it isn’t so.

It is not your job to do what the generals tell you to do. We are a civilian-run government. WE tell the Joint Chiefs what to do, not the other way around. That’s the way General Washington insisted it must be. That’s what President Truman told General MacArthur when MacArthur wanted to invade China. "You’re fired!," said Truman, and that was that. And you should have fired Gen. McChrystal when he went to the press to preempt you, telling the press what YOU had to do. Let me be blunt: We love our kids in the armed services, but we f*#&in’ hate these generals, from Westmoreland in Vietnam to, yes, even Colin Powell for lying to the UN with his made-up drawings of WMD (he has since sought redemption).

So now you feel backed into a corner. 30 years ago this past Thursday (Thanksgiving) the Soviet generals had a cool idea — "Let’s invade Afghanistan!" Well, that turned out to be the final nail in the USSR coffin.

There’s a reason they don’t call Afghanistan the "Garden State" (though they probably should, seeing how the corrupt President Karzai, whom we back, has his brother in the heroin trade raising poppies). Afghanistan’s nickname is the "Graveyard of Empires." If you don’t believe it, give the British a call. I’d have you call Genghis Khan but I lost his number. I do have Gorbachev’s number though. It’s 41 22 789 1662. I’m sure he could give you an earful about the historic blunder you’re about to commit.

With our economic collapse still in full swing and our precious young men and women being sacrificed on the altar of arrogance and greed, the breakdown of this great civilization we call America will head, full throttle, into oblivion if you become the "war president." Empires never think the end is near, until the end is here. Empires think that more evil will force the heathens to toe the line — and yet it never works. The heathens usually tear them to shreds.

Choose carefully, President Obama. You of all people know that it doesn’t have to be this way. You still have a few hours to listen to your heart, and your own clear thinking. You know that nothing good can come from sending more troops halfway around the world to a place neither you nor they understand, to achieve an objective that neither you nor they understand, in a country that does not want us there. You can feel it in your bones.

I know you know that there are LESS than a hundred al-Qaeda left in Afghanistan! A hundred thousand troops trying to crush a hundred guys living in caves? Are you serious? Have you drunk Bush’s Kool-Aid? I refuse to believe it.

Your potential decision to expand the war (while saying that you’re doing it so you can "end the war") will do more to set your legacy in stone than any of the great things you’ve said and done in your first year. One more throwing a bone from you to the Republicans and the coalition of the hopeful and the hopeless may be gone — and this nation will be back in the hands of the haters quicker than you can shout "tea bag!"

Choose carefully, Mr. President. Your corporate backers are going to abandon you as soon as it is clear you are a one-term president and that the nation will be safely back in the hands of the usual idiots who do their bidding. That could be Wednesday morning.

We the people still love you. We the people still have a sliver of hope. But we the people can’t take it anymore. We can’t take your caving in, over and over, when we elected you by a big, wide margin of millions to get in there and get the job done. What part of "landslide victory" don’t you understand?

Don’t be deceived into thinking that sending a few more troops into Afghanistan will make a difference, or earn you the respect of the haters. They will not stop until this country is torn asunder and every last dollar is extracted from the poor and soon-to-be poor. You could send a million troops over there and the crazy Right still wouldn’t be happy. You would still be the victim of their incessant venom on hate radio and television because no matter what you do, you can’t change the one thing about yourself that sends them over the edge.

The haters were not the ones who elected you, and they can’t be won over by abandoning the rest of us.

President Obama, it’s time to come home. Ask your neighbors in Chicago and the parents of the young men and women doing the fighting and dying if they want more billions and more troops sent to Afghanistan. Do you think they will say, "No, we don’t need health care, we don’t need jobs, we don’t need homes. You go on ahead, Mr. President, and send our wealth and our sons and daughters overseas, ’cause we don’t need them, either."

What would Martin Luther King, Jr. do? What would your grandmother do? Not send more poor people to kill other poor people who pose no threat to them, that’s what they’d do. Not spend billions and trillions to wage war while American children are sleeping on the streets and standing in bread lines.

All of us that voted and prayed for you and cried the night of your victory have endured an Orwellian hell of eight years of crimes committed in our name: torture, rendition, suspension of the bill of rights, invading nations who had not attacked us, blowing up neighborhoods that Saddam "might" be in (but never was), slaughtering wedding parties in Afghanistan. We watched as hundreds of thousands of Iraqi civilians were slaughtered and tens of thousands of our brave young men and women were killed, maimed, or endured mental anguish — the full terror of which we scarcely know.

When we elected you we didn’t expect miracles. We didn’t even expect much change. But we expected some. We thought you would stop the madness. Stop the killing. Stop the insane idea that men with guns can reorganize a nation that doesn’t even function as a nation and never, ever has.

Stop, stop, stop! For the sake of the lives of young Americans and Afghan civilians, stop. For the sake of your presidency, hope, and the future of our nation, stop. For God’s sake, stop.

Tonight we still have hope.

Tomorrow, we shall see. The ball is in your court. You DON’T have to do this. You can be a profile in courage. You can be your mother’s son.

We’re counting on you.

Yours,

Michael Moore

5 comments
  1. Bravo Moore!

    Who wouldn’t agree with Michael Moore? He seems to be one of the few people in the US with some logic. Let’s see if Obama is also a puppet in the hands of the corporations or if he is a real president!

    People like Michael Moore should run for the presidency and must win!

  2. Observations re: Moore’s letter

    Here are few observations :

    War is hell…there is no doubt of it. However there are "Just" wars if one needs to avoid national disasters.

    Ok…Let’s withdraw our troops from Afganistan. Let Afghans deal with their own problems. Let the Taliban come back, let them give refuge to Al Qaida Jihadist. Let Al Qaida plan another attack and try to kill thousands of Westerners. Where would be this time? Canada, USA, Europe?

    Moor has several valid points, However, total withdrawal is not one of them.
    Those who support Moor’s total withdrawl wish have not been in New York during Twin Towers’ disaster and have not pondered on British Pakistanis murderous rampage on London bus.

    1. For more than a century

       

      For more than a century the west has been manipulating Middle Eastern countries to dominate the oil market.  They did this through treachery, overthrowing governments and replacing them with corrupted ones.  What do you expect in return?

      Do you really believe that 9/11 was the work of Al Qaida alone without instigation of  disguised  agents of the west or its allies?  Think again and stop believing the western media which is heavily monitored and is a brainwashing system.  Instead, read history, get news from all types of media, extract the information using common sense and logic, then you will know the truth.

      In recent times animosity towards the West has primarily centred around US and for a good reason.

      Advanced intelligence in regards of Pearl Harbour were "ignored". Gulf of Tonkin attack was staged, and later thousands upon thousands of innocent people were sacrificed. Both are glaring instances of deceitful nature of a new form of an empire.

      Weren’t there warnings of 9/11? Why US did not take precautions?  Do you think it is illogical to infer that the tragedy would and did provide a perfect opportunity for US to pave the way to its dream of controling oil routes to the south from Central Asia? Thirty or fifty years later, when the archives become available, we’ll know.

      If the West does not meddle with other nations (for personal profits or power) then it will not face fierce animosity.

      This in no way is condoning what Al Qaida or the others did, but US has to look into the mirror before giving advice to others.

  3. More on Moore’s letter

    I guess conspiracy theories never go away. So West should not meddle into other countries. YES..the word is  SHOULD NOT…..however this is a wishful thinking…. West will always find reasons to meddle. However, this meddling brings better life to these third world countries, but the populace is too ignorant to see the benefit, they are brainwashed by their religious beliefs.
    OK…West needs Oil….so what???

    Who makes a better  use of that oil than Arabs who squander it for lavish lifestyle of the few?
    A better exploited  oil producing county will have more jobs ( provided that the West does not fatten the pockets of the few) well…  come and tell this to Shiites and Sunnis  …that is a dream…

    So..Twin Tower had more secrets and one should read and listen to other media…What media..Aljazeera, or other Arab media or shall we listen to Turkish media? Is it possible that they are more reliable than Western media? Is it true that "other media" is free and do not represent their own countries’  agenda?

    No matter what the reason is ( my personal opinion is the West’s middle east one sided policy)Twin Towers happened and conspiracy theories are galore…..and it should not be permitted to happen again by letting Jihadist to regroup in those 3rd world countries. By the way….there is no oil in Afghanistan but poppies.

    1. Let’s get the facts straight
      Dear Serj,

      I enjoy reading your comments and agree with most of your views. This happens to be an exception in defence of Yeghish.
       
      1. "Ignoring" advance intelligence regarding Pearl Harbour, fabricating the story of the Gulf of Tonkin, and not heeding to advance warnings from Al’Qaida, all mentioned by Yeghish, are documented historical facts. One might add many similar "tales" related to specially South America. Getting to know more about them leads to being skeptical about the administration’s version of contemporary events, such as 9/11 tragedy. Reading Yeghish’s note I don’t get the impression that he has absolved Al ‘Qaida, but he is casting doubt on administration’s version, like so many others have done, including Moore. I assume that you have seen Moore’s Fahrenheit 9/11. I don’t think it is fair to label a doubt as "conspiracy theory" when facts do not add up.

      2. Why pick up only Aljazeera and "other Arab media"? What about non-American major News agencies? BBC, the French, Russian, Chinese  or south American media outlets. Why discard them? Yeghish did not specify any particular media.

      3. Your second paragraph sounds like being an advocate for overt imperialism. It goes like this, "Joe, you have a nice kitchen that you inherited from your grandpa, but you don’t know how to use it. I’ll come into your home without your permission and I’ll make cookies to my taste. You may have the crums if you wish." Is that what you are telling?

      May I humbly suggest that you pick up a copy of Herman & Chomsky’s "Manufacturing Consent" or a reputable textbook of Middle Eastern history to get the facts straight? Who in cohoots with the conservative elements conspired against grass roots attempts of democratic change in the Middle East, if not the west?  Who has nurtured the "lifestyle of the few"? Please ask yourself.

      Furthermore, the west has a large responsibility in the spread of Jihadist onslaught. Democratic movements which did not fit western definition or interests were all eliminated one by one under this or that pretext. Ultimately, the vast majority of people were left in the dark and almost illiterate. Unfortunately, the mass understands the religious jargon, much like during the time of the Crusaders.

      Incidentally, who cultivated Osama Bin Laden and Saddam Hussein, or Noriega for that matter?

      4. "Do you think it is illogical to infer that the tragedy would and did provide a perfect opportunity for US to pave the way to its dream of controling oil routes to the south from Central Asia? Thirty or fifty years later, when the archives become available, we’ll know." I don’t see Yeghish telling that Afghanistan has oil fields. It says "controling oil routes to the south from Central Asia." Probably you misread the reference to where the oil fields are.

      5. One final question: How many times over 9/11 was repeated daily in Iraq, Afghanistan and elsewhere? Are CNN, FOX, MSNBC telling us?

      You know the latest news: The War President gets the Peace Nobel prize. What a tragi-comedy. Sassounian is correct. Obama should give up the award. That sums up my remarks.
       
      Respectfully,

      Nareg

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