Originally Published September 11, 2007
Dear war-torn Middle East,
I must apologize for the way my country has acted toward you in the course of the past few decades. We never quite saw eye-to-eye, but lately things have been getting way out of hand. I just wanted to let you know that I realize this and I do feel guilty.
There’s nothing my country or I can do to make up for our interference in your personal matters. And by “personal matters,” I mean your culture and your way of life. By “interference,” I mean the bombings, the torture and the tens of thousands of murders of innocent men, women and children, which we have commited in the course of the last six years.
There’s nothing my nation can do to make up for what we’ve done. I know we try. We say that we’re building new schools, but I know it doesn’t make up for the school children lost in the ones that have collapsed due to our weapons. We say we are rebuilding your governments, but things always seem to become more violent and chaotic when we do.
We want to do good in the world, but our healing only seems to cause harm. Maybe someday we’ll realize that violence isn’t the path to peace.
You must think that we’re just some sort of predator nation that picks off other countries who are weaker so we can feed off of their resources. I know it looks this way, but this isn’t the intention of the majority of us. Some of us would pay double or triple the price for gasoline rather than allow another human life to end, but we are not the ones in power.
Please, you must not take our horrific attacks personally. We do it to lots of people. Just ask the people of Vietnam, Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Most of our attacks don’t even come from our guns, but the guns of others, which we supply or simply ignore. We kill a lot of people who we don’t even make contact with, but instead allow others to kill, so we can try to hide from the responsibility.
Know that you’re not alone in your suffering from the great United States. Just ask the people of Uganda, who are going through a form of genocide, which we won’t protect them from. Or ask Ethiopians, who starves so we can afford more guns for ourselves and our warlord allies.
A lot of us don’t agree with how our country does things, and a lot more of us don’t know that this kind of thing is going on. Please take these things into consideration while reflecting on this, the anniversary of one of the triggers of it all.
I’m not sure how we wiggled our way into Iraq from Afghanistan after Saudi terrorists blew up some of our buildings, but we’re there now and I’m sorry. A lot of us are sorry for what we as a nation have done, but we don’t know what we can do.
How can we control a democratic government that doesn’t listen to the majority of its people? Once we figure that out, hopefully we can make amends with the many people we have harmed.
Until then, please cover your heads and protect your loved ones. This could take a while.
Sincerely, William Kammer Opinion Editor