An Open Letter to President Obama and Governor Romney

Mural of Picasso's Guernica

Mural of Pablo Picasso’s Guernica

President Obama,

I appreciate your concern for the poor and marginalized Americans.  I appreciate your hope, your ability to inspire America with your speeches and ideas.  I thank you for ending the previous administration’s use of torture.

Governor Romney,

I admire your business acumen and your ability to work with both parties.  I admire the health care program you instituted in Massachusetts, and look forward to your ideas for national-level reforms.

But I worry about both of your souls.  President Obama, you have instituted an undeclared drone war against Pakistan, Somalia and Yemen that has left as many as 168 children and teens dead.  Drones have attacked funerals, private homes and even markets.

Predator Drone launching Hellfire MissileAnd the definition of “militant” used in publicity about the strikes – anyone of military age who was in the area of the strike – is frankly deceitful.

The people of these villages live in fear, suffering death, destruction, poverty, terror, and amputation, and for what?  For every real militant these drone strikes kill, we’re certainly driving someone else into the arms of the Taliban.

This is unconscionable, and I frankly shudder to think that any professing Christian could so coldly terrorize towns and villages.  We’re exposing them to their own little 9/11’s, day after day.  And I tremble to think that my tax dollars fund this horror.

President Obama, Governor Romney, one of you will be President of the United States for the next four years.  One of you will make the decision to continue this unconscionable practice or end it.

I will not be voting for anybody who supports this barbarism.  President Obama, if you stop this and promise to never do it again, I will vote for you.  Governor Romney, if you reverse your position and promise to stop these strikes, I will vote for you.

Otherwise, I will vote for a third party candidate who comes out against these atrocities or refrain from voting, as a protest.

Meanwhile, I will pray for both of you, that God may grant you wisdom and compassion, and that he may show you more mercy than you have shown others.

14 comments on “An Open Letter to President Obama and Governor Romney

  1. That can’t be your only issue with either party?

  2. Tim Dedeaux says:

    It isn’t, not by a long shot. But it’s enough.

    It’s like George W. Bush and water boarding. If that had come out prior to his second run at the office, it would have been enough. I ended up voting for the libertarian (Michael Badnarik, if I remember correctly) in 2004 anyway, but it was for a combination of other reasons.

    Things that I consider to be war crimes disqualifies someone from getting my vote for President.

    In normal circumstances, I’d have a very hard time voting for Romney, much less Ryan. I think the reasons are obvious to anyone who isn’t a 100% dyed-in-the-wool Republican. I know the Republicans had an awful bunch to choose from in the primaries, but they could have chosen John Huntsman. Ron Paul is great, but the GOP elites will never nominate him for anything. Even Herman Cain would be better (but I still couldn’t vote for him because he’s pro-torture).

    And I’ve had issues with Obama all along, though I’ve come to respect his vision and domestic policy quite a bit over the last four years. I think trying to have actual real, criminal trials for the Guantanamo Bay detainees was a great idea. I know it stirred up too much heat, and it didn’t happen, but I do applaud his attempt, just like I applaud his ending of “enhanced interrogation.”

    I think I trust him more than I trust Romney. I could vote for him, if not for this. And that’s one thing that really made me mad – I actually might have been able to vote for a candidate who has a chance at winning, and do it in good conscience, and not feel nauseated afterward. But now, after finding out about this, I can’t.

    One main problem is that “do what I want, define it how I want, and obfuscate to avoid all accountability” is starting to be a pattern in the Obama administration – first the “Fast and Furious” gun-walking scheme (which they’re pinning on a couple of local ATF agents, and refusing to take any responsibility for at all in DC, even after congress found Eric Holder in contempt), and now the drone strikes.

    Long story short, I have significant issues with both candidates, probably less with Obama than with Romney (a real reversal for me, politically), but these drone strikes on civilians, some of which are U.S. citizens (one of which was a 16-year old US citizen)? It’s like water boarding. By itself, it’s enough.

    Every Pakistani life is worth the same as my own life. I understand and accept that war may sometimes be necessary, but this? There’s no way this is necessary. There’s no way this is even helping us. And right now, neither candidate looks to be at all ready to pull back from this endless war of surveillance, detention, and extrajudicial killing.

    My tax dollars are already supporting this slaughter. I can’t control that. But I won’t let my vote support it.

    • Nathan Webb says:

      I am lending you my agreement with your pledge to pray that our next leader has Godly wisdom and the will and compassion to do right. Jesus said that where two or three are gathered in his name, there he is. I figure this is at least two of us, so let’s be safe and get one more.
      Bottom line for me, it is beneath me to vote for evil, and I’m tired of being complicit in their crimes by virtue of having registered my agreement with them in a vote.

  3. […] 1, Part 2, and Part 3).  I can’t vote for Romney or Obama, not so long as they both support drone strikes against civilians.  For all the religious political posturing, America seems more like Rome than […]

  4. […] promises hope and change, but wages a drone warfare against Pakistani villages, killing hundreds of civilians. The other speaks the language of conservativism and the Christian Right, but spent his career […]

  5. […] But the truth is, people aren’t great with ambiguity, ambivalence, and uncertainty.  That’s why, once we choose a political party, we ignore almost any horrible deed by our side, because it’s “better than the other guys,” whether it’s torture – I mean, “enhanced interrogation” – or drone strikes on Pakistani civilians and U.S. citizens abroad. […]

  6. […] in protest of the two major party candidates use of, and approval of, continuing drone strikes that kill hundreds of Pakistani civilians. Boycotting Hershey’s chocolate until they institute a plan to stop using cocoa farmed using […]

  7. […] you’re a fan of Governor Mitt Romney or President Barack Obama, or whether you’re like me and can’t vote for either man in good conscience, take some time to pray for “the other guy.”   Pray that God will guide him and give him […]

  8. […] with a clean conscience today, and it felt GOOD.  I didn’t give my approval to Obama’s drone strikes against civilians in countries we aren’t even at war with.  I didn’t give my approval to Romney’s promise to continue, and possibly expand, […]

  9. […] Romans 13:1-7. Pray for President Obama, whether you like or approve of the President’s policies (or abhor them), and remember that God loves him as much as he loves any of […]

  10. […] of transitioning from our all-volunteer, professional military fighting a war to unmanned drones targeting “militants” via a Presidential kill list.  Nobody’s claiming pacifism to avoid going to […]

  11. […] Why do we spend so much time poring over The Revelation to the Apostle John, mostly ignoring the pertinent letters to the seven churches and instead trying to suss out every scrap of meaning about horned dragons, the mark of the beast, and who might be the antichrist (pretty sure it’s not Barrack Obama. He’s just a garden-variety militaristic corporate puppet, though admittedly one with a penchant for bombing civilians). […]

  12. […] it is far too easy to let things slide, either to keep the peace, or because we don’t want to damage our favored candidate’s chances, or because we just don’t want to make a […]

  13. […] So, yeah, the President’s right (as much as I like to criticize him). […]

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