Dear America: An Open Letter to my Country

April 1, 2003

on KMUD’s Hearts & Minds radio show
December 7, 2003

Dear America,

Once again you have shown your ever-increasing military might with a massive display of explosive weapons that overwhelmingly outmatch your adversary. You have murdered countless civilians in the process, along with members of their army who were legally defending their homeland from your illegal, criminal invasion. Every bullet fired, every missile launched, and every bomb dropped was an egregious criminal act in violation of international and U.S. Constitutional law. You now physically occupy new oil fields, guaranteeing more petrol under your control and allowing continued denial of your dangerous dependency upon a resource facing imminent depletion.

Let us be honest. Your latest manifestation of psychotic behavior is not war, but another massacre against a nation that you insisted on disarming before unleashing your latest firepower. Your obsession with military violence and global hegemony if not arrested soon, will surely doom the world to a series of catastrophes that may lead to our species’ extinction.

I wonder how you are feeling–I mean really deep down in your heart and soul? Are you feeling satisfied or do you yearn for more bloodletting? Is this a trial run for a series of barbaric "preventive wars" against virtually defenseless countries in the greater Middle East, eastern Asia, South America, and elsewhere? Are you so racist and paranoid that you will murder anyone you imagine not being subservient to your demands, whether or not they are able to defend themselves? What deep, unmet needs do you suppose are driving you to continually commit such barbarism, such madness? From where did our apparent unconscious sense of invalidation and alienation originate, demanding such distracting, brutish behavior?

Though many of your citizens are cheering your actions like rabid dogs in a wild pack, including some from my own family, I am feeling depressed. I am enraged that your lack of empathy, and your addiction to violence, causes so much needless harm in the world. I feel sick to my stomach. I am hurt and grief-stricken, anguished beyond comprehension, that so much carnage is committed in my name as one of your natural born citizens, all for lies. I wonder how and when the forces of the cosmos will ultimately require an accounting?

Perhaps our unwillingness to admit our wrongs in Vietnam remain like an oozing sore in our psyche. The piercing of our sense of invincibility, our humiliation, could have led to an honest reckoning with our distorted view of ourselves, and profound healing. Instead it has stirred us to pump ourselves up with evermore technological superiority enabling conquest without protracted conflicts or too many U.S. body bags.

I reluctantly see now, America, that your whole existence is rooted in patterns of nearly incomprehensible violence, and that this forms the essence of your cultural ethos. You seem obsessed with a sense of superiority, drunk with brute power, unable to feel empathy and compassion, think clearly, or act responsibly, and your actions endanger us all. Your behavior fits diagnoses of mental illness and criminal psychopathy. You need a shaking up, a moment equivalent to the storming of the Bastille nearly 215 years ago. When and how will this happen?

I wonder whether and when you might be able to listen to a deeper place in your own heart and soul? My hope, and that of billions of other human beings around the globe, is that someday soon you will experience a huge "aha!" — a relief and joy that enables you to let go of your need for superiority and become an equal part of the awesome interweave of life that is the ultimate guiding wisdom of the universe. I repeat: Does it ever occur to you that your thinking and behavior likely will lead our species to extinction after an incredible 7-million-year evolutionary journey.

America, I weep endlessly knowing in my heart that at a deep, unconscious level you are experiencing pain and deprivation that you are desperately avoiding. If you are willing to endure a painful but liberating healing process by honestly facing these uncomfortable hurts, then you will no longer feel the need for violent, macho behavior. You will be able to let go of your defensiveness. You’ll be able to stop looking over your shoulder and breathe freely, maybe for the first time. Honest healing will create win-win for all. Continuing your destructive behavior will create lose-lose for the world, and for us.

I’m hoping for a quantum leap in consciousness. Are you game? The stakes could not be higher–our very survival!

 

 


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