On Saturday, February 4th, 2006, thousands will gather outside of the White House, coming to tell you that the world cannot wait, that we do not accept either your assessment of the state of the union, or your plans for controlling our destiny through your conception of illegitimate “leadership.”
I am writing to let you know that I will regretfully be unable to attend this White House event.
I send my regrets as a mother of two young children, children who, while materially comfortable, must grow up in a world infinitely more dangerous, more fractured, more on the edge due to your actions.
I send my regrets on behalf of all mothers who stand against the lies and corruption that fuel our countries so-called spreadng of democracy, our opening of hearts and minds — the mothers of the more than 2,000 Americans and tens of thousands of Iraqis that have died for your quest, the mothers who, when confronted by an American convoy in Iraq, hold their baby up to prevent attacks from the scared and stressed US soldiers waving weapons. That is the safety you have brought — a deep-seated fear that lives on, that kills, if not directly then in spirit.
I send my regrets also on behalf of mothers of the 16,000 Iraqis imprisoned, many without charges, of those imprisoned in Guantanamo, and at each of the secret US-run and sponsored facilities around the world, those held without recourse to justice, those tortured in both body and mind.
I send my regrets as a citizen of your country, but more importantly as a member of the global community that is rising up to speak against your administration’s policies, to stand against empire. As I read recently, “Every bomb released over Iraq explodes from Mobile to New Orleans,” and as members of the world community we cannot fail to acknowledge these connections. My daughter asked me today when it will be that all the people in world will start to love each other. Perhaps this is the naive vision of a young child, or perhaps it is a question that we all need to take seriously as we do everything in our collective power to drive out your regime that does nothing but breed and perpetrate hatred, bigotry, and intolerance.
So, please understand that my absence on February 4th in no way speaks to an endorsement of you or your policies. My body will be working and caring for my children in California, tending to the day to day obligations that I cannot at this moment put aside. However, my spirit will be beating down your doors, infiltrating the White House grounds, flowing through the bodies and mouths of all who are able to come to Washington to let you know that we, the world, will not wait any longer.
ELISA SALASIN can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.