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Go the Extra Mile: an Open Letter to Rep. Jerrold Nadler

Dear Representative Nadler,

I have been a constituent of yours since you first ran for congress.

As you know, insanity and arrogance are ascendant in Washington and worldwide: Burning fossil fuels, aggressive intervention in Ukraine, nuclear weapons buildup and high alert, war in so many countries I can’t keep track of them, the surveillance state, kleptocracy, the militarization of police, the reassertion of white supremacy and the revival of lynching, spread of poverty, the decline of the middle class, the decline of the public sector and of public services, et cetera.

This is to express my appreciation and gratitude for the positive role you have played in Washington, especially for your support of the Iran deal.

Generating fear has always been a stock in trade of the national security state. It’s often based on half-truths.

When I was a boy, it was Stalin, a bad guy if there ever was one, and Russia and Communism we were supposed to be afraid of. Rightwing psychopaths like Joe McCarthy cranked up the fear, but McCarthy was really just the Bad Cop, with the Truman Administration as the Good Cop. It was the Democratic Administration that promulgated NSC 68, the memorandum written to sew fear; and it was liberal George Kennan who called for a military buildup under the guise of defensive “containment”. We naive liberals detested McCarthy but we did not know that, as Z. Brzezinsky later wrote, the Soviet Union had demobilized, and was no threat to Western Europe. Voices of sanity went unheeded, and the danger came to a climax with the Cuban missile crisis, when President Kennedy’s uniformed military advisers unanimously urged him to bomb Cuba—which as we found out 30 years later would probably have led to the end of the world as we know it. Today it is Washington that is aggressing Russia close to its borders, and it is the fossil fuel economy that is leading to the end of the world as we know it.

Reason and sanity are at a premium today, and I thank you for having so often been part of the solution.

Now I want to urge you to go the last mile. As an American Jew I am deeply ashamed of Israel’s horrible violence and racism against the Palestinians, and of the American government’s complicity in its crimes over the years. If you speak out on this, and call a spade a spade, you will be not only a Leader in the true sense, but a distinguished one, and you will live in history.

With best wishes,

Walter Miale

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Walter Miale lives in Waterloo, Quebec.

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