rn:Full Page letter to Pres Bush in NYT


Jan Slakov

Date: Fri, 28 Sep 2001 12:29:18 -0400
From: "Charles D. Johnson" <•••@••.•••>
Subject: FullPage Letter to Pres Bush in NYT

Dear friends -

Just reading this letter from a former Marine seargent to President Bush
did my soul good. When I found that it will appear as a  full page ad in
the NYT I became excited.  So I am sending it on to all of you, good
souls one and  all.

Please read the letter, and if you feel moved to  contribute, that would
be good too.  We need to get the word out that war is NOT the only
answer, even if it does cost $100 a word ! We should also be thankful to
Tom Atlee for his huge contributions to peace and justice.

There are rays of hope,

Subject: A deeply sane letter to Pres. Bush Date: Thu, 13 Sep 2001
20:42:09 -0700 From: Tom Atlee <•••@••.•••> To: •••@••.•••
(undisclosed list)

 To: •••@••.••• (NYT Donor list)
 From: Tom Atlee <•••@••.•••>
 Subject:       Urgent: The NYT Marine Letter Miracle

To all the friends from my list who offered to contribute to getting former
Marine Sgt. Greg Nees’ letter to President Bush (see below) into the New
York Times:
I am writing you because of a miracle.
When Greg and I found out that a full page ad in the NYT costs around
$100,000, we almost hung up our hats.
But Yumi Kikuchi—an environmental activist, farmer and mother of four in
Japan—didn’t.  She’s on my list, too.  And she called together some
friends—all of whom were moved by Greg’s letter—and recruited some
big-name help—like the fellow who was the main grassroots rescue and
recovery organizer after the Kobe earthquake, who is nationally famous
there—and they started the Global Peace Campaign, whose primary purpose
was to get Greg’s letter into the New York Times.
Well, last Friday they started fundraising.  On Saturday they put up a
website http://www.peace2001.org.  Within 24 hours, it had gotten 25,000
hits.  By Sunday, they had $20,000 raised.  When I talked to Yumi
Tuesday, they had $50,000 raised.
This is beyond amazing.  And now its our turn to do what we can to push
it towards the $100,000 mark.
For the last several days it’s felt like I was clinging to a wild
bronco. I’ve been totally preoccupied dealing with the incredibly
complex issues that (totally unexpected by me) have cropped up around
this— not the least of which has been how to deal with the money that
would be raised FROM (not for) the NYT ad.  We hadn’t even thought of
that earlier, but Yumi did, and she insisted that it be done.  So Greg
and I recruited the Veterans for Peace (VFP)
http://www.veteransforpeace.org , whose work is very much aligned with
the energy of Greg and his letter— they help countries who’ve been hurt
in US wars AND they investigate and protest militarism, advocating
non-military approaches to global relations.  One of their members just
finished an 18-month term in jail for protesting at the School of the
Americas (a US government school which trains Latin American soldiers in
torture, suppression and counter-insurgency operations).  VFP will be
carrying on the work after the ad has done it’s job.
Greg, who has never done anything like this before and thought he was
just writing a letter to the President and sharing it with some friends,
is very involved (he’s writing an update PS to his original letter and
is joining VFP), but wants very much to get back to his life.
Currently we expect the ad will appear in the October 9th NY Times. 
We’d love to have it sooner, but we couldn’t get a good placement (right
side, first news section, Mon/Tues/Weds) guaranteed before then.  The
money has to be enroute to the NYTimes by Wednesday October 3rd.
That means we need your contributions ASAP.  Although we arehoping we’ll
have adequate funds raised from Japan, we don’t know what’s going to
happen and it is very important that we have donors from America and
elsewhere, as well.  There are 48 of you receiving this and your
donations may make the critical difference.  Credit card donations will
be quickest and best (although you can send check donations to the
Co-Intelligence Institute at POBox 493, Eugene, OR 97440; please write
"NYT AD" in the "for" blank).
Here’s how to donate through VFP using your credit card:
1)      Go to the Veterans for Peace (VFP) website
http://www.veteransforpeace.org .
2)      In the upper left there’s a big button for donations.
Click it.
3)      You’ll find yourself on the www.donate.net site, where you’ll see a
list of VFP programs and products.  "The NYT ad" item is at the end of
the list (although you are free to donate to other programs, or to
join, even
you’re not a veteran).

4)      Read the directions and proceed.  When you hit the
"matching funds" page, just click "continue".  After entering your
credit card number (with no spaces or dashes), click "Submit" and wait
for the confirmation page to show up.
That’s it.  Thank you SO much for your participation in this.
Now we pray—not only that the ad comes out but that it comes true...
Tom (Atlee)


Dear Friends and Family,

Below is a copy of a letter I have written to the President. While I
don’t know whether it will ever reach him, I urge you to read it,
reflect upon it and pass it on as you see fit. And if you can find the
time and inspiration, to write letters of your own. I believe this could
be a unique turning point as we move into the 21st century - let all
your voicces be heard that we may turn the corner safely and not shoot
out over the cliff.
Love to all,

President George W. Bush
The White House
Washington, DC September 13, 2001

Dear Mr. President,
I am a former Marine Corps sergeant who served his country well and was
honorably discharged in 1970. I have never written such a letter before
and I pray that it will somehow get through the bureaucratic filters to
reach you.
Like so many Americans, I was appalled and shocked by the death and
destruction we witnessed two days ago. I am now coming out of my shock
and am very concerned about the grievous state in which our country and
the world find themselves. We have suffered a horrible attack and far
too many of us have suffered and died. I am greatly saddened and
sickened by the carnage and suffering of the victims and their families.
I know you too are suffering and I can feel your anger and frustration
as well as your desire for active retaliation and I understand it well.
It is a natural and justifiable reaction to such a heinous criminal act.

And yet I would counsel you to proceed carefully. I fear we are in a
perilous situation and a mistake on our part could easily widen the
already huge spiral of violence in which the world finds itself. Mr. 
President, you now have the great opportunity to prove to the world that
the United States is more than just a great economic and military power
to be feared. It is up to you to show all of the world that the United
States is also a law abiding and civilized country which can be trusted
to follow the laws of the world as well as let itself be guided by the
wisdom of human understanding and compassion.

I urge you to use all legal means at your disposal to determine who
perpetrated this horrible crime and to bring them to trial before the
appropriate court. Let them indeed find the justice the world awaits and
needs. But I beg you, let not one more innocent life - be it American,
Israeli, Palestinian or any other - be lost because of this horrible crime.

Too often our bombs and weapons have taken the lives of innocent
victims. I believe the military euphemism is "collateral damage" but in
reality it is manslaughter if not outright murder. What right can we
claim that allows us to take more innocent lives? Is that not also a
form of terrorism? Should we lower ourselves to the level of those who
attacked the World Trade Center or should we stand tall and take the
legal and moral high ground?

You have chosen to describe this as an act of evil. I fear using such
inflammatory language will only worsen the situation.  Such language
will all too easily incite a lynch mob mentality, when what we need is
the compassion which Jesus taught as well as the cool reason which will
help us reach our true goals of global peace, prosperity and democracy
for all people of the world. Lead us, Mr. President, with dignity and
wisdom and do not pander to the primitive parts of our beings that are
all too powerfully calling out at this moment. Show the world that you
too are a leader with the greatness, strength and courage to seek true
understanding and restorative justice, just as Nelson Mandela did in
South Africa.

Rather than characterizing the attack as an act of evil, I see it as a
terrible last act of desperation by people who believed they had no
other way to make themselves heard than to resort to violence and
mayhem. It is absolutely critical that we see not only their willingness
to use horrible, illegal means, but that we also hear their desperation
which makes them view such means as the highest form of heroism
including the sacrifice of their very lives. As a former Marine, I know
what it means to be willing to sacrifice one’s life for a cause one
truly believes in.  While I see these people as horribly misguided,
hate-filled and desperate, I do not believe they are cowardly or evil.

If we are to truly resolve the hatred and violence, we need to
understand that in their eyes, they see themselves as a tiny, heroic
David fighting against a huge, monstrous Goliath who seeks to kill them
and their way of life. We certainly need not agree with their views, but
we must understand them if we ever hope to achieve a lasting peace and
not a world that is locked down and bereft of all the civil rights and
freedoms we cherish so highly.
Months ago we saw magazine pictures of a young Palestinian child being
cradled for hours in the arms of his father. Innocently caught in a gun
battle the child died from bullet wounds and the father could not move
to save him. Can you begin to imagine the anguish, pain and sense of
injustice this father must have felt? As a father yourself, how would
you have felt in such a situation as the life oozed out of your child
and you were pinned down and absolutely helpless? It is such intensely
unbearable images and feelings that drive people to such desperate
measures as we witnessed on Wednesday in New York and Washington.

In this moment of deep crisis, is also a moment of immense opportunity.
I urge you to take this opportunity to move our world away from violence
and suffering and towards peace, freedom and abundance for all. Let
these voices of desperation be heard and let the perpetrators have their
day in court.
Show them that we truly do believe in law and justice for all. Let us
not make the mistake we did recently at Durban, but rather let us bring
all voices to the table, even if they are screaming and telling the
stories we would like not to hear. We are truly a superpower and we are
too used to talking and expecting others to listen. Show the world that
we are also strong enough to learn to listen. I know you are a Christian
and I pray that you will indeed do what Jesus Christ counseled and not
rashly lash out in violence. 

May God give you the wisdom to find the great opportunity for peace that
lies in this horrible tragedy. I hope that later in this century
historians will look back and applaud your greatness of spirit and cool
sense of reason that moved our globalizing world closer to justice and
democracy for all.

Greg Nees

From:   •••@••.•••
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        by imo-r09.mx.aol.com (mail_out_v31_r1.4.) id w.4f.112d804a (3960);
        Thu, 13 Sep 2001 13:46:41 -0400 (EDT)
        Message-ID: <•••@••.•••>
Date:   Thu, 13 Sep 2001 13:46:41 EDT
Subject:        Urgent!
To:     •••@••.•••, •••@••.•••,

Charles D. Johnson
Joyce A. Johnson
82 Lakeview Avenue
Falmouth, MA 02540

This is what you shall do: Love the earth and sun and animals, despise
riches, give alms to every one that asks, stand up for the stupid and
crazy, devote your income and labor to others, hate tyrants, argue not
concerning God, have patience and indulgence toward the people, take off
your hat to nothing known or unknown . . . reexamine all you have been
told at school or church or in any book, dismiss whatever insults your
own soul, and your very flesh shall be a great poem and have the richest
Walt Whitman -  preface to _Leaves of Grass_