Thursday, 23 October 2014 / TRUTH-OUT.ORG

From One Nobel Peace Laureate To Another: Open Letter to President Barack Obama

Thursday, 12 September 2013 11:14 By Adolfo Pérez Esquivel, Information Clearing House | Op-Ed

The situation in Syria is an object of serious preoccupation and once more the United States, assuming the role of the world's policeman, proposes to invade Syria in the name of "Freedom" and "Human Rights".

Your predecessor George W. Bush, in his messianic madness, invoked religious fundamentalism to launch his messianic wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. When he declared that he talked with God, and God told him that he had to attack Iraq, he did so claiming it was the message of God to export "freedom" to the world.

You have spoken, on the occasion of the fiftieth anniversary of the death of the Reverend Martin Luther King, also a Nobel Peace Laureate, of the need to complete the "Dream" of a shared table, of he who was the most significant expression of the struggle for civil rights against racism in the first slave-holding democracy in the world. Martin Luther King was a man who gave his life to give life, and because of this he is a martyr in our own time. They killed him after the March on Washington because he threatened civil disobedience rather than complicity with the imperialist war against the people of Vietnam. Can you really believe that a military invasion of another people can realize this dream?

Arming rebels in order to authorize the intervention of NATO is nothing new for your country and your allies. Nor is it new for the United States to propose to invade countries accusing them of possessing weapons of mass destruction, which in the case of Iraq turned out to be untrue. Your country supported the regime of Saddam Hussein when he deployed chemical weapons to annihilate the Kurdish people and against the Iranian Revolution, and there was no talk of sanctions, since at that time they [Saddam and Iraq] were your allies. But now you propose to invade Syria without knowing the results of the investigations being realized by the United Nations with the authorization of the Syrian government. There is no doubt that the use of chemical arms is immoral and to be condemned, but your government has no moral authority whatsoever to justify an intervention.

The Secretary General of the United Nations, Ban Ki-Moon, has stated that a military attack on Syria could make matters worse.

My own country, Argentina, which is now exercising the Presidency of the Security Council of the United Nations, has made public its stance against a foreign military intervention in the Republic of Syria, refusing to be "an accomplice in new deaths."

Pope Francis has also called for a globalization of the movement for Peace and decreed a day of prayer and fasting against the war for September 7, and we ourselves will observe this call.

Even your historical ally, the United Kingdom, has refused (at least for the moment) to be part of this invasion.

Your country is transforming the "Arab Spring" into a NATO inferno, provoking wars in the Middle East and unleashing the pillage of international corporations. The invasion that you propose will only lead to more violence and more death, as well as the destabilization of Syria and of the whole region. To what end? The lucid analyst, Robert Fisk, has noted that the objective is Iran and the postponement of the establishment of a Palestinian state; it is not indignation at the death of hundreds of Syrian children that moves you to intervene militarily. And this at the moment when a moderate government has been democratically elected in Iran, under which it is possible to undertake negotiations and peaceful solutions to existing conflicts. The policy put forward by you and your country could be suicidal.

Syria needs a political rather than a military solution. The international community should support those social organizations that work for peace. The Syrian people, as any other, have a right to self-determination and to define their own democratic process and we should help them to achieve this where they need us.

Obama, your country does not have the moral authority, the legitimacy, nor the legal base to invade Syria or any other country. Much less considering you have assassinated 220,000 persons in Japan by using bombs of massive destruction.

No Congressperson of the United States can legitimize what cannot be legitimate, nor legalize what cannot be legal. This is especially true if we take into account the statement, a few days ago, of the former U.S. President James Carter: "The United States does not have a functioning democracy."

The illegal wiretapping done by your government against the people of the United States is hardly efficient, since according to a public survey done by Reuters, 60% of U.S. citizens oppose the invasion that you want to undertake.

This is why I ask you, Mister Obama, to whom do you obey?

Your government has become a danger for international equilibrium as well as for the people of the United States. It has become a country that cannot resist exporting death to maintain its power and its economy. We will not cease to try to impede this.

I was in Iraq after the bombing campaign that the United States undertook in the 1990s, before the invasion that overthrew Saddam Hussein. I saw a refuge full of women and children assassinated by guided missiles. You call these "collateral damage."

Peoples are saying ENOUGH! to wars. Humanity calls for Peace and the right to live in freedom. The people want to turn swords into ploughshares, and the way to achieve this is to "DISARM THE ARMED CONSCIENCES."

Mister Obama, you must not forget that we always reap the fruit that we sow. Any human being should be sowing humanity and peace, especially one who has a Nobel Peace Prize. I hope that you will not end up converting the "dream of brotherhood" that Martin Luther King hoped for into a nightmare for peoples and humanity.

Please accept my greetings for Peace and Good Will

Adolfo Pérez Esquivel
Noble Peace Laureate

September 4 2013

This piece was reprinted by Truthout with permission or license. It may not be reproduced in any form without permission or license from the source.

Adolfo Pérez Esquivel

Adolfo Pérez Esquivel is an Argentine human rights activist, community organizer, pacifist, art painter, writer, and sculptor. He was the recipient of the 1980 Nobel Peace Prize.

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From One Nobel Peace Laureate To Another: Open Letter to President Barack Obama

Thursday, 12 September 2013 11:14 By Adolfo Pérez Esquivel, Information Clearing House | Op-Ed

The situation in Syria is an object of serious preoccupation and once more the United States, assuming the role of the world's policeman, proposes to invade Syria in the name of "Freedom" and "Human Rights".

Your predecessor George W. Bush, in his messianic madness, invoked religious fundamentalism to launch his messianic wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. When he declared that he talked with God, and God told him that he had to attack Iraq, he did so claiming it was the message of God to export "freedom" to the world.

You have spoken, on the occasion of the fiftieth anniversary of the death of the Reverend Martin Luther King, also a Nobel Peace Laureate, of the need to complete the "Dream" of a shared table, of he who was the most significant expression of the struggle for civil rights against racism in the first slave-holding democracy in the world. Martin Luther King was a man who gave his life to give life, and because of this he is a martyr in our own time. They killed him after the March on Washington because he threatened civil disobedience rather than complicity with the imperialist war against the people of Vietnam. Can you really believe that a military invasion of another people can realize this dream?

Arming rebels in order to authorize the intervention of NATO is nothing new for your country and your allies. Nor is it new for the United States to propose to invade countries accusing them of possessing weapons of mass destruction, which in the case of Iraq turned out to be untrue. Your country supported the regime of Saddam Hussein when he deployed chemical weapons to annihilate the Kurdish people and against the Iranian Revolution, and there was no talk of sanctions, since at that time they [Saddam and Iraq] were your allies. But now you propose to invade Syria without knowing the results of the investigations being realized by the United Nations with the authorization of the Syrian government. There is no doubt that the use of chemical arms is immoral and to be condemned, but your government has no moral authority whatsoever to justify an intervention.

The Secretary General of the United Nations, Ban Ki-Moon, has stated that a military attack on Syria could make matters worse.

My own country, Argentina, which is now exercising the Presidency of the Security Council of the United Nations, has made public its stance against a foreign military intervention in the Republic of Syria, refusing to be "an accomplice in new deaths."

Pope Francis has also called for a globalization of the movement for Peace and decreed a day of prayer and fasting against the war for September 7, and we ourselves will observe this call.

Even your historical ally, the United Kingdom, has refused (at least for the moment) to be part of this invasion.

Your country is transforming the "Arab Spring" into a NATO inferno, provoking wars in the Middle East and unleashing the pillage of international corporations. The invasion that you propose will only lead to more violence and more death, as well as the destabilization of Syria and of the whole region. To what end? The lucid analyst, Robert Fisk, has noted that the objective is Iran and the postponement of the establishment of a Palestinian state; it is not indignation at the death of hundreds of Syrian children that moves you to intervene militarily. And this at the moment when a moderate government has been democratically elected in Iran, under which it is possible to undertake negotiations and peaceful solutions to existing conflicts. The policy put forward by you and your country could be suicidal.

Syria needs a political rather than a military solution. The international community should support those social organizations that work for peace. The Syrian people, as any other, have a right to self-determination and to define their own democratic process and we should help them to achieve this where they need us.

Obama, your country does not have the moral authority, the legitimacy, nor the legal base to invade Syria or any other country. Much less considering you have assassinated 220,000 persons in Japan by using bombs of massive destruction.

No Congressperson of the United States can legitimize what cannot be legitimate, nor legalize what cannot be legal. This is especially true if we take into account the statement, a few days ago, of the former U.S. President James Carter: "The United States does not have a functioning democracy."

The illegal wiretapping done by your government against the people of the United States is hardly efficient, since according to a public survey done by Reuters, 60% of U.S. citizens oppose the invasion that you want to undertake.

This is why I ask you, Mister Obama, to whom do you obey?

Your government has become a danger for international equilibrium as well as for the people of the United States. It has become a country that cannot resist exporting death to maintain its power and its economy. We will not cease to try to impede this.

I was in Iraq after the bombing campaign that the United States undertook in the 1990s, before the invasion that overthrew Saddam Hussein. I saw a refuge full of women and children assassinated by guided missiles. You call these "collateral damage."

Peoples are saying ENOUGH! to wars. Humanity calls for Peace and the right to live in freedom. The people want to turn swords into ploughshares, and the way to achieve this is to "DISARM THE ARMED CONSCIENCES."

Mister Obama, you must not forget that we always reap the fruit that we sow. Any human being should be sowing humanity and peace, especially one who has a Nobel Peace Prize. I hope that you will not end up converting the "dream of brotherhood" that Martin Luther King hoped for into a nightmare for peoples and humanity.

Please accept my greetings for Peace and Good Will

Adolfo Pérez Esquivel
Noble Peace Laureate

September 4 2013

This piece was reprinted by Truthout with permission or license. It may not be reproduced in any form without permission or license from the source.

Adolfo Pérez Esquivel

Adolfo Pérez Esquivel is an Argentine human rights activist, community organizer, pacifist, art painter, writer, and sculptor. He was the recipient of the 1980 Nobel Peace Prize.

Related Stories

Syria and the "Red Line" Nonsense
By Peter Hart, FAIR | Op-Ed

Hide Comments

blog comments powered by Disqus