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Sean Penn letter in Washington Post on War...worth the read
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shapeshifter



Joined: 11 Nov 2002
Posts: 60
Location: Massachusetts
Sean Penn letter in Washington Post on War...worth the read  Reply with quote  

This appeared in yesterday's Washington Post. Sean Penn paid $56,000
to have this appear. It took almost an entire page.

An Open Letter to the President of the United States of America

Mr. Bush: Good morning sir. Like you, I am a father and an American.
Like you, I consider myself a patriot. Like you, I was horrified by the
events
of this past year, concerned for my family and my country. However,
I do not believe in a simplistic and inflammatory view of good and
evil.
I believe this is a big world full of men, women, and children who
struggle to eat, to love, to work, to protect their families, their
beliefs, and their dreams. My father, like yours, was decorated for
service in World War II. He raised me with a deep belief in the
Constitution and the Bill of Rights, as they should apply to all
Americans who would sacrifice to maintain them and to all human beings
as a matter of principle. Many of your actions to date and those
proposed
seem
to violate every defining principle of this country over which you
preside:
intolerance of debate ("with us or against us"), marginalization of
your critics, the promoting of fear through unsubstantiated rhetoric,
manipulation of a quick comfort media, and position of your
administration's deconstruction of civil liberties all contradict the
very core of the patriotism you claim. You lead, it seems, through a
blood-lined sense of entitlement. Take a close look at your most
vehement media supporters. See the fear in their eyes as their loud
voices of support ring out with that historically disastrous
undercurrent of rage and panic masked as "straight tough talk."
How far have we come from understanding what it is to kill one man,
one woman, or one child, much less the "collateral damage" of many
hundreds of thousands. Your use of the words, "this is a new kind of
war" is often accompanied by an odd smile. It concerns me that what
you are asking of us is to abandon all previous lessons of history in
favor of following you blindly into the future. It worries me because
with all your best intentions, an enormous economic surplus has been
squandered. Your administration has virtually dismissed the most
fundamental environmental concerns and therefore, by implication, one
gets the message that, as you seem to be willing to sacrifice the
children of the world, would you also be willing to sacrifice ours. I
know
this
cannot be your aim so, I beg you Mr. President, listen to
Gershwin, read chapters of Stegner, of Saroyan, the speeches of Martin
Luther King. Remind yourself of America. Remember the Iraqi children,
our children, and your own. There can be no justification for the
actions of
Al
Qaeda. Nor acceptance of the criminal viciousness of the tyrant, Saddam
Hussein.
Yet, that bombing is answered by bombing, mutilation by mutilation,
killing by killing, is a pattern that only a great country like ours
can stop. However, principles cannot be recklessly or greedily
abandoned in the guise of preserving them. Avoiding war while
accomplishing
national security is no simple task.
But you will recall that we Americans had a little missile problem down
in Cuba once. Mr. Kennedy's restraint (and that of the nuclear
submarine
captain, Arkhipov) is to be aspired to. Weapons of mass destruction are
clearly a threat to the entire world in any hands. But as Americans, we
must ask ourselves, since the potential for Mr. Hussein to possess them
threatens not only our country, (and in fact, his technology to launch
is
likely not yet at that high a level of sophistication) therefore, many
in
his own region would have the greatest cause for concern. Why then, is
the United States, as led by your administration, in the small minority
of the world nations predisposed toward a preemptive military assault
on
Iraq? Simply put, sir, let us re-introduce inspection teams, inhibiting
offensive capability. We buy time, maintain our principles here and
abroad and demand of ourselves the ingenuity to be the strongest
diplomatic muscle on the planet, perhaps in the history of the planet.
The answers will come. You are a man of faith, but your saber is
rattling the faith of many Americans in you. I do understand what a
tremendously daunting task it must be to stand
in your shoes at this moment. As a father of two young children who
will live their lives in the world as it will be affected by
critical choices today, I have no choice but to believe that you can
ultimately stand as a great president. History has offered you such a
destiny. So again, sir, I beg you, help save America before yours is
a legacy of shame and horror. Don't destroy our children's future.
We will support you. You must support us, your fellow Americans, and
indeed, mankind. Defend us from fundamentalism abroad but don't turn a
blind eye to the fundamentalism of a diminished citizenry through loss
of
civil
liberties, of dangerously heightened presidential autonomy through
acts of Congress, and of this country's mistaken and pervasive belief
that its "manifest destiny" is to police the world. We know that
Americans are frightened and angry. However, sacrificing American
soldiers or innocent civilians in an unprecedented preemptive attack
on a separate sovereign nation, may well prove itself a most temporary
medicine. On the other hand, should you mine and have faith in the
best of this country to support your leadership in representing a
strong, thoughtful, and educated United States, you may well triumph
for the long haul. Lead us there, Mr. President, and we will stand
with you.

Sincerely,
Sean Penn
San Francisco, California
Post Fri Nov 15, 2002 12:37 pm
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Sage Francis
Self Fighteous


Joined: 30 Jun 2002
Posts: 21620
 Reply with quote  

I commend Sean Penn on his letter as well as his approach.
Post Fri Nov 15, 2002 12:44 pm
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shapeshifter



Joined: 11 Nov 2002
Posts: 60
Location: Massachusetts
 Reply with quote  

I agree, now imagine if more people with 'power' took a stand? Shit we can't get through to the president, not that he'd listen...I was damn impressed with the letter myself
Post Fri Nov 15, 2002 12:57 pm
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MessiahCarey



Joined: 01 Jul 2002
Posts: 10924
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Oh man...I wanna hear what Rush had to say about THIS...damn...

Kudos to Mr. Penn.

- Shane
Post Fri Nov 15, 2002 1:15 pm
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Jocker



Joined: 12 Jul 2002
Posts: 289
Location: Woonsocket, RI
penn  Reply with quote  

penn is the shit.... i remember when his house burned down he was getting interviewed on the local news and the reporter was like how do you feel about your house getting burned down
he responded relieved....
he had a huge house in malibu.. and didnt even rebuild...
he parked a 20ft airstream trailer and was so content...
this is so true...
a real role model to children and fasttimes at ridgmont high spicolli is a fucking classic forever...
long live the penn
Post Fri Nov 15, 2002 1:19 pm
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dense



Joined: 30 Jun 2002
Posts: 911
Location: england
 Reply with quote  

word..... that was a brilliantly constructed letter..... i hope that this information coming from a 'movie star' will make more people sit up and listen instead of looking at it blindly......
Post Fri Nov 15, 2002 1:24 pm
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RapCat



Joined: 31 Jul 2002
Posts: 1016
Location: San Jose
 Reply with quote  

Penn is the man, well written article.
Post Fri Nov 15, 2002 1:29 pm
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all ways osprey



Joined: 14 Nov 2002
Posts: 59
Location: Atlantic City
 Reply with quote  

I went to the DC Anti-War march on October 22, and I do not support an all out war with Iraq. I don't like Bush's politics, especially when it comes to the environment, but it seems he's actually handled this disarmament of Iraq pretty well. Penn writes a good letter and it's pretty cool he gives a shit, but did he really need to write this letter? Weapons inspectors head to Iraq on monday, and it appears the proverbial ball is in Saddam's court.
Post Fri Nov 15, 2002 3:05 pm
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ctrlfreak



Joined: 23 Jul 2002
Posts: 483
 Reply with quote  

3 cheers for Penn!!!
Post Fri Nov 15, 2002 3:48 pm
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DM



Joined: 05 Jul 2002
Posts: 6371
Location: www.NERDTORIOUS.com
....  Reply with quote  

I have always been a fan of Sean Penn as an actor. Yet this letter solidifies my belief in his intelligence and viewpoints. I agree with everything in the letter, as well as his aproach. Penn is a badass.

Thanks for posting this.


Abacus
Post Fri Nov 15, 2002 4:13 pm
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MessiahCarey



Joined: 01 Jul 2002
Posts: 10924
 Reply with quote  

all ways osprey wrote:
I went to the DC Anti-War march on October 22, and I do not support an all out war with Iraq. I don't like Bush's politics, especially when it comes to the environment, but it seems he's actually handled this disarmament of Iraq pretty well. Penn writes a good letter and it's pretty cool he gives a shit, but did he really need to write this letter? Weapons inspectors head to Iraq on monday, and it appears the proverbial ball is in Saddam's court.


On paper, yeah.

In reality, Bush wants to go in there.

Not ONCE has Bush said that the "regime change" he wants to have happen hinges on Sadaam's access to weapons of mass destruction - he only uses them as ONE reason for the "regime change".

Peace,
Shane
Post Fri Nov 15, 2002 4:23 pm
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all ways osprey



Joined: 14 Nov 2002
Posts: 59
Location: Atlantic City
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I hate to stick up for Bush of all people, but he also said, "policy change could constitute regime change" in other words, if hussein starts falling in line, he would be a different person.
Post Mon Nov 18, 2002 12:54 am
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