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Just Say No To Obsession

The Honorable George W Bush,
President of the United States
The White House
1600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW
Washington, DC 20500

Dear President Bush,

Mr. President, I sometimes think that one of the defining differences between the political parties is that folks on your side of the fence espouse a philosophy that often amounts to blaming the victim, while people on my side have this unfortunate tendency to enable dysfunctional behavior - making excuses for why Johnny has a drug problem or likes to beat up old ladies. However, we here at Human Potential Left prefer to emphasize the values of personal responsibility and ruthless compassion – believing that the only way to truly help a person is to insist that they face their issues and adopt more production behaviors. Which brings me to the issue of your recent behavior towards the President of Iraq.

Put in the most sensitive yet direct terms I can manage, Mr. President, it has become clear to an awful lot of people in our country, and around the world as well, that you are completely and utterly obsessed with Saddam Hussein. Yes, I know that man tried to kill your father, and he's a terrible human being and all that, and an even worse head of state. And, yes, in theory, we'd all be better if he were gone from the scene. But, as your father knew in 1991, decapitating heads of state, or destroying their regimes, is serious business - and thus goes smoother once the international community has arrived at an obvious consensus on the rightness of your cause. Even if you are the President of the sole remaining superpower, you just can't take out nations and leaders you don't like, or try to bully your allies into going along with your grand designs. I mean, you can try to do it, but it usually doesn't end up the way you hoped it would – unless someone actually likes being burned in effigy by angry protestors or compared to some of the worse thugs in human history, not to mention becoming personally responsible for spurring dramatic reshuffling of alliances, where long-time friends suddenly want nothing to do with you, and prefer to ally themselves with countries that execute more convicts than even the State of Texas. So, you really might want to take a look at your current behavior and do a sincere personal accounting as to whether your approach is getting you the results you are actually trying to achieve.

And, while I'm at it, perhaps you shouldn't go around talking in terms of who's with or against “us”, especially when so many people in this country are questioning whether they even want to be included as part of your “us”. George, I'm sure that you'd be fun to hang out with at a barbeque or a baseball game, but as Presidents go, your father's tenure is looking better and better all the time.

In truth, with all that's been happening as of late with that wacko in North Korea, a lot of us are really wondering why you haven't been paying more attention to him, and instead insist on focusing virtually all your energy on destroying a dictator whose territorial boundaries are already tightly controlled through heavily patrolled no-fly zones in the north and south of his country - and who just happens to have the world's 4th or 5th most powerful military in his back yard, the State of Israel. The geopolitical comparisons with the 1930's and Hitler are a little weak, don't you think? If either France or England had given Hitler this hard a time in the 1930's, they would have found the Fuhrer's body in a ditch well before September 1939. On the other hand, that lunatic in P'anmunjom has a couple of nuclear weapons in his six-shooter, and, under the wrong full moon, might just decide to vaporize Los Angeles, San Francisco or Seattle. So, it strikes me that it might be a good idea to cool it with Hussein, and instead get down to business with Kim Chong-il.

I know that you say that 9/11 changed everything. But, thanks to Bob Woodward, we now know that Wolfowitz (and is he a scary dude or what) and Rumsfeld urged you to use 9/11 as an excuse for offing Hussein the morning after the WTC attack, and well before any evidence had been assembled linking the attack to anyone - and hence that entire argument is as phony as a three dollar bill. You also claim to fear that Hussein might give his weapons of mass destruction to terrorists that hold him in the same low regard that you do, in spite of the fact that there is no evidence whatsoever that Hussein has ever given anybody anything – and I mean anything. How else do you think you amass the kind of fortune he has in those international banks (and, is it any wonder he named his elite forces the "Republican Guard")? But, I know, you can't afford to even allow the chance that he might, even if, by appearing so extraordinarily controlling, bellicose and inflexible on the world stage, your actions become responsible for toppling “friendly” Muslim governments, and inspire the future murder of Americans.

I could go on for another couple of pages, but I suspect that you're getting the gist of my argument. The bottom line, Mr. President, is that your obsession is ultimately a choice. It has nothing to do with Jesus, the Bible, fate, or any objective exploration of the facts. There are all kinds of talk- and drug-based therapies available to treat it. In the end, you just have to choose to turn away from those obsessive thoughts and begin working with a qualified mental health professional. Just say no to obsession. The world will be glad you did.

Sincerely yours,

Matthew Carnicelli, © 2003. All rights reserved.