Opinion

Dear President-elect Bush:

There are at least 100,000 dead Iraqi civilians from your invasion. About 50,000 of them are women and children. There are over 1,100 U.S. soldiers dead. And certainly the death toll will mount with the bloodbath in Fallujah. With all this death, how can you claim to be pro-life?

You lied about the reasons to invade Iraq. All these people are dead because of your lies.

The 100,000 figure, by the way, comes from a scientific study. Iraqi and American doctors actually did household surveys in Iraq to come up with this figure. I’m sure you will call it phony science. But the same methods were used to figure out the death toll of 50,000 people in Darfur, Sudan, a place your administration is supposedly “very concerned” about.

These 100,000 people will never have the chance to discover the cure for cancer, to marry and have children, or just to look up at the sky and wonder. Your pro-life claims are hypocritical and sanctimonious.

Like you, my vocabulary is not very good, so I looked up sanctimonious. It means: “excessively or hypocritically pious.” Then, just to make sure, I looked up hypocritical. It means: “professing feelings or virtues one does not have.” Bingo!

But what does it matter what I think and say?

I will confess. This isn’t about whether you will listen to me or not. This is about pointing out immorality when you are claiming morals. You claim to be about a “culture of life,” but, Mr. Bush, you have promoted more death than any other living human being. As governor of Texas you executed more people than any of your colleagues. And now, because of your lie-based decision to invade Iraq, over 100,000 “extra” deaths can be laid at your feet.

You claimed the pro-life vote on Nov. 2. But pro-life people have to be troubled by the culture of death your policies have created. From the unrelenting use of racism and bigotry, to the increase in poverty and pollution and the lack of health care, medicine and economic security, these are life and death questions.

An LA Times article about “conflicted Evangelicals” quotes a pastor of a Green Bay, Wis., evangelical church saying he was troubled by the Middle East bloodshed. “It’s hard for me to say that Christians should be marching against abortion and carrying signs, and then turn around and give a pep rally for war in Iraq without even contemplating that hundreds and hundreds of people are being killed on a regular basis over there,” Pastor Joe Urcavich said. While strongly anti-abortion, he also felt that the right to life “encompasses a much broader field than just abortion.” He told the LA Times, “I have to think about the consequences of not providing prescription drugs to seniors or sending young men off to war.”

I called this pastor to talk to him about the Iraq report. He told me he was disappointed with the LA Times story because it didn’t fully reflect the hour-long conversation he had. His intent was to make Christians realize they have a responsibility to think about these issues. Many don’t take that responsibility seriously, he told me. He later e-mailed me saying he wasn’t prepared to answer my questions on the war and report.

Mr. President, I am not religious, but I have a code of ethics and morals I live by. I support a woman’s right to choose, yet I believe I value life much more than you. I don’t lie, cheat or steal. I don’t even kill spiders, let alone human beings. You certainly may act like you have a monopoly on morality, but the truth will set us all free. And there are millions determined to see the truth be told.

Terrie Albano is editor of the People’s Weekly World.
She can be reached at talbano@pww.org.

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