Mark McGlynn 0

Peace Request to President-Elect Obama

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Dear President-Elect Obama, I thought of you yesterday. Like me, I imagined that you had enjoyed a peaceful Christmas in the company of your loved ones. Indeed, I think I am not wrong in saying that for many of us around the world, the spirit of Christmas descended early this year. It came to us as early as November 4th, upon learning that you were the President-Elect. You see, during the entire duration of the presidential campaign, we, citizens of the world from all over this planet, wished that we too had voting rights so as to be able to cast a vote for you. We held our breath as the votes were counted and we celebrated all night long. We felt that a new dawn of hope had at last reached our world's horizon. After eight long years, we breathed a sigh of relief. You told your people yes, they could... and yes, they did. I believe they did so not solely for themselves and their fellow-Americans, but also for the world as a whole. For all of us. Now we think of you as the single most powerful person in the world, the person whose word counts most. I thought of you yesterday, as I sat in my living room, enjoying the afterglow of Christmas. I thought of you, because my peace - not my physical well being, but my peace of mind - was brutally shattered by the absurd juxtaposition of our Christmas tree next to the scenes of gore and death from Gaza on my television screen. My thoughts did not go to the dead as such: the dead, in the final turn, do not have to deal with the ravages of violence. My thoughts turned instead to the plight of the living, those who had been injured, lost loved ones, been traumatized for life. I wondered what it is that ever sanctions war, why ordinary people have to suffer when governments and leaders fail to negotiate, why it is that that people like me sit by and watch as wars rage senselessly on. Why do we tolerate in nations and groups behaviour of a sub-human kind that is outlawed for individuals Is violence ever really justified Or necessary Do politicians, leaders and governments have the right to take away lives that they cannot put back together again As the fire rains down on Gaza again tonight, as a twisted and bloody conflict reaches new heights and as yet more and more pain is caused, I wonder what you make of this all. You have spoken out on so many important matters: on plans to save the environment, on plans for the economy, on plans to generate employment, most of all on plans for building and sustaining hope. On your website, you have listed the priorities of your agenda once you take office. During your campaign, you stressed the importance of diplomacy, the need to talk and not make war. Surely, this begins now. And it begins with a plea for peace right now, this very minute. I wonder, therefore -- why this silence Why have you not spoken out in the name of peace as yet President-Elect Obama, your voice is heard around the world. So is your silence. Please speak now. Please ask for peace. You can do it. Yes, you can. Yours sincerely,


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