Operation Peace and Prosperity for Afghanistan.

Operation Peace and Prosperity for Afghanistan.

Mr. President,

You have recently said that you will take any reasonable suggestion for fighting the battle in Afghanistan. I take you at your word and ask that you pay serious attention to this plan, as I am convinced it is the only way to win. My name is Jeremiah Liend. You don’t know me, but I am an artist living in northern Minnesota. I can only hope that you will be receptive to the ideas and ideals that I believe to be right, true, and in keeping with the American spirit of Liberty and Justice for all.

I would like to consider my hopes for Afghanistan and America’s role in it’s future. We cannot win in Afghanistan with guns and rockets. Bombs and bullets will not create a better world for them. They require mortar and asphalt. Bricks and glass. If you truly want to make the America secure against it’s enemies, then your commitment to peace and accountability must follow the course by refusing to let one man or even one group of radicals endanger the lives of so many for so little. Whether in Afghanistan or Iraq, the blood of America’s heroes will continue to fall if we are not willing to change our tactics from war mongering to world building. We will not defeat hate with death. Osama Bin Laden will never be killed as long as his ideals entice the embittered. The Orphans of American Wars cry for vengeance in the absence of our mercy. Assassinate a lunatic and the world is no safer. Only when you can show the way to freedom can you hope to win against a lunatic. Only by offering the hand of friendship and not the boots on the ground can you hope to win in Afghanistan.

I am no expert on Afghanistan. I know of Charlie Wilson and his war. I’ve read books and taken an interest in it’s history. More important than Afghanistan’s history is looking towards it’s future. Their nation, and ours, are being undermined by terrorist factions that destabilize and endanger our people. Yet it would be a mistake to invade Afghanistan with the full force of our military strength. For too many years the people of Afghanistan have made it their heritage and history to bear the occupation of tyrants. I don’t need to know the people of Afghanistan to know that I want to help them. We are not without blame in Afghanistan’s continuing struggle for the most basic of necessities. We influenced their wars when it suited our purpose and then left them to struggle for their basic needs. Security. Medical care. Education. The basic amenities casually disregarded by America are the unmet needs of a people who want nothing more than to live in peace.

The goal in Afghanistan is clear. Lasting Peace and Prosperity to it’s people. Indeed is this not the goal for all people? But you cannot force peace out the end of a rifle. And you can’t blow up hatred with a missile, smart or dumb. You can’t invest yourself into the future of a nation until you give them the respect they deserve. The Taliban and Al Queda preach hate and intolerance and fear. They have claimed we are a hedonistic, barbaric, Godless monster and painted America as the great oppressor. But we are not oppressors. We are not tyrants. We are heroes, and as such our mission is set before us. In America we must set our hearts and minds towards as the greatest of achievements. Half measures count for nothing. We must give Afghanistan the gift of Peace and Prosperity.

We must connect the villages and towns of Afghanistan by roads. Roads allow the movement of people and goods and we in America are experts at building them. We have roads that cross the mighty Rocky Mountains. We have built cities in the sky and we can do the same for our Afghan brothers and sisters. We can connect Kabul to London. We can create a freeway where we can travel safely and swiftly without fear of bomb or land mine.

We will provide everyone with fresh water. I think that’s a reasonable request for a nation. I think that providing everyone with fresh water will be a simple matter. If we can build an oil pipe line from Alberta to Michigan we can surely pipe in some fresh water. We can have public pools. We will not simply leave their nation to bury the dead. We will bring them hope for life. We will buy their poppies and we will turn it into medicine that people need instead of drugs they don’t. But eventually it will become obvious that growing food makes much more sense than poppies, and the people will rejoice that everyone is fed and watered and safe.

We will build hospitals. We will build the greatest hospital in the world in Kabul. We will staff it with the doctors and nurses we train at The Mayo. Princes and paupers will likewise flock to have their wounds repaired and their ailments treated. We will build a library. We will stock it with the literature of the world, and of America’s books we shall share them all. We will digitally capture the Library of Congress and scan it over to those fine people. Without the fear of torture and death the people of Afghanistan will cultivate and incubate their progeny in this bright new world of theirs. Generations from now, when Afghanistan and America are sitting on a porch, drinking lemonade and watching our children play, we will laugh at a time when we thought we were the enemy.

We will build them schools. The children of Afghanistan will not have to fear bombs or bullets when they board the bus. They will not be afraid that their parents will be gunned down or robbed while they are learning Latin and Math. The privilege that America so casually regards will be offered to the Afghanistan People, and we will all of us prosper. In Kabul we will build a University. It will be built by the greatest minds of the world, United in Service to the less fortunate and War Torn. They will hear the grand notion America has concocted and they will rally to the assistance of first Afghanistan, and then the world.

We will win in Afghanistan when soldiers put down their rifles and pick up bricks. The work begins when we are willing to stop threatening everyone we meet with open hostility. The work begins when Americans realize that there is something tangible and real and needed. Americans are Heroes in Waiting. When danger looms and catastrophe strikes, the best of us rise to the occasion. We are the melting pot of an adventuring world. Our ancestors battled nature and one another to claim this land as the New Republic. Our leaders sought a world free of tyranny and inequality. We are an army of millions waiting to save those in need, and I beg you to unleash us on the enemy.

The enemy is hate. It always has been. You can call it terrorism, but the line between war and terrorism is defined by budget. There is a holy war that has been raging against America and a counter attack has never been put on the agenda. There are thousands upon thousands who believe us to be a nation of tyrants, and we must show them that we are heroes. In our hearts I believe we know that this is a righteous path. I pray we all have the strength, compassion, and humanity to follow it.

Provide the people of Afghanistan with a better vision of America. Let them see our doctors and our educators and not merely our soldiers. Send them our construction workers and our engineers. Send them a message of Peace and Prosperity. Send out the call and there will be an army of peace who will gladly answer. I believe that America wants a choice. America chose you because you saw an end to the war and now it is time to begin that good work. Bring the soldiers home and let them rest. Their time has come to return. They have fought long and hard and deserve better than to be sent into another endless war of attrition.

Regards and Thanks,

Jeremiah T. Liend


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