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Letter to G.W. Bush

a belated letter to the 43rd President of the U.S

Letter to G.W. Bush
picture of American flag

Dear President G.W. Bush,

I first heard of your name when I was a junior at my alma mater,

doing a study-abroad program at Oxford University.

I remember my friends and I debating the merits of your candidacy in the dining hall at Magdalen College, the constituent college associated with Oxford and graced by writers such as Oscar Wilde and C.S. Lewis.

One classmate mentioned over plates and cutleries gracefully laid out for dinner over the refectory-style table that you should be elected because of your faith background.

She said, "He as an evangelical and is led by the Holy Spirit."

As a naive 20-year old, I didn't know what this meant at the time.


But I realize now the weight of her words.

Because of your draconian policies to invade Iraq in 2003 in the aftermath of the 9/11 attacks after your election,

one of my classmates who was serving in the Iraq War as a Signal Corps Officer in the U.S. Army,

lost his life in 2009.

He suffered from PTSD and couldn't recover.

He senselessly perished because of your need to export the ideals of American democracy and values in the Middle East.

Please - for the sake of my classmates and for my still-developing ideas regarding decency and foreign policy -

could you rectify this wrong? Can you bring my classmate back?

Yes, he made a choice to serve in the War, but can you reconcile your sweeping decisions in the name of ideology and democracy and religion with the impact they had on the lives of everyday people and civilians here in the U.S. and in the Middle East?

His name is John Vinh. S'il vous plaît retournez lui ici. Please bring him back.

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Susan Lee
Susan Lee
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Susan Lee

I graduated from Stanford University in 2002 with a BA in International Relations and a minor in Psychology and have a Masters in International Affairs from Georgetown University.

See all posts by Susan Lee