August 25, 2002

Dear President Bush,

It is a very bad idea to attack Iraq. We can't afford the expense in lives or taxpayer dollars. With floods and droughts behind and ahead, there isn't money to waste. And whose children do you think are expendable? Honestly, between you and God?

You will not be considered wishy-washy, but wise, if you take the sage advice of so many leaders and thinkers outside your inner circle. The solution to Iraq may be as simple as lifting the sanctions and flooding the borders with food and rock and roll. Remember Panama?

Why are you so insistent that Iraq submit to UN inspections for nuclear, chemical, and biological weapons? Doesn't it logically flow that if Iraq submits to such inspections, so should Israel, France, Russia, China, Britain, the United States? I'm all for inspections in Iraq, but I would insist that all other nuclear powers (known or suspected) allow the same. Don't international and national laws require that all beings and states be treated equally?

Did you ever hear of Emperor Asoka? He ruled India many years ago. At first he was known as "Asoka the Terrible," waging war at home and abroad, taxing hugely to finance his ventures. Then one afternoon he encountered a Buddha in a garden (or so I'm told by an elderly friend from Sri Lanka). He was so impressed by the Buddha's teaching that he changed his behavior, helping his people, ending the wars. He was now called "Asoka the Benevolent." When he died, small pillars were erected all over the country inscribing his name; a few, my friend says, still exist.

Consider your legacy. The cycle of economic enslavement to defense industries must change. Please read

What if you could convert the war machines? Perhaps you could call a national referendum to allow taxpayers to choose whether they would like their tax dollars to be used to convert missile and ammunition factories to mass-producing solar panels, windmills, and hydrogen fuel cells. Judging from DC Voter Initiative 37 (1994), the majority would think this is a great idea. Let unions know their people would have jobs, just change them to something more useful, cheerful, friendly.

Help lift lift the poor of the Americas, Africa, Asia to a common level of prosperity, which will vastly reduce strife. Whoever comes up with the most practical and least expensive clean energy systems which can be used in desert or arctic or prairie or town will become very wealthy. It's foolish for these defense industries to keep producing more weapons; who has the space to keep them? Is that any excuse for using them? Put these people to constructive work that will contribute to homeland security.

Help our farmers, small businesses by providing tax credits for installing solar and wind devices on their roofs to supplement the straining power grids. Reduce and ultimately eliminate our dependency on foreign oil.

Then future presidents won't feel the need to go meddle in other people's business.

Of course, this will only work if we stop destroying the environment, and start repairing it. A good example of land reclamation is the mine pits in Virginia, Minnesota, which are now re-covered with birch and aspen forests.

There's much to repair, and you are one of the few who can be taught the complexities and adopt the solutions which seem most practical.

Please think about this.

You have my prayers,

Ellen Thomas