Wednesday, February 01, 2006

The Day After 9/11

(written September 12, 2001)

Dear President Bush, Congress and advisors,

I’ve been thinking about things that might make the world better, and I wanted to offer you these suggestions and ask you to bear in mind Martin Luther King Jr.’s caution that without justice, there can be no peace. I believe the recent terrorist attack was an expression of international anger at the colonialist and hypocritical attitudes of American political-economic leaders. I believe the correct American response is to grieve for the lives and time lost, and move quickly to correct the enormous global injustice -- economic, environmental and political -- that inevitably breeds such anger.

You should:

Order the International Monetary Fund and the World Trade Organization to erase the debt of all nations requesting debt relief. Abandon all efforts to create a Free Trade Area of the Americas. Repeal NAFTA.

Work with US and European businesses and South American and Asian governments and workers groups to ensure safe working and living conditions and living wages for all exploited workers around the world.

Advise American and European consumers to limit consumption to basic necessities of sufficient food, clothing, shelter and transportation until the global system stabilizes. Encourage American and European consumers to use public transportation, especially those in large urban areas with good public transit systems.

Fully support the United Nations, financially and politically, in its efforts to seek and protect human rights to adequate food, clothing, shelter, health care and livelihood and global environmental programs.

Discontinue all operations to destabilize elected governments in other countries.

Create the Department of Peace as proposed by Representative Dennis Kucinich.

Fully support efforts to broker peace between warring nations, and support efforts to safely separate and calm groups that are too emotionally overwrought to negotiate.

Fully fund international nuclear disarmament efforts and negotiations.

Ratify the Kyoto Treaty and work with the other nations to begin implementation and create review and revision procedures.

Abandon plans to create new nuclear power plants and abandon plans to step up coal, oil and natural gas energy production. Fully fund efforts to safely harness renewable resources like solar and wind, and urge Americans to conserve electricity by any means possible. Create a committee to investigate and educate the public on conservation measures.

Repeal the Mexico City gag rule, allowing medical providers in other nations to advise and provide family planning and abortion services to poor women and their families.

Enact a minimum wage of $12 per hour. Enact a maximum wage of $30 per hour, including CEO wages. Enact a maximum work-week of 35 hours, including CEO work-weeks. Re-enact the estate tax to ensure redistribution of wealth when wealthy people die.

Discontinue the drug war and release prisoners incarcerated for drug use and abuse. Fully fund rehabilitation programs and lend full support to conversion of drug-growing enterprises in other countries to appropriate regional food and textile production.

Fully fund job training programs in the United States, for those in poverty with limited skills.
Create a public works program geared toward social justice efforts, education and organic, sustainable agricultural practices. Employ people at or above the new minimum wage to do the work.

Enact universal basic health care for all Americans and undocumented workers in the US. Order government and corporate insurers to suspend funding for extreme, highly expensive and risky measures until universal basic coverage is achieved.

Enact a universal housing program, providing direct grants or low-interest loans to build housing for the homeless or ill-housed.

Adopt a more accurate economic measure than the Gross Domestic Product, debiting disasters from “productivity” figures and adding the economic value of unpaid labor and unpolluted natural resources. Consult Hazel Henderson for assistance.

Discontinue efforts to market genetically modified foods in the United States and abroad. Destroy remaining crops and seeds. Subsidize organic farming and conversion of pesticide/herbicide farms to organic farming techniques. Create a national network of advisors and supports for the conversion process.

Enact campaign finance reform to create full public financing and encourage more poor and middle-income Americans to run for office.

This is only a partial list. Please call me for more information on any of these issues and I will be happy to refer you to experts who can assist you.Thank you.


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