[Last update: 1 November 2001]

Open Letter to G. W. Bush

by Rigoberta Menchu Tum
Nobel Peace Prize Winner, Goodwill Ambassador for the Culture of Peace

September 23, 2001

.... Mr. President, upon listening to the message you gave to the Congress of your country, I have been unable to overcome a sensation of fear for what may come of your words. You call upon your people to prepare for "a lengthy campaign, unlike any other we have ever seen" and for your soldiers to save their honor by marching to a war in which you intend to involve all of us, the peoples of the world.

In the name of progress, pluralism, tolerance and liberty, you leave no choice to those of us who are not fortunate enough to share this sense of liberty and the benefits of the civilization you wish to defend for your people, we who never had sympathy for terrorism since we were its victims. We, who are proud expressions of other civilizations; who live day to day with the hope of turning discrimination and plunder into recognition and respect; who carry in our souls the pain of the genocide perpetrated against our peoples; finally, we who are fed up with providing the dead for wars that are not ours: we cannot share the arrogance of your infallibility nor the single road onto which you want to push us when you declare that "Every nation in every region now has a decision to make: Either you are with us or you are with the terrorists."

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