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Blog to America


Content for Blog to America is completely generated by the readers. This site brings together individuals from around the world to post their opinions on the United States in the form of letters and comments. Our site aims to encourage global communication and create an international dialogue between America and the world. The most interesting of these letters and comments will be included in a future publication.


Letters from Americans are kept on the American Perspectives page.


Brian from United Kingdom - The Genius of America

Dear America,

I'm traveling to New York and Washington for the first time in a few weeks. The prospect of going to New York is thrilling. For my whole life I have watched American films and here will be my first chance to see the many landmarks featured in these movies.

I recently saw Saturday Night Fever a wonderful evocation of 70s life in Brooklyn. I saw The Squid and the Whale, too, which is an evocation of Brooklyn in the 1980s. I love the sense of place these films create. The dialogue, and the observations of aspirations and fears, I find fascinating.

I've booked my Sopranos tour, which will take me round all the settings I have grown familiar with, watching six series (or is it seven?) of that amazing drama. I'm looking forward to seeing the Statue of Liberty, the Empire State Building, and the kind of streets that are featured in The Godfather, Sex in the City and Woody Allen films.

Having had the reputation of being a low-brow culture, the Americans in the last decade have redefined television and its possibilities. I'm a fanatical fan of Alan Ball's Six Feet Under. It's a wonderful series which confronts viewers with all the really big questions. It's funny, profound and moving.

I particularly enjoy the ethnic mix which series like the Sopranos and Six Feet Under explore. For seven years I lived in Bayswater in London. It was a tough place to survive, and the English were a community among many other communities.

London is America these days. The idea of a nation state, an England that is for the English, is defunct. As a culture we are not very good at expressing or depicting this new world we live in. The Americans do it beautifully.


About the Author:

Name: Brian Jenner
Age: 39
Country: United Kingdom
City: Bournemouth
State: Dorset
Gender: Male
Income: Medium
Occupation: Speechwriter
Experience With US: Visited the United States
Website: http://www.brianjenner.typepad.com

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Mamduh from Egypt - I Support You, America

Dear America,

Some people misunderstood my last letter and thought I meant to attack America, and that was not the case.

In fact, I'm one of the few pro-US and pro-Israel people here, and I tend to support the US in its wars.

Because, I mean, without the US going to Iraq, those who are now complaining and attacking the US would still be attacking it anyway, but then it would have been for the reason that the US did NOT help them.

Iraq is now a democratic country, they have cellphones, satellite channels, newspapers, political parties, political debates, political differences, and even political fights. But would they have ever dreamed of any of that if it wasn't for America?

Same thing for Afghanistan. They wouldn't have even been able to dream about being a democracy, or having even if just a little bit of religious freedom, and being in contact with the world around them. Women would still be made to cover up from head to toe.

Some people in here like to treat America as if it's their mother or something (maybe because it's a super-power). They just like to keep complaining under all circumstances, and America is expected to always make them feel better.


About the Author:

Name: Mamduh Schauki
Age: 21
Country: Egypt
City: Cairo
Gender: Male
Occupation: Student
Experience With US: Visited the United States
Website: http://theegyptblog.blogspot.com

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Jacquie from Canada - Why are U.S. women deprived of help?

Dear America,

I'll limit my letter to you to one tiny topic - the availability of nitrous oxide gas to labouring women in the U.S. You might think this is an odd topic on which to focus...but it's indicative of the insanity of the U.S. health care system.

From up here in Canada, it is shocking to discover that hardly any U.S. women have access to something that we take for granted. It's simple, cost-effective, and makes sense.

So, here's the stats:

In 2004, there were 4,115,590 births in the U.S.

The epidural rate in most U.S. hospitals range between 60 and 90%.

Each epidural, including the anethesiologist, costs between $700 and $1200.

If you calculate the cost, using the lowest rate and cost...that’s $1,728,547,800 spent on epidurals in the U.S.

Why? Because certain people (doctors, insurance companies, hospital administrators - take your pick...) made sure there was no alternative.

In Canada, and many other countries, nitrous oxide gas is available for pain relief in labour. No doctors orders are required for its use. No anesthesiologist is required for its use. There is no waiting period necessary. Its effects start immediately. It is cheap and simple.

With a portable system, a woman can remain mobile, even in the shower, and use the nitrous oxide gas, thus making her labour faster and easier.

In Canada, 70% of my own clients use nitrous oxide gas in labour and require no other pain relief. We save the medical system a lot of money this way. It just makes sense.

Now, tell me...why does the United States only have nitrous oxide available to labouring women in ONLY 2 birthing centres? That's maybe a few hundred, or even a few thousand women, who are given this alternative.

Why do the women in the U.S. get epidurals...or nothing? I think that's easy to answer.

It’s just one tiny example of a health system gone wrong.

Sorry, I can’t admire a country that places greed before logic.


Name: Jacquie
Age: 47
Country: Canada
Gender: Female
Income: Medium
Occupation: Birth Consultant
Experience With US: Visited the United States

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Leza from South Africa on Religion

Dear America,

We all want to be heard. Please bear with my ramblings, you'll be able to see my point in amongst the waffle.
Ah yes, about being heard.
Whether on a personal scale with the people around us or for the
rest of us with bigger mouths, in our community or dare I say it globally!
We now have many vehicles in which to explore and expand our level of communication
with one another and as this happens we all come to the realization that;
1. We are all the same.
2. We are all suffering.
As bleak as that sounds!
Some of us are suffering on a level that the rest of us would only experience in our darkest dreaming.
Some of us suffer physically, some mentally, some emotionally. But the bottom line is, we all suffer.
Some of our suffering seems so lubricious and trivial to others that had we the momentary ability to see ourselves from their eyes we would cease our histrionics immediately and feeling slightly silly, get our heads out of our arses. Or other peoples arses for that matter.
The Dalai Lama has the opinion that we all wish to be happy. When asked the question.
What is the purpose of life? He answers.
"I believe that the purpose of life is to be happy. From the moment of birth, every human being wants happiness and does not want suffering"
Now do we believe that Georgey Junior wants to suffer?
Is he maybe a bit of a masochist?
What makes him happy?
Did his childhood conditioning somehow warp his mind into believing that his past and current courses of action are morally sound?
Maybe being the worlds biggest wanker makes him happy?
Or maybe it is the unsettling fact that he is a born again christian which keeps his happiness topped up and buoyant.
Safe in the knowledge that which ever atrocities he commits, it will all be just hunky doray because he has god on his side!
The horror, the mind numbing, desperate horror of it all.
Now.
I believe religion is the cause of ALL OUR PROBLEMS.
It may seem like a sweeping statement but look around and you can see the evidence piling up.
I am reading Richard Dawkins The God Delusion and having had that sneaking suspicion that arrogant,
religious bigotry is the fundamental cause of war and strife on our planet,
I am glad that such a brilliant mind has actually compiled such book to get the truth out there.
And because I am not a good debater and my points tend to get side tracked too much anyway, I have personally willed
Richard Dawkins into my reality. Clever hey? And as a by-product he is now in other peoples realities too.
So hopefully we can all do what Rage against the machine suggested a few years back and WAKE UP!
All we have to do is speak up when challenged, change our own minds and wait for Rupert Sheldrake's Morphic resonance to do the rest.

But from my own very limited experience I have found that the greatest degree of inner tranquility
comes from the development of love and compassion for all sentient beings. As hard as that can be sometimes.
Now America, I know how it feels to feel fear. It has been part of my experience and still can be.
But I choose, remember that word? I choose not to indulge fear anymore. There is a higher path
available to all of us at all times. A history and culture of fear is undoubtedly hard to change, but not impossible.

Apparently Atheists are the least trusted people in America. My word. What does that mean?
Would someone who had formed that opinion, be chatting away to me quite happily about the business I run and pay taxes for,
the yoga classes I teach to bring a calmness into my part of the world, my family who I love and respect, the charity that I support ....., you get the picture.
Would they upon hearing that I do not believe in their god or any god for that matter, take a little step backwards? Their little shaking hands pressed
to their lips. Would they immediately gather up their children and leave my company?
Muttering as they fled that they felt something funny when they saw my three tattoos anyway.
I wonder which group of people Atheists would deem the least trustworthy? I'm not sure about anyone else but I try not
to put people into groups, it seems a recipe for disaster and quite stunningly lazy.

But clearly we need a new paradigm. and lets be fast about it please.
Religion is obviously not working. And luckily having free will, we can we look for a philosophy that is better suited.
I believe that philosophy could be Buddhism. Remembering that we all possess the Buddha nature, yes even George,
and at anytime we can tap into that nature and attain a higher level of understanding regarding the other people we share our planet with.
If you have never read anything about Buddhism please I encourage you to.
Be open minded, think beyond your conditioning, you're family history, your country's majority view point, your fears and hopefully your prejudices.
I've enclosed a prayer written by His Holiness in 1960.
I hope that this prayer can be read by those who dearly need to read it and that it is indeed quickly fulfilled.


Respect.
Leza McLeod
Yoga teacher + designer.
Johannesburg
South Africa.


About the Author:

Name: Leza McLeod
Age: 35
Country: South Africa
City: Johannesburg
State: Gauteng
Gender: Female
Income: Medium
Occupation: Goldsmith and Yoga Teacher
Experience With US: Visited the United States
Website: www.elementalstudio.co.za

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Carmen from New Zealand on Democracy

Dear America,

Thank you for this opportunity to "voice my thoughts" as a non-American on this site....

I've become brave enough now to venture over to the American Perspectives window and check out letters submitted there....wow, I guess my initial reaction to some views were, how shall we say unlady-like ( haha..)....then as I took the time to mull over some comments I relised as much as we identify as being either American, New Zealander, Australian, Iranian, British, somehow that quiet (and sometimes loud) Patriotic streak overshadows that for the main part we are all like sheep subtley controlled by a much stronger body called "Government".....I don't always understand my own countries Political System and much less the U.S.A's.....my question is "Does Anybody'?...really.......My best friend happens to be an American or should I say A citizen of the U.S.A...(see I'm learning to be Politically correct)...hehe....and he has some very strong Political views and opinions etc...I suppose to remain positive after some discussions my perspective has broadened somewhat, not because of enlightenment but more from the point of view of just how
unstable Governments are...and that emotionally/mentally it is not wise to swallow information just because .......we heard it on C.N.N.....or "they said this".....or my daddy believed that...or our forefathers believed this...or in my case pilgrims fought for this n that.....yes to all those wonderful heroes who sacrificed much for my freedom....I will always strive to educate my sons intellectually and spiritually ,that is how I can be accountable and honor men and women who sacrificed for me.... It's not the fact that men and women disagree( tween cultures particularly), that bothers me its the often angry responses ,ya know the attitude "if you dont agree with me ya can't be on my side, therefore you're an enemy, so I must shut you down, or screw you up......isnt that how power games first begin then develop nationally????.....now my American friend says...I don't understand...I gotta be American to understand....next he will be telling me
I gotta be a man too???....ok I wont go there..hahaha...Take Care All.......

P.S...Appreciate the reply comments to a previous post, made me smile.....


About the Author

Name: Carmen
Age: 51
Country: New Zealand
City: Christchurch
State: N.Z
Gender: Female
Experience With US: Visited the United States

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Carmen from New Zealand - America Is Hey.....America..

Dear America,

Well this is a cool site. Good morning America How are Ya...say don't ya know me I'm ya neighbors son...I'm the train they call...love that song ,thought Id introduce myself that way....
I was made in New Zealand , been to the States once and loved my time there....of course being in love with a certain American kinda helped....actually I met some very cool hardworking down to earth "real people"...not the silly plastic variety we often see portrayed from "Hollywood".....My Daddy used to say 'People are people" whatever they eat for breakfast" and when they get up in the morning they put their pants on the same way as we do...."one foot at a time".... America and/or Americans are just like me......They want freedom ,I want freedom ,they want their children to be safe ,so do I , they want a decent wage for a hard days work ,so do I....

Of course from the moment we are born we are all influenced by infinite details and influences throughout the years imprinted on our minds via our parents ,our environment , our culture, then comes the 'educators'...the media....and although many think noooo... we are not influenced by media ,its effects are often subtle but sure....personally I like the choices it offers or challenges......

So just to end I want to encourage fellow kiwis to open their minds and don't be afraid of "differences"....of course I don't like the "materialism" that America can take full credit for...but then I don't like the greed of the New Zealand Government either.....America cut the chord to Britain years ago....( over taxes..)...yet we still pay the Crown taxes as well as to our own government...hmmm...that sucks....when I voice that to fellow kiwis they become defences and proclaim how being a Commonwealth Country we are protected by Britian etc , um well they didn't do that to well in the last two wars....(.U.S.A) bailed us out.....cuz most NZ males were serving the British Army overseas fighting Britains war....thats Historical Facts...not just opinion either...

So for the criticism pointed at America I think we should clean up our own back-yard can ask no demand our Government quit sucking up and sending our hard earned taxes back to England!......Perhaps then our gas wont just be for the wealthy and our taxes will be lower......I'm so disheartened that New Zealand is no longer affordable to its own people but has been priced for the greedy and wealthy of this world.....

I look forward to experiencing and contributing to the American way of life again in the future., so fatten that turkey....Stay Safe America...and God bless Us All....


About the Author:

Name: Carmen
Age: 51
Country: New Zealand
City: Christchurch
Gender: Female
Income: Medium
Occupation: Barista
Experience With US: Visited the United States

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T.A.I.M. S.O.D.S. from South Africa - Take a Stand, Realize Your Freedom!

Dear America,

Firstly I would like everyone to know that I am most certainly not anti-America in anyway. However what we are currently seeing is exactly what happened in my own country of South Africa for 50 years. We are dealing with right wing dictators under the guise of democracy. It is the work of few that are casting a dark shadow over a land of so many. Mr. Bush the most powerful man in the world and his back up crew seem to have a hidden agenda. I say this due to the fact that the cracks in the mighty America are starting to show...big time. Popularity of the country and how the world(ordinary people), perceive America has declined massively. Now due to PIRACY of DVDs and CDs coming from China, America wants to tighten trade with them...because why? I am sure the mighty rising economic empire of China does not endorse illegal trade over its borders on purpose. Is the Bush administration picking a fight with a sleeping giant? My point is this...GOVERNED BY THE PEOPLE, FOR THE PEOPLE...is that not the backbone of democracy? It is obvious to me that national pride is still at a all time high and it is what Bush feeds on. No matter what blunder(evil plot) he comes up with, Americans stand firm in the love for their country. Admirable but dangerous...weed out the problem, the very cancer that surely will destroy democracy! Corruption is one thing but blatant disregard for the peoples rights to freedom is a very different one. One that should not be tolerated...why are young boys still being blown up along side roads in Iraq. I am sure these boys would rather be sipping a Millers lite and puffing a Malboro with his/her partner AT HOME!! Our sympathy goes to the American people, it took us 50 years to reach democracy. America always had it but in 50 years it seems you have finally reached your national socialistic state. South Africa and America have merely traded places....so I urge the people of America to take a stand as they did against apartheid! Fight the wrongs happening in your very own country, the world sees it surely you can too. For the most part we are positive that the bright shining torch bearer of democracy will return to us. Question is will this happen before that dictator does anything everyones going to regret?


About the Author

Name: T.A.I.M. S.O.D.S.
Age: 31
Country: South Africa
City: Boksburg
State: Gauteng
Gender: Male
Income: Medium
Occupation: Print Operator/Band Member
Experience With the US: Visited the United States
Website: http://www.myspace.com/taimsods

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Samantha from Singapore - The American Dream

Dear America,

How did you rise to become a power nation so influential on almost everything from politics to entertainment? Take a look at Hollywood for example. Why is it so famous that everyone from everywhere knows the actors and actresses, the movies and shows? Why are they getting paid so much to act? Are they really worth that much? Wouldn't it benefit more people if the money went into providing for the people suffering from poverty in America itself?

America has become so influential that its movies, TV serials commercials etc. are being aired to other countries and people are becoming so addicted to those drama serials and movies that cable TV has become a normality in all households. Kids grow up watching 'American' TV, listening to 'American' music, following 'American' fashion trends etc. Kids from all over end up wanting to be like the idols they see on TV and magazines. But that becomes so impossible when you're living in the other end of the world. So kids like me tend to dream of such big dreams yet knowing that chances of it ever realizing it are little to zero, but yet every time we watch shows like America's next top model, American Idol, TV shows like One Tree Hill, The OC etc, we get that inspiration once again to want to be a famous actress or singer because with it comes so much fame, fortune and ultimately leading to 'happiness'.

So how America, how did you manage to influence the world? Start a war between Iraq, change the economy, change history, create new science etc. How will we, living in small countries that some people don't even know exist, ever rise up to become just as successful as Hillary Clinton, Kelly Clarkson, Brad Pitt, Nicole Kidman, Tyra Banks, Opera Winfrey & Steven Spielberg?


About the Author:

Name: Samantha Aloysius
Age: 18
Country: Singapore
City: Singapore
Gender: Female
Occupation: Student
Experience With US: Visited the United States
Website: http://www.myspace.com/sam_nutts

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The Atheist Jew from Canada

Dear America,

As a Canadian, I realize that you are our protectors. Not that we've needed you lately, but we know you are there.

America is most criticized because it is the chief of police of the world. One country had to take that role, and it was you.

Even though I find it annoying that you have such a high percentage of people who deny evolution and even an ancient earth, I realize that your approach will lead to the availability of the truth. It is there at least, and nobody is prevented from getting to it.

You realize that radical Islam must be reformed, and learned a lesson about trying to make it happen so fast in Iraq. It was inevitable that a middle eastern Muslim majority country had to be taken to task, and Iraq made sense.

We have seen a step forward in many of the Arab Muslim countries because of it. It will take more time than you thought, but at least now, the groundwork for reform is there.

You realize that the Palestinians are the true aggressors in the Israeli conflict. You realize that if the Arabs dropped their guns there would be peace. You realize that it is the Palestinian's fault for the mess they put themselves in. Arab Muslim intolerance must disappear before the world will peaceful.

America, you get it. Don't worry what idiots think of you. In the morning they will still be idiots.
History will salute what America is doing today.


About the Author

Name: The Atheist Jew
Age: 46
Country: Canada
State: Ontario
Gender: Male
Income: Medium
Occupation: Consultant
Experience With US: Visited the United States
Website: http://baconeatingatheistjew.blogspot.com/

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Shlemazl from Canada

Dear America,

Just to say THANK YOU.

Thank you for giving me and and billions of other people freedom. Freedom from Nazism. Freedom from Communism. Freedom to say what we want. Freedom to castigate you.

Mistakes happen. Still, throughout the 20th century and beyond America has been a force for good.

Good luck!

About the Author

Name: shlemazl
Age: 37
Country: Canada
City: Toronto
State: On
Gender: Male
Income: High
Occupation: Nuclear
Experience With US: Visited the United States
Website: http://shlemazl.blogspot.com

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Cal from Oman

Dear America,
I've always known America as a Nation that values freedom, democracy, peace and liberty, but not anymore. America only loves itself.

This peace loving America is primarily responsible for the continuation of the suppression and dehumanization of the Palestinian people by the Zionist State of Israel for many decades.

This same freedom loving America condones and supports the construction of the apartheid wall that is effectively caging Palestinians into enclaves and ghettos of poverty.

This democratic America is supporting a Shiite Government in Iraq which is systematically religiously cleansing Baghdad of its Sunni population. A genocide of the Sunnis in Iraq is going on with the Secular America supporting a Shiite religious sect against the Sunnis.

There are some very serious contradictions... Why?

I personally love the American people. There isn't a more fun loving and care free people in the world. But these same people are allowing its Government to commit the most atrocious crimes against innocent people... Why?

9/11 was a crime condemned by most Muslims and Arabs, but the American Administration with the support of the US Congress chose to start wars against Muslim Nations instead of developing stronger ties with Muslim States to fight terrorism together. Even France became a foe when it voiced its objection to Americas push for wars instead of diplomacy.

The problem with America is that it has allowed a Jewish Lobby to dominate its foreign policy. I do not believe that the US foreign policy is in any way a reflection of the will of the American people as a whole. US Foreign policy in the Middle East is the foreign policy of Israel.

By blinding supporting Israel, the US denies freedom, peace and liberty for the Palestinians.

America is a Nation that is driven by money. The primary interest America cares about, as a people and Government, is money. And that is the main reason 9/11 was tied to Iraq.... Iraq has oil which provides the energy that fuels the US economy.

In fact, America planned to start this unjust war against Iraq even before Afghanistan, to secure its primary interest in the Middle East, oil.

And it's still not enough, now America wants to start a war with Iran....

The crime of 9/11 pales in comparison to the crimes committed by American after 9/11. Yet the American people remain silent......

I hope the American people wake up and get America back on track as a Nation that truly values freedom, democracy, peace and liberty for all peoples of the world.

About the Author:

Name: cal
Age: 30
Country: Oman
Experience With US: Visited the United States
Website: www.omanforum.com

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Mamduh from Egypt - Good Goals, But Too Many Deaths?

Dear America,
You're a good country with good, kind people. And I believe it was good of you to go get us rid of the Islamic fundamentalist Taliban in Afghanistan, and of Saddam in Iraq... But, really, you should find a way for you to end the wars that started, and that don't seem to be approaching an end any time soon.

You happen to have a common enemy as some of us in the Middle East; that is religious fundamentalism. This is probably just out of our good luck to find a country like you to defend us against fundamentalist Islam. But, on the other hand, should so many people really be dying?

I oppose Taliban, Saddam, and all other dictatorships in the Middle East (including the dictatorship in Egypt). But, at the same time, I'm not happy with the death of so many people in Iraq and in Afghanistan...

I hope you find ways to end your current wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, now that you've done a big part of your good goals there (got rid of Iraqi dictatorship, and Afghan fundamentalism).

Good luck in that, America.


About the author
:

Name: Mamduh Schauki (egYptianist)
Age: 20
Country: Egypt
City: Heliopolis
Gender: Male
Income: Medium
Occupation: Student
Experience With America: Visited the United States
Website: http://www.theegyptblog.tk

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Mo from Canada

Dear America,
A lot of people are angry with you right now, and I think you may have trouble understanding why.

It's not just that you lie, cheat and steal. And it's not only that you don't care what the rest of us think, or even if we exist. It's not just that you're always at war and telling us to jump in. It's more than the fact that you never admit to being wrong, ever.

It is indeed all of these things, and plenty more, because let's face it; you've banged into everybody over the years, with varying damages. There isn't one nation most of us can name that you haven't invaded, exploited, threatened, tried to intimidate, or disenfranchise at one time or another, and let me tell you, the ones we can't name have seen for themselves or heard us all talk. But the reason I am angry is one I believe is buried underneath the surface of a lot of frustration toward you in the world, because, as you often tell us, you're not all bad.

The things you have bragged about for so long, your courage, conviction, willingness to stand up and fight for what's right, for the rights and freedoms you claim to have introduced to the world, we are not seeing; it is clearer than ever at this moment that you have been resting on your laurels. You have really accomplished many things to be proud of, and if you could sit upon your feats humbly, perhaps much respect would flow your way. However, it seems that for years you have pointed at the will of your forefathers and demanded respect for their integrity, yet these are men who would have looked at your last two elections and picked up guns. Not only are you resting, your accomplishments are being erased.

A large part of you realizes what's wrong, but we the world see no significant effort on your part to take control while crimes are being committed in your name, and so sympathy is fading fast. It is not enough to say that your vote went the other way when you know that the process is damaged. It is not enough to say that it is out of your hands when you have not attempted to grasp it. When your system has run away from you, and is taking drastic measures throughout the world for its self-preservation, it may take drastic measures to halt it and set it right. If this is not done before it is too late, eventually you will have to recover what was lost by inaction.

We are frustrated because something has to be done, only you can do it, but you're not. And quite possibly over two billion people in the world are behind you.

This is not a left or right issue. It is right or wrong, do or don't. You don't blame the left arm for letting the right arm smack when they share the same head. You who understand what is happening are already more capable than the rest in this tug of war, because your fight is on the side of truth. History shows that truth eventually conquers, but not by itself. It has to be spoken loudly, shouted when necessary, and defended at all costs. If there is one ultimate purpose we as a species can reasonably point to in response to "why?" it is truth.

You have been taught to take criticism of your country personally, and respond defensively, but the America I am speaking to should be hearing encouragement. The truth is, led by you, your nation has the influence and wealth to steer the world in the curing of many of humanity's ails, thereby greatly reducing angst, conflict and the "need" for exorbitant defenses, and vastly increasing the wealth and standard of living for everyone. We have reached a place in time when we can either create huge problems or solve huge problems, and you just happen to be at the helm, holding the responsibility that goes with it. Is America a place where you sit back and see what happens? The destructive force that smears your name represents you only with your consent.


About the author
:

Name: Mo
Age: 22
Country: Canada
City: Ontario
Gender: Male
Experience with America: Visited the United States

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