(I found the below person interesting, and re-posted his "open letter")
April 24, 2006 at 23:00:00
Response to Osama bin Laden
by Daniel Geery
Osama bin Laden addressed the American people on several occasions. As far as I know, no one's taken the time to write him back.
Dear Mr. bin Laden,
I read your letter of November 2002 to the American People, along with your recent letter calling for jihad [shortly before June 24, 2004], and several interviews you have given over the years. Here is my reply:
You are correct in many of your criticisms about America, as any open-minded person who does their homework knows. At the same time, you show no more respect for life than does George Bush or Arial Sharon.
You have brought many valid complaints, wherein you claim to speak on behalf of the Muslim people, and it is evident to me that you have not been taken seriously, but rather ignored or treated with contempt. America has indeed disrespected Muslims time and again, and Americans in general seem oblivious to this fact, even after September 11, and even after your November letter, which I regret to say was not widely published here.
America’s active role in the death of no less than 500,000 Iraqi children, and in sabotaging the water system of Iraq, knowing it was the young and innocent who would die, is as appalling to me as it has been to you. Even now, under the malicious John Ashcroft, our government is sueing Voices in the Wilderness, a small group of Americans who tried to help Iraqi children. It is not hard for me to understand how a pediatrician such as Mr. Al-Zawahiri, who dedicated his life to helping children, would come to the conclusion that violence against America is the only answer.
I believe I understand your frustration, your pride, your sense of oneness with your people, and your dedication to what you believe is correct. But I cannot agree with you that more bloodshed is the answer.
I have done some reading of the Koran to learn more about your religion. It did not take long to come upon certain passages (might I attribute this to Allah?), which read as follows:
[2.8] And there are some people who say: We believe in Allah and the last day; and they are not at all believers. [2.9] They desire to deceive Allah and those who believe, and they deceive only themselves and they do not perceive. [2.10] There is a disease in their hearts, so Allah added to their disease and they shall have a painful chastisement because they lied. [2.11] And when it is said to them, Do not make mischief in the land, they say: We are but peace-makers. [2.12] Now surely they themselves are the mischief makers, but they do not perceive.
From your letter it would appear that you are calling yourself a peace-maker, and thereby lying to Allah and deceiving yourself, just as George Bush does every time he calls himself a Christian.
Like George Bush, you have been blessed with riches beyond most people's imagination, and yet you have used those riches to bring misery and heartache to human beings on this tiny planet. So I have much difficulty understanding why you advocate the destruction of life, and then pretend to be speaking for Allah Himself, when there is so much important work that needs to be done.
I also do not comprehend your claim that George Bush, perhaps the biggest liar in American history, was chosen by the people of America. He was appointed by the U.S. Supreme Court, after the people of America voted for Mr. Gore. Surely you are aware of this and falsely make this claim; or, if you weren’t aware of it, you have no business holding yourself up as a leader of the Muslim people.
Nonetheless, your words have called attention to the atrocities committed by America, the recent ones especially, which include aiding oppressive dictators, providing arms to those who serve capitalist interests, most notably Israel, and our bombing of civilians in places too numerous to mention. I do not fault your list when you mention our intrusions into Somalia, Palestine, Chechnya, Kasmir, Saudi Arabia, and now, of course, Iraq. If anything, you have left out many dark crimes we are guilty of, most of which can readily be found on the internet.
And thus I join you in condemning our atrocities, along with the American government’s patterns of deceit and corruption. I am ashamed to see what America has become, particularly under the Bush Administration.
Surely you are aware of the millions of Americans who protested the war in Iraq, and you must know it is not we who are your enemies. At the same time, those of us who clamor for peace on earth—the same peace spoken of in the Koran and other holy works—do not condone violence, whether it is George Bush’s, Ariel Sharon’s or yours. Countless numbers of us have written letters to the editor, encouraging peace in every way we can, but often those letters don't get published. We can and do vote for advocates of peace, even though all too many Americans are kept in the dark by an oppressive media, or are misled by the media, and thus continue to support Mr. Bush and his deranged colleagues.
I am a sixth grade teacher in a school which has students from all over the world—Mexico, the Dominican Republic, Tonga, Somalia, Iran, Afghanistan, Egypt, Pakistan, the Congo, Cambodia, China, Bosnia, Vietnam, and many other countries—students from different cultures, religions, languages, and backgrounds. (Many of these students are here because we forced them to be, with our insane foreign policies).
These are wonderful young people, deeply concerned about getting along with those around them, interested in learning about science and history and math (when it is presented correctly) and how to improve themselves to better serve the world around them, and how to make this world a better place. Like most teachers in America, I make a great effort to teach my students values such as kindness, compassion, understanding, and tolerance. I also try to teach sincerity, good manners, righteousness, mercy, and honor--the very values your letter calls us to teach!
Last year I had five Muslims in my class. One of them was my best student, ever. She came from Afghanistan, and wanted to learn and learn some more, and she asked me countless questions all year long. I loved to hear voice, as she bounded into my class on Monday morning, “Hi, Mr. Geery!” She was and is my friend as well as a former student, as are most children in my class.
Are you angry at me for trying to help Muslim children, and other children from all over the world? Are you angry at me because our corrupt system, over which I have so little control, produced George Bush?
I would like you and Mr. Bush and every adult who advocates violence to understand that all the students I have had, from so many corners of the world, have been able to get along in a friendly manner, and with some guidance and effort, somehow resolve their differences without violence. Certainly if twelve year olds can do this, grown adults can try a little harder to do the same.
You claim that governments we support prevent your people from establishing the Islamic Shariah, using violence and lies to do so. While I and millions of other Americans condemn the US Government for its lies and the violence it engages in, we also continue working against this government’s hypocrisy. But what about your hypocrisy?
I found the website of the Islamic Shariah Institute, after reading your letter. This institute claims to have dedicated itself to bringing “the pure and pristine message of Islam to Muslims and non-Muslims via authentic and classical established Islamic material.” Following are two messages from that website:
"Invite (mankind) to the way of your Lord with wisdom and beautiful preaching and reason with them in the best manners possible" (Sura Al-Nahl 16, Ayah 125).
“Let there be amongst you a group who invite to good, enjoin what is right and forbid evil. These are the ones who are successful.”(Al Imran, verse 104)
Rather than listen to such wisdom, you prefer to play the role of Allah, destroying the very souls He brought to life. And so it is difficult for me to see how any right-minded Muslim could look up to you. In advocating violence as you do, you have sunk to the same depths that your enemy has sunk. Your harboring of hatred and your desire to play Allah is no different than that of Mr. Sharon, and you are no more of a peace-maker than he is. Even my sixth graders can tell you that people need to put their weapons down, and be sincere in seeking other solutions.
In fact, I would like to quote to you some words from my sixth graders, words they wrote about the war in Iraq. I tried hard not to influence them, and I encouraged them to think for themselves, as I always do. I hope you will read their words several times:
Becoming president means to be responsible, to think about the people first, and to make the right decision, and in this case Bush made a bad one. If I got to ask George one question I would ask him is it worth it? Is it worth losing lives over war?
The war is just killing people and there dreams. George Bush is making a big mistake by leading us into a bigger war.
I don’t like the war at all. Everytime I hear there is war it makes me want to cry. Sometimes at night I would have nightmares. I would dream that my dad got sent to war and that he got killed. What we need in the world is Peace, not wars. If I was in the war I wouldn’t fight I would help the injured people instead of fighting for something stupid.
I don’t like wars because it makes everybody sad and angry... I think Bush and Saddam Hussein are acting like two persons from kindergarten and they are fighting like kids. The children in Iraq are seeing their mother and their father dying. Some of the children in America are waiting for their father and they don’t know if their father will come home or die.
I don’t think we should go to war because all you grownups are telling us that fighting is not how to solve problems but there you grownups are going to war.
We should not take the lives of innocent people that have nothing to do with it. I think Bush just wants to be powerful and I also think he want to start wars with everyone who does not like him. How I feel about the war is angry and I also think it is useless. If I were president I would try to get along with all the countrys and not start wars!
I’m so sad about this war against Iraq. I’ve experienced difficulties in a war because I was born in Somalia. I hate wars because young children see their mothers and fathers die and the children die of hungry. People’s homes burn and they have to leave their families, friends and jobs. Sometimes I pray to God that the war will stop. Sometimes I think if little kids can have a truce why can’t Saddam and Bush?
I think that there should be no war because there is no point. At the end of the war all George Bush will have is a group of died people. I think he lost his mined. He has no proof of Sadam Hussan or Osama ben laden being friends. He has no proof of WMDs. I feel sad because the solgers in Iraq and the USA all mite die and their family and friends are going to cry and they are all going to be missed.
I believe George W. Bush is starting to become a bully... Why is George W. Bush just charging in? He is the problem. He doesn’t have any evidence that Saddam Hussein is making weapons of mass destruction.
I want the people to stop the war. It’s not just me a lot of people in world wants to stop the war. I’m so sad for those children who lost their parents and those women who lost their husbands. President Bush is making a lot of reason for war. He says that Iraquians are making weapons. If they really are then why they are not using it?
Nobody knows the reason why there is war. If George Bush wants to get revenge with Saddam Hussin they why doesn’t he get revenge by himself. The world needs peace instead the world is having no peace.
The President thinks we want Osama bin Laden but really what we want is peace. The US is all about peace. But why don’t we have Peace? “In God we trust” I said to myself one day but I think the President doesn’t know that. If the president knew that we wouldn’t fight.
What’s the difference? Me and my family got away from Somalia because of all the war. Now come to America. Sometimes my mom waches the news to see what’s happening. When I wach it with my mom it make me wish that I never wached it. I see bomb going from every direction and mistals flying around. I pray to my God hoping the wars will stop soon. I think we are all one wrold. If me and my enemies can get along why can’t Saddam and Bush?
I think the war is stupid and meaningless. Even if we win, what are we going to get as a feedback? What is the point of this war? My opinion is that George W. Bush is a stupid brainless, dumb guy that can’t settle this thing with Iraq in a peaceful way. Why don’t George B go to war too?
I really want to tell you how kids feel about the war. We feel unsafe and scared. We feel like Bush doesn’t care about us, he only cares about himself... It is horrifying when you see bombs and missiles hiting a building. Parents should ask their kids if they are scared about the war. If they are, don’t make them talk, listen and watch things about the war. Let them do their homework and watch T.V. Do something that will take it off their mind. [I promised this girl we would not talk about the war any more].
So there you have it, Osama--the wisdom of 12 year olds, from many countries and backgrounds (one student did support the war in Iraq, but I must add that he did not seem to have much grasp of the facts).
Do you think these children would agree with you, any more than they do with George Bush, that sending young men or women, with a life ahead of them, to take their own lives and those of innocent bystanders, is a good idea? Would you like to argue to these twelve year olds, who are so pure of heart, as you claim we all should be, that fighting violence with violence is the answer? Wouldn’t your message in fact pollute their hearts? Do you really think violence is Allah’s recommended approach to humanity's problems?
If so, then you have become as pathetic as George Bush, and you have cast the Koran in Allah’s face. In addition, you have done the very thing that turns Good Americans away from even considering your religion.
Did you ever wonder what might happen if you were to use your enormous influence and wealth in a manner consistent with the teachings of all religions, that you profess to believe in, in the same spirit that was shown by Mother Theresa? Has it occurred to you that your following and influence might be far greater, and there would be many more positive changes in human souls, even though the results might not be so immediate and flashy? Or is it immediate and flashy results that you want?
You made many noises in your letter about the rights of women, even though you worked hand-in-hand with the oppressive Taliban, which has demonstrated nothing but disrespect for women. Consequently, you appear on this matter as a laughable cartoon figure. I must say the same in regard to your condemnation of drugs, when it is common knowledge that Afghanistan's economy ran on the trade of opium, which you did nothing to oppose. Apparently that trade suited your ends well enough.
You have used your enormous wealth to buy influence and favors and to get your way, like a spoiled rich kid, like George Bush. You may have forsaken creature comforts, living in caves as you have, but the Great Big Thrill for you appears to be Power, as it does for George and his father. You and the two Georges appear to abominate the humility that the Koran and other religious books teach us, and I can say the same for the genuine helping of others.
And did your wealth not come from the same rich-get-richer system that you so loudly condemn? Do you wish to tell the world that you have not made interest, or usury as you call it, on your own money, that you were so fortunate to inherit? Maybe I am missing something, but I don’t think so. You appear to me as no less of a hypocrite than George Bush, and you are a "man of peace" in the same manner as Ariel Sharon.
You claim that we flee from the embarrassing question posed to us: “How is it possible for Allah the Almighty to create His creation, grant them power over all the creatures and land, grant them all the amenities of life, and then deny them that which they are most in need of: knowledge of the laws which govern their lives?”
I can think of many answers, but I’ll give you the one I believe is most important for humankind: If we recognize ourselves as brothers and sisters on this small planet, with many different ideas and backgrounds and points of view, and we actually treat each other as brothers and sisters (as religion and science tell us we are), then the law which will govern our lives will be a simple one: It will be kindness to one another.
I have a friend who is 86. She was raised as a Mormon, but fell away from her religion after much studying and soul searching. Now she is an atheist—an “infidel” in your dictionary. Yet she is kind and gentle and considerate of others, and one of the most wonderful people you could meet. I would take a million “infidels” like my friend over any number of “true believers” who advocate violence. My friend practices kindness, the law that was placed in our hearts at birth, and that we can hear if we listen to our hearts.
Do you believe in that law? Do you really listen to the heart you were blessed with at birth?
You mention kindness in your letter, but you evidently fail to understand or practice it. So many of your words are as hollow as are those of George Bush. If you want to convert me to your religion, or even begin thinking about it, you will need to start by good example and showing me peace and kindness—like the student I mentioned earlier, who touched my soul far more than you have—and not by using force and violence.
As for changing America, I and countless others are working hard to bring that change about. We are dismayed that our country has sunk to the depths the world now sees, and we remain committed to changing that. We don’t wish to shake a fist at the world, but to extend a helping hand and to take care of our own enormous problems as quickly as possible. Even though we seem to be victims of our own system--even now we are largely ignored by the press--we continue working to elect a president who believes in the America we are supposed to be.
Here is what I would like to see: A leader who will stand up to corruption and who has the vision to move our country away from the shoals of insanity that George Bush and others have taken us into. I would like to see a leader who supports the United Nations and wants to make that body what it is meant to be: a body of nations that resolves differences in a just and peaceful manner. I’d like a leader who makes nonviolence a principle of society, and who seeks to make war archaic. One who believes in peace, and settling differences amongst people without killing, in accord with the commandment of many religions: Thou shalt not kill.
I’d like a leader who realizes that other countries are our neighbors and potential friends, and sees each person as sacred. One who understands that every person makes a difference, and that each choice we make influences those around us, and that an injury to one person is a grievous injury to all. One who believes that justice must be uniformly applied, and who thinks vengeance is to be reserved to the Lord.
I want a leader who would stand by treaties that have been made in the past, and who wants to support the Kyoto Protocol. One who wants nuclear disarmament on a global scale, and wants to do away with weapons of mass destruction everywhere. I’d like a leader who would give strong safeguards to protect the environment, and who would abolish NAFTA and WTO, which do so much harm to people and places of the world. A leader would develop clean and renewable energy sources, and who would work to end corporate influence in politics, and assure that future elections truly represent the voice of the American people.
I think all this would be a good place to start, for all right-minded people who want positive changes. And I encourage people everywhere, particularly in America, to rise up and become educated about what is going on and what is at stake.
I also encourage you, Osama bin Ladin, along with Mr. Al-Zawahiri, to raise your standards for yourselves and those who listen to you: Stop being a destroyer of life and become a real peace-keeper, with kindness in your heart, courage in your soul, and good will toward fellow humans. Reread the Koran and respect that, rather those things that anger drives you to find.
I realize nothing is likely to come of this letter, and that, like many of my letters, there will be no one to even publish it. But if I fail to say these things, I cannot have peace and honor within myself. I have also written this because you made accusations and complaints and suggestions to me, as an American citizen, which I have read and considered carefully.
I have responded in good faith to your allegations, and it is only fair that you consider my concerns carefully too. I would be pleased to hear your response, particularly if my thinking is somehow incorrect. Do you want to continue like the person you repeatedly condemn, or would you prefer to join the people of our planet, acting as a voice of reason and compassion?
With kindest regards,
* * * *
Geery lived off the grid for 15 years in an earth-sheltered, solar heated home, while his kids learned in school that solar energy isn't feasible. NAPTA hosts a page on Geery's foibles in education, and explains how he got his butt fired from a tenured teaching position. Here's a short clip of his most recent solar contraption; for more on that project, and Geery's contention that the Wright Brothers took a wrong turn, please visit his airship page (hyperblimp.com). Apparently, Geery is the only one in the world to respond to Osama bin Laden, call bullshit on him and George together, and expose them for the pansy ass rich kids that they are. Unfortunately, bin Laden has been too scared to write back and explain himsself; and George is still working hard to finish his goat book.