Close Guantanamo Bay We are Still Waiting!
I going to answer that, Congress won’t let me. But I will ask again.
2013: National Defense University.
Mr. President CodePink supports your efforts to close Guantanamo Bay and normalize relations with Cuba, although we are still waiting! Closing Guantanamo Bay was a first term campaign promise, the above speech was two years ago when Medea challenge you to close Guantanamo Bay, it is time to lead not talk. Mr. President you can still earn that Nobel Peace Prize.
For the last six years you have always talk of offering young people “an alternative vision of the future,” and working with nations on winning the peace by ending perpetual war. Unfortunately you didn’t know how to do this as you admitted in your Nobel speech:” I didn’t bring with me today a definitive solution to the problem of war.” As a result you went along with the Bush Doctrine. Even as you acknowledges this policy conflicts with democratic non-violent approach to political change of Gandhi and MLK: “violence never brings permanent peace. It solves no social problems it merely creates new and more complicated ones.” Yet you continued to complicate the path to peace with drone strikes and a rising civilian body count. Now Mr. President, with Cuba, you are beginning to walk the talk as you are trying, as you say, to think in new ways about war and peace. By admitting that after 50 years it’s time to end an out dated policy that has failed to resolve our differences, that it is time to normalize relations between our two countries and begin a new chapter among the nations of the Americas.
Normalizing relations with Cuba is a great democratic non-violent political first step to change policy from violent conflict and confrontation to non-violent negotiation to advance our shared interest of making life better for the citizens of both countries. Mr. President CodePink would like to see you go further in shifting policy from imperialist militarism to cooperation and negotiation among nations by taking some concrete steps down the path to peace: admit that the Bush Doctrine a legacy of the cold war is outdated and has failed to bring peace and continues endless war; lift all travel restrictions to Cuba; take Cuba off the terrorist list; and return Guantanamo Bay Naval Base to the Cuban People.
Mr. President you talk in your Cuba speech that the “shift in policy towards Cuba comes a moment of renewed leadership in the Americas. But we insist that civil society join us so that citizens, not just leaders, are shaping our future. And I call on all of my fellow leaders to give meaning to the commitment to democracy and human rights at the heart of the inter-American Charter. Let us leave behind the legacy of both colonization and communism, the tyranny of drug carets, dictators, and shame elections. A future of greater peace, security and democratic development is possible if we work together-not to maintain power, not to secure vested interest, but instead to advance the dreams of our citizens…Change is hard-but today we are making these changes because it is the right thing to do. Today, America chooses to cut loose the shackles of the past so as to reach for a better future-for the Cuban people, for the American people, for our entire hemisphere.” Noble words, you could always talk the talk but you have trouble walking the walk, your policy has been, do as I say not as I do. You cannot condemn others that justify the murder of innocents and who violate international law to further their cause if you are doing the same thing, you will not be able to bomb them into submission, LBJ, Nixon, and Bush tried that. If Mr. President you truly want to cut the shackles of the past and lead the world into an era of democratic cooperation you have to say no to violence, but it is going take courage, the criticism will be mean spirited and relentless, as you know. As you say, “you have nothing to lose” with audacity and bold steps Mr. President you can earn that Nobel Peace prize and leave a democratic legacy to be proud of. How do you want to be remember, as a Mandela, Gandhi, or MLK who created board non-violent political change, or as a LBJ, Nixon or Bush where violence brought disgrace and ruin not just to themselves but too America as well.
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