Dear President Trump: Promote peace with North Korea

Feb 23, 2018 by

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Honorable President Trump,

I write to you because of my deep concern for this great nation and our world.

There are many who think that you are primarily motivated by your concern about public image and power. Some think that, with your power as president, you might trigger a war — even possibly a nuclear war — in order to shore up your poll ratings, distract the American people from the FBI investigation and to fast-track your political agenda through Congress.

I urge you, Mr. President, prove wrong those who are making these assertions!

Recent statements you made — statements indicating that you are supportive of talks with North Korea — seem to me to be tangible evidence that these detractors of yours are wrong.

Some who are raising alarm bells say that there is precedent for starting a war for ulterior motives. They site documented evidence that the Gulf of Tonkin incident and the specter of weapons of mass destruction were trumped-up pretexts to invade and occupy Vietnam and Iraq. The Bush administration launched the invasion and occupation of Iraq when U.N. inspectors were closing in on research showing that Iraq did not have weapons of mass destruction. After George W. Bush became “the war president,” decades of legislation, painstakingly crafted across the aisle, was swept aside and replaced in one fell swoop by policies oriented to the interests of corporations and greater control of Middle East oil. Quite a coup! But at what cost? Thousands of U.S. soldiers and hundreds of thousands of Iraqis died in the ensuing conflict. Even greater numbers are spending the rest of their lives with devastating physical and psychological wounds. Rage against the U.S. grew in the Middle East and other parts of the world. Terrorist organizations spread and became more deadly as a consequence.

Some say that Kim Jong-un, while being a horrible tyrant and oppressive dictator of North Korea, is not stupid. They say that, while he is hell-bent on controlling his population, he also knows it would be suicide to launch any missile toward the United States and that his motivation to develop a few nuclear missiles is to deter the U.S. from attacking North Korea. They say that Kim Jong-un wants to keep from ending up at the end of a rope like Saddam Hussein or tortured to death like Muammar Gaddafi. They say that negotiations can prevent the slaughter of millions and, while not being perfect, are the path to the best outcome for security for the American people and for the world.

I implore you, Mr. President, to demonstrate to the American people that you will not authorize another war under false pretexts. Please show the American citizens that you know the power of negotiation, of compromise and dialogue, for the best outcome for all.

President Trump, we are counting on you to do what is right. We are counting on you and your administration to govern with a steady hand. We are counting on you to prevent the unleashing of a nuclear war that could spiral out of control, ending life on earth as we know it.

Last but not least, I pray that you will consider the millions of innocent lives and God’s vast, beautiful creation that hangs in the balance. I pray for our nation and for the world loved by God. I pray for you, Mr. President, as I strive to follow what Jesus taught and the example he lived — the way of love: seeking the wellbeing of our neighbors and even enemies.

Wendell Wiebe-Powell attends Fellowship of Hope Mennonite Church in Elkhart, Ind., where he works as a caregiver for persons with disabilities and is involved in local peace and justice activities.

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