bestselling author thanks President Bush for uniting a
fractioned world: "Thank you for allowing usan army of anonymous
people filling the streets in an attempt to stop a process that is
already underwayto know what it feels like to be powerless."
you, great leader George W. Bush.
you for showing everyone what a danger Saddam Hussein represents. Many
of us might otherwise have forgotten that he had used chemical weapons
against his own people, against the Kurds and against the Iranians.
Hussein is a bloodthirsty dictator and one of the clearest expressions
of evil in today’s world.
this is not my only reason for thanking you. During the first months
of 2003, you have shown the world a great many other important things
and, therefore, deserve my gratitude.
remembering a poem I learned as a child, I want to say thank you.
you for showing everyone that the Turkish people and their Parliament
are not for sale, not even for 26 billion dollars.
you for revealing to the world the gulf that exists between the decisions
made by those in power and the wishes of the people. Thank you for making
it clear that neither José María Aznar nor Tony Blair
give the slightest weight to or show the slightest respect for the votes
they received. Aznar is perfectly capable of ignoring the fact that
90 percent of Spaniards are against the war, and Blair is unmoved by
the largest public demonstration to take place in England in the last
you for making it necessary for Tony Blair to go to the British Parliament
with a fabricated dossier written by a student ten years ago, and present
this as `damning evidence collected by the British Secret Service’.
you for allowing Colin Powell to make a complete fool of himself by
showing the UN Security Council photos which, one week later, were publicly
challenged by Hans Blix, the Inspector responsible for disarming Iraq.
you for adopting your current position and thus ensuring that, at the
plenary session, the French Foreign Minister, Dominique de Villepin’s
anti-war speech was greeted with applausesomething, as far as
I know, that has only happened once before in the history of the UN,
following a speech by Nelson Mandela.
you too, because, after all your efforts to promote war, the normally
divided Arab nations, at their meeting in Cairo during the last week
in February, were, for the first time, unanimous in their condemnation
of any invasion.
you for your rhetoric stating that "the UN now has a chance to
demonstrate its relevance", a statement which made even the most
reluctant countries take up a position opposing any attack on Iraq.
you for your foreign policy which provoked the British Foreign Secretary,
Jack Straw, into declaring that in the 21st century, "a war can
have a moral justification", thus causing him to lose all credibility.
you for trying to divide a Europe that is currently struggling for unification;
this was a warning that will not go unheeded.
you for having achieved something that very few have so far managed
to do in this century: the bringing together of millions of people on
all continents to fight for the same idea, even though that idea is
opposed to yours.
you for making us feel once more that though our words may not be heard,
they are at least spokenthis will make us stronger in the future.
you for ignoring us, for marginalizing all those who oppose your decision,
because the future of the Earth belongs to the excluded.
you, because, without you, we would not have realized our own ability
to mobilize. It may serve no purpose this time, but it will doubtless
be useful later on.
that there seems no way of silencing the drums of war, I would like
to say, as an ancient European king said to an invader: "May your
morning be a beautiful one, may the sun shine on your soldiers’ armor,
for in the afternoon, I will defeat you."
you for allowing usan army of anonymous people filling the streets
in an attempt to stop a process that is already underwayto know
what it feels like to be powerless and to learn to grapple with that
feeling and transform it. So, enjoy your morning and whatever glory
it may yet bring you.
you for not listening to us and not taking us seriously, but know that
we are listening to you and that we will not forget your words.
you, great leader George W. Bush.
you very much.
Paulo Coelho is one of the world’s bestselling authors, with his
books translated and published in more than 150 countries. His 1996
work Warrior of Light: A Novel, was just released in the
United States. The author can be contacted by email firstname.lastname@example.org
by Margaret Jull Costa