Dear President Medvedev: a letter from Obama
March 10, 2009
Last week, it was reported that President Obama sent a letter to President Medvedev of Russia last month. No one knows what the letter said, so the following is what it should have said.
Dear President Medvedev,
I’ll address this to you because you are the one who is listed as being in charge in Russia, but we all know who actually wears the pants in your country.
I’m going to attempt to be cordial in this letter, but the topics that will be discussed require bluntness. That, and I still haven’t completely forgiven you for that speech after Election Day. While other world leaders were congratulating me on the victory and waxing on about the historic nature of it all, you decided to announce that you will be stationing missiles to counter our missile defense system in the Czech Republic, which are meant to counter a potential Iran threat. The words were reminiscent of Cold War rhetoric.
There has been a lot of talk of diplomacy in our administration. I have spoken a lot about rebuilding relationships and improving friendships, but I’ve realized something.
As a father, I have spoken with my girls about the importance of their friends. Hanging around with the wrong people will make them look bad and will have a bad influence on them. In trying to teach them about the importance of whom their friends are, I realized that it would be hypocritical of me to be allies with your country.
Your recent revanchism into neighboring countries, such as Georgia and Ukraine, shows a hungry desire to reclaim territory that you believe is yours. I would like to remind you that while those countries might be in your so-called “sphere of influence,” they are not in your “sphere of ownership.”
You strip land away from Georgia and its pro-western president under the guise of defending people in the country.
You use your natural gas as a weapon against Ukraine and its pro-western president to attempt to force it into submission. You say that it is just because of money, but that is disingenuous to say the least. Georgia and Ukraine’s desire to join NATO and refusal to bend to your will don’t sit very well with you. The same holds true for other former Soviet nations.
There is also the matter of Iran. A nation run by religious fanatics and a president who has stated that Israel should be “wiped off the map,” and your country continues to aid their nuclear program and missile shipments. The sheer madness of Iranian leaders suggests an Iran with nuclear capability is a prospect that this world cannot have. Israel has stated that they will not allow Iran to have nuclear capability. Mr. President, by enabling them, you are pushing us toward war.
Finally, there is your country’s alarming deterioration of human rights, both domestic and abroad.
In July, your country, along with China, vetoed a U.N. Security Council resolution condemning the violence in Zimbabwe. Your country accounted for the vast majority of Sudan’s weapons purchases from 2003-07. It doesn’t just seem that you are unwilling to condemn genocide but rather that you support it.
And then there is your own country.
Reporters without Borders ranked you 141st out of 173 countries in press freedom. From 1996 to 2006, 88 reporters were killed in Russia, second only to Iraq. There is also the alarming intolerance to dissent and opposition to the Kremlin.
Just because we can’t be allies doesn’t mean that we have to be enemies, just merely acquaintances who hopefully will one day be true allies. Respecting human rights, both domestically and internationally, as well as international concerns and sovereignty can do just that. It would truly be change we can believe in.
I await your response, Mr. President.
Jordan is a junior in MCB. Add Dan Weber to that list of crooked Chicago politicians.