(My) statements about «Bush’s America» which hurt you so much were made, as was only natural, in the heat of the moment as I was watching the terrible bombardment of Baghdad on television – an image of destruction on a biblical scale. Obviously my statements reflected all the fury and sense of injustice I was feeling, my abhorrence at the images of the maimed children, the justifiable rage we all felt and of course our demand that this crime should stop and the criminals be punished. Identification Before I talk about the real image I have of the country and its people, I would first like to remind you that these generalizations and the identification of leaders with their countries is a customary phenomenon, particularly in times of major historical events, such as Pericles’ Athens, Roosevelt’s America, Stalin’s Russia, Mao’s China, Castro’s Cuba and so on. We say that in World War II we were invaded by «the Italians» and occupied by «the Germans,» just as you say that Pearl Harbor was attacked by «the Japanese.» There are many examples of an entire nation being identified with a leader, for better or worse. In retrospect, life has shown us that specific nations have had their own views and often disagreed with their leaders. But whether they liked it or not, they were identified with them. They say that the images of the bombing of Baghdad, the dead and maimed children never reached the American public, so these statements have harmed myself and my image among the great majority of Americans who not only do not identify with George Bush but many of whom are even struggling actively for peace. Yet I do not regret making those statements, even if they reflected the generalizations – which some Americans feel to be unjustified – I have referred to above. Most of us here in Europe are aware that the high ratings Bush enjoys and which indicate that the vast majority of Americans identify with him, are due to the traditional respect Americans have for their constitutional symbols, particularly in a time of war; but above all, it is due to the unprecedented brainwashing they have undergone because of an unholy alliance among the most reactionary circles in the US – which unfortunately control the economy, the Pentagon, the White House and the main media. It is a form of brainwashing which has eventually become a kind of ideological terrorism. Doing business I believe that today humanity is speechless at the unprecedented phenomena such as that of the highest state officials openly and unashamedly stating that they are major shareholders in (mainly) oil companies that are seeking Iraq’s oil reserves and for that reason are sending 500,000 American soldiers to destroy a country and a nation just in order to gain more wealth. It is an open and outrageous commerce in blood, as the peoples of the world look on in horror. US Vice President Dick Cheney and a number of other officials are doing business and telling lies, distorting the truth, making threats, deceiving the American people and showing no respect for international legality, using the USA’s military superiority to murder entire nations, simply so they and their ilk can gain financial rewards. This image of a powerful country such as your own that is being presented today is truly unprecedented. Of course the problem is how this group, with its racist, reactionary and even, I might say, fascist mentality has managed to reach the pinnacle of power and to rule a great country with such democratic traditions. It is certain – and this is something that the ideological leaders of the governing elite have stated – that Iraq is just the beginning. So we should expect new wars until the main goal is achieved: That is, international military control as the foundation for economic and political rule. There are dreams of conquest «made in the USA» in the 21st century, but if you scratch the surface, you will see the grim faces of various barbarous conquerors who, guided by similar dreams and plans, spreading fire and iron, bodies and ruins in their wake, just as happened in Iraq. That is what the people of Europe have seen and that is why an unprecedented 98 percent of them poured out into the streets to express their opposition to the war and their love of peace. This image of nations, which exists today, is a simmering fire, ready to burst into flames at any moment. We should not be deceived by the image of relative calm that is chiefly due to the fact that the rulers of Europe have not been able to express the will of their peoples, who deep down share the great fear that largely determines the stance taken by European leaders toward the US, faced with the colossal military and economic power of the sole superpower and the looming threat of reprisals. Today, governments and peoples are terrorized – that is the reality. I think that this is what should be of more concern to the American people – the fact that the country which in the last two major wars made so many sacrifices and did the utmost to further the cause of freedom is now seen by the peoples of the world, particularly in Europe, as an aggressive power spreading awe and fear, in short, which is terrorizing the world. Yes, Mr Bush, who from morning to night goes on and on about terrorism, is in fact seen by free peoples as an arch-terrorist. The person who is supposedly afraid of weapons of mass destruction has in his hands a thousand times greater means to wreak destruction of biblical proportions, and which he does in fact use against women, children and entire countries, as the rest of the world watches live images of the general slaughter on their television screens. That is truly hypocrisy! Unfortunately, this is the reality. At the moment, the peoples and governments around you are frozen by fear and powerlessness. Don’t think for a minute that the smiles of the various leaders visiting the White House indicate approval of Cheney’s plans. Of course there are leaders who ignore the will of their people, but most of them bow down out of fear or self-interest. You see, President Bush holds missiles in the one hand and dollars in the other. People admired Personally, I have had great admiration for the American people. I am familiar with the social and national struggles they have waged to win political, economic and social rights. Then there are the millions of Greek Americans who are a vital channel between the US and Greece, and we are aware of the positive and wonderful things that have taken place there in the arts and sciences. Where should I begin? With literature, poetry, music, dance, cinema, painting, sculpture? How beautiful America was when all these arts were flourishing and influencing the world! I admire even more your popular music, from jazz to ballads and rock. I have often said it and I will say it again: America today is so strong, so capable and so rich from every point of view, that it could, by means of a simple decision, fill the world with absolute happiness or absolute misery. Unfortunately for everyone, it has for the moment chosen the second course. Having said all this, I would like to conclude by saying that at the moment, my thoughts are with you Americans. You have already done it with the war in Vietnam, where you, the people, and above all the young people of America, waged daily mass struggles that did much to end that unjust slaughter. Today the peoples of the world feel numbed, weakened. Their governments are at a loss. Everyone is expecting the worst, a new conflict, fresh bloodshed, without being able to do anything to stop it, because they all depend, in one way or another, on the colossus. That is why I believe that within this network of forces, contrasts and international balances, it is the American people themselves who can reverse the USA’s negative image and position. You write that one should not blame all American people for Bush’s policy, which means that some – many – disagree with it. But that is also up to you, as to whether you make your presence felt. Where are you? There were a few demonstrations during the early phase of the invasion of Iraq, but instead of that resistance growing, I have heard nothing more, even though the «dividing up» of Iraq is continuing, as is the chaos, and there is a continuing risk that other countries might be «liberated» as members of your government have often assured us. Apart from the thousands of Iraqis that I talked about earlier, 151 of your soldiers have lost their lives so far in Iraq; 151 American mothers have lost their children. Why? Was their country in danger? The reasons for the war have proved to be brazenly unfounded. In Britain, the man who revealed this fact has been found dead. What are you doing? You write that we shouldn’t hate all Americans. We don’t hate them. You who disagree with all that, we feel you are with us, on the same side. We believe in you. But you must play your part; realize your power and resist. Not in the next elections. NOW! Using every legal and peaceful means at your disposal. You are the hope. By means of resolutions, rallies, demonstrations, which should be increasing in number every day, you can lay the foundations for the overthrow of that gang that with one quarter of the votes of the American people has turned the USA into an aggressive and barbarous power that is spreading tears and pain throughout the world and is terrorizing nations. At the moment, the conspiracy is falling apart as reports emerge of the lies about Saddam’s weapons of mass destruction. Blair’s chair is shaking, Bush’s popularity is waning. A few days ago in The New York Times, an air force officer named T. Mike Mosley revealed that the war in Iraq actually began a year ago, when bombers began destroying selected targets in order to paralyze the Iraqi army’s defense system. He also revealed that for every bombing attack in which it was forecast that at last 30 women and children would be killed, the approval of Donald Rumsfeld himself was required. That gentleman approved 50 such bombings. I think that these facts, which are gradually coming to light within your country itself, will help the great majority who have blindly followed Bush to eventually see the reality. Finally, you should indeed vote him out of office, along with the gang that has shamed your history and your traditions by terrorizing people and unjustly spreading death and destruction, distorting the country’s image. You only have to consider the sources of the humanitarian and democratic traditions of the founders of American independence to understand the magnitude of the damage being done to that image. By helping it back on the road to peace and respect for the rights of all the peoples of the world, you will help both yourselves and all of us who have shed our blood to defeat fascism, which is why we have a pathological love of freedom, democracy, human rights, and above all peace.