This is the speech I wish George W. Bush would make before the United Nations to commemorate the terror of September 11:

Fellow citizens of the Blue Planet,

As it has been our privilege to inhabit this merciful and bounteous earth, which, in spite of our prodigality has provided for us so generously, my fervent hope today is that we might all pledge to undertake a revolutionary new effort.

Though this effort will entail sacrifice and struggle, we will not call it a "war" with all the violent and negative connotations this word carries. Let us propose, rather, a "victory" over hatred, hunger, poverty, identifying individuals by their race, and the misuse of religions to shore up the claims of tyrants and political opportunists. A victory, too, over the squandering of earth’s precious resources and our own limited public funds to pay for weapons, armies, explosives, missiles – and then rebuild the damage caused by their use, rather than using our wealth for the betterment of all humankind.

Let us renounce violence as a solution to human problems. Let us instead purify the law and keep it free from political corruption. Let us join together to feed the hungry by helping them develop their own agricultures. Let us pool our resources to ensure that every human being has the best possible health care and education, learns a profession or trade, and has the right to dignified employment and sufficient income to live comfortably and without fear of what the next day, week, or month in a constantly zigzagging economy might bring. Without the scourge of war and violence, we can afford all of this.

For this effort to succeed, the more fortunate nations will be called upon to sacrifice luxury goods, bloated houses, enormous cars that consume great quantities of energy and pollution, expensive vacations. In the world we could create, none of these will be missed.

For true happiness, we will come to realize, is never the result of wealth or power, but rather is the achievement of those whose hearts are genuinely full of love and peace.

Let us begin today, slowly and carefully and with deep thought, to change the world so we are as beautiful as our planet and worthy to live on it. This will not be easy or simple. But let us be determined to proceed, never losing sight of our goal.

This is the speech I would like to hear our President make. He won’t, of course, but the rest of us are free to speak and to act. If people of good will everywhere lead, the politicians will follow. And let both leaders and followers be free from hatred, contempt, anger, greed, and selfishness. I believe the source of all good lies within each of our hearts, and love is our most powerful weapon of mass creation.

Make peace, not war.

-Chandra Vega


Writers on 11 September 2002:
Raymond Federman, Joe Futrelle, Kurt Heintz, Dirk Stratton, Chandra Vega