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I wrote to the President of the United States on March 18, 2003. In the early hours of March 20, 2003, George W. Bush began a war on Iraq. That same morning I applied for German citizenship.
Dear Mr. President,
I realize you do not read email, but maybe someone will that will carry on my words.
I have lived in Germany for the past 26 years. I am married to a German, mother to a German, a German professor and civil servant, and an American citizen.
I have defended my country against all sorts of name-calling, misunderstandings, and out-right hostility. I have done my best to show Germans American culture: food, celebrations, songs, literature. As an American I strongly believe in freedom, which also includes the freedom from harm for me and for others. I believe in the freedom of the press, the freedom of religion, and many other good things found in the US Constitution.
But I cannot condone my country going to war against Iraq. I cannot follow the reasoning. I do not see that Iraq is such a big threat to the world that war is the only way out. North Korea seems to be a better candidate for that position. And I don't understand the big hurry to enforce this UN resolution - if I am not mistaken, resolution 242 called on Israel to withdraw from the occupied territories - about 30 years ago, and is making no signs of complying. So will the troups be headed to Israel after Iraq? It's pretty much the same part of the world.
My heart bleeds for the children of Iraq. They were born into poverty, the fault not just of their country, but also of the sanctions. They will die in the coming war, and much of Iraqi culture will die with them.
I have stayed an American citizen because I felt American in my heart, and wanted German citizenship so that I could vote in the place I pay taxes. But Germans do not recognize dual citizenship, so I have remained American.
If you do wage war on Iraq, I no longer feel that I can be an American, and will apply for German citizenship on that sad day.
I hope ferverntly that God will prevail in the 11th hour and move you to not start a war that will have wide-reaching effects.