Dear George,

I am writing to ask you to take a deep breath and admit that your ‘war on terror’ isn’t working.   You had the sympathy and support of the whole world after the terrible events of September 2001 – you have thrown that away.  Hatred of America is growing and recruitment to Al Qaeda-linked organisations has increased.  This is dangerous for the US and the whole world.

The way in which Iraq has been has left the world massively more dangerous.  The Middle East is boiling with anger at the continuing suffering of the Palestinian people and the US’s constant support for  Israel as it breaks international law.   The people of Europe and most of the developing world share this view.  You promised when you came to Northern Ireland that you would work as hard for peace between Israel and the Palestinians as Tony Blair had in Northern Ireland.  You have not kept that promise.  The road map to a Palestinian state has collapsed and Israel is continuing to build its wall which confiscates even more Palestinian territory.

If you really want to stand up for the best of American values you should declare a commitment to justice and the international rule of law.  We should work together to establish an Israeli and Palestinian state.  This is the key to peace in the Middle East.   You should then support the call for all the states of the region – including Israel –  to give up their WMD.

You should also commit to work with the UN, IMF and World Bank to ensure that we deliver the commitments all countries made in 2000, to the Millennium Development Goals – halving poverty, all children in school, water and health care for all.  These goals are achievable if you put your muscle behind them.  Wouldn’t this be more like an American Dream for the world?

And finally, a commitment to multilateralism is part of a commitment to the rule of law.  If the US can do what it likes, then there are no rules.  If all states are free to pre-empt then we will have mounting disorder.  Wise leadership from the US could help update international law so that we act against dictators like Saddam Hussein and Robert Mugabe in a lawful way.  But to do this we need you to support the International Criminal Court.  And please take another look at Kyoto.  Global warming is a reality.  And then, while you are at it, please could you sign up to the Convention on the Rights of the Child and the Landmine Treaty.

American people are kind and generous to visitors, but the world increasingly sees America as an unjust bully.  You could change that and help make the future safer.  If we go on as we are, the world will become more bitter, divided and dangerous for everyone.

Yours sincerely,

Clare Short

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