Friday, March 23, 2007

An Open Letter To An Exemplary Leader

Dear Mr. President,

As a life-long fan of your work (one of millions from my generation), I hope that you are not too disappointed that this is only my first correspondence addressed to you. Please do not take this as a sign of disinterest in your previous accomplishments, but rather as a recognition of the groundbreaking ingenuity of your latest undertaking. I refer, of course, to the proposed changes to our country's constitution, on which a referendum is to be held this Monday, March 26th.

Where to begin? Perhaps I should first congratulate you on taking a bold step towards ending an almost twenty-six year long state of emergency by enshrining your emergency powers into permanent law. Times have changed, after all. As we face the threat of terrorists who hate us for our freedoms, it is reassuring to know that your government remains ever-vigilant in protecting us against those who would do us harm. And speaking of those who would do us harm, I notice that you have outmaneuvered the opposition by placing new restrictions on their ability to run for office. Since the current opposition cannot even be bothered to vote on your proposed legislation, it was about time that someone stepped in and took them to task.

Not that I am suggesting that by having "stepped in" you have undermined the separation of powers in the country. On the contrary, it is clear that the constitutional amendments you have proposed are meant to reaffirm the independence of each branch of government: executive, legislative, and judicial. This may not be entirely necessary: after all, parliament has already done a pretty good job of restricting itself to its proper role of speaking out against gay scenes in movies, and the judiciary is doing its part in keeping the blogosphere in check. However, we know that a few pesky judges have sometimes overstepped their bounds, and so it may be important to send a message that it is not the job of the judiciary to monitor elections or try terrorist suspects.

While we're on the note of peskiness, I have to say that I was disappointed to hear people criticizing the fact that this historic referendum was announced only a week in advance. Apparently, certain luddites have not been listening to our American friends, who have rightly pointed out that in this age of internet communication, people should be able to make snap decisions about the most sweeping reforms to their constitution in over thirty-five years. Even those of us who are expatriated, while not having time to make arrangements to be present at this momentous occasion, do have time to write supportive letters like this one. And I am sure that as our aforementioned judiciary deals with our aforementioned bloggers, there will be even greater efficiency in communicating all the right information to the people.

Until this is achieved, I hope you will pay no mind to rude and unfounded accusations that all of these reforms are no more than a way for your son to one day assume the presidency unopposed. The truth, of course, is that your son would be at a clear disadvantage should he decide to legitimately seek office. Still, it must be particularly difficult for you to watch all the parents in your neighbourhood hand their sons the keys to the presidential and royal palaces, and then to be criticized for the mere appearance of wanting to give your son the same opportunity. Let me assure you, however, that by insisting that your son receive no special treatment, you will be setting a fine example for many of our country's parents. As you have led the country through over a quarter-century of ever-increasing prosperity and opportunity, you must be aware that parents are searching for the strength to tell their children "I don't care what the other parents are doing; you'll have to earn the keys to your palace." Your help in providing this strength is much appreciated.

In closing, let me simply say that it is my sincere wish that no one attempts to undermine or disrupt the transition to deeper and stronger democracy this Monday. I also hope that I will continue to have reason and opportunity to correspond with you and your family for many years to come.

A loyal expatriate

PS: There will be a rally in Washington DC on Monday in support of your constitutional reforms. I hope you will take the time to inform people about this and any other events held in solidarity with your regime.


nora younis said...

brilliant :-) but unfortunately, he doesn't read (eye sight problems) and not that fluent in English.. Try printing in Arabic giant letters - may be he does check mail :-)

noha said...

Oh, the Irony of it all... this is just the thing about it; so fake, and yet they still bother to pretend it's real. I mean, why bother with a referendum at all, why bother with elections, when this is what you do?

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