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Dear Mr. President,

In the immediate aftermath of the world's most horrifying natural disaster, you could have shown the world--especially the Muslims of Southeast Asia--America's generosity and compassion.

But you wasted that opportunity, just as you've squandered goodwill toward this country since September 11.

You couldn't be bothered to cut your vacation short, as Germany's Chancellor Schroeder did, to provide leadership in this crisis. You didn't make a public statement about this epic tragedy until three days after it happened. And you pledged an embarrassingly paltry amount for aid, and then after global outcry increased that amount only a smidgen more.

More than 100,000 people dead, and you decided to stay in Crawford and clear brush, or whatever it is you do down there during the 40% of your presidency that you spend on vacation.

How much more of a leader you would have been if you had returned to Washington, offered your condolences publicly, and offered anything you could have given to help. How much closer our country would be to winning your "War on Terror" if you had sent our troops to the affected countries to bury the dead, feed and clothe the devastated survivors, rebuild their houses, and inoculate them against preventable diseases like malaria and chicken pox that threaten to kill thousands more.

Instead, your inaction will once again help terrorist groups recruit followers who hate us.

You should be ashamed at your behavior. I know I am.

Sincerely,

Amy Carlton
Chicago

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