Dear Mr. President, dear Secretary Clinton, dear people in the American Congress, dear Ambassador Hartog-Levin,
We will keep this short.
We, the Dutch people, have no wish to continue being involved in your military adventure in Afghanistan and/or Pakistan and/or Iran.
It’s not because we may not like you, because most of us actually do like the U.S. and the American people. We wear American clothes styles, read American novels, listen to music by American musicians and eat American food. Some of us even like American cars.
It’s not because we are afraid to fight. We like fighting, and killing people, esp. when it is called a ‘police action’. You should check out our history in Indonesia; we kicked some real butt there, if you pardon the expression.
It’s not because we are unaware of the potential riches of the Afghan soil. We like lithium as much as the next person. And we would like the right to mine it. Doesn’t everybody?
It’s also not in the least bit because we don’t understand the unwritten rules of the give-and-take of international diplomacy. We want our former politicians to have cushioned jobs high up at Nato or the UN. We really appreciate it if you could come up with a well paid position for our Maxime Verhagen. He deserves some time away from home, as a special U.N. envoy to Tunesia, say.
And, to make matters worse, it’s not that we do not want to allow you to bow out gracefully out of Kabul. You can apply your exit strategy any time you want. We have no desire for a replay of that Last Heli Out Of Saigon thing.
It is, Dear Mr. President, Madame Secretary and Madame Ambassador, for another reason.
In a Dutchism: we have returned back to normal. We have gotten back in touch with reality. And reality dictates us to stop believing in this Afghan dreamscape you have built for yourselves.
You may believe that physically oppressing the Afghan people will lower the chances of them becoming terrorists, or taking up arms against their oppressors, at some later point in time. We, however, do not share this opinion anymore. And there is something else. We have been involved in Afghanistan for nine years. Meanwhile, we have sort of become attached to these people, and their medieval ways, their beards, and their mud based houses. Therefore, we are sorry to inform you we are not going to join you in another mission.
Maybe you can call up our Queen to give her this message? She seems to be a bit out of touch with us lately. And, by the way, she is not going to leave office until 2013. She wants her Amsterdam Royal Palace on Dam Square to be fixed up properly, and the biggest mess around the corners – where Amsterdam engineers (no pun intended) are building two subway stations – to be cleared up, too.
Well, we certainly hope there will be no hard feelings between us.
Warmest regards, also to the First Lady, the First Girls and the First Dog,
The overall majority of the Dutch people