A Letter: Part Four

When I relaunched The Magical Buffet website, I opened up with my letter to then President George W. Bush, Senator John McCain, then Senator Hillary Clinton, Senator Chuck Schumer and then Senator Barack Obama with regards to the situation in Zimbabwe. Despite great appreciation from friends of The Magical Buffet, I received no response, from any of them. A pox on all their houses!

Being the spunky, or some could say annoying, gal that I am, I decided the perfect welcome to the new job gift for now President Barack Obama and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton would be shiny new letters, about how they ignored me even while courting my vote. I went Kucinich, but there was no way they could have known that then. Based on the responses I received he’ll be getting my vote again next Democratic primary because he’s a man who at least knows how to send a form letter, thank you very much. And you know he’ll run, because that’s what he does. That, and have you SEEN his wife?! Holy hot potential first lady Batman! I mean Michelle Obama is beautiful, but Elizabeth Kucinich is beautiful, with a British accent, and a tongue piercing. A TONGUE PIERCING! Wow, where was I? Oh yeah, so I sent our shiny new change bringing President and our feisty new Secretary of State letters that were quite good, if I do say so myself.

To that I received nothing from Secretary Clinton’s office, and I got a wonderful form postcard from the Obama administration. I mean, not even a letter in an envelope, a post card, sent bulk mail I suspect. Seriously? I’ll admit it, I’ve been feeling daunted since then.

Of course since then the situation in Zimbabwe hasn’t necessarily gotten worse, but it sure as heck has gotten more confusing. A few weeks ago the MDC pulled out of the unity government, apparently they had some hang ups about political prisoners not getting released as promised and wide spread violence against MDC supporters. (I believe the personalities over at Fox News would calls those types hippies.) Now, like an abused spouse the MDC has returned giving their violent spouse President Mugabe 15 days to get with Prime Minister Tsvangirai and outline all the deal breaking issues and then that no good Mugabe has 30 days to clean up his act or else the MDC is out the door and presumably moving in with mother. Seriously, it is strange and dangerous days in Zimbabwe, our kinsmen are still in peril. So I’ve decided to find the un for my daunted, get my butt off the couch (despite there still being new episodes of “Castle” in my DVR) and do something.

Obviously, I’ve essentially tapped out the fun of poking my elected officials. I’m not saying I’m done with them, but I needed something suitably large and bizarre to bring a smile to my face.

I considered a letter of support to the Movement for Democratic Change, complete with my husband taking a picture of the postal employee as I asked for postage to Zimbabwe. I also considered a letter to the President of Botswana. Something to the effect of, you guys seem to be a reasonable sort, can’t you do anything? Again, that had the appeal of the confused postal employee when I went to get postage, but then I had a truly inspired idea.

United Nation’s Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon.

And when I discovered how hard it is to get an actually letter in the mail to him (just try and find me a mailing address on that U.N. website!) I loved it more. I smile thinking of his Communications Director going, someone, from someplace that isn’t New York City in the state of New York has written a letter to Secretary-General Ban about Zimbabwe?! This has some seriously fun potential. Obviously, I’ve been to this party before, so I’m not actually expecting a response. However I do feel confident that someone over in his office is going to certainly be perplexed. I can feel the Nobel Peace Prize in my grasp.


Dear Secretary-General Ban,

I’m not going to insult your intelligence, or waste your time needlessly. Let me get right to the point, Zimbabwe is in trouble. It’s been in trouble for a very long time now, but you know that, don’t you? I mean, everyone knows that, and you’re the Secretary-General of the United Nations, so you know better than me. Especially after Manfred Nowak, the Special Rapporteur on torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment, was not allowed admittance into the country at the end of October. So, no long explanations as to why I’m concerned, no acting like we’re not on the same page. Of course we’re on the same page. Anyone that is even remotely paying attention to the situation in Zimbabwe is on this page with us.

In July 2008 I wrote a letter that I sent to President George W. Bush, Senator John McCain, then Senator Hillary Clinton, Senator Chuck Schumer and then Senator Barack Obama expressing my concerns and arguing that the United States of America, more than any other country, had an obligation to attempt to help facilitate change. Despite it being an election year, a time when more than ever American politicians endeavor to engage and interact with the American people, I did not receive any response. Not one.

When Senator Hillary Clinton became Secretary Clinton for the U.S. State Department. I wrote her a letter expressing my concerns and told her how I was looking forward to seeing how a fresh administration, one built on diplomacy, would approach the situation. Again, I received no response.

I also wrote what I felt was a compelling letter to now President Barack Obama immediately upon him taking office. Again, concerns were expressed and impassioned pleas were made. I received a response in the form of a post card that did not clearly indicate if anyone within the Obama administration had actually read my letter.

That journey is what brings this letter to your office. I had hoped that America would take note of the situation in Zimbabwe and at least acknowledge that someone in the country cared. I do not feel that has occurred. So now I turn to you, the Secretary-General of the United Nations, a leader of the international community. Do you think there is anything to be done to help Zimbabwe? Can you at least take note that there is someone in the United States who is concerned with what is happening in the country?

Thank you for your time. I look forward to hearing your thoughts on the situation.

Rebecca Elson

Attachments: 2008 letter, 2009 letter to Secretary Clinton, 2009 letter to President Obama

Stay tuned for any responses or other zany ideas!