This Can’t Happen HereApril 19th, 2016

Dear Survivor

On this saddest day ever, all of us might profitably reflect on the events of yesterday. The destruction of your nation’s capital, with the loss of so many innocent lives, was undertaken to preserve humanity. Your leaders, with the approval of your communications media and a substantial minority of your people, had taken the world to the brink of catastrophe and had to be stopped.

As you know, the attack was initiated by no government, no nation, no political entity of any kind, but by an assembly of individuals from every corner of the planet. We met in secret. We pooled resources. We debated. We purchased the means of destruction, and we caused them to be placed strategically where they would do the greatest damage to the seat of your government. Retribution may be possible if the members of our diverse assembly are detected and apprehended, but there can be no retaliation.

This was not a punishment but a deterrent. The damage caused by your nation’s rampage is incalculable, and all signs pointed to an acceleration in the near future. As you must know, your government is responsible for armed conflicts throughout the world. Your communications media are controlled by commercial interests whose investment in warfare is universal. Your armed forces are deployed to be visible to your carefully selected nuclear-armed adversaries in Asia and Europe. You claim reverence and piety even as your government vaporizes dark-skinned children in faraway places with missiles launched from unmanned aircraft. Your leaders have repeatedly used and threatened to use armed force to advance your commercial and political ends, and the current assembly of candidates for national office announces a continuation of this policy. We believe that the destruction of key areas of your capital city and its richest suburbs has the potential to reverse the process of disintegration you seemed to have chosen.

The extent of collateral damage (a term your leaders invented) was great, and it is regrettable that so many innocent lives had to be lost. It is always the case that justice inflicts pain on the innocent along with the guilty. In the case of your nation’s capital, the culpability was so clear and so widespread that mankind can take satisaction in the toll taken on the guilty and be content with an apology to the innocent.

So sorry.