brian on 2003.02.17
at 10:36 pm
I guess I should too. Well, no, this wasn't really my motivation. Nevertheless, here are two links that I find useful when forming an opinion on the current situations the United States finds itself in.
On Nuclear, Biological and Chemical use by terrorists, before you panic, perhaps you should learn just a little about these forms of warfare. This is an excellent, quick summary of facts I've read elsewhere over the years (although I'm no hawk, I have been well read in military matters for many of my literate years).
On Preemptive attacks on Iraq, I've seen more compelling anti-war arguments, but this is a terribly interesting (entertainment, at least) list of "The 50 Most Ridiculous Things About the Upcoming War in Iraq."
If you're against the preemptive strike, you might want to check out the resources of MoveOn.org. MoveOn is a PAC, which I normally don't like one bit, but they've been doing some good work of late.
Posted in: Service Announcement
Rich said on 2004.10.28 at 12:41 am
Iraqi on Iraq
When I was a boy, I remember the persecution of the Kurds by Saddam. Some were my friends at school and when they stopped coming to school, I asked my father why. We must never speak of this, he said, looking ashamed and scared.
When I was a little older, they prepared us for the invasion of the infidels from the west. Saddam told us over and over that it would be the “mother of all battles” and we would be victorious. He never bothered to tell us that the reason they were attacking us was because he invaded Kuwait. The bombs fell and fell and many were killed. My uncle was killed in the first wave and my aunt and 5 cousins came to live with us. We were pretty well off back in those days and had a big home, plenty of room for everyone. People were scared, they didn’t have freedom, but they had a comfortable middle class life style. All that changed in 1991. As the bombs continued to fall, we waited for the “infidels” to invade Baghdad. Though we could not speak of it, we all longed for this, dreamt of these troops riding in on their big shiny tanks and taking Saddam away. But the bombs kept falling and the troops never came. I remember some of those “brave” Republican Guard troops returning to the city in the middle of the night, burning their uniforms and hiding in their family’s homes. After the bombs stopped falling, those men were never heard from again.
After the bombings stopped the rebuilding began. Those “smart bombs” blew up my school and 2 of my friend’s home. My best friend, Abu, was killed in the bombings. He was 14. In the years after the bombings things got worse and worse. I had to quit school to help my family, my dreams of being a teacher crushed under the carnage that was once my school. My mother got sick but with the sanctions in place there was little medicine and she died. One of my cousins who lived with us died the next year from a combination of illness and malnutrition. We sold and traded most of our belongings for food and whatever medicine we could find on the black market. We heard rumors of a food for oil program and figured that’s how Saddam maintained his palaces and expanded and armed his beloved military.
Time went by and the dreams of my youth seemed many life times away. We watched the towers of New York fall and some were happy for this. I had seen too much of death and violence and was sickened by the killing of innocents, but I could not blame those who found pleasure in seeing this. We had lost so much at the hands of America, the UN and Saddam.
We knew little of what was really going on with America’s retaliation for the 9-11 attacks, only what Saddam wanted us to hear. But with the son of Bush as President, some of us sensed that Iraq may be included in his plan. Then when he called us part of an evil axis our fears were confirmed and I felt the same anxiety I felt in the days leading up to the bombings of 1991. I feared for my wife and 3 children, my elderly father-for all my family, for that was all I had. My love of Allah and the love of my family, only this sustained me.
Then it began again. Those who had lived through it before numbed themselves, shut part of themselves down but those who had not, like my children, were terrified. It was the repeating of a nightmare: the shaking of the walls as the bombs exploded, sirens, anti-aircraft fire, screams and panic in the streets between waves of bombings, missing limbs, death, blood…..But this time they came. They came to Baghdad and Saddam ran and hid and they found him in a hole in the ground! Praise Allah! Our dreams of safety and security-a normal life-were just around the corner. It would be no time before the electricity was back on, water running, buildings rebuilt. These were Americans after all. If they could topple Saddam so quickly, they can do anything! For the first time in many a year I felt hope. But it soon became clear that the Americans were much better at making war than at making peace. They began to come to Baghdad-those who hated America and anyone who touched America. It wasn’t hard to recruit from within Baghdad. Young men with nothing much to do who considered America an invading force were easy to convince to fight.
Many of us still had faith in the Americans, but month after month, bombing after bombing, it began to fade away, and with it, our hope for the future, for our children, for Iraq. We see that President Bush does not control Iraq. We see the clean white men in nice clothes who profit from our misery. We see the American troops, many of whom are good men and treat us with respect, becoming frustrated. Many of them have made the ultimate sacrifice for us.
I follow closely the upcoming elections in America. Your Senator Kerry talks about a new plan for this war, for ending it and empowering the people of Iraq to take control of our destiny. We like this man and his ideas. We hope he is given a chance. Son of Bush has had much time to at least get us moving in positive direction, a direction that will someday see an end to the conflict. We remain in a perpetual cycle of bombings and blood and terror and death.
Yesterday, my brother and my niece went to the market to buy food. A suicide bomber blew himself up and my brother and niece were killed. She was 13 and I watched her grow up. I sit in here cleaning a gun I found a few months ago while scavenging. I hid it under the floor of my home thinking that I may one day trade it or sell it. Now I cradle it in my arms, as I did my niece when she was a baby, tears of rage and frustration streaming down my face. My wife consoles me. Family and Allah are all I have. Part of my family was taken from me, part of my hope. Now my hope lies in the American elections. I pray that the people of America give your Senator Kerry a chance. Bush had his and he, how do you say?-blew it up.
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