Sunday, April 18, 2004

Dear Faiza,

Your post tonight was especially moving. About young men, the ‘age of the
Roses’, seeing your beautiful son, imagining others his age going off to
fight. The parents, the people in power – you wrote it well. It made me

Your writing is so beautiful and poetic in English, I imagine you must be
even more wonderful to read in Arabic! I wish I had time right now to learn
with you, I am glad you are doing lessons. I am working full time and going
to Nursing school full time and these letters that I write to you (thank you
for the encouragement) come from the little extra time I have.

I have read Raed’s post of tonight too. He is so angry! I understand his
anger. But what does he expect us/we/me American people to do???? I
honestly don’t know.

As I’ve mentioned we are a country divided in half. My half is protesting
the war, writing to leaders, complaining, doing what we can to support
ANYONE BUT BUSH to be the next President and so on. The other half—the
parrots---or sheep---—will not change. They will let their sons and
daughters die, I am sad to say.

And no matter what, Bush and his people have the money and power to do what
they want.

If we couldn’t stop him from stealing OUR country in an election....if we
haven’t been able to stop him from taking away OUR rights using the excuse
of 9/ can we stop things in Iraq or Israel?

I think Bush and his people would like more terrorist attacks to happen on
Americans. Then they would have more excuses to take away more of our

I feel so bad, so frustrated. I really think our two countries, and the
Middle Eastern region are being forced into a bigger war by all this
behavior. I read Jo Wilder’s post and I was horrified that American (or
Allied?) soldiers were sniping at unarmed people, at ambulances.

I work on an ambulance. I can identify with her story – but the bloody
people that I pick up have crashed bicycles or fallen off of a horse or been
run over --- not shot at by snipers. When we rush our patients to the
Medical Center we have to contend with traffic, and maybe hysterical
relatives of the patient. But we can focus on trying to help the patient
without being shot at. This is so very very wrong, it is like the world is
upside down.

All groups of people have evil ones among them. I know that the stress of
fighting and killing for months on end can make for bad behavior. But the
Iraqi people have been through much much more than any of the military
forces that have come there. How can these soldiers be so terrible to the
people of the country that they are supposed to be helping?

We had a young man who grew up on our Island serve in Iraq. He came here in
January and we celebrated—just as people do everywhere—that he came home
alive. (He was involved in moving supplies, but still there is always
danger everywhere). He is still in the army, but stationed in Germany now.

I think of this young man, who I have known for many years. He was a shy,
gentle boy. Kind to everyone. His grandmother died while he was in Iraq and
he mourned her when he was here. He cried and carried flowers. I can’t
imagine such a young man as this one shooting unarmed civilians. Shooting
out the tires of an ambulance. I am not saying that I don’t believe that it
happened. I am just trying to imagine the difference, what kind of people
are doing such things???? I don’t think I have ever met such evil people.

One of my great hopes for the future is that unlike all the past wars we now
have the Internet, where we—the actual people of the countries can talk to
each other as individuals. Become friends, share lives and exchange stories.
Tell one another what is really happening, what our perspectives are, what
our lives really are like every day. As you and I do. But right now, I
truly don’t know what else to do. If you know, please tell me.

I know that they (Bush etc.) will not just pull the troops out of Iraq. And
you are right that Kerry would put the U.N. Troops there –and you say that
would be just as bad. Yet, he has to say that. If any leader said they would
just leave, the media, the other government people would destroy them,
calling them irresponsible.

I know the justification for this. And I thought it made sense, that it was
right. Now I don’t know. Because you say that it is better for them not to
be there. That you want them to leave. And I agree, if they are unwelcome
they should leave.

The justification for staying is that ‘we went in and broke your country, by
destroying Saddam’s regime’. So we must fix it, clean up the mess we made,
make sure everything is in working order before we leave. That makes sense.
To leave beforehand, would be bad. Wrong. To go in a country and take away
the government and leave the people with nothing---there would be chaos,
confusion, lack of food, electricity, jobs, basic services. To leave before
those duties are done would be irresponsible.

But I see the problem.....We’ve been there over a year now and we haven’t
begun to fix our mess? It’s only worse! It’s not getting better! What on
earth have all those Military people been doing over there for the past
Bush dressed up like a soldier and stood on a aircraft carrier last May and
said that the war was over. So since then they should have been repairing
and fixing the country, as promised.

They say the ‘electronic grid’ is so old and in disrepair it’s taking longer
to fix it. I REMEMBER them saying that before the war started. So they knew
that going in, they should have brought the people and equipment to do it
correctly, right away. The same is true for the other things. They knew
there would be soldiers without jobs.
They knew there would be problems with non-Iraqi Arabs coming over the
border to start trouble.

I knew these things while sitting on my tiny isolated Island in the middle
of a big lake in the middle of a big country. There is no excuse for this
incompetence. No reason for it to be taking so long.

Over the past month it almost seems like Kimmet and his people have gone out
of their way to upset and anger the people of Iraq. Why?
The only thing that makes any sense to me is this:
W. Bush started having lots of trouble at home, suddenly his people in Iraq
were ‘fanning flames’ trying to create a firestorm of difficulties. So that
those things would be on the News instead of the revelations of Bush’s lies.
The one thing I have learned is to always think the worst of W. Bush and
his people and you will always be right.

Faiza, I can only try and understand how horrible this all is for you, your
family, the people of your country. I wish it wasn’t happening. I don’t
know how to stop it, only to pray. Thank you for keeping your heart open so
that I, and so many others can learn from you. I think that maybe you,
Faiza, are teaching hearts and minds around the world! I am proud to know
you, to share with you, to call you friend.

Love and warmest wishes,
:) Pam

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