Thoughts for the victims

  1. Amid the joy, thoughts for the victims
    April 11 2003
    By Julie Szego
    Social Affairs Reporter

    Haider Aljuboory thought of his father as he watched Saddam's Hussein's statue crumble.

    The old man, a Shiite Muslim from Basra, remembers when he hurled a shoe at the TV when Saddam appeared.

    Yesterday, as Mr Aljuboory watched Iraqis beat their shoes on Saddam's image in the ultimate Arab gesture of disrespect, he thought of how elated his father would have been.

    Mr Aljuboory's father was executed in the mid-1980s by the regime.

    "They didn't even give us his body. We weren't even allowed to have a funeral," Mr Aljuboory said yesterday. "There were thousands of Iraqis like him, who were waiting for this moment, but who died before it happened.

    I came across this article and realized that many could not celebrate yesterday. I will remember these people and the coalition forces that have been lost.
  2. 3 Comments

  3. by   jnette
    Very True, Mkue.

  4. by   pickledpepperRN
    Thank you.
    It seems very appropriate to have mixed feelings now.
  5. by   pickledpepperRN
    Our Mission

    Peaceful Tomorrows is an advocacy organization founded by family members of
    September Eleventh victims. Its mission is to seek effective nonviolent responses to
    terrorism, and identify a commonality with all people similarly affected by violence
    throughout the world. By conscientiously exploring peaceful options in our search for
    justice, we choose to spare additional innocent families the suffering that we have
    already experienced--as well as to break the endless cycle of violence and retaliation
    engendered by war.

    Hi, my name is Andrea LeBlanc. I am happy to be here with you.

    Martin Luther King said, "Our lives begin to end the day we become silent
    about things that matter."

    Twice recently, I have listened while someone implored me to go beyond the
    boundaries of my comfort. So here I am...standing at the edges. I realized that
    one of the most frightening things to me about what has been happening in
    this country is apathy, my own included, ...or maybe it isn't apathy so much as
    just a disbelief that this looming war will affect us personally in any serious
    way...or maybe it is an unwillingness to think about the people it will affect


    Bob taught Cultural Geography at UNH for 35 yrs.

    He spent his life pursuing a better understanding of people and the reasons
    they lived where they lived, spoke the languages they spoke, ate what they
    ate, believed what they believed.

    He was insatiably curious and open.

    He delighted in the variousness of human cultures.

    He was respectful and did not condemn...but rather tried to understand.

    He was forever eager to see the places where people live, listen to the
    stories, walk in the markets, taste the food, hear the music, stand in the holy
    places to better know his fellow human beings.

    Bob celebrated the wondrous diversity he found in the world...and he shared
    this wonder and excitement with his students and friends and family.

    He believed that meeting people on their own ground with a willingness to try
    to know and understand the problems they struggle with and the joys they
    celebrate makes our common humanity more obvious and undeniable.

    I am telling you all this because I think the realities of who the Iraqi people
    are...their faces, their lives...has gotten overlooked, missed somehow in all the
    rhetoric about saving Iraq from Saddam Hussein and for democracy, which I
    suspect isn't the real motivation for this war in any case.

    Mother Teresa said, "If we have no peace it is because we have forgotten that
    we belong to each other."

    On Sept. 11 I thought about what the mothers of those boys, the hijackers,
    must be feeling.

    I know the media said they were proud their sons died martyrs.

    But somehow I think that the hearts of those women must have been torn and

    Those mothers must be suffering we still are.

    I thought too about what it must be like to be Osama bin Laden, to live with
    that much hate in your heart. Or to be Saddam Hussein....or George Bush, for
    that matter. There must be pain there too.

    There are many things that I don't even begin to understand.

    I don't understand revenge.

    I don't understand the arrogance of our government.

    I don't understand the silence of our Senators and Congressmen (most of
    them, anyway).

    I don't understand the kind of hunger for power our leaders seem to have.

    I don't understand why the media gives so little attention to the cries for
    peace in this country.

    I don't understand the reasons we, who live in the wealthiest nation on earth,
    don't use our resources and expertise to insure that the disposessed in
    developing nations...and in the US...have clean water, food, medicine,
    education,the means to support themselves with dignity.

    Surely this is less expensive than bombs.

    Abraham Lincoln said, "The best way to destroy your enemy is to make him a
    friend." In my attempts to understand these things, words come to mind like
    fear, ignorance, indifference, greed...and I wonder if they have something to
    do with what is happening.

    There are a few things I do understand and know to be true, however.

    I know that when people are oppressed and desperate they do desperate

    I know that when people feel they are not heard and have no choices and no
    way out of their suffering they are easily persuaded to violence.

    I know that it is easier to fear and hate someone if you see them as "other"
    ...or if you don't see them at all.

    I know that it is easier to be for a war if you don't think about the people
    whose lives will be destroyed.

    I know that violence begets violence.

    I know this war in wrong.


    I Support Our Troops

    I support our troops. The men and women of the military have dedicated
    themselves to service to our country. The have agreed to leave their families,
    put their lives at risk, and even to kill, without questioning their orders, so that
    we may be safe. I pray for their safety every day.

    That they have made this serious and deep commitment to us, puts a profound
    moral obligation on the rest of us. We must not accept their commitment
    lightly. In accepting their commitment to follow the orders and directions of
    their country without question or debate, we must also accept the
    responsibility to question and debate the orders, policies, and objectives that
    put them in harm's way. They have given us their lives.

    I take this commitment very seriously. That is why when, after long thought
    and much debate, I can not agree with policies and decisions that commit our
    troops to combat, I can not keep silent. If the risks or consequences of our
    government's decisions were inconsequential, or were proportionally very low
    compared to the benefits, then to speak out loudly against them would be bad
    form, at best. But I don't believe that to be the case.

    Deep in my heart, I feel the actions of our government to be wrong. Those
    actions are asking our men and women to potentially give their lives, and
    asking them to kill other people. How can I not speak out?

    I have never been in the military. No one in my family is in the military. But if
    anything, that increases my responsibility to speak out. How can I ask other
    families to risk loss in my name? I understand the loss that families in this
    country and others will suffer, are suffering already. I LOST MY STEP SON ON
    9/11; a bright, energetic young man who lived with me since he was 5 years
    old. He was a victim in someone else's misguided decision to use violence to
    further their goals.

    I support our troops. How can I not speak out?

    John Leinung
    Brooklyn, NY
    "The past is prophetic in that it asserts that wars are poor chisels for carving out peaceful tomorrows. One day we must come to see that peace is not merely a distant goal that we seek, but a means by which we arrive at that goal. We must pursue peaceful ends through peaceful means. How much longer must we play at deadly war games before we heed the plaintive pleas of the unnumbered dead and maimed of past wars?"
    -Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr.
    Last edit by pickledpepperRN on Apr 13, '03