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America to Iraqi children - we love you to death

13 June 1999 - Satire from Marin County, Califormia

AN OPEN LETTER TO THE CHILDREN OF IRAQ from a peace activist (Buff Whitman-Bradley) in Marin County California:

I RECENTLY WROTE to California Senator Barbara Boxer and Marin Congresswoman Lynn Woolsey, pointing out, among other things, that thousands of Iraqi children die every month as a result of sanctions and bombings.

Both wrote very nice letters back to me, explaining why our government must continue to attack Iraq.

Now, I know that both of those women love kids, as do all members of Congress, our president, Secretary of State Madeleine Albright and everybody in the Pentagon. They'd never do anything to harm children unless it was absolutely necessary.

So I thought, "Gee, if we'd only explain to Iraqi children why we're doing what we're doing, it might make things a little easier for them." Since our government officials are always extremely busy, I decided to take it upon myself to write to the children of Iraq:


I want you to know that we've been very busy in America lately, hating Serbs and bombing Yugoslavia. But that doesn't mean we have forgotten about Iraq. We aren't that kind of country.

So, how's everything going? I hope you are going to school every day and keeping up with your studies. Some of you may live to be adults, and if you do, you will need your education to get good jobs. It's a dog-eat-dog world out there.

You may be wondering why it is that we need to keep you from getting the food and medicines you need to live a healthy, happy life. Believe me, it's nothing personal. Americans are very fond of children.

And it's not because so many of you are poor that we are treating you the way we are. Why, we have millions of poor children right here in our own country.

No, the reason we can't let you have enough food to eat and medicines to cure your sicknesses is that your leader is a very bad guy. We figure that if enough of you and your moms and dads and uncles and aunts and grandparents die, the ones who are left will kick that bully out.

And even if they don't get rid of him, soon there won't be much of Iraq left. It's actually kind of a neat way to fight a war, because we're not risking our own children's lives, just yours.

Believe me, we're as sorry as the next person when little children have to suffer and die, but it's not our fault. Saddam Hussein is making us bomb your country and withhold essential supplies.

He just won't do what we want him to, and somebody has to pay the price for defying the mightiest nation on Earth. In this case, that's you.

It may not seem fair to you, but, as millions of parents remind millions of children every day, nobody ever said life was fair.

Think of it this way: The 150 or so of you who are starving to death or dying of diarrhea every single day are helping to build a New World Order in which peace will prevail if only everyone will behave exactly as America says. It's an honor, really -- you are serving as role models for others all over the world.

So try to look at the big picture. And try to keep your spirits up. A positive attitude can help you through the toughest times.

The truth is, not all of you will die before age five. Some of you may not get cancer from depleted uranium residue. Some of you will grow up only slightly deformed or mildly retarded. A few of you may even grow up to be perfectly normal and healthy -- so don't use your tummy aches as an excuse to slack off from the books!

Enjoy the spring weather, the longer days, the buds on the trees, the slender shoots of grass poking up out of the ground, the birds singing their little hearts out.

And try to make the most of the time you have left. Have a great day!

Buff Whitman-Bradley
On behalf of the United States of America

This letter appeared in the last issue of Marin Peace News (which I edit/publish), as well as in the local daily, the Marin Independent Journal. Local peace activist Buff Whitman-Bradley is a kindergarten teacher, a member of the Iraq Task Force of the Social Justice Center of Marin, and co-coordinator of a weekly Marin vigil against bombing and sanctions in Iraq.

Sandy Shartzer
Marin Peace News

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