WAR: Will someone focus on the real victims?


Everyone is talking about Iraq these days.  Not knowing much beyond the fact that Saddam was evil and that he must die, I did some research on the internet.  I found out some startling facts that made me realize how economic sanctions affected the Iraqis. Part of me  was horrified and yet another part curiously marveled at the sheer genius of this modern day war tactic. It has been used so effectively that it merits a new edition of Sun Tzu's Art of War.  Not one friendly life was endangered yet one million enemies died. As a simple thought exercise, I put myself in the position of one of these fearsome enemies who were killed during the past decade.

It is a bright summer morning and the searing heat is unbearable. I am three feet tall and five years old. I can barely walk. Since the first week of my existence, I have always been naked and hungry. I remember a frail woman putting my mouth to her breast, but there was never any milk to feed on. She tried to rock me to sleep when I cried. There were no beds and I kept suckling on the sweaty piece of cloth hanging off her dress till I went to sleep. The doctor fed me and other babies with tea and sugar. There is no milk anywhere. Because of the sugar, we bloated up, our bones became brittle and the doctors called us sugar babies. The next week of my existence was pretty much the same as week one. I cried so much that I could no longer make any sound.

I really don't know how I have managed to live so long. My stomach is so big now that I can hardly see anything past it. My doctor has stopped visiting me as he is making more money selling cigarettes on the street. There is a constant buzz of flies all round me. I hear my mother wail. I think my little brother Wasim just died of starvation. My dad is not strong enough to bury him. I wonder what will happen to him. Wasim's friend died of Cholera last week. I heard my dad tell someone that Cholera was unheard of before the war. There are some people sitting far away who decide what I need and what I don't. They decided that I don't need chlorine. My dad thinks we need chlorine to treat the water. If there was chlorine, so many would not have died of cholera. Other common diseases that kill us children are diarrhea, typhoid, pneumonia, and whooping cough. I was told that there was a time when all these were very rare.  I wondered who these people are that made these decisions. I want to talk to them.

One million kids like me have died so far. I wonder when I will die. I look at my mother for comfort. Her hands are bony but loving and I see her staring into some place a million miles away. From her steady breathing I know that she is still alive. People say that all this suffering is because of an evil man who refuses to obey those people that make these decisions. We are also denied pencils, chalks, books and toys. So most of the kids do not know how to count, read or write. I wonder how long could this evil man stay alive. After all he is also starving isn't he? But he must be so strong as a million of us have died and he is still alive.

Once in a while a few people come and take my pictures. Salim, the baby next to me is skinnier so his pictures get taken a lot more. I am sure that if someone looks at our pictures, they will provide us with more food in exchange for the oil they take from us. Once my father said that there were some people who played some really cruel jokes on us. They gave us food, but took away our trucks so that the food could not be distributed. Why do they do that? Other people who tried to give us kids toys and medicines were punished by their governments. I hear a commotion outside. I have to go. I think it is the food packets. If I am lucky enough to get one, I might live for one more day.  

Endnote:
Most of the information stated above was obtained from the internet. The following site was particularly useful:

http://www.zmag.org/edwinthalliday.htm


So what needs to be done? Go in take that guy out as soon as possible and throw some food to those kids!