Wednesday, April 19, 2006

Death in Iraq - A Personal Perspective

It's ironic that just yesterday I was thinking about the nameless Iraqi victims of the illegal Iraq war after I'd read an article about the disputed numbers of casualties, only to find a poignant, painful blog post today by an Iraqi who just lost a family member.

Last week our little and peaceful family was struck by the tragic loss of one of its members in a savage criminal act of assassination. The member we lost was my sister's husband who lived with their two little children in our house.
He was a brilliant young doctor with a whole future awaiting him, the couple were the top graduates in their branch of specialty. They had to travel abroad to get their degrees and the war started while they were there but months after Saddam fallen they decided to come back to help rebuild the country and serve their people.
We welcomed them with all love and care, we would sit and talk everyday about our hopes and dreams for a better future for the new generation and for their two little children. We realized that time is needed before they could have a secure and prosperous life and we were satisfied with the little we could make because we believed in the future.

He was not affiliated with any political party or movement and spent all his time working at the hospital or studying at home and he was dreaming of building a medical center for his specialty to serve the poor who cannot afford going to expensive private clinics.
We didn't know or anticipate that cruel times were waiting for a chance to assassinate the dream and kill the future.

We must never forget that behind every news report that tells us that "30 people were killed today" or that "100 Iraqis were injured" - there are friends and family members of those victims who mourn quietly and alone. They are faceless and nameless.

Who can forget the stunning controversy that hit the media when Nightline decided to show the pictures and names of 721 US casualties on its television show - as if the dead would somehow be maligned by a very public memorial? Or the embarrassment felt by the Bush administration (if they are capable of feeling such an emotion) over the release of photos of dead soldiers' coffins being returned to the US - a public display that the White House has banned. It was a shameful discussion that revealed how uncomfortable some people are when they are faced head on with the realities of war: people die, every day. And, when your country sends its citizens to war, denying their existence upon their death does not absolve anyone of the responsibility for placing them there in the first place.

Consider that, depending on whose numbers you rely on, anywhere from 30,000 to over 100,000 Iraqis have perished since this war started. Can you imagine the furor that would arise if someone in the media decided to publish their names and faces?

Take time to think about those numbers. And, take time to mourn each one of them in solidarity with their loved ones.

They are too quickly forgotten.

I hope....that mankind will at length, as they call themselves responsible creatures, have the reason and sense enough to settle their differences without cutting throats...
~Benjamin Franklin


I had contacted ITM privately to ask if they wanted me to remove my post and also to ask that they remove my trackback and comments from their site because they have elicited so many visitors here who, I feel, have missed the point of my post: to provide support for the family and friends.

I have received a simple response from Omar about my trackback and comments: "Deleted". He did not ask me to remove my original post.

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