Left Justified: What kids in Baghdad think

I don’t believe everything I see on the Internet, but this had the ring of truth. I send it to you as I am on my way to another Veterans for Peace Conference, where we are welcoming the arrival of new Iraq veterans who are against the war. (In fact, this is from their web site: www.ivaw.org.).

Apparently, this was found on an Iraqi girl’s MySpace. Says she’s 19 and lives in Baghdad:

“Hey what's up? I was born in Baghdad and I witnessed every war that my country has been through and I have collected a few notes about the U.S. soldiers behavior and how they treat my people based on what I've SEEN in my neighborhood. Hopefully these notes will help make a difference:

“First of all, I’ve met some nice soldiers since 2003 but there are others that are not so nice, so this is a message for them which I hope won’t give u any bad feeling.

“So let’s start at searching houses: I wish u show more respect to the families that live peacefully in their houses when u'r breaking in. U need lessons to learn to distinguish between good and bad people since u miss the bad gangs sometimes and disrespect the good.

“Make sure not to scare women and children. Why do you leave the house in such a big mess, like an earth quake just happened! That’s not what a friend would do (since u’r our friends that u came to help us as u always say).

“And……. I wish u were nicer and caused no damage to any house of the civilians u’r searching without making it up to them unless u were very sure that the house is of terrorists, in that case, u can even bomb it if u liked to and we’ll be very thankful!

“In the street: plz. Look where u’r shooting before u press ur finger. Many innocent people get killed bc of ur mistakes. It’s not only Iraqi people are getting killed, actually it’s more than that, bc when u don’t do good enough while u’r here and hurt innocent people, u’r turning them into angry people and will give them a reason to fight u! And thus there will be victims from both sides which is really sad and I’m sure u wouldn’t like it.

“U needn’t hit a car for not clearing the way for u. What u’r doing is not more important than the Iraqi people living in their country. Remember, u’r here to help not to hurt.

“To those that drive tanks, make no jokes with the other cars when driving! Bc it scares to death! I’ve been through a situation when I said ‘OMG, it’s the end’ so I think it’s no fun at all, stay away from cars and when u want to run them over, make sure they are empty, it just makes me sick to know that there are families that died inside their cars when a tank ran them over!

“Don’t blame us for not being able to tell u about where the terrorists hide bc they can find us and kill us.

“And finally, if u hate Iraq and its people, then don’t bother to come here, no one invited u.”

Stanley Campbell is executive director of Rockford Urban Ministries and spokesman for Rockford Peace & Justice.

from the Aug. 22-28, 2007, issue

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