dachau gateThe things that Iraqi children’s physician Dr. Maryam had to say to us all here at FDL last night have stuck in my head all day, to the point that for me to write about anything else tonight would probably be fruitless. Pach touched on the discussion earlier today, but there were some things that I would like to add to the mix.

It was sort of heartbreaking to watch our earnest, sincere readers come rushing into the fray insisting that they’re (we’re) nice Americans who want to stop the war, but to a woman like Maryam, who has been dealing with the consequences of American imperialism since the first round of American bombings in 1991, there are no nice Americans. Democrats or Republicans, we are all complicit in what has amounted to genocide.

Maryam:

As I am an Iraki and as my job is to treat children maimed and deformed by the weapons your country uses and then prevented me from getting the medicines used to treat those cancers you will forgive me if I tell you that you too are telling lies to yourself. What we know is that when it comes murdering Iraki civilians that there is no difference between the cynical and corrupt party called the Democrats and the cynical and corrupt party called the Republicans. Both are infected with the belief that America has the right to behave as it wishes especially when the people being killed are not white.

For more on the children “maimed and deformed” by U.S. depleted uranium weapons, go here.

The American media have shielded us from the truth about the awful consequences of our repeated campaigns of aggression against Iraq, but the information is out there. But we in America have been busy, you know, going to work, getting groceries, dropping our kids off at summer camp, shopping for something to make for dinner.

We tell ourselves that we’re doing all we can about the War in Iraq, and yet, clearly we haven’t done enough because it’s still going on. In truth, we’re all sitting at our computers massaging our collective feelings of mild guilt and anxiety while on the other side of the planet, a bunch of people just like us have been bombed out of their homes and their entire society has been reduced to chaos and carnage.

I suppose if we’d thought about it harder at the outset, we would have seen the fact that the president’s Great War on Terror in, in truth, a War on Civilians. The kind of death, lawlessness, and suffering we are seeing in Iraq and Afghanistan is the inevitable result of what happens when you send an army out to fight civilians.

By definition, terrorists are civilians.  No matter how organized and well-armed they may or may not be, they are not members of an army. Armies were only made to fight other armies. Sending the military out to fight whole nations of civilian militias is a recipe for failure and catastrophe. There is no honor for a soldier to kill civilians, only ignominy and disgrace, which is where we are now in Iraq.

Our legacy in Iraq can probably be summed up most clearly by Dr. Maryam’s 16-year-old nephew, who has lost his father, brother, and several members of his extended family in this conflict:

O God! Pardon our living and our dead, the present and the absent, the young and the old, the males and the females.

I am a Muslim I am Iraki.

what america does to irakis especially to our children

Do not come to me talking of your feelings. Do not come to me asking for forgiveness. Who do you think you are?

I will not ever forgive or forget what your country has done to us. I will not ever forget or forgive what your country has done my family, my city, my country, my people.

Never.

My grandchildren’s, grandchildren, will teach their grandchildren to hate America for what she has done to us. Never ever ever will I, or they, forget or forgive what your barbaric country has done to us.

Never.

Congratulations, America. This is what our apathy and ineffectiveness have bought us in this smashing little war. Way to win those hearts and minds.

We’re all a part of this. We have not done enough. We have not spoken out when we should have. We have taken the easy way and as a result, we are all complicit to war crimes. For every day that we hem and haw and our elected representatives play tiddly-winks with each other in Congress, more and more and more people die. More children are orphaned. More mothers watch their children suffer and die for lack of food, medicine, and clean water.

I want to thank Siun for bringing Maryam to us so that we might experience some unvarnished, un-spun truth about the Iraq War. It has not been easy to hear, but it is something that we must know going forward. The blood of the Iraqi people is on our hands. So what are we going to do about it?