Monday, December 15, 2008

Do they know it's Christmas in Baghdad?

Spreading holiday cheer and good will in the Middle East one last time I see, George?

Iraqi journalist
Muntazer al-Zaidi made his opinion crystal clear by hurling his loafers at U.S. President George W. Bush in Baghdad on Sunday, along with shouting the choice phrase "This is a goodbye kiss from the Iraqi people, dog!" at the outgoing president.

Is this really all that surprising considering the wake of death and destruction "The Decider" has wrought? In addition to the needless deaths of our brave men and women in uniform, how many tens of thousands of Iraqi civilians have lost their lives during the glorious liberation of Iraq? Conservative estimates places that number at just short of 100,000. One hundred thousand people. Gone.

Surprised? How could we not be when it's never even mentioned by the press in this country. Shocked? Yes,
but even more so that all those lost lives were not even brought up during our recently ended presidential campaign. With all the talk of ending this horrible mistake of a war, neither candidate talked about this incomprehensible loss of innocent men, women and children. Saddened? We all should be.

Take a moment out of the parties and the presents over the coming weeks to think of Iraq's children this Christmas. How are they really different than mine...or yours? Are their lives worth any less? Is it because they speak a language we don't understand? Maybe it's because they live half way around the world and don't go to school with our kids? Or is it because they don't pray to your god?

Whatever the reason, imagine the pain the of losing your
child for just a moment. Losing them not to an accident, or some horrible twist of fate bringing a grave illness to your door...but losing them to war. Imagine the anger, the agony and the unbelievable anger of a war that you didn't ask for, don't support and want no more of. This man threw shoes (a great insult in the Islamic world) at the source, at the very heart of that war. Shoes. Our president has thrown so much worse at his country and at his people.

Have you thought about losing your kids yet? Dwell in
that thought for just a few more seconds...the mere notion of it is unbearable, isn't it? It's not just a thought in Baghdad.

In Iraq this holiday season, your scant few seconds of sad thought are replaced by thousands of families struggling with years of agony.

Cherish your children this Christmas and every one hereafter.

But cherish theirs too.

"We don't do body counts."
-General Tommy Franks


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