A Boy in Baghdad
Dear Pres. Obama:
My name is Youssef and I am 15 years old. I was only 4 years old when US troops bombed and invaded Baghdad. Yet, I still remember that awful night and I still miss my father very much. My father, Brachich Obama Hussein, like most of the Muslim men in and around our city, was whisked away by US troops and never seen or heard from since — never. Despite my Dreams From My Father, I can only pray to Allah that he still is alive and doing well wherever he may be. I wrote this letter, Mr. President, because I hope you will grant my one wish, which is to have my father come back home to be with his family. My mother cries and worries every day about where he is and why your troops took him from us. My father is a good man who ran a newsstand and an adjacent produce market to provide a decent living for his five children. He is neither a terrorist nor a member of Al Qaeda. Although his business was not destroyed by the US bombing attack, it was destroyed by US troops several days after my dad vanished into thin air. Despite the carnage, the International Red Cross was forced to leave Iraq the week after Pres. George Bush declared that Operation Iraqi Freedom had been a huge success. Now, we have no money for food or any of the other things we so desperately need. Virtually everyone in Iraq, Pres. Obama, has been adversely affected or harmed by the US invasion and occupation. Nothing remains of the life insurance settlement and other assets my father had saved. We do not have enough money to go on with our lives because there are no good jobs, except for the Europeans who live in newly-built impenetrable fortresses. Along the Euphrates River, foreign construction companies have demolished entire neighborhoods in order to build waterfront homes and beautiful apartments for European bank executives and oil company employees. Many of us Iraqis now are homeless and hungry. However, these new apartments are only for British, German, Italian, and American families employed in the military or oil industry. All over Baghdad, the ruins of where our resplendent national library, hospitals, mosques, museums, and universities once stood constantly remind us of how inhumane and unjust your Operation Iraqi Freedom has been. Older people on my street and at my mosque whisper about the good old days under Pres. Saddam Hussein. Now, foreigners primarily from Europe and the United States are benefitting far more than the Iraqi people from our oil. You call it “globalization” in the West while most Arab scholars call it “colonization” reminiscent of the savagery of the British Colonial Empire in India, Rhodesia, South Africa, et al. Yet, nothing is being done to restore our infrastructure, our sovereignty, our cultural heritage, or our pride in Islam. Throughout Baghdad, many of us still do not have electricity, sufficient food, water, sanitation, or medicine. In the decade since the invasion, Iraqi doctors estimate that as many as two million children have died from the lack of medicine and adequate treatment. When we pray, often we ask Allah how could Britain and the United States allow such crimes against humanity if they are Christians? Mr. President, despite the Bush–Blair Magnum Opus, what would Jesus do?
I am very confused, Mr. President, because you Americans started this never-ending war and took our fathers, our uncles, our teenage brothers, and our cousins away from us. Feminism is not a part of our culture and Muslim mothers rely totally upon their husbands. Both day and night, most people fear for their safety anytime they go outside to face US troops, who are everywhere. Yet, how much longer can we survive the paranoia of staying indoors [or in some cases demolished or abandoned buildings] like captives in concentration camps? Some graduate students who studied abroad say that American troops are hiding our fathers and our brothers in prisons, tents, and even in tiny cages like animals. I can’t believe it. I don’t believe it. But they claim to have seen these concentration camps somewhere in Cuba on television. How can this be because they are not terrorists? You won the Nobel Peace Prize, Mr. President. So, I know that you will do the right thing by restoring self-government and peace rather than martial law to our war-torn nation. If not, then who will teach an entire generation of fatherless sons and daughters the Koran and the way of Allah?
After a decade of relentless intimidation, violence, and murder by US troops, many in Baghdad already have given up hope. How would you Americans feel if German troops invaded the US and took your parents like Hitler did during the Holocaust? How would you feel if entire families disappeared and you never saw or heard from them again – never? Many of our grandmothers, sisters, and brothers have been gunned down by US troops and mercenaries in helicopters shooting for no reason other than target practice! Yet, as Commander In Chief, you have failed to prosecute these soldiers and expose their human rights violations and other atrocities on American television. Mr. President, we all are trying to go on with our lives; but it is very hard. Only ten years have passed; yet, so many of us in Iraq are suffering physically, emotionally, and psychologically from the lack of food, water, and basic human dignity. Of course, everyone in Iraq now realizes that the US never found any weapons of mass destruction. We also realize that, despite your initial presidential promises, US occupational forces probably never will leave Iraq. So, we have no “Iraqi Freedom” other than to learn English in school rather than Arabic. US troops patrolling our mosques defile Islam by spitting on the Koran, yelling, slapping, kicking, and fondling Muslims when we bow and pray to Allah. Unless we do whatever we are told, we will have no access to the limited medicine, water, and electricity here in Baghdad. Whenever your troops hand pick and take students from school to their military forts, according to my mother, Iraqi youths lose the innocence of childhood by doing things I dare not to say in this letter. We never see them again; but rumor has it that European pedophiles and NAMBLA are behind this burgeoning, covert child sex trade in Iraq. Take our oil if you must. Yet, please do not force lesbianism and homosexuality upon our culture because, unlike in the United States https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2yO21Lbv2Kk, they are despicably perverted abominations to all Muslims! Again, President Obama, I hope you will grant my one wish to see my father again because my British teacher selected me as a model Iraqi student in her class. I got a ribbon for memorizing all fifty states and their capitals. I am studying hard to memorize the names of all the US Presidents before the school year ends so I can win another ribbon. Obviously, you are the most powerful man in the world. So, if you will, please send my dad home. Then I will pray for Allah to forgive America for what you have done.
And the fifth angel sounded, and I saw a star fall from Heaven unto the Earth: and to him was given the key of the bottomless pit. And he opened the bottomless pit; and there arose a smoke out of the pit, as the smoke of a great furnace; and the sun and the air were darkened by reason of the smoke of the pit. And there came out of the smoke locusts upon the Earth: and unto them was given power, as the scorpions of the Earth have power. And it was commanded them that they should not hurt the grass of the Earth, neither any green thing, neither any tree; but only those men which have not the seal of God in their foreheads. And to them it was given that they should not kill them, but that they should be tormented five months: and their torment was as the torment of a scorpion, when he striketh a man. And in those days shall men seek death, and shall not find it; and shall desire to die, and death shall flee from them. And the shapes of the locusts were like unto horses prepared unto battle; and on their heads were as it were crowns like gold, and their faces were as the faces of men. And they had hair as the hair of women, and their teeth were as the teeth of lions. And they had breastplates, as it were breastplates of iron; and the sound of their wings was as the sound of chariots of many horses running to battle. And they had tails like unto scorpions, and there were stings in their tails: and their power was to hurt men five months. And they had a king over them, which is the angel of the bottomless pit, whose name in the Hebrew tongue is Abaddon, but in the Greek tongue hath his name Apollyon. One woe is past; and, behold, there come two woes more hereafter. And the sixth angel sounded, and I heard a voice from the four horns of the golden altar which is before God, Saying to the sixth angel which had the trumpet, Loose the four angels which are bound in the great river Euphrates. And the four angels were loosed, which were prepared for an hour, and a day, and a month, and a year, for to slay the third part of men. And the number of the army of the horsemen were two hundred thousand thousand: and I heard the number of them. And thus I saw the horses in the vision, and them that sat on them, having breastplates of fire, and of jacinth, and brimstone: and the heads of the horses were as the heads of lions; and out of their mouths issued fire and smoke and brimstone. By these three was the third part of men killed, by the fire, and by the smoke, and by the brimstone, which issued out of their mouths. For their power is in their mouth, and in their tails: for their tails were like unto serpents, and had heads, and with them they do hurt. And the rest of the men which were not killed by these plagues yet repented not of the works of their hands, that they should not worship devils, and idols of gold, and silver, and brass, and stone, and of wood: which neither can see, nor hear, nor walk: Neither repented they of their murders, nor of their sorceries, nor of their fornication, nor of their thefts.
[Revelation 9: 1 – 21]
Click “comment” for the Postscript