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[casi] "Story of an unknown Iraqi child" (fwd)

Dear List,

This article was published in the Shi'a News. It's
written from the heart.

And I wish the mainstream media would stop this
contemptible propaganda to cover their leaders' guilt.



Published on: Thursday, 14 Shawwal 1423 (19 December 2002)

Story of an unknown Iraqi child

Baghdad, Iraq

By Mohamed Ahmad

Prior to my trip to Iraq in July, I did have some prior
knowledge as to what to expect there. Being the ceaseless
reader and researcher that I've always been, I regularly
read articles, periodicals, and other reports by a number
of writers, journalists, and human rights organizations on
the issue of Iraq and the post-Gulf War situation. I've
read extensively the writings of intellectuals such as
Robert Fisk, John Pilger, Edward Said, Noam Chomsky, as
well as a number of others, all of whom are fervent
critics of U.S. foreign policies in Iraq, the Middle East,
and the world in general, and all of whom, through the
authentic gathering of data and reliable scholarship,
portray to the world (as best as they can) the awesome and
repulsive effects of those ruthless policies on the Iraqi
population. I also regularly skim through annual
statistical reports on the Iraqi issue by a number of
non-profit human rights organizations, such as the usual
annual U.N. reports, Amnesty International, and Human
Rights Watch. It would be safe to say that, even prior to
my visit to Iraq, my knowledge of what I would be
encountering was thorough and extensive. Or so I thought.

The reality is that everything that I saw and faced was
much more than surprising and shocking. For when dry data
is rendered into reality, when statistical figures are
converted into real people, true suffering, children
dying, families starving - it is not nearly sufficient or
even honest to label these as merely surprises. It was
indeed much more than that. Perhaps a close similitude
would be the prior knowledge that we all have that the sun
is bright and hot. Yet if one is to actually say, go to
the sun, he'll no doubt discover that the sun is much
brighter than he could ever have imagined or expected, so
much as to even blind you. It would likewise be much
hotter than any numerical figure could have described, to
the extent that you'd be burned to ashes before even the
completion of this thought (in one's mind). Perhaps that's
a stupid example, but it's the best I could come up with.

        In brief, no amount of knowledge, no imaginable
        quantity of books or figures, could have prepared me
        for what I was to witness and experience in Iraq
        Mohamed Ahmad

In brief, no amount of knowledge, no imaginable quantity
of books or figures, could have prepared me for what I was
to witness and experience in Iraq. What multiplies the
problem, on a personal basis, is that I seem to be cursed
with an acute photographic memory. Indeed even now I can
see, through the lens of my mind, all of those poor and
starving people who reached out their hands to me - either
while walking in the marketplace or wherever else - in
the hope that I may be able to bestow upon them some
generosity or relieve them of some of their unbearable
suffering and pain. I can see the mother, covered in a
black jubba, along with her young but pretty daughter,
waiting at the door of a mosque I was going to along with
a cousin of mine named Asaad. And seeing this in my mind,
I feel time and again an astounding sorrow and ache in my
heart, as if I am being relentlessly stabbed with the
knife of life and it's many tribulations. I think to
myself: "What possible sin or crime has this mother and
daughter committed that could be so great as to deserve a
punishment of such wretchedness and shame? Where are the
husband of this woman and the father of that child? Dead
perhaps, from war or poverty (both of which Iraq has
always had an overdose of)? Or has he simply left them on
account of the humiliation that he felt for not being able
to sufficiently provide for them? And where does the lady
and her daughter live? On the streets? On the doorsteps of
that very mosque? Why? WHY? Why does no one have the mercy
and compassion to take them into their own homes, provide
for them, sustain them?"

Most of my anguish goes out to that little girl, whose
face looks as if it has not been washed for some time, and
yet is still exceptionally beautiful. Such a pretty girl
with sparkling eyes, about the age of eight or nine. When
she approached me upon my entering the mosque prior to the
commencement of the Friday prayers, I tried to look into
those bright eyes, but my heart shrank and shriveled up
and I was forced to give her some of the little money I
was carrying with me at the time. After we finished our
prayers and I was leaving, the same child entrapped me
once more with the same spell, and I gave her all of what
I had left. And I thought to myself then, as I think also
now, "what was this girl thinking of when she begged of me
to be generous to her? Did she know how much care and
compassion I possess for her? Or did she maybe think that
I was one of those many who give either to show off or who
give with paradoxical feelings of disdain and regret? What
does she think of her life, or of life in general? Does
she hate it and blame it for her own wretchedness and
sorrow? Does she despair of it and have no hope for any
future change? Perhaps she would wish to die rather than
live in this despair? What was this child thinking when
she held out her hand to beg? And why is humanity as a
whole so ridiculously silent to the crime being committed
against her, in the name of freedom and democracy? Such a
pretty, beautiful young girl, so ripe, so bright, and yet
her plight and those of many like her will all be drained
down the memory hole in the annals of history. No one will
know who she was, what her name was, what her ambitions in
life may be (other than begging and surviving), what her
likes and dislikes may be, ect. In fact it seems as if no
one even wants to know the details of these things, and
therefore she is simply blotted out of existence. And
thereby so wondrously confirmed is the anomaly that
history is written by the victorious, i.e. by the rich
and thereby important.

The poor and insignificant, they do not reserve the right
to exist in the selective memory of history. Their whole
existence is irrelevant, unworthy of mention. Those worthy
of mention are the rich, the wealthy, the powerful, and
the affluent. Those who, in effect, usually reach their
affluence and status by stomping on the rights of that
young Iraqi girl, who confirm their importance by negating
her existence, whose wealth is a monstrous accumulation of
that which is wrongfully stolen from her. This child has
become to me the epitome of the wrongs and injustices
thrown down on the people of Iraq. She is the true
incarnation of the general Iraqi experience, the revealer
of Iraq's sorrow and pain. When she held out her hand to
me and gave me that ironic smile, I promised myself there
and then that I would henceforth hold that nameless girl,
that unknown child, in the highest possible esteem and
respect. She would (and has) become one of the magnanimous
ideals of my life. And as I now write these words of her,
though I may certainly fault in some of my descriptions of
her, still my intention is to immortalize her, to be
witness to her existence in life, to profess her denied
rights, to condemn and speak out against all those who
have reduced her to a state of poverty and begging. I
will, until the end of my life, struggle for this child,
to force her remembrance into the annals of history, no
matter what the cost. For power is said to concede nothing
without a struggle. And though I curse myself twice over
for not being able, at that time, to help her more than
what I did, to provide for her and shelter her, I am
reminded that Allah is the Sustainer of the Worlds.
Through her smile, through her bright eyes, it is as if
that child had already forgiven me, had pardoned me for my
inability to do more for her. Yet those same twilight
eyes, that same pretty face, pleaded for me to struggle
for her, for her rights that have been unjustly deprived
from her, for her right to freedom, liberty, and justice.
All nice ideals, you will notice, and all the same ones
that those "important" people in life claim to be
protecting and preserving, while actually doing the
opposite. She silently, through the brain channel, asked
me to stand up for her right to live and to play as other
girls, to attend a normal school like other children, to
be happy and innocent in life as others of her age.

        More than 5000 innocent civilians were killed when
        Saddam dropped chemical bombs on northern Iraq

        More than 5000 innocent civilians were killed when
        Saddam dropped chemical bombs on northern Iraq

So I hereby accuse and condemn, now and forever, those
phony and lying Western "democracies" who claim to be the
protectors of human rights, of actually being the rapists
of those noble ideals. At their head, the head of the
snake, the epitome of hypocrisy, is the United States of
America. I condemn them as being the executers of
injustice as oppose to justice, of slavery as oppose to
freedom, of servitude as oppose to liberty, the breachers
and enemies of all human rights, the antagonists of all
those principles that they claim to uphold.

        Madeleine Albright - The woman who believes killing
        more than half a million Iraqi children with sanctions
        is 'worth it'. How much difference is there between
        Saddam and this flag bearer of democracy and human rights.

        Madeleine Albright - The woman who believes killing
        more than half a million Iraqi children with sanctions
        is 'worth it'. How much difference is there between
        Saddam and this flag bearer of democracy and human rights.

This may sound to some as an exaggerated and hysterical
response. Some will no doubt accuse me of having an over-
charge of emotion while I am writing this. But that's
pretty easy to say. Those who have seen what I have seen
and felt what I have felt will find my comments perfectly
justifiable. For those who may disagree, I must ask you to
go tell that young girl that my struggle for her cause is
wrong. Or that my hatred and will to fight against her
oppressors is hysterical! Go try to persuade her that her
poverty and suffering is a necessary evil, that what she's
being put through is necessary in order to "contain"
Saddam Hussein, that her suffering is really no big deal
because it's all to prevent Mr. Hussein's development of
weapons of mass destruction! Go look her in the eyes,
damnit, and tell her that she is to blame for the actions
of a man who was groomed and supported by those same
nations who now wish to rid of him! Go tell her that she
must be deprived of her daily meals, of a decent home, on
account of a government that neither her nor her people
elected! Go tell her that she is to blame for her own pain
and starvation! Go tell her that you're affiliated to an
ideology of Blaming the Victim. If anyone has the courage
to do so, then I sincerely encourage you to go along with

As for myself, I swear by Allah, that I will forever, as
long as I am alive and able, fight by word and sword for
the rights of this unknown child and against those who
have wronged her. And if ever I betray her or fail to do
my utmost for her cause, or if I ever compromise her
rights, then may Allah smite me with the blow of humility
and wretchedness in this life, and a painful doom in the
next. Amen, Lord of the Worlds.

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