Open letter to three Iraqi women

 
You don't know me and one of you will never have an opportunity to read this letter but you have each left your mark upon my soul.

If you don't already know it, the US military can train a man to kill but can not train that man how to handle it when he does. For this reason amongst many others my Marine son, John, who touched your lives in Iraq, (and through him, so did I), is in treatment along with other veterans of this and earlier wars.

There was a firefight in Baghdad, a 360 degree battle with the Marines taking fire from all around and overhead. You were there, not as a participant just a civilian and you are my first connection though I learned of you last because my son couldn't tell me about you until recently. Training had the Marines firing back reflexively at anything that moved, vehicles, stray dogs a blur of a shirtsleeve. The Marine who fired upon your husband and two children was almost 100 yards away and he jerked his weapon up in horror at the end of the burst and watched your family fall. You didn't know it at the time but he watched you run out to your family. He saw you in your light blue wrap as you went from one body to the other. He tried to avert his eyes as you picked up your dead child and then the other and wailed in your grief. He tried to look away but that light blue color was always in his peripheral vision, pulling at him drawing him back.

homepage:: http://portland.indymedia.org/ read more: http://portland.indymedia.org/en/2008/02/372356.shtml

add a comment on this article