Ask the kids what Iraqis want
Dear Editor:Recently I came upon a piece of information that I found shocking. It keeps returning to my thoughts. I understand that 50 percent of the Iraqi population is now 15 years old or younger. It occurs to me that instead of talking to politicians to determine what the Iraqis want, we can just talk to our own elementary, middle- and high schoolers, as I expect them to be the closest thing to experts in what this young age group wants and needs. I would not expect them to ask for guns, tanks, bullets, rockets, mayhem and watching loved ones and neighbors die.Instead, I would expect them to say they want safe, sheltering homes, nourishing meals several times a day, schools with teachers, books, papers and pencils. If they were sick or hurt, I would expect they would want to be well and whole. Clean clothing, a time to play, music to listen to, a time to laugh every day. They would want precious time to be children. Mostly I would think they would want their parents’ and extended family’s love to surround them and keep them safe. I cannot imagine the horror of having what you need to thrive stripped from your life and be so young that you do not have the tools to cope or the environment for any success available to you. It will be no mystery to me when these children, seeking safety and a family to belong to, join the terrorist gangs in their country as our children in poverty without family and community support do. How would their lives and futures be different if the billions we had poured into weapons and wars had instead been spent on food, books, building supplies, medicines, clothing, clean water, electricity, playgrounds, teachers and doctors? Somehow, I think we would be seeing more smiles there and we would have more support from the people of the world for this cause. It is not too late to change the direction and method of our invasion; of course, we would need to re-evaluate our mission and methods.Cheryl CainGlenwood Springs
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