What about the Iraqi people? | AspenTimes.com

What about the Iraqi people?

There have been many letters to the editor in recent weeks opposing going to war in Iraq. All of them have made very good arguments from a political, economic and consequential standpoint, but I have been waiting for someone to mention the very BEST reason for not making war on Iraq; the fate of the Iraqi people!

We talk of this proposed war as if it is just about killing or deposing Saddam Hussein. We discuss the legalities, the financial cost and the need to get our allies behind us, as if this were just some routine corporate takeover plan.

What is never discussed in the media is the cost to the Iraqi people. If we bomb Baghdad, thousands of people will lose their lives, loved ones, homes and businesses. Don’t be fooled by misleading terms such as “collateral damage” or “casualties of war.” They are PEOPLE! Like you and me; living, working, playing, loving each other.

President Bush tells us that Saddam is our enemy and the American people should fear a possible attack from him. But imagine the fear the Iraqi people must be feeling at hearing that the U.S., the most powerful nation on earth, is planning on attacking them, destroying their peace, their homes, businesses, families.

Mara Verheydan-Hilliard, co-founder of Partnership for Civil Justice said, “I was in Iraq last week as part of a U.S. anti-war delegation, and everywhere we went people asked us two questions.

“The first was, when was the U.S. going to begin the war against their country? Every day parents wake up and wonder whether their children are going to be killed by U.S. bombs or an armed invasion.

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“And the second question we were asked was not just why is the government of the United States doing this, but why are the people of the United States allowing this to happen?”

The Iraqi people realize what Americans don’t seem to want to face; that war means death. War means bodies blown apart, guts spilling out, blood spattering, children crying, women screaming, homes demolished, families devastated. War is fear, agony, suffering and despair.

Hell, let’s just tell it like it is: War is murder. When the U.S. government speaks of war, they are speaking of murdering Iraqi civilians, plain and simple.

The Geneva Conventions are clear on this matter: “Civilians shall not be the object of attack.” If the U.S. attacks Baghdad, we will be guilty of the ugliest crime humanity can possibly commit.

President Bush said in a recent speech, “We care about EVERY life.” Doesn’t that include the lives of Iraq’s people? We, as global citizens, must speak out and act against any government who poses a threat to civilian populations, even if ? especially if ? that government is our own.

Only the people of America can stop the U.S. government from murdering thousands of innocent people.

For more information, contact the Colorado Coalition for Middle East Peace (Denver) at 720-956-0700; or the Rocky Mountain Peace and Justice Center (Boulder) at 303-444-6981.

On Oct. 26 there will be a worldwide anti-war action (visit http://www.internationalanswer.org, for details). Please consider joining these anti-war rallies in Denver, Washington, D.C., or San Francisco.

The Iraqi people are counting on us to save them from the death and destruction our government is threatening them with. Please, for humanity’s sake, don’t let them down!

Sue Gray

Carbondale