Charlotte Aldebron, 12 y.o., about Iraq - U2 Feedback

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Old 02-24-2003, 08:54 PM   #1
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Charlotte Aldebron, 12 y.o., about Iraq

When people think about bombing Iraq, they see a picture in their heads of Saddam Hussein in a military uniform, or maybe soldiers with big black mustaches carrying guns, or the mosaic of George Bush Sr. on the lobby floor of the Al-Rashid Hotel with the word “criminal”. But guess what? More than half of Iraq’s 24 million people are children under the age of 15. That’s 12 million kids. Kids like me. Well, I’m almost 13, so some are a little older, and some a lot younger, some boys instead of girls, some with brown hair, not red. But kids who are pretty much like me just the same. So take a look at me—a good long look. Because I am what you should see in your head when you think about bombing Iraq. I am what you are going to destroy.

If I am lucky, I will be killed instantly, like the three hundred children murdered by your “smart” bombs in a Baghdad bomb shelter on February 16, 1991. The blast caused a fire so intense that it flash-burned outlines of those children and their mothers on the walls; you can still peel strips of blackened skin—souvenirs of your victory—from the stones.

But maybe I won’t be lucky and I’ll die slowly, like 14-year-old Ali Faisal, who right now is on the “death ward” of the Baghdad children’s hospital. He has malignant lymphoma—cancer—caused by the depleted uranium in your Gulf War missiles. Or maybe I will die painfully and needlessly like18-month-old Mustafa, whose vital organs are being devoured by sand fly parasites. I know it’s hard to believe, but Mustafa could be totally cured with just $25 worth of medicine, but there is none of this medicine because of your sanctions.

Or maybe I won’t die at all but will live for years with the psychological damage that you can’t see from the outside, like Salman Mohammed, who even now can’t forget the terror he lived through with his little sisters when you bombed Iraq in 1991. Salman’s father made the whole family sleep in the same room so that they would all survive together, or die together. He still has nightmares about the air raid sirens.

Or maybe I will be orphaned like Ali, who was three when you killed his father in the Gulf War. Ali scraped at the dirt covering his father’s grave every day for three years calling out to him, “It’s all right Daddy, you can come out now, the men who put you here have gone away.” Well, Ali, you’re wrong. It looks like those men are coming back.

Or I maybe I will make it in one piece, like Luay Majed, who remembers that the Gulf War meant he didn’t have to go to school and could stay up as late as he wanted. But today, with no education, he tries to live by selling newspapers on the street.

Imagine that these are your children—or nieces or nephews or neighbors. Imagine your son screaming from the agony of a severed limb, but you can’t do anything to ease the pain or comfort him. Imagine your daughter crying out from under the rubble of a collapsed building, but you can’t get to her. Imagine your children wandering the streets, hungry and alone, after having watched you die before their eyes.

This is not an adventure movie or a fantasy or a video game. This is reality for children in Iraq. Recently, an international group of researchers went to Iraq to find out how children there are being affected by the possibility of war. Half the children they talked to said they saw no point in living any more. Even really young kids knew about war and worried about it. One 5-year-old, Assem, described it as “guns and bombs and the air will be cold and hot and we will burn very much.” Ten-year-old Aesar had a message for President Bush: he wanted him to know that “A lot of Iraqi children will die. You will see it on TV and then you will regret.”

Back in elementary school I was taught to solve problems with other kids not by hitting or name-calling, but by talking and using “I” messages. The idea of an “I” message was to make the other person understand how bad his or her actions made you feel, so that the person would sympathize with you and stop it. Now I am going to give you an “I” message. Only it’s going to be a “We” message. “We” as in all the children in Iraq who are waiting helplessly for something bad to happen. “We” as in the children of the world who don’t make any of the decisions but have to suffer all the consequences. “We” as in those whose voices are too small and too far away to be heard.


We feel scared when we don’t know if we’ll live another day.
We feel angry when people want to kill us or injure us or steal our future.
We feel sad because all we want is a mom and a dad who we know will be there the next day. And, finally, we feel confused … because we don’t even know what we did wrong.



Presque Isle, Maine Peace Rally Speech
Before 150 Aroostook county residents from around the County
February 15, 2003 - St. Mary’s Church

by Charlotte Aldebron
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Old 02-24-2003, 09:15 PM   #2
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Interesting that Sadam shares none of the blame in this.
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Old 02-24-2003, 09:37 PM   #3
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Interestingly some will completely miss the point.
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Old 02-24-2003, 10:53 PM   #4
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Re: Charlotte Aldebron, 12 y.o., about Iraq

Quote:
Originally posted by whenhiphopdrovethebigcars
When people think about bombing Iraq, they see a picture in their heads of Saddam Hussein in a military uniform, or maybe soldiers with big black mustaches carrying guns, or the mosaic of George Bush Sr. on the lobby floor of the Al-Rashid Hotel with the word “criminal”. But guess what? More than half of Iraq’s 24 million people are children under the age of 15. That’s 12 million kids. Kids like me. Well, I’m almost 13, so some are a little older, and some a lot younger, some boys instead of girls, some with brown hair, not red. But kids who are pretty much like me just the same. So take a look at me—a good long look. Because I am what you should see in your head when you think about bombing Iraq. I am what you are going to destroy.

If I am lucky, I will be killed instantly, like the three hundred children murdered by your “smart” bombs in a Baghdad bomb shelter on February 16, 1991. The blast caused a fire so intense that it flash-burned outlines of those children and their mothers on the walls; you can still peel strips of blackened skin—souvenirs of your victory—from the stones.

But maybe I won’t be lucky and I’ll die slowly, like 14-year-old Ali Faisal, who right now is on the “death ward” of the Baghdad children’s hospital. He has malignant lymphoma—cancer—caused by the depleted uranium in your Gulf War missiles. Or maybe I will die painfully and needlessly like18-month-old Mustafa, whose vital organs are being devoured by sand fly parasites. I know it’s hard to believe, but Mustafa could be totally cured with just $25 worth of medicine, but there is none of this medicine because of your sanctions.

Or maybe I won’t die at all but will live for years with the psychological damage that you can’t see from the outside, like Salman Mohammed, who even now can’t forget the terror he lived through with his little sisters when you bombed Iraq in 1991. Salman’s father made the whole family sleep in the same room so that they would all survive together, or die together. He still has nightmares about the air raid sirens.

Or maybe I will be orphaned like Ali, who was three when you killed his father in the Gulf War. Ali scraped at the dirt covering his father’s grave every day for three years calling out to him, “It’s all right Daddy, you can come out now, the men who put you here have gone away.” Well, Ali, you’re wrong. It looks like those men are coming back.

Or I maybe I will make it in one piece, like Luay Majed, who remembers that the Gulf War meant he didn’t have to go to school and could stay up as late as he wanted. But today, with no education, he tries to live by selling newspapers on the street.

Imagine that these are your children—or nieces or nephews or neighbors. Imagine your son screaming from the agony of a severed limb, but you can’t do anything to ease the pain or comfort him. Imagine your daughter crying out from under the rubble of a collapsed building, but you can’t get to her. Imagine your children wandering the streets, hungry and alone, after having watched you die before their eyes.

This is not an adventure movie or a fantasy or a video game. This is reality for children in Iraq. Recently, an international group of researchers went to Iraq to find out how children there are being affected by the possibility of war. Half the children they talked to said they saw no point in living any more. Even really young kids knew about war and worried about it. One 5-year-old, Assem, described it as “guns and bombs and the air will be cold and hot and we will burn very much.” Ten-year-old Aesar had a message for President Bush: he wanted him to know that “A lot of Iraqi children will die. You will see it on TV and then you will regret.”

Back in elementary school I was taught to solve problems with other kids not by hitting or name-calling, but by talking and using “I” messages. The idea of an “I” message was to make the other person understand how bad his or her actions made you feel, so that the person would sympathize with you and stop it. Now I am going to give you an “I” message. Only it’s going to be a “We” message. “We” as in all the children in Iraq who are waiting helplessly for something bad to happen. “We” as in the children of the world who don’t make any of the decisions but have to suffer all the consequences. “We” as in those whose voices are too small and too far away to be heard.


We feel scared when we don’t know if we’ll live another day.
We feel angry when people want to kill us or injure us or steal our future.
We feel sad because all we want is a mom and a dad who we know will be there the next day. And, finally, we feel confused … because we don’t even know what we did wrong.



Presque Isle, Maine Peace Rally Speech
Before 150 Aroostook county residents from around the County
February 15, 2003 - St. Mary’s Church

by Charlotte Aldebron
*Wants to find this girl and give her a hug

Great viewpoint!

She is totally right.

Angela
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Old 02-24-2003, 10:59 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally posted by gabrielvox
Interestingly some will completely miss the point.
unfortunately that is so true.
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Old 02-25-2003, 07:10 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally posted by the olive
Interesting that Sadam shares none of the blame in this.
Interesting that some adults always fail to understand children.

Interesting that some adults share none of the blame in this.

Interesting that some adults are so dead inside they don´t give a shit about flash-burned outlines of those children and their mothers on the walls.

Yeah, take a long look in the mirror, people: That´s mankind. That´s exactly whats wrong with this world.
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Old 02-25-2003, 10:42 AM   #7
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Not in My Name.
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Old 02-25-2003, 02:52 PM   #8
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That was very touching..so right on spot.
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Old 02-25-2003, 04:27 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally posted by gabrielvox
Interestingly some will completely miss the point.
I don't think that's missing the point

talking about the horrors of war while neglecting to point out the horrors Sadam causes/has for many, many years caused his own people presents a touching yet onesided tale
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Old 02-25-2003, 07:31 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally posted by Salome
I don't think that's missing the point

talking about the horrors of war while neglecting to point out the horrors Sadam causes/has for many, many years caused his own people presents a touching yet onesided tale
Sure enough. The duty of our children is not to neglect any horror, the duty of our children is to be politically correct, the duty of our children is to show all sides, the duty of our children is to distribute the fault equally, the duty of our children is to join the chorus and damn evil dictators.

After all, they´re children - and they have to learn soon enough to kill off their feelings and to make war.

Brilliant concept, Salome. Shake it.
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Old 02-26-2003, 12:42 AM   #11
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On the contrary, being a mother the very first thought I have is for the children, theirs, ours. No matter the country, these are all our children. It's only through the eyes of a child and in this case, this young person can the world survive to the future. It's not all one country (USA) however, being the aggressor. It just happens to be the one all others call upon when THEY are in need. I don't want to see this fear in the eyes of any children. I have also seen it in the eyes of children of my own country when they observed planes crashing into our buildings. This talk is affecting them as well. But, there is still hope..where there is love
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Old 02-26-2003, 03:49 AM   #12
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Good post Salome..
for
my humanitarian friends
click away-


http://www.guardian.co.uk/Iraq/Story...898346,00.html[IMG]Extracts of a letter sent to Tony Blair from Iraqi exiles in the UK: [/IMG]

read this
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Old 02-26-2003, 06:38 AM   #13
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Poor kids. First they suffer from the regime, and now they have to fear the war.

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Old 02-26-2003, 12:38 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally posted by whenhiphopdrovethebigcars
After all, they´re children - and they have to learn soon enough to kill off their feelings and to make war.

Brilliant concept, Salome. Shake it.
I never said the child was wrong in feeling what s/he feels

but when someone choses to present the story of one person (child or adult) while not even mentioning the other side of the story then I don't get exactly the point s/he is trying to make
to feel sorry for the children?
I'm sure we all do that
no child should be put through a war
no child should have to suffer Sadam's regime either though

and I'll shake whenever I want to
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Old 02-26-2003, 12:45 PM   #15
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Charlotte,

I am a little bit older than you, and sympathize with your plight, but liberation is in sight, some innocents may die, but that is war, and there is freedom in sight.

Oh and, tell your parents not to shoplift or voice their dissent with Saddam, I don't want you getting raped in Town Square by Saddam's cronies, in the meantime.

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