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Name: Antony Loewenstein
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Monday, July 18, 2005

A letter to the British people from a daughter of Iraq

The following letter was written by Iman al-Saadun on Tuesday July 12 2005. A powerful challenge to "our" terrorism:

I'm sending this letter to the British people and in particular to the residents of London. For a period of hours, you have lived through moments of desperate anxiety and horror. In those hours you lost a member of your family or a friend, and we wish to tell you in total honesty that we too grieve when human lives pass away. I cannot tell you how much we hurt when we see desperation and pain on the face of another person. For we have lived through this situation - and continue to live through it every day - since your country and the United States formed an alliance and laid plans to attack Iraq.

The Prime Minister of your country, Tony Blair, said that those who carried out the explosions did so in the name of Islam. The Secretary of State of the United States, Condoleezza Rice, described the bombings as an act of barbarism. The United Nations Security Council met and unanimously condemned the event.

I would like to ask you, the free British people, to allow me to inquire: in whose name was our country blockaded for 12 years? In whose name were our cities bombed using internationally prohibited weapons? In whose name did the British army kill Iraqis and torture them? Was that in your name? Or in the name of religion? Or humanity? Or freedom? Or democracy?

What do you call the killing of more than two million children? What do you call the pollution of the soil and the water with depleted uranium and other lethal substances?

What do you call what happened in the prisons in Iraq - in Abu Ghraib, Camp Bucca and the many other prison camps? What do you call the torture of men, women, and children? What do you call tying bombs to the bodies of prisoners and blowing them apart? What do you call the refinement of methods of torture for use on Iraqi prisoners - such as pulling off limbs, gouging out eyes, putting out cigarettes on their skin, and using cigarette lighters to set fire to the hair on their heads? Does the word "barbaric" adequately describe the behaviour of your troops in Iraq?

May we ask why the Security Council did not condemn the massacre in al-Amiriyah and what happened in al-Fallujah, Tal'afar, Sadr City, and an-Najaf? Why does the world watch as our people are killed and tortured and not condemn the crimes being committed against us? Are you human beings and we something less? Do you think that only you can feel pain and we can't? In fact it is we who are most aware of how intense is the pain of the mother who has lost her child, or the father who has lost his family. We know very well how painful it is to lose those you love.

You don't know our martyrs, but we know them. You don't remember them, but we remember them. You don't cry over them, but we cry over them.

Have you heard the name of the little girl Hannan Salih Matrud? Or of the boy Ahmad Jabir Karim? Or Sa'id Shabram?

Yes, our dead have names too. They have faces and stories and memories. There was a time when they were among us, laughing and playing. They had dreams, just as you have. They had a tomorrow awaiting them. But today they sleep among us with no tomorrow on which to wake.

We don't hate the British people or the peoples of the world. This war was imposed upon us, but we are now fighting it in defense of our selves. Because we want to live in our homeland - the free land of Iraq - and to live as we want to live, not as your government or the American government wish.

Let the families of those killed know that responsibility for the Thursday morning London bombings lies with Tony Blair and his policies. Stop your war against our people! Stop the daily killing that your troops commit! End your occupation of our homeland.

7 Comments:

Blogger Glenn Condell said...

Thanks for printing this Ant. It would be nice to see it in the Herald.

Monday, July 18, 2005 9:08:00 pm  
Blogger Andjam said...

A letter to the British people from a daughter of Iraq

Iraq has female Imams?

Monday, July 18, 2005 10:01:00 pm  
Blogger leftvegdrunk said...

Agreed, Glenn. This perspective - from the ground in Iraq - deserves wider attention.

On a related topic, TomDispatch has published Judith Coburn on Iraqi casualties. May be of interest.

http://www.tomdispatch.com/index.mhtml?pid=6963

Monday, July 18, 2005 10:03:00 pm  
Blogger leftvegdrunk said...

Andjam, what do you think about the actual content of the letter?

Monday, July 18, 2005 10:04:00 pm  
Blogger Andjam said...

It sounds fraudulent to me. How many imams would have an opinion on the legality of weapons? Where is this imam from?

It sounds to me like a chain email, albeit one that's been translated into a number of languages.

Monday, July 18, 2005 10:23:00 pm  
Blogger Antony Loewenstein said...

I've read this letter in a number of different places. I'm fairly sure it's authentic, though cannot 100% prove it (like most news these days, I guess). It's not too dissimilar too many comments on Iraqi blogs I read daily...
As for printing in the Herald, Glenn, in your dreams. And mine too, for that matter... Viva la internet!

Monday, July 18, 2005 11:40:00 pm  
Blogger leftvegdrunk said...

Imam? Or is it Iman?

Tuesday, July 19, 2005 4:38:00 pm  

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