An Open letter to the Citizens of Iraq

by Josh Frank

Dissident Voice

April 15, 2003


Dear Citizen of Iraq,


I have felt compelled to write a letter of apology for the brutal onslaught my government has waged upon you, your families, your religion, and your sacred homeland. I know no plea for atonement can reconcile the sorrow my government has inflicted -- but I hope you accept this token.


Like you, I am simply a citizen of a country -- a country I am often not proud of -- especially when its doctrine involves waging war on innocents that have neither attacked us nor threatened our national security.


For those who have suffered the loss of loved ones, I grieve for you.  Like millions of other Americans I have not supported the war President Bush and his minions have employed.  Their pre-emptive strategy is simply short-sighted and wrong-headed.


Saddam Hussein may have been an evil man, certainly a dictator nobody would wish upon any country.  But I do not believe ridding Iraq of Saddam using such brutal force was in any way justifiable.


Millions of Americans took to the streets in America in opposition to President Bush and his awful war -- in hopes we could pre-empt his sprint to battle.  We ventured down countless avenues to send our messages of dissent to the White House.  But Mr. Bush did not acknowledge us.


Indeed the international community greatly opposed these attacks as well -- but like the United Nations, they too were deemed irrelevant.


I am deeply disgusted with any administration that arrogantly breaks international laws, and unashamedly disdains the very democracy it claims to fight for.


I write in hopes you may understand this.


The news we get about this war is not of the suffering -- not of your losses, but of Iraq’s supposed gains.  The photos of your dead and wounded are rarely viewed by American audiences.  The truth about the horrific suffering now plaguing Iraq cannot be understood fully by anybody here in the US. Especially those that do not have the time or energy to seek the truth about what is really taking place in your country.


I ask you not confuse the policies of the American government with the will of the American people.  They are not one in the same.


American soldiers are also not to blame for Mr. Bush’s actions.  I believe many naively think they are spreading freedom and democracy in Iraq.  They may believe this is what you want, and that this is the only way to go about doing so.  This is the same rhetoric our government has used in justifying their attacks. They are quite skillful at selling their propaganda, but not all of us in the United States are buying.


I will end by saying, my thoughts are with you, my hopes are with you.  Your great culture will once again overcome a horrific atrocity -- an atrocity I condemn -- an atrocity my government committed -- an atrocity for which, I am deeply sorry.


Your Friend,


Josh Frank

United States Citizen


Josh Frank is a journalist living in Portland Oregon, his work appears frequently in Impact Press and online at Counterpunch. He can be reached at frank_joshua@hotmail.com



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