Sunday, February 19, 2006

Open Letter to the Iraqi People

Dear Iraqi People-

It is with a heavy heart that I write these words to you. As a fellow human being I am deeply grieved by the circumstances you find yourselves in. As a US citizen I am ashamed of the decisions leaders that represent me have made that have caused you so much suffering.

We all know that Saddam was a corrupt and cruel leader. But it now appears very unlikely that weapons of mass destruction were being produced under his rule. Even if they had been, I never believed it was our right or responsibility to preemptively attack a people that had not shown outright aggression towards us (and I want to be clear, I understand it is people we attacked, not a country, or a government, or military coordinates, or even terrorists). Besides, how many other ruthless dictators have we overlooked and even helped to put in power throughout the world? Also, the ridiculous unfounded connection between Iraq and 9/11 is an insult to my intelligence. It is so dishonoring to those who lost their lives on 9/11 that their death has been used to justify a war that has taken hundreds of thousands of innocent civilians lives in Iraq.

I remember the days leading up to the war. I was in a dark place. I felt a compelling sense of foreboding and sadness. I wept for hours. Not usually a politically active person, I began joining campaigns for peace then and have not stopped since. The God I believe in teaches me to love my enemy and to turn my cheek. I refuse to believe there is such a thing as a “just war”. No war is just. Innocent people die. That is not justice.

I recently saw some documentary film footage from an Italian journalist working in Iraq. This footage has been kept very quiet in the US media. In it the destruction of entire villages, and the decimation of innocent men, women, and so many children are clearly evident caused by the US led fight against the “insurgency”. In fact, there is documented evidence of the use of white phosphorus, a chemical weapon commonly referred to as “Whiskey Pete” by US military personnel. Somewhat similar to Napalm, this weapon indiscriminately burns everything in its path. The carnage I viewed was gruesome and shocking. Most of the victims were women and children and the elderly. The hypocrisy symbolized by the US military using such a weapon in Iraq is mind-boggling!

As the wife of a former Marine, I am also very sensitive to the thousands of young American lives that are being sacrificed in this senseless war. I am deeply concerned about the mental and emotional well being of these men and women laying their lives down for an increasingly hopeless situation. I realize that some of them, in their brokenness, fear, and confusion, have lashed out against you, perpetuating the reign of terror you continue to endure.

I will continue to work for peace and true justice. But somehow in the midst of this long and wearisome journey, I simply wanted you to know that there are many of us here that care for you. There are many of us that do not subscribe to the rhetoric of our media and political spin-doctors. There are many of us that feel a burden of responsibility towards you due to the actions that have been taken against you in our name. There are many of us that gather regularly for peace marches and demand answers and action of our government. There are many of us that pray for you. There are many of us that weep for you.

I am one of those.

From the depths of my heart I pray,
Peace be with you-

Tonya Sargent


Blogger Tonya said...

Thank you so much for pointing out that people, families, Life is destroyed by war. On both sides.

12:19 AM  
Blogger Tonya said...

Hey - in clicking down my list of blogs I realized this one was right above yours on the'd like her, I think! We briefly worked together in my before children life.

8:51 PM  
Blogger tonya said...

thanks tonya! will check jenell's blog out. thanks for putting me on your list... one of these days i'll take the time to figure out how to put a list of blogs i read on my site here... you'll be on it.

9:36 PM  
Blogger Brenda said...

i just came to your blog thru emerging sideways. iraq seems to be getting worse and worse, it's so sad. i hope and pray that it will be better.

9:29 PM  

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