Monday, May 29, 2006

Happy Memorial Day, Iman and Abdul

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A bunch of us down at the AmVets started talking about the war and Memorial Day and stuff, and somebody said, well, what about the Iraquis? And somebody said, we oughta send em a letter and encourage em a little. We wanted you to know that we're thinking about you this Memorial Day, even though you're not Americans. So I was elected!

Now, I know you're just kids, so you probably don't know that every year we Americans have a holiday, called Memorial Day, to honor the valiant soldiers and sailors who died in our wars. And this isn't just something out of musty old history books, kids. Our boys are dying now right over there in Iraq! For your liberty! It's sad that our young men have to die like that, but that's what happens when people like Saddam Hussein attack America. I know it wasn't your fault, Iman and Abdul, but 3,000 Americans died on 9/11, which is more than everybody killed in this war so far ...more », so you can see we've still got a way to go to teach the terrorists a lesson. What we say here is, these colors don't run. And you better believe it!

We Americans know this war has been tough on you Iraquis, too. I read that you don't get much water and electricity and gas. Boy, it must be a real nuisance with the air conditioning going out all the time! Well, it must be getting better, now that we are there. Like we say, Lafayette, we are here! Ta-da!

Of course, sometimes Al Qaida sets off bombs. They are truly evil, what with all the innocent people they kill. And their beheading videos--did you catch any of those? But hang in there, guys. Freedom isn't free. Our own Revolutionary War was pretty tough, too. Iraq will come through this just fine and someday get to have a president and a congress as good as ours!

Now, kids, this is tough to talk about, but we know about what happened in your house last November 19. See, we Americans don't cover that stuff up. No, sir. We have what's called a free press. We just wash our dirty laundry out in front of everybody! And I want you to know how bad we feel about our dirty laundry sometimes. We have a saying here: America isn't perfect--it's just better than anywhere else! I think that lets you know where we're coming from.

Anyway, we understand that it's tough--very tough, I would say, no question about it--to have Marines break through your door early in the morning and waste seven people right there in your living room. (Do you guys have living rooms? Or do you all live in the kitchen or someplace?) Especially when you're--like, what? seven and nine? Isn't that how old you kids are? I understand you got hit, too. Don't worry, American doctors are the best in the world. You tell those Army docs to give you candy and cigarettes! (That's what we always gave the kids in Nam.)

Now, I will grant you, Leathernecks--that's what we call Marines--can be pretty scary. They're trained to be. But those were good men, kids. The best of the best. They were there fighting for your liberty. Don't forget that. They didn't mean to hurt your family. A buddy of theirs had just been killed by a bomb. Wouldn't you be a little upset, too, if that happened to you? And, I guess, it happened pretty close to your house, so they thought you guys maybe had something to do with it. Maybe they got a little confused, or jumped to a conclusion or something--don't know. This is war, and war is like that. Mistakes get made. Happened in Nam all the time. It's nobody's fault--stuff happens, ya know? We Americans know a lot about war, kids. We've been in a lot of them, and nobody has to tell us war is hell. Nobody loves peace as much as Americans.

We heard your mother, your father, your uncle, your aunt, your grandfather and two of your cousins got killed, while you guys were hiding in the bed. And, I mean, that's just excessive force. Nobody in America agrees with that. Even in a fire fight, nobody's whole family should get wiped out unless there is just absolutely no other way. And we want you to know that everybody here 100% believes you guys absolutely deserve $2,500 for every single one of them! Now, we've heard some stuff about some Iraquis not wanting to take the money. Well, that's just silly. It isn't charity--you earned it! We want you to have it! Don't worry about the Army. They plan to make these payments, it's just overhead to them. Don't feel bad, now--you take the money! I mean, add it up: seven times $2,500--man, you could buy a Ramcharger for that! (If you want a lot of options, well, you still got one heck of a down payment there.)

Some of the liberal media are saying your grandfather was 77 years old and in a wheelchair when he got shot, and they're making a big deal of it. Now I know this'll be hard for you kids to understand, but see, in combat, you can't trust anybody. I mean nobody. Even a baby. An old man in a wheelchair might have a grenade in his lap. Now, your grandfather probably didn't, which was an honest mistake. As I said, that does happen in war. But try to look at it from their point of view--the Leathernecks, I mean. They didn't know! What were they supposed to do, politely say, "Do you have a grenade in your lap, Mr. Camel-driver?"--yeah, sure, while he's pulling the pin and saying "Olly olly oxen free," or whatever it is you guys say when you're gonna kill somebody? Well, I guess not. Those Marines have got themselves and their buddies to think about. And they have families at home too! Let's not forget that!

So, in conclusion, I want you kids to know that the sacrifices your family has made will not be in vain. You will grow up in a free, democratic Iraq. President Bush has said so. He's a Christian so you know he's good for it. As we Americans go to cemeteries to remember our dead, we will be remembering yours, too. As we go on our picnics and play softball and watch the Indy 500 and celebrate our freedom, we will be celebrating yours, too. That's the important thing, Iman and Abdul: freedom. Your loved ones, regrettable as it is, died for their freedom. But just remember what President Bush said: No sacrifice is too great for freedom.