Layla Anwar Writes to the G.I.’s

A letter to an American G.I.

When I watch pictures of your dead buddies on and I read some of your naive childlike poems, I feel sorry for you. I honestly do.
I feel sorry for you yet at the same time I feel anger.
It is a very confusing mix of ambivalent, contradictory emotions.
On the one hand,I would love to strike you and on the other hand I say to myself, it is not really your fault.
You chose it yet you did not choose it.
From your perspective you are only “executing orders” . Yet hard facts on the battle ground tell me that you also enjoy the humiliation you inflict on these “alien” “evil ” people-the Iraqis.

Despite your own neediness and your being in “it” because “it” will give you a grant, a green card and maybe the famous passport with an embossed striped eagle , you still believe you are superior, a better race, a more advanced one, a purer one.

I see the pictures of your dead buddies and I think of their mothers and fathers and the bitterness and grief they may feel. You all look so young and in many ways so innocent.

Yet when I see you kicking young Iraqis around and beating them to death, when I see you raping little girls and burning them, when I see you making Iraqi children run miles after a plastic bottle of water or when you teach those poor little souls to say “Fuck you Iraq”, just for the fun of it – I can’t but have hate for you .
(I will not even mention the torture, nor the pillaging – you know all of that already)

When I see you urinating in and on sacred places and when I see you writing your degenerate graffitis on 7’000 years old archeological sites, with absolutely no respect or regard for other people’s Faith, Culture and History- I can’t but have contempt for you.

When I hear innombrable stories like this one : When you stripped naked my friend- a woman with more qualifications than the whole of your army put together, 45 years old , old enough to be your own mother. You said you wanted to make sure she is not “hiding something down there” in her undies. Remember that one ? You did that in front of 30 of your male buddies in your “special” camp. Then you offered her a coke so she can relax and”chill out”.
She would not tell me the rest of the story, she said: “Let sleeping dogs lie”.
I want you to know that she left Iraq and everything she owned after that incident because of you. She said to me: “I do not want to take anything with me, not even another pair of underwear. Let them have it all.” This is how much you disgusted her with your acts.
Yes , when I hear yet another story like this one -I can’t but despise you.

I admit, at times, I have empathy for you and for the life you left behind- a life you may never return to.

And sometimes I sit and wonder if you realize the amount of pain and suffering you are inflicting on an innocent people who have done NOTHING to you.
Do you actually realize the enormity and severity of your actions? Do you realize how many deep wounds and scars that may never heal, you are leaving behind you ?

And sometimes, I sit and wonder what happens when you go to sleep at night. Can you sleep in peace? Can you close your eyes with a clean conscience ?

And sometimes, I sit and wonder when you finish your round of harassing and killing Iraqis and you deliberately leave them bloated by Death on the streets for days on end – can you still fool yourself and pretend to send “Love” letters to your family, wife or girlfriend?

I have a lot more to say to you but I feel I have said enough. After all , I am not supposed to be engaging you.

But before I end this letter and go back to my daily angst of “living” under your occupation, I want you to know that somewhere deep down, I do care about your sorry little ass.
I care enough not because I like you or enjoy your presence -far from it- but simply because of the mere fact that we happen to belong to the same “race”. The human one . And I still have a little faith left on that “front”.
I care enough to want you to save your own Self , that Self that will undoubtedly come back to haunt you one of those days. And by doing so , you are also saving your own Life.
You owe it to “yourself” and you can do it with one simple word : REFUSE.
Just do it , do it NOW, do it before it’s too late.


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