My name is
Ahmed and I am nineteen years old. I was
raised and used to live in the
Saddam Hussein was President of Iraq when I was growing up. I knew little of him, but most people in my village thought he was a bad man. However, one man named Jamel who lived nearby thought he was a good president. Jamel did not get along with my family or our neighbors. Most people were afraid of Jamel and thought he was crazy, but my father did not fear him and once had strong words with him. Because of this, Jamel hated my father and swore he would get even with him. We avoided Jamel as best we could and went on with our lives.
One day the
village elders told us that the Americans were coming to destroy Saddam Hussein
and take over our country. At first I
did not believe this. How could this be
true? Americans do not take over other
countries and what did they need
One day an
officer from Saddam's army came into our town to recruit young men to fight
against the Americans. He told us that
the Americans were coming soon and would begin their offensive by bombing
later, the bombs started falling on
A day or so
later, some Iraqi troops came back into our village. This time they gave guns to the men and told us
that we must slow the American advance on
Several of us
took up positions outside our village and waited for the Americans to
arrive. We didn't have to wait
long. At first, all we could see was the
dust of their vehicles on the road but soon their monstrous machines came into
view. Frightened out of our wits, we
began to fire in the direction of the Americans and suddenly there was a
tremendous noise. That is the last thing
I remember of the
When I awoke, my hands were tied behind my back and I had a sack over my head. I soon realized that I was not alone and I was in a room with several other prisoners. I lay on the ground for hours on end and was sure that I would soon be killed. After what seemed like and eternity, two men brought me to my feet and dragged me into an interrogation room. My hood was removed and I gazed into the face of an American for the first time in my life. In the course of my interrogation I learned that a man from my village had told them that I was an al-Qaida operative and that the only way I could save myself was to tell them everything I knew. Apparently, Jamel had finally made good his boast.
interrogation went on for several days.
I was threatened, beaten, and humiliated, but, of course, I could tell the
Americans nothing because I knew nothing.
One day, I was tied, hooded, and loaded into a truck. I was sure this was the end and my fate was
to be a pile of bones buried under the desert sands. However, despite my fears, I was taken from
the trunk and loaded into what turned out to be an airplane. I have never been in an airplane before and
wished they would remove my hood so I could see what flying through the air was
like. My wishes were in vain and after
many hours, we finally landed and I learned I was in
I have now been
The story above is a fabrication and not true. However, while the facts are contrived, the situation described or something similar has been experienced by untold numbers of young Arabs throughout the Arab world. And we self-servingly call these young men and women terrorists even though in a different time and place they would be called patriots and freedom fighters. The tragedies being experienced by these unfortunate people are a direct result of the way our war on terrorism is being fought and prosecuted. But no matter, if we win our war, no one save a few relatives and friends will mourn the passing of these innocents and we will be able to celebrate a great victory over the "forces of evil".
As an American and Christian, I do not feel like most of my fellow citizens. I do not believe that "Shocking and Awing" a downtrodden and defenseless people is the way to fight terrorism or avenge 9/11. I also grieve and abhor the fact that my government has brought murder, mayhem, and terrorism to defenseless and innocent people just because they were the easiest target available.
We are told
the cost is worth it because we are bringing democracy to
I am an American. I love my nation and its people and yes, I place our safety and well being ahead of all others. However, in my eyes what we are doing to the world is not in our best interest and against everything we hold dear as Americans. We have become what we hate the most; oppressive tyrants trying to mold the world to our liking, not to make Americans and America safer, but to make others just like us so we think we are safer. I am ashamed of what our government is doing to the rest of the world and I am ashamed that so many Americans think what we are doing is in our best interest. These notions are not just wrong; they are ill-conceived, bankrupt, and criminal. May God have mercy on this nation and the people in it that support a government that is now pursuing a course that is not just un-American, but evil as well.