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Life Arts    H3'ed 5/5/11

What Children Think of War

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These are excerpts from my "Unanswered Letter to Osama," that I've published before, but that overall is a bit long-winded for the average reader, myself included. These relatively unedited quotes were taken from a sixth grade class, in a poverty stricken school; I always worked hard as a teacher not to press my own views on students, but to help them learn and discuss facts (these came largely from Time Magazine for Kids, in this instance). Given that they speak for themselves, I don't feel much need for a large intro here; I would only note that working with kids has always been my largest source of hope for our own survival, as a single species on a finite planet.  
In fact, I would like to quote to you some words from my sixth graders, words they wrote about the war in Iraq. I tried hard not to influence them, and I encouraged them to think for themselves, as I always do. I hope you will read their words several times:

Becoming president means to be responsible, to think about the people first, and to make the right decision, and in this case Bush made a bad one. If I got to ask George one question I would ask him is it worth it? Is it worth losing lives over war?

The war is just killing people and there dreams. George Bush is making a big mistake by leading us into a bigger war. 

I don 't like the war at all. Everytime I hear there is war it makes me want to cry. Sometimes at night I would have nightmares. I would dream that my dad got sent to war and that he got killed. What we need in the world is Peace, not wars. If I was in the war I wouldn 't fight I would help the injured people instead of fighting for something stupid.

I don 't like wars because it makes everybody sad and angry... I think Bush and Saddam Hussein are acting like two persons from kindergarten and they are fighting like kids. The children in Iraq are seeing their mother and their father dying. Some of the children in America are waiting for their father and they don 't know if their father will come home or die.

I don 't think we should go to war because all you grownups are telling us that fighting is not how to solve problems but there you grownups are going to war.

We should not take the lives of innocent people that have nothing to do with it. I think Bush just wants to be powerful and I also think he want to start wars with everyone who does not like him. How I feel about the war is angry and I also think it is useless. If I were president I would try to get along with all the countrys and not start wars! 

I 'm so sad about this war against Iraq. I 've experienced difficulties in a war because I was born in Somalia. I hate wars because young children see their mothers and fathers die and the children die of hungry. People 's homes burn and they have to leave their families, friends and jobs. Sometimes I pray to God that the war will stop. Sometimes I think if little kids can have a truce why can 't Saddam and Bush? 

I think that there should be no war because there is no point. At the end of the war all George Bush will have is a group of died people. I think he lost his mined. He has no proof of Sadam Hussan or Osama ben laden being friends. He has no proof of WMDs. I feel sad because the solgers in Iraq and the USA all mite die and their family and friends are going to cry and they are all going to be missed. 

I believe George W. Bush is starting to become a bully... Why is George W. Bush just charging in? He is the problem. He doesn 't have any evidence that Saddam Hussein is making weapons of mass destruction.

I want the people to stop the war. It 's not just me a lot of people in world wants to stop the war. I 'm so sad for those children who lost their parents and those women who lost their husbands. President Bush is making a lot of reason for war. He says that Iraquians are making weapons. If they really are then why they are not using it?

Nobody knows the reason why there is war. If George Bush wants to get revenge with Saddam Hussin they why doesn 't he get revenge by himself. The world needs peace instead the world is having no peace.

The President thinks we want Osama bin Laden but really what we want is peace. The US is all about peace. But why don 't we have Peace? "In God we trust " I said to myself one day but I think the President doesn 't know that. If the president knew that we wouldn 't fight.

What 's the difference? Me and my family got away from Somalia because of all the war. Now come to America. Sometimes my mom waches the news to see what 's happening. When I wach it with my mom it make me wish that I never wached it. I see bomb going from every direction and mistals flying around. I pray to my God hoping the wars will stop soon. I think we are all one wrold. If me and my enemies can get along why can 't Saddam and Bush?

I think the war is stupid and meaningless. Even if we win, what are we going to get as a feedback? What is the point of this war? My opinion is that George W. Bush is a stupid brainless, dumb guy that can 't settle this thing with Iraq in a peaceful way. Why don 't George B go to war too?

I really want to tell you how kids feel about the war. We feel unsafe and scared. We feel like Bush doesn 't care about us, he only cares about himself... It is horrifying when you see bombs and missiles hiting a building. Parents should ask their kids if they are scared about the war. If they are, don 't make them talk, listen and watch things about the war. Let them do their homework and watch T.V. Do something that will take it off their mind. [I promised this girl we would not talk about the war any more].
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In my run for U.S. Senate against Utah's Orrin Hatch, I posted many progressive ideas and principles that I internalized over the years. I'm leaving that site up indefinitely, since it describes what I believe most members of our species truly (more...)

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