this diary is dedicated to all who suffer because of war and other disasters

we honor courage in all its forms

cross-posted at DailyKos, Booman Tribune, European Tribune, and My Left Wing.

images and poem below the fold

“I was at home with my sister. She asked me to buy some ice cream. So I thought: `Good idea. I’ll get one for you and one for me.’ I remember walking toward the market. Then, an explosion. I woke up at the hospital. Now I am burnt. My ankle is broken. My body is filled with shrapnel.”
– Ali Khalil Thejeil, 22
Wounded when a bomb ignited a fuel truck

“We had just started playing. Then I woke up in the hospital. I heard that Muhammad was also hurt. I do not know if he has burns or open wounds. I am just waiting to get out of the hospital so I can play again. I told my mother to tell my brother not to play outside anymore.”
– Hader Redha, 11
Wounded when a bomb ignited a fuel truck

“I came to Baghdad looking for a job. I decided to join the army or police department. I went to the recruiting center. The bomber was among us, talking with us. A stranger saved my life. He yells, ‘Come over here with me, I want to talk to you.’ I had gone maybe two or three meters. … There was an explosion.”
– Hider Fesal Ridhey, 22
Wounded in a suicide bombing

from The Face and Voice of Civilian Sacrifice in Iraq
by By John F. Burns
photos by Adam Nadel/Polaris, for The New York Times
Published: December 26, 2005

I posted a comment in DrReason’s diary on Monday that was not well-informed (my comment, not his diary).

While DrReason was moved to write a diary by this story and these photos in the New York Times, I took it as an occasion to rant “… until the Times and their compadres regularly feature images that accurately depict what this war means to the people who have to live with it, images that are READILY AVAILABLE EVERY FUCKING DAY, I really can’t get too excited about the kind of low-hanging fruit that they’re picking…”

Well, I went back and looked more carefully at all of the pictures, and these aren’t “low-hanging fruit” at all. Thanks to DrReason for his diary, and for pointing me to these photos.

In California During the Gulf War
by Denise Levertov  

 Among the blight-killed eucalypts, among
trees and bushes rusted by Christmas frosts,
the yards and hillsides exhausted by five years of drought,

certain airy white blossoms punctually
reappeared, and dense clusters of pale pink, dark pink–
a delicate abundance. They seemed

like guests arriving joyfully on the accustomed
festival day, unaware of the year’s events, not perceiving
the sackcloth others were wearing.

To some of us, the dejected landscape consorted well
with our shame and bitterness. Skies ever-blue,
daily sunshine, disgusted us like smile-buttons.

Yet the blossoms, clinging to thin branches
more lightly than birds alert for flight,
lifted the sunken heart

even against its will.
                      But not
as symbols of hope: they were flimsy
as our resistance to the crimes committed

–again, again–in our name; and yes, they return,
year after year, and yes, they briefly shone with serene joy
over against the dark glare

of evil days. They are, and their presence
is quietness ineffable–and the bombings are, were,
no doubt will be; that quiet, that huge cacophany

simultaneous. No promise was being accorded, the blossoms
were not doves, there was no rainbow. And when it was claimed
the war had ended, it had not ended.

– – –
put a meaningful magnet on your car or metal filing cabinet

read Ilona’s important diary at MLW – Returning Vet PTSD – One Soldier’s Story as well her comprehensive series on PTSD and Iraq War vets.

view the pbs newshour silent honor roll (with thanks to jimstaro at booman.)

take a private moment to light one candle among many (with thanks to TXSharon)

support Veterans for Peace
support the Iraqi people
support the Campaign for Innocent Victims in Conflict (CIVIC)
support CARE
support the victims of torture
remember the fallen
support Tragedy Assistance Program for Survivors – TAPS
support Gold Star Families for Peace
support the fallen
support the troops
support Iraq Veterans Against the War
support Military families Speak Out
support the troops and the Iraqi people
read This is what John Kerry did today, the diary by lawnorder that prompted this series
read Riverbend’s Bagdhad Burning
read Dahr Jamail’s Iraq Dispatches
read Today in Iraq
witness every day

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