If You See Something, Say Something...by Brooklyn Rail Staff
You’re tired, you’re cranky, you just want to be left alone—you enter the subway and a stranger hands you a postcard: “It’s about the Iraq War; It’s free.” Looking at the picture and reading the text, it’s not about you anymore—but in fact it is.
A project of 100,000 postcards (in five different versions) distributed via stealth methods at strategic locations within the metropolitan area of New York City and beyond. Each card addresses the subject of the Iraq War from a different point of concern—it was an aggressive war, a crime against peace; the American people were misled into war; the indefinite detention without due process, and torture of detainees flies in the face of prevailing human rights laws; the indiscriminate use of weapons (including chemical) on civilian populations is in direct contravention of the Geneva Conventions; the attempt to censor information on the extent of damage and loss of life, sustained by both the American military and the Iraqi people (both civilian and military), obscures the true cost of war; the economic reasons and the projected financial cost of the war have been intentionally underestimated; and last, by implication, the media has failed to look at the reality of these charges.
This is an anonymous project.
For more details, contact: firstname.lastname@example.org
“I contend that through it all the people know. The American people unfortunately are used to political shading, spin and the usual chicanery they hear from public officials. The patiently tolerate it up to a point. But there is a line. It may seem to be drawn in invisible ink for a time, but eventually it will appear in dark colors tinged with anger. When it comes to shedding American blood—when it comes to wreaking havoc on civilians, on innocent men, women, and children, callous dissembling is not acceptable. Nothing is worth that kind of lie—not oil, not revenge, not re-election, not somebody’s grand pipedream of a democratic domino theory.
And mark my words, the calculated intimidation which we see so often of late by the ‘powers that be’ will only keep the loyal opposition quiet for so long. Because eventually, like it always does, the truth will emerge. And when it does, this house of cards, built of deceit, will fall.”
-Senator Robert Byrd, West Virginia. Senate floor remarks, 5/21/2003
“I joined the Army to exact some sort of retribution on what happened to us, whether it be going to find Osama bin Laden or to get al-Qaeda. But so far there have been 2,000 dead American soldiers and some 100,000 dead Iraqi civilians. From the start I didn’t see a connection between Iraq and 9/11, but when Bush first said, ‘Weapons of Mass Destruction,’ I bought into that a bit. However, when that reason became more and more bullshit I started to fall off the bandwagon. It became clear they didn’t have any strong connection and that’s when I started to snap. I was saying, ‘See these oil fires? This is why we’re here, guys. We’re not defending freedom.’
I realized my reasons for joining were being twisted. Our truck was beaten up. It was supposed to have a canvas cover and armor on the sides. It didn’t have either. Space was so tight that I had my legs folded and was lying on my back so more people could get in. I was meant to have my M16 aiming off the side but I couldn’t get enough room to pivot it around and shoot if I needed to.
They opened fire and myself and three or four others got shot. It was like shooting fish in a barrel. But the fact that I’m in this situation, compounded with the fact we went to an immoral war, makes it hard to accept.”
-Pfc. Tomas Young, Army 1st Cavalry Division, age 25, was left paralyzed from the chest down after being shot in an ambush on April 4, 2004. He is a member of Iraq Veterans Against the War. The Daily Mirror, 10/27/2005.
ContributorBrooklyn Rail Staff