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OIC Director
On 10 Aug 2004 at 18:58
I actually read this story. I'm sorry that the news has given you a dramatically different version of what is happening in Iraq. We all know there is violence in Iraq otherwise it wouldn't be called a war. However, there are so many great ways to help and I applaud you for realizing that vandalism doesn't get the point across that we originally hoped. It's just simply viewed as vandalism.

Thank you for channeling your energy in a positive direction whether it is for Operation Iraqi Children or for another need based program. We are very happy to have your involvement in this program and we are looking forward to hearing about the success of your school supply collection effort!

All our best to you in your educational endeavors!

Mary Beth Eastwood
OIC Director

Ian Goodman
On 31 Jul 2004 at 19:27
I wrote a short story recently from the perspective of a 13 year old boy. It's about two pages long. Any comments would be greatly appreciated!

THE NIGHT SQUAD AGAINST THE WAR IN IRAQ!

GRADE 8 ENGLISH PROJECT
STUDENT: CARL TOOPE
TEACHER: MRS. SMOGINSKY
DATE: JUNE 2, 2004

PLEASE NOTE: I am not good at writing short stories and wish you would let me draw you a comic instead, Mrs. Smoginsky. I have a lot of experience drawing and one day will be an artist for Marvel comics. Your loss. I can warn you right now that I may flunk this assignment so don't get your hopes up. But my mom helped me with the verb grammar and commas so they will be okay. However, she still thinks it's too dark. This is a war story about Iraq even though I have never been to Iraq and have only seen a few things on TV. But I did some studying on the internet so it's not bad.

THE SHORT STORY:
So there is a team of American pilots who fly B-2A planes and bomb targets in Iraq. They use laser or satellite guided smart bombs but there is still unfortunately room for error. One pilot is named Buzzard O'Reilly. He is a handsome man with a strong jaw line and his smile is popular with everyone. The girls in the airforce like him so much that they even give him cookies from their lunch.

Captain O'Reilly does bombing raids on targets in Iraq and follows order and is a good pilot. But they fly high up in the sky and usually do not see what happens when they drop their bombs that have JDAMs (Joint Direct Attack Munitions) which do all the hi-tech seeing for them. All of this can be found at the US military's official website: "www.af.mil/factsheets/factsheet.asp?fsID=108".

So this one time a bomb hits its target properly and sets an ammunition factory on fire. But the streets around the factory become very hot because the fire is so strong.
There is a mother who runs out of her house because she hears someone crying. It is her daughter, Zainab. (Her name can be found on the internet at "www.iraqbodycount.net /names.htm"). Zainab is stuck on the road because the asphalt has heated up so much from the factory fire that the road has melted and the girl's feet are stuck there now. Her mother tries to help her by running onto the road but she gets stuck on the road too like a fly on glue. So far, she does not panic. But then she watches Zainab spontaneously combust. Zainab falls backward and lands on her back. But since her feet are stuck to the road, her knees are bent up in the air. I wish I could draw you a picture because it was a grim sight. She is dead now at this point. Her mother is worried because she thinks the same thing will happen to her and she is right. Her back lights on fire and she dies tragically.

And actually, I only half made that up. You can watch "The Valor and the Horror" which is a Canadian documentary on WW II that my dad owns. It tells the exact same story of the mother and the daughter stuck in the road when the allies fire-bombed Nuremburg. Iraq sounds very similar so I just switched the story from WWII into Iraq. And in the Gulf War they used the same B-52 bombers that they used in WW II! You would be amazed at the how similar WW II is to the stuff you see on the news today.

PART 2: THE DRAMATIC DENOUEMENT
My mom asked me why I wrote this story and wondered if I was unhappy about something. So I thought about it. And I think it's because I become depressed when I watch the news on TV. But I wanted to do something so I wrote a story about it. My mom then wondered if a sad story really helps because it's just like the news. When people watch the news or read a sad story, they feel powerless. She said that sad stories are worth remembering when they really make people feel something in their hearts. But maybe a story isn't worthwhile unless it makes people do something afterwards.

So I decided that my friend and I would do something about the war. Late on Saturday night last weekend, me and my friend Tim decided to take matters into our own hands. I dressed up all in black and sneaked out of my bedroom at night. That night Carl Toope no longer existed. I was now the "Sepulchre Sabateur" playing "Picture of Silence" by "Sepulchre" in my ipod. I rendez-vous'd with another agent known as "Bad Ass Nostradamus" (sorry for the language but itís the truth!) in the park behind Albert Lacombe School at one in the morning. We called ourselves the Night Squad and Bad Ass Nostradamus wore a beard as a disguise.

After making sure we had the proper gear, we began to throw eggs at parked cars. We did this because my dad says cars use so much oil and everyone knows the war is about oil. It was loads of fun as we walked around the streets very quietly. Once a car came and we both ran because the driver would probably definitely stop if he or she saw two kids walking around late at night. We hid behind a hedge until the car sounds faded away. But after that, my friend really got into it and threw the eggs as hard as he could. Luckily he didn't break anything. We tried hard as hell not to laugh but I was seriously worried about getting into trouble. So I decided to do something that would explain to people what was going on. I tore sheets of paper from my notebook and wrote notes to the people who owned the cars. I stuck the notes on the egg goo and they said "Use oil to cook eggs, not people."

When I got home, my Dad was awake and waiting for me. He was very mad that I had sneaked out of my room and I had to tell him what I had done. It was strange because he was smiling a bit and angry at the same time. Then he said I acted with my heart but not my head. He said that the way I acted would just be making people mad and frustrated. Sure, they would think about how oil may be causing the war but they still couldn't do anything about. He said maybe people could think about using the bus or car-pooling but I didn't put that on my notes. Then he said I should do some more research on the internet and find another way to help.

So I did and I found a website called "www.operationiraqichildren.org" . They are interested in sending school supplies and not bullets to Iraq. And to me this makes a lot of sense. Now kids in Iraq have a better chance at writing notes about buses and car-pooling and not letting out their frustration with eggs. So now the Night Squad is organizing a secret mission to collect school supplies, but I'll tell you about that later, Mrs. Smoginsky.


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