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Dear Mr and Mrs Citizen

by Paul F. Heller Sunday, Feb. 09, 2003 at 5:16 AM

The kind of thing you can expect to find in your mailbox soon enough...

"Dear Mr. and Mrs. Citizen,

Enclosed is a small brass urn, which holds the ashes that were left over after we burned your son's body in the desert outside of Baghdad. Actually, it only looks like a brass urn ... really it's made out of zinc, which is a lot cheaper to produce than real brass, but it can be plated to look just like it. We do the same thing when we make those gold Indian Head dollars that nobody uses.

But the point is, your kid took part in a grand battle, one of the finest ever, if you're asking me. Like I've said all along, you're either with us, or you're out of bidness. When the terrorists attacked my – our country, everything changed forever. We did what we had to do. I told Saddam to disarm, and he didn't. I told the world to get in line for this thing, and they didn't. Saddam said he'd use chemical weapons on our troops, and I told him he'd better not, but he did anyway, just like I figured he would. But like I said back on February 7th, the game is over ... and just as soon as we find him, he's a dead man, on my word. That'll bring some justice to your family and help you get over the loss of your son.

I know that throughout history, the remains of soldiers who have fallen in the field of battle have always been brought back home. That's a military policy that goes back to the birth of this great nation. But this war was different. Hell, everything's different now. So when we sent your son, who was technically our property at the time, to a place where we knew he would get hit with just about anything that could kill him, it was decided ahead of time that we wouldn't be able to bring back his dead body. When things like that take place, we have no choice but to burn the disease-ridden corpse, wherever it may fall.

Your son knew going into this war that it could get a little crazy out there. But he was a volunteer, one of the best of the best, and I can tell you he approached those final days with a vigor that would have made you proud. He said he believed that every day of his nineteen years had led up to this. At least I heard he said that.

So anyway, here's your urn. I hope you can find a nice place, someplace like my beautiful ranch in Crawford, Texas, to scatter his ashes. Please do keep in mind that these bacterio ... bacteriala ... these germs can tend to live a long time (tens of thousands of years in some cases), so kind of scatter 'em downwind, and in a desolate area, if you know what I mean.

We want to thank you for the use of your son for as much time as we needed him. If you have any other strapping young men in the family, please think about how they, too, might serve their country. We could probably even arrange to transfer your son's leftover scholarship money to the next one. In fact, I'll have Don check into that right away.

Try not to forget that you all were instrumental in ridding the world of evil, and Saddam Hussein (when we find him, I mean, and we will find him). My Dad told me he never liked Saddam, and that he only went golfing with him a couple of times because he had to, when he was in charge of the CIA. But the world is a safer place now that we've gotten rid of that evil dictator and his weapons of mass destruction. The Iraqi people are free now, the Middle East is more secure, and my buddy Dick's old company got the contract to soup up their oil fields, so he's retiring, and Colin Powell is going to be the Vice President in my next term (I owe him a favor). Everybody's a winner in this one, and your son was in part responsible for it.

By the way, another round of those tax rebate checks will be coming out pretty soon, and I swear we're gon' get this economy rolling again pretty soon, too. The big thing is we want you to keep more of your money, so that you can spend it or save it for your children's college education, whatever you like. It is, after all, your money.

Thanks again,



"P.S: And God Bless America."

The point being, it won't really matter if Bush is right or wrong, any more than it will matter what the letter actually says, or what the urn will be made of ... somebody's kid will be just as dead. That's why you should not support any war that is not totally justifiable. Thank you for reading this very difficult essay.

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