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Oct 25, 2007



Greetings, Bruce & Nesreen --

Many thanks for last night's presentation in Middletown. The tragedy for our two countries goes beyond political statements or feeling "sorry." I have followed some blogs out of Iraq for a while and was not surprised by what we heard and saw last night but to confront someone, face to face, makes it a lot more real.

I was interested in your (Bruce's) mention of how your dialog with the Iraqi school children got started ... slowly and carefully it seemed. I've recently been carrying on an internet friendship with someone in a European country whose family lived through the WWII era and, as he was living in Switzerland but spoke Germany, it took me the longest time to get up the nerve to ask, "Are you Swiss or are you German?"

He was German and, because we were collaborating on a research paper which involved someone who had lived through both WW's plus the Russian Revolution, we were able to slowly exchange personal information on that era, largely because we both shared a poor opinion of violence as a way to solve human problems.

He too has asked why the Americans taught the (younger generation) of Germans democratic values but now don't seem to follow them themselves. (As an infant, he too had almost lost his life in a bombing.)

While the students like to blame "big corporations" or "the corporate media," we have to face the fact that Americans have more opportunities than many people to "find out the facts."

Wars are so easy to start and so difficult to end. Please keep up your educational work. The more people in this country who can relate, personally, to the daily tragedies of their Iraqi neighbors, the more hope there will be for our support of Iraqis and not just our own troops.

Again, thanks and best wishes. I am a believer and I can only pray that a light emerges from all this sad darkness.

-- Phil

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