I don't discuss Iraq much on this blog because I am in conflict about our presence there. I sided with the Holy Father against our invasion of Iraq, and wish it would just end soon, so we don't end up with President Hillary. I do understand the probable disaster which would occur if we withdraw prematurely, as recently expressed by President Bush. My point of view is; I didn't want to go in, but now that we're there, let's finish the job ASAP and get out. So, I pray for our troops, send them my support where possible and follow the news looking for signs of hope.
Here is the most powerful story I have ever heard from Iraq. Twenty four special needs boys were found in a terrible state in an Iraqi orphanage; naked, filthy, and starving while their well-supplied caretakers were cooking a meal for themselves in the next room. Our troops found them in the nick of time and brought them the first human compassion they have experienced in their lonely lives. My heart is bursting with conflicting emotions as I write this. As the mother of a special needs child I was sick with grief and rage at the thought that such helpless, innocent children are neglected like this, and as an American, I was bursting with pride at the heroic intervention of our troops, especially the tenderness of Leuitenant Jason Smith, a special ed teacher from North Carolina, whose brother-in-law has special needs, knew that the boys needed the personal of another human being. He brushed their teeth! See video of the interview of Lt. Smith.
They are OK now, in temporary quarters, but they need our help. Would anyone out there be interested in adopting them, to give them homes where they can be given the love they have missed out on their entire lives?
The original story was on CBS News June 18, 2007.Here is an update from CBS news, including how you can help the orphaned boys, and a video of their new orphanage.
A scene comes to mind from the Petrie sisters landmark documentary Mother Teresa. In the midst of the seige of Beirut, a similar emergency of abandoned special needs orphans appears hopeless, as the home lies on the other side of the embattled city. Mother Teresa confidently informs the rescue workers that she has asked Our Lady for a ceasefire on her feast day the following day, so that the children can be rescued. The next day arrives, and the silence reveals the power of prayer. Mother Teresa arrives at the home to terrified handicapped children, abandoned by their caregivers. They are removed, and the cameras focus on Mother caressing a trembling child, who gradually calms down enough to gaze gratefully into her eyes. Her compassion, likethat of Lt. Smith, overcome the terrors of war and neglect.