I, and many other bloggers, wrote earlier this year about an incident in which a U.S. Army patrol fired on a car in Iraq that carried a mother, father, and six children. The parents were killed and one of the kids was badly wounded. What made this incident different from many other accidental (or reckless) shootings during the course of the war was the presence of a press photographer, Chris Hondros of Getty Images, who recorded the horror of the scene. Newsweek has a story in its current issue on the shooting’s extraordinarily unhappy aftermath.
I see this evening, by way of Mark Frauenfelder on BoingBoing, that a group of people in the Seattle area has set up a relief fund for the family, the Hassans (the parents left nine children behind; the boy wounded in the attack suffered spinal injuries and could be permanently paralyzed unless he gets access to expensive medical treatment unavailable in Iraq). The fund has been organized under the auspices of an Anglican church group and a tech consulting firm, and is taking donations by mail or via PayPal. Check out the relief fund page for yourself.
Perhaps the fund is just our typical Yank gesture: We’re so sorry we killed your parents; let us give you some cash. On the other hand, it’s a small way of trying to set right the damage wrought by all our highly principled, well-intentioned violence.
4 Replies to “Making Up for Good Intentions”
Thank you very much for putting a link to the Hassan Family Fund site on your blog. Just wanted to say thanks and tell you that our first order of business is already in motion — we’re working to get Rakan to medical treatment, and the funds we raise are going to help defray the costs of travel and housing during that time. Then we’re targeting permanent housing for the family, and possibly a scholarship in the parents’ name. God Bless. Thanks a lot!
I, too, wanted to thank you for posting the link. I e-mailed Mark Frauenfelder Yesterday right after I got the note from Chris Hondros, and Mark was cool enough to post it within an hour.
I know it is small compensation to throw money to those who we, as a nation have tragically effected in ways we can never truly understand, let alone recompense. Yet for some of us who have little else to offer, at least is something, and I am thankful to have at least some opportunity to make any difference I can.
I am so haunted by these children. They are innocent victims of this illegal war. Please do all you can to make sure that they get our help. I particularly want to see the husband of the older sister get some money for the childrens’ support. We do not belong in Iraq. Our soldiers do not belong in Iraq.
I share your sentiments, Kristine. I think the fund is a good gesture, and I hope folks give what they can. As for the rest, I think it’s important just to keep the subject alive and keep people thinking about it.