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29 April 2008

Short Novel: 4 American Hostages in Baghdad, Chapter 4

Please read from Introduction through Chapter 3.


Kevin stayed away from computer desk and went back to the floor. The four Americans and three Iraqi men sat on the floor face to face. The three men held machine gun and hand guns with them. A leader of the Iraqi men, Kashim held the machine gun but suddenly placed it on the floor. He then spoke to other 2 guys to put the guns down on the floor.

“Hey, guys, you will be saved. We never want to kill any of you, especially a woman. That is against Koran teaching” said Kashim looking at Loretta.

“Is that so? I thought Islam despised women. Women have to wear scarves to cover her hairs and faces. Women are not allowed to disobey her husbands. That is what Koran says” Loretta said to Kashim. 

“This isn’t all true. In Koran, women’s independence is recognized. Islam prophet, Muhammad’s wife was a business woman. Koran clearly rules a wife can receive certain portion of the couple’s asset after the divorce. We do take care of the women’s rights. You, westerners misunderstand us. There are a lot of working women in Iraq and other Islam world” Kashim replied in confidence.

Then Kevin said to Kashim. “But you attacked us and some of your people attacked our people using their own bodies. That is what you call “Jihad”, isn’t it. Your religion defends violence and that drives Muslims to do terrorist attacks all over the world.”

“Jihad means restraining ourselves, not to attack others. Islam values peace. Islam literary means “Peace”” Kashim replied. “In your own interpretation, isn’t it. As far as I know, a lot of suicide bombers justified their crazy acts in the name of Jihad. I don’t believe your words” said Kevin.

Kashim said nothing to Kevin’s remark and the silence kept for a while.

“Our religion, Christianity does defend violence. That is why we are in a war, isn’t it” said John to break a silence.

“What do you mean? Does Christian bible have something like “jihad”?” asked Kevin.

“Yes, it does. Read Matthew Chapter 10, Verse 34 to 39, I come not to bring peace but to bring a sword. Evangelicals who support our president say this war is holly war. In fact, Iraq had no weapons of mass-destruction and no link with Al Queda. The government knew that but went into this stupid war and involved a poor guy like me in the turmoil.” John said with anger.


“Hey, we overthrew Saddam Hussein and freed Iraqi people. Hussein had oppressed Iraqi people” Kevin said to John and Kashim.

“Freed us? You are wrong. You just messed our land. Yes. Hussein was a brutal dictator but at least he provided us order. When Hussein was gone, we were happy at first because we could never spoke ill of Hussein. There was no freedom of speech. We felt free and even appreciated your military. But later we realized the things got worse. After Hussein’s regime, a lot of different clans started to fight one another. Your military never tried to restrain order. Only Hussein could maintain the order by his dictatorship. Now there is no order but only anarchism prevails. You invaded us because your country wanted the oil in our land. Not to provide us democracy” said Kashim with anger, glaring at Kevin.



“Who is this baby?” Loretta said holding a picture frame and looking at the photo in it. It was a photo of a crippled baby with a respirator on her face. She found it on the low table near her. She was shocked to see the photo.

“She was my daughter. She died a few months ago. She had only one arm and one lung. She couldn’t breathe well. She died a few months after she was born. After she died, my wife died because of the tumor. A lot of people suffered from cancers in this country. You know why? It is because of depleted uranium weapons your military dumped our land” Kashim said with tears.

“What is Depleted Uranium?” asked Loretta. She never heard of anything like that in her life.

“That is the weapon using highly concentrated nuclear wastes. That works. It can easily burn anything and anybody into charcoal in a second. Very deadly and cost effective weapon. That is what our military says. They never disclose side-effect of this weapon. After they were used, high level of radiation was scattered in the surrounding areas where the weapons were hit. When human bodies absorbed the radiation, it would cause cancers and leukemia. For pregnant women, defective babies can result. Our media never want to report anything about it. I, myself knew nothing like that until I came here. Well, I guess I am affected already” said John.

“You are already affected?” asked Kevin.

“Yeah, you may be as well. As long as you are here, you are in danger of DU exposure. Well, even if I could come back home, I wouldn’t be saved. I have no medical insurance. I cannot afford that. I can go to free military hospital but I will have to wait for months to see a doctor” said John.

“Speaking of a doctor, when my father was hit by a truck on the farm, he was never treated at the hospital. He was rejected by the hospital because he was illegal immigrant. He died on the road with no medicine. They just dumped him like trash” Fernando spoke with tears.


  “We are like disposal weapons for this corrupt war. War for the rich people like you, two” said John glaring at Kevin and Loretta.

“Why are you taking on us? We are all Americans” said Kevin.

“It seems there are two fronts in this war. A front in Iraq . The other one in the U.S. We are at the civil war. Your people start the stupid war and only the poor like us are just sent to the battle fields. Now we are together here. I am very lucky to die with you, two.” said John with fierce anger.   


Two Americans and the other two Americans started to look at each other like the two pairs fighting match on the ring. Kashim and his comrades were just surprised to see this strange phenomenon. Kashim learned Americans were the victims of the war, too.

“Hey, please calm down. You will be saved. Let’s stop fighting each other. I will release all of you after the thing will work” said Kashim.

Da, da, da, suddenly big sounds were heard to the house they were in. The house was shaken by the big sounds. It was sounds of propellers. The propellers of a helicopter.


“Yes, we will be saved. The thing worked” said Kevin smiling.

John, suddenly figured out what Kevin meant. John seized Kevin by his collar.

“You tricked them. You called military to come and get us.”


Go on to the Last Chapter. One more chapter than expected!

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