Science fiction horror

Letter to the Editor

Posted: Friday, January 31, 2003

I would like to call upon high school teachers who are opposed to a war with Iraq to ask their students to write to President Bush.

I recently read the following words of a high school junior, written as some brainstorming notes for a scene from the future. I was struck by how smoothly the student moved from our world into a world of science fiction horror. I quote here, with the student's permission:

"The present plan for war in Iraq will spark a nuclear conflict between India and Pakistan and will leave all life sickened, dead, or mutated. Bush's "war on terrorism" becomes a distant nightmare as millions of refugees from Europe, Africa, and Asia flee the destruction that has laid waste to the Middle East. Borders have become chaos as national militaries are called upon to control the flood of immigrants literally beating down the doors. Isolationism becomes the word of the century. Living becomes a free-for-all as nations and individuals compete for uncontaminated food and water sources. Dust and radioactive debris kicked up into the air cause a nuclear winter. Nations scramble to move their headquarters and part of the population underground. Acid rain. Plants, animals die. Water becomes unusable. Cities are abandoned. The dead are left unburied. The injured must fend for themselves. Mutations among surviving flora and fauna. Vast cities are built underground to escape the radiation. Nuclear fallout continues, rendering the surface uninhabitable. Value of commodities up. Population down. High levels of radiation lead to cancers, mutations in humans. Life becomes regulated strictly by those who have might. Constantly have to watch your stuff, your back."

We learned from the Vietnam War that our government will respond, but only if our voices are loud enough. Teachers, please ask your students to write to the president or congressman. Who can better speak for us than those who have the most to lose?

Eileen Wagner


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