Dr. Tomaselli's Point of View
Date Added: March 3, 2002
One frequent use of chain e-mails is to use someone else's words to express our opinions. Here's one about the treatment of Afghan detainees that is pretty popular because it says what many of us are thinking.
This was written by a Dr. in Texas and is very good, please read.
I was just reading Yahoo news and the San Antonio Express newspaper.You know what upsets me? People with absolutely nothing to do with their lives, so they complain on how the U.S. is treating the prisoners or "Detainees" from Afghanistan.
Do you know why they are complaining? They see a picture on the news or the internet and they see someone who is shackled and blindfolded and walking with two armed guards behind razor wire. This picture tells them they are treated unfairly.
Here is what I see.... I see a thin, sickly looking person who under severe mental duress from being bombed, was cleaned up, given a haircut to prevent infestation of parasites, and given new clothes and shoes to wear. I see a person who is given three nutritious meals per day and a bed to sleep in in a tropical climate, not the cold desert floor of Afghanistan, eating worms, bugs, and goat. I see a person who will be able to get relief from their pains and illnesses without paying a dime for medical expenses. They will get rest, educated, and their mental stress levels will have dropped tremendously because they were taken out of a combat area and will not be shot at again.
I see these people blindfolded and shackled behind razor wire. I have the intellectual ability to understand why they are this way. For those that do not have this ability, let me explain it to you. They are blindfolded to protect OUR U.S. SOLDIERS from further harm. These people can not plan to destroy something if they can not see it. They are shackled because these same people have proven they will easily give up their lives to kill just ONE AMERICAN. We are protecting their life as well as our own. The razor wire is a mental deterrent, just like the little alarm company warning signs most of you out there have on your home, but don't have the actual alarm system. You would think many times over before actually trying to cross that razor wire. For all of you people out there thinking how bad these poor detainees have it under such strict guard, you need to do a lot more thinking about other things in your life.
I was born on September 11th, 1966, and every birthday I have from now on will never be a happy one. Why, do you ask? Because as I am out somewhere trying to have a nice dinner, someone will have a candle or a ribbon or something, crying about the anniversary of a national tragedy. And then I will think, about how insignificant my one little birthday actually is compared to everything else that had happened on that one day.
It boggles my mind that there are actually people out there in this world, in leadership positions, head of companies that actually think that we are doing something wrong when it comes to protecting our nation and our people. These same people will be the first ones to complain about something that happens to them when they are vacationing outside this country. They will ask why the U.S. does not do anything about their misfortune.These are the same people that complain about taxes and how bad their lives actually are.
If you receive this email, please pass it on to everyone in your address book. I am not afraid or ashamed to speak my peace. I am an American, my father fought for this country, and was willing to die for it.
Dr. Steven Tomaselli
Dr. Steven Thomaselli is indeed a physician in Uvalde, Texas. He told BreakTheChain.org that he authored the essay in question and that the version above is unchanged from his original:
"The article is exactly how I wrote it. In some sites, they take out the last part, I guess because of the name "God", but I don't know.
"My intended audience was friends, business associates and people in New York where I am from. It quickly spread around the world. I received letters and emails from around the world. I received a call from the Pentagon in Washington, D.C. asking me if I was who I say I was and if I did indeed write that letter. I told them yes, they thanked me and that was it. The response was 100 percent positive, with everyone thanking me for putting in words what people thought but didn't actually say. I did not receive one negative thing about the article. It ran in several newspapers with my email and office address. Nothing but positives and 'thank yous".
"I sent the article via email to about 20-25 people in my address book. That's all I did. Those 20-25 people were all over the country, though. I have friends, colleagues, associates all over. So, from there, it just went out."
Many versions of his letter posted or circulating on the 'Net have been stripped of his attribution, and some are even misattributed to others in cases of False Attribution Syndrome.
It remains to be seen how Dr. Thomaselli's insights on treatment of war-related detainees will play in the aftermath of the Abu Ghraib prisoner abuse scandal of May, 2004. It's possible that his sentiments will be resurrected and revised to apply to the current situation.
The good Doctor gives his blessing to pass his words on. BreakTheChain.org recommends against distributing someone else's work via e-mail, because the medium is unreliable and fowarding it puts you at risk as being mistaken as the author.
If you want to share the doctor's thoughts, please check them against the version above to ensure that the version you've received is true to Dr. Thomaselli's original. Otherwise, break this chain.