America is a good country
Who knew it would turn out like this?
A man like me isn’t good away from his farm and the feel of earth between his fingers.
But when the military took over my country this last time, I knew in my heard things would never be the same again.
I voted for the president with the hope he could make life good and peaceful again.
The cannon fire in the distance said it was only a foolish dream.
With my children scared, I knew this is no way to live.
We had hope.
We believed America would not let our country fall into the bloody insanity that affected other countries around us.
After all, it was America that armed our soldiers, and our children who fought hard against communism so American children didn’t have to.
I truly believed that with all its wealth and power, America could control our generals and stop them from becoming tyrants like generals tend to become.
The guns did not cease, and the radio reports said nothing about America intervention.
Instead, we heard only more and more news of soldiers moving slowly from village to village, shooting men, raping our women, stealing our children so to continue to fight their wars.
I did not understand who was on which side, nor did I care.
But I knew sooner or later, the soldiers would reach our village and do to us what they have done to other villages.
It was no easy decision to get on that boat or sail away from our island nation.
Every man down deep loves the country he is born in even if that country has ceased being the county he knew.
To remain, however, was to die, and many of us hoped we could reach America where we would not need to suffer any more.
This was no easy trip.
None of us imagined how hard it was, some of us died from the sun or fell into the water and drowned. Some went crazy for fear of sharks or patrol boats. The sea itself scared me, and I came to see it as some beast determine to do to me and my family what the military back home had failed to do.
I clung to my family. We club to the boat. We looked ahead, not around or back, believing deeply that America would be as wonderful as tales claimed.
So for this reason, we cheered when we saw the American Coast Guard cutter approaching us.
No cheer was less justified.
They made prisoners of us. They herded us into the hole of their ship as if we were criminals.
How dare we try and sneak into their country, some of them said.
Others, clearly government officials, came and questioned us, as to who we were and what we wanted, and what we expected America to do for us.
Many of our group lost hope, asking why we bothered leaving home if we were to be as ill treated by Americans as we were by those soldiers we left behind.
Why did we put such faith in American, when after all we’d done for it, raising its crops, working like slaves, sending our children to fight for its causes, America remained unmoved in our moment of need.
I thought there has to be some mistake.
These Americans must believe that we are part of my military, that we are terrorists of some sort, and that we have come over the ocean to do them hard.
I, who could speak English best, explained to these seamen and government men how our country had been taken over by the military America once created, and how that military came from village to village hunting us instead of some other enemy of America.
Even then, these Americans did not seem to understand.
They took us away, not to America, but to a place with mud and barbed wire, where other Americans asked us questions, filling out forms with our answers, all of them looking at us strangely as if we were the problem not the guns they sold to our generals or the soldiers they trained to kill.
They did not understand that we hungered in our hearts for the same freedom they claimed to fight for, and that we had come to American to claim what America claimed to possess.
We thought we were all entitled to the same freedoms. We thought we had worked hard and fought hard in order to win the same privileges.
But these Americans saw us as thieves, coming to steal something they had but refused to give to anyone else.
I soon learned that they talked of freedom, but it was freedom for themselves, not for anyone else, that we were not allowed to share in their dream, not allowed to protest being left out, and above all, not allowed to come to America.
Rumor in the camp told us that they would soon send us home.
We knew we would die the moment we got there.
While others in my group curse America for lying about freedom, I do not.
I still believe America is a good country, and its people have large hearts.
I know when the people hear of us, they will not make us go back to the soldiers to whom America has given guns, or to a country that has become riddled with people who are worse than the communists against whom we fought.
No real American would treat any body so badly as that, would he?