UPDATE: Well, I just got back from the Staples across the street from me where I was successful in transmitting the letter below by fax to Under Secretary Dobriansky. In case anyone's interested, the number is 202.647.0753.
Below is a letter I just prepared that I will be mailing to Paula Dobriansky, the Under Secretary for Democracy and Global Affairs at the United States Department of State. The State Department's Office of International Women's Issues is one of the branches that she oversees.
I got her telephone number off of the State Department's web site and tomorrow will call to see if I can get a fax number. E-mails, I have come to the conclusion, are essentially worthless. Letters in the mail carry weight, but a fax has a sense of immediacy to it, and the fact that it is printed out on paper means that the recipient has in their hands something of substance. If I get a fax number, I will post it here tomorrow evening for anyone else who wants to join me.
Paula J. Dobriansky, PhD
Under Secretary, Democracy and Global Affairs
United States Department of State
2201 C Street, NW
Washington, DC 20520
Dear Under Secretary Dobriansky,
As you may have read, several months ago a 17 year old girl in Basra named Rand Abdel-Qader was murdered by her father and two brothers for the "crime" of chatting in public with a British soldier. To date, the girl's murderous father Abdel-Qader Ali and two brothers Hassan and Haydar remain free, and incredibly, it appears that the father is still collecting his salary from his government job, in spite of the fact that he openly boasts of his crime.
To add to the tragedy of the situation, just a couple of weeks ago, Leila Hussein, the mother of Rand Abdel-Qader, was killed in a hail of gunfire as she was being escorted from a safe house after having left her husband. Enclosed are two articles detailing these events.
I am writing to you Dr. Dobriansky, because I want, no let me rephrase that, I demand that Abdel-Qader Ali and his two sons Hassan and Haydar be brought to justice for the murder of Rand Abdel-Qader. And I respectfully request that you speak to whomever you need to in our government to speak to whomever they need to in the Iraqi government to make this happen.
With all due respect Dr. Dobriansky, that women can be murdered by their husbands and fathers with impunity in Iraq makes a mockery of President Bush's claim that our presence in that country is advancing the cause of freedom. I ask that you make this your priority.
Thank you for your consideration and I look forward to hearing from you, either via postal mail or at my daytime telephone number, 212.###.####.