Friday, December 31, 2004

One Parent's Odyssey of Grief

“At the hospitals he saw youngsters dying from the lack of medicine and learned
that a number of others had been killed picking up unexploded cluster bombs or
when trying to hand them in to U.S. soldiers.
“The bombs look like tennis balls or beer cans, Suarez explains. And when the children try to give them to U.S. soldiers, they are shot on the spot -- military orders.”
Does anyone still have any illusions that this is a just war?

Read the rest of this article about the efforts of the father of one of the first U.S. Marines killed in Iraq, (killed by unexploded U.S. cluster bombs, weapons which are illegal under the Geneva Conventions) to bring medicines and other aid to Iraqi children affected by the war. Read how the Bush administration tries to paint his efforts as giving aid and comfort to the enemy. And ask yourself, if Iraqi children are defined as the enemy, where does that leave our consciences as a nation? Where does that leave hope for an end to the war? Especially an end to the war on terrorism?

And consider what it ought to do to the psyche of a ‘good’ guy, a soldier under orders, to shoot dead a child trying to hand him what looks like either a toy or a soft-drink, and then ask yourself if ‘support the troops’ necessarily means ‘support the war’? For if the ‘good’ guy follows orders and kills the child, he ought to be plagued day and night by nightmare producing despair. But if his ‘excellent’ military training has trained the compassion out of him and he is able to justify such an atrocity--then what kind of a human being have we had a roll in creating? What kind of a citizen of our nation? Of our world? And if you don’t like the answers to those questions you should consider that the best way to support the troops is to bring them home so that they are not subjected to moral dilemmas they are unequipped for while under the leadership of those who have trashed the moral compass of compassion.

And let’s go even further and ask yourself, if you need this kind of action on the part of your government in order to feel safe? Does it take the murder of another mother’s child in order for you to feel your own child is safe? Do we still live in the age of blood sacrifice?

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