Wednesday, January 26, 2005

My Son Is In Iraq

Written January 19, 2005 -- by Patricia deVarennes

Today my eldest son leaves for Iraq. Everything is like ashes in my mouth. To send this loving soul to war is to send someone whose entire being is of a peaceful nature into insanity. This, then, is what we do with our sons and daughters. We send them to war.

My son, like so many others, is not a warrior.

My son, like so many others, wants to dedicate his life to doing something constructive for humanity.

My son, like so many others, is being sent to a place where he must likely kill or be killed.

My son, like so many others, is going to fight a war he does not believe in, not to defend his country, but to defend a "mistake" that our government made. Mistake is the socially acceptable word for a war of aggression.

My son, like so many others, is going to war with and against other sons and daughters, whose parents, holy men and women, and governments sent them to war.

We blame video games for the violence in our culture, and yet we go to war, generation after generation. Televised war desensitizes us to its carnage. Pictures of torture and abuse, after the initial shock of revelation, become mundane, "more of the same." And yet, we are surprised when abuse occurs, and again we turn to things like video games and violent fictional media for the blame. That is easier than looking at the insanity of actual war in our time and the underlying culture that sustains it. The underlying culture is within ourselves, and it's harder to look in the mirror and point the finger than it is to look outward and blame circumstances beyond what we perceive as our control.

We mothers who gave birth to these sons and daughters who have gone to war live in fear. If every mother refused to allow war to happen, it could not happen. If every grandmother, sister, daughter, cousin, niece and aunt joined us it could not happen. If we circled our sisterly wagons and refused to give our sons and daughters as a blood sacrifice, it could not happen. Some of us would die in the process. We would be mowed down, we would be imprisoned -- but that would give the lie to the "higher purpose" espoused by or governments, our holy men and women, and our mirrors would reflect the truth back at us. Every son and daughter in every military in every country has a female relative. We have the power, but we fool ourselves into thinking we are powerless. And so we continue to sacrifice our sons and daughters, our sisters and our brothers, our cousins and our uncles and aunts to war. And so we fool ourselves into thinking we must learn to solve personal conflicts among ourselves in a respectful manner before we can stop the genocide of our relatives. We don't have to learn to be nicer at home or at school, at work or at church, before we can move as one to stop genocide. The problem lies not in thinking too large, but in thinking too small.

NOTE: If you are looking for posts that previously appeared here and seem to be "missing", they have been migrated over to my other blog located here


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