Of Wars & Anniversaries..the Gods Must be Crazy
The thing about anniversaries is that they kind of freeze a moment in time and take you back to the beginning. And then you think of where you are now and the journey from there to here. I had many preconceptions about the war in Iraq, and in spite of my hopes that I'd be proven wrong, unfortunately much of what I feared has come to be.
I don't want to hear anyone's pro or anti war speeches. I don't want to hear from Al Jazeerah or Fox News. What I'd really like is for someone to walk the streets of Iraq and talk to the people..you know the people we are supposed to care so much about? I want to hear what they have to say without anyone filtering it through their own agendas. But for some reason the greatest military force on earth has not been able to make this tiny country safe enough for anyone to do that.. and even if it was, what network is even going to run it unbiased and unedited? I'm sick to death of flag-waving and flag-burning and flag-draped coffins. I'm sick of anybody's god used to justify ungodly acts. I'm sick of everyone's inhumanity to man and every attempt to justify it. And I'm sick to death of war..this war and every other.
I didn't take part in any protests..there were none anywhere close by, except for a small group getting together in their home to pray. I can do that here. I kept my own vigil for the victims of this war and all the others, alone, except for a particular group of attendees-in-spirit. Joe, a man I never knew in life who started out a mere name etched onto a steel bracelet. He knows a thing or two about war and we've become great friends since 1971. My daddy. Another time..another war.. different but not in what matters. My neighbor growing up in Brooklyn. She showed me a barely fading purple tatoo on her wrist when I was little. My first memory of hate and war. Donald. A friend somewhere in Iraq this very moment. An assorted panorama of victims past and present in Vietnam and Iraq and Russia and Sudan and the Congo and South America and Tibet and ... Visions of silent torture chambers near and far, of children starving while obscene amounts of money are spent to secure us from an evil world we all helped create.. and curiously enough, a justice system that just pulled a feeding tube from a woman who will now be left to die of court appointed starvation and dehydration.
I've thought a lot about the world today. I wonder what on earth made me want to be born into this kind of a place. I wonder what I can ever do to make it a better place. I wonder why it's so hard to just live a good life and want the same for everyone else.
In college we saw a film in Anthropology about two tribes of native people living on an island off Australia. It was mostly a study on how different cultures adopted a different take on masculine and feminine roles, but what struck me most was the constant warfare. No one even remembered how it all started. The men would go out on a field, spears in hand and after days and days (they were awful shots!) of slinging them back and forth in the space of about a football field, one would eventually be struck fatally. They'd each retreat to their group..one side to celebrate victory..the other to mourn and plan retribution..then a few days later it would all happen again .. and again one side would win, and the celebrating/mourning/revenge would repeat..and on and on and on. I thought to myself. How stupid. Why don't they just stop. I mean sooner or later there's going to be no one left .. and most of the women were missing most of their fingers by now(cutting off a finger was a part of the mourning rite). Today, I thought about them.
I wonder if there really is some intelligent life somewhere that is thinking the same about us.
Journey To Iraq
Iraq - One Year Later