Wednesday 25 August 2004

There's A Place For US

by Judith Moriarty

If you take a right at the Baghdad airport, and walk out into the scorching sands, due west for 3.2 miles, you will enter the portal that will take you to a place removed from turbaned men from the East killing helmeted uniformed youth from the West. In times of war, mostly vague, mostly obscure mantra's, of tried and true tattered-blood soaked words from the pages of history; lead multitudes of new generations into the killing fields.

Men are fighting for words long bled of meaning. Men have fought for eons in swirling sandstorms, in swamps, on rocky beaches, in fields of poppies; for words, for honor, for each other's God of War, and paradoxically Peace. "Blessed are the peacemakers" has men piling naked "liberated" people, taken from their villages in massive sweeps, "just for fun". Soldiers, from once upon a time, idyllic small town America, become their darker sides, if not firmly anchored in moral certitude. Rather than address the carnage and bestiality that war inflicts on men/women of woods and streams and summer carnivals; of dusty lanes, the church bell's echo, the silent canvas of nature's majesty; neighbor is currently pitted against neighbor, as the venom of war, once thought so distant seeps down scented lanes and into hearts once filled with" Amazing Grace." None that plan or practice masochistic, savage torture, on the brown people of various lands will ever stand in the court's docket. Instead, the sacrificial pawns of small town America will bear the brunt of Salem Witchcraft trials. A prison called, "The Father of Strangers", in the end makes strangers of us all. No-one will think to put the authors of war on trial, that made monsters of these youngsters, who once laughed and ran down small town paths, catching fireflies in the night.

"Bring them on", so glibly spoken, behind walls of Secret Service, concrete barriers, Ninja warriors in body armor, cameras, and snipers on rooftops; has the blind, the limbless, the poisoned; of Once Upon America, the end result. Home from war, with useless medals, that will not heal or make them whole. Across the land, far from media's manufactured paranoia, and shallow, superficial sensationalism; the families and friends of America's youth, console themselves with hollow words of patriotism-and whispered readings of the Twenty-Third Psalm. These youthful warriors never lived to parade down New York City's Fifth Ave, in a confetti parade of flag waving citizens, armored might and politicians pontificating puffery. How does one win a battle against a concept? What beach do you storm on what hill do you plant our flag? How do you hold a moonbeam in your hand?

Men are not created to kill, maim, torture, and annihilate one another in the most heinous ways imaginable. He/she must be programmed, conditioned into non-thinking, non-questioning, passive obedience. "Just following orders"; in the end, doesn't stand up in a Nuremberg setting, but they are not to think of this. The enemy in any coinage war or act of Profits over People is dutifully labeled; as "sub-human, vermin, unclean, geek, gook, acceptable risk, collateral damage, towel head, rag head, sand nigger etc. "It's easier to kill the nameless. The wondrous gifts, culture, talents, and humanness of the "other" is forever lost in this madness called war. Pulverized, annihilated, crushed, melted, shredded in a theater of Shock and Awe. The laughter and love in desert villages, or bustling city markets, is no less important, than our own enclaves of removed tranquility, majestic marshlands, country stores, or steeple churches echoing forth on a Sunday morning; "Amazing grace how sweet the song that saved a wretch like me"

What diabolical insanity has men in secret laboratories, or industrial war machine factories, creating and building genocidal weapons? What depravity has billions upon billions being spent on bombs that have to be rolled off planes, which suck the oxygen from the air, and rupture the organs of all the brown people in its path? What lunacy invents weapons that shred the limbs from children, poisons lands and people with depleted uranium, stun guns that send electric shocks into people, sound machines that break eardrums, and computer guided missiles that kill from a distance?

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