Saturday, August 11, 2007

Consequence and sacrifice..

When President Bush took this nation into our current war I was still living in Texas.

I worked with several Bushies and we constantly debated his policies and his sanity (wink). This bitch watched the pre-war debates in Congress, the media and the presentation to the United Nations and I just wasn't convinced that preemptive war was required. Obviously my Bushified colleagues felt otherwise.

One day we were at lunch...a bitch was addicted to Herrarra's yummified sour cream burritos (sigh)...and the topic of war came up. America was marching towards Baghdad and CNN was in multi-orgasmic fully embedded bliss, so no one could understand why I was so worried.

Well, this bitch sat in a booth at Herrarra's with a mother of two sons (13 and 10) and the father of two boys and one girl (9, 7 and 3) and tried to explain my concern.

Even the best planned military exercise has unanticipated consequences...and this war was anything but carefully planned.

War isn't an action adventure show that airs in prime time for three years and then wraps up with a big gushified happy ending...war is death, destruction and chaos...and preemptive war is all of that with the additional burden of cause.

But none of these angles seemed to matter.

"Didn't you see our progress on CNN? Didn't you see?!? We're kicking ass! We're the best army in the world and this whole thing will be over before you know it. Bush is making the world safe for freedom and blah, blah followed by blah..."

I sat back and returned with the following.

"What if we're in this war for years? What are you prepared to sacrifice?"

They grumbled and rolled their eyes.

"Your sons?"

A face went pale then flushed red.

"Your sons and your daughter?"

A mouth tightened and nostrils flared.

"Well, I don't think it will go on that long but if it does my sons will have to make up their mind."

This bitch raised a brow.

But didn't you raise them to love their country? If a cause is so just that this nation should risk other mother's sons...why would you not encourage your son to take up arms?

"Well, this is all a hypothetical and I don't think it will come to that."

Sighing, I took out my wallet and stood to pay my bill.

When I read this news item I thought of that conversation and those chil'ren who are now young adults of draftable age.

I thought about how those pro-War parents never even considered the possibility that their sons wouldn't have a choice.

When some other mother's son becomes your son...well, that changes things doesn't it?

The draft has long been the consequence of "stay the course" and "see the mission through to victory".

But it still ends up being some other mother's son, doesn't it?

Oh, how easy it is to support a decision that only demands sacrifice from others.

18 comments:

Karen said...

Oh, how easy it is to support a decision that only demands sacrifice from others. --

Beautifully stated.

PipeDreams said...

I was in Texas, working in local news, during 9/11 up through the run-up to the war and long past the first invasion.

I remember sitting with a recently-returned vet at a baseball game, asking him about what was REALLY happening there (At this point, the accusations that we, the media, weren't reporting 'good news' had started).

My father was a war vet, and applying those words, "recently-returned vet", to a man my age was surreal (we were both in our mid-20's).

But when we started talking about the war, and he drifted off and started reliving it in his head while we spoke, and his eyes got that glassed-over, distant look in them - I know that no matter how long we are PHYSICALLY there, the psychological wounds of Bush & Co's dalliance in Iraq would be with those kids forever. And I realized that the same administration and its flag-wavers had created another entire generation of veterans who pledged to protect and defend our country, and were used for other purposes instead, and will now have to face a lifetime of drug addiction, PTSD, depression, and other mental health problems associated with WWII, Korea, and Vietnam. And to me that's the worst part.

Red7Eric said...

I've long been in favor of reinstating the draft.

Drafting during times of war keeps the nation safe during a just war and our leaders accountable during an unjust war.

landismom said...

Great post. My son turned four today. The war is older than he is. I think about that daily (though we'll be moving to Canada LONG before his 18th birthday, if it comes to that).

Maya's Granny said...

When Sadam's statue was toppled, one of the women in the lunch room at work turned to me and said, "See? This is a good war. We've won it."

And I answered, "And when the 5th grade bully beats the shit out of the kindergarten bully, that doesn't surprise anyone. That doesn't make it right."

The Captain said...

Bush has done a great job serving our country.

Shark-fu said...

the captain...

Only if "serving our country" is code for fast-tracking fubar.

Nice try, son...but saying that shit won't make it so.

But what the fuck...go forth and hallucinate if that's what gives your life meaning!

Toodles.

PipeDreams said...

The Captain said...
Bush has done a great job serving our country.

Who honestly believes this anymore - I mean really, if your a hack just say so - but COME ON!?! Let's play honest for just a second here - just here in the forum.

katrina, lying us into a war in iraq, a botched response to 9/11 (including failing to find osama bin laden or permanently dismantling the taliban AND taking five years to implement the 9/11 commisssion recommendations), cutting benefits for military members and their families(including a lack of meaningful pay increases and slashing the VA budget even though more troops are coming home injured), domestic and warrantless spying on americans, alienating our allies, NO help in saving the environment, tax breaks for the rich (with almost now initiative toward raising the minimum wage) a lack of meaningful immigration reform, rejection of beneficial stem cell research that could save millions of lives, a ultra-conservative Supreme Court that is more "activist" than any of the judges conservatives decry, the depletion of the U.S. surplus, the bankruptcy bill written by and for the credit industry and NOT the people, the cover up of the details of Pat Tillman's death, the manipulation of Jessica Lynch's capture and rescue, preventing any advances in civil liberties for GLBT, state-sponsored torture, a justice dept. that is wielded as a political weapon, ignoring the detiorating national infrastructure, spying onotherwise peaceful political opponents, --- not to mention the accompanying lie, upon lies, upon lies upon lies. If you want to do something that may not be popular with everyone - fine - but most of us aren't stupid enough to buy into his spin.

Willy said...

Word.

You cut thru bullshit like a hot knife thru cheesecake.

Dusty said...

The only way to get the majority of American's to show any real interest and ACTION in ending this war would be to kick-start the draft..but I think BushCo knows that..which is why they would rather use and abuse the troops they already suckered into enlisting. They are up to 15 months now in Iraq..fucking pathetic.

I can't wait to see some Bush/Cheney 04 bumper stickers at a protest rally..really..I can't.

SagaciousHillbilly said...

I'm all for the draft. I never thought I'd live to say that.
Like I said on my blog (sagacioushillbilly.blogspot.com), 'lets see if this generation of self centered spoiled brats responds the same as my generation of self centered spoiled brats.'
Seems as thugh 'just' a war isn't motivating them much.
Keep up the good work BlackLady.
Y'all have a fun day.
SagaciousHillbilly

Willy said...

Word.

You cut thru bullshit like a hot knife thru cheesecake.

Ashlea said...

So many dead in a war that should have never been created. A war to instill a foreign idea in a region that has never known democacy.

History, culture, enviroment.. always plays a role. The Middle East is not the place for democracy. It is a desert wasteland where the native people have flourish for thousands of years using their own systems.
Why disturb that balance in the name of 'freedom' and 'peace' when all you create is a vertiable prison and a civil war that will not end till the people, the people of that land, stand up to get the government they want. Democracy or not.

Democracy is not the good god so many people make it out to be. Democracy, espically the American Democracy, is nothing but a parasite that allows an oligarchy, rule by a few.

If the people of Iraq had wanted a civil war, they would have created one themselves.

Love ya, Shark-Fu. Try to get in touch with my inner 'fro over here by my limp, white-girl hair ain't doing it for me.

Hannah said...

how easy it is to support a decision that only demands sacrifice from others

And how easy it is to support a decision that only creates collateral damage to other people's homes and neighborhoods and cities...

Karla said...

I had that same conversation about the same time - with my mother - who voted for Mr. Bush twice. My son is now 15 and I won't stay here and let them draft him. My mother's 80 and is thinking of moving to be near us. She'll be a little miffed if she moves here and we move to Canada.

The Bear Maiden said...

On 9/11, after I watched the towers fall in disbelief (I worked in 2 WTC for three years... was pregnant there... used to bring a baby Sun with me on Fridays to work... would wait for his father on West Street to pick us up and drive us home), my Sun, a friend and I walked down to the beach. From there, we could look across the Sound to see the gap where the towers once stood and watched the plume of black smoke cloud the sky. I looked down at my then 2YO and wondered what the hell kind of a world I'd brought him into, and wondered with dread "what happens next? Will there be war?"

The New York Post ran a photo of Saddam with the caption "WANTED: DEAD OR ALIVE" and I, filled with rage at the attack on MY city, MY hometown, was all for Bush going out to get the bastard.

A month after the towers fell I took the train down to Fulton Street and walked the route I used to walk to go to work. The silence was deafening. The smell unmistakable. I cried, deeply shaken.

And then the rumors of war... but wait. Saddam!? WTF did Saddam have to do with it???? And next thing I know we were bombing Iraq. I didn't like the war then. Thought of my own Sun as a young man, fighting for something that didn't make sense.

Then, my homegirl from WAY back in the day, single mother to two girls, who had joined the Army during peace time to help pay off Student Loans and support her children, that same girlfriend got sent to Baghdad.

She made it home, thank God. She came home sick as a dog with some virus they couldn't identify. She turned 40 this year. She will forever be medicated on Paxil and two years later the only thing she will say about Baghdad is that it was hell. She feared for her life. She grew up on the streets of Harlem and could fight any man, but in Baghdad she slept with a loaded gun. She said it's one thing to hear gun shots out on the street cuz of some drug war; it's a whole other thing to have gunshots and bombs fired at YOU. But the worst enemy? Our own troops, men hungry for sex who would attempt to drug her water so that she would willingly give them what they wanted.

She's home. The war is STILL going on. Single black, Hispanic and Native American women, and some white ones, too--moms--are on the front lines. Our young men, good upstanding ones who believe in what they are doing, are dying.

And for what? Seriously. Has the world become a better place? Is oil cheaper? And where is Osama?

Krista said...

Just an interesting tidbit...Lute's name in French is almost the verb "to fight" (lutter).

salomesmile said...

This summer my older son (turning 13 this week) was diagnosed with mild scoliosis.

Once we got word that the effects would likely be mild, we quietly breathed a sigh of relief that he'll be considered unfit for military service.

I could see this badness coming, dammit, and they can't have mine.