Monday, June 11, 2007

War, good God: What is it good for?

tonight, on the way home from work, my husband and i listened to a conservative radio personality (NOT rush limbaugh) talk about the need to bomb iran before they have nuclear capabilities, as if he were talking about taking a walk to the park on sunday. my blood ran cold.

i've been called a coward and a pacifist because i don't support the war in iraq. i've been told that the only reason i do not is because i have war age sons. poppycock. iraq is the first war in 54 years of my life i've ever stood up against, because it was entered in for all the wrong reasons.

i've been told i'm not a christian because i don't support george w. bush like george w. bush is somehow equated with CHRIST himself and to not approve of g.w. risks my salvation somehow. that not being for war with the middle east makes me naive. that not being for war in the middle east makes me less christian, because, after all, armageddon will start with iran, don't you know (which we don't, none of us, not one).

i've watched dear friends almost come to blows over the right/wrong of the war in iraq. i've read blogs of families, torn apart, blown apart, shredded.

and now, we are being urged to attack a country because it will probably have nuclear weapons to use against us someday.

i am sad. i am broken. i am tortured by the thought of the world being involved in another world war.

i am angry at the people who are hades bent on plunging us into an armageddon. people who believe that people unlike them are so bad there is no way to negotiate, no way to come to an understanding of each other's culture enough to work our way through this tension, this prelude to world war.

i am angry that i felt the need to run out and get radiation medication and gas masks for my sons. that overwhelming urge to dig a hole in the backyard to hide in. i thought we had grown up, grown past this threat of world war.

so i had to write. i had to speak out. have we become suicidal? to think that beginning a nuclear conflict ANYWHERE on our planet will have a good outcome? that we won't sicken and kill many more than the people we want to target? do we not learn? do we not pay attention? do we not care?

i am weary. and i went to find poetry to express how i felt and found these poems...knowing that in reality none of this will do any good...

Once More Again

by Kevin Bowen*

Once more again,
the body counts on the news.

The lost armies
dragging their sad weights
across the deserts.

We hear a plane drone overhead
and think of fuel
seeping down airshafts,

the slow fall of bombs,
the loneliness of death

The head of homeland security
tells us: our country
is on Yellow Alert.

Already, the government
has retreated to shelters in the mountains
where the generals will take their orders
over the static of an old pacemaker.

What can or cannot be said
is not easy to decipher.

Slowly, we breathe in,
breathe out.

None of us can leave this place.

Kevin Bowen was drafted and served in the U.S. Army 1st Air Cavalry Division in the Vietnam war during 1968-69. Since 1987, he has returned to Vietnam many times, initiating cultural, educational, and humanitarian exchanges. In 1993 he was appointed Director of the William Joiner Center for the Study of War and Its Social Consequences at the University of Massachusetts-Boston.

Poem for War... against War
By Dennis A Dames

Another day of fighting
Another day of wars
More casualties to count
More wounded mount
Prisoners of war increase
Propaganda consistently release
Who do we believe?
Missiles and bombs hit their targets
Occasionally, they stray- killing the innocents
Reality of wars becomes transparent
The cost is monumental
Affecting tearfully someone's mother, father, sister, brother and more
A love one is gone forever
The conflicts continue
The cycle's renewed
War for peace… a noble objective
Peace for war… an immoral exchange
For war… against war
A world divided… a world apart
Peace is held hostage
By man's inability to love and live in harmony
Why do we fight, and kill one another?
It's the question of the generations
Perhaps one-day war will be defeated…
And conciliation become the blueprint of existence

No comments: