Your Mother Should Know
By definition, being male I cannot be a mother, and as a result I can't speak with the authority a woman can.
Earlier today, I wished Lynndie England's mother a hopeful Mother's Day, trying to show that there will be better times than she's having today. Hopefully I didn't make a bad situation for her worse (like she's heard about my post!).
But one Canadian mother from Montreal is extremely outraged:
I can only imagine what kind of Mother's Day American moms are having, between worrying about Johnny having his face blown off in Iraq or little Lynndie showing up on the evening news with an Iraqi on a leash. But I hope they, as so many moms are wont to do, aren't beating themselves up about where they went wrong.
The blame lies squarely with U.S. President George W. Bush.
And if anything good is to come out of this Iraqi debacle, it will be this man losing the election. At least then, these moms can say their kids didn't die in vain.
Amen to that, Mom
Back in November 2002, Bush lured U.S. parents into being proud of their army kids by calling the impending invasion of Iraq a "noble mission."
Back then it was all about ridding the world of terrorists, of getting even for the attack on the World Trade Centre and Pentagon on 9/11. "We see their contempt, their utter contempt, for innocent life," Bush told the world from London. It was drummed into vulnerable Americans that this invasion was imperative, that Iraq was an imminent threat, that it possessed weapons of mass destruction.
Americans were told to fear these people who do not share their vision of freedom. If we don't get them, they'll get us, was the message. You're either with us or against us, was the slogan.
But there were no weapons of mass destruction, nor did the connection with Al-Qa'ida exist.
So the so-called war hastily morphed into an altruistic act on the part of the Americans to free the Iraqi people from their ruthless dictator and bring democracy to that long-suffering country.
If I were an American mom, this would make my blood boil.
Because these women, indeed all Americans, have been lied to and their fear exploited. Their government has used 9/11 as an excuse to send their children to their deaths.
At last count, 765 of their sons and daughters have been killed, the majority since Bush's "mission accomplished" declaration last May. At least 21 have killed themselves since January and 4,133 have lost arms, legs, parts of their faces, parts of their dreams.
Worse, they are reported as numbers. Not the 20-something sons and daughters they are.
And now, months after Amnesty International, the International Committee of the Red Cross and Christian Peacemakers Teams rang the alarm about torture of Iraqi detainees, we see the proof of some of these boys and girls acting out their hatred for the "other" in despicable ways in Abu Ghraib prison.
They humiliated their victims, and worse, struck at the very heart of their religious beliefs.
Islam prohibits homosexuality, so what better way to demean a Muslim than to make him simulate homosexual acts with his naked counterparts? Why not sodomize him by shoving chemical lights or a broom stick in his anus?
The saliva of a dog is impure to Muslims, so why not set dogs on them? Or better yet, attach a leash to one and treat him like the animal he detests.
Such torture - and let's use that word, not the toned-down "abuse" that has crept into the lexicon - disgusts us.
But let's be honest, does it come as a surprise? What can you expect, when, since 9/11, the Americans have been taught to hate, to get the "other" before he gets them. They have been manipulated and lied to. They have been brainwashed - our way of life good, theirs bad.
It's enough to make a mother weep, but will it move Bush?
Not a chance - it isn't as much fun as a large campaign contribution check to deposit. Or a death warrant to sign.
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