Thursday, July 07, 2005

Honor Them

I protested the war. I still have my sign. Even when no one I knew was protesting, I carried myself downtown with my sign, " God is not an American." I stood for hours with it elevated above my head, refusing to lower it even though my arms ached. I marched. I chanted. I prayed. I lit candles. I'm on the email list of many peace groups.
A few hours ago, a bomb hit London. Innocent people died. A few hours later, I saw the reports. I looked at the carnage. I thought about some of the most beloved friends I have ever had who are from England. I thought about my son who takes the public transit system downtown everyday to his summer job. I thought the unthinkable. I heard our Chicago journalist boast that our subway system is protected by one of the most sophisticated camera systems in the world, the only one better being the one in London...
Then I went to open my email. Already one of the "peace" groups had sent me an email concerning the bombing...the basic message was in a nutshell "We told Bush so." I deleted it in disgust.
Have I changed my views on war?
Absolutely not.
Has this endeared me to the Bush agenda?
unequivocally NO!
Do I think our foreign policy might have something to do with this?
Probably.
But I am so sick of the rhetoric. I am sick of agenda driven groups who will disregard the sanctity of human life to get their message across. I am sick of people trying to manipulate my emotions in order to garner my support. Real people died in London. Mothers, husbands, children, friends, co workers and lovers. They are not statistics. They were real people. And they shouldn't be treated as collateral damage by either side. Can we call a halt to the blustering b.s. hubris for just a moment and try working together for some real answers for a very real problem? In such a response, perhaps the memory of the real people who died would actually be honored.

3 comments:

Kevin Condon said...

I empathasize with your angst, though frankly I used to go to peace rallies in the late 60's to meet girls.

Right now it is estimated that up to 3000 jihadists who "resonate" with Osama Bin Laden are fighting alongside Al Zarqawi in Iraq, blowing up as many Iraqis as they can to prevent the people from Iraq from forming a stable government. If these terrorists were not in Iraq, what would they be doing? Last year there were dozens of terrorist explosions around the globe attributed to Islamic fundamentalists. Spain lost 202 of its citizens in a similar incident. Why?

Personally, I think their bloody work is an indictment of the excesses of Western culture. They truly believe that Western society is so corrupting that it must be cahllenged and, if possible, stamped out. We need to examine their premise and do some serious self-examination, which I think we are. But in the meanwhile, they are sure blowing a lot of us up to rid the earth of our "cultural filth". I don't care how strongly they think we need to be opposed, I don't like them blowing up innocent women, children and elderly to make their point. It is possible that their actions are both worth analyzing for insights and resisting with force. When I think that it could be my wife and daughters and grandchildren blown up, I get motivated to take action. I don't feel guilty for doing so.

So, I am a reluctant armed resister to terrorism. I know we are to blame for the reaction that we have attracted from the warrior religionists in Islam. But, I can't let it happen unabated. Their tactic is awful. I couldn't watch any of the online videos of the beheading of hostages, but I am revolted by it nonetheless. I am revolted by the rape rooms and the torture chambers and underground prisons for little boys we found in Iraq, too. I don't consider putting panties on the heads of Abu Ghraib residents similar in any way. No one died at Abu Ghraib.

So, we have a dilemma. God has allowed these vermin to kill our innocents with impunity to confront us with our sin, I believe. Do we watch, protest or fight? I'm afraid that the answer is "yes" to all. We'd better discuss and understand that we are looking at the consequences of our actions in the world. We'd better protest the use of violence, too. It is a horrible practice. But, we'd also better protect our families.

Most importantly, we need to pray, asking God's help and forgiveness for the sewer of cultural effluent we spray on the people of the world. We may have a first amendment right to produce our culture, but we also have a responsibility to face when our neighbors despise us for it. Our prosperity and the benefits of capitalism are not what makes jihadists mad. They do not oppose the economic and political reforms so much as they oppose what they think comes with them. They think, with good reason, that our culture will be destructive to their families.

voixdange said...

This is what I'm talking about. Being able to state -- this is my point of view while at the same time being willing to consider the view points of others as something at very least worth analyzing for some validity. That is what I feel is lacking. And until we can at the very least come to the table to try to understand each other rather than just heatedly screaming rhetoric at one another, I don't feel the problem is going to be solved. And lets not forget our hand in all this... we did, after all back Sadam. And we have to look no farther than the United Kingdom to find backers for the late Shah of Iran and his father...

Dan Trabue said...

Kev said:
If these terrorists were not in Iraq, what would they be doing?

So, you're saying that it's a good thing that we went where there were no terrorists, called attention to ourselves so that the terrorists would all gather to Iraq and blow up innocent Iraqis?

And yes, Angevoix, these are real people dying. Our actions are having life and death consequences. We should grieve and mourn. And we should work towards putting an end to the violence. I sympathize with your sentiment that some seem to be taking actions and making statements in poor taste at terrible times such as this.

But for some of us, who fear that years from now our children will ask us, Why didn't you stop Bush? - just as people ask Germans why they didn't stop Hitler. And that causes a good sense of frustration and angst on everyone's part.

That's no answer, just the reality for some of us.