This is what I am asking as I read and listen and try to wrap my head around the news that my President has sent bombs to Iraq and Syria. I have been almost paralyzed by the news…horrified that we are being led down this path yet again.The story always goes something like this: “Well, we have to do SOMETHING! We are the superpower, we can’t just sit by and let ISIS (or whoever) carry out horrible crimes”. It’s a popular sentiment it seems. I heard on the “liberal” NPR (HA) that our president feels justified because poll numbers show that the majority of likely voters want us to “take action”. Never mind that those likely voters know only what little the mainstream media tells them, of course there is no time or space for nuance and history, only black and white and “good’ vs. “evil”. But, ok, let’s assume for a minute that we do “have to do something”; that it is our moral obligation to help stop this terrible group of individuals who kill in the name of God. OK, I can appreciate that sentiment, and perhaps we should do “something”. But, why why why is the answer, almost always, to bomb? Why do we never, ever seem to try to solve things through every means of diplomacy possible? Why don’t we try over and over again to seek the least harmful outcome?
I totally agree with this, from an article by William Rivers Pitt in Truthout: “…by my calculations, every time we drop bombs on a problem that was caused by us dropping bombs, we wind up dropping more bombs to try and solve it, and nothing ever gets fixed, but some people get paid, so the impetus to drop more bombs on the bombs we already dropped increases by order of magnitude, especially when we get the ratings-happy “news” media involved in the show. “
I am dismayed at the course taken by this president, the one who promised us that he’d stop the war. Instead, we have a constitutional scholar as president justifying why it’s ok to disregard the constitution when it comes to who gets to decide when we go to war. I could understand it when it was Dick Cheney doing it…the very same Dick Cheney who has crawled out of his hole and is once again “beating the drumbeat for war”.
Surreal, really. Because no matter what they say, our bombs do kill innocent people. And yes, I understand that ISIS/ISIL kills innocent people too. But I don’t want to be responsible for the killing and maiming of innocents, do you? I will even go as far to say that I don’t want to be responsible for the killing of ANYONE. I want us to fight for a solution that doesn’t involve more bombs. And what’s even more maddening, I truly believe, as do many others, that more bombs will only make things worse.
As I’ve written over and over in this blog, bombs and other weapons caused this when we invaded Iraq over Dick Cheney’s and the rest of the neocon’s lies:
I also want us to take responsibility for cleaning up the mess that we created. I want the people of Fallujah and other cities to know peace. I want the children to receive medical care. I believe that we are all responsible for helping to make things right. Because we are responsible for those children.
And there are ways to live up to that responsibility. One is to protest and do everything in our power to stop the new round of bombing and march to war, to prevent more victims. Press your representatives to press for diplomacy. Seek out alternative media and learn about the roots of the sectarian violence that is at the root of this crisis. Remember to question what the mainstream media says…because you can be sure that they are not telling the whole story.
And remember the babies. Help them and their families by embracing this cause:
“ISLAH offers people of conscience an opportunity to put into action the words we speak and the goodwill we feel when we think about our position in the global order and the violence wrought to sustain that position. Our goal is to mobilize reparations in the form of aid to the communities that our societies have harmed, and we ask all people of conscience to participate in giving reparations to start a healing processes.
Our most pressing goal is to offer reparations to internally displaced Iraqis. Amidst spreading chaos and violence in Iraq, so many of our friends have become internally displaced.
Some are trapped: doctors in Mosul are calling for urgent supplies to continue life saving surgeries, and trauma care. People in Fallujah and Ramadi still witness daily killing.”
And you can help the babies by supporting this speaking tour on Iraq’s public health crisis. Dr. Muhsin Al-Sabbak, a gynecologist at Basra Maternity Hospital, and Dr. Mozhgan Savavieasfahani, an independent public health researcher, will be visiting major U.S. universities this coming October to discuss the public health crisis in Iraq. Dr. Samira Alaani, a pediatrician at the Fallujah General Hospital, will be joining them via Skype. These doctors have been amongst the few to research Iraq’s public health crisis. They are seeking partners in the US scientific community and they need our help.
Please, give what you can so that displaced Iraqis, babies like those in pictured in this blog, receive needed medicine and clothing. And please help to bring the brave doctors who are trying to help under unimaginable circumstances to the US, so that they can go back and help their people. Above all, let’s not forget the consequences of our previous march to war. Please help me to keep these babies in the minds and hearts of the people who caused their suffering.