Much as I wish
I could take credit for the word “matriotism,” another woman wrote
to me and gave me the concept. I was so intrigued by the word that
I have been meditating on the possible ideology behind it, and a
new paradigm for true and lasting peace in the world.
Before I dive
into the concept of Matriotism, let’s explore the word “patriotism.”
Dictionary.com defines it
as: love of country and willingness to sacrifice for it. When
we all know that patriotism in the US means: exploiting others’
love for country by sending them and their children off to sacrifice
for my bank balance!
been volumes written about patriotism, defining it, supporting it,
challenging the notion of it, etc. I believe the notion of patriotism
has been expediently and nefariously exploited, and used to lead
our nation into scores of disastrous and needless wars. The idea
of patriotism has virtually wiped out entire generations of our
precious young people and has allowed our nation’s leaders to commit
mass murder on an unprecedented scale. The vile sputum of “if you
aren’t with us, then you are against us” is basically the epitome
of patriotism gone wild. After the tragedy of 9/11 we were on our
way to becoming a fledgling Matriotic society until our leaders
jumped on the bandwagon of inappropriate and misguided vengeance
to send our young people to die and kill in two countries that were
no threat to the USA or to our way of life. The neocons exploited
patriotism to fulfill their goals of imperialism and plunder.
This sort of
patriotism begins when we enter kindergarten and learn the nationalist
“Pledge of Allegiance.” It transcends all sense when we are taught
the “Star Spangled Banner,” a hymn to war. In our history classes
the genocide of the Native American peoples is glossed over as we
learn about the spread of American Imperialism over our continent,
though it wasn’t named until the 1840’s, when the doctrine of Manifest
Destiny was expounded to justify the USA’s conquest of and “civilizing”
of Mexican territories and Native American populations. Manifest
Destiny sought to spread the “the boundaries of freedom” to the
American Continent, with the notion that we have a special mission
from God. Sound familiar?
school, we are brainwashed into believing that somehow our leaders
are always right and certainly have our best interests at heart
when they wave the flag and convince us to hate fellow human beings
who stand in the way of making immense profits from war. As Samuel
Johnson said, patriotism is the “last refuge of a scoundrel.”
is the opposite of patriotism…not to destroy it, but to be a yin
to its yang, and balance out the militarism of patriotism.
is a mother, but there is one universal truth that no one can dispute
no matter how hard they try (and believe me, some will try): Everyone
has a mother! Mothers give life, and if the child is lucky, mothers
nurture life. And if a man has had a nurturing mother he will already
have a base of Matriotism.
A Matriot loves
his/her country but does not buy into the exploitive phrase of “My
country right or wrong.” (As Chesterton said, that’s like saying,
“My mother, drunk or sober.”) A Matriot knows that her country can
do a lot of things right, especially when the government is not
involved. For example, I know of no other citizens of any country
who are more personally generous than those of America. However,
a Matriot also knows that when her country is wrong, it can be responsible
for murdering thousands upon thousands of innocent and unsuspecting
humans. A true Matriot would never drop an atomic bomb or bombs
filled with white phosphorous, carpet bomb cities and villages,
or control drones from thousands of miles away to kill innocent
men, women and children.
There is one
most important thing that matriots would never do, however, and
this is the key to stopping killing to solve problems: a matriot
would never send her child or another mother’s child to fight nonsense
wars…and would march into a war herself that she considered just
to protect her child from harm. Aha! Matriots would fight their
own battles, but take a dim view of having to do so, and would seldom
resort to violence to solve conflict! Patriots cowardly hide behind
the flag and eagerly send young people to die to fill their own
to Camp Casey in August to run the huge enterprise and work for
peace, and women from all over the US and the world have invited
me to visit and speak and advocate for true and lasting peace. Men,
who are in touch with the matriot inside of them, have also been
important to the cause of eradicating war.
are a male or female Matriot, Code Pink Alert, endorsed by Gold
Star Families for Peace, is calling for an International Day of
Peace on March 8th…called for, organized by, and supported by women.
Women and men with matriotic tendencies can get more info and endorse
the call for peace at: womensaynotowar.org.
It is past time for we Matriots to get together to stridently call
for an end to the immoral bloodshed in Iraq.
I know one
thing from the bottom of my heart. My son, Casey, who was an Eagle
Scout and a true American patriot, was not served well by his idea
of patriotism. I will never forgive myself for not trying to counteract
more the false patriotism he was raised on, with a true sense of
I also know
that the women of the world who don’t have a voice, such as the
mothers of Iraq who are struggling just to survive in their needlessly
destroyed country, are counting on us women who do have voices to
use them to end George Bush’s manifestly idiotic doctrine of preemptive
wars of aggression based on the justification that “I think that
country might be dangerous to me and my pals.”
War will end
forever when we matriots stand up and say: “No, I am not giving
my child to the fake patriotism of the war machine which chews up
my flesh and blood to spit out obscene profits.”
“It is not
for him to pride himself who loveth his own country, but rather
for him who loveth the whole world. The earth is but one country
and mankind its citizens.” ~ Baha’u’llah
above all is a commitment to truth and to celebrate the dignity
of all life.
During my visit
to Europe, I was invited to other countries as a peace emissary.
People in Italy and Australia are particularly anxious to have me
visit, because their governments are accomplices to BushCo in Iraq.
I will be speaking to the European Union Parliament twice in 2006
to urge them to pressure our administration to stop its killing
policies in Iraq and try something new: diplomacy and peace. Heads
up, Condi: peace is NOT spread by killing and war.
visits to the various governmental officials in Europe did not have
an immediate effect, perhaps seeds were planted. The international
peace community is energized and refocused. However, by just meeting
with me, the officials of each country are showing a minor tear
in the fabric of support with the illegitimate residents of the
“Casa Blanca.” Each little sign gives hope.
As Dermot Ahern
told me: It’s going to get back to Washington that I met with you.
They won’t be happy. But I don’t care. It was the right thing to
Sheehan [send her mail]
is the mother of Spc.
Casey Austin Sheehan, KIA 04/04/04 She is co-founder of Gold
Star Families for Peace. She is the author of Not
One More Mother’s Child and Dear