Multiply the picture above by 166 times, and try to visualize it. Three rows of one thousand fine young American men and women who will never see their families. Three rows, well over a mile long, of possibilities, futures, children, businesses, of friendships gone, never to be. In each casket, the remains of one more comes home. They each deserve a handshake and a thanks from President Bush. I would hope that he opens each and every casket so as to view the consequences of his own actions. Each of their families deserves a personal phone call from him and a heartfelt apology. Multiply the count by twenty, and the Iraqi losses begin to appear, although it may be far greater. No one knows the exact count.
Wilfred Owen, one of the "Lost Poets" of WWI, wrote:
On Seeing a Piece of Our Heavy Artillery Brought into Action
Be slowly lifted up, thou long black arm, Great Gun towering towards Heaven, about to curse; Sway steep against them, and for years rehearse Huge imprecations like a blasting charm! Reach at that Arrogance which needs thy harm, And beat it down before its sins grow worse. Spend our resentment, cannon yea, disburse Our gold in shapes of flame, our breaths in storm.
Yet, for men’s sakes whom thy vast malison Must wither innocent of enmity, Be not withdrawn, dark arm, thy spoilure done, Safe to the bosom of our prosperity. But when thy spell be cast complete and whole, May God curse thee, and cut thee from our soul!
When Weapons of Mass Destruction are discussed, you should realize that heavy artillery, tanks, bombs of all sorts, and military airplanes are part of the WMD. What are any of these doing in Iraq? What are they doing in our military bases? Are we so afraid that we need the weaponry, the military bases throughout the world? Is fear truly our motive? Our WMDs cause more harm than they do good and should be scrapped.
What would the world look like without the WMDs of the United State of America? Certainly much more peaceable. We would no longer be able to threaten, cajole or scare other countries. Likewise, other countries would not need to continue the accelerated process of building up their own WMDs. Some may, of course, but without the WMDs in possession by the U.S.A., their own fear-mongering campaigns no longer have the world’s largest stockpile of weapons to use in manipulating their own populace to fund their own little wars.
Would this end war for all time? No, and it probably will not end all wars currently in process. But we will no longer be responsible for making war. We will no longer be responsible for starting war. I’m sure that the old canard, "give peace a chance," is rejected by those willing to start a war if a drop of oil falls onto the sand half-way around the world in some little country, but we have given war a chance. Let’s try something different.
February 8, 2007