Recently, while channel surfing on TV, I happened on a little repartee on the war in Afghanistan and I couldn’t help but notice in all the wit and pontification that Pakistan was barely mentioned since we’re there, too, chasing down al-Qaeda and the Taliban. With robots: Predator Drones.
This bothers me deeply because, with me, it’s all about the children and in these wars a few of them (with one being too many) have died and those still alive are shaking with fear to their bones and the media coldly shines it on.
This is particularly sad since children represent what hope there is in wars ceasing to be. Yet our actions lead both the children who are caught up in these “illegal” wars and our children here at home to see military force as an extremely popular option to take when it comes to resolving heated disputes with one’s “enemies.” In this moment in time our enemies just happen to be, in our society’s mind, a bunch of towel-wearing-Koran-reading martyrs chasing nubile virgins in the after life after blowing themselves to smithereens trying to kill U.S soldiers and marines.
So we chase them over mountains and in caves and, because “they all look alike,” fear and loathing is built for Middle Eastern folks, in general, and our children look on and they, too, begin to fear them and loathe them – and vice versa. And is there anything that can cause a human being to aim a weapon and fire at someone more than fearing and loathing that someone?
So the question becomes: How do we help our children turn such a world around if our assortment of media withholds news from us? I mean we live in an era of “reality” TV and can’t get an image that reflects, as far as our ongoing wars are concerned, anything approaching “reality.”
I’d dare to say that the reason we don’t hear enough news we can use is because we simply don’t actively love our children or the children of the world enough.
We have to admit that no one in high places, the president, the congress, the senate, the state legislators, the generals, the admirals… – none of them speak in behalf of the children and, on a scale large enough, none of us do either.
How might our collective war mentality change if when we wrote to or met with our elected representatives regarding war we always spoke of the topic with the welfare of children foremost in our minds? And what if we demanded that whenever they take up the subject with Obama they, rather than trying to force him to specifically, say, pinpoint politically hot matters like when the troops will be pulled out, pose this question to him:
“Mr. President, what are we doing to prevent children from dying in Afghanistan and Pakistan, especially since we’re there in violation of the UN Charter that stipulates that international disputes must be settled by peaceful means? And please mention “children” specifically in your reply.”
And what if he began to speak to his military brass from the perspective of one who has children and, as Commander-in-Chief, issued an order to them to think of their children and the children who are being killed under their command as they plan their operations.
I would wager, that once we learn to always speak of the welfare of children in the conversation, there would have to be a shift in the world’s thinking at some point about war. Idealistic? Hell yeah! What’s left?
With the welfare of our children uppermost on our minds we would know that the implications of information being withheld from us would not bode well for them which naturally means that such would not bode well for the welfare of the world on the whole either. The media would have to yield to the “Power of the People” and let us know what’s going on.
But do we ever have a long road to travel, considering that when it comes to the military and war and our children, Uncle Sam is pulling no stops in trying to get them to join the likes of the Few, the Proud… and the Army of One as sure as each day features the rising and setting of the sun. But, with the exception of a few youth oriented organizations scattered here and there throughout the world, we’ve barely begun.
But we have begun and the mission is to build momentum – for the children – knowing that over time every great social movement began with small steps that led people out of dark places into the bright lights of a new day.