“Happy New Year”

Just how in hell does a “human being” consciously embrace such greeting in the face of the slaughter of innocents in Gaza and elsewhere tantamount to the biblical exploits of Herod? How in hell does one celebrate American funded murder of a family of five sisters in Gaza – children. How indeed? Perhaps the solution might be found in recalling a recent audience with our local Congressman convened to discuss the occupation of Iraq and Palestine. During the discussion, dominated by the Congressman’s accounting for his various trips to the Middle East, Iraq, and Afghanistan, I questioned his service with respect to the health and well being of our children, and the distortion of their minds through propaganda. I recounted how I saw the Congressman walking his child home from school and was impressed by how closely he held the child to his side, in effect shielding her from danger from any angle; I told him I was touched. But I also wondered how it was that this same Congressman, who was a vigorous supporter of the illegal attack on Iraq where thousands of children have been killed and maimed, saw children other than his own. I observed that he was one of the last to question the legitimacy of the war, and that he did so in public at a local College, stating “The reasons for the war on Iraq were bogus.” It was pointed out he had not broadcast his change of heart to the young men and women in the District who had been subjected to his jingoism and support of efforts to have them enlist in the cause of service to insure the “safety of America.” I commented that he was a frequent and enthusiastic promoter of memorial events, parades, and demonstrations wherein the participation in America’s wars for freedom and democracy were promoted, but he was decidedly absent from any celebration of the idea of peace. I pointedly appealed that he embrace the possibility of finding a way to foster the idea of the message of peace, and give equal energy to spreading the word that “The reasons for war were bogus,” countering the propaganda the children in the District have been exposed to. At this, he deferred and extolled the virtue of memorial services for those dying in service to their country, and explained that his daughter was witness to a shrine in his home dedicated to a relative who had died in World War II. He would not respond to the observation that his participation at celebrations romanticizing war, in parades during which participation in the main are military units and brigades of young High School Students marching in JROTC units, was a statement of his support that war. He seemed nonplussed when it was observed that the vast majority of middle class parents watching the parade waving flags, urged their young children to applaud, holding them very close, confident that their child would never have to endure the murderous future facing the majority of the economically deprived JROTC students. It being the Christmas season, the meeting adjourned with best wishes for Happy Holidays, and I don’t know how in the hell we did that either.

For this New Year, moment to moment, for me, as a human being, it is my goal to come alive remembering this conference of the dead, and do my utmost to shake the security of such politicians whose only reason for being is self-aggrandizement, and rewarding the rich, on the backs of the poor. Like it or not, the Congressman is the picture of our own hardness of hearts, an excess of sentiment, and in fact lack of love and our own fear of change. Such change can only arise through my own, and your own, consciousness that affairs are soul-size now, and we are responsible for forgetting no one child is more important than another, or shielding our own at the expense of the slaughter of another.



One Response to ““Happy New Year””

  1. Joe K Says:

    Tony, Great article about our Congressman’s attitude towards Peace! His Heart will be changed soon! The economic melt down will bring the war machine to a halt.

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