This week marks the fifth year of the U.S.A.'s invasion and war in Iraq. Recently I came across the journal I kept during that time, and found this page written on the first night of the war. I was part of the millions worldwide who publicly protest our government's decision to invade. On re-reading my words, I felt very moved and I wish to share my thoughts with you:
March 21, 2003:
My thoughts tonight, on this first night of yet another senseless war:
~ I am sickened and heartbroken that this has come. I believe in a better way.
~ I am sickened and heartbroken at our current government. A non-elected "president" and his cronies in the oil companies have turned the U.S. into a rogue nation, a terrorist state with total disregard for any sense of sanity, truth, justice. We are disgraced before the eyes of the world. We should be ashamed.
~ I am sickened and heartbroken at the actions of the Albuquerque police-state in their actions tonight, at the protest on [University of New Mexico] campus and in the Central/Cornell intersection. I happened to go to the Frontier restaurant for dinner (I didn't know that the war had "officially" started until then). Of course, I joined the protesters - my people had taken to the streets; of course I would be there. Of course people all over the world are taking to the streets, tonight. First they [the police] blocked the intersection - for no reason, the protest at that time was totally on the campus side - and allowed us to enter the intersection. We were peacefully chanting and drumming, waving signs. Then they came up in full riot gear, on horses (6 mounted police), with dogs and masks and riot guns. Then they started using pepper gas. I came home with my face totally burning; it has cooled now as long as I keep putting milk on it. I saw one man blinded, I hope only temporarily. I saw one woman prostrated on the ground, unable to breathe. Then I heard that this had been reported on the news as "weakened" pepper spray used on an "out-of-control" mob. Not, and not!
~ My heart swells with love and pride for all those who have the courage to take the streets. It's not just college kids any more - it's all ages, all walks of life, and all over the world! I feel love and pride for all those who honk in support as they drive by the protests, for all those who flash a peace sign from a restaurant or shop window, who have a sign in their yard or a bumper sticker on their car. I feel love and pride for those who, like my friend tonight, may be undecided themselves but still speak words of encouragement to those of us who put our bodies on the line.
~ I am sorry for anyone whose child is caught up in this madness, either the soldiers who are following [illegal] orders or the Iraqi citizens who are suffering so much from the madness being caused by a few men in Washington DC - men who have no moral right to hold the power that they do.
~ I believe in peace, truth, justice. I am willing to stand up for what I believe. Joining together as citizens, we can do so much. Some day our planet and our species will rise above the "need" for war.
There you have it, fellow-travelers: The experience of one of many who began this journey as an outcast, only to see the views of the people - though not the wisdom of the government - swing our way. It is not something I'm happy to be shown "right" about. The death toll has not been worth it.
What do you think, travelers? I invite you to share your comments; click on the "comments" line below to publish your viewpoint.
Peace. I swear it's not too late.