June 4, 2003


I took Dylan to school, went to the grocery store, met Eric's business partner, came inside and realized I had my dress on inside out.  That's what I get for dressing in a hurry.  I hope everyone who noticed thinks it was some nutty fashion statement.

I don't say much about the war, either in the column or in my "real life."  I have dear friends who feel very passion about it, on both sides of the fence, actually.  I can see both sides clearly and my heart hurts that this is happening at all.  I think about all of the catch phrases going around like, "Freedom isn't free" and have to see the seed of truth in many of them.   If you have distinct feelings about the ways of government and how freedom is won or maintained, then the anti-war people are appalled by you and label you a baby-killing warmonger.  If you feel for the innocent people who are killed in this, then the pro-war people think you're naive and a bleeding heart. 

My most major concern in this is for the US military people who are fighting this war.  With all good honor, they went to fight the war the government deemed necessary.  I lived as a military wife for more than 20 years and I knew at any time that my husband could be called away and could die as a result.  It was his job.  Both of my military husbands served with a proud and patriotic heart and gave a lot to our country.  My first husband was one of only two people in the Air Force who was certified to teach some of the courses the AF offered.  He traveled all over the world to teach other AF members.  My second husband was named one of the best ground radio technicians to ever hit McClellan AFB and he earned that title.  You get cheap groceries.  You get free (or near free) medical.  You get base housing.  You get to know that your husband is someone you share with the whole nation and that America is a harsh mistress who can demand his time during your kids' birthdays (or the days you're birthing them), over Christmas and on your wedding anniversary.  Often, when they are called away, they can't even tell you where they are or when they'll be back. 

I was working in the OB/GYN clinic at George AFB when Operation Desert Shield/Storm began and that was proof to me of how oblivious the country had become to the nature of war.  The idea of their men being "at war" was more than most of our patients could handle.  You wouldn't believe the number of women who came into the clinic demanding that we get their husbands back because their babies were due or they were scheduled for a c-section.  They wanted their men to stand up, walk off the battle line and climb onto a plane because of what was going on back home.

There were so many "conscientious objectors" who declined to fight or left the country, not because they had some philosophical opposition to why we were going into Iraq, but because they simply did not want to fight.  It was amazing how many people said, "I joined the military for a college education, not this!"  Huh??   

No matter how many people protested or continue to protest this war in which we are engaged, the fact of the matter is that we are there and our sons and daughters and brothers and sisters are out there fighting in a foreign country, not knowing if they will come home.  I remember clearly the Vietnam War and its end.  I was in the 5th grade and my teacher, Miss Ward, was called out of the classroom for a few minutes and returned to make the announcement.  The war was over.  We learned that not only was the war over, but the draft was also no longer in effect. 

I saw the planeloads of people coming home. I saw people spitting on them as they returned.  I don't want that this time and I pray we have evolved past that. 

The banner above says "One nation under God" and although as a rule, I am against the promotion of one religion as THE religion of a country as vibrant and ethnically diverse as America, I have to agree that in this case, it applies.  We are definitely one nation (although divided, in this case) under God as we go to war.   It's my impression that war is definitely man's work.  Although there are several glorious goddesses of war, my mind's eye identifies women as the givers of life and nurtures and healers and men as the ones who will kill it if they can't fuck it.  Men are the ones who are driven toward domination and patriarchal penis swinging.  Men are the ones who have to get in the middle of anything and everything and dissect it and pick it apart and analyze it and "fix" it.  Women will just talk about it and let nature take its course and then give it the frowning of a lifetime and lay on the guilt if it all screws up.  Labeling.  Yep.  You bet. 

Overall, I don't print political things regarding the war, but this caught my attention.  Supposedly, it's by Robin Williams.  It made me think of Howard Stern's response to Sheryl Crow's statement, "War is not the answer."  His reply was something that actually did make me think twice.  It was, "Then what is the answer?"  It's quite a clarifier.  If someone is as politically literate and informed as the people making the choices (i.e.: Bush, Cheney and Powell), if they know all of the info these guys and their advisors have gleaned from Central Intelligence, etc, AND they have a different idea of how it could be handled, then I'm eager to hear.  Again, I am not looking for wannabe peacemakers who know a little about Iraq and its culture and are against the war on general principle because "war is wrong" and "innocent people will die."  I'm talking about people who have every ounce of knowledge as those who made the decision to initiate this war; the stuff that we, the general public, do not hear and will never hear, and who have a sound alternative to offer. 

Meanwhile, here's Robin's take on things:

I see a lot of people yelling for peace but I have not heard of a plan for peace. So, here's one plan:

1) The US will apologize to the world for our "interference" in their affairs, past &present. We will promise never to "interfere" again.

2) We will withdraw our troops from all over the world, starting with Germany , South Korea and the Philippines . They don't want us there. We would station troops at our borders. No more sneaking through holes in the fence.

3) All illegal aliens have 90 days to get their affairs together and leave. We'll give them a free trip home. After 90 days the remainder will be gathered up and deported immediately, regardless of who or where they are. France would welcome them.

4) All future visitors will be thoroughly checked and limited to 90 day visits unless given a special permit. No one from a terrorist nation would be allowed in. If you don't like it there, change it yourself, don't hide here. Asylum would not ever be available to anyone. We don't need any more cab drivers.

5) No "students" over age 21. The older ones are the bombers. If they don't attend classes, they get a "D" and it's back home, baby.

6) The US will make a strong effort to become self sufficient energy-wise. This will include developing non polluting sources of energy but will require a temporary drilling of oil in the Alaskan wilderness. The caribou will have to cope for a while.

7) Offer Saudi Arabia and other oil producing countries $10 a barrel for their oil. If they don't like it, we go someplace else.

8) If there is a famine or other natural catastrophe in the world, we will not "interfere." They can pray to Allah or whomever, for seeds, rain, cement or whatever they need. Besides, most of what we give them gets "lost" or is taken by their army. The people who need it most get very little, anyway.

9) Ship the UN Headquarters to an island some place. We don't need the spies and fair weather friends here. Besides, it would make a good homeless shelter or lockup for illegal aliens.

9A) Use the buildings as replacement for the twin towers.

10) All Americans must go to charm and beauty school. That way, no one can call us "Ugly Americans" any longer.

11) "The Statue of Liberty is no longer saying 'Give me your poor, your tired, your huddled masses.' She's got a baseball bat and she's yelling, 'You want a piece of me?'"

* Robin Williams


With that, I'm off to a "Kindergarten Tea."  I hope they serve more than tea.  (Like vodka).

Talk to you tomorrow!




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