Bearing witness to modern warfare

Like most, I am strong, decent, kind man. Flawed, but good.  And, like many, I have borne much in this life, but this – this, I can hardly bear.  I am nauseous as I write.

Actual footage from an American Army chopper outside Baghdad.  The ill-informed, light-hearted murder of innocents by men carrying out orders, doing their duty as directed in the course of daily business. 


Grown American men in the grip of the fog of war, seeing  those who they have no real information on — peaceful journalists, parents and children — as video game targets.  Slaughtering them, pushing a button from the sky. 


Even with all my imagination, I can’t find another God-honest way to see this.


America – wake up!  Half of our discretionary tax dollars — 700,000 military — 2.3M civilians — $900 Billion/yr — 8% of our annual GDP — helped to perpetrate this.  


That chopper took billions of our dollars and hundreds of lifetimes of our brightest scientists, engineers and technicians to build.


This is not just the men sitting in the cockpit pushing buttons.  All of us, together, have done this.  Their blood is ours to sop up.

America! Do we recall our promise?  We are a covenant to the world.  My parents, like so many , left all they knew in the hope of its fulfillment, and I work, as so many do each day, in that same hope.   

AMERICA! We the People are financing this every day — the one-third of our paychecks in taxes – a quarter of that money goes to pay for this — on average, about 40 minutes of your work day, even this very day, is STILL paying.  If you are blessed with employment. 


It is our voice, our silence, our unwillingness to bear witness, and the hours and dollars we spend each day doing looking away – that has done this, just as much as the men pushing the buttons above Baghdad. 

The men in the chopper are merely the symptom.  We are the problem – our ruthless, murderous silence. 


Those men were just doing their jobs, clicking their mouse, just as you click yours. 


And they were doing it in January 2007, knowing full well — as we all did by that time — that there were no WMD’s in Iraq – our whole rationale for military action there. 


And yet we all just kept clicking.  What, in God’s name, what is wrong with us?


America, may we never again abandon your promise!


And, Mr. President Obama, you too made a personal promise us all to end this.  Why are we still there?!


Please — no more!  The time is not someday, not soon — but now — to make good on your word.

And most of all, oh dear God of Love, Sprit of Peace, Brotherhood of Man —  please hear our cries!


Please, please let this be the real beginning of the real end to the illusive ill-defined war on terror.


May we see the terrorists are really just murderous criminal gangs. 


May we understand we must no longer dignify them as warriors.


May we stop inflicting our fear and vengeance upon their innocent, decent neighbors.


May we stop ordering our own best men to commit heinous crimes in our name.


May we see that the War on Terror should never have been.


May we see, there just should have been, and could still now be — the largest, most concerted criminal dragnet in the history of humanity – for which we would have the world’s unqualified support. 


May we see that if the enemy really is terror, then we can win it now — when we put down our fears, and live in the clear-eyed faith that terrorists are nothing but criminals.


And, unless we let them change us, they can pose no real threat to our way of life –the openness, integrity, generosity of a free people united and peaceful — only we can surrender that way, that promise.


And may we see, in the name of stopping them, that is just we have been doing — abandoning ourselves!


Oh Dear God — please relieve us of our blindness now — may we awaken!


It is time to just go get the terrorists and bring them out into the light, into the full blaze of justice before the world’s gaze.  


Every peace-loving person on Earth wants for that, only that.


And, in our heart-of-hearts, we want to stop dignifying them and defiling ourselves with this erroneous war on terror.


So all of us — American, Afghan Iraqi, and all others – may live amongst one another as brothers, in peace.





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