Monday, April 03, 2006

Mother's Day 2006

Mending Broken Promises, Tattered Dreams and Celebrating Life


Words were invented to conceal what we are thinking. Unknown

What are we thinking? When we say support the troops, there is no truth in any part of the sentence. Children who are supported do not grow up to enlist in an army that demands they spend most of their time across the ocean from their children. Truly supported people do not willingly enlist in a profession that demands that they kill for their supper.

No god that I can conceive would want his children to battle one another, to send the brightest of his students to a far-off hill to craft the deadliest way to deal with the diverse and colorful people he has sent to the far reaches of the earth. He would, if his children listened to him, have them invent the most elegant way for all his young to live, to prosper in safety, preserving the safety and dignity of all who draw breath.

Los Alamos, New Mexico, far from the beaten path so few will notice, is gearing up to build another round of nuclear weapons. Only those who have become accustomed to the ‘war is peace’ twist of the language can believe that this effort which costs us edible food, sound health, proper education, potable water, renewable energy and a secure place to lay our heads believe that any nuclear weapon buys a shred of safety. Only those who profit from the endeavor believe that one single bomb more will pull us back from the brink of global self-annihilation.


I‘m a grandmother now and I’ve had more of this ‘war is peace’ propaganda than I can stomach. I want no flowery cards this year that say what a great mom I’ve been. I have, so far, failed my children and my birthright by not noticing when a country becomes the enemy of its people. This year, I want a real mother’s day. I want cards that say we do not have to obey any law crafted behind closed doors. I want cards that announce the end of strife and bullets and babies who have lost their arms and legs because some bully thinks he should be able to rummage around in another country and take what he wants.


In case you think that this statement comes from a Democrat railing against Republicans, you could not be more wrong. In the last presidential campaign I knocked on countless doors for a candidate who had an exit plan from Iraq, regardless of the party name. I love my country. But I have also been mourning its loss for I recognize not the US in the Patriot Act but the same paranoia of my homeland, the Germany of 1937. I do not see a great country in the laws that allow the wild and beautiful lands to be swept from under us like a table cloth pulled, by some stealthy magic, out from under our plates with our wineglasses still standing. Politics, like this war, is the art of taking from the many and bestowing on the few while words assure, it is for your own good. The ranks of believers are shrinking, as are the ranks of those willing to wage peace.

If we do not get this right, our children will inherit only the wind, the earthquake, the drought and the fury of a world that has been disrespected nigh unto death. This mother’s day, I want cards and home-made drawings from all the children, from once shining sea to once again shining sea. I want the parents who love their children and want a clean, safe and democratic future for them to gather a few friends, have their children design earth-loving art and writing and together, on Mother’s day, dressed to the nines in celebration of life, put on a parade or a pageant.

To really mark the rebirth of democracy and the earth, make a beautiful flag to replace the one that has become the symbol of bloodletting and stealing someone else’s stars. Paint a flower on it, a sun, clouds for the earth that has so few tears to water its soil and carry it proudly to the nearest military base, nuclear power plant or, go to the home of the mother of all bombs, Los Alamos, and lay down the gifts that come from your hearts. Then stand tall and proud, refreshed and renewed in the knowledge that you have helped make mother’s day what it was intended, a proclamation for a livable peace.


To learn more, visit lasg.org on the web. Help bring about nuclear disarmament and sign the call.

Astrid Webster

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