Just Plain Foolish

Just a chance for an old-fashioned, simple storyteller to say what needs to be said.

Sunday, June 17, 2007

Father's Day, 2007

Now that I have over a year's worth of blog posts, it is interesting to occasionally be able to look back and see where I was a year ago. Last year, I was worried sick about my dad's upcoming deployment. Today, I am relieved and grateful that he is back and yet, what I wrote then holds today:

We are now responsible for cleaning up our act and helping the people of Iraq. That doesn't mean shooting them. It means improving lives - with things like access to healthcare, roads, bridges, etc. It means asking folks with practical on-the-ground experience of peacework how to set about trying to rebuild. It means getting Haliburton the heck out out of there, and looking at actually *helping* people to rebuild their own lives, so they are invested in it and feel that they have some power in their own life, rather than whatever influence the US wants to visit next on them. It means walking humbly and saying we're sorry.

And that still holds today. We have spent yet another year going down that wrong road, again and again. We disrupt the lives of Americans and Iraqis, and the main benefactors seem to be extremist recruiters and big money corporations. Halliburton is no longer even an American company, but still they rake in the government spending on this war with no-bid contracts, despite prior shoddy performance, misuse of government funds, and outright theft.

Money that should go to rebuilding Iraq instead lines the pockets of corrupt "businessmen" who cheat our country and our troops. Money that could be spent on healthcare, education, caring for our wounded veterans and their families, all the boring, necessary work of responsible government, instead goes to billionaires who cynically exploit our political system.

Today, there are thousands of families that are where I was last year, waiting for the dreaded day for deployment, clinging to the time remaining, and many thousands more who will be sending emails and ecards for fathers away at war. In this years proclamation of Father's Day, Mr. Bush said that "Fathers have indispensable roles to play in the lives of their children: provider, protector, nurturer, teacher, and friend." And yet, we are separating families by the thousands. Children are growing up without knowing their fathers, because those fathers are overseas, without even a clear reason for being there or plan for sucess. And some of those fathers return wounded in body and soul. Some never return alive.

This Father's Day, let us begin to do the legwork to reunite those American families that have been separated for war. Although Mr. Bush specifies that Father's Day is for honoring American fathers, let us recognize that Iraqi fathers have a role to play in their children's lives, too. Instead of sending more troops, isn't it time we begin to send experts in world development? Many of those experts are familiar with dangerous conditions. Instead of floundering about with a military "solution", let us address actual concrete issues on the ground. People are living without adequate water or sanitation. For the sake of their fathers and ours, isn't it time we started trying to find practical solutions?

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Blogger Kate said...

It goes back to something our mothers said to us when we were kids -- you made the mess, you clean it up. Whether it's your room or someone else's home, it still applies.

6/19/2007 11:26 AM  

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