ethel’s words

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PRAISING PURVEYORS OF ANGUISH

Cherished friends, family, and readers, must we praise the unfortunate destroyers? Must we say “hero” to killers? At what point do we praise honesty, accuracy, political courage, and kindness? When can we tell our children what teachers are not allowed to tell them, that all wars--so far--are based on deceit and manufactured hatred; that the military is not good for the soul, does not protect human children nor helpless animals. When do we say, Hey, the military is bad, not heroic.

If parents are constrained from teaching children, persuading children, that all things military are evil, then who can tell them? How can kids admire war--its cruelty, its despicable destruction of babies, dogs, horses, and even trees and adult humans?

We should condemn crimes of this nation, boldly, not whisper to friends cowering in shadows of fear. Who promotes these crimes? Those who have power--real, not contemplative, power. Those who, from the first oppressive government, have used violence, prisons, and torture to enslave humans. War requires interplay of two: The power-monster and the willing submitter.

I remember--no, I now realize--how dumb I was at WWII time. It was MY government, not the Japanese, who prevented me from writing to my brother in his POW years. (My government allowed post cards, with few lines, once in a (forgotten) period of time. Yet I wrote to my spouse in the Pacific theater every day. I learned late that my sister wrote to my brother--she was not on his next-of-kin list so she received no admonition.)

The role, the purpose, of the military is to HATE and to KILL. Being in the military requires giving up all political rights, all self-determination.

We do not need a standing army to defend our nation. Our country is our territory; any invader would be fought at our ports, at our coastlines, in our streets, by all of us who live here, sans uniform. The guerillas defending their homes die, but in the end, the guerillas win--unless subjected to total genocide, as were many North American Native indigenous groups.

We had little in the way of a standing army when WWII crashed into existence, yet we won THAT war. (We won NO peace.) Most of us are afraid of consequences of opposing war. We want possessions more than we want peace. We want wealth, not living children. We want comfort, not justice. We allow war.

Ethel C. Hale