ethel’s words

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WAR: THE OTHER CONSEQUENCES

The least of my concerns is the fiscal irresponsibility of our slash and burn slaughter in Iraq and other unfortunate places. Money? Who gives a damn? Money is a fiction (most “things human” are) and you can play the medium of exchange game any way you fancy. Dollars? Hah! Go ahead, build a debt of a billion billion. Is that a Trillion? What difference?

The fools who spend those imaginary treasures are the vandals who are killing and maiming--not only humans, but anything that gets in their way, using their servants through coercion.

What matters is Planet Earth. Earth, our beautiful home in the Cosmos. The place of unquiet seas, silent (almost) deserts, humming forests, animal-voiced jungles. Red cherries in the spring; peaches--just think the word--in autumn. Apples glistening. Corn and squashes and health-securing beans--gifts of the indigenous horticulturists of the western hemisphere. Riches, all. And the thousands of fruits that I do not know and cannot name. These are the treasures.

What matters is the fertile soil buried under asphalt and concrete, and the trees that once were there. What matters is the threat--the burgeoning human populations that are obliterating, life by tragic life--no, it is death by horrifying death--the fauna of Planet Earth: the gorgeous birds, the fascinating reptiles, our closer relatives the mammals--the magnificent, wise elephants, the primates who suffer in our cages. Treasures, all. Those are the things that matter. Those are “neglected-because-of-war” consequences.

Life is a pyramid: at the bottom are microbes who eat stone; at top, precariously dependent, are humans, poised on that vast foundation. Perpetual war cannot balance the clash between humans and all other life. We need to preserve the lives that make our survival possible--as well as worthwhile.

Our dollars mean nothing, Yankee-America. Hunger is the threat that looms above the horizon of Time, whence come our children and our children’s children.

Ethel C. Hale