War is not healthy for children

Lorriane Schneider’s famous 1967 Vietnam protest poster

I’m usually insulated from the news on weekends because there’s always something else going on. So I was caught completely off guard when I clicked on the MSNBC website a short time ago and saw this headline:

Gadhafi’s youngest son, grandkids killed in NATO attack

Gadhafi’s name scarcely registered as I saw “son, grandkids killed.” It didn’t really matter at that moment who the father and grandfather was. Someone, in a horrible split second, in the middle of a family gathering, had seen a beloved son and three grandchildren blown to pieces. I don’t have words for the sorrow I felt or the emptiness inside. You’d have to be a parent and grandparent to even begin to understand.

No doubt a lot of people are thinking that with Gadhafi right there in the same room, it was just bad luck he wasn’t killed. And many more are probably hoping the loss of so many family members will finally convince him to leave Libya. And maybe I will too, tomorrow, or next week.

Today a NATO pilot pushed a button and almost killed Gadhafi. Almost. Instead, a son and three grandchildren died. It’s time to get out of Libya. And out of Afghanistan and Iraq. Before we and our allies kill any more sons or grandchildren. Before any more grandparents have to mourn.



Categories: Gadhafi, International, Libya

8 replies

  1. You expressed, in words, exactly what I felt when I heard the news. This is an excellent post, and I couldn’t agree with you more.

  2. If everybody reacts as you two and I have, maybe someone in DC will grow a spine and stop funding this evil. When I heard about this, I remembered a song that made an impression on me nearly 50 years ago. With God on Our Side.”

  3. I’m sorry, but I can’t let the go just yet. I doubt I can put into words my true feelings regarding these murders (without using egregious expletives) and the vehemence I feel toward my own government, but I’m sure as hell going to try.

    As a parent and grandparent, hearing about the killing of a grandchild of a person who’s name is familiar to me is at first horrifying and then maddening. Gaddifi might be the worst person on Earth, but his grandchildren deserve better than being merely acceptable collateral damage in another countries civil conflict where we have no business interfering, and yet we… we collectively for not forcefully acting to stop these undeclared wars… are the neanderthals who are to blame.

    And yet… in the midst of the anger over this identifiable tragedy, I (and we all) have to realize that we’ve been killing anonymous grandchildren for decades. Gaddifi may have hated us before, but if he’s anything like me, he hates us with a vengeance now and maybe for the first time, with good reason. And what about all those anonymous grandparents? Can any rational person expect them to forgive and forget? Not me. If I were one of them and my only recourse for retribution was strapping bombs around my waist and killing as many Americans as possible, I’d do it in a heartbeat.

    This is just saddening and sickening and it’s got to stop. Since WWII every single president has sent our military to fight undeclared wars, and our spineless, irresponsible, cowardly congress has allowed them to do it. That’s got to stop too. Politicians who ignore their oaths of office and their constitutional responsibilities need to be unemployed – forcefully if necessary. Tomorrow I begin researching what it takes to recall mine.

    • Wow, the “strapping bombs around my waist and killing as many Americans as possible” bit is a bit scary, but I have to admit that I’ve had my share of frustration-induced mass-murder-to-make-my-point fantasies. The bottom line is that, no matter how compelling the “humanitarian crisis” argument sounds, history has repeatedly proven just how reckless such interventions really are.

    • It seems I’ve spent most of my life worrying about a loved one being called to serve, to kill another nation’s brothers, husbands and sons, and perhaps to be killed in the process. And in ten years or so, I’ll be worrying about my grandchildren doing the same thing. Nothing will have changed. And if history is any indication, it never will.

      You’re probably right about Gadhafi. He’s as likely to react with vengeance as with capitulation (as if our attacking his country with a “humanitarian” mission weren’t enough to infuriate him).

      Interesting, isn’t it, that he might have fabricated this whole story about his family members being killed.

  4. “Interesting, isn’t it, that he might have fabricated this whole story about his family members being killed.”

    Not only “interesting” but brilliant and if so, it certainly had the effect desired because it entirely took me in. Regardless… being embarrassed at being that naive isn’t nearly as bad as those kids being dead at our hands.

"I'm using my art to comment on what I see. You don't have to agree with it." ~ John Mellencamp

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