I was kidding you not when I said my sweet, unassuming mother-in-law was going to the big ripsnorting Operation Ceasefire anti-war rally and concert in Washington, D.C. last weekend.
Not only did she go, but she was featured in a Washington Post story on the event:
- Leslie Darling, 60, came from Cleveland with four friends and said it was her first antiwar protest. She said she was moved by what happened after Hurricane Katrina.
“It made clear that while we spend all this money trying to impose our will on other countries, here at home in our own country, we can’t take care of each other,” she said.
Not unreasonably I might add, although I personally do not see it as an either/or situation.
Spurred on by her adventures, Leslie put together some further thoughts on the event and the state of the nation:
I attended my first anti-war march on September 24, 2005 in Washington, D.C. I attended because it seems to me that we have reached a point of critical mass. It is imperative that we (the reasonable and concerned citizens) take a stand and make our displeasure known to our government officials.
We need to take a stand against the unruly big little boys in Washington who seem to feel that the running of our country is their own personal game of one-upmanship. They need to get their giant egos out of the way and look at the world as it is. We can’t afford to play around. There are real issues that we need to look at not just as citizens of a democratic country, but as citizens of the world.
I can no longer justify not voicing my feelings towards our government’s unwarranted and unwanted presence in other countries around the world. What makes our government officials think that we can impose democracy? The desire for a democratic form of government needs to come from the people seeking it. It can’t be imposed on a group of individuals just because WE think it would be to their benefit.
In order for democracy to work there needs to be an educated public. In our own country we are having trouble keeping democratic ideals alive. Democracy requires a sense of respect for all people and all of their individual beliefs. The very idea of free elections in a country where there is no freedom is ludicrous. If the people of Iraq want democracy then they need to do the work to obtain it. We can’t force them. Nor can we do the work for them.
We were told lies in order to justify our troops being sent there. The citizens of Iraq did not send the planes into the World Trade Center in New York. Nor did they send the plane into the Pentagon. We have yet to find the first weapon of mass destruction in Iraq. Why are we there? I don’t even remember congress declaring war.
We have issues of our own. Let’s deal with them.
We are polluting our own country at an unprecedented rate. We are cutting down our forests, filling in our wetlands (contributing to flooding in New Orleans), using up the water in places like Florida (causing sink holes). Our poor are getting even poorer, the rich are getting richer and the so-called middle class is in shock trying to figure out how our incomes have eroded to such a point that many of us can no longer afford to buy housing, or in some cties even afford rent.
To top it off, in order to keep us from being buried in our own trash we either ship it to states where there are fewer people, or to third world countries that can’t afford to refuse it.
These are just some of the issues that should be getting our full attention. Instead we are worried about having free elections in Iraq. It’s a big shill game. Bait and switch. If the guys in Washington can keep us occupied then maybe we won’t notice until too late.
I am a 60 year old woman. I’m divorced. I work. I love my children and grandchildren. I don’t have all of the answers; I don’t even know all of the questions, but I sense big troubles coming for all of us. Please wake up. Please wake up before it is too late.