At the closing worship Meeting at the FGC Gathering, there were several powerful messages. One woman stood up, said she was a Quaker from the town of River Falls. She described witnessing two parades coming by her house in the past week. One, she said, inspired her. The other caused her great pain.
The first parade consisted of a unit of the local National Guard, marching off to their Iraq deployment. She described how an army truck led the "parade" and towards the end, there was a soldier who appeared to be in "distress". Two of his fellow soldiers were helping him along, encouraging him. An army truck brought up the rear. (at this point in her message, the word "herding" came to mind)
The second parade passed by her house on July 4th. It was a group of Quakers carrying signs against the war. She said it hurt her because she felt it ignored the humanity of the troops that "have to go to Iraq while their families try to hold it together".
I tried to hear her words, that anti-war signs can be very painful and all to the troops and their families. That this war is hard for families and soldiers. I think there's a small grain of truth there. But as the death toll for US troops and Iraqis continues to climb. As the country is devastated with cluster bombs, white phosporous and starvation. It's clear to all but the murderers in our government, that the war must end. The war there (as with every war, really) is founded on lies to make people like Dick Cheney rich. And send millions of innocents to their deaths. And send thousands, millions of soldiers to die for what? A "noble cause"? Makes me so sick...
And what if more and more troops said NO, and stayed home to be with their loved ones? And what if Bush, Cheney and their ilk were impeached and had to actually face the horror they have brought to this world? Yes, her message brought up pain for me, too. However, if a few protest signs cause pain, it's time to look that pain in the face and speak out, act against this war. Can you say "impeachment"?
One F/friend said it simply and well: "I hear how painful this is for her. But the war is just plain wrong!"