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Monthly Archives: February 2013

In rare cases, I believe so.

During WWII if an American had been with German troops planning, abetting and conspiring against the Allies wearing a German uniform and living with the Germans, not one American soldier would have been called out for shooting the traitor on sight. A story like that would have hit the new reels and pulled Americans together in horror at the treasonous nature of such an individual and the soldier would have been given a commendation. Not a moment would have been wasted worrying about the rights of such a traitor and their having been killed without due process and trial, though the only thing anyone would have thought a better outcome was that he be captured, tried with due process and hanged back on American soil – after we’d gotten as much intelligence out of him possible.

I understand that today technology exists that is truly awesome in its power and can give the impression of ease and seemingly remove the immediate consequences of  killing so that it is different than shooting someone on a battlefield like we did 70 years ago.  But then a lot of things have changed since then. You don’t have a country declaring war and an enemy in uniform out posted along a battlefield front.  It is not an army we are fighting now, it is a semi confederation of terrorist cells working underhandedly and deviously because they cannot get a legitimate government to back them and take us on face to face.

So if a born and bred American posts, plots, joins and otherwise aids terrorist groups, training them and training with them, living among them and – because they understand our lives, beliefs and culture – provides tactical and other intelligence to these enemies who have taken it upon themselves to come after us and we get the opportunity to take them out at some training camp or some hidey hole they’ve scurried to out in Yemen with a drone? I’d fire the rocket myself if given the chance and sleep like a baby afterwards.

When an American does such a thing, it is not our responsibility to follow him around the globe with an arrest warrant, reminding him of the rights he obviously does not care to have and putting troops in danger to make an arrest.  As an American you do have rights – and I think in such traitorous situations those people have exercised the right to give up those rights.  You hate America that much?  Fine.  We don’t stop people who want to leave this country.  And if they want to denounce us, they are free to do so.  Go join the enemy.  But when they join in the fight against us, they should know what they are up against.  After all, they were born and raised here.

And anyone who does such a thing and then whines about their civil rights once captured should be shot, just out of principal.  They can’t have it both ways: Death to America.  Down with the American system of government.  Oh, wait.  I’ve been caught by America?  I want my American rights granted to and protected for me by America!  Give me a fucking break.  Save the cost of a trial on that. I’d rather pay for the drone strike with my hard earned tax dollars and not give these people a propaganda platform in the guise of a trial.

You want to have the conversation about drones and whether or not they are ethical?  Fine.  There is a discussion to be had on that. We can and should debate this, especially when it comes to killing kids as such strikes by necessity sometimes do. But don’t go getting your panties in a wad about the killing of a traitor whose own actions and Youtube videos confirm it.  That doesn’t even make a blip on my ethical meter.

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I have a 5 year old little boy and it has been a hard few weeks to be his mother.

It was hard to turn on the news.  Hard to listen to the names and see the faces of those murdered. Hard to hear about a child being taken at gunpoint and held underground for a week.  Hard to contain maternal hatred for men who would perpetrate such horrors. Hard to contain tears of gratitude and grief for those who stood between a gunman and children to die more valiantly than most of us could ever hope to live, much less die.

It was hard to process the mixed feelings of relief and shame at that relief because the only thing that was different about me and someone else was their unimaginable loss and grief and my luck and chance not to have lived where they did.

Then a murder/kidnapping on a school bus 20 minutes from my parents’ house where I grew up – 10 miles from the bus route my daughter rode for years – reminded me that proximity was a risky defense on which to base my relief.

And, to be perfectly honest, in an attempt to shield myself I pulled away from these stories to a certain degree.  I read about them daily, I offered my prayers and held out hope, but I stayed away from commenting, watching and participating in the hourly drama of it, because the more I watched, the more certain I became of one fact.

There is no real safety for my children.  And that haunts me.

I grew up in a world where mothers don’t die in childbirth and, except in the direst of cases, babies live.  Polio, smallpox, dysentery and other child killers have all but been eradicated due to the advances of medicine.  I walked through an old graveyard months ago looking at all the tiny gravestones from 150 years ago (one family I remember had more than 5) and gave thanks that I live in an age where my children will most likely all live to adulthood – something that didn’t happen for either of my grandmothers, nor any of my great-grandmothers. In that I am so very blessed.  Even with the health risks of Downs, Sawyer has every expectation through science, education and the advancement of compassion to live a high quality life where 100 years ago doctors would have recommended I never see him and that he be thrown into an asylum to rot –something completely unfathomable to me, as his smiling face is my greatest joy every day.

But I have other things to fear – not viruses and disease – something worse: my fellow human beings.

The things I used to lay awake worrying about in the night – that Ezra may one day put himself danger because he doesn’t listen when he should and do something dangerous like run out in front of a car, that Sawyer will one day be taken advantage of and mistreated because of perceived disabilities – have been replaced by more violent actions from the insane adults around them.

When my daughter was growing up my big boogeyman fear was that she may be lured into a van with candy or a puppy and raped and murdered.  I taught her about strangers, was vigilant and kept my fingers crossed, relying a good deal on the knowledge that – statistically speaking – she was probably safe and doing my best to keep the odds of such dangers as low as possible. I tried to raise her to be aware of her surroundings and stay out of high danger situations. She is 20 years old now; so far, so good.

I still have that boogeyman to worry about with my young sons to some extent (I cannot forget about the Sanduskys of the world), but now I have a new one to hate and fear.  One whose insanity cannot be explained away so simply and straightforwardly as a child predator taking one child at a time for their own sick gratification.

Now we have these mass child murdering motherfuckers to worry about.  Ones whose insanity is sneaky and devious and seemingly has no recognizable profile as of yet.  Ones that you cannot warn your children about because if your child is in the presence of this kind of madman, it is probably too late.

How am I supposed to teach my little boy to be vigilant and protect himself when his entire world view is based on the knowledge that he is precious, loved and cherished and that adults are his protectors? Do I shatter that innocence?  Would that be more dangerous?

These crazies operate so far outside of our society’s moral contract that the rest of us cannot fathom their levels of insanity. And quite frankly, I don’t care to.  As compassionate as I can be, these monsters engender no compassion or forgiveness from me – no matter their circumstances, problems or mental diseases.  May they rot in the bowels of Hell for all eternity.

The mindset of one who would intentionally target children is so horrifying and terrible that it is impossible to protect against it. I listen to the arguments from banning all weapons to putting armed guards in schools and know that neither would work.  Neither would stop someone who wants to kill children. There is no sure safety against that.

There is one thing that we all agree on, no matter where your political, religious, racial, ethical, sexual  or any other dividing line in society may be; whether you have children or suffer from a phobia of them; we ALL operate under then indisputable knowledge that children are precious.

We recognize and believe that children who are the least among us in years are in fact the future of the entire world. Just the amount of energy and imagination embodied in one child is so precious to  us as adults who have grown up and lost their wonder that, without children, we would be utterly lost in a cynical world unsavable and unredeemable.

Our children are that redemption.

They are our lights, our beacons, our reasons, our future.

I am terrified for all of them – quite selfishly, mine in particular – and thus the future of humanity.