My son is fighting for your freedom to stand here -
This is the mentality of some mothers and fathers who send their children to war, or those folks who send other people's children to fight war.
I am forced to shout at their rapidly receeding backs: "NO, your son is NOT killing anyone for my rights. I choose NO RIGHTS rather than have someone else killing another human being - especially women & children - for my rights. I REFUSE to allow anyone to kill another human being, for my rights. I will claim and protect my own rights."
For what is my right to be ‘free’ if it has cost the life of another human being?
Besides, don't you think a person should be asked before someone is about to commit such a heinous, unforgivable crime against humans and especially in her name? It is such a mentality – kill for freedom – created & steeped in patriarchal misogyny, and so embedded in modern psyche not to mention the water, air & food of our society, that it is rarely questioned.
Maybe this attitude that I do NOT want anyone to kill another for my freedom, maybe this attitude is born of my being American: maybe if I was in the concentration camps in Germany, or the killing fields of the Sudan, maybe I would say kill anyone that would give me my freedom. Maybe if I was being held captive & my daughter was being tortured, I’d beg for someone to kill my captors & my daughter’s tormentors.
I hope I would have a deeper appreciation of my soul, a higher knowledge, a more compassionate bearing that would differentiate me from those other humans who are willing and able to take human life.
I would hope I would reach the places women who have been the survivors of such unfathomable violence and who have talked about becoming a better human being not more killing, more hurt, more violence.
I remember the story of an early Queen, who was being forced into slavery by a king – and whose 5 year old daughter was being used to force the queen into slavery. The daughter threw herself down the stairs, breaking her neck & killing herself. And the queen, bitter and so terribly hurt, said she would rather her daughter dead than to live knowing many had died trying to keep her from harm.
I recently heard of a 75 year old woman who survived the destruction of her village and the death of every other member of her family during the Vietnam war – her family and her village. Not one other member survived the U.S. attack.
She told a U.S. soldier, who recently returned to the site of these heinous crimes, that she wished for all U.S. soldiers who were involved in this war to return to her. She wanted to look them in the eye and tell them she forgave them.
That is the human being I want to be. That is the freedom I want that no soldier, no soldier can kill another human for.
Soldiers are NOT fighting for my freedom – they never have been. Again, it is one of those sentences that is only half said: they are fighting for freedom, yes, but the freedom to exploit another’s resources. Period. Whatever ideology it is encased in, it is about resources and certain men taking more than their share.
That is what our soldiers are fighting for: the freedom to plunder.