Sick of Iraq, war on terror, torture, civilian deaths, political lies, corruption in high places, loss of civil liberties, stolen elections, media manipulation and conversation after conversation about all of the above. Over the past four years I have evolved from a contented mother to a raging activist granny. This is not something I chose to be; I want to get a cottage, grow organic vegetables and write poetry that speaks of love and passion whilst I relax safe in the knowledge that my offspring and hers will live to a decent age, in a peaceful world with air they can breathe, clean water and freedom to choose whatever path they want to follow. Sadly, the cottage image is a shattered mess along with all the other hopes as the screen before me fills with images of other mothers whose children are slaughtered by armies that claim to represent me and make me an accessory by using my tax to fund the killing.
I write this with the assumption that you the reader are angered by the needless loss of life and liberty that have ensued since we invaded Iraq under the lie of WMD’s. Each and every person in the world is affected by the decisions of two governments, the US and UK who dictate an agenda that I can’t recognise as being for the benefit of the people of their countries in any way, shape or form. I see gain for industry leaders (particularly those that support the current governments in the US and UK) all the time and yet we who contribute each week or month with our meagre taxes gain nothing. Since 9/11, the world has changed beyond recognition. This one act of much debated origins was the springboard for the war in Afghanistan and the invasion of Iraq. I have concerns and worries and yet each time I question decisions made by those in power, I am ignored, I am nobody, I have no say and even the measly vote I get is in doubt.
Democracy for Iraq, the protection of the Jewish State, land for Palestinians, aid for Africa, sweatshops in Asia have all become my responsibility since I chose to glance at world events. But not just any glance, I chose the internet as my portal to knowledge as I grew angered by the mainstream media. I would watch the main evening news on TV and not recognise a word of truth, just marketing and PR for whatever the government was going to do next. It got so that I could recognise the pattern of things to come and a game ensued where I would compare the TV news in the West with the TV news from the countries that were affected. It was laughable. Then the internet opened the opportunity to find writers and sites I could respect, whose history I could check and whose motives I could fathom.
Once I established several reliable outlets for news, I began to digest, daily. I digested so much I am obese with information and fit to burst. I can take no more. It is overwhelming when you can see the big picture and do nothing to prevent the pitfalls and disasters that lie ahead. I am one granny and you are one reader and we are totally impotent in the face of all that is going on in the world today. What can we do? Who can we reason with? I tried all the sensible routes as I am sure you may have done; the petitions, the phone calls, the letters, the email and even a few marches. I even set up my own anti-war campaign . But nothing changes, nothing even pauses and my cottage looks more and more like an hallucination.
I want my cottage and I am selfish enough to know that I won’t stop reading, writing and planning until I get it. What are we willing to do to stop the war, get global warming on the agenda instead and start planning for global peace to accompany it? When I mention peace, people who imagine they are wiser, tut-tut the idea and look at me with the sympathy reserved for the backward. They suggest that that is a foolish thought and that man will always war. Really? Why is that then? I have found as I have travelled all over the world that each individual I have met is most definitely in favour of a peaceful life. I found that every individual had a desire for all that I desired (though not always including the cottage and organic veg), but they desired honest government (another hope that brings on the tut-tut sounds), the freedom to voice opinions, a wage that is liveable, access to the necessities, decent health care and education and they all wanted it for their neighbours too. So why then, if this is what logically we all want, do we get wars, money wasted on wars, under funded education and health as a result?
Our governments are ignoring us and attempting to appease us with promises for better taxation, education and health – and my greatest hope is that we will not be fooled and we will not be silent. Until our governments start being clear and honest about the situation in Iraq, torture and their plans for future invasions and wars we need to stop supporting them. But even as I type that line, I realise that they don’t really need our support anyway. The two major parties in the US and UK are ok with the war on terrorism and whichever gets supported the war train keeps on rolling. The smaller parties don’t stand a chance in the current climate and if they don’t, then nor do we who oppose the lunacy of a war on terror that is destined to be long and at the expense of our money and our civil liberties. My cottage, my hopes for my family’s rosy future and my dreams die a little each day.
TINA LOUISE lives in Blackpool, England. She can be reached at: firstname.lastname@example.org