Friday, February 02, 2007

When it comes time to decide, whose blood will be on your hands?

To put it bluntly, more people have died in Iraq since we invaded that country than live in the city I currently reside in (Denton, TX). The other day I imagined what it would be like if everyone in this city was shot, blown apart, strangled, beaten to death, or in some other way murdered. I tried to imagine the entire, thriving community completely empty, shut down, without a person in sight.

I tried to imagine how much blood was on my hands as a result of the actions of my government.

My mind can create phantoms of this, but I don't think I can or ever will truly appreciate the reality of what has been done to the peoples of both Iraq and the United States.

I have come to a decision though. When faced with the stark choice between having the blood of more innocents, this time Iranians, on my hands or having the blood of those instigating the war for their own political gain, I know what my choice will be.

I have so much in my life that I value. I enjoy my rather simple life. I go to school, I spend time with my girlfriend, I play video games, I read (books and, obviously, news), and I go on walks. I love this life and am hard pressed to risk losing everything trying to resist the most powerful empire to ever exist.

But what kind of life would it be if I knew, the whole time I was enjoying these things, that at that very moment someone was feeling that last jolt before oblivion, that proto-suprise moment before their brains give up and switch off for the last time, unable to cope with the extensive tissue damage of an explosive pressure wave or an invasive incursion into their various vital organs?

How can I hold my girlfriend when I have to worry about the blood on our hands rubbing off on each other?

If there is to be more blood painted onto my hands, let it be that of those who would kill the innocent and bully the weak.

Before the last election, I drew a line in the sand. I said that if the election was stolen, I would be prepared to act. I draw a new line today. If we begin a murder campaign against another country in the same way we did against Iraq, I will be prepared to act.

I leave you with two quotes to consider.

"The earth is not dying. It is being killed, and the people killing it have names and addresses."
-Utah Phillips

"Why stand we here idle? What is it that gentlemen wish? What would they have? Is life so dear, or peace so sweet, as to be purchased at the price of chains and slavery?"
-Patrick Henry