Blog blast for Peace
I missed Mimi’s Blog Blast for Peace. We were not having a very peaceful night here and I just couldn’t put the grief away and think to write. But I think Mimi’s efforts are incredible and should be honored, so I will contribute late.
Peace has been on my mind for many reasons lately. It’s just a matter of time until George Bush is out of office. In and of itself, that is a good thing. But, knowing the havoc he and his cronies have managed to wreak all over the world, I do wonder what little surprises will be left in place for us to discover after he is gone. I don’t see him allowing his successor a smooth transition into office, nor do I see him allowing his successor the opportunity to reveal all of the things that have actually happened with the approval and sanction of the White House these past eight years. So I suspect the shenanigans are only beginning.
I think of the damage of war all over the world, as Bush and his cronies sucked up all the oil and laid claim to the locations they would own in their quest for world domination. I think of the many media stories we see that proclaim criminals named “Mohammad” and “Juan” and how these feed into our fears and need for a stricter borders. As I think of “Mohammad”, I wonder what this twelve year old boy’s life has been like to this point, and what would have possessed him to be a suicide bomber. I think of “Juan”, and know that he lives on the North American continent and has no access to any of the opportunities there. What is his true crime? That he is willing to work any way he can to support his family?
What about the people who have paid for the bombs of Mohammad or who will pay Juan to work once he crosses the border? Why do we never hear of their crimes? And why am I thinking of teenage boys? Because my little man will soon be a teenager. He is growing up so quickly. Already he wears 3T clothing! What new fears will have been created for us to conquer when he is of age? Who will be the driving force behind sending our sons off to war? Will it still be oil greed, or will there be some new mineral or technological advance that we need to “protect” from insurgents.
When I was in elementary school, I remember learning about those who fought big business to get the anti-trust laws in place. Does anybody remember those? Why have we let those be destroyed? Does anyone remember the respect we used to have for journalists? They would go to the dangerous places to get the “truth” and then rush back to their editor and get it on the front page! Isn’t that a story we’ve all seen? Yet now that the anti-trust laws have been broken, we have huge, world-wide corporations that encompass many businesses. Mass media is just a part of the business world. The “news” is a for-profit business, so the stories we hear are about keeping the business thriving, not about revealing “truth, justice and the American Way.”
If a journalist were to discover “the truth” where would he take it today? Is it even possible for there to be another story with the impact of Watergate? How would the owners of FOX, NBC, ABC, MSN or CBS feel about the “truth” being revealed if it will hurt their bottom line? And how did we arrive in this place that journalism is now just another job for a paycheck and not a profession of brave truth-seekers we would be proud to have our children do?
One of the news stories we hear very occasionally is of the forests that are being stripped and burned in South America. We are told of the danger this creates for our society because we are losing precious resources. There are tree, plant, animal and insect species that have never been identified. Who knows what medical advances we are burning down in our rush to put more cattle on the land? Whole tribes are losing their way of life because they’ve always lived on the land and assumed it would always be theirs. They had no idea that the government owned “their” land and could sell it at will. So they watch as their food chain is burned and destroyed and end up as part of the ever-growing pool of worldwide indigent and homeless. When we do bother to focus on the forests in South America that are being burned, often we feel helpless in the face of such enormous destruction. But what can we do? This is capitalism, at it’s best. This is exactly how it works. You have something I want, I pay you, I do what I want with it. There is no room for social consciousness or compassion. Free enterprise is all about the bottom line.
We have profiteers here in Canada as well. Not many Americans have heard of the Boreal Forests (read here too) or the Canadian Shield (read here too ). Did you know that the trees in Canada serve a similar function to the trees in South America? They help to cleanse the air that we breathe. They provide habitat for the many animals, plants and insects in this environment. They are the homeland to an indigenous group of people who have watched their way of life be destroyed. All very similar to south America. But the forests are being torn down for farmland and gas and mineral exploitation. Habitats are being destroyed. Animal species are being threatened. Native peoples are losing their way of life. It is all very similar to South America, but it doesn’t make it into anyone’s news stories. I wonder why?
My thoughts are rambling here. It’s a gray day outside, I’m very sad about the loss of my little Shiloh, and I’ve already burned the oatmeal. I’m clearly not feeling optimistic. Yet considering Mimi’s challenge has had me contemplating so many of these ideas and I see connections between the many actions which prevent peace while ensuring the profits of certain people.
Which leads me to remember learning of the bravery of those who fought against the anti-trust laws. I also remember how frightening the McCarthy era was for those who dared to believe or act differently from the norm. Which brings me back full circle. Do you really think Mohammad or Juan wouldn’t rather be enjoying safe and productive lives with their families in their peaceful homelands? As proud as we are of our soldiers and the sacrifices they willingly make to ensure our way of life, wouldn’t you prefer to have them safe at home?
Are any of you worried about the future and who will be determining which resources are worth trading for your son’s and daughter’s lives?