|March 17, 2006|
The Invisible WoundedA BUZZFLASH READER CONTRIBUTION
According to the Department of Defense, as of today, 2,314 brave American soldiers have been killed in Iraq. Fortunately, one who is dead feels no pain. Grief and agony are the province of the living - parents, spouses, children, friends.
More unfortunate are those who do not die. As members of the living, they experience their own grief and agony, their loved-ones' worry and sadness, and the intrusive gazes of people they pass on the street.
According to the Department of Defense, as of today, 16,653 brave American soldiers have been wounded in Iraq. "Wounded" is a cowardly word that we use for two purposes: (a) to distance ourselves psychically from persons who have been physically or psychologically mangled, but who have not actually died of their injuries; and (b) to conceal the severity of war injuries behind a fantasy in which injured soldiers suffer no more than broken legs and minor bullet wounds.
One of those "wounded," Jacob Knospler, is described in the March 20, 2006 edition of Newsweek as follows:
Please reread those words until you can actually see Jacob Knospler in your mind's eye.
Now imagine that you are Jacob's father or mother. IS THERE ANYTHING YOU WOULD NOT DO to prevent him from having to lie on that stretcher, bleeding and in terrible pain; feeling for his mouth and jaw only to find that they were somehow, unimaginably, obscenely, gone; and weeping at what his hands confessed to him?
If there is ANYTHING that you would accept as an adequate reason for the maiming of your child, would the justifications offered by the Bush administration for invading and remaining in Iraq rise to that level?
If not, then you cannot remain silent while an unjust war (if any are just) tears your children's bodies apart, even if it does not kill them outright.
You must tell Jacob and all his brave, loyal, and innocent cohort: I weep for you: this was not done in my name.
You must tell President Bush: do not DARE to claim that anything you have done in Iraq was done in my name.
You must tell your fellow Americans: I have awakened from the stupor that swept over our country after 9/11. I see that you are awakening, too. I still have my inborn capacity to know right from wrong. I know you do, too. We call it our "conscience." We have been so intimidated and deceived that we barely trust our own minds. But our conscience is alive and well, still as bright and filled with wisdom as the day on which it was bestowed upon us. Our conscience is our flag, and to paraphrase Francis Scott Key in the "Star Spangled Banner," our flag is still there.
No legal sophistry can justify this war, restore the dead to life, or return Jacob's face to him.
Insist that our country recover its decency by listening to the voice of conscience. No sound conscience has ever even TRIED to justify torture. No sound conscience has ever even TRIED to defend covert spying on American citizens. No sound conscience will EVER rationalize the war in Iraq. And no sound conscience can look upon Jacob Knospler's inconceivable injuries without crying out, "No more! I will do everything within my power to heal your wounds and to save your comrades from suffering a similar fate. Though I am only one person, as soon as I can, I will END this war. Though I am only one person, as soon as I can, I will bring our soldiers HOME."
God Bless the American Conscience.
A BUZZFLASH READER CONTRIBUTION
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