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Mijito: You are not a Hero if you go to War

While the news media in San Antonio, Texas - surrounded by four military bases and a complacent, right-wing Catholic Church - continues to dance to the drums of war - it is time for us who lived through Vietnam to tell our mijitas and mijitas that heroism isn't the ability to follow orders and kill people. A hero is someone who has the courage to stand up and confront the monstrous culture of war in this country.

I should have written this story a long time ago, and I'm sorry I didn't. I thought my friends in the media would surely report the protests against the war, interview those of us who question it loudly, survey the leaders who hypocritically support the war while their own children are safely going to college here, report on the way that the military is invading the public schools and last year's national LULAC conference - looking for fresh meat. And I've been searching for the personal, intimate, stories of suffering, whether it's in Iraq, Afghanistan, the occupied territories of Palestine or Lebanon. If the media did this, we would have the freedom, the democracy, those innocent soldiers in Iraq are supposedly dying for.

And you know what? It's not gonna happen. The media in San Antonio is owned by mega-corporations with a big stake in this war, and trust me - their own children are not over there, so the complexity of stories we deserve aren't getting told. The stories we are seeing and reading are to manipulate and silence us so we will continue to deliver our poor and young to this war. The reporters and columnists get to keep their jobs if they remain silent. The businessmen get new federal contracts and the conservative politicians get the most funding to run for office. And the Church? They get crisp soldier's dollars in return for invoking God's blessings to war.

So let me say this loud, proud and brown: We are no better than the terrorists of 9/11 in our fever for war, by causing the sufrimiento, the deaths, and needless trauma of thousands and thousands of innocent people in the middle east. If you want a democracy like I do, tell mijito and mijita that NO, you're not going to war in the name of this empire that devours its jovenes.

Photo Credit: Semblances, by Mark Martinez, Say Si Students, San Antonio, Texas
www.://www..safotofestival.com

Comments

Yolanda said…
Last Friday, on July 21st, it was 1 year that my baby cousin was killed near Fallujah Iraq-- Stephen Gill a good looking 24 year old, intelligent Latino young man with his whole life ahead of him. But he got sucked in by the illusion that he would be a bad ass Marine if he signed up and fought. I remember the last night I saw him in December '04, he was pumped up but he knew he might not come back. My heart broke to see him go. Yes, there are many innocents who have suffered because of a few old men who want to line their pockets. But the thing that bothers me most is that the American people believed the Bush Administration,(Ahi, va mi raza, casting their votes for that baboso.) even Steven's mom believed Bush. There were times I wanted to slap her so she could wake up when she went into her patriotic crap. I couldn't believe some of the bull she preached. Now, one year later, she and her other son and former husband (they got divorced a couple of months after the funeral)are also victims of war...the walking wounded. We must make our voices heard and definitely keep our young men and women from believing the lies. Meanwhile, in a couple of months, another one of my baby cousins goes to Iraq also. This one is coming back...I feel it.
I think anyone who has a family member who is enlisting/enlisted should speak the truth because there is too much propaganda about spreading "freedom and democracy".
It's all a bunch of patriotic double talk because the only freedom they want to spread is the freedom to control the flow of oil. If we cared about freedom and democracy there are plenty of other countries we would be working on, starting with China, our biggest trade partner. However unless they have something we need that we may be deprived of, we don't give a rats ass what is happening to those people. It's amazing how people let themselves get brainwashed. Patsy Robles

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