KOK Edit: Your favorite copyeditor since 1984(SM)
KOK Edit: your favorite copyeditor since 1984(SM) KOK Edit: your favorite copyeditor since 1984(SM) Katharine O'Moore Klopf

Monday, March 21, 2005

Living in a Rogue State

On September 11, 2001, I was in my obstetrician’s office, waiting to find out what day my third child would be born by cesarean section. I was 42 and it was a high-risk pregnancy, so my son wouldn’t be allowed to enter the world whenever he got around to it.

The physicians in the practice had a heavy patient load that day, so there was a long a period between the ultrasound examination and the consultation about scheduling when I sat in the waiting room. At one point, the nurses and receptionists stopped what they were doing and listened intently to a radio behind the reception desk. Then they began whispering furiously to each other, looks of shock on their faces. I and the other patients in the waiting room began asking one another what was up. The staff members didn’t want to scare anyone, so they were giving no explanations about the radio reports. I didn’t find out that the Twin Towers of the World Trade Center had been rammed until I went back into an office for the consultation. When one nurse finally explained in my doctor’s office, my heart sank. I wasn’t sure why the towers had been hit—I wouldn’t learn all the details until I got home and could watch TV—but I dreaded what George Bush would do in retaliation. I was afraid he’d start World War III.

On March 21, 2003, I was nursing my 18-month-old son, and my heart sank again as I watched TV news footage of the beginning of the “shock and awe” campaign against Iraq. Bush had convinced enough people that Iraq had weapons of mass destruction (WMD) and had connections to al-Qaeda. He had not been swayed by the huge protests in America and around the world. It was too late; he was in the grip of war fever.

Today, it’s March 21, 2005, two years later. My youngest son is 3½ years old. My heart sinks now at the thought of all the Iraqi civilians and American soldiers who have died or been wounded, their families’ lives forever changed. And for what reason? So that Bush could find nonexistent WMD? So that he could satisfy his megalomaniacal need to make Iraq over into his version of a democracy? So that he could give his Halliburton buddies lucrative contracts for rebuilding Iraq? So that he could play at (read: bumble) being a statesman?

It’s been a long, depressing road. But I’m not about to stop protesting this illegal war. I don’t want my youngest son—or his older brother and sister—growing up in a country that believes it knows best for the world and can do whatever it wants. I don’t want my children growing up in a rogue state.

1 comment:

Deb said...

Well said, Katharine. I think Bush is his own worst enemy and have hopes the tide will turn...in time.

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