Thursday, March 09, 2006

Being Useful

There's a discussion group that I belong to which occasionally forays into things 4th Way and Gurdjieffien. Recently, the topic of what is "being of use" i.e. as a human being to other human beings might mean. We're still discussing it, but here, for contrast, is a screaming example of being useless.

From Yahoo news:

NEW ORLEANS The Reverend Billy Graham has expressed surprise at the extent of the damage left by Hurricane Katrina.

The 87-year-old Graham toured New Orleans' Lower Ninth Ward in a van and stepped onto the street with the help of his son and fellow evangelist Franklin Graham.

The elder Graham said, "My prayers are going to be intensified for the people here."

This morning, Franklin Graham met with President Bush after Air Force One landed in New Orleans.

Today, the Grahams are to speak at a prayer service attended by hundreds of local pastors and their spouses.
To quote one of my favorite blogs, "Jesus tap-dancing Christ!!"

What the heck is prayer going to do for a person who has lost everything and is being dunned for mortgage payments on a house that no longer exists. If they even had a house to begin with?

As "Chaplains to the White House", why aren't Billy and Frank leaning on Bush with all their "moral authority" to get things moving??? It's been over six months, boys!! Oh yeah, Bush's buds/handlers want to remake N.O. into Vegas east, all big casinos and boutiques. Much easier now that the riffraff have been literally cleaned out. But I digress.

Here is someone who HAS done something USEFUL, by publicizing and supporting the victims of another tragedy. As gathered by Signs of the Times:

A Very Proud Marine Mom

by Mick Youther

I've written a lot of columns about Mr. Bush’s War on Iraq - first, trying to prevent it; then trying to end it. Along the way, I've been called anti-American, uninformed, stupid, a liar, an idiot, a moron, a commie, and a few things I won't repeat. It has been suggested that I leave America, and I have been accused of delighting in the death of Americans in Iraq.

Comments like these don't bother me, but the escalating violence in Iraq and the complete lack of progress in bringing the troops home is disheartening. I had begun to think, "What’s the use?" - but then I got a letter from LuAnne. She described herself as "A Very Proud Marine Mom", and she wrote to thank me for writing a column she found posted on a Marine-support website. After exchanging emails, and with her permission; I would like to share some of LuAnne"s feelings:

• "My son has just returned from his third deployment in Iraq. He turned 19 over there the first year, He turned 20 in Fallujah the second year, and this year my son was on the Syrian border when he turned 21. I cannot explain to anyone the paralyzing fear I had every second of every day he was there, and to be quite honest sometimes I still cry because I am so lucky he came home to us. Please continue your good work. Somehow we have got to get our boys home. Thank you again,"

• "I truly have been Blessed. I thank you for all that you do, and ask that you keep on trying to get the word out there. This country needs to hear the truth for a change."

• "…When people ask me if I think my Son is going to have to go back to Iraq, I say over my dead body!!! I mean it!! I have been writing my Congress men and women asking for help, almost begging...I get back form letters thanking me for my support of the war, which really infuriated me because I told them the whole story about my son being over there for the third time, and how he spent his past three birthdays over there, how lucky were we already that he came home each time. How much is enough?"

• "[My son] was going to stay in and make a career out of this. But the 3rd time really broke his spirit. That and I begged him to get out. I told him I would support him for the rest of his life.. .anything but that constant paralyzing fear I was in."

• "It seems like only yesterday he was there in that horrible place...Mothers still have their sons there. It has got to end."

• "My son is due to get out in June. We are all praying that it happens like it is supposed to but you never know. I am trying to stay positive that his time will be up and that this nightmare will be over."

• "My Son is still not ready to talk - only bits and pieces. I call him a lot, Even on times I probably should not do so. I just need to hear his voice."

• "I cannot begin to tell you how hard this was on my other children. We are so close it was like our heart was torn out. My youngest son had a very hard time… He was the only one in his class to have a brother over there."

• "[T]hey asked me if I had heard from my son, and I just lost it. Mostly because I had not heard from him, and so many marines were dying for what??? And the fear was just too much. I could not hold it in. …until he was home I honestly couldn't pull myself together and really came close to losing it."

• "There has to be something we can do to stop this Madness. So many lives have been totally destroyed, for one man's lies."

• "If I could say one thing that I truly mean from my heart, I would like people to know that anytime we hear that another soldier has died over there be it Marine, Army, Navy.. Every Mother and wife falls to their knees because it could be their son or husband. I still weep when I hear a soldier has died. I cannot imagine the pain."

That is a mother's love - and why this war must end. LuAnne's family is just one of hundreds of thousands of American families who have been caught up in Mr. Bush's war; and they are the lucky ones. Over 2300 families have not been so lucky. They have made the ultimate sacrifice.

President Bush often speaks about his noble cause in Iraq, and assures us that the sacrifice is worth it.

• "We don't know the course our own struggle will take, or the sacrifices that might lie ahead. We do know, however, that the defense of freedom is worth our sacrifice, we do know the love of freedom is the mightiest force of history, and we do know the cause of freedom will once again prevail. (Applause.)" --George W. Bush, 11/11/05

In fact, Mr. Bush believes we should honor the sacrifice of our troops by sacrificing some more of them:

• "These brave men and women gave their lives for a cause that is just and necessary for the security of our country, and now we will honor their sacrifice by completing their mission." --8/24/05

What this mission is, and how we will know when it is done, has become rather fuzzy. President Bush’s simple-minded plan: "As the Iraqis stand up, we will stand down." is just not good enough any longer. It has been three years, and at last count, there was not one Iraqi unit considered capable of operating on their own. The predicted "cake walk" in Iraq became "a long hard slog", and now our neoconservative masters are calling it the opening act of what they have dubbed "the Long War".

They can't even figure out how to get our troops out of Iraq, but they are already threatening to start a war with Iran, or Syria, or some other evildoer. My question is "Who do they think is going to fight all these wars?" Are they going to stop Luanne's son from getting out of the Marines and send him back to fight for a fourth time, a fifth time, a sixth time; and then what?

It is time to say "Enough!"
It is time for Americans to turn off the so-called reality shows - like Survivor, and start paying attention to the real life and death survivor show that is playing every day in Iraq.

This is our country. They are our troops. It is our government. It is time to tell your representatives in Congress that the Bush Administration's insane plan to dominate the world is not worth one more American life, or limb, or drop of blood. Tell them, "It is time to bring our troops home!"

Take action -- click here to contact your local newspaper or congress people:
Tell Congress: It is time to bring the troops home!

Click here to see the most recent messages sent to congressional reps and local newspapers

Mick Youther is an American citizen, an independent voter, a veteran, a parent, a Christian, a scientist, a writer, and all-around nice guy who has been aroused from a comfortable apathy by the high crimes and misdemeanors of the Bush Administration.


Would you have your mother go through such pain? Be USEFUL. Click those links, e-mail, call, write. Don't let any more mothers suffer for Neocon lies.

Blue Ibis