Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Boston Marathon

Not a lot to say.  A friend who was at the Boston Marathon, who had just left the finish line area minutes before, first told me what had happened.  Her husband, who is an ER physician in town, treated 20+ patients, including a number with devastating limb injuries.

One?  A dancer.  Oh, honey.  Oh.

What to say.  What?  What can I add to that?  I mean, we don't even know for sure who did this?  It could be domestic nutjobs, though my sad heart is leaning toward foreign.  I looked at my son and said, "Your father and I grew up in a time when our country's foreign policy was exactly that--foreign.  We could invade other countries using fancy War Names like 'Urgent Fury,' 'Just Cause,' and 'El Dorado Canyon' and not worry that any of it was ever going to splash back on the bright and gleaming shores of our great nation.  We overthrew governments, we funded coups, we funnelled money into Israel, Iran, and then Iraq, we used Afghanistan as a proxy playground for our pissing match with the Soviets. We supported governments that tortured, oppressed, occupied, and flat-out devastated their citizens, and we never, EVER considered that maybe all sorts of bitterness, hard feelings, and all-around burning hatred was stewing."

I truly never thought we would find ourselves the victims of foreign-based terrorism at home.  Why I never thought it, I don't know.  Common complacency, I guess.  The constant chorus of government folks telling us that WE were the "GOOD GUYS," we were the "voice for democracy," we were RIGHT.

I never thought to question it.  Or, at least, I never thought to expect it to come back to us.  Desert Storm left me questioning what on earth we were doing in the Middle East, but it wasn't until 9/11 that it came crashing home for me--how could we NOT have expected that?  How?  How could we think that playing colonialist super-power, that manipulating and overthrowing and killing tens of thousands (directly and through the funding of oppressive, murderous governments) wouldn't eventually come back to bite us?

Make NO mistake--I'm not excusing here!  Never, never!  But when I hear the, "Why do they hate us, why are they so evil when all we want is to bring freedom to the world" litany, I want to scream.  Because that's such bull.  That's propaganda worthy of WWII era Germany or the Cold War Soviets.

It's odd.  I was watching a documentary on Noam Chomsky just the night before, and he was talking about terrorism.  About how, after 9/11, countries like Nicaragua and Panama expressed their horror, their sympathy.  And they said, "It's terrible--we know, we experienced something much like that."

Yes, they did.  And they experienced it courtesy us.

NOBODY should EVER suffer something like 9/11.  NOBODY should EVER suffer something like the Boston Marathon bombing.  NOBODY--not Americans, not Palestinians, not Syrians, not Panamanians, not Iranians, not Canadians, not Pakistanis, not Grenadians, not Nicaraguans, not the Irish, not the  Brits, not ANYBODY.  But we can't be surprised when it happens to us.  To stop terrorism, we have to STOP terrorism.

I looked at my husband last night and said, "You know, I long for a world where non-combatants aren't targets."  And he said, "Hey, if you're going to wish for the impossible, just wish for a world where there are NO combatants because we've learned how to get along."

Okay.  I wish for a world where there are no combatants.  Where no one gets to decide that their deity is THE deity, that THEY are some ghost in the sky's preferred folk, that their holy book is the one by which we draw geopolitical boundaries or lay down civilian law.  I wish for a world where people are smart enough and sane enough to say, "Wow--if we fight over this, tens of thousands will die and we'll destroy anything that might have been worth fighting for--let's figure this out and share."

I wish for a world where my kid doesn't have to worry that the backpack next to the garbage can is the one that will end his life.

I'm sorry, Boston.  I love you, and I've loved you since my annual summer treks way back in my teens.  I'm sorry this happened.  I wish for a world where no one would ever think to do something like this.  To anyone, anywhere.

And most of all?  Oh, my heart breaks for those people who trained so hard, who hoped and wished and laughed and dreamed of yesterday's race, only to be struck down, viciously wounded.  Some, including a child, killed.  And then my heart swells when I think of those race volunteers, the medical folks, the police and fire, and the runners themselves who turned back into the fray to rescue, to save.  There are, every day, heroes among us.

No comments:

Post a Comment