January 19, 2003 — I was delighted to read about yesterday’s anti-war protests in the paper this morning. What an annoyance it must be to those who stand to profit from an escalation in military activity. Not that this will stop them, of course. But it might delay them. And each time they are delayed, the rest of humanity has the chance to further awaken and come to its senses.

For me, the cry for peace on such a grand scale is a very moving, encouraging thing. You can talk until you’re blue in the face, but you will never convince me that dropping bombs on strangers is a good thing. The only thing war ensures is more war. It is also the promise of decimated families, ruined lives, ruined cities, and ruined countrysides. That’s why I particularly despise the television ads aired by various branches of the U.S. military. They make war look like a video game. They leave out the blood. They leave out the mangled bodies. They leave out the crying mothers and children. Instead, they talk about courage, pride, and honor. They talk about learning new “skills.”

One branch of the military even says, “Be all you can be.” Unfortunately, this includes being a murderer on behalf of arms dealers, oil men, and the nefarious companies that specialize in “rebuilding” after the damage has been done. It also includes the very real possibility of winding up dead yourself. “Be all you can be.” The sorry fact is, someone somewhere was paid to come up with that line. And that same person has no doubt gone on to create much more meaningless, memorable advertising. My only hope is that he or she doesn’t call himself or herself a writer.

“A thousand points of light.”

“A line in the sand.”

“Out of the loop.”

“Read my lips.”

“A war with Iraq would be in the finest traditions of America.”

Come on, boys and girls, you can do better than that. Or maybe you can’t. Maybe you feel you don’t have to. Maybe you feel the worn-out, unemployed, uninsured subjects of your wobbly kingdom aren’t worth better. Judging by your actions, this would seem to be the case. But you’re wrong. Yesterday’s protests proved it. And remember this: even if you succeed in expanding your global march against all that is right and human, the petty, short-term profits you realize will not keep you above ground forever. Your money won’t protect you. You will rot through eternity like the rest of us poor saps who muddle along, trying to do the right thing.

Also by William Michaelian

Winter Poems

ISBN: 978-0-9796599-0-4
52 pages. Paper.
Another Song I Know
ISBN: 978-0-9796599-1-1
80 pages. Paper.
Cosmopsis Books
San Francisco

Signed copies available

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