Untitled

Unti­tled”, because I do not feel that words from any lan­guage can fully express my sen­ti­ment of dis­be­lief.  When will it be enough?

Ter­ror­ists are brain­washed or coerced into bat­tle, so we are told.  They are taught to uphold and pro­tect what is right or just in the eyes of their lead­ers.  They are will­ing to sac­ri­fice their life or kill for a pro­fessed greater-good.  How is that any dif­fer­ent for the chil­dren of our armed forces?

Our mil­i­tary engage­ment is used with a ques­tion­able agenda and to eas­ily from my per­spec­tive. It has been deployed through­out my life­time by each admin­is­tra­tion. Peo­ple do not seem to under­stand what that means. Would you asso­ciate icons like Kennedy with using bio-chem­i­cal weapons or attribute Rea­gan with being con­demned for the unlaw­ful use of force by an inter­na­tional court? As a result, this cre­ates greater hard­ship rather than greater good. 

War­mon­gers instill fear to diverted fund­ing into their pock­ets. War is ben­e­fi­cial to those who finan­cially win off of the human sac­ri­fice that they eas­ily dis­tance them­selves from. I am uncom­fort­able with the global devel­op­ment of such destruc­tive meth­ods that are designed to kill us. They are also com­modi­tized and ven­er­a­ble to mis­use or acci­dents.

Every­one will­ingly sup­ports arma­ment and the killing of inno­cent peo­ple through his or her tax dol­lars. Take a moment to absorb that truth. They then won­der why hos­til­ity is bestowed on their nation. Maybe it is time to pay atten­tion and hold gov­ern­ing offi­cials account­able for their actions. They are using our money. 

Turn off the dis­trac­tions and demand to be included in the con­ver­sa­tion. We need to sup­port high stan­dards and hold our news out­lets respon­si­ble for inform­ing our cit­i­zens, instead of push­ing pro­pa­ganda and defraud­ing a nation. Learn how our gov­ern­ment inter­feres with the peace process, even when they seem to be sup­port­ing it. 

Morally war does not make sense. It is an archaic mind­set. Killing peo­ple or being killed in bat­tle is not heroic; it is bar­baric and heart­less.

I would rather see our tax dol­lars used in armies that uplift soci­eties by build­ing infra­struc­ture, schools and pub­lic facil­i­ties. Teach con­struc­tive, not destruc­tive, skills to those will­ing to serve. Cre­ate a human­i­tar­ian bull­doz­ing machine that is ready at a moment’s notice to com­bat dis­as­ter. It will bet­ter serve us as we face greater cli­mate change issues. This will be the type of ele­vat­ing patri­o­tism that I can stand behind. 

Pop­u­lar mobi­liza­tion is effec­tive in the face of great oppo­si­tion. It encour­ages action to a ques­tion, and this is a ques­tion that we need to address. Let us stop mil­i­tary squan­der­ing and its dis­pro­por­tion­ate bud­get. Instead, let’s shift the resources. We can cre­ate armies whose sole pur­pose is to heal and spread good­will. Gen­eros­ity is some­thing every­one can hon­or­ably sup­port. It is an easy tran­si­tion to make if we add vol­ume to the con­ver­sa­tion and sup­port a repur­pos­ing and rebrand­ing of our armed forces. 

To remind us of the true cost of war, a metal struc­ture with the image of the Amer­i­can flag on four sides will stand ten feet tall. Por­traits of sol­diers who are mostly young chil­dren, killed in Iraq, will be jux­ta­posed against the blue field where our states are rep­re­sented by stars. The por­traits, includ­ing name, birth and death dates, will alter­nate to com­mem­o­rate each sac­ri­fice.

Ran­domly you will hear a trum­pet start play­ing Taps. The first bars will be clear. Then a sec­ond trum­pet will begin play­ing, then a third and a forth. They will play in a round like a children’s song; how­ever, instead of being in har­mony they will sound in dis­cord.

My sad­ness deep­ened while work­ing on this piece and get­ting to know four sol­diers who lost their life in Iraq. It is within our reach to stop the hard­ship that war cre­ates. We will all sleep bet­ter at night if we direct more and more resources towards peace­ful actions. Let us phase out adver­sity by sus­tain­ing com­pas­sion­ate and car­ing soci­eties. We owe it to one and other, espe­cially since it is what we all desire and because it is the right thing to do.

A model of this piece was shown at the Cam­bridge Arts Coun­cil Gallery in Mass­a­chu­setts for art in pub­lic places. The exhi­bi­tion was titled, “Dimen­sions Var­ied; Site Fixed”. Curated by Mary Sher­man.