Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Letters to Obama II—Honestly and Without Regret

Dear Barack Obama,

"I would give honestly and without regret, one hundred dollars for that picture."
—Simon and Garfunkel 101.

I was leafing through old pictures the other day. From World War II. That wasn't the war to end all wars. We knew better by then. But, a few years ago, we got the idea that we ought to give war a go once more. Maybe this time, we could use war to “get ‘er done.”

I did a little anti-war protesting, before Congress took it's vote, but in the end, off the troops went. I remember saying to a friend of mine, another old peacenik, “I hope they are right, because I hate to demonstrate against a war, when our troops are risking their lives.” My Congressman, Jimmy Duncan, voted against going to war in Iraq. He's a Republican. I wrote a letter to him and told him I thought he was a wise American.

The picture I was looking for the other day was captured at Anzio.

I found was this one, taken from inside a tent. You can see the flap of the tent. Perhaps this photo was an accident. It is grusome, but it tells the truth about war.

Does it matter, when you see a pile that is bodies? Does it matter if they are Americans or Germans, French or Iraqi, Japanese or Afghan? I don’t think it does. Not 64 years later, it doesn’t matter. They aren’t Americans, they are a tragic memory. And today what matters is trying for peace and trying for a different picture, a different memory.

I would give, honestly, and without regret, one hundred dollars for that picture.


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