Not to act is to act

Today, for obvious reasons the Western media, and those affected by what happened on September 11 2001 will look back 12 years and relive some of the most horrific scenes in recent years. I don’t want to spend time today doing what every other media outlet is doing, I don’t want to go back and rehash that day. We have all seen the footage, we have all heard the heart breaking stories. Instead I had some questions about the future, and I warn you, this may be offensive to some of my readers, please know that I value all opinions and only attempt to share mine.

In 1988 while the west slept peacefully in their beds bombs were flying in a town called Halabja, a Kurdish town about 8 miles from the Iran border. Then the ‘chemical rain’ began to fall. Over 5000 Kurdish men, women and children were killed and over 10,000 maimed. The perpetrator? Saddam Hussein; in his quest to wipe out the Kurds from northern Iraq he committed acts of war that once upon a time we said ‘never again’ to. Genocide.

The reason this particular event sits so well in my heart right now is that personal. Right before Joshua went into his surgery this past summer I was contacted by a woman who was reading my blog all the way over in Iraq. She wrote and told me about the project that she and others like her were working on. It’s called the ‘Preemptive love coalition’.  (more to come about this organization in the weeks to come). They are seeing the effects of the ‘chemical rain’ even to this day in the children that they bore post attack; birth defects are abundant there. Why is this so personal to me, because there are thousands of little boys and girls with birth defects, and many of them have heart defects. Almost all of the surgeons have fled the country, there is very little to no help for these kids. Unlike my son who was blessed to be born in a country, a city, where we can get him the help he desperately needs for his life saving surgery, there are mothers and fathers who are burying their kids for things that here would be a day surgery. It makes the ‘heart mom’ in me ache to think about those kids, those parents going through what we have gone through with next to no hope to cling to. How does this have anything to do with today? What does this have to do with September 11th? As I read the news today I am reminded that we went to war because there was a ‘threat’ of chemical weapons.

Today as we take the time to remember what started this particular war with ‘terror’ I ask that you also remember that years before 9/11 ever took place there were entire towns destroyed, villages wiped out, families obliterated and the reaches of those bombs have now killed into the next generation and threatens even more children, more families.  we stand in the place where we should have stood in 1988, we have a choice. We can act to save this heinousness from happening to anyone else, or we can stand silently by and watch. I am not normally a believer is war, I tend towards pacifism  Then I see what happened in Syria, I look 24 years into the future and I see the children of Syria bearing children with heart defects, and other known birth defects; If of course, they can bare children at all. I look into the future and I see more horrific events like the world trade center, I see more death, more destruction and many more tears. The enemy is real, there is no question that it is real and all politics aside (I know there are many issues at play here) I say that we should remember the holocaust, I say we look at the photos of the 6,000,000,000 Jewish people who were murdered while the world for the most part remained silent.

“Silence in the face of evil is itself evil: God will not hold us guiltless. Not to speak is to speak. Not to act is to act.” Dietrich Bonhoeffer


Published by lauriehaughton

Author & Photographer

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