By Kristen Johnson
My heart is broken. My heart hurts. I cry for a people I’ve never met, but have only seen on the “news” from home. I sit in my heated, comfortable home and feel nothing but pain and shame for the suffering my government has caused in a country I’ve never visited.
The Road to Fallujah is a documentary film that every American should see – particularly those of the “God, guns, might makes right” crowd. Once upon a time, I was one of you. I thought that “terrorists” had to be rooted out, and that my way of democracy was the only best and good way. I was wrong.
Although I’ve been a vegan, peace-loving hippie for over a decade now, I’m ashamed of my previous views on war and righteousness. I’m brokenhearted over the suffering of civilians in Iraq, and countless other countries that my government insists on “liberating” without any sort of plan or any thought at all for regular people on the ground. I’m brokenhearted for the men and women of my government’s military who have had to suffer from PTSD as a result of this and many other wars. I’m brokenhearted over the mothers in the Middle East and the mothers in the U.S. who will never see their children again.
The film is gritty and honest and needs to be watched in small doses. It does not make any grandiose or bold statements – it simply seeks to understand the Iraq War as seen from an Iraqi viewpoint. What a concept – not looking at the war from the politician’s viewpoint, military leaders, or even those fighting in the military – but, a view from the ground. Look at the faces of children covered in blood, hundreds of thousands of families uprooted living in refugee camps without any access to medical/education/food services, and mothers and fathers with broken hearts from the millions on top of millions of Iraqis who have died as a result of Americans “liberating” them. Look at the politicians who won’t even acknowledge questions about the subject, much less that the problem even exists.
As usual, the only two shining stars in our government who consistently state the truth and beg for peace and another way to resolve conflict are Representatives Maxine Waters and Dennis Kucinich. Thank you for being truthbearers and peacemakers in spite of the madness.
Preach peace. Live to serve refugees, the helpless, and the hopeless. Beg for forgiveness.
Matthew 5:9 (NRSV): Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God.
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