Monday, June 18, 2007

we are all children here

This is not a new war photo but it's new to me. I saw it for the first time yesterday and I haven't been able to move it from my mind since. Daddytypes said there are no words for this, and mostly I agree. But then I managed to find a few.

All I can think is what I am always thinking, how dare we allow this war to continue. How this man is also a father, also has a child. About how his son must have been scared, so scared. And has probably been scared for a long, long time.

And how unfair it is, as we tuck our children in at night and forget, we so easily forget, that it's not like this everywhere. And how helpless that makes me feel. This doesn't seem like freedom to me. Not for them, not for us. Not for We.

My heart broke for this father and his son. I have no idea what he did, or better said what we was accused of doing. But I do know he is a father. And I hope to god M never has to see her father like that. I sat crying today when J walked into the room. I silently handed him my laptop, he paused and looked then handed it back. This fucking war, he said. I nodded, unable to speak.

We are all children here.

41 comments:

Little Monkies said...

Oh Jen. I think of my boy, nearly four, and I can't imagine anything worse. But bless that solider who stepped out of his role and listened to his heart. How fucked up.

Hel said...

I have no words.

Oh, The Joys said...

It's awful. Awful.

Julie Pippert said...

It's a tough time, time for reflection. We can only hope we'll see this all ended in our lives so our children...their children...

flutter said...

How heartbreaking

Tabba said...

I know....Jen, I know.....My voice and mind have been paralyzed by that picture.
It's just beyond words.

Binky said...

I just read an article about that award and saw that one of the judges--from Sports Illustrated--selected that photo instantly because of how it made him feel. From the AP article: "'My immediate reaction was one of compassion," he said. In addition to the photo being newsworthy it 'brings a new element, that of hope.'" I thought that was interesting because it shows how people can look at the same picture and have such different reactions. Some see hope, some see hopelessness.

Ally said...

Phew. Thank you for sharing this photo, and your thoughts. This was my first time seeing it as well. I agree, this is not my kind of freedom. I feel helpless.

jen said...

binky, i read that too. but i couldn't find that hope because that part, that simple allowed embrace seemed so fleeting (and hooded) in comparison to the rest of it.

compassion should be the norm, shouldn't it?

Kyla said...

I wonder where they are now, what happened after that moment.

It is so sad.

Lawyer Mama said...

I saw that photo awhile ago and sent it to my husband. It just broke my heart.

crazymumma said...

I so fucking know. I hear you J on every level of fuck.

it makes me ill. that poor child. and I cannot imagine the agonies of a parent watching their child be scared and be able to do so very little.

slouching mom said...

How can someone see compassion and hope in that photo when the man is hooded? For God's sake, mustn't that have been terrifying for the little boy, to see his father that way?

Yes, one soldier (or two, or three) acted compassionately, but it sadly makes little difference when the government they serve doesn't act compassionately.

Elspeth said...

Wow ... what a photo. It tells a thousand words and more. I wonder how that moment will imprint on that little boy for the rest of his life.

Mrs. Chicken said...

I know what I'll see when I try to sleep tonight.

Oh, the heart aches.

Blog Antagonist said...

I saw that photo after posting "Beauty Interrupted" and I knew it was going to be one of those days.

Heartbreaking.

Mrs. Chicky said...

I have never seen that photo before. It will haunt my dreams, I'm sure, for nights to come. But it is a sobering reminder that 1) this war still goes on, regardless of what the majority wants and 2) we are all human on both sides of this disagreement.

liv said...

This is so ridiculously awful. As I thought about commenting, all I could think of were sentences with some variation of the word 'fuck' in them. May our children never have to bear witness to anything like this. May the men in our lives not ever be put in such a position. I suppose this is another snapshot of what 21st century imperialism looks like. Scandalous.

carrie said...

I saw that last week, and it has haunted me ever since.

It is so easy to go on about your regular life, complaining about laundry (I am guilty of this) and forget that we are even at war. But the reality of it is that there is hurt and violence and evil and we are partly responsible for that if we remain silent. I can't keep quiet about this. I refuse to keep quiet about this. Any little thing I can do to help, I will. That's why I have the link on my blog and I'll keep it there until this is all over.

It is dispicable. I don't want my so-called "freedom" if this is the way I get it.

Carrie

painted maypole said...

i hadn't seen it either, but it is an image worth having in my head... the dichotomy of family and war, of compassion and terror. It gives an image to the pain in side of me.

thailandchani said...

As it happens, I've seen that photo. I can't imagine how the US justifies its position. Just can't.


Peace,

~Chani

Deezee said...

So very, very sad. This war is devastating so many lives and creating generations that will hate us...

I know one father who seems completely unmoved by such images, and sadly he is our 'commander in chief.'

KC said...

That photo makes me sick. I am sickened. Where is our humanity?

radical mama said...

Pictures like that make me wonder how people can continue to support the war, and I know many that do.

Em said...

I am chilled to the bone. And all I can think of is "man's inhumanity to man"...

Bon said...

i'd never seen it. it actually took me a minute to make sense of it.

and you're right, it's haunting and infuriating and...so sad.

i think about the images from Vietnam that solidified public opinion against the war...that potential comparison is the only hope i see in the photo. otherwise i just feel sick with shame.

but i don't know if images "work" in the same way, these days, with all our media savvy...could an image like this force us all, as parents, to stand up?

alejna said...

I hadn't seen that photo before. It is one that I will be seeing for a long time...

meno said...

How and why do we keep doing this. This war thing?

This is unspeakably sad.

mamatulip said...

I've never seen that photo before, either. It makes my stomach turn. The war, the fighting, the sadness and death. I hate it.

Christine said...

I am with J--this fucking war is right. This image brought me to tears, too.

kgirl said...

This is the picture that should be on the front pages.

urban-urchin said...

i feel physically ill. this war, this war.

QT said...

I am not sure how I missed this yesterday. I don't have any words for it, it is a stain on humanity.

Momish said...

heatbreaking and so sad

kim said...

My heart is already broken today, so I can't go see the picture. The war, the hungry, the dying, the homeless, the abused, a 15 yr old girl who will grow up without a mother because of some drugged out dickhead-sometimes the weight is crushing. I have to figure out a way to channel all the anger and sadness into something productive.

Mr. Beer N. Hockey said...

Reading Camus' "The First Man" got me to thinking about war's consequences, about boys who will never know their fathers, about the earnestness of Hate. But while I am thinking about important things like that the birds are singing outside my window and I am looking forward to next year's hockey season. It is the juxtaposition of War and Peace that I find so noteworthy lately.

Carrie said...

I agree. The war is really not that necessary if we think about the number of innocent people which are going to be affected by the war. We've already seen it in the previous wars and I wonder why it's still an option.

Kelly said...

This fucking war, indeed. I seriously wonder how Bush and Co. can lay their heads on their pillows at night and slumber.

Danni said...

The war is certainly causing much problem and damage. I though everyone would know by now that wars will only make things worse instead of solving problems.

NotSoSage said...

Oh, jen. I was struck, on my visit, by how easy it is to forget that your country is at war. I suppose that's why it's easy for these kinds of things to happen.

Who puts a four year-old child in handcuffs? I have cried tonight for that child, who will find it so hard to find any compassion for the people who did this to him, to his father, in the future.

radioactive girl said...

That makes my heart hurt. I just posted about sending packages to soldiers, so it seems like we are on a similar wavelength.