My Five Year Old Kid Vs. Their Five Year Old War

My Five Year Old Kid vs. Their Five Year Old War: A Mom's Call to Action

by Rahula Janowski

Y'all remember five years ago?  Were any of you on the streets with Direct Action to Stop the War (DASW) in downtown San Francisco five years ago?

I wasn't.  I was not on the streets because I had a brand-new baby who needed to eat every two hours, so I couldn't risk arrest.  I spent the day volunteering in the legal office, taking calls from folks in the streets.

That baby is five years old now.

This war has been going on for almost her entire life.

This war has decimated an entire country.  Iraq will never be the same after what we've done there, what US bombs and US soldiers and US mercenaries have done there.  Hundreds of thousands of people have been killed, trillions of dollars spent, the environmental damage will last for generations, and the regional instability caused by the US war has so many repercussions.

And it's not just Iraq that is suffering.  Iraq Vets Against the War said, "For every bomb dropped on Baghdad, a bomb explodes on the Gulf Coast."  And they're right; all the resources used for the war are resources stolen from communities.  Where are those trillions coming from?  From schools, from publicly-funded health care, from basic infrastructure and human needs.  What could our communities do with 2.8 trillion dollars?

Could we rebuild New Orleans?

Could we build affordable housing in San Francisco?

Could we take genuine, pro-active approaches to averting catastrophic climate change?

You know, that five year old, that kid of mine, she's in school now, and you know public schools are so underfunded.  And it's real scary right now because massive funding cuts are coming down the pipe, and you know who is hurt by cuts to public schools.  Kids from the most vulnerable communities, especially in a city like San Francisco, where most of the white folks with money have pulled their kids from the public schools.  And that's a direct result of the war.

A direct result, and it's just one example of many.

This war costs so much in so many ways.  But what costs are extracted from the state, from the corporations that wage this war?  It is time for us to raise the cost of this war.  I do not want to tell my kid when she's ten: this war has been going all of your life.  I don't want to tell her that next year!  I want to tell her, yes, there was a war for the first five years of your life, but then people had had enough!  They knew voting for a fake anti-war candidate wasn't going to end the war, they knew watching TV and bitching about it wasn't going to end the war, and they finally voted with their feet.  I want to tell my kid that on the fifth anniversary of the war, people said, ENOUGH!  And hit the streets in San Francisco and in over forty other cities around the country, and reinvigorated an anti-war movement that brought the war to an end.

That is why it's so important that Direct Action to Stop the War has come together again, and that is why it's so important that we all hit the streets, on March 15th in Richmond and March 19th at Sansome and Market in downtown San Francisco.  It is up to us to STEP IT UP! to raise the social cost of this war to a point where it has to stop.