Molly Klopot, 87-year-old grandmother and former Ford factory worker during World War II, was arrested on 17 Oct. 2005 for trying to enlist at the New York City Times Square military recruiting station. Klopot and 17 other grandmothers tried to enlist “to replace grandchildren who had been deployed in Iraq.” Klopot has four grandsons who won’t enlist:
“They won’t enlist,” she said. The 19-year-old once had said he wanted to go into the army, she recalled, “but not now, he doesn’t want to go. Not now in this unjust war, this savage, illegal war.”
I happened on this piece at Common Dreams after going there to find an article by Gail Dines on the Duke rape case. I haven’t gotten to the Dines’ article yet because I was so taken by one of the headlines: “Two US Grandmothers Voice Protest Against Iraq War.” The article is by Jerome Bernard and was orginally published on 20 Jan. 2007 by Agence France Presse. Klopot is featured along with Betty Brassell as two out of the Granny Peace Brigade (which formed after the Oct. 05 arrests) and among several dozen grandmothers who protested before the US Congress against US military in Iraq. Bernard makes a great choice in profiling these two women, because Klopot calls herself an activist (over 60 years worth of activism), while Brassell just started to get involved after she retired.
I also read the most commonly forwarded Common Dreams article: Robert Weitzel’s “Cure for Yellow Ribbon Patriotism.” Powerful piece that says if we had listened to our Vietnam vets instead of silencing them, disappearing them, we may have learned enough to not have invaded Iraq. Here are two paragraphs of poetry about hell:
The “cure” these soldiers brought back from Vietnam was a potion distilled of moments: moments of bravery and sacrifice and sorrow, of bowel-loosening fear, of dehumanizing anger and hostility, of unasked and unanswered questions, moments too damaging to the soul to ever find release in confession.
It was a potion that if used thoughtfully could inoculate the nation against the disease of the god Mars. But it was ignored along with the soldiers. Vietnam vets, like the man I knew, were left to overdose on the potion in their own private hell.
Another Common Dreams headline discussed the Nobel Peace Prize winner’s comments on Bush’s disastrous leadership (oops! it’s another Agence France Presse piece!). Muhammad Yunus, the Bangladeshi founder of Grameen Bank (model of micro-credit lending), said that just as we were reaping the dividends of peace after the cold war, Bush introduced the war on terrorism. Ah, now…the Agence France Presse article is quoting from an article in El Mundo…so let’s see…here’s the El Mundo article.
Hmmm. To get news focused on peace, I have to go to Common Dreams, which gives me articles from Agence France Presse, which quotes from El Mundo. Looks like we’re only a global village outside of the US, eh?