Monday, May 11, 2009

Quartered With the Hand of War

Yesterday was Mother's Day.  Today, a US soldier at Camp Liberty, in Baghdad, opened fire on other soldiers (nationality unknown, but likely ours as well), wounding three, killing four as well as himself.

(The official press releases doesn't say that the killer was one of ours, but CNN has confirmed that with an unnamed "senior defense official.")

We are reminded that Mother's Day, now a treacly celebration of sentimentality and commercialism, began in part as a "Mother's Day for Peace," promoted by Julia Ward Howe in reaction to the carnage of the Civil War and the Franco-Prussian War.  The idea was that the mother's themselves, instead of staying in bed to eat burned French toast and have orange juice spilled on their sheets, would organize and protest to show that, pace Marc Antony, they do not "but smile when they behold their infants, quartered with the hand of war."

Because of this misbegotten war, at least four more mothers will not see their children again.

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