Home > Death, Grief, Love, Social Justice > No way we could let it happen

No way we could let it happen

This is a picture of Yemeni children sleeping with their hands over their ears.

hands over ears.png

They’re trying to drown out the sounds of airstrikes, while simultaneously hoping they live through the night.

To many of my “I’m-no-foreign-policy-expert” friends in the U.S., it’s kinda sad and regrettable these kids must sleep with their hands over their ears.

For me, it’s a little different.

I grew up dirt poor.

I would have been one of those kids, covering my ears because I had no other choice.

Last week, I wrote:

‘Cause, let me be clear: If I’d been born in Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria, or Libya, my mom, my siblings, and I would have been among those bombed or starved to death thanks to Clinton. We’d have had no resources to escape, and no hope … save the tiniest sliver of hope that Americans might, before me and mine died, learn to see and join together to speak up in a way that reflected their acknowledgment that


The U.S.A. is currently bombing seven predominantly Muslim countries in Africa and the Middle East. (I called it genocide before I read about United Nations representatives already using the word more than fifteen years ago.)

Affable, eloquent President Obama has expanded the campaign of terror built by George W. Bush. He’s done it with the consent of the people he leads, who–so far–have not bothered calling on him for change.

Like the predators who once preyed upon me and my siblings, those around me go, “He can’t be a bad guy! He’s so nice!

Nice is tactical, y’all. Nice is meant to win you.

It’s the magician making you look into his eyes while his hands do crafty things.

It’s thanks to President Obama and relatively affluent U.S. citizens that hundreds of thousands of Yemeni children are starving to death right now.

‘Cause, see, there’s lots of oil in the region. And Saudi Arabia is a key U.S. ally, which means we must help them at all costs–yes, even when that cost is in hundreds of thousands of human lives, and even when they routinely target civilians.

The Democratic presidential nominee, Hillary Clinton, took lots and lots of Saudi money into her family foundation while she was U.S. Secretary of State. She approved record arms sales to them, enabling them to obliterate the poorest of the poor in their quest for dominance. (“Oh, you stop that!” scolds the Obama administration without any real efforts to change anything. “That’s not very nice!”)

The elder Clintons needed lots of money to pay for their daughter’s wedding with Foundation funds, see.

Hillary Clinton was the most prominent “Democratic” advocate of the Iraq War. She advocated for it without having read the 90-page document that might have swayed her against it.

90 pages. Hundreds of thousands of lives destroyed, all so she could show her American stripes.

Then, a few years ago, she said it was time to start thinking of Iraq as a “business opportunity.”

Kill more people, get more oil.


Screen Shot 2016-11-07 at 6.56.37 PM.pngSo I’m trying to find the bright side. I’m trying to prepare myself to find people who’ll go, “Oh, shit, we’ve been endorsing that in Yemen?!” after election day.

But, holy shit. In the meantime, I’m stuck with people celebrating their votes for Hillary. Their votes for identity politics: “I’m voting for a woman, which means I must be doing the right thing, yeah!!!!!”

They celebrate their alleged vote for human rights with no concept whatsoever how the Clintons have devastated people at home and abroad for decades.

They’d just have to do two hours of research. Maybe three hours.

I look at that all and I feel hopeless.

Because I would be dead, if I were born in Yemen and my survival were left to such people.

I would be dead because they said, “Lady president! Yeah!” and didn’t bother digging one centimeter deeper.

And so comfortable 38-year-old me faces the uncomfortable dissonance of being relatively okay now, surrounded by people who are relatively okay now, and yet remembering what it was like to not be remotely okay before.

Knowing that hundreds of thousands of people are not-okay right now …

… because we Americans don’t, in the end, really see them as people.

If we did, there’s no way we could let it happen.

No way.

silence is a war crime.png

  1. November 7, 2016 at 10:36 pm

    It isn’t regrettable. It is obscene.
    And sadly my country is complicit. And too many of my countrymen and women are complacent.

  2. November 8, 2016 at 1:47 pm

    I love the last picture: “Silence is a war crime” — though far too many people don’t know what on earth she’s talking about… I don’t know why I’m thinking of my father when I read this… In my head he is saying, “Pick your battles, then fight to win.” In a long life I can honestly say I’ve done that — even with him. And each time I’ve settled into a fight, the more I know about my opponent, the easier it was to win. Words matter. Your words matter Deborah. Your life matters because you’re willing to learn and speak out. Yet pick your battles. If you start at the top, trying to change nations, you’ll be less effective than if you pick a battle you can win. The more you win, the more you learn how to win without becoming someone like Hillary… God bless, God keep you going!.

  3. November 8, 2016 at 1:57 pm

    I agree that Clinton is a horrible candidate, but I’m curious how you think Trump could possibly be any better.

    • November 8, 2016 at 3:24 pm

      First, please point to where I mentioned Trump. I’ll wait.

      Second, though I did not actually mention Trump anywhere in this post about the unique dangers of one candidate people don’t expect to be a danger, below is a short, very non-comprehensive listing of ways Trump has a lead over Clinton. TL;DR version? He hasn’t killed hundreds of thousands of poor brown people, the very demographic those voting Hillary tell themselves they’re protecting.

      1. Trump didn’t vote for the 2002 Iraq War that Hillary Clinton so vehemently endorsed–leading Democrats on this issue, all while failing to read the 92-page classified NIE that might have led her to a different result (http://www.theatlantic.com/international/archive/2014/06/whats-missing-from-hillary-clintons-iraq-war-apology/372427/). Hundreds of thousands of Iraqis died as a result of her bluster before she described Iraq as a “business opportunity” a couple of years ago; in assuming the public would care more for bluster than fact, she apparently calculated very well. (If you’d like more insight into the utter horror of this, I highly recommend The Shock Doctrine, which will ensure you never look at your government the same again.)

      2. Trump didn’t directly support the violent overtake of the leader of the only direct democracy in the entire world (http://www.counterpunch.org/2016/10/21/hillary-clinton-and-the-brutal-murder-of-qaddafi/ & http://www.counterpunch.org/2016/08/19/hillary-clintons-war-policy/, to start), leading to the slaughter of countless civilians in the bloody U.S.-backed coup. He didn’t laugh–on camera–about that leader’s murder by sword-raping before rebels began committing acts of genocide (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Fgcd1ghag5Y).

      3. Trump didn’t arm Syrian rebels in 2011 to fight against the Syrian government, rejecting attempts to negotiate in favor of providing weapons and trainings to rebels who have prolonged conflict (http://www.counterpunch.org/2015/09/30/the-wicked-war-on-syria-hillary-clinton-in-her-own-words/).

      4. Trump didn’t (almost unilaterally) back the Honduran coup that devastated lives for Honduran civilians still living after so many were slaughtered (http://www.democracynow.org/2016/3/11/before_her_assassination_berta_caceres_singled).

      5. Trump didn’t act in a US government capacity to prevent wage increases in Haiti. He didn’t solicit millions of dollars to build a few crappy, toxic trailers after a catastrophe. He didn’t help his brother gain stakes in Haitian gold mines (http://haitiantimes.com/7-articles-to-read-uncovering-hillary-clintons-haiti-record-14284/).

      6. Trump didn’t accept millions of dollars from repressive Middle East regimes into his family foundation (https://theintercept.com/2016/08/25/why-did-the-saudi-regime-and-other-gulf-tyrannies-donate-millions-to-the-clinton-foundation/) to then increase their arms sales approvals (http://www.ibtimes.com/clinton-foundation-donors-got-weapons-deals-hillary-clintons-state-department-1934187). He thus did not play a critical role in murdering thousands of Yemenis killed by US weapons dropped by both the U.S. and its happy recipient of $115 billion of weaponry, Saudi Arabia.

      Also? He doesn’t appear to have used foundation funds to pay for his daughter’s wedding, or to have worked with Google beginning 2014 to be installed into the presidency. He hasn’t been implicated in widely overtaking the media in the countless ways WikiLeaks–which led to CNN’s firing of interim DNC chair Donna Brazile–has demonstrated Clinton and her funders as doing.

      Again, this is just a start. In sum, Trump represents largely unfulfilled imperialistic urges that might be diverted; he supports neither the TPP, nor the wars against Syria/Russia that Hillary endorses for the fiscal benefit of her prominent banker friends.

      We already know exactly how much blood Hillary is willing to shed; she’s been very clear about it. Trump, OTOH, is downright considered about his approach to murdering innocent people overseas.

      As long as people are alive, I can fight for their other liberties. But once they’re dead–thanks, Hill!–there’s nothing more I can do for them. So, nope, I didn’t vote for Trump, but I hope he wins all the same … because then there’s at least a chance for the poor brown-skinned people around the world that Hillary doesn’t even seem to recognize as people.

      • November 9, 2016 at 4:08 am

        First, you sarcasm was unwarranted. I was merely curious about your position and asked.

        Secondly, in your post last week you ended it by saying you would vote for Trump before you would Hillary, hence my question.

        Thirdly, no, Trump did not do any of the horrible things you have cited above, mostly because he was not in a position to do so. But he DID initially support the war in Iraq and he also misused charity funds.

        I highly doubt the bombings you’re upset about are going to stop just because Trump is in office. If the true goal is to secure an oil supply anyone whose in office is going to bow down to what Saudi Arabia wants simply because this country is so dependent on it.

        Frankly, I’m surprised that you don’t appear to be concerned with Trump’s racism, misogyny, xenophobia, sexual assaults, and threat to free-speech. Or his “winning” temperament the sends him on angry Twitter tirades when someone criticizes him. That short fuse will soon be in charge of the largest military on the planet.

        There was a lot more to consider in this election than just what happens in the Middle East, but that’s all a moot point now. We’re stuck with him.

        Good day.

        • November 10, 2016 at 6:26 am

          The next paragraph will sound mean, but I don’t mean it that way. It’s a step toward a different conclusion.

          Your comment exactly reflects the DNC-scripted approach to any and all critiques, questions, or commentary:
          1. POLICE TONE, as if tone of discourse is equally important to the fact of, say, genocide
          2. DEFLECT TO TRUMP, because it’s really hard to speak favorably of Clinton’s positions–are we talking her public ones or private ones disclosed only to bankers?
          3. INVOKE XENOPHOBIA, RACISM, ET AL, without critical reflection of how Clinton has actually empowered these things in the real world, no matter her speechwriters’ eloquent words

          Emails released through WikiLeaks reveal these to be, quite literally, DNC talking points for Hillary. So now I know you’ve internalized the talking points–but what about you? What scares you? Why does it scare you? What actions are you willing to take to improve the world for your kids, for poor people, for brown-skinned people (here and abroad, hopefully), for the environment?

          You can be angry at me, or you can take that anger and transform it to commitment to fight for the people whose lives you want to see improved. I sincerely hope you’ll do the latter. There are a lot of people who’ve been struggling a hell of a lot harder than many comparatively well off people realized, and my hope is this newfound understanding will be translated to transformative action.

          This means moving beyond someone else’s scripted talking points and using your own words and love, imperfectly, as best as you can right now … which would be great cause for hope.

  4. November 8, 2016 at 4:14 pm

    I love these posts. Thank you so much. I voted Green today; just couldn’t bring myself to elect a person/party that did these things. I look at every single one of these pictures and imagine the brightest star in my sky, my Evelyn, 20 months old. So much love and joy in the little body, like there is love and joy in all small children. Oh, the shame.

  1. November 8, 2016 at 5:57 am
  2. November 11, 2016 at 12:43 pm
  3. November 14, 2016 at 2:50 am
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  5. December 12, 2016 at 1:21 pm
  6. September 18, 2017 at 4:44 pm

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