Sunday, October 06, 2013

A Poem for Iraqi Mother, Sundus Shaker Saleh, by Alice Walker

Weekend Edition
October 4-6, 2013.

Hope of Healing for Sundus Shaker Saleh, with my love. Alice Walker (2013).

In our despair that justice is slow
we sit with heads bowed
even whether
we will ever be healed.

Perhaps it is a question
only the ravaged
the violated
seriously ask.

And is that not now
almost all of us?

But hope is on the way.

As usual Hope is a woman
herding her children
around her
all she retains of who
she was; as usual
except for her kids
she has lost almost everything.

Hope is a woman who has lost her fear.

Along with her home, her employment, her parents, her olive trees, her grapes. The peace of independence; the reassuring noises of ordinary neighbors.

Hope rises, She always does,
did we fail to notice this in all the stories
they’ve tried to suppress?

Hope rises,
and she puts on her same
unfashionable threadbare coat
and, penniless, she flings herself
against the cold, polished, protective chain mail
of the very powerful
the very rich – chain mail that mimics
suspiciously silver coins
and lizard skin -
and all she has to fight with is the reality of what was done to her;
to her country; her people; her children;
her home.

All she has as armor is what she has learned
must never be done.

Not in the name of War
and especially never in the name of Peace.

Hope is always the teacher with the toughest homework.

Our assignment: to grasp
what has never been breathed in our stolen
Empire on the hill:

Without justice, we will never
be healed.
Comment: In recent years Alice Walker has taken a principled stand on US imperialism and its global destruction as well as the plight of the Palestinian people under Israel's boot.  Her most recent book is "The Cushion in the Road".

The following is taken from the Witness Iraq website to explain the context of the poem and the lawsuit against the Bush administration:
Witness Iraq has brought a lawsuit against key members of the Bush Administration: George W. Bush, Richard B. Cheney, Donald H. Rumsfeld, Condoleezza Rice, Colin Powell and Paul Wolfowitz.
In Saleh v. Bush, plaintiff Sundus Shaker Saleh alleges that the Iraq War was a premeditated war against the Iraqi people, the planning of which started in 1998. The war was not conducted in self-defense, did not have the appropriate authorization by the United Nations, and under international law constituted a “crime of aggression” — a crime first set down at the Nuremberg Trials after World War II.
See a copy of the Saleh v. Bush complaint (pdf file).

The lead plaintiff, Ms. Sundus Saleh, with her children in Jordan (Credit)
Sign a petition requesting the Federal Courts to conduct an inquiry into the Iraq War.

See also for more information.

George W. Bush and his henchmen and women need to be behind prison bars for crimes against humanity.

Raise your voice and offer your support to Witness Iraq and Sundas Shaker Saleh.  It is the humane thing to do.

The truth is never too old to be heard.


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