Thursday, June 15, 2006

The last time I went to Italy the Iraq war had just begun. The Christ Child and I would sit at breakfast and I would read the morning paper to him, detailing the unraveling of the campaign of Awe and Shock. Later, I would catch him watching MSNBC in an effort to verify what I was telling him the Italian newspapers were saying. He was surprised to find his mother knew Italian.

He also was quite surprised that the Italian people did not take us for Americans and were mildly startled to find we were Americano. I will always remember the one woman who leaned over a counter and put her forefinger gently in my chest, saying "Right now our two countries don't see eye to eye, but your people and my people know the real thing between us and we don't forget that and all that's gone on for many generations . " Her forefinger then pointed back and forth between the two of us as she looked deeply into my eyes and smiled. This was the typical response we received from these beautiful and generous people.

And then there were the flags. They were rainbow striped and they were everywhere. In the tiny villages, all through the city, in the villas, off the apartment windows, hanging from fences, draped across chairs, in store windows, hung from railings, these brightly colored flags that said PACE. The Italians were not highly verbal about our war and our role but rather maintained their stance as gracious hosts and conservators of the world's greatest art treasures in a time that was tricky to navigate worldwise. But there was no mistaking what they were feeling; those flags...those flags fluttered everywhere, a silent but bright reminder, an admonishment, an encouragement. Pace. Pace. Give peace a chance.

So now I go back, fully four years later, and we are still in Iraq. We have lost 2500 men and women who more properly should have died of old age. The Iraqi have lost chilren and parents and still live in the most rudimentary of circumstances, now with Americanos nell'occupazione. Since when did democracy become imposed by the government, rather than as the voice of the people? As I start to end with how did the whole thing go so wrong? I realize that that's not the question. I realize there is no question. This war was a threat to the fate of humanity from the pre-inception and was and is wrong. The rainbows of Italy serve as silent witness to the devastation of aggression and occupation; our crimes against peace can go on no longer. Our Americans in Iraqi must have our highest support and be brought home with no further delay.

We fly the rainbow flag at Bellemaison in support of our troops and in support of peace and note the Prayer for Peace of The Holy Father, John Paul II.

Hear our voice,
for it is the voice of the victims of all wars and violence
among individuals and nations.
Hear our voice,
for it is the voice of all children
who suffer and will suffer
when people put their trust in weapons and war.
Hear our voice,
when we beg you to instill
into the hearts of all human beings
the wisdom of peace, the strength of justice
and the joy of fellowship.
Hear our voice,
for we speak for the multitudes in every country
and in every period of history
who do not want war
and are ready to walk the road of peace.
Hear our voice
and grant insight and strength
so that we may always respond
to hatred with love,
to injustice with total dedication to justice,
to need with sharing of self,
to war with peace.
O God, hear our voice
and grant unto the world
your everlasting peace.
The 'Kan EWA


BX_boy said...

I can distinctly remember the horrible anit-Bush graffiti everywhere in Venice and thinking to myself, “He’s not that bad. Give the guy a chance.” Boy, was I wrong.

vendella von messershmitt said...


Farethewell beautiful one, peace ambassador one.

Thank you.

PS (where'd you get the flag?)

MarmiteToasty said...

Hey (((JBelle)))) glad to know you arrived safely........

My matie Pat and her hubby and lad are moving to Italy in the summer to start a new life.... they have holiday'd in Italy for a few years and love it, but didnt think anything about moving UNTIL.. I came back from Cyprus and the States last year with me tales of adventure and hope for the future..... she just said, well sod this for a lark, flew over to Italy found a little house in a little village bought it came home put their house on the market and are now within the next few months plan to uproot and start the next chapter of their lives, they were just waiting their lad to finish his exams... he is a mate of my lad .... Im pretty gobsmacked by it and think she has great courage to go to a different country that dont even speak english.. to begin the next chapter of their lives..... except the easy part is that she is going with her husband where as I would have to go alone...

Be safe, have fun and build wonderful memories Jbelle xxxxxxx

PDXPup said...

I am watching the Eye-talians play the US as we speak...they are a bunch of nancy boys; there's like 7 of 'em in the penalty box on defense. WEAK!

REB 84 said...

Peace be with you.

Making the World Safe for Hypocrisy

Why are we in Iraq? First we were told it was because Saddam had WMD and we could expect mushroom clouds over American cities if he were allowed to stay in power; then the goal was getting rid of a brutal dictator who gassed his own people and by the way has a "blood feud" with America; the latest rationale is that we are bringing democracy to a troubled part of the world.

The rad-con democracy domino theory is that Iraq will become a shining example of representative democracy in the Middle East that all its neighbors will desire to emulate. Yet, despite a couple of elections; this utopia seems further away than ever.

Meanwhile, back here in the USA, the Bush administration is quietly choking off funding to the primary organizations that are actually training Iraqis on how to set up and run democratic political parties, elections, and governments. Is this hypocrisy?

"The commitment to what the president of the United States will say every single day of the week is his number one priority in Iraq, when it's translated into action, looks very tiny," said Les Campbell, who runs programs in the Middle East for the National Democratic Institute for International Affairs, known as NDI.(see link to story in title) Apparently, there has been no response to these reports from the White House.

It appears that military and security spending is cutting back the only legitimate pro-democracy efforts America is conducting in Iraq. This is just the latest example of the Bush administration's failure to put the money where its mouth is. If we really want to know what politicians value, we need to find out what programs they fund and which they cut.


posted by REB 84 at 4/06/2006

curtcon said...

England over Equador ~ Hark, I hear dancing JBelle feet in St Peter's Square:-)

Hope the trip is going swimmingly

jb3ll3 said...

well, well, well, she returns...having seen Benedict, though. He was closer to me than when...well, nevermind. I am sure you get the picture. Va bene. Multo bene. pictures to follow? sure. why not.

jb3ll3 said...

Mel! What a tale! I have much to tell you....