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December 1, 2004 War. It's good for absolutely nothing.
Bush's terror ignores the realities at home. [ more ]
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What are the flacks in the public relations offices teaching their clients these days? It's certainly not how to talk to the press. [ more ]

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War. It's good for absolutely nothing.

Bush's terror ignores the realities at home

December 1, 2004

I woke up from my nap to acknowledge that the Bush War of Agression is bleeding over into our very streets. It's not just our camo-covered neighbors' sons and daughters who are now at war in tanks and helicopters. There's a war in our very neighborhoods and has been for decades. I guess now that I'm living outside of white middle class America, I can see it more clearly. Or maybe I've been taking too many naps.

This war runs guns and drugs and is greasy, like the the US's decades-long relationship with the middle east. This war sends our youth home dead , mamed, and wounded mentally and physically. But this war in our communities doesn't have much to do with flags of nationality, patriotism, and surely doesn't capture the front page headlines or column inches of the Terror on Terrorism.

In Ponce, Puerto Rico, we're discovering that young men have been running illegal arms businesses, selling unlicensed guns to minors, presumably so they can use them on each other. It's all very hush hush, but the national guard in the streets are a strange juxtaposition to the Criollo style turn-of-the-century architecture Ponce prides itself on.

The war in our communities came very close to home this week. An article about my partner's brother, Hector Luis Mejias Sanchez, burried on page 14 of the San Juan Star with the Police Briefs, said an argument erupted between he and another fellow, so Hector got shot. The article flatly stated Hector was in stable condition with a gun shot wound to the shoulder and then the briefs writer continued onto another, unrelated shooting between young men in Mayaguez, as if they were somehow connected.

At least Hector didn't become one of the 706 murders in Puerto Rico this year, which the The Star and other local papers seem to gleefully report with each passing death. The papers line up the murdered in cold numbers like a measuring stick against last year's equally gruesome murder statistics on the Island.

Hector is stable, yes. Stable with 24-hour nursing at his side to protect him from suffocating in case he vomits from the pain medication and seditives they've given him. He lays immobile on a cot with a neck brace, unable to even twitch any part of his heavy weight boxer body. I smile at him as I gaze in his eyes under the florescent lights, the beeps of heart monitors incencent and urgent. He tells me he's sleepy in Spanish and closes his eyes peacefully.

We're all praying Hector will pull a miracle and walk one day. As I think about Hector's prognosis right now, though, I can't help but bitterly think that maybe he should have enlisted in Bush's Official Terror, instead of living this unofficial terror in our communities. Of course, both are wrong and sickening. Violence begets violence begets sorrow begets death begets anger begets revenge begets violence.

When will they ever learn?

When will they ever learn?

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david southgate
writing for living.