“Birthdays Are The Worst Days”

03.19.07 11 years ago 14 Comments

Words by Ian M.

**Cues up Immortal Technique – Land of the Gun

I really didn’t feel like doing much in the way of challenging myself today. Had to get up early for work which was a cold reminder – but was looking for leisure on this unusually frigid Monday in Boston. Problem is I can’t help reflecting on this March 19th…it’s my birthday (24 thank you), but it’s also the four-year anniversary of the US invasion in Iraq.

I remember the lead up the war in 2003. I remember being on the phone with my pops talking about the potential of another war in the Middle East. “No fucking way,” I said. From idea to implementation it felt just too soon. We – as a nation – had barely talked about it, considered the fallout, considered the strategy. No one had come close to answering two simple questions for me: Why Iraq? and Why Now? No matter. “The drums are beating son,” Pops assured me, “we are going to war in Iraq.”

March 19th, 2003…my 20th birthday. I am getting ready to drink excessively with friends at a neighborhood bar. All channels turn to George Bush in the oval office:

“My fellow citizens, at this hour, American and coalition forces are in the early stages of military operations to disarm Iraq, to free its people and to defend the world from grave danger. On my orders, coalition forces have begun striking selected targets of military importance to undermine Saddam Hussein’s ability to wage war.” Source
Confused, angry, and honestly a little scared. “I can’t believe what I am seeing. I hope we know what we are doing.”

Simultaneously, while the president addressed the nation, two pilots dropped the first bombs over Baghdad. In later interviews, the pilots admitted limited knowledge of their targets, claiming they had a feeling it was Saddam himself. Those first laser-guided bombs ended up missing their targets and killed several innocent Iraqis in a nearby home.

So began what is now a four year struggle. I find myself today tired, as concerned as ever, and aware of history’s unbelievable incarnate manifestations. I am most concerned about our willingness to acquiesce to the unnecessary loss of human life. As we learn more and more about the near impossible conditions that created life on Earth, we must also realize how precious this life is. Just one life lost is a tragedy. It may not be your tragedy, but it is to someone’s family, community, and nation. It is my belief that you only get one of these. When it’s over, it’s over…as harsh as this may seem. For me this is empowering and has guided me to try and live a full life. I have learned that we must protect one another against crimes to our freedom and health. We must support a system that gives one another every and equal opportunity to live a life of fulfillment. We are our brothers’ keeper.

I firmly believe in the power of “Each One, Reach One.” We battle feelings of helplessness and powerlessness in times of great stress. We each have the capacity for greatness. There is an unknown power in influencing those around you, who in turn influence those around them, and so on, until a critical mass is reached. John Lennon once said, “War is over if YOU want it.”

I am getting emotional and contemplative on my birthday and I think this is a good thing.

C.S.A.D.

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Positive K – The Skills Dat Pay Da Bills(1992)

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Geto Boys – We Cant Be Stopped

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