Sophia's Peace Work

Wednesday, January 28, 2004

I've been far to busy over the past few weeks to post any entries ... I'll be leaving in just a few days and everything has heated up. Tomorrow is my last day of work and I will probably hit a peak of frantic energy ... which will only subside when I sit my ass down in that cramped airplane seat and head for parts East. Bear with me ... I'll be posting on a more regular basis soon.

Tuesday, January 13, 2004

Yesturday some friends organized a benefit on my behalf ... music and poetry by some amazing local musicians ... friends came by to lend their support and my good buddy R came up from Oly (thanks R, your visit was very sweet!) ... It was, in many ways, a strange position to be in. I'm a lousy self-promoter and I went around saying, "No one will come!" right up until all these people showed up. And then I spent alot of the time in the back fighting back tears.

I wasn't going to speak but I ended up saying a few words ... I told them of a letter from my mother where she tried to convince me (with good reason, I'll grant) not to return to Iraq. She wrote something like, "Why do you feel you need to pay personally for the faults of this administration?"

I told the gathered crowd that I didn't see how any of us can avoid paying for these faults ... they are so many afterall and they will effect us all in the end. I know how easily it is to get discouraged and think that you can't make any difference. You end up feeling ineffectual and are left to shake your fist at the T.V. I have a friend who grew up during the Reagon years and she told me that it took her awhile to realize that the word "Reagon" was not just a sware word. Well, that's how I grew up too. Cursing our leaders but finding no positive way to work for any alternative.

But when I went to Iraq last year, I was filled with such a sense that I was doing the right thing. I'd never felt anything quite like that before. It didn't matter that we didn't achieve the goal of stopping the war or achieved change through peaceful means ... it only mattered that we tried.

Many thanks to those who came to support me and those how came to performs!

Thursday, January 08, 2004

Yesterday we had our first real snow storm of the year and it's been butt-cold outside … I had to walk across town in the wind and driving snow for my last doctor appointment before my trip (I've given up the Beast, aka my car, to a friend who needed to travel to Montana … hope you made it OK, E … don’t take no guff from the beastie!).

The local paper had a feature last week of photos and quotes from 2003. And surprise! There I was, in the middle of the page! A picture of me before my arrest for civil disobedience outside a local naval base last March. The caption referred to me as an "Anti-war activist." ~sigh~ Why do they always have to refer to me as being "anti-war"? Why can’t I be "pro-peace" for a change?

What struck me even more was the quote above my picture … from the commanding officer of the USS Bridge, right before its departure from the base bound for the Persian Gulf. "War is the ultimate failure of international diplomacy," he said, "but there are times in history that international diplomacy has failed and, for the greater good of mankind, war has been necessary." The reluctant warrior atop the anti-war activist.

I remember being in Baghdad before the war. The U.S. hadn't had an embassy in Iraq since … oh, help me out here … 1990 … 1991? There was an "U.S. Interest Office" I think that was what it was called … out of the Polish Embassy … but that was closed before I left Iraq … a month before the war. I personally don't remember a lot of diplomacy before the war … at least not from the U.S. I just remember a lot of rhetoric.

Thursday, January 01, 2004

Happy New Year's ... well almost! In my case, the clock is ticking towards more than just the new year. I'm due to start my trip on Jan 30th and my ticket just arrived today. Yesturday, the local Peace group voted to give me some pretty significant support and other groups and individuals have been amazingly generous. I've added a few new links to the sidebar ... atleast I hope I did ... Blogger Help has been less than helpful lately ... but hey, it's a free service!

Anyway, I'm calling it a night ... none of this staying up till the stroke of midnight business for me. New beginnings are a state of mind!