The family and its associated bonds are an amazing facet of human life. Commentating from a personal point of view, I believe it’s something that doesn’t always break through to us as humans – often to great cost.
A couple of years back, I saw a photo of a US soldier and his kids. The soldier was later killed in Iraq. I couldn’t help but cry when I saw that picture as I contemplated the vacuum in the kids life and the savagery and senselessness of war and the universal soldiers that make it a reality. Perhaps I was being too ‘worldly’ and neglecting aspects of the afterlife, but honestly speaking, that’s how I felt at the time.
People who peruse this blog and who hold interests similar to what I discuss. will no doubt have heard of Cindy Sheehan (and Rose Gentle etc). Cindy’s son Casey, was also killed in Iraq. When Cindy was coming to prominence, I was quite angry with her as, to my knowledge, she never apologized for Casey taking part in a machine that killed over half a million Iraqi people. She portraying him as a good person, when actually a “good” person would have refused to participate in this war which was clearly based on obvious lies and fantasies. But while being critical of Cindy, I knew her feelings of love and parentship meant that virtually no matter what Casey did, he’d always be a good person in Cindy’s eyes – such is the nature of families.
Today I saw a picture of Obama’s kids and it is a beautiful pic.
It captures a certain innocence and purity, and as soon as I saw it, it immediately stopped me in my tracks, making me once again contemplate the love that exists inside the family unit. I began to feel a sense of guilt for some of the things I‘ve said about Barack (which aren’t that strong actually) and made me think that perhaps I shouldn’t say anything hostile against him, lest his children somehow come across it and are deeply hurt from the ‘attack’ on their father.
Oddly enough, I don’t feel this when I see pics of Blair or Bush’s kids or when I see some pics of other kids from families I know absolutely nothing about. Why do I feel this way after seeing the Obama kids photo? Why did I feel it about the first Iraq based solder? Am I feeling this for Obama’s kids because of their innocence or due to the photo itself? Was it just that at one particular moment I was more prone to emotion than at other times? Is it connected to the fleeting fleeing I got when I found out Obama won the election? Is it something to do with him being black? – but the Iraq soldier I mentioned at the top of this post was white, so is the race element a non-issue?
Obama voted to fund the Iraq war which makes him guilty of murder too, yet the feeling of hostility towards Obama is very much lower that what I have for Bush, and I would feel uneasy at his kids reading such an indictment. I wonder if when Obama does officially take over in January, and ups the military operations in Afghanistan, will that feeling of not caution on behalf of his kids persist?
If I feel this now about Obama, could Obama feel the same way about kids in Afghanistan or Iraq? What of Bush, if say, he saw pic of poor Iraqi kids and felt such remorse, or even better, prevented him from initiating aggression in the first place?
Wouldn’t that be and have been great? I wonder if it’s possible for such a thing could ever happen in this modern world? – that a photo could mean the difference between war and peace. I also wonder if power holders and those around them, actively seek to avoid such potential incidents of humanistic compassion, hesitation, prevention and cancellation to prevent derailment of a vicious and nefarious agenda.
I hope Obama puts many photos of his family in the Oval office, viewing them regularly and imagining the consequence his decisions will have on kids all over the world.
That’s the hope anyway.