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Painting - Oil On Canvas On An Acrylic-painted Board
Those who sign up to go to war know they have made a choice that could end up costing them their lives. Those whose fate it is to live in a war zone have no choice. Though the United States has lost more than 1,000 troops to the war in Afghanistan and just over 4,000 in the Iraq war, it is the civilians caught up in these wars who have suffered the most.
Since America's launch of Operation Enduring Freedom in Afghanistan in 2001 and Operation Iraqi Freedom in Iraq in 2003, whether killed by a stray bullet or a bomb targeted from a drone flying overhead, by a suicide bomber or a car bomb, ordinary Afghanis have died in the thousands and Iraqis in the hundreds of thousands.
As the woman in "Shock and Awe," crying out in grief, falls back into the hands of her friends and family, her cries echo those of the multitudes of other women who have lost their loved ones to senseless wars. And the men who now weep over their brother's coffin in "Mission Accomplished" may soon turn from tears to bloodshed. The bomb that transforms all these lives into collateral damage explodes behind them. Death begets more death. War is not the answer.
As Martin Luther King, Jr. said of the war in Vietnam, another of America's "wars of choice," "We must stop this madness....I speak for those whose land is being laid to waste, whose homes are being destroyed, whose culture is being subverted....The great initiative in this war is ours; the initiative to stop it must be ours."
October 7th, 2010
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