On October 17, eighteen grandmothers were arrested at the Times Square Recruiting Booth and incarcerated. We were charged with disorderly conduct as a result of our attempting to enlist and, when denied entrance, sitting down in front of the door.
Why did we do it? People ask us if we have grandchildren fighting in Iraq. Actually, none of us have, but that’s really beside the point. We are concerned for grandchildren in the generic sense. They are all our grandkids, and we grieve for each young person who dies or is maimed as a result of our tragically ill-conceived, illegal occupation of Iraq. “Ill” is an apt prefix, for the unfeeling monsters who perpetrated this crime are sick to their very cores. Otherwise, how could they have sent all these brave kids off to die for what we are convinced they knew was a lie? How could they have launched bombs killing thousands of innocent Iraqis, many of them children? We don’t for one moment think, nor did we ever, that they were persuaded by faulty intelligence that there were weapons of mass destruction in Saddam’s arsenal. WE were the ones with such weapons, which rained mass destruction on the hapless Iraqi people.
We decided to enlist so that we might replace young people, enabling them to come home. After all, we’ve all lived long lives, so better us than them. And, judging from the way the recruiters inside the facility cowered behind their desks when they saw us at the door, imagine how the insurgents would run when they saw us coming.
Failing enlistment, which we knew was not really a viable option, we hoped that our actions would draw attention to the wisdom of we grandmothers that this war must end….now! We are positive that nothing is being gained by our continued presence in that beleaguered nation. The argument that we are needed to defeat the insurgency just doesn’t hold up inasmuch as the insurgency keeps growing the longer we are there. It’s very simple, really. Why go on and on fighting a losing battle with more and more of our youths being thrown away in the process?
It’s ironic to me that we old broads knew all along that this war was totally unjustified and was doomed to be a disaster, and yet all our great statesmen and politicians are just beginning to realize that it may have been a mistake. In the future, therefore, my advice is “Listen to your Granny.” Granny knows best.
Joan Wile is the Founder/Director of Grandmothers Against the War and member of the Granny Jailbirds 18. Email to: Joanwile263@aol.com