| Article Overview:
Women suicide bombers? Is that the role of Mothers of
Vigilance? Are Iraqi mothers Mothers of Vigilance or Mothers of
Violence? What do Iraqi mothers want for their children?
What did Lysistrata want for her children back in Ancient Greece?
Is there a way to turn war into peace? Find out.
16, 2003—Ground Zero Plus 550
Women Suicide Bombers March In Iraq: Protest War
Editor, New York City Combat Correspondent News
GROUND ZERO, New York City, Mar. 16--Iraqi
women are protesting the impending war with America by blowing
themselves up—at least, telling the world they will when and if
America attacks their country.
Thirty women suicide bombers led a protest parade in Baghdad
yesterday. They were dressed in black and had TNT strapped on their
chests, ready to run into American positions and blow themselves and
the "infidels" to hell
called "Saddam's fedayeen," which means "men of sacrifice." Only in
this case, the masculinity has shifted to femininity. The women are
part of an elite group of an estimated 30,000-40,000 young soldiers
rabidly loyal to Saddam.
Saddam’s older son, Uday, formed the “fedayeen” group in 1996.
They are called, Saddam's Martyrs. (Saddam currently pays $25,000 to
the surviving families of Palestinian suicide bombers).
The fedayeen’s primary mission has been to quash any
domestic uprising. Some liken them to Hitler's brownshirts,
and the Nazi's SS. However, with the war looming, they are turning
into human kamikazes.
protesting their misery
Yesterday, Saddam ordered tens of thousands of his troops to march
through the country, rallying both domestic and international support
against the U.S. Political pundits say he is counting on world
opinion to thwart the American/British invasion before it starts, and
for back up, to motivate the Iraqi people to defend Baghdad once it
does. And then, just to add icing to his cake, to twist the plot once
it starts to make America look like the “evil empire” it is trying to
The "men (and women) of sacrifice" are vital pawns in Saddam’s
chess game of pre-violence. Yesterday, many of the men wore white
during the march. The white represented a shroud of death and
symbolizing their willingness to die.
Part of the
Iraqi Feyadeen, Saddam's Martyrs
Other fedayeen, according to U.S. News and World Report The
(link to story), were dressed in American and British uniforms.
Saddam has ordered thousands of uniforms made down to the last U.S.
and British detail. The Bulletin reports: "to have Saddam's men,
posing as Western invaders, slaughter Iraqi citizens while the cameras
roll for Al-Jazeera and the credulous Arab press."
News media moguls are calling the U.S.-Iraq showdown a
"Mesopotamian Stalingrad," likening the potential Battle For Baghdad
to the millions of Russians who staved off Germany's attack on
Stalingrad in World War II.
Part of Saddam’s rally yesterday was a counter offensive to
American psychological units that have been bombing Iraqi soldiers
with tens of thousands of leaflets from Central Command headquarters
in Qatar. One such leaflet reads. "Leave now. Go home. Watch
your children learn, grow and prosper."
dressing up as suicide bombers
The U.S. is hoping the bulk of Saddam's 300,000 regular troops,
still reeling from the sting of the 1991 Gulf War, will surrender once
the invasion starts. But little hope is held for the fedayeen to
The Arabic News
(link) reports the people in Iraq view America's invasion as not a
war of liberation against a tyrant, but a Crusade, religiously based
to destroy Islam. In a Kerbala cafe, the following was reported:
“America is the enemy of Islam, not the enemy of the government,” said
Ahmed, a shopkeeper sipping a cup of tea. “If the Americans come they
will take the abaya (veil) off our women. We will not accept this.
Death would be better,” said Ghazi Husseini. The government daily, Al-Jumhouriya,
reported that: "This aggression will be stillborn ... thanks to the
unity of the people and its faith in emblematic leader Saddam Hussein
who will lead it to victory."
bombers march in Iraqi parade
Promoting suicide bombers is
not necessarily an act of unity as it is one of desperation.
In Vietnam, the V.C. often sent such suicide bombers,
including women. They also went a step farther. Occasionally, then
sent children running toward you with satchel charges on their backs.
As the pudding of war thickens, its insanity does also. Two
forces erupt as the grains of war drip through the neck of the
hourglass. One grain screams to fight to the death; the other begs to
War, unfortunately, offers no middle ground.
Rally in Baghdad
There is no wriggle room once bullets fly. You are baptized
with the first bullet as either enemy or ally, friend or foe. The
quandary exists, of course, for the non-combatants--to whom do they
pledge their loyalty? Do they surrender to the "infidels," the
Western occupying force? Or, do they fight to the last man and woman
to support a leader who uses his bootheel and thumb to squash any who
I wouldn't want to be in the vice the Iraqi’s will face.
No one would.
The most troubling factor, of course, is the suicide vow made
by the women of Saddam’s Martyrs. History, however, has other ways
to solve war than suicide.
Back in history, Greek playwright Aristophanes wrote
Lysistrata. It was an anti-war play in which Athenian women, fed up
with the Peloponnesian War, barricade themselves in the Acropolis and
go on a sex strike, refusing to sleep with their husbands until they
stop fighting with Sparta.
Women have the
power of Peace over War
Lysistrata means "releaser of war." To achieve peace, the women
chose to use the future of the children as their “suicide bomb.” By
refusing men sex, they not only stopped them from immediate
gratification, but they threatened the extinction of their lineage.
No sex meant, in effect, genocide. It meant no sons, no daughters.
It meant the end of civilization.
There is a far more startling shock to the senses when one
looks into an empty future, one with no children, no grandchildren, no
Violence comes in many forms. One of the most devastating is
subtle violence, the kind Lysistrata illustrated, for it held a threat
of no future.
Despotism means “no future” for the children. By his nature,
the despotic ruler denies a child access to freedoms that make the
individual able to “grow and prosper” in society, and replaces the
right of freedom with Fear, Intimidation and Complacency.
I would have preferred to see Saddam Hussein issue a “no sex”
proclamation, telling his people that anyone who doesn’t fight can’t
have sex. At least he would be using the emptiness of the future as
a club, and not the rewards of suicide in the present. Killing the
womb of the future is not a sign of strength; it is a waste of
The leaflets dropped by the U.S. focus on that issue:
"Go home. Watch your children learn, grow and prosper.”
I believe the ultimate goal of any war, if there is good
that comes from blood, is that the children have the right to achieve
the three things spelled out on those leaflets--to learn, to grow, to
In the Arabic News, the quote from the shopkeeper feared
that Americans would come and rip the veils off the women. I wish
the quote had been from a woman rather than from a man. It might
have made some impact on me, since it is the men who demand the women
Women are Leaders of Vigilance
I can't imagine U.S.
troops charging through Iraq ripping off women's veils, but I can
imagine women ripping them off once they feel safe they will not be
beaten if they do..
This goes to the heart of
Lysistrata. Women have the power of peace over war
when they elect to stand up against war's oppression..
When women stand up for
the safety and security of the Children, they do not strap on suicide bombs.
Instead, they become
They lead the Sentinels
of Vigilance to the front lines, and transform into Parents and Loved
One's of Vigilance. They face Fear with Courage,
Intimidation with Conviction, and take Right Actions for the benefit
of the Children's Children's Children rather than fall victim to
Women can be
the front-line assault for promoting Parents of Vigilance
Women understand the
world of Terrorism better than most men, for they are witness to it
after the fact. For example, a number of Terrorists who attacked the World Trade Center left notes for
their mothers and wives, symbols of their sadness, tears of their
souls to be held in trust by the women who mourn the loss of their
Women see the waste
of war, as Lysistrata did hundreds of years ago.
They know that
killing themselves is not the solution.
Of Vigilance tending her child
am not a believer that the vast majority of Iraqi women
wish to destroy themselves.
A few, perhaps, but not the vast majority.
Instead, I believe they want to become Mothers of Vigilance,
and to be there for their children who have the right
to learn, the right to grow, the right to prosper.
Hopefully, when the smoke clears, that right will be theirs,
including the right to either keep wearing their veils
or take them off.
Mothers of Iraq are Mothers of Vigilance, not Mothers
Mar. 15--Muffling Vigilance In The
Wilderness of Complacency
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