Article Overview:   Why did so many women warriors die for liberty in Iraq?  Why were they POWs?  Why were they tortured?  Beaten?   Was Iraq a "woman's war?"   Was it a war of Vigilance, fought by Mothers of Vigilance?  


Tuesday--April 15, 2003—Ground Zero Plus 580
Women Warriors--Fighting & Dying For Iraqi Mothers' Children

Cliff McKenzie
   Editor, New York City Combat Correspondent News

GROUND ZERO, New York City, Apr. 15--When examining the purpose of the war in Iraq, I wonder how many philosophers will focus on how American women--including mothers--fought and some died so that Iraqi women and mothers and their children could be free?

A new tableau is unfolding: mothers are willing to die other mothers and children

       War protest focuses on the male side of violence.   It puts men in the crosshairs, suggesting that war is a testosterone-based effort to dominate the weak.
        But, in the aftermath of the Iraqi war, a new tableau is unfolding.   It is the picture of women willing to die not only for their country, but more importantly, to die for the safety and security of the people of another nation--specifically, for the other mothers and children.
        There are a few examples worthy of great attention.

             Pfc. Lori Piestewa, the first Native American woman killed in combat, and son

         One is Pfc. Lori Piestewa, Jessica Lynch's roommate.   Lori was a 23-year-old single mother raising a 4-year-old boy and 3-year-old girl.  She was the first Native American woman killed in combat, a member of the Hopi 11,000-member tribe.   Ironically, Hopis are a non-warring tribe.   They are considered the caretakers of the Earth, the peaceful guardians.    Fifty-six Hopis are members of the Armed Services, 45 of whom are serving in Iraq.
         Lori was part of the Army's 507th Maintenance Company ambushed on March 23.   She was one of eight bodies found after rescue teams freed Jessica Lynch from a hospital where she was held captive.

Pfc. Jessica Lynch

Army Spc. Shoshana Johnson, recently released POW

         Then there is Army Spc. Shoshana Johnson, one of the seven recently released POWS who  spent three weeks behind enemy lines.   The world saw Shoshana on al-Jazeera television, being questioned by Iraqi soldiers.   She is a single mother of a 2-year-old daughter.   The pictures of her limping as she was released toward a plane set to fly her and other POWs to safety, is a reminder of the price she was willing to pay, and paid in part, to the Iraqi mothers.  
        Captain Kim Campbell, known as "KC", also belongs on the list of women willing to die for other women.Women W

Captain Kim Campbell, "KC", was willing to die for her country

      An A-10 Warthog pilot, 27-year-old KC was flying combat missions over Baghdad on April 7.   The Warthog is an anti-tank aircraft, specifically designed to search and destroy enemy tanks.   As KC was diving toward enemy positions,  her jet came under anti-aircraft fire.   It was hit, knocking out her hydraulic system.  The hydraulic system is like power brakes versus manual, you need only a light touch when hydraulics are being used.   She switched to manual operation.  
       Using two hands on the stiff, unresponsive controls, she used all her strength to pull the plane out of a dive.  It was heading toward a crash in Baghdad, an option KC sought to avoid at all costs.  
       She muscled the plane's controls until it began to respond, and, for the next hour, grunted and groaned as she used her physical strength to guide the aircraft toward friendly territory.    She made a safe landing, despite the plane being riddled with bullets and shrapnel from the anti-aircraft.

KC's A-10 Warthog riddled with bullets and shrapnel

       KC, after landing, called her husband who is also on active duty, and her family to let them know she was fine.
      She is one of 114 active duty female pilots.  In 1993 women were authorized to fly in combat missions.   In contrast to the 114 female pilots, there are 7,735 male fighter and bomber pilots active in the Armed Forces, according to the Pentagon.
      Women in the military are growing.   There currently are more than 210,000 women on active duty, and another 150,000 in the reserves.
       The war in Iraq is perplexing in nature.
       Politically, it presents a host of issues, often lead by the question:  "Does America have the right to make a preemptive strike against another nation?"
       Domestically, it creates rifts between pro- and anti-war factions.
       Diplomatically, it drives wedges between nations who once were allies, and now look at one another with distrust and disgust.
       But, through the threads of differences, is sewn one common hem--perhaps best stitched by the presence of American women warriors.   That is what I will call for simplicity purposes:  The Mothers of Vigilance (MoVs)
       Mothers of Vigilance are those MoVs who stand willing to die for other mothers.
       The first woman to die in the war, and the first Native American in Armed Forces history to die in combat, was a mother of two children.  She was also part of a tribe of peacekeepers, the Hopi, who are caretakers of the Earth.

Hopi mother and child

Pfc. Lori Piestewa smiling

        There is great power in Lori Piestewa's death.
        She is, was, the Womb of War.
        For countless generations, her tribe has been given the duty of peacekeeper, guardian of the Earth.   She went to Iraq along with Pfc. Lynch, Spc. Johnson, and Captain K.C., to bring peace to a land ripped in torment.
        Those eager to move on with the news and pass over the death of Lori Piestewa need to stop and ask the questions--
       "How come a Native American woman, mother of two, died in Iraq?"
       "How come Spc. Shoshana Johnson, single mother of one child, was freed with other POWs at the end of the war?"
       "How come Captain KC was able to pull her plane out of a deadly dive after it was ripped by enemy fire?"
       "How come Pfc. Jessica Lynch was the first successful POW rescue since World War II?"
        "And how come Pfc. Lynch endured so much pain that an Iraqi lawyer and his wife risked their lives making countless trips between U.S. forces and enemy forces to give information leading to the successful release of Lynch?"
         If one takes these questions, plus the countless others that rise from the fact that women in the Armed Services are willing to die for their country and the cause of freedom, it provokes the issue of Vigilance.

Women are standing up to the Beast of Terror

        When women are willing to die for other women, even at the expense of their own motherhood, what does that mean?
         Women with children fighting a war for people in a far off land signals, at least to me, their clear vision to the need for Vigilance over Terrorism.
          When I think of the Jessica Lynch's, the KC's, the Shoshana Johnson's, the Lori Piestewa's, I see Mothers of Vigilance standing with Swords of Vigilance and Shields of Vigilance gathering the children around them.   They stand up to the Beast of Terror who seeks to attack and conquer the children with the Beast's Fear, Intimidation and Complacency.
           From the air, the ground, the sea, the women attack.

Women attacked from the air, ground and sea

         They use incredible Courage, unwavering Conviction, and the fuel of Right Actions in behalf of the Iraqi women's Children's Children's Children to cripple the Beast of Terror.
           Each is ready, willing and able to give her life in defense of the children.
           As Mothers of Vigilance, they represent symbols of strength and purpose that far exceed the political and diplomatic reasons why we are in Iraq, and counter the reasons why we shouldn't be.

Women who fought in Iraq had the ultimate edge over all the other warriors:  they had wombs

          It is clear that the women who fought and those who died in Iraq, had the ultimate edge over all other warriors.
          They all had wombs.
          They were all either mothers or potential mothers.
          Their willingness to die was clearly based on the safety of future generations--specifically for the children.
           If there is a pure reason why we fought and won such a decisive victory in Iraq, it may be solely because the world saw American women willing to die for the people of another land.
          It wasn't the men of America who stood out as the heroes, the one's willing to die.
          It was the women.
          Proud, dignified Mothers of Vigilance, offered their lives.
          When Iraqi soldiers saw the willingness of American women to die, perhaps that message helped crush their will to die for Saddam.
          While we might never know the exact reason why the enemy so quickly gave up, I speculate that one Hopi Indian woman--a caretaker of the Earth--with two young children, may have spoken to the Mothers of Vigilance in Iraq through her death.   

The Sisters of Vigilance will guide the Citizens of Vigilance to peace and prosperity

         Her spirit, urged by the willingness of her fellow Sisters of Vigilance, may have thundered through the sand and beat a tattoo of peace that begged the Mothers and Fathers of Vigilance to not fight for the Beast of Terror.
          It worked.
          Iraqis stopped fighting.
          The war ended quietly.
          Hopefully, the peace will endure.
          Hopefully, the spirit of Lori Piestewa, and all her Sisters of Vigilance, will guide the Citizens of Vigilance, the Mothers and Fathers of Vigilance, to a state of peace and prosperity.  

April 14--Flower Power Blooms Despite Weeds Of War

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