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How About Them Names?

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Message Mark Sashine
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Real life does not allow us to be stupid. But we vehemently strive for stupidity. We made a movie about a Jewish family in the 1930s and called it Holocaust. Then we projected the name of the movie on the real event. And now we have museums of the Holocaust, the Holocaust stories, survivors, etc. But it was not that way. The real thing was much more. We made it topsy-turvy, some kind of a spooky story for kids and Sarah Silverman. We cheapened it, sold it in a wrapper, the way we sold JC (yes, that's how we call our God) to the tabloids.

Names of the dead, the maimed, the vaporized by our nuclear bomb and napalm and Shock & Awe. Names of those who died under the drone fire. Names of the tortured, burned alive, shot, cut, sacked to pieces, drowned. We should not move our eyes away. We should hear those names. Those were the people who wanted to live as much as we do.

I am not sure but I do think that if the 9/11 terrorists would be able to read in advance the names of those people they were going to kill, one-by-one, they could have abandoned their plans. Maybe not. Nobody read the names of the 100000 Japanese to the crew of Enola Gay. And that was the worst cowardice because whether you do good or bad you must be courageous enough to do it with the open eyes. That's the essence of the real human- to be honest to thyself. We cannot afford lies. Dante in his Inferno states with disgust that when you see those who were so cowardly that they could not face either good or evil, those who were just hanging in the bubble of self-deceit- you just 'glance and pass.' Those people deserve nothing but contempt.

'This beautiful young girl is Maria (Magdalena, Alex Roland).' That's how the pledge for help starts on our TV. We do good to a real person. Those asking for good know that. Thus if we need to know the names of those we help why do we refuse to know the names of those whom we harm?

Honesty is the best policy. Hamlet was written by William Shakespeare, not WS. To Kill a Mockingbird was written by Harper Lee, not HL. Mr. Arthur Radley saved the kids in that book, not Boo. We need an open trial of 9/11 and a man Khalid Sheikh Mohammed must be considered innocent until proved guilty and we need lawyers and jury and the whole machine. We need testimonies under oath and Cheney and Bush and Rove and Rumsfeld and Condi and all others to testify. We need that for ourselves. In our courts we start with the statement, 'United States of America against an Individual. God Help the United States.' That's how we acknowledge an Individual and his rights. We need than for those who died. We need that for our kids. We need that to remain human despite all that we have done, good or bad. We do not want a future Dante to 'glance and pass' over us. We want him to consider us as equals. We deserve at least that much.

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The writer is 57 years old, semi- retired engineer, PhD, PE, CEM. I write fiction on a regular basis and I am also 10 years on OEN.

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