Wake up, moms, and smell injustice

Bustling food court at Meadowood Mall. Day before Mother’s Day. Families eat fat slices of Sbarro pizza, toting the morning’s loot—bags of blouses, shorts and sandals. A symphony of pastels, tidy and terror-free.

Buoyed by the joyful news that it’s OK to be overweight, moms like me stand in line to consume deep-fried, sauce-dripping chicken with egg rolls.

We charge briskly into debt. Gas prices don’t deter us from driving. Recycling’s fine, but it’s simpler to toss the Aquafina bottle in the trash.

All the while, we fear the bounty we call “freedom” could be lost. Grasping to keep what’s ours, we give our children armored vehicles and send them off to fight a state-decreed enemy. We put yellow ribbon magnets on SUVs. Pray for safe returns home.

Some moms spent Mother’s Day hoping for a phone call from a loving son or daughter in Iraq—or fearing another call, “We regret to inform you …” as writes a member of Military Families Speak Out at www.mfso.org. The MFSO is one of the sponsors of Count the Cost Day on May 15, a memorial to more than 1,500 U.S. military and tens of thousands of Iraqi civilians killed since March 2003. To wear a number representing the life of a soldier or civilian killed, register at www.countingthecost.org.

Busy moms, we need to become informed, involved. Especially now, with a draft lurking behind Door Number Two.

Have you heard about Aidan Delgado? He’s the Army reservist turned conscientious objector who worked at the Iraqi prison, Abu Ghraib. Delgado, the age of my oldest son, signed up for the Reserves on the morning of Sept. 11, 2001—before that day’s events unfolded.

Delgado now travels the nation, showing his stark photos of American treatment of Iraqis. Before you argue that we’re doing God’s work in Iraq, consider a Democracy Now! interview with Delgado at www.informationclearinghouse.info/article7508.htm.

As I watched frazzled moms chase toddlers around the mall Saturday, I thought of Laura Bush and her scripted jokes at a recent Washington Press Corps dinner. Her wry remarks were doused with innuendos calculated to create distance between the administration and its puritanical cheering squad. Laura complained of her husband going to bed at 9 p.m. and interrupted the president with: “George, if you really want to end tyranny in the world, you’re going to have to stay up later.”

Bush turned red and was admired for his humanity.

“Why don’t presidents fight the war?” asks the song, BYOB (Bring Your Own Bomb), by System of a Down. “Why do we always send the poor?”

Like most moms, there are mountains I’d die on—causes for which I’d risk my kids’ lives. George, if you want to end tyranny, look to Darfur where the government uses military force and starvation to kill off the black Sudanese. Death toll: half a million and counting. Some refugees escape the rapes, murder and terror and flea to safety, only to be turned back when neighboring countries refuse to offer asylum.

Take a look at Sudan, George. Start with the photos and stories at www.darfurgenocide.org. Then send yourself an e-mail, begging for action to be taken.

But what have we accomplished in Iraq? A New York Times online multimedia story tells dismal stories of Iraqis like 16-year-old Hala who hasn’t left her home in months. (www.nytimes.com/pages/world/worldspecial/index.html) That’s not freedom.

I know we’re tired of hearing about the problems of the world. We can’t babysit every evil regime.

We don’t have time to care about politics, given previous commitments to network TV programming and Girl Scout field trips. Desperate Housewives is on in five minutes. Gas is a few cents cheaper now that we’re going to plunder the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge. And bras are on sale at Macy’s.