Served with War
April 18, 2003
By Jason Berry
It is springtime in this part of the world and you can certainly
feel it in the winds. A time of life, renewal, and perhaps
even hope. Even far to the north in the country of Canada
we can feel the spring winds. Even as we huddle inside our
homes, around our TV sets to watch playoff hockey…
You see spring and hockey go hand in hand for us Canucks.
It's what we talk about at work, its what we watch as we eat
our suppers, its what we dream about in our sleep.
This spring not only brings us our annual dose of playoff
hockey but sadly brings us war as well. A war most of you
know the majority of Canadians do not support. A war that
many of us find morally and legally wrong. A war that we cannot
in good conscience support.
Do not let that make you think that we do not support you
though America. Those of you that live as our good neighbours
to the south. Those of you stand against this war and that
speak out against this war. Those of you that remember the
Constitution and its grand ideals that built the foundations
of your nation. Those of you who view this war with scepticism.
Those of you that wish for peace. Yes it is those same people
that I wish to share something with.
Last night Canadians across the nation received a wake up
call watching CBC's Hockey Night in Canada. As the games regulation
time came to a close and the Toronto Maple Leafs and Philadelphia
Flyers prepared for overtime. The nation was brought the latest
Before I continue I should explain that the CBC is also Canada's
main media outlet. It is the same outlet that American Ambassador
to Canada Paul Cellucci demanded that our Prime Minister Jean
a muzzle on", or control if you will. It's the same media
outlet that attempts to bring Canadians the harsh reality
of this war on terrorism, and sadly enough its victims.
The latest from Iraq brought us news of one of those said
victims. Little Ali Ismail Abbas Hamza is a 12 year old boy
who lost both his arms when a cruise missile landed near his
home. Burned and in terrible pain he suffered with limited
healthcare for nearly 15 days before he could be flown to
Kuwait City for proper medical attention.
You can see the video
Canadians watched. You can hear his moans of pain, you can
see the tears of anguish in his eyes. One of my friends exclaimed
they'd be better served showing that to the Americans and
turned away. I however could not take my eyes away. For whatever
reason I feel I owe it to Ali, so symbolic of all the children
who've suffered for this war. To remember his pain and his
loss, and to place it in my heart should I ever sway on my
stance against this or any war.
Another friend of mine could not bear to watch it anymore.
He simply couldn't take the long pauses of nothing but the
sound of Ali's moans of torment… But can't he see that those
moans are the cries of freedom? That those tears are that
of liberation? I wonder if that's what President Bush would
say had he seen that story and been asked to comment. Likely
he would say it was unfortunate and move on. Possibly receive
briefings on war plans for Syria. What else could he say?
I can't help and turn to see my little boy sound asleep.
I can't imagine the horror of seeing him torn apart by a bomb.
Losing his arms and being horribly burned. Seeing him lie
inert in a bed moaning in pain, the tears of anguish in his
eyes. Unable too ever again to give his mother a hug, or wrap
his arms around his future wife, or to hold a child of his
own in his arms. Never again able to do something as simple
as let me show him how to properly hold a hockey stick...
Yes with springtime comes hockey, and with this years serving
of hockey comes war. For Ali this war for "freedom" has brought
terror. For those fellow countrymen of Ali this liberation
has brought death, and while they cheer the demise of Saddam
and smile at the passing by of brave marines of the coalition.
They remember the deaths and sufferings of kin like Ali Ismail
Abbas Hamza and their hearts grow cold.