r Letter From Eastie: Revolutionizing Motherhood.
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Collaged view of Boston, from East Boston

Letter From Eastie

News and other items from East Boston, Massachusetts.

Sunday, August 21, 2005

Revolutionizing Motherhood.

Originally uploaded by marilora.
The title of my post comes from a book called Revolutionizing Motherhood: the Mothers of the Plaza de Mayo by Marguerite Guzman Bouvard. In all this attention on Cindy Sheehan and her quest to make President Bush accountable, I couldn't help thinking about the Madres of the Plaza de Mayo. Like Cindy Sheehan, they were mothers who had lost their children. The difference was that most of the "Madres" children had been disappeared by the Argentine government during the Dirty War.

In her book Bouvard argues that the Madres took the traditional passive role of motherhood and used it against the military dictatorship. When they marched in the Plaza de Mayo in front of the Casa Rosada (the Argentine presidential palace) holding pictures of their missing children, demanding to know what had happened to their lost loved ones, the government had what amounted to a public relations nightmare. How does a government undermine grieving mothers demanding answers about their children? The bottom line was that they couldn't. They tried. Three of the orignal founding mothers were actually disappeared as well. Their offices were vandalized. There were attempts to discredit them and their children. But the government could never quite get rid of them.

I see Cindy Sheehan's efforts as similar to what these women did. She's asking the President to be accountable. By being there in Crawford and refusing to keep quiet, she puts a human face on the issue of this war and the pain that thousands of families are feeling. At some point, even if he refuses to deal with Cindy Sheehan personally, Mr. Bush is going to have to deal with the issues that she is raising. It's reported today that the Army is planning for another 4 year in Iraq at current troop levels. At the same time we know that recruitment continues to go down. How will they keep current troop levels for four more years? How many tours of duty can these poor soldiers and marines pull? At some point, somethings gotta give. Even Pat Buchanan has figured this out. (God, I know the world is ending, if I'm citing Pat Buchanan) The conservatives can attack Cindy Sheehan all they want, but the more they attack her personally, the more obvious it becomes that they have no way to answer her politically. Somebody please tell the administration that their slip is showing.

Mothers of the Disappeared
from the Joshua Tree album
by U2

Midnight, our sons and daughters
Were cut down and taken from us
Hear their heartbeat
We hear their heartbeat

In the wind we hear their laughter
In the rain we see their tears
Hear their heartbeat
We hear their heartbeat

Night hangs like a prisoner
Stretched over black and blue
Hear their heartbeat
We hear their heartbeat

In the trees our sons stand naked
Through the walls our daughters cry
See their tears in the rainfall

P.S. I wrote this post before I saw this, so I promise I'm not a plagiarist. :-)


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