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News :: Politics
Eyes Wide Open: A Glimpse at the Futility of War
02 Dec 2005
Eyes Wide Open is an exhibit created by the American Friends Service Committee meant to spark political awareness and critique the ongoing tragedies of the war in Iraq.

From November 1st – 8th the Eyes Wide Open exhibit was displayed in Boston, culminating at Copley Square. Eyes Wide Open is an exhibit created by the American Friends Service Committee (AFSC) in association with Military Families Speak Out, Gold Star Families for Peace and September 11th Families for Peaceful Tomorrows. This exhibit uses military combat boots and civilian shoes to illustrate the human costs of the war in Iraq.
From November 1st – 8th the Eyes Wide Open exhibit was displayed in Boston, culminating at Copley Square. Eyes Wide Open is an exhibit created by the American Friends Service Committee (AFSC) in association with Military Families Speak Out, Gold Star Families for Peace and September 11th Families for Peaceful Tomorrows. This exhibit uses military combat boots and civilian shoes to illustrate the human costs of the war in Iraq. It started in January of 2004, when Bush first said that the war was over; there were 504 military boots then. During the Democratic National Convention last year, the exhibit was first held in Copley Square, displaying 1,000 boots. Now, in November of 2005, there are 2,049 American boots and many civilian shoes, each one representing 100 slain Iraqi’s, only skimming the surface of the 100,000+ that have been slaughtered in Bush’s unjust crusade.

The sheer magnitude of the number of shoes is startling; its impact transcends verbal description. Suffice it to say, those who made it to the exhibit were equally confounded with the realization of so much pointless loss of life. Passers-by, children and family members of the deceased walked solemnly through aisles of boots, each adorned with the name of the fallen soldier, some decorated with American flags and flowers. The mood was somber. As I stood there looking over the multitude of combat boots, I silently wondered whether or not any of the soldiers I had met at Camp Pendleton over the years were included in those deceased. I could hear sounds of sobs in between the reverberating list of deceased soldiers’ names that were being read over the sound system. To the left of the soldier’s boots were innumerable amounts of civilian shoes; small, big, old, new, dirty and clean. I walked over to a large pile of children’s shoes to observe a small group of four kids who had gathered around. I wondered whether or not they were reflecting upon their own mortality, whether or not they saw themselves in the foreign shoes that were upon the ground, whether or not they knew that it could have just as easily have been them.

The effort that goes into this production is nothing short of spectacular, requiring over 170 volunteers and six hours to set up. The goal of the AFSC is simple enough: to raise political awareness. “This is what is being done with people’s tax dollars,” said local event coordinator Jaime Lederer. AFSC is organizing initiatives in order to cut funding from Congress, letting the Bush Administration know that the people do not support this war in any way, shape or form and that includes monetary support.

According to Lederer, things are starting to look up: “I think a lot of people have woken up since Hurricane Katrina… People are outraged.”

HomeFromIraqNow.org and many local organizations are currently campaigning to bring the Massachusetts National Guard home through petitioning, which should prompt a binding initiative on the November 2006 ballot. And Massachusetts is not the only state expressing its outrage with our current administration, 23 others have engaged in voter-sponsored ballot initiative processes including Arizona, California, Colorado, Florida, Maine, Utah and Washington to name a few.

These days, pretty much anything can become routine and lose meaning – even a war. The Eyes Wide Open exhibit was a stark reminder of the very real and lasting effects of this war, not only at home but abroad as well. The next step for the AFSC is to display the exhibit internationally. However, with the increasing amount of US and Iraqi deaths, the organization is having trouble finding areas big enough to house the exhibit.

To learn more about the exhibit or to find our what you can do to speed along the petition process, go to afsc.org.

To see photographs that accompany this article, go to the student underground link provided.
See also:
http://www.thestudentunderground.org/article.php?id=124&issue=53

This work is in the public domain.
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Re: Eyes Wide Open: A Glimpse at the Futility of War
01 Dec 2005
Do you think a family in iraq makes a distinction if thier child was killed in a shelter bombing in 1991 or if they were nalpamed two years ago or buried alive by US enginers as a conscripted in kuwait( a province of Iraq untill the british stole it as a fort). So the Americans have actually killed 250,000 in the gulf attack, 500,000 children with a barbaric seige that let in no food or medicine or infastructure but let out oil. Additional thousands killed in a US incited southern rebellion that was squashed by US helicopters sold to the CIA installed Bathists post kurd gas attacks and durring the no fly zones (unless you are on a US or Turkish bombing run).
On top of all this add everything that has happened in the past 3 years and dont forget all the "terrorist" bombings of highly provacitive civillian targets. Why does "+" not quite do it.
Re: Eyes Wide Open: A Glimpse at the Futility of War
02 Dec 2005
Wow, that was a huge pile of misinformation stated with no facts at an attempt to put a spin on EVERYTHING to do with Iraq from centuries ago to present day. Great job! I am impressed!

What does Kuwait, who has been a independent country for years, and their British theft how many years ago have to do with anything? Nothing! Nothing at all!
All that other drivel is just plain fiction.
Re: Eyes Wide Open: A Glimpse at the Futility of War
02 Dec 2005
You are funny in what your choice of deletions are. Nonsense stays. The questioning of nonsense goes. Explain that one?

Wow, that was a huge pile of misinformation stated with no facts at an attempt to put a spin on EVERYTHING to do with Iraq from centuries ago to present day. Great job! I am impressed!

What does Kuwait, who has been a independent country for years, and their British theft how many years ago have to do with anything? Nothing! Nothing at all!
All that other drivel is just plain fiction.
Re: Eyes Wide Open: A Glimpse at the Futility of War
02 Dec 2005
The first time I saw this exhibit was at the Boston Social Forum last summer. I got this cold, sad feeling in my stomach when I walked through the rows of boots that was like the feeling I had the first time I walked past the Vietnam Memorial in DC. The piles of shoes representing the Iraqi victims was even more heart-wrenching than the soldiers shoes. Knowing that there are so many more people dead or dying from this on-going conflict than the small number of shoes that represent them was absolutely heartbreaking. It also reminded me of documentary footage of holocaust era piles of unclaimed shoes and clothes of the exterminated. Needless to say, this political art piece is both astounding and deeply moving. I encourage anyone who hasn't to visit next time it's in the area.
Re: Eyes Wide Open: A Glimpse at the Futility of War
02 Dec 2005
Very nice comments.
War is a sorrowful event and I pray that I'll see an end to it before my little ones are old enough to understand it.

Rest in peace all that are gone.
Re: Eyes Wide Open: A Glimpse at the Futility of War
02 Dec 2005
dear veteran,

no one is openly pro war. It's not like anyone is says to them selves in the morning, "Let's go out and murder torture and exploit the shit out of people today." (don't get offended, shit is just a word my friend, it won't harm you). But straight up, don't remove the word from the context. you are for the fighting of the Iraq war. You do support it. There for you are "pro- war."

Now thats out of the way, I would like to mention how striking the linguistics are in this whole section. suddenly, pro-war suddenly has a new meaning. Euphanisms have become rampant, you refuse to say what you really mean. You have been branded.

Our country has been branded my friend, branded like Levi's Jeans or Ralph Lauren. they brand themselves to be sexy, original even American while they brutally exploit children overseas... Our country is much of the same. We are branded to be original and patriotic- branded to be free. But often, as we all know, it's pecuniary truth. Our country has branded itself with a "nobel past," or with this partiotic fervor and vintage posters of uncle sam... reawakening this fleeting memory of what it means to be patriotic, what it means to be free... only it has been distorted with time. This is no longer the America that you dream it to be, they are making corsets out of flags and cinching them tight to make a fat woman look thin to the naked eye. They are taking a hot poker and pressing it against her skin while smearing make up across her scarred face, then parading her in front of the audience like a marrionette... this isn't freedom, this a poor raped and mangled whore dressed up and labled.... The audience just watched awed, because from the backrow- you can't see the blood leaking down her leg from where the searing poker burnt her skin, you can see that she is a corpse...

Define yourself- are you a person or an advertisement? Are you an indvidual thinker or a paid promotion? Are you pulling the strings or are you in the audience?
it's up to you.
Re: Eyes Wide Open: A Glimpse at the Futility of War
02 Dec 2005
Amen to that, oh dear!
Re: Eyes Wide Open: A Glimpse at the Futility of War
02 Dec 2005
Late night at work so I thought I would check the posts.

What is that nonsense that you just wasted a good ten minutes of your life writing? Branded? Audience? Pro-war? Stop preaching and start living. Everything in life is not bad!
Some People Don't Want To Know The Truth.
05 Dec 2005
Those boots represent our soldiers. That die for what?
On the other hand...How many Iraqi civilians have died? Again...FOR WHAT?!

Veteran? YOU ARE A MORON!
Re: Eyes Wide Open: A Glimpse at the Futility of War
06 Dec 2005
Easy, child.

Please do not mention to me what the boots represent. I have worn those boot sasnd lost brothers that wore those boots. Althougha touching memorial, we see it as an honoring of our loved ones.

Also, I belive that that was a personal attack yet I see it does not get deleted. Editors pick and choose. Only a moron would stand and support something they know little about - stand tall! :)
Re: Eyes Wide Open: A Glimpse at the Futility of War
06 Dec 2005
we can all try and stand tall, but we will never stand quite as tall as you.
Re: Eyes Wide Open: A Glimpse at the Futility of War
06 Dec 2005
Shush!
You have the ability to whine about not what you know but not the ability to truly mourn that went to help others.
Re: Eyes Wide Open: A Glimpse at the Futility of War
06 Dec 2005
WHAT IS A VET?
Some veterans bear visible signs of their service: a missing limb, a jagged scar, a certain look in the eye. Others may carry the evidence inside them: a pin holding a bone together, a piece of shrapnel in the leg - or perhaps another sort of inner steel: the soul's ally forged in the refinery of adversity. Except in parades, however, the men and women who have kept America safe wear no badge or emblem. You can't tell a vet just by looking.

What is a vet?

He is the cop on the beat who spent six months in Saudi Arabia sweating two gallons a day making sure the armored personnel carriers didn't run out of fuel.

He is the barroom loudmouth, dumber than five wooden planks, whose overgrown frat-boy behavior is outweighed a hundred times in the cosmic scales by four hours of exquisite bravery near the 38th parallel.

She - or he - is the nurse who fought against futility and went to sleep sobbing every night for two solid years in Da Nang.

He is the POW who went away one person and came back another - or didn't come back AT ALL.

He is the Quantico drill instructor who has never seen combat - but has saved countless lives by turning slouchy, no-account rednecks and gang members into Marines, and teaching them to watch each other's backs.

He is the parade - riding Legionnaire who pins on his ribbons and medals with a prosthetic hand.

He is the career quartermaster who watches the ribbons and medals pass him by.

He is the three anonymous heroes in The Tomb Of The Unknowns, whose presence at the Arlington National Cemetery must forever preserve the memory of all the anonymous heroes whose valor died unrecognized with them on the battlefield or in the ocean's sunless deep.

He is the old guy bagging groceries at the supermarket - palsied now and aggravatingly slow - who helped liberate a Nazi death camp and who wishes all day long that his wife were still alive to hold him when the nightmares come.

He is an ordinary and yet an extraordinary human being - a person who offered some of his life's most vital years in the service of his country, and who sacrificed his ambitions so others would not have to sacrifice theirs.

He is a soldier and a savior and a sword against the darkness, and he is nothing more than the finest, greatest testimony on behalf of the finest, greatest nation ever known.

So remember, each time you see someone who has served our country, just lean over and say Thank You. That's all most people need, and in most cases it will mean more than any medals they could have been awarded or were awarded.

Author Unknown
Re: Eyes Wide Open: A Glimpse at the Futility of War
06 Dec 2005
He is an ordinary and yet an extraordinary human being - a person who offered some of his life's most vital years in the service of his country, and who sacrificed his ambitions so others would not have to sacrifice theirs.

Means nothing to most of you but means alot to those 2000 + soldiers/Veterans.
Hey Veteran!
06 Dec 2005
The question I have for Veteran is, " Are you an egotistical, white male"?
You put your two cents on every article. Why? Are you a intellectual? Are you well read?
Explain yourself.
Re: Eyes Wide Open: A Glimpse at the Futility of War
07 Dec 2005
I am who I am. Nothing more and nothing less.
You?
Re: Eyes Wide Open: A Glimpse at the Futility of War
07 Dec 2005
and now.... that was propaganda and it is not worth my time to try and converse intelligently with someone who is so self rightous that they completely lack ciritical thinking and an open mind.
thanks
Re: Eyes Wide Open: A Glimpse at the Futility of War
10 Dec 2005
Isn't the whole point of picking up a firearm is to shoot someone? Isn't friggin murder a crime, even if you wear a uniform and sing chants when you run? Are you not protecting anything, except your right to kill and destroy other nation-states? Isn't the military's bravado self-defeating, you can't bomb people into loving you. WHY THE HELL is nothing getting paid for in this country, I count all the potholes likes the holes in soldier's brains.
They got money for wars, but can't feed the poor. Enough of pride and wasted life, I don't wear a yellow ribbon because I'm not for murder. Let's admit what the hell combat boots walk on- dead bodies. Dead bodies everywhere!
APOLOGY
11 Dec 2005
I posted an apology to the people of the world as is my First Amemdment right to do so. IMC chose to censor it even though they claim to be and advertise themselves as a free public forum. I guess that it's only a free forum if you agree with their ideas. They claim that my post is rascist. They however, aparently do not know the definition of the word. You can check it out if you like though in the cnsorship portion of this website. Here is the link. http://boston.indymedia.org/newswire/display/47060/index.php

{Editor's note: This article was original hidden but the BIMC editorial staff has decided to display it. There is disagreement among us about whether the original article constitutes racism, therefore we have reached a compromise by allowing a link to the article to remain here, as a comment to one of the feature articles. All hidden articles are available through a link in the bottom right-hand corner of the main page. Anyone can view them at anytime. Although we sometimes consider some posts inappropriate for prominent display, BIMC is commited to free speech and trys to accomadate lots of different view points. Hidding posts is one way we try to serve the interests of BIMC readers. The goal is to prevent racism and other forms of disruptive behavior from interfering with productive dialog.)
GOOD NEWS FROM IRAQ
16 Dec 2005
The news we don't hear. Looks like we are doing something good in Iraq.

Of course I didn't know. How could I?

Did you know that 47 countries have reestablished their embassies in Iraq?

Did you know that the Iraqi government currently employs 1.2 million Iraqi
people?

Did you know that 3100 schools have been renovated, 364 schools are under
rehabilitation, 263 schools are now under construction and 38 new schools
have been built in Iraq?

Did you know that Iraq's higher educational structure consists of 20
Universities, 46 Institutes or colleges and 4 research centers, all
currently operating?

Did you know that 25 Iraq students departed for the United States in January
2005 for the re-established Fulbright program?

Did you know that the Iraqi Navy is operational? They have 5- 100-foot
patrol craft, 34 smaller vessels and a naval infantry regiment.

Did you know that Iraq's Air Force consists of three operational squadrons,
which includes 9 reconnaissance and 3 US C-130 transport aircraft (under
Iraqi operational control) which operate! day and night, and will soon add
16 UH-1 helicopters and 4 Bell Jet Rangers?

Did you know that Iraq has a counter-terrorist unit and a Commando
Battalion?

Did you know that the Iraqi Police Service has over 55,000 fully trained and
equipped police officers?

Did you know that there are 5 Police Academies in Iraq that produce over
3500 new officers each 8 weeks?

Did you know there are more than 1100 building projects going on in Iraq?
They include 364 schools, 67 public clinics, 15 hospitals, 83 railroad
stations, 22 oil facilities, 93 water facilities and 69 electrical
facilities.

Did you know that 96% of Iraqi children under the age of 5 have received the
first 2 series of polio vaccinations?

Did you know that 4.3 million Iraqi children were enrolled in primary school
by mid October?

Did you know that there are 1,192,000 cell phone subscribers in Iraq and
phone use has gone up 158%?

Did you know that Iraq has ! an independent media that consists of 75 radio
stations, 180 newspaper s and 10 television stations?

Did you know that the Baghdad Stock Exchange opened in June of 2004?

Did you know that 2 candidates in the Iraqi presidential election had a
televised debate recently?



OF COURSE WE DIDN'T KNOW!

WHY DIDN'T WE KNOW? OUR MEDIA WOULDN'T TELL US!


Instead of reflecting our love for our country, we get photos of flag
burning incidents at Abu Ghraib and people throwing snowballs at the
presidential motorcades.


The lack of accentuating the positive in Iraq serves two purposes. It is
intended to undermine the world's perception of the United States thus
minimizing consequent support, and it is intended to discourage American
citizens.
Re: Eyes Wide Open: A Glimpse at the Futility of War
27 Dec 2005
Good news?

Well most of the reason that's impressive is because we starved them to death for a decade then blew up their remaining infrastructure...It's perhaps amazing that they can bounce back and function in this state but hardly reason to rally around the US flag.
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15 Apr 2006
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