The other day, my nine year old son wanted to know why we were at war.
My husband thought for a few minutes and then told my son to go stand in our front living room window.
He said, "Son, stand there and tell me what you see."
"I see trees and cars and our neighbor's houses," he replied.
"OK, now I want you to pretend that our house and our yard is the United States of America and you are President Bush."
Our son giggled and said "OK."
"Now son, I want you to look out the window and pretend that every house and yard on this block is a different country," my husband said.
"OK Dad, I'm pretending."
"Now I want you to stand there and look out the window and pretend you
see Saddam come out of his house with his wife, he has her by the hair and is hitting her. You see her bleeding and crying. He hits her in the face, he throws her on the ground, then he starts to kick her to death.
Their children run out and are afraid to stop him, they are screaming
and crying, they are watching this but do nothing because they are kids and they are afraid of their father. You see all of this, son....what do you do?"
"What do you do son?"
"I'd call the police, Dad."
"OK. Pretend that the police are the United Nations. They take your call. They listen to what you know and saw but they refuse to help.
What do you do then son?"
"Dad.......... but the police are supposed to help!" My son starts to
"They don't want to son, because they say that it is not their place or your place to get involved and that you should stay out of it," my husband says.
"But Dad...he killed her!!" my son exclaims.
"I know he did...but the police tell you to stay out of it. Now I want you to look out that window and pretend you see our neighbor who you're pretending is Saddam turn around and do the same thing to his children."
"Daddy...he kills them?"
"Yes son, he does. What do you do?"
"Well, if the police don't want to help, I will go and ask my next door neighbor to help me stop him," our son says.
"Son, our next door neighbor sees what is happening and refuses to get
involved as well. He refuses to open the door and help you stop him," my husband says.
"But Dad, I NEED help!!! I can't stop him by myself!!"
"WHAT DO YOU DO SON?" Our son starts to cry.
"OK, no one wants to help you, the man across the street saw you ask
for help and saw that no one would help you stop him. He stands taller and puffs out his chest. Guess what he does next son?"
"He walks across the street to the old ladies house and breaks down her door and drags her out, steals all her stuff and sets her house on fire and then...he kills her. He turns around and sees you standing in the window and laughs at you. WHAT DO YOU DO?"
"WHAT DO YOU DO?" Our son is crying and he looks down and he whispers, "I'd close the blinds, Daddy."
"Because Daddy...I'm going to pretend that it is not happening."
I start to cry. My husband looks at our nine year old son standing
the window, looking pitiful and ashamed at his answers to my husband's questions and he says..."Son."
"Open the blinds because that man.... he's at your front door...