"All the news that's fit to print about fighting Terrorism with Vigilance!"



Cliff McKenzie


GROUND ZERO PLUS 1156 DAYS,--New York, NY, Thursday, November 11, 2004--On Veterans Day, Americans salute those warriors who offered their lives as a sacrifice for freedom. But the question today in a world of Terrorism is: "Who Are The Real Veterans?"

In this reflection, I'm going to propose that the true "Veterans Of Combat" are the children of America, the unsung, unnoticed, unrecorded heroes of a horrible war where the innocent brave continuous assaults, attacks and wounds upon their emotional strongholds and, despite every reason why they should surrender to the forces of the Beast of Terror, remain strong in spite of his vicious, preemptive ambushes.

To see a child as a victim of combat, and a veteran of its devastation, we need to define what a "war zone" is.

A "war zone" is a confiuration of space, arena upon which the "good" attempts to defeat "evil"
A "war zone" is a configuration of space, arena upon which the "good" attempts to defeat "evil"

A "war zone" is a configuration of property--a space, arena--upon which one force, often labeled "good," attempts to defeat another force commonly labeled "evil." Other terms that separate these forces are "friend" and "foe," "ally" and "enemy," "right" and "wrong," etc.

In a "war zone," the intention of either both or one party over another is to decimate the opposition into surrender or annihilation so that the "property" can become solely owned by the victor.

Essentially, all wars are about power over others, and the preservation of that power through some vehicle such as land, property or ideology.

In the Cold War, the battle ground was over "communism" versus "capitalism." These two ideologies clashed with such force as to bring the world to the brink of a nuclear holocaust.

Most commonly, wars are fought over the theory of "domination," where one force seeks to "rule" the land and the people who comprise it such as Hitler did in his attempt to enslave Europe under the powers of the Third Reich.

"In the Cold War the battleground was over "communism" over "capitalism"
In the Cold War the battleground was over "communism" over "capitalism"

Civil wars--those conflicts conducted within the borders of a nation that pit one faction or belief system against another--seek to dominate one internal faction against another, or to usurp existing power and overthrow it in favor of another kind. The Russian Revolution was an example of the "rich" being deposed by the "poor," or the "common people" taking control over a "ruling monarchy."

In all these examples, there are many "veterans of conflict" because the "war zone" is vast. In Civil Wars, often every inch of a country is part of the "combat zone," and at any time at any moment anyone standing in the line of fire can be cut down, wounded, maimed by the shrapnel.

This leads us into the most gruesome battlefield of all, where the worst carnage of war exists--the living rooms of America's 100 million households.

In the confines of American households exists two forces, a mother and father, or a mother and significant other, attempting to co-exist peacefully with the "home nation."

In Civil Wars the "war zone" is vast
In Civil Wars the "war zone" is vast

Part of this "home-nation" complex is the children. America's population of nearly 300 million boasts 25 percent of that total as children.

From age 0-5, there are 24 million, from 6-11 there are 27 million, and from 12-17, some 26 million.

Unfortunately, a vast majority of these children live in "home-bound war zones" where mothers and fathers fight desperately for control and domination over the rulership of the "home nation." Evidence of this embattled state of "home/nation" is the divorce rate in the United States that exceeds 50 percent of all marriages.

Divorce is the ultimate separation of two states--the mother and father--and usually such cleavage is not amicable but rather reeks of animus.

Violent words hurl like artillery in a combat zone in rocky marriages: "I hate you..." "You don't love me..." "If it weren't for you..." "You rotten SOB..."

The most gruesome battle field of all
The most gruesome battle field of all
Child in the "kill zone" of the home
Child in the " kill zone" of the home

The vicious nature of emotional name calling sets up a "kill zone" around the children of the household. They hear the accusations and invectives being snipered by one parent to another, and, as any "innocent" in the midst of a raging battle, become scarred and wounded by the fragmentary verbal grenades that explode, shattering their sense of security, safety and sense of being loved.

Then there is the physical abuse. Children often witness or see the results of physical abuse upon one spouse or the other. A black eye or a bruised arm connects with the sounds of smacking and the cries of pain that oozes under a child's bedroom door as the child huddles in fright, wondering when the war between mom and dad will spill into the child's room.

While not all violence in a family--either of emotional or physical nature--results in divorce, often a child is witness to a constant barrage of emotional "put downs" by one spouse upon another as the desire to "dominate" and "enslave" the other by constant degradation of their human value occurs.

"Why can't you do anything right..." "I told you to...." "I want..." are just some commands the child hears shot at the other parent who kowtows to the wishes of the dominant spouse.

Then there are the attacks directly on the child by one or both of the parents who use the child as a whipping station for their own discontent.

"Why, if you weren't born..." "How come you're not smart like..." "Don't bother me, can't you see I'm busy..." "Leave me alone..." "It's too bad you're not pretty..."

In sexual abuse cases the child becomes the ultimate victim of the "war zone"
In sexual abuse cases the child becomes the ultimate victim of the "war zone"

The most egregious, of course, is the physical and sexual abuse of a child by a parent or guardian. The child becomes a source of torture, the ultimate victim of the "war zone," the most wounded of all "veterans."

On Veterans Day, it is easy for us to look to Iraq and wish the safe return of all our troops, and to honor all the veterans who have sacrificed or offered their lives to defend the freedom and liberty of others.

But to limit our respect and adulation for "adult veterans" is a travesty to the children of home/nation war zones.

There are more than 75 million children in America, one third of which are 0-5 years of age. At least one half of them are being scarred emotionally by "parental wars" within the household.

Unfortunately, no one knows exactly what the numbers of are of "child veterans of parental wars," but they are vast.

Most of us need only remember our own households to imagine the degrees of violence, pain and suffering that must exist for many defenseless children. Like any "victim of war," the child has no way to stave off such attacks or retaliate.

Society has assumed the role of Sentinel of Vigilance over the children, but that role is primarily relegated to the worst cases, small droppings in a huge bucket.

A child afflicted with family disunity most likely will become a "Family Terrorist"
A child afflicted with family disunity most likely will become a "Family Terrorist"

The "Children's Veterans of Domestic Wars" is a critical concern to the future of America, for the more ravaged a child is by disunion within his or her family, the more scarred and afflicted, the greater the chances that the child will become a "Family Terrorist" as were his mother and father in the child's eyes.

As a veteran returning from war is often shell shocked, so is a child entering life "Emotionally Scarred" by the battles he or she endured as a child, many of which were designed to degrade the child, to limit the child's self image, to undermine self worth and self respect.

To halt the bloody and wasteful attacks on the children, it is vital that a parent or potential parent become a Parent of Vigilance.

If history serves as punctuation to the future, the odds are that a child who grew up in a Terroristic Family will create a similar one by default. In the absence of a better way to be a parent, the child will become what he or she knows best--and, a victim of Family Terrorism knows only retaliation or subservience.

So, on this Veterans Day, we need to address the true "wounded" and true "maimed" from the Wars Of Family Terrorism.

Vowing to fight The Beast of Family Terrorism is a giant step toward the elimination of all wars
Vowing to fight The Beast of Family Terrorism is a giant step toward the elimination of all wars

What is happening in Falluja, Iraq today is but a pebble in a sea compared to what is currently being delivered in a vast number of the 100 million American households to children by parents who are so selfish and self-centered that they have little comprehension that their animosity toward their spouses is nothing more than bullets slamming into the bodies of their children, piercing their souls, turning them into icy emotional zombies who will walk the emotional battlefields of life fearful of the next attack, wary of any attempt to love or be loved because they fear the same end that their parents' suffered--war!

The greatest tribute one can make to the children on Veterans Day is to take the Pledge of Vigilance. By vowing to fight the Beast of Family Terrorism, one giant step is taken toward the ultimate elimination of all wars.

If there is a source for hatred and violence that erupts into war, it is the home. A peaceful, loving home has little chance of creating a spiteful, power-hungry monster with the goal of dominating the world.

Strike the anvil for peace. Take the Pledge of Veterans Vigilance. Keep your child free from the Domestic War Zone!



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