My journeys to Washington DC have resulted in meetings with many great & powerful people. I have also met some people who are powerful and who will never be great. I believe that there are some people in DC who wake up in the morning, look at themselves in the mirror and smile as they tell themselves "I am the meanest son of a bitch in this town/country and I LIKE it that way" . They have no soul and they have no heart. I don't know what drives people like that. Perhaps it is greed or the quest for power. I have no desire to meet the president, the vice-president, the secretary of defense, or the secretary of state; they may be powerful, but they will never be great.
Until May 13, 2006 I never met someone who met that description.
I cannot explain why Richard Perle was at the Eyes Wide Open exhibit in Washington DC last weekend. There were 2437 empty pair of combat boots, representing the empty American lives left behind in this war, the human cost of war. I thought it strange that he would be there standing on the edge of the exhibit, almost as if overseeing the damage he did as the architect of this war.
A few of us Gold Star Moms saw him hovering, as if a vulture over his prey. The reasons to confront him were not complicated. We approached the area and when people realized who we were, they let us in. First Celeste, Sherwood's mom asked him why. When my turn came, I introduced myself and told him to look into my eyes and tell me why my only child came home in a flag covered box? He couldn't answer, of course. He gave some kind of lame patronizing, response about democracy in Iraq in many years. I asked him if it was worth it and he couldn't give a good response to that either. I pointed to the photo of Ken on my shirt and said, look at this face, tell me why! He wouldn't look.
I walked away from the confrontation into the arms of some of the other Gold Star families and cried. "They don't care, they just don't care" If I thought for one minute that they cared about the damage they have done, the overwhelming sadness that they have caused to the families, I might think differently, but they just don't care.
I wonder if he had ever met someone who was so violated by his war? If he hasn't, then my pain of confronting him was worthwhile. He cannot say he hasn't been touched by this war.
I had a radio interview after the confrontation and told them the story. The interviewer asked me what it was like, meeting Richard Perle. I asked her, "Have you ever looked into the eyes of someone who has no soul? His eyes have no life in them; it was frightening.
These people have evil in their eyes and in their hearts. There is a special place in hell for all of them.