Contemporary History as Understood by the Candidate:
In my mind, of equal importance with the Issues of our Day, is how I understand and conceptually link the watershed events of our Hxxtory. My understanding greatly influences my perspective on for example, Women's reproductive rights or the management of biologically invasive species or financing higher education.
It was the 1990s and Bill Clinton was the president. My dad drove the family minivan down Pennsylvania Ave., past The White House. I returned in 2003 with President G. W. Bush in office and Pennsylvania Ave. had been closed off to vehicles, allowing only pedestrian traffic and squirrels. One could still walk on the same side of the street as The White House. I returned again in 2010 with President Obama as Commander-in-Chief. One could no longer walk on the same side of the street as The White House. The photo below was taken July 5, 2020; this is as close as one could get to The White House during that time period. Gives me the warm and fuzzies. How about you?
Soviet–Afghan War, 1979-1989
I remember hearing the words "guerillas" come from the TV, looking at the screen and thinking, "Those aren't gorillas...". I also remember hearing the word "puppet" a lot. Again, no Mr. Roger's puppets to be seen, but a "puppet government" was in power in Afghanistan.
I was in South Carolina at the time.
I remember exactly where I was. I was driving around with my mom, in the front seat of the car; I remember I was telling her about something and she began to immediately shush me and turned up the radio. I didn't understand quite what was happening, but I knew it was serious. We drove home and saw the explosion of the space shuttle re-played over and over again. Since I was young, I've collective NASA mission patches. Man on the Moon by Andrew Chaikin is one of my favorite all-time books.
Operation Desert Storm
I was around 10 years old. I remember seeing the photos on NBC Nightly News of the tortured and captured American pilots. It made me cry and kept me up at night. My parents would not let me watch the news for some time after that.
I became pen pals with a lieutenant in the Air Force, exchanging small gifts and letters. I have a tremendous respect and reverence for those who have served.
Columbine High School Massacre
On April 20, 1999, two 12th grade students went on a shooting rampage, killing 12 students and a teacher. This occurred the spring of my senior year. I must have stayed home that day because I remember waking up from a nap on my family's couch to helicopter footage of the event unfolding. I couldn't make sense of what was happening or why, but a bottomless sadness and thick despair set in. Whether it's consciously acknowledged or not, I don't think my generation has ever recovered from this. Even if this was an isolated event, its horrific impact on our nation will echo for an eternity. The fact that our government cannot get out of its own way to protect its citizens from this happening again (by any means necessary) is one of the deeper tragedies of modern day America.
Footnote: Unknowingly at the time, the longest serving member of Congress, Rep. John Dingell (D) who represented the district where the University of Michigan is (where I went to undergrad), almost single handedly created the playbook for the NRA's mega-lobbying influence. I am not anti-NRA, but I am against members of Congress sitting on non-profit boards while also serving in Congress. As the article states, in that type of arrangement, a member of Congress is basically lobbying to themselves. Give me a f%$# break, DC!
A junior at the University of Michigan, I was in an Existenialism course lecture @ 8:46 that morning. I went over to the Michigan League afterwards and watched the flaming towers crumble on live television, killing 1,000s of human beings as they collapsed. The America I had known my whole life died that day and we changed as a people. An enormous, dark pall was cast over our country on 9/11, a dome of grief. That grief still exists. We have never recovered and I believe this buried grief is playing itself out in our society to this day, to all our detriments.
When I visit the sections of graves in Arlington of conflicts that proceeded
September 11, 2001, I just get this terrible, weird feeling.
Marine Jonathan Schulze should never have experienced the traumas in his life that led him to commit suicide in 2005, after returning home from Iraq. (This clipping is from articles and stories I collected on soldiers during the Iraq and Afghanistan offensives at the time.)
The misappropriation of our troops, such as in the false pretense of invading Iraq in 2003 under the guise that they held weapons of mass destruction, is permanently unforgivable and an affront to all Americans, past, present and future.
As a Congresswoman, I will slam the friggin' door on any Administration that tries to sell me on the premise of a glorious WWII-type invasion as because as history shows, they all now eventually morph into a Vietnam.
To the Kim Family,
and all families who lost their loved ones in war and conflict,
Even 16 years later, Andy's story and the photos of your family in grief rip my heart out. The photo of Mi Hea holding her son's head in his casket floods my body with a despair so deep that there is no healing with time.
As Don, Andy's father, asks "I asked God: 'Why him? Why him?' I never had an answer." None of us have ever been provided with the real answer as to why these Americans were sent off to the Middle East to fight, kill and die.
By 2007, Congress was trying desperately to damage control our actions in Iraq*, but Andy was already gone. I am deeply sorry from all of us, for all of us.
As a representative in Congress, I will prevent offensive armed conflicts that lead to Forever Wars with my votes, my voice and if necessary, my life. Rest in peace, Lance Cpl. Andy Kim.
Kristin Anne Lyman Nabors, BSN, RN
Candidate for Congress 2024
*One such attempt: https://www.congress.gov/110/bills/hr2929/BILLS-110hr2929rfs.pdf
(This is a Korean translation of the above letter to the Kim Family. Translation graciously provide by E. Y. Chung of the ROK.)
앤디 킴 씨의 가족과 전쟁과 무력충돌로 인해 사랑하는 이를 잃은 가족분들께
16년이 지난 지금에도 앤디씨의 이야기와 비탄에 빠진 가족들의 사진들을 보면 제 마음이 찢어집니다. 미해씨가 관에 있는 아들의 얼굴을 안고 있는 사진을 보면 비참한 심정이 밀려옵니다. 그 아픔은 영원히 치유되지 않을 것입니다.앤디의 아버지, 돈씨께서 물어보셨습니다. “나는 하느님께 여쭈었습니다.“왜 앤디여야 했습니까? 왜 앤디여야 했습니까?” 나는 아직까지 대답을 받지 못했습니다.”그 어느 누구도 우리 미국인들이 중동으로 보내져 싸우고, 죽이고, 죽어야만 했는지 진정한 대답을 받지 못했습니다. 2007년까지 의회에서는 이라크에서의 우리의 행동을 바로잡기 위해 최선을 다 했지만 ,앤디씨는 이미 세상을 떠났습니다. 저는 우리 모두로부터, 그리고 우리 모두에게 깊은 유감을 표명합니다.
의회의 하원으로서, 저는 “무한 전쟁” 으로 이어지는 무력충돌을 막기 위해서 제 투표권을, 제 목소리를, 그리고 만약 필요하다면 제 삶까지도 바치겠습니다. 삼가 고인의 명복을 빕니다.
2024년 국회 의원 후보
Kristin Anne Lyman Nabors 올림A
One of the most shameful photographs in our American history. It's still hard to look at, but doesn't mean we should look away. Abu Ghraib, 2004.
This is Abu Ghraib prisoner Abdou Hussain Saad Faleh being tortured; he was eventually released without any criminal charges filed against him. He was told if he moved or fell off the block he would be electrocuted. CACI, the Virginia-based contractor who partnered with the US military and provided these "interrogation services," still receives multi-billion dollar contracts from the US gov'n to this day.
Remember when historians looked back on the Treaty of Versaille and were like, "Wow, that created the perfect nationalistic petri dish for which Nazi Germany came to be and Adolf Hitler eventually rose to power?" I look at this photo and think, "The math isn't complicated. Our tax dollars went spent to create ISIS."
Never forget. Never repeat.
Exactly What Is going On here?
(journal entry, 15OCT2006)
Addicted to Military Intervention
In no particular order, since 1980, Iraq, Afghanistan, Syria, Panama, Libya, Ukraine, Yemen, Uganda, Somalia, Pakistan, Nepal, Serbia, Haiti, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Kuwait, Grenada, Lebanon, Iran.
"Peace now, peace tomorrow, peace forever!"
-I said that.