A Place Called Despair


At least 20 US soldiers have died in Iraq during the the month of May. By June 1, this number may be higher.

According to Iraq Body Count:

On May 1, seven Iraqi civilians were killed.

On May 3, eight Iraqi civilians were killed.

On May 4, 13 Iraqi civilians were killed.

On May 5, four Iraqi civilians were killed.

On May 6, 20 Iraqi civilians were killed.

On May 7, four Iraqi civilians were killed.

On May 8, one Iraqi civilian was killed.

On May 9, five Iraqi civilians were killed.

On May 10, three Iraqi civilians were killed.

On May 11, 15 Iraqi civilians were killed.

On May 12, nine Iraqi civilians were killed.

On May 13, nine Iraqi civilians were killed.

On May 14, 12 Iraqi civilians were killed.

On May 15, three Iraqi civilians were killed.

On May 16, 10 Iraqi civilians were killed.

On May 17, 22 Iraqi civilians were killed.

On May 18, 8 Iraqi civilians were killed.

On May 19, five Iraqi civilians were killed.

On May 20, 47 Iraqi civilians were killed.

On May 21, 27 Iraqi civilians were killed.

On May 22, four Iraqi civilians were killed.

On May 23, 11 Iraqi civilians were killed.

On May 24, 21 Iraqi civilians were killed.

On May 25, 14 Iraqi civilians were killed.

On May 26, 12 Iraqi civilians were killed.

President Barack Obama has said that Iraq is the wrong war. I wonder what the families of the Iraqi dead think of this.

Perhaps military personnel who deliver the words that cause fall-to-the-floor anguish to US families should say: “We regret to inform you that your loved one was killed in the wrong war.”

Obama really should explain why he’s decided to own the Bush/Cheney disaster after stating that our aggression and occupation have inspired terrorists. We’re certainly not winning friends in Afghanistan, Pakistan, and occupied Palestine either.

Quite often, I think of Michelle Obama’s remark during the primaries: “For the first time in my adult lifetime, I’m really proud of my country.”

And of Cindy McCain’s counter: “I have always been proud of my country.”

I am not proud. Instead, I feel profound shame.

Our troops are committing suicide in record numbers after multiple deployments. Their superior officers are “ordering” them to not do this.

Like dueling banjoes, Cheney and Obama are obtrusively symbiotic. And Dick’s mini-me daughter Liz is positioning herself for public office.

The USA is bankrupt, yet we have increments of billions that could become a trillion or more dollars for Wall Street bailouts, and billions of dollars for military aid to Israel in support of Zionism’s genocide of the Palestine people, while we’re borrowing money from China for illegal wars that will cost billions in interest payments alone.

Add to the endless assault on our senses the vocals of members of Congress, these caricatures with coifed, frozen hair and plastic faces whose mouths spew daily outrages and insults of miasmic obfuscation.

And the mainstream media, in an attempt to grip us in fear and pander to their corporate masters, serve a heaping helping of opinion with a small side of reportage. One of the most recent had CNN’s Wolf Blitzer and Pentagon correspondent Barbara Starr furrowing their brows over North Korea’s nuclear tests and pondering the question of military action against the country, while a background video showed North Korea’s ominous marching army. The country has more than a million ground forces. Haven’t the so-called news anchors and analysts shoved down our throats enough bias for militarism in their failure to deliver honest journalism?

As our elected leaders misrepresent us, waging imperialistic wars and committing atrocities, crimes against humanity and torture in our names, we must demand justice for the dead, the wounded, and the psychologically scarred. Unless we indict those at the highest levels of government, the men and women who blatantly abused, and continue to ravage, the rule of law to take us to war’s hell and who changed forever the meaning of the words ‘enhanced’ and ‘harsh,’ we should all reside in a place called Despair.

Missy Beattie lives in New York City. She’s written for National Public Radio and Nashville Life Magazine. An outspoken critic of the Bush Administration and the war in Iraq, she’s a member of Gold Star Families for Peace. She completed a novel last year, but since the death of her nephew, Marine Lance Cpl. Chase J. Comley, in Iraq on August 6,’05, she has been writing political articles. She can be reached at: Missybeat@aol.com

Missy Beattie has written for National Public Radio and Nashville Life Magazine. She was an instructor of memoirs writing at Johns Hopkins’ Osher Lifelong Learning Institute in BaltimoreEmail: missybeat@gmail.com

November 26, 2015
Colin Todhunter
Corporate Parasites And Economic Plunder: We Need A Genuine Green Revolution
Rajesh Makwana
Ten Billion Reasons to Demand System Change
Joyce Nelson
Turkey Moved the Border!
Richard Baum
Hillary Clinton’s Meager Proposal to Help Holders of Student Debt
November 25, 2015
Jeff Taylor
Bob Dylan and Christian Zionism
Dana E. Abizaid
Provoking Russia
Oliver Tickell
Syria’s Cauldron of Fire: a Downed Russian Jet and the Battle of Two Pipelines
Patrick Cockburn
Trigger Happy: Will Turkey’s Downing of Russian Jet Backfire on NATO?
Robert Fisk
The Soothsayers of Eternal War
Russell Mokhiber
The Coming Boycott of Nike
Ted Rall
Like Father Like Son: George W. Bush Was Bad, His Father May Have Been Worse
Matt Peppe
Bad Policy, Bad Ethics: U.S. Military Bases Abroad
Martha Rosenberg
Pfizer Too Big (and Slippery) to Fail
Yorgos Mitralias
Bernie Sanders, Mr. Voutsis and the Truth Commission on Greek Public Debt
Jorge Vilches
Too Big for Fed: Have Central Banks Lost Control?
Sam Husseini
Why Trump is Wrong About Waterboarding — It’s Probably Not What You Think
Binoy Kampmark
The Perils of Certainty: Obama and the Assad Regime
Roger Annis
State of Emergency in Crimea
Soud Sharabani
ISIS in Lebanon: An Interview with Andre Vltchek
Thomas Knapp
NATO: This Deal is a Turkey
November 24, 2015
Dave Lindorff
An Invisible US Hand Leading to War? Turkey’s Downing of a Russian Jet was an Act of Madness
Mike Whitney
Turkey Downs Russian Fighter to Draw NATO and US Deeper into Syrian Quagmire
Walter Clemens
Who Created This Monster?
Patrick Graham
Bombing ISIS Will Not Work
Lida Maxwell
Who Gets to Demand Safety?
Eric Draitser
Refugees as Weapons in a Propaganda War
David Rosen
Trump’s Enemies List: a Trial Balloon for More Repression?
Eric Mann
Playing Politics While the Planet Sizzles
Chris Gilbert
“Why Socialism?” Revisited: Reflections Inspired by Einstein’s Article
Charles Davis
NSA Spies on Venezuela’s Oil Company
Michael Barker
Democracy vs. Political Policing
Barry Lando
Shocked by Trump? Churchill Wanted to “Collar Them All”
Cal Winslow
When Workers Fight: the National Union of Healthcare Workers Wins Battle with Kaiser
Norman Pollack
Where Does It End?: Left Political Correctness
David Macaray
Companies Continue to Profit by Playing Dumb
Binoy Kampmark
Animals in Conflict: Diesel, Dobrynya and Sentimental Security
Dave Welsh
Defiant Haiti: “We Won’t Let You Steal These Elections!”
November 23, 2015
Vijay Prashad
The Doctrine of 9/11 Anti-Immigration
John Wight
After Paris: Hypocrisy and Mendacity Writ Large
Joseph G. Ramsey
No Excuses, No Exceptions: the Moral Imperative to Offer Refuge
Patrick Cockburn
ISIS Thrives on the Disunity of Its Enemies
Andrew Moss
The Message of Montgomery: 60 Years Later
Jim Green
James Hansen’s Nuclear Fantasies
Robert Koehler
The Absence of History in the Aftermath of Paris
Dave Lindorff
The US Media and Propaganda