Exclusively in the new print issue of CounterPunch
GOD SAVE HRC, FROM REALITY — Jeffrey St. Clair on Hillary Clinton’s miraculous rags-to-riches method of financial success; LA CONFIDENTIAL: Lee Ballinger on race, violence and inequality in Los Angeles; PAPER DRAGON: Peter Lee on China’s military; THE BATTLE OVER PAT TILLMAN: David Hoelscher provides a 10 year retrospective on the changing legacy of Pat Tillman; MY BROTHER AND THE SPACE PROGRAM: Paul Krassner on the FBI and rocket science. PLUS: Mike Whitney on how the Central Bank feeds state capitalism; JoAnn Wypijewski on what’s crazier than Bowe Bergdahl?; Kristin Kolb on guns and the American psyche; Chris Floyd on the Terror War’s disastrous course.
Charity Doesn't End at Home

War is Failure

by MISSY COMLEY BEATTIE

Sheesh, if I receive another email invitation for something like brunching, for a donation, of course, with a Democrat, I’m going to want to kamikaze the address of the gala. I do not feel a need to sup with, commune with, or brush the shoulders of the shills for Corporate America. And, yes, the requests from the opposition (hahahahahaha) party arrive, as well, in my inbox. I don’t want these solicitations. No eggs Benedict or build your own omelet for money. No schmoozing for dollars. Hey, that sounds like a new reality show—Schmoozing for Dollars. Or Schmoozing with the Stars, where politicos and their contributors eat and drink, merrily, for greed.

I’ve declared my independence, powerlessness acknowledged. Life had become unmanageable. So, I threw off the shackles of the mainstream where my vote and my voice had no chance of being counted or heard. To vote or not to vote? Is this a serious question?

Again, I say, “Sheesh,” because I don’t understand the big deal about voter fraud when the Republican and Democratic candidates are, well, frauds. Show me contenders who represent the interests of the people and I’ll care if our elections are compromised. Introduce candidates with integrity, who aren’t in the palm of Big Business, and I’ll be on the side of ridding the world of punch screens that can be hacked. Endorse a man or a woman who isn’t headlining a licentious lottery to sell a seat at the brunch or dinner table of Let’s Make a Deal and I’ll give a damn about the outcome. Put up for consideration political aspirants who are concerned that you and I may be the Biggest Losers here in the US of A, and I’ll contemplate dying to protect the vote.

Mr. Wrong, my ex, used to say, “Life is a shit sandwich without the bread.” Seems he was right, at least, about this.

In a new Pew survey, 70 percent of respondents had a BIG financial problem in the past year. Plenty of people are jobless. Up from last year. Many have lost their homes and have slipped into poverty. For them, life is a shit sandwich. Without health insurance. Without bread.

When I write an article and refer to the number of people we’ve killed for lies, United States imperialism, and Zionism, I receive emails from readers who ask how I can expect them to care when their own circumstances are so dismal.

And, yes, I GET this. Times are hard. The road here at home is littered with shards.

But I want them to understand that no matter now bad it is across the zones, groans, and moans of America, it’s a hell of a lot worse for the people who live in the countries we’ve invaded and occupied. Worse than a shit sandwich without the bread. Iraqi babies are born with horrendous birth defects because of our weapons of molecular mutations. Some of these children enter the world with three heads or one eye in the center of their forehead. Living in a tent city is NOTHING in comparison. Unless the tent city is in AfPak-Iraq.

Yes, I understand that many people in the US believe that their lives are collapsing, but we’re not worrying about drones, operated thousands of miles away by someone who may mistake a musical instrument for a rifle. Not yet, anyway. Maybe, soon, though, since the Pentagon does want to export drone technology to our allies. Recently, Defense Secretary Robert Gates testified before a Senate hearing that it is in “our interest” to “share” unmanned systems technology. Of course, those allies with whom we “share” could become enemies.

So, I say, “Start caring about what is being done in our names. For what is being done to fellow human beings. Just start caring, speak to, and act on that compassion.”

Not because a drone, someday, may hover over your child’s playground. But because drones are hovering over a neighborhood anywhere on the planet. Right now. And because war is an assault on the conscience. War is failure.

Humanity is nonexistent without empathy. Charity doesn’t end at home.

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 

 

 

WORDS THAT STICK