Click amount to donate direct to CounterPunch
  • $25
  • $50
  • $100
  • $500
  • $other
  • use PayPal
Keep CounterPunch ad free. Support our annual fund drive today!

War is Failure


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:



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:

More articles by:

2016 Fund Drive
Smart. Fierce. Uncompromised. Support CounterPunch Now!

  • cp-store
  • donate paypal

CounterPunch Magazine


October 26, 2016
John W. Whitehead
A Deep State of Mind: America’s Shadow Government and Its Silent Coup
Anthony Tarrant
On the Unbearable Lightness of Whiteness
Mark Weisbrot
The Most Dangerous Place in the World: US Pours in Money, as Blood Flows in Honduras
Eric Draitser
Dear Liberals: Trump is Right
Chris Welzenbach
The Establishment and the Chattering Hack: a Response to Nicholas Lemann
Luke O'Brien
The Churchill Thing: Some Big Words About Trump and Some Other Chap
Sabia Rigby
In the “Jungle:” Report from the Refugee Camp in Calais, France
Linn Washington Jr.
Pot Decriminalization Yields $9-million in Savings for Philadelphia
Pepe Escobar
“America has lost” in the Philippines
Pauline Murphy
Political Feminism: the Legacy of Victoria Woodhull
Lizzie Maldonado
The Burdens of World War III
David Swanson
Slavery Was Abolished
Thomas Mountain
Preventing Cultural Genocide with the Mother Tongue Policy in Eritrea
Colin Todhunter
Agrochemicals And The Cesspool Of Corruption: Dr. Mason Writes To The US EPA
October 25, 2016
David Swanson
Halloween Is Coming, Vladimir Putin Isn’t
Hiroyuki Hamada
Fear Laundering: an Elaborate Psychological Diversion and Bid for Power
Priti Gulati Cox
President Obama: Before the Empire Falls, Free Leonard Peltier and Mumia Abu-Jamal
Kathy Deacon
Plus ça Change: Regime Change 1917-1920
Robin Goodman
Appetite for Destruction: America’s War Against Itself
Richard Moser
On Power, Privilege, and Passage: a Letter to My Nephew
Rev. William Alberts
The Epicenter of the Moral Universe is Our Common Humanity, Not Religion
Dan Bacher
Inspector General says Reclamation Wasted $32.2 Million on Klamath irrigators
David Mattson
A Recipe for Killing: the “Trust Us” Argument of State Grizzly Bear Managers
Derek Royden
The Tragedy in Yemen
Ralph Nader
Breaking Through Power: It’s Easier Than We Think
Norman Pollack
Centrist Fascism: Lurching Forward
Guillermo R. Gil
Cell to Cell Communication: On How to Become Governor of Puerto Rico
Mateo Pimentel
You, Me, and the Trolley Make Three
Cathy Breen
“Today Is One of the Heaviest Days of My Life”
October 24, 2016
John Steppling
The Unwoke: Sleepwalking into the Nightmare
Oscar Ortega
Clinton’s Troubling Silence on the Dakota Access Pipeline
Patrick Cockburn
Aleppo vs. Mosul: Media Biases
John Grant
Humanizing Our Militarized Border
Franklin Lamb
US-led Sanctions Targeting Syria Risk Adjudication as War Crimes
Paul Bentley
There Must Be Some Way Out of Here: the Silence of Dylan
Norman Pollack
Militarism: The Elephant in the Room
Patrick Bosold
Dakota Access Oil Pipeline: Invite CEO to Lunch, Go to Jail
Paul Craig Roberts
Was Russia’s Hesitation in Syria a Strategic Mistake?
David Swanson
Of All the Opinions I’ve Heard on Syria
Weekend Edition
October 21, 2016
Friday - Sunday
John Wight
Hillary Clinton and the Brutal Murder of Gaddafi
Diana Johnstone
Hillary Clinton’s Strategic Ambition in a Nutshell
Jeffrey St. Clair
Roaming Charges: Trump’s Naked and Hillary’s Dead
John W. Whitehead
American Psycho: Sex, Lies and Politics Add Up to a Terrifying Election Season
Stephen Cooper
Hell on Earth in Alabama: Inside Holman Prison
Patrick Cockburn
13 Years of War: Mosul’s Frightening and Uncertain Future