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The Moral Movement


Some years ago, my husband, youngest son, and I watched Ultimate Fighting—grappling—during which two contenders slammed and choked each other while writhing on a mat.  The contest ended when one of the opponents tap, tap, tapped the mat, in surrender.

Barack Obama has just tap, tap, tapped the Iraq mat with an announcement that the last US troops will leave by the end of the year “with their heads held high, proud of their success.” Use of the word success is a pretty disguise and quite unconvincing. More than 4000 troops are dead and hundreds of thousands are wounded physically and psychically after nine years of grappling for oil.   Over a million Iraqi men, women, and children have been slaughtered. Several million have been displaced.  The country is a wasteland.

So many US military men and women, along with those who compose the coerced coalition, have banged and whimpered their large and small worlds. And despite the approaching withdrawal, mercenaries will remain and continue to grapple while the Nobel Peace Prize recipient’s campaign for a second term will emphasize his promise to end the “dumb” war.   “Out” of Iraq but drone, baby, drone in Africa and many other countries.

Here’s the distillate: US foreign policy serves Wall Street and operates on a vast mat of profit and greed called the Military/Industrial/Security Complex.  No heroes here.

Now, a little word-talk about another dysfunction and an encounter with a neighbor: “Missy, you must be a Perry-kind-of woman, since you don’t like Obama.”  Jeez, sheesh, and yeesh, I wanted to say.  But didn’t. I’ve explained to him already this cycling choice (?) of sameness.  I did the eye roll and walked the cement plank to my apartment.

Because I think about what’s placed before us on the status-quo/mainstream structure—this offering of an undesirable against an undesirable, one slightly less undesirable because the less undesirable may not be quite as undesirable on a couple of wedge issues that radar under after the oath of office is taken.

Insert:  Dead men don’t talk. Or they do. When the assassinated pile up, popped in the forehead, or droned, and/or dumped at sea, especially former US clients like bin Laden and Qaddafi, or radical US/Yemeni cleric Anwar al-Awlaki, along with their children, a statement is made, reverberating around the globe, that America is not “My country tis of thee. Sweet land of liberty of thee I sing”, but, instead, is the land of hypocrisy. /Insert.

Wall Street’s guy in the White House has a new slogan:  “We Can’t Wait,” referring to action on housing, education, and the president’s job plan that Congress is blocking. This would be funny if it weren’t so unfunny.  Since the duopoly supports the uber-wealthy 1% over the growing numbers swarming to various Zuccotti Parks throughout the country. Numbers growing despite riot-geared police officers using rubber bullets to silence the voice of the 99%.  Numbers growing as mayors scramble and equivocate.

“We Can’t Wait” is an appropriate catchphrase to be taken up by protestors at occupation sites. We can’t wait for the criminals on Wall Street who dumped us into a recession, joblessness, homelessness, and despair to be held responsible.  We can’t wait for the bankers to tap, tap, tap.

When there is no profit made from the grappling on land mats choke-holding humanity, foreign and domestic wars will end.   When it is understood that the demands of the occupy movement are a moral call for equality and a healthy planet and that the 99% will never tap, tap, tap in defeat, the corrupt system will collapse.

Missy Beattie lives in Baltimore.  She responds to most who write.  Email her 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:

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