FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail

Wanted: a New Plan

by MISSY BEATTIE

An email arrived from Jon Carson, Executive Director of Organizing for Action. You know, one of those mass sends with a personal touch, (“Missy~”). If you opened yours, you’ll recognize these sentences:

Maybe you’ve seen firsthand how gun violence can rip apart a family and a community.

Or maybe you’re concerned by what you see on the news.

Share your personal story or views on why Congress should act right now to help protect our kids and reduce gun violence.

President Obama said it: ‘More than a thousand birthdays, graduations, and anniversaries have been stolen from our lives by a bullet from a gun’ in just the two since the tragedy in Newtown.

Each of those families deserves a vote by Congress on commonsense measures to help protect our kids.

But we need to demand it.

I lingered on “seen firsthand” because I have personal knowledge of gun violence, WMD carnage. After all, the place I call home not only arms the planet but also terrorizes it. This is done with my hands, my purchases, my signature, my tax dollars. Shame is firsthand, intimate. And, yes, I can tell the story—the dismemberment of families and the destruction of civilizations.

Of course, I’m concerned by what I read in the news, mainstream as well as alternative. I wander to MSM outlets, mostly in the interest of research. As I’ve said before, to take the pulse. I spend significantly more time with the alternative, to read the real, and I’m not shocked anymore—by depravity, anything. Not surprised when I open Google to see among Top Stories a Kardashian, Lady Gaga, another sighting of Kate Middleton’s baby bump, a shooting. One day this week, I clicked to an MSNBC interview with the exceptionally American Madeleine Albright—her opinion of drones. Instantly, I was flung to 1996 when Albright, on “60 Minutes,” said “…we think the price is worth it.” The “price” to which she referred—half a million children who died as a result of sanctions on Iraq. Despite Albright’s later regret, that she came “across as cold-blooded and cruel,” she refers to drone warfare as “effective.”

When Jon wants me to understand the compassion of Barack Obama, all those rites of passage missed during the months since the Newtown massacre, I see more than Connecticut. I stare at a president’s narrow empathy, confined to the USA, and think of the thousands of birthdays, graduations, anniversaries, all that’s been stolen from families in the Middle East, Central Asia, and Africa since Obama took the oath.

Yes, each family “deserves” a voice. Each merits “commonsense” measures. But not just families here in the U.S.—also families in other countries, families whose lives are assaulted daily by imperial plunder.

Carson, organizing for action, insists we demand that Congress act to protect children. If I respond with my personal story to Congress, will there be any other outcome than what’s been decided already by Big Greed behind closed doors?

This is what fascism looks like—multinational corporations not just at the table but seated throughout the mansion, manipulating their representatives. Masterfully they direct. In every area, including allowing us those zones of dissent from which we naively shout, “This is what democracy looks like.”

Once, I thought my presence at protests was important. Now, I ask what we’ve accomplished—even with the huge rallies near the White House or in Manhattan. Beltway “leadership” must laugh when we chant for environmental health, peace, civil rights, our myriad demands for justice.

The distillate is this: We. Need. A. New. Plan. One that thwarts the flow of money to the ginormous Military/Corporate/Security Juggernaut. This is within the jurisdiction of sanity, but is it within the realm of the possible?

Missy Beattie can be reached at missybeat@gmail.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

More articles by:

CounterPunch Magazine

minimag-edit

Weekend Edition
September 23, 2016
Friday - Sunday
Andrew Levine
The Meaning of the Trump Surge
Jeffrey St. Clair
Roaming Charges: More Pricks Than Kicks
Mike Whitney
Oh, Say Can You See the Carnage? Why Stand for a Country That Can Gun You Down in Cold Blood?
Chris Welzenbach
The Diminution of Chris Hayes
Vincent Emanuele
The Riots Will Continue
Rob Urie
A Scam Too Far
Pepe Escobar
Les Deplorables
Patrick Cockburn
Airstrikes, Obfuscation and Propaganda in Syria
Timothy Braatz
The Quarterback and the Propaganda
Sheldon Richman
Obama Rewards Israel’s Bad Behavior
Libby Lunstrum - Patrick Bond
Militarizing Game Parks and Marketing Wildlife are Unsustainable Strategies
Andy Thayer
More Cops Will Worsen, Not Help, Chicago’s Violence Problem
Louis Yako
Can Westerners Help Refugees from War-torn Countries?
David Rosen
Rudy Giuliani & Trump’s Possible Cabinet
Joyce Nelson
TISA and the Privatization of Public Services
Pete Dolack
Global Warming Will Accelerate as Oceans Reach Limits of Remediation
Franklin Lamb
34 Years After the Sabra-Shatila Massacre
Cesar Chelala
How One Man Held off Nuclear War
Norman Pollack
Sovereign Immunity, War Crimes, and Compensation to 9/11 Families
Lamont Lilly
Standing Rock Stakes Claim for Sovereignty: Eyewitness Report From North Dakota
Barbara G. Ellis
A Sandernista Priority: Push Bernie’s Planks!
Hiroyuki Hamada
How Do We Dream the Dream of Peace Together?
Russell Mokhiber
From Rags and Robes to Speedos and Thongs: Why Trump is Crushing Clinton in WV
Julian Vigo
Living La Vida Loca
Aidan O'Brien
Where is Europe’s Duterte? 
Abel Cohen
Russia’s Improbable Role in Everything
Ron Jacobs
A Change Has Gotta’ Come
Uri Avnery
Shimon Peres and the Saga of Sisyphus
Graham Peebles
Ethiopian’s Crying out for Freedom and Justice
Robert Koehler
Stop the Killing
Thomas Knapp
Election 2016: Of Dog Legs and “Debates”
Yves Engler
The Media’s Biased Perspective
Victor Grossman
Omens From Berlin
Christopher Brauchli
Wells Fargo as Metaphor for the Trump Campaign
Nyla Ali Khan
War of Words Between India and Pakistan at the United Nations
Tom Barnard
Block the Bunker! Historic Victory Against Police Boondoggle in Seattle
James Rothenberg
Bullshit Recognition as Survival Tactic
Ed Rampell
A Tale of Billionaires & Ballot Bandits
Kristine Mattis
Persnickety Publishing Pet-Peeves
Charles R. Larson
Review: Helen Dewitt’s “The Last Samurai”
David Yearsley
Torture Chamber Music
September 22, 2016
Dave Lindorff
Wells Fargo’s Stumpf Leads the Way
Stan Cox
If There’s a World War II-Style Climate Mobilization, It has to Go All the Way—and Then Some
Binoy Kampmark
Source Betrayed: the Washington Post and Edward Snowden
John W. Whitehead
Wards of the Nanny State
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail