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

Wanted: a New Plan


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



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 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?
Lara Gardner
Why I’m Not Voting
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
Rob Urie
Name the Dangerous Candidate
Pepe Escobar
The Aleppo / Mosul Riddle
David Rosen
The War on Drugs is a Racket
Sami Siegelbaum
Once More, the Value of the Humanities
Cathy Breen
“Today Is One of the Heaviest Days of My Life”
Neve Gordon
Israel’s Boycott Hypocrisy
Mark Hand
Of Pipelines and Protest Pens: When the Press Loses Its Shield
Victor Wallis
On the Stealing of U.S. Elections
Michael Hudson
The Return of the Repressed Critique of Rentiers: Veblen in the 21st century Rentier Capitalism
Brian Cloughley
Drumbeats of Anti-Russia Confrontation From Washington to London
Howard Lisnoff
Still Licking Our Wounds and Hoping for Change
Brian Gruber
Iraq: There Is No State
Peter Lee
Trump: We Wish the Problem Was Fascism
Stanley L. Cohen
Equality and Justice for All, It Seems, But Palestinians
Steve Early
In Bay Area Refinery Town: Berniecrats & Clintonites Clash Over Rent Control
Kristine Mattis
All Solutions are Inadequate: Why It Doesn’t Matter If Politicians Mention Climate Change
Peter Linebaugh
Ron Suny and the Marxist Commune: a Note
Andre Vltchek
Sudan, Africa and the Mosaic of Horrors
Keith Binkly
The Russians Have Been Hacking Us For Years, Why Is It a Crisis Now?
Jonathan Cook
Adam Curtis: Another Manager of Perceptions
Ted Dace
The Fall
Sheldon Richman
Come and See the Anarchy Inherent in the System
Susana Hurlich
Hurricane Matthew: an Overview of the Damages in Cuba
Dave Lindorff
Screwing With and Screwing the Elderly and Disabled
Chandra Muzaffar
Cuba: Rejecting Sanctions, Sending a Message
Dennis Kucinich
War or Peace?
Joseph Natoli
Seething Anger in the Post-2016 Election Season
Jack Rasmus
Behind The 3rd US Presidential Debate—What’s Coming in 2017