FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail

Sow Chaos, Reap Chaos

by MISSY BEATTIE

Marine Capt. Cameron West said, “We are all in this together.”

He and other troops, Iraq or Afghanistan war amputees,  traveled to Boston to offer encouragement to those who lost limbs on April 15 at the Boston Marathon. Their message: “Life’s not over.”

While this was a generous gesture, I can’t help but think that they’re not just missing a leg or an arm, but the point. And an opportunity.

When son H was in grade school, one of his teachers taught conflict resolution. I reinforced this and emphasized looking beneath the surface of behavior.

We don’t have to work hard, here, excavating for answers to why someone would want to harm us. US imperial fingerprints can be found anywhere there are resources to enrich the death profiteers. Since the wake-up blast of 9/11, we’ve wasted precious time and countless lives.

So many Americans were rabidly patriotic for months following 9/11 (and are still), their minds imprisoned by “my country right or wrong.” We witnessed this again when two young men, identified as the alleged perpetrators of the Boston bombings, were associated with Islam.

Capt. West lost his leg, amputated on the battlefield, to an IED while on foot patrol in Afghanistan. He said the Boston attack was the work of extremists who share the same anti-American ideology as his attackers. “This was an act of terror,” he said, referring to Boston.

Human beings in AfPak-Iraq would say the same about US intentions in their countries.

Imagine if even one of the troops who flew to Boston, seeing the marathon victims, or one of those victims, seeing the troops, had elaborated on the “life’s not over” with more than bonding over shared injuries, challenges, and how-to advice. Had talked cause and effect. Had said, “Let’s examine why this happened.”

Had continued with:

“Why do we choose war?”

“How do we end the violence?”

“What can we do to sustain peace?”

“Why aren’t we questioning a government that sends its young to be maimed, to die thousands of miles away?”

“Why aren’t we questioning a government that sends its young to maim, kill, to destroy civilizations?”

“Let’s consider the people in these countries, what they’re thinking and feeling, our weapons aimed at them, their children. The children.”

Yes, Capt. West said, “We’re all in this together.” He’s right.

We are all in this together. Whether we identify as Americans, Afghans, Iraqis, Pakistanis, Syrians, we are all in this together. Whether we are adherents of Taoism, Sufism, Christianity, Islam, Judaism, Buddhism, Hinduism, or members of the Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster, we are all in this together—human beings.

Whether we turn on the TV to watch reality shows, read Foucault, power the computer and scroll through photos of celebs without makeup, work crosswords, are either elated or outraged that a sports figure has come out as gay (or believe this should be a nonissue), we are all in this together. Whether we are scared stupid because the government demands our dumbing down to launch perpetual war or we question every noun, verb, pronouncement spoken by the deciders, we are all in this together.

And because we are all in this together, we cannot label as terrorists those who use improvised explosives against us without acknowledging our own use of WMD, terrorism, against them.

We deliver chaos, we receive it.  And we are all in this together.

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:
Weekend Edition
May 27, 2016
Friday - Sunday
John Pilger
Silencing America as It Prepares for War
Rob Urie
By the Numbers: Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump are Fringe Candidates
Andrew Levine
Hillary’s Gun Gambit
Paul Street
Feel the Hate
Daniel Raventós - Julie Wark
Basic Income Gathers Steam Across Europe
Gunnar Westberg
Close Calls: We Were Much Closer to Nuclear Annihilation Than We Ever Knew
Jeffrey St. Clair
Hand Jobs: Heidegger, Hitler and Trump
S. Brian Willson
Remembering All the Deaths From All of Our Wars
Dave Lindorff
With Clinton’s Nixonian Email Scandal Deepening, Sanders Must Demand Answers
Pete Dolack
Millions for the Boss, Cuts for You!
Peter Lee
To Hell and Back: Hiroshima and Nagasaki
Karl Grossman
Long Island as a Nuclear Park
Binoy Kampmark
Sweden’s Assange Problem: The District Court Ruling
Robert Fisk
Why the US Dropped Its Demand That Assad Must Go
Martha Rosenberg – Ronnie Cummins
Bayer and Monsanto: a Marriage Made in Hell
Brian Cloughley
Pivoting to War
Stavros Mavroudeas
Blatant Hypocrisy: the Latest Late-Night Bailout of Greece
Arun Gupta
A War of All Against All
Dan Kovalik
NPR, Yemen & the Downplaying of U.S. War Crimes
Randy Blazak
Thugs, Bullies, and Donald J. Trump: The Perils of Wounded Masculinity
Murray Dobbin
Are We Witnessing the Beginning of the End of Globalization?
Daniel Falcone
Urban Injustice: How Ghettos Happen, an Interview with David Hilfiker
Gloria Jimenez
In Honduras, USAID Was in Bed with Berta Cáceres’ Accused Killers
Kent Paterson
The Old Braceros Fight On
Lawrence Reichard
The Seemingly Endless Indignities of Air Travel: Report from the Losing Side of Class Warfare
Peter Berllios
Bernie and Utopia
Stan Cox – Paul Cox
Indonesia’s Unnatural Mud Disaster Turns Ten
Linda Pentz Gunter
Obama in Hiroshima: Time to Say “Sorry” and “Ban the Bomb”
George Souvlis
How the West Came to Rule: an Interview with Alexander Anievas
Julian Vigo
The Government and Your i-Phone: the Latest Threat to Privacy
Stratos Ramoglou
Why the Greek Economic Crisis Won’t be Ending Anytime Soon
David Price
The 2016 Tour of California: Notes on a Big Pharma Bike Race
Dmitry Mickiewicz
Barbarous Deforestation in Western Ukraine
Rev. William Alberts
The United Methodist Church Up to Its Old Trick: Kicking the Can of Real Inclusion Down the Road
Patrick Bond
Imperialism’s Junior Partners
Mark Hand
The Trouble with Fracking Fiction
Priti Gulati Cox
Broken Green: Two Years of Modi
Marc Levy
Sitrep: Hometown Unwelcomes Vietnam Vets
Lorenzo Raymond
Why Nonviolent Civil Resistance Doesn’t Work (Unless You Have Lots of Bombs)
Ed Kemmick
New Book Full of Amazing Montana Women
Michael Dickinson
Bye Bye Legal High in Backwards Britain
Missy Comley Beattie
Wanted: Daddy or Mommy in Chief
Ed Meek
The Republic of Fear
Charles R. Larson
Russian Women, Then and Now
David Yearsley
Elgar’s Hegemony: the Pomp of Empire
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail