FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail

Settling Scores in the Theater of Endless Wars

by MISSY BEATTIE

I know vengeance personally, the anger that drives a fantasy to action. I admit that it feels too good to be good. I also admit my own complicity in being taken advantage of, but I lied only to myself.

My saga is nothing compared to what’s being done in our names, a cycle of war violence by the government, although the two people against whom my malice was directed would disagree. They’re that self-absorbed.

So where am I going with this? Here: an article about Pakistan’s announcement that on Wednesday a CIA drone killed the Pakistan Taliban’s 2nd in command, Wali ur-Rehman. This just days after Barack Obama spoke of a “new direction” for the secret drone wars, the “sweeping changes” to the drone program, and a shift to transparency about the secret killings.

American “officials” are talking about the exception to the new rules. And I’m wondering just how many exceptions there are. Or if the new standards are just like the old ones—that as long as US troops are in Afghanistan, the CIA will drone the bejesus out of anyone in Pakistan suspected of nefarious thoughts without so much as a care about legality and/or who’s nearby to be collaterally cremated.

And the transparency? Washington, thus far, is closed-lipped about the latest murder, despite the Pakistan statement that Mr. Rehman is dead—and was one among five people killed.

Who are the others? Any children?

During the period of old rules at least 350 drones have been joysticked to Pakistan. And according to, again, “officials,” many Pakistanis are grateful for the CIA dronings. Because they rid the country of so many bad men. But they often obliterate the unintended, a human being holding not a rifle but instead something harmless, like a farming tool, or a child.

On Wednesday, Pakistan’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs expressed concern over the drone strikes that violate national sovereignty and international law. His alarm is trumped by American exceptionalism. Always.

It’s reported that Mr. Rehman had ties with several religious parties that worked to mediate with the Taliban. Mualana Syed Yusuf Shah, deputy leader of one of the religious parties, said Mr. Rehman’s death would make it difficult to negotiate peace. “Now the Taliban will avenge his killing, resulting in more bloodshed and violence across the country,” he continued.

We might consider that this was the US Empire’s intent. And we know that each time we drone one of the biggies, several more are ready to ascend. In fact, the Pakistan Taliban has purportedly chosen Rehman’s replacement, Khan Sayed.

Supposedly, vengeance doesn’t belong to us. I claimed it as mine briefly, writing, exposing deception, and sunbathing in retribution. It’s the wanting more that’s disturbing, the tension between a choice—either reprisal or taking the moral high ground. Like those in Washington who refer to certain drone attacks as “good-will kills,” I had a purpose to defend my gender. That settling of the score is a microcosm of what we view at the theater of endless war. I can’t promise I’m finished. I want to be, but I know my offenders continue the insanity, hurting so many others and really we must stop the hurting of others.

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

August 29, 2016
Eric Draitser
Hillary and the Clinton Foundation: Exemplars of America’s Political Rot
Patrick Timmons
Dildos on Campus, Gun in the Library: the New York Times and the Texas Gun War
Jack Rasmus
Bernie Sanders ‘OR’ Revolution: a Statement or a Question?
Richard Moser
Strategic Choreography and Inside/Outside Organizers
Nigel Clarke
President Obama’s “Now Watch This Drive” Moment
Robert Fisk
Iraq’s Willing Executioners
Wahid Azal
The Banality of Evil and the Ivory Tower Masterminds of the 1953 Coup d’Etat in Iran
Farzana Versey
Romancing the Activist
Frances Madeson
Meet the Geronimos: Apache Leader’s Descendants Talk About Living With the Legacy
Nauman Sadiq
The War on Terror and the Carter Doctrine
Lawrence Wittner
Does the Democratic Party Have a Progressive Platform–and Does It Matter?
Marjorie Cohn
Death to the Death Penalty in California
Winslow Myers
Asking the Right Questions
Rivera Sun
The Sane Candidate: Which Representatives Will End the Endless Wars?
Linn Washington Jr.
Philadelphia District Attorney Hammered for Hypocrisy
Binoy Kampmark
Banning Burkinis: the Politics of Beachwear
Weekend Edition
August 26, 2016
Friday - Sunday
Louisa Willcox
The Unbearable Killing of Yellowstone’s Grizzlies: 2015 Shatters Records for Bear Deaths
Paul Buhle
In the Shadow of the CIA: Liberalism’s Big Embarrassing Moment
Rob Urie
Crisis and Opportunity
Charles Pierson
Wedding Crashers Who Kill
Richard Moser
What is the Inside/Outside Strategy?
Dirk Bezemer – Michael Hudson
Finance is Not the Economy
Jeffrey St. Clair
Roaming Charges: Bernie’s Used Cars
Margaret Kimberley
Hillary and Colin: the War Criminal Charade
Patrick Cockburn
Turkey’s Foray into Syria: a Gamble in a Very Dangerous Game
Ishmael Reed
Birther Tries to Flim Flam Blacks  
Brian Terrell
What Makes a Hate Group?
Andrew Levine
How Donald Trump Can Still be a Hero: Force the Guardians of the Duopoly to Open Up the Debates
Howard Lisnoff
Trouble in Political Paradise
Terry Tempest Williams
Will Our National Parks Survive the Next 100 Years?
Ben Debney
The Swimsuit that Overthrew the State
Ashley Smith
Anti-imperialism and the Syrian Revolution
Andrew Stewart
Did Gore Throw the 2000 Election?
Vincent Navarro
Is the Nation State and Its Welfare State Dead? a Critique of Varoufakis
John Wight
Syria’s Kurds and the Wages of Treachery
Lawrence Davidson
The New Anti-Semitism: the Case of Joy Karega
Mateo Pimentel
The Affordable Care Act: A Litmus Test for American Capitalism?
Roger Annis
In Northern Syria, Turkey Opens New Front in its War Against the Kurds
David Swanson
ABC Shifts Blame from US Wars to Doctors Without Borders
Norman Pollack
American Exceptionalism: A Pernicious Doctrine
Ralph Nader
Readers Think, Thinkers Read
Julia Morris
The Mythologies of the Nauruan Refugee Nation
George Wuerthner
Caving to Ranchers: the Misguided Decision to Kill the Profanity Wolf Pack
Ann Garrison
Unworthy Victims: Houthis and Hutus
Julian Vigo
Britain’s Slavery Legacy
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail