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HOW DID ABORTION RIGHTS COME TO THIS?  — Carol Hanisch charts how the right to an abortion began to erode shortly after the Roe v. Wade decision; Uber vs. the Cabbies: Ben Terrall reports on the threats posed by private car services; Remembering August 1914: Binoy Kampmark on the enduring legacy of World War I; Medical Marijuana: a Personal Odyssey: Doug Valentine goes in search of medicinal pot and a good vaporizer; Nostalgia for Socialism: Lee Ballinger surveys the longing in eastern Europe for the material guarantees of socialism. PLUS: Paul Krassner on his Six Dumbest Decisions; Kristin Kolb on the Cancer Ward; Jeffrey St. Clair on the Making of the First Un-War; Chris Floyd on the Children of Lies and Mike Whitney on why the war on ISIS is really a war on Syria.
Peace is a Sign

Is Peace Obsolete?

by MISSY COMLEY BEATTIE

I’d like to age in peace. Peacefully. I suppose this is impossible. And despite saying nothing surprises me anymore, I’m often outraged. I shouldn’t be astonished though by a resolution intro’d by Senators Robert Menendez, Chuck Schumer, and Mark Kirk that gives Israel unprecedented power and subverts the Constitution. After all, AIPAC’s influence on American foreign policy is no secret. Here’s a troubling portion of the resolution:

If the government of Israel is compelled to take military action in legitimate self-defense against Iran’s nuclear weapon program, the United States Government should stand with Israel and provide in accordance with the laws of the United States and the constitutional responsibility of Congress to authorize the use of military force, diplomatic, and economic support to the Government of Israel in the defense of its territory, people and existence.

Yes, this allows Israel to determine the threat posed by Iran’s nuclear program, and obligates the US to deliver “military force, diplomatic, and economic support” if Israel takes aggressive action.

The Constitution’s been sabotaged to the extent that it’s now de rigueur to incapacitate it further.

US leadership demands the invasion, occupation, and use of weapons of mass destruction while messaging and massaging us with deception, accomplished through the hubristic term, American exceptionalism. Perhaps Israeli exceptionalism is just as exceptional as American exceptionalism. Or maybe it is even more exceptional. Look to genocide in Gaza and stare at the inhumanity of Israeli leadership.

It’s Christmas Eve—supposedly this and the following week are the loneliest time of the year for the already lonely. Consider these people, along with the destitute multitudes. And think about countries devastated by war, our fellow human beings who look at the sky and don’t see pale blue majesty and cumulous clouds but instead wonder about the next drone strike.

In his holiday message from his holiday vacation, Barack Obama praised men and women in uniform, “serving so that the rest of us can enjoy the blessings we cherish…” Sad that so many still believe this propaganda and may never acknowledge the purpose of war—the acquisition of resources and a KABOOM display of righteous mightiness.
Obama also said the war in Iraq is over. (He didn’t mention the number of Iraqis killed this month—441.)

And he continued:

So many people all across the country are helping out at soup kitchens, buying gifts for children in need, or organizing food or clothing drives for their neighbors. For families like ours, that service is a chance to celebrate the birth of Christ and live out what he taught us — to love our neighbors as we would ourselves; to feed the hungry and look after the sick; to be our brother’s keeper and our sister’s keeper. And for all of us as Americans, regardless of our faith, those are values that can drive us to be better parents and friends, better neighbors and better citizens.

Obama’s hypocrisy always is giftwrapped in pretty packaging. Some say he’s a failure as president. I don’t think so. Yielding to Wall Street is what he was hired to accomplish, creating a greater divide between the filthy wealthy and the fragile poor while saying that income inequality must be addressed.

I think of that naïve hope I once held of a borderless world where we care for each other, the obviation of war and predation, one people/one planet. But then we’re told that another country requires US troop presence. And there’s this resolution to participate in Israel’s objective to explode Iran. Peace is a sign hanging from a gold chain around my neck—an ideal almost obsolete.

Missy Comley 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 Baltimore. Email: missybeat@gmail.com.