FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail

A President’s Words

by

“They have rampaged across cities and villages killing innocent, unarmed civilians in cowardly acts of violence,” Barack Obama said in his statement on the beheading of American journalist James Foley. Leadership in many countries and citizens in those countries could say the same about the USA. Black Americans could say the same about law enforcement or wannabe police officers like George Zimmerman) in their communities.

“People like this ultimately fail. They fail because the future is won by those who build and not destroy,” Barack Obama said in that same statement on the beheading of Foley. No entity destroys more effectively than the US military security complex.

“The people of Syria, whose story Jim Foley told, do not deserve to live under the shadow of a tyrant or terrorists,” said Obama, continuing his statement on the beheading of Foley. The people of Iraq, Afghanistan, any country invaded either by US ground forces or devastated by US air power could say the same. The people of Gaza, whose lives have been ravaged, who have lost loved ones, their homes, their territory, their dignity do not deserve to live under the shadow of Israeli terrorists whose weapons and livelihoods are financed by US taxpayers.

“From governments and peoples across the Middle East, there has to be a common effort to extract this cancer so that it does not spread,” said Obama in his statement on the beheading of Foley. This could be said about the malignancy of US conquest-oriented foreign policy.

“There has to be a clear rejection of this kind of nihilistic ideologies. One thing we can all agree on is that a group like ISIL has no place in the 21st century,” Obama said in his statement on the beheading of Foley. This could be said about the US with its ideology of American exceptionalism, entering countries under the pretense of humanitarianism while leveling civilizations and claiming the resources beneath the land. Obama is not airstrik-ing Erbil because Christians and non-Muslims are dying. He’s protecting corporate giants, Exxon and Chevron.

“. . . we will continue to confront this hateful terrorism and replace it with a sense of hope and civility,” Obama said in his statement on the beheading of Foley. People throughout the world who’ve witnessed US weapons of mass proportion could say this.

“And we will do everything that we can to protect our people and the timeless values that we stand for,” said Obama in his statement on the beheading of Foley. Yes, “timeless values” of perpetual war, class as well as race.

The Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant has committed an egregious act to protect its people and values. Yet the values of the US government are no better. A beheading is shocking and barbaric, but so is a drone attack. Or do we perceive killing from afar to be less horrifying than killing from a distance?

My heart breaks for the family of James Foley. My heart breaks for the families whose loved ones have been incinerated by US drones. My heart breaks for Palestinians in Gaza. My heart breaks for the family of Michael Brown.

My heart breaks.

I repeat Obama’s utterly hypocritical words “ . . . the future is won by those who build and not destroy” and think how lost we are.  We. Are. Lost.

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

 

 

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

bernie-the-sandernistas-cover-344x550

zen economics

March 27, 2017
Robert Hunziker
A Record-Setting Climate Going Bonkers
Frank Stricker
Why $15 an Hour Should be the Absolute Minimum Minimum Wage
Melvin Goodman
The Disappearance of Bipartisanship on the Intelligence Committees
Patrick Cockburn
ISIS’s Losses in Syria and Iraq Will Make It Difficult to Recruit
Russell Mokhiber
Single-Payer Bernie Morphs Into Public Option Dean
Gregory Barrett
Can Democracy Save Us?
Dave Lindorff
Budget Goes Military
John Heid
Disappeared on the Border: “Chase and Scatter” — to Death
Mark Weisbrot
The Troubling Financial Activities of an Ecuadorian Presidential Candidate
Robert Fisk
As ISIS’s Caliphate Shrinks, Syrian Anger Grows
Michael J. Sainato
Democratic Party Continues Shunning Popular Sanders Surrogates
Paul Bentley
Nazi Heritage: the Strange Saga of Chrystia Freeland’s Ukrainian Grandfather
Christopher Ketcham
Buddhism in the Storm
Thomas Barker
Platitudes in the Wake of London’s Terror Attack
Mike Hastie
Insane Truths: a Vietnam Vet on “Apocalypse Now, Redux”
Binoy Kampmark
Cyclone Watch in Australia
Weekend Edition
March 24, 2017
Friday - Sunday
Michael Hudson
Trump is Obama’s Legacy: Will this Break up the Democratic Party?
Eric Draitser
Donald Trump and the Triumph of White Identity Politics
Jeffrey St. Clair
Roaming Charges: Nothing Was Delivered
Andrew Levine
Ryan’s Choice
Joshua Frank
Global Coal in Freefall, Tar Sands Development Drying Up (Bad News for Keystone XL)
Anthony DiMaggio
Ditching the “Deep State”: The Rise of a New Conspiracy Theory in American Politics
Rob Urie
Boris and Natasha Visit Fantasy Island
John Wight
London and the Dreary Ritual of Terrorist Attacks
Paul Buhle
The CIA and the Intellectuals…Again
David Rosen
Why Did Trump Target Transgender Youth?
Vijay Prashad
Inventing Enemies
Ben Debney
Outrage From the Imperial Playbook
M. Shadee Malaklou
An Open Letter to Duke University’s Class of 2007, About Your Open Letter to Stephen Miller
Michael J. Sainato
Bernie Sanders’ Economic Advisor Shreds Trumponomics
Lawrence Davidson
Moral Failure at the UN
Pete Dolack
World Bank Declares Itself Above the Law
Nicola Perugini - Neve Gordon
Israel’s Human Rights Spies
Patrick Cockburn
From Paris to London: Another City, Another Attack
Ralph Nader
Reason and Justice Address Realities
Ramzy Baroud
‘Decolonizing the Mind’: Using Hollywood Celebrities to Validate Islam
Colin Todhunter
Monsanto in India: The Sacred and the Profane
Louisa Willcox
Grizzlies Under the Endangered Species Act: How Have They Fared?
Norman Pollack
Militarization of American Fascism: Trump the Usurper
Pepe Escobar
North Korea: The Real Serious Options on the Table
Brian Cloughley
“These Things Are Done”: Eavesdropping on Trump
Sheldon Richman
You Can’t Blame Trump’s Military Budget on NATO
Carol Wolman
Trump vs the People: a Psychiatrist’s Analysis
Kollibri terre Sonnenblume
Marines to Kill Desert Tortoises
Stanley L. Cohen
The White House . . . Denial and Cover-ups
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail