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Ready, Aim, Fear

I’m not surprised that North Korea’s resident nut has launched a series of short-range missiles, a medium range and a long-range TAEPODONG-2 missile. After all, our own resident nut, George Bush, ratcheted up the aggression when he spoke the words of his reckless speechwriter, Michael Gerson, the evangelical Christian, who wrote “axis of evil” to describe the rogue states of Iraq, Iran, and North Korea. Gerson also composed the message that Bush spoke after September 11: “Grief and tragedy and hatred are only for a time.”

How off the mark he was in his desire to inspire. Grief and tragedy aren’t transitory. Nor is hatred. America is despised globally for its hubris and self-righteous attitude. Even if we change the course of our actions to reverse the policies of the neocons, it will take years for other countries to trust us. In fact, it will take years for us to trust our own government. Michael Gerson must have been engaging in some serious apple biting from the tree of forbidden fruit when he was chosen to write moving sentences for the president. He was, after all, eventually, cast from the Rose Garden.

Why wouldn’t Kim Jong-il immediately shift his nuclear program into high gear after hearing Bush include North Korea among the “evil” threesome? The words were a direct threat, a challenge to North Korea’s leader. Breaking news? Yes, but no surprise. Not for those of us who have watched the unfolding of this very predictable flurry of activity from Jong-il, one among an axis of nuts.

Iran, too, has acted accordingly. Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad is moving in defiance of the West to enrich uranium. So, now, we have three nuts-yes, three heads of state who are butting egos and causing people for peace who never believed this kind of irrational, earth shattering upheaval would ever again occur after Viet Nam to gasp in horror at what we are doing to this world, what we are bequeathing to our children-and to ponder if there will be anything at all left for them.

Condoleezza Rice scared us with images of “mushroom clouds” over our cities. Many were certain Saddam would be the button pusher. Turns out there were no WMD in Iraq. Perhaps, the most harmful weapons are Bush’s language, decisions, and an invasion that stimulated the other nuts in the world to stoke their own rhetoric and arms programs.

The beat goes on. The beat goes on. More and more “deciders” are dusting off their war drums. All made necessary by a nut from Texas. All made more frightening because there seems to be method to his madness.

Missy Beattie lives in New York City. She’s written for National Public Radio and Nashville Life Magazine. An outspoken critic of the Bush Administration and the war in Iraq, she’s a member of Gold Star Families for Peace. She completed a novel last year, but since the death of her nephew, Marine Lance Cpl. Chase J. Comley, in Iraq on August 6,’05, she has been writing political articles. She can be reached at: Missybeat@aol.com

 

 

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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

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