Surges: the Dow and the Death Count

The Dow Jones Industrial average is surging. So is the death count in Iraq. Ten U.S. troops were killed on Tuesday and two died Wednesday, bringing the total for October to seventy-one. Almost 1,000 Iraqis have perished in the last 18 days.

Yet investors are happy. And according to one heavily eye-shadowed television anchor, the man on the street will be as well. There is optimism about corporate earnings.

Twelve families have just heard the words, “We regret to inform you.” The Dow could skyrocket to the ozone but life for these families is filled with pain. Life is painful for all families who have lost so much in this senseless war of deception. Sympathy cards say, “May your memories bring you comfort.” They don’t. They bring a longing for days when those children inside the flag-draped coffins were alive, living their dreams and looking forward to their futures.

The stock market is surging. Sectarian violence has been surging for months. Iraq is in a civil war and no matter what George Bush says about our mission there, he is a failed president with the blood of hundreds of thousands of people on his hands. James Baker calls Iraq a ‘helluva mess.’ Bush says it’s the central front in the war on terror. Experts now tell us that there will be no democracy in Iraq. They, also, have told us that this war has increased terrorism and we are less safe as a result.

It is time for every parent who has lost a child in this war to say, “No more.” It is time for every mother and father to question the number of explanations for invading and occupying Iraq that George Bush has fed the American public. It is time for each family member whose loved one is either dead, dismembered, brain damaged, or suffering from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder as a result of Bush’s war to examine these changing reasons-from Saddam’s WMD program to spreading democracy in the Middle East to a fight between good and evil. It is time for every single human being to think about the people of Iraq whose grief is as painfully suffocating as our own, whose loved ones have been killed or maimed by a choice for violence that is not justified and only brings more violence. It is time for all of us to understand why we are hated by much of the world. It is time to stop our march of conquest. It is time for peace.

The Dow is surging. So are death, destruction, and pain.

The people we’ve elected to the highest offices in our country have sacrificed leadership and their consciences to remain in power. Yes, there is a fight between good and evil. But the evil is within each of us who fails to recognize the duplicity of our own government, a huge wheel grinding on, greedy and insatiable.

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:



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: