FacebookTwitterRedditEmail

No to War and Pace

Yes, my friend, Sunsara, I will get my butt to DC this weekend to march on the Pentagon. And so will my sister Laura who has come from Kentucky to go with me and take part in this action to end the occupation of Iraq and bring the troops home.

There are many events this week as we move into the fifth year of an illegal war. On Wednesday, I went to one at the Times Square Recruitment Center in New York City. Sponsored by various organizations, including the Granny Peace Brigade, World Can’t Wait, and Code Pink, this particular action pays tribute to the war dead, both military and Iraqi civilian. Names and death dates are being read all week from sunrise to sunset. Laura and I went Thursday and she read the name of our nephew, Marine Lance Cpl. Chase Comley, killed on August 6, 2005.

As we neared the location of the vigil, I commented that the crowd was larger than the day before. And it was noisy. Turns out, ACT UP was present to protest the hate speech of General Peter Pace, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, who has just pronounced homosexual acts “immoral,” comparing them to adulterous affairs between two members of the armed forces. His belief is based on his personal “upbringing.” In other words, Pace’s mouth is a weapon of mass destruction.

So picture this: There are two people who are reading names of American dead and Iraqi dead while a third person rings a bell after each name is spoken. To the left is a poster with photographs of dead military. On the right is a photograph of four, crying Iraqi women. In the center, beneath the readers, is a pair of empty boots, one used as a vase for a single, white rose, and a pair of children’s shoes. Above and in the background is a large screen, courtesy of the U.S. Armed Forces Career Center, displaying a slick advertising campaign to lure our young with images of handsome men and beautiful women in uniform and patriotic platitudes like these: “Freedom Worth Fighting For,” “For honor, for courage, for country, the few, the proud,” “There’s nothing on this green earth that is stronger than the U.S. Army because there is nothing on this green earth that is stronger than a U.S. Army soldier,” and “Currently hunting bin Laden.”

And then picture a large group of men and women who are outraged over General Pace’s indictment of their identity. Carrying a gay pride banner, they circle the recruitment center with their supporters while chanting: “Pace is out, peace is in,” “War is immoral,” Fire General Pace,” and “Don’t ask, don’t tell. General Pace, Go to Hell.”

Police officers swoop in and the Peter Pace protestors move to the street. Some sit down. I glance at the recruitment center screen to see “The strength to obey.” When I turn my attention back to the street, a man is being arrested. I ask who he is and someone says, “A rabbi.”

Meanwhile, names of the dead continue to be read.

Today, our troop death count in Iraq is 3,210. It’s estimated that more than half a million Iraqi civilians have been killed. There are so many names to read and so many rings of the bell, sounding for lives ended too soon and for families who will grieve as long as they live-all because of the lies of an immoral leadership.

Complicity in these lies is immoral. The speech and “upbringing” of General Peter Pace are immoral.

Yes, Sunny, I will get my butt to Washington DC.

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

 

 

More articles by:

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

July 14, 2020
Anthony DiMaggio
Canceling the Cancel Culture: Enriching Discourse or Dumbing it Down?
Patrick Cockburn
Boris Johnson Should not be Making New Global Enemies When His Country is in a Shambles
Frank Joyce
Lift From the Bottom? Yes.
Richard C. Gross
The Crackdown on Foreign Students
Steven Salaita
Should We Cancel “Cancel Culture”?
Paul Street
Sorry, the Chicago Blackhawks Need to Change Their Name and Logo
Jonathan Cook
‘Cancel Culture’ Letter is About Stifling Free Speech, Not Protecting It
John Feffer
The Global Rushmore of Autocrats
C. Douglas Lummis
Pillar of Sand in Okinawa
B. Nimri Aziz
Soft Power: Americans in Its Grip at Home Must Face the Mischief It Wields by BNimri Aziz July 11/2020
Cesar Chelala
What was lost when Ringling Bros. Left the Circus
Dan Bacher
California Regulators Approve 12 New Permits for Chevron to Frack in Kern County
George Wuerthner
Shrinking Wilderness in the Gallatin Range
Lawrence Davidson
Woodrow Wilson’s Racism: the Basis For His Support of Zionism
Binoy Kampmark
Mosques, Museums and Politics: the Fate of Hagia Sophia
Dean Baker
Propaganda on Government Action and Inequality from David Leonhardt
July 13, 2020
Gerald Sussman
The Russiagate Spectacle: Season 2?
Ishmael Reed
Lin-Manuel Miranda’s Perry Mason Moment
Jack Rasmus
Why the 3rd Quarter US Economic ‘Rebound’ Will Falter
W. T. Whitney
Oil Comes First in Peru, Not Coronavirus Danger, Not Indigenous Rights
Ralph Nader
The Enduring Case for Demanding Trump’s Resignation
Raghav Kaushik – Arun Gupta
On Coronavirus and the Anti-Police-Brutality Uprising
Deborah James
Digital Trade Rules: a Disastrous New Constitution for the Global Economy Written by and for Big Tech
Howard Lisnoff
Remembering the Nuclear Freeze Movement and Its Futility
Sam Pizzigati
Will the Biden-Sanders Economic Task Force Rattle the Rich?
Allen Baker
Trump’s Stance on Foreign College Students Digs US Economic Hole Even Deeper
Binoy Kampmark
The Coronavirus Seal: Victoria’s Borders Close
Evaggelos Vallianatos
Power, Knowledge and Virtue
Weekend Edition
July 10, 2020
Friday - Sunday
Lynnette Grey Bull
Trump’s Postcard to America From the Shrine of Hypocrisy
Anthony DiMaggio
Free Speech Fantasies: the Harper’s Letter and the Myth of American Liberalism
David Yearsley
Morricone: Maestro of Music and Image
Jeffrey St. Clair
“I Could Live With That”: How the CIA Made Afghanistan Safe for the Opium Trade
Rob Urie
Democracy and the Illusion of Choice
Paul Street
Imperial Blind Spots and a Question for Obama
Vijay Prashad
The U.S. and UK are a Wrecking Ball Crew Against the Pillars of Internationalism
Melvin Goodman
The Washington Post and Its Cold War Drums
Richard C. Gross
Trump: Reopen Schools (or Else)
Chris Krupp
Public Lands Under Widespread Attack During Pandemic 
Alda Facio
What Coronavirus Teaches Us About Inequality, Discrimination and the Importance of Caring
Eve Ottenberg
Bounty Tales
Andrew Levine
Silver Linings Ahead?
John Kendall Hawkins
FrankenBob: The Self-Made Dylan
Pam Martens - Russ Martens
Deutsche Bank Fined $150 Million for Enabling Jeffrey Epstein; Where’s the Fine Against JPMorgan Chase?
David Rosen
Inequality and the End of the American Dream
Louis Proyect
Harper’s and the Great Cancel Culture Panic
FacebookTwitterRedditEmail