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The Sound of Money

by MISSY BEATTIE

Joe Biden has issued a warning ridiculously peculiar given a system in which Republicans and Democrats are interchangeable. Biden’s concern: if Republicans, during the 2010 election cycle, gain the 35 House seats that are in Republican districts, Barack Obama’s agenda will wither. And die.

Biden said at a political fundraiser on Tuesday: “If they [Republicans] take them back, this [is] the end of the road for what Barack and I are trying to do.”

A brief review of Obama-Biden’s accomplishments is in order.

After campaigning with soaring rhetoric, promising change and the reversal of many of the most craven Bush/Cheney programs and patterns, Obama, in office, has simply renewed the George/Dick horror show. Sure, Barry was never the antiwar candidate, although many voters hoped he would be. By stating that Afghanistan was the “right war,” Obama implied that the war in Iraq was wrong–an implication leading many to believe that at least one war would end. Wrong. Troops are now called trainers and a huge mercenary army is enforcing war policy without accountability. Our military still is threatened by insurgents who resent and violently denounce the occupation of their country by killing as many Americans as possible. These insurgents are not terrorists; they are protectors of their country from U.S. militarism. Civilians, including children, are dying–daily.

Back to that “right war” in Afghanistan. Seems Obama is unsure of a plan and is considering and reconsidering his decision to send more troops to this country, a sinkhole for empires–where coalition and civilian casualties are climbing, corruption is rampant, women have fewer rights, desolation persists, and the Stan McChrystals, in their medal-bedecked costumes of mass egomania, strategize about what is required to win–a huge delusion since our loss there began eight years ago.

And, recently, we learned that at least eight guards, all contractors working for Wackenhut Services, have lost their jobs because of lewd behavior. These guys were serving alcohol to each other from their ass cracks, giving new meaning to the toast, “bottoms up.” These aren’t just men being boys, partying nude, venting, drinking, and making merry. Their weapons were nearby during the orgy, at the ready, in case the enemy penetrated the U.S. Embassy in Afghanistan, which they were supposed to be protecting. Oh, yes, Wackenhut retains its contract. Paid with our tax dollars. Don’t get me wrong. I’m no prude. I just like my wine from a glass.

And the Patriot Act, which Obama promised to repeal because it grants the government too much authority to intrude in the private lives of Americans, is now valued by the former constitutional scholar as necessary enough to be extended.

The failure of Barack Obama is not dependent on the 2010 election as Biden would have us believe. Obama has already failed. With a continuation of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, the unmanned drone strikes in Pakistan and Afghanistan, aggressive rhetoric to Iran, slaps on the wrists to Israel for her ruthless disregard for Palestinian rights and life, Obama’s foreign policy is a threat to the safety of the world. Add to this a plan for more drones in Pakistan. This translates to civilian death. And that translates to failure.

Pile on the job losses here at home–last month 216,000 Americans lost theirs. And benefits, including health care.

But it is not just the Obama/Biden agenda that’s on death row. It’s, also, the American agenda. You know, the imperialistic, war-loving, conquest-oriented, resource-raping trail of blood that is ravaging our humanity here at home while savaging the lives of those who live in the countries we invade.

What Joe and Barack are trying to accomplish is what most politicians in our one-party system do so well. Pimping and prostitution–the oldest professions. They pimp and prostitute whatever principles they once embraced. They pimp and prostitute their constituents. Like the private contractors who drank from each other’s rear ends, most members of the House and Senate say “bottoms up” or “have your way with me” to the big corporate donors who host their fundraisers and finance their campaigns. Shilling and swilling. Romping all the way to the bank.

Meanwhile, we the ordinary, the voters and hardworking citizens of this country, have no voice. Our leadership listens only to the sound of money.

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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