Wake Up

United States of America, wake up.

Our foreign policy is atrocious. A-T-R-O-C-I-O-U-S. An atrocity.

In a nationalistic frenzy to avenge the deaths of the 9/11 victims, we invaded Afghanistan and, then, Iraq, killing many more civilians than we lost on that September morning when two planes were used as weapons to take down symbols of prosperity in NYC, when one plane cratered a field in Pennsylvania, and yet another pierced the Pentagon. Questions have gone unanswered despite an investigation that was a travesty. And why wouldn’t we be suspicious given the information available about Operation Northwoods, a template for the events that shattered the security of our country and set in motion a neocon/fascist plan that is destroying democracy?

The death toll of US troops in Iraq and Afghanistan soon will hit 5,400. More than 41,000 have been wounded, many with traumatic brain injuries.

We have murdered at least a million Iraqi and Afghanistan civilians, displaced about four million, and destroyed the infrastructure and the environment of those who have survived our weapons of mass destruction.

We are using more drones under the leadership of a president who many believed (and still do) was a peacemaker, despite his proclamation that Afghanistan is the “right war.”

The price tag for this debacle is hundreds of billions of dollars and has not been pay-as-you-go, except for those who’ve paid with their lives.

Iraq is still exploding.

Afghanistan is exploding.

Pakistan is exploding.

Hillary Clinton, post-menopausal and estrogen deficient, is exploding, as well, hot flashing countries whose actions aren’t nearly as threatening as our own ATROCITIES and human rights abuses.

But this is WAR. “Let me be clear,” says Obama, frequently—almost as often as he invokes 9/11.

After the “wham bam-underwear” attempt to take down a passenger aircraft, President Oblahblah promised not to “succumb to a siege mentality that sacrifices” our civil liberties for security.

But the continued articulation of “terrorism,” “terrorism,” “terrorism” is designed to create a siege mentality necessary for us to cower and become inert lumps as Wall Street Money Lords enrich themselves while raping our present and future.

We’re supposed to be afraid so that we detach from and are inured to the dying of our troops thousands of miles away, hardened that those who return are so damaged that they are either abusing their loved ones or blowing their brains out, in record numbers—and so fearful that we have little compassion for the men, women, and children our weapons kill.

We are required to be afraid, encouraged to park in front of our television sets and watch mindless shit like “The Bachelor” and really care about the angst some crybaby wimpster is feeling because he’s fallen “in love” with four women, then, two women, then, one woman. In fact, it’s “surreal” that he’s “connected” on so many levels. Later, we turn off the light, thinking of possibilities because we live in the US of A. We have opportunities, chances to pursue happiness and to acquire money—not as much as the Banksters who’ve worked “hard” for their bonuses, but enough to buy a bigger television set and a couple of automobiles. And then we go to sleep and dream of this someday-soon bonanza, ignoring the real message from our corporate-owned politicians: “Go bone yourselves.”

Yes, this is the other War, like the one in Iraq that’s just been named Operation New Dawn. Certainly, it’s our new dawn here at home, and it is frighteningly, starkly dark. Call it the War against the American People—waged on all but about one percent of us.

We have wars on many fronts—overseas and in our communities. Those on foreign soil are killing Muslims and anybody who lives on land with resources we think belong to us because we’re the USA. We’re even taking advantage of an epic tragedy in Haiti because oil reserves are in our sights.

We don’t just set the bar; we are the bar. Hoist the flag.

Our government, through its military, mercenaries, and alliance with billionaires, has delivered seismic desolation with its assault on multiple countries and cultures, including our own.

The War at Home and the Wars abroad are hurling people into poverty and desperation, loss of jobs, home foreclosures, and no healthcare. Got Cobra? Probably not, since it’s as expensive for a family of four as the price of gold.

All of the trespasses, the violations, are criminally reprehensible and, oh, so very personal. You may not realize this truth until it happens to you or to someone you love. Because you’re Dancing With the Stars, right now, or dreaming of being one.

Wake up. Wake up.

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


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