Mourning Has Broken

If you’re paying attention, you must be mourning West Virginia’s 25 dead miners, as well as the missing four, and outraged that greed has defeated safety and, thus, life. According to former employees, Massey Energy Company has been much more concerned with profit than with worker wellbeing. Two citations were issued on the day of the blast. But, hey, the harsh truth is that paying a fine is cheaper than addressing the violations. And it’s cheaper to pay for grief counselors to guide the loved ones through the long slog to acceptance. And it’s cheaper to compensate the families.

“Sorry for your loss, Mrs. Miner and children, but there’s a bottom line where conscience never visits.”

If you’re paying attention, you should, also, be mourning the men and women who’ve been killed by war and outraged that greed, again, has defeated safety and, thus, life. According to war critics, including veterans who’ve returned from combat, US imperialism has been more concerned with profit than with troop security. Of course, the most prudent protection would be PEACE, but this is lost as soon as the hunger pangs of greed are felt and heard.

Complaints have been issued, regarding inadequate safeguards. Recall the question asked by Army Spc. Thomas Wilson in 2004:

Why do we soldiers have to dig through local landfills for pieces of scrap metal and compromised ballistic glass to up-armor our vehicles? And why don’t we have those resources readily available to us?

Donald Rumsfeld replied:

It isn’t a matter of money. It isn’t a matter on the part of the army of desire. It’s a matter of production and capability ofdoing it. As you know, ah, you go to war with the army you have — not the army you might want or wish to have at a later time.

Again, the harsh truth is that the bottom line is profit for the executives/executioners, the hitmen and women who stuff their portfolios with the blood of our young as well as with the blood of civilians in the countries we invade, including the blood of babies, killed during our immoral occupations.

The death benefit paid to troop beneficiaries is $100,000 but the Servicemember’s Group Life Insurance (SGLI) offers an additional $400,000. Military men and women who opt for this greater amount pay monthly premiums of $27.00. We, the taxpayers, foot the bill for the balance. Our money pays for sacrifice.

“Sorry for your loss, Troop Families, but here’s some money to ease the pain, and, anyway, our bottom line is US Empire, where conscience never visits.”

Remember, the motivation is profit. The money paid to families in death benefits and the cost of counseling provided when a loved one is killed are miniscule compared to the profits of war, the crime that compensates the “Deciders.” Obama, those, like Rumsfeld, who, now, are at the controls, and the huge corporations that operate our so-called leadership care nothing for troops, just like the Mining Pooh-Bahs don’t care about those who descend beneath the ground. These workers are expendable, a means to an end.

Now, let’s address the sacrifice of those we’ve murdered in AfPak-Iraq. And other lands where the “ Search Committee” seeks out “insurgents” and roams the drones, never failing to lose hearts and minds. Over a million people, expendable, as well.

Again, if you’re paying attention, you’ve felt the stomach lurching and the chest tightening after viewing the Wikileaks video of troops in an Apache helicopter, unloading on civilians, killing all, including children and two Reuters journalists. And laughing as they did this. Oh, yes, and more troops rolling in via Humvee to re-kill the dead. And more laughter.

Don’t you think it’s time to ask yourselves if this clears your principles?

We’re told that it’s patriotic to support our troops. But there’s a HUGE conflict here.

When troops kill civilians, deliberately, is it not appropriate to question war’s effect on not just civilian populations but, also, on those who pull the triggers and drop the bombs?

And if we support the troops, we, too, are killers, selling our souls to an idol called US Imperialism whose nickname is Profit.

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: