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A Kind of Barbarism

Timothy McVeigh, convicted of killing 168 people in the 1995 bombing of the Alfred P. Murrah Building in Oklahoma City, was parented by Irish Catholics. He referred to himself as agnostic yet wrote to a friend, prior to his crime: “I have come to peace with myself, my God and my cause.” McVeigh didn’t explain his concept of God. He did, however, request a Mass and a Catholic chaplain as his execution neared.

Are you wondering where I’m going with this?

Straight to Ground Zero and the Cordoba Initiative’s proposed building of an Islamic center within a couple of blocks of the huge hole where the World Trade Center once towered. Straight to confront the firestorm of opposition to a plan that includes a prayer room, an athletic center, culinary school, and art studios.

What if members of the Catholic Church wanted to build a center within a few blocks of the Oklahoma City National Memorial? I doubt there’d be a problem.

But we are living a problemathon.

We’re mired in wars expanded by Obama and his Pentagon handlers. People are dying, daily. Ours. Theirs. Children. The monetary price tag is in the trillions. The cost in blood is incalculable. Add to this Israeli war crimes in Gaza, aided and abetted by the USA.

Barack Obama cannot govern.

Members of Congress are more concerned with their job preservation than with acting on conscience.

The Military Industrial Complex has executive power.

The Gulf of Mexico is toxic wastewater despite government assurances that huge amounts of the oil have disappeared. Truth has been smothered along with marine life. Forty-six US Senators are “employed” by the oil industry.

Into the widening dysfunction, place economic devastation, unemployment, criminal wiretapping, healthcare horror, a greed-crazed power elite, fear, and distrust. Extremism is on the rise, resulting in harassment of immigrants, the use of racially charged labels like illegal alien, religious intolerance, and hatred–ingredients that enthuse an ugly and passionate intensity/propensity for violence. The growing racist movement includes politicians from both mainstream parties who perpetuate the “war on terror” (?) within the US with rhetoric that demonizes Muslims, Arabs, and South Asians who live here.

Bad news abounds. John Bolton is vocal, demanding that Israel attack Iran. This statement is synchronized with the media frenzy surrounding the building of the Islamic center and is a ploy to strengthen Islamophobia.

In the aftermath of 9/11, George W. said:

This crusade, this war on terrorism is gonna take awhile and the American people must be patient. I’m gonna be patient. We haven’t seen this kind of barbarism in a long period of time. This is a new kind of evil.

The “kind of barbarism” we saw on that day in September had been and continues to be unleashed by US imperialism and Zionism. Hundreds of thousands of civilians have been killed. Thousands of troops who answered a nationalistic appeal for service and sacrifice have died or suffered life-changing injuries. The so-called “war on terror” overseas is as destructive as the clamor of animus at home, an evil that is moving us backwards. This is a regression of humanity.

MISSY BEATTIE can be reached at missybeat@gmail.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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