Friend or Foe?

In the muddy of my mind, the Minutemen are singing “Warfare” lyrics:

Falling down the road
Steeper as it goes
Friend or foe
Nobody knows

In the muddy of my mind the Minutemen are singing “The Big Stick” lyrics: “We learn and believe there is justice for us all and we lie to ourselves with a big stick up our ass.”

On Monday, six US troops, serving in Afghanistan, died after receiving friend-foe fire from an Afghan police officer during a training exercise. Friend or foe (?) must be among the many complexities servicemen, women, and their families ponder.

This wasn’t unique, isn’t an aberration. Similar incidents have occurred. Last December, five British soldiers were killed by an Afghan police officer.

Yesterday morning, I read that evangelical Mike Huckabee, and many omniscient omnipotents (yeah, I know pluralizing this is incorrect) are screaming threats to Bradley Manning, using the T word. Treason. “Execute him.” Politicians from both sides (meaning, of course, the Unity Aisle) are clamoring for Eric Holder to prosecute Julian Assange because, according to warmongers, the WikiLeaks founder is damaging national security—security that, in fact, is jeopardized, essentially, by predatory US foreign policy, our racist and greed-driven imperial wars. In other words, warmongering.

Meanwhile, the real criminals, the enablers of our insecurity, Bush, Cheney, Obama, and all the neocons, remain at large, living large in plain sight, one touring his fictional memoir, while Manning sits in military solitary confinement and Assange is in hiding, threatened with assassination.

Wannabe-president Huckabee, an ordained Southern Baptist minister and former governor of Arkansas, said this about the unemployed:

You show up every Monday morning at 8 o’clock. You will either pick up trash or you will tutor in a school … you will do something from eight in the morning until four or five that afternoon like everyone else who is getting a check.

What about the masses whose unemployment benefits pay for their return to school in pursuit of a marketable skill? They’re in class from 8 o’clock until 3 o’clock after which they rush to pick up children and, then, supervise homework and prepare the evening meal. Many are single parents.

Huckabee, with excess at each fingertip, has penned a plethora of moralizing books. Here are a couple of the titles: Character is the Issue and Do the Right Thing. Like Bush, Huckster Huckabee is busy, hawking one now.

“We learn and believe there is justice for all and we lie to ourselves with a big stick up our ass.”

Under the “leadership” of Barack Obama, totalitarian tactics have broadened with the TSA’s Chertoffing our bodies with scanners whose health consequences have not been studied.

But we have a choice when we walk the porn path-ology at the airport—one similar to voting; we can select the lesser of two evils. Choice provides the illusion of freedom, an option to either move through Michael’s Mutation Machine OR have our breasts, orifices, and inner thighs probed and patted up and down for EXPLOSIVES. Again, the lesser of two evils. And, remember, it was Michael Chertoff who coauthored the US Patriot Act.

Falling down the road
Steeper as it goes
Friend or foe
Nobody knows

Oh, nobody knows the trouble we are seeing and feeling quite as much as those who are actually experiencing it. The rest of us who care read the numbers, the statistics of poverty and war. Really, we know. We know there is justice for all until we understand there isn’t. We know we have lied to ourselves and accepted the perfidy of our elected officials and the duplicity of a complicit fourth estate.

We do know. We can remove the big stick from our ass and act with responsibility instead of sofa sitting while listening to tale-of-vision. And we can hit the streets, protesting Opportunityland’s deficit of opportunities, war, torture, christofascism, corporatism, lack of healthcare, sexism, homophobia, and poverty. Time to merge and move for peace and justice.

Missy Beattie lives in Baltimore, Maryland. Her email address is missybeat@gmail.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

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