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The Chemistry of Empire

In the beginning, chemicals collided and catalyzed, evolving a system of development from non-living to living things, proteins and nucleic acids interacting–greeting and meeting, dating and mating?in a metaphorical dance of romance. The recipe to make more was born. Now, chemicals portend the end. So much tells us so. An eye for an eye doesn’t just blind the world; it annihilates. The blueprint for reproduction becomes one of destruction.

I’m not relaxed.

Sen. Lindsay Graham advocates permanent military presence in Afghanistan, despite an objection from Afghan President Hamid Karzai’s government.

And despite the deaths of thousands of military men and women during Bush’s war?the War OF Terror that passed seamlessly to Commander Obama. Last week, two US troops died in Iraq where combat ENDED months ago. Because the president told us so, even announcing the improved name of the non-war: Operation New Dawn.

And despite the more than 100,000 Americans wounded.

And despite the three hundred and twenty thousand troops who suffer brain injuries.

Despite a suicide epidemic among veterans.

Despite the more than a million Iraqi and Afghan civilians killed and maimed. And Pakistanis.

Despite that most of the above numbers, probably, will change before this article is published.

Despite the use of weapons banned by international law. The attack on Fallujah in 2004 is an example. Barbarism, courtesy of the USA, incinerated a civilian population, including children. Studies reveal war’s horror?survivors of the carnage have an increased risk of chemically induced illness. The cancer rate has soared. Unimaginable birth defects (a child born with two heads) have increased.

And, now, a WikiLeaks cable reveals that Israel is preparing for a “major” war against Hamas in Gaza and/or Hezbollah in Lebanon. Will their forces use another banned weapon, also, courtesy of the USA, Dense Inert Metal Explosives (DIME), classified as genotoxic, damaging DNA and causing cancer?

Here at home, the Gulf Coast, like Fallujah, is a wasteland. It’s not just the millions of gallons of crude from the catastrophic rupture of the ocean floor but, also, the dispersant Corexit used to clear the disaster, a chemical banned in Europe because of its toxicity (and linked to the health problems of the Exxon Valdez cleanup crew). So, again, courtesy of a US leadership that conspired with oil industry giants, there will be increased illness and birth defects as well as premature deaths. But Gulf seafood is safe to eat. Because the Obama Administration tells us so.

Man-made climate change is bringing severe weather swings, blizzards and heat waves. In June, Pakistanis suffered US drone strikes during temperatures that reached 128 degrees.

Earthquakes.

Volcanoes.

Floods.

Famine.

Dead fish.

Bees dying.

Blackbirds falling from the sky.

If I were a Christian End Timer, I’d be maxing out a credit card right now. You know, like there’s no tomorrow, or few of them. I’d order the last dinner, course after course, with a decadent slice of cake as the finale?maybe Death by Chocolate.

Since I’m not, I’ll continue to rant against Wall Street, the Military/Security Complex, and Congressmen and women responsible for our planet’s end time. Oh, yes, and against those who remain silent, apathetic to suffering.

Finally, if we who speak in opposition to what’s being done in our names, suddenly, fall, dead to the ground, or are found dead, floating in water, please, do not believe that the loud noise of fireworks or cold weather is responsible. Look, instead, to US Empire.

Missy Beattie lives in Baltimore. She 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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