FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail

Holding Tightly

One year ago, I was in Kentucky, at my mother’s bedside after she made a decision to stop eating.  Her death wasn’t unexpected.  She had lived a long, meaningful life with much more joy than sorrow.

I remember a little poem she loved to quote, one I’ve Googled yet never been able to find.  This is what Mother would say:

I hold my love but lightly,

for I know that things with wings held tightly

long to fly.

Mother did not hold love lightly.  She held to my father, her children, and grandchildren with fierceness I well understand.

And, now, as I approach the first anniversary of her death, April 17, I think of mothers in the countries with which we’re at war, mothers who love as fiercely as she did.  And as I do.

This morning I read an article, “War Looms for Obama in Iran, Syria, and North Korea,” by Leslie H. Gelb, president emeritus of the Council on Foreign Relations.  I felt my chest constrict over this:

 On the one hand, Americans can’t stand to deal with, let alone compromise with, bad guys like these three. None of these tyrants hesitate to spill the blood of their own people. It’s against the American character to look away from humanitarian tragedies. Americans always feel they have to do ‘something.’

The “bad guys” to whom Gelb refers are Iran’s Ayatollah Khamenei, Syria’s Bashar al-Assad, and North Korea’s Kim Jong-un.

I don’t include myself among Americans who can’t stand compromise.  Isn’t compromise better than war? Better than the conflict that results in casualties that alter lives forever here at home?  And I’m not just emphasizing deaths but also maiming, traumatic brain injuries, and PTSD.  And what we do to the people, including children, in the lands we invade to eliminate a “bad guy”—as well as what we complete when our weapons manipulate a family’s structure and a country’s ecosystem.

We have not looked “away from humanitarian tragedies.”  Instead, we are the architects of so many.

New polling indicates that a majority of Americans oppose war in Afghanistan and believe that Afghans want our troops removed from their country.  Meanwhile, members of prominent “think tanks” and candidates for “elected” office are posing the war question, as if the crown of power rests on the head of the person whose vocabulary encompasses the most battle language.

But it’s not about the “bad guys” in any of these foreign locations.

It’s the criminal war profiteers on Wall Street—those operating the strings that move US “leadership” to plunge our troops, their families, and people in the countries we explode into unthinkable disorder.

These Wall Street terrorists hold tightly, fiercely to what they love—the power of Big Greed.

Missy Beattie lives in Baltimore, Maryland where she is among a sisterhood, including Laura and Erma, reminiscing about Gigi Comley, one amazing woman. Reach Missy at missybeat@gmail.com.

More articles by:

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

September 24, 2018
Jonathan Cook
Hiding in Plain Sight: Why We Cannot See the System Destroying Us
Gary Leupp
All the Good News (Ignored by the Trump-Obsessed Media)
Robert Fisk
I Don’t See How a Palestinian State Can Ever Happen
Barry Brown
Pot as Political Speech
Lara Merling
Puerto Rico’s Colonial Legacy and Its Continuing Economic Troubles
Patrick Cockburn
Iraq’s Prime Ministers Come and Go, But the Stalemate Remains
William Blum
The New Iraq WMD: Russian Interference in US Elections
Julian Vigo
The UK’s Snoopers’ Charter Has Been Dealt a Serious Blow
Joseph Matten
Why Did Global Economic Performance Deteriorate in the 1970s?
Zhivko Illeieff
The Millennial Label: Distinguishing Facts from Fiction
Thomas Hon Wing Polin – Gerry Brown
Xinjiang : The New Great Game
Binoy Kampmark
Casting Kavanaugh: The Trump Supreme Court Drama
Max Wilbert
Blue Angels: the Naked Face of Empire
Weekend Edition
September 21, 2018
Friday - Sunday
Alexandra Isfahani-Hammond
Hurricane Florence and 9.7 Million Pigs
Andrew Levine
Israel’s Anti-Semitism Smear Campaign
Paul Street
Laquan McDonald is Being Tried for His Own Racist Murder
Brad Evans
What Does It Mean to Celebrate International Peace Day?
Nick Pemberton
With or Without Kavanaugh, The United States Is Anti-Choice
Jim Kavanagh
“Taxpayer Money” Threatens Medicare-for-All (And Every Other Social Program)
Jonathan Cook
Palestine: The Testbed for Trump’s Plan to Tear up the Rules-Based International Order
Jeffrey St. Clair
Roaming Charges: the Chickenhawks Have Finally Come Back Home to Roost!
David Rosen
As the Capitalist World Turns: From Empire to Imperialism to Globalization?
Jonah Raskin
Green Capitalism Rears Its Head at Global Climate Action Summit
James Munson
On Climate, the Centrists are the Deplorables
Robert Hunziker
Is Paris 2015 Already Underwater?
Arshad Khan
Will Their Ever be Justice for Rohingya Muslims?
Jill Richardson
Why Women Don’t Report Sexual Assault
Dave Clennon
A Victory for Historical Accuracy and the Peace Movement: Not One Emmy for Ken Burns and “The Vietnam War”
W. T. Whitney
US Harasses Cuba Amid Mysterious Circumstances
Nathan Kalman-Lamb
Things That Make Sports Fans Uncomfortable
George Capaccio
Iran: “Snapping Back” Sanctions and the Threat of War
Kenneth Surin
Brexit is Coming, But Which Will It Be?
Louis Proyect
Moore’s “Fahrenheit 11/9”: Entertaining Film, Crappy Politics
Ramzy Baroud
Why Israel Demolishes: Khan Al-Ahmar as Representation of Greater Genocide
Ben Dangl
The Zapatistas’ Dignified Rage: Revolutionary Theories and Anticapitalist Dreams of Subcommandante Marcos
Ron Jacobs
Faith, Madness, or Death
Bill Glahn
Crime Comes Knocking
Terry Heaton
Pat Robertson’s Hurricane “Miracle”
Dave Lindorff
In Montgomery County PA, It’s Often a Jury of White People
Louis Yako
From Citizens to Customers: the Corporate Customer Service Culture in America 
William Boardman
The Shame of Dianne Feinstein, the Courage of Christine Blasey Ford 
Ernie Niemi
Logging and Climate Change: Oregon is Appalachia and Timber is Our Coal
Jessicah Pierre
Nike Says “Believe in Something,” But Can It Sacrifice Something, Too?
Paul Fitzgerald - Elizabeth Gould
Weaponized Dreams? The Curious Case of Robert Moss
Olivia Alperstein
An Environmental 9/11: the EPA’s Gutting of Methane Regulations
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail