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

Weekend Edition
December 14, 2018
Friday - Sunday
Andrew Levine
A Tale of Two Cities
Peter Linebaugh
The Significance of The Common Wind
Bruce E. Levine
The Ketamine Chorus: NYT Trumpets New Anti-Suicide Drug
Jeffrey St. Clair
Roaming Charges: Fathers and Sons, Bushes and Bin Ladens
Kathy Deacon
Coffee, Social Stratification and the Retail Sector in a Small Maritime Village
Nick Pemberton
Praise For America’s Second Leading Intellectual
Robert Hunziker
The Yellow Vest Insurgency – What’s Next?
Patrick Cockburn
The Yemeni Dead: Six Times Higher Than Previously Reported
Nick Alexandrov
George H. W. Bush: Another Eulogy
Brian Cloughley
Principles and Morality Versus Cash and Profit? No Contest
Michael F. Duggan
Climate Change and the Limits of Reason
Victor Grossman
Sighs of Relief in Germany
Ron Jacobs
A Propagandist of Privatization
Robert Fantina
What Does Beto Have Against the Palestinians?
Richard Falk – Daniel Falcone
Sartre, Said, Chomsky and the Meaning of the Public Intellectual
Andrew Glikson
Crimes Against the Earth
Robert Fisk
The Parasitic Relationship Between Power and the American Media
Stephen Cooper
When Will Journalism Grapple With the Ethics of Interviewing Mentally Ill Arrestees?
Jill Richardson
A War on Science, Morals and Law
Ron Jacobs
A Propagandist of Privatization
Evaggelos Vallianatos
It’s Not Easy Being Greek
Nomi Prins 
The Inequality Gap on a Planet Growing More Extreme
John W. Whitehead
Know Your Rights or You Will Lose Them
David Swanson
The Abolition of War Requires New Thoughts, Words, and Actions
J.P. Linstroth
Primates Are Us
Bill Willers
The War Against Cash
Jonah Raskin
Doris Lessing: What’s There to Celebrate?
Ralph Nader
Are the New Congressional Progressives Real? Use These Yardsticks to Find Out
Binoy Kampmark
William Blum: Anti-Imperial Advocate
Medea Benjamin – Alice Slater
Green New Deal Advocates Should Address Militarism
John Feffer
Review: Season 2 of Trump Presidency
Rich Whitney
General Motors’ Factories Should Not Be Closed. They Should Be Turned Over to the Workers
Christopher Brauchli
Deported for Christmas
Kerri Kennedy
This Holiday Season, I’m Standing With Migrants
Mel Gurtov
Weaponizing Humanitarian Aid
Thomas Knapp
Lame Duck Shutdown Theater Time: Pride Goeth Before a Wall?
George Wuerthner
The Thrill Bike Threat to the Elkhorn Mountains
Nyla Ali Khan
A Woman’s Selfhood and Her Ability to Act in the Public Domain: Resilience of Nadia Murad
Kollibri terre Sonnenblume
On the Killing of an Ash Tree
Graham Peebles
Britain’s Homeless Crisis
Louis Proyect
America: a Breeding Ground for Maladjustment
Steve Carlson
A Hell of a Time
Dan Corjescu
America and The Last Ship
Jeffrey St. Clair
Booked Up: the 25 Best Books of 2018
David Yearsley
Bikini by Rita, Voice by Anita
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail