FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail

Sow Chaos, Reap Chaos

by MISSY BEATTIE

Marine Capt. Cameron West said, “We are all in this together.”

He and other troops, Iraq or Afghanistan war amputees,  traveled to Boston to offer encouragement to those who lost limbs on April 15 at the Boston Marathon. Their message: “Life’s not over.”

While this was a generous gesture, I can’t help but think that they’re not just missing a leg or an arm, but the point. And an opportunity.

When son H was in grade school, one of his teachers taught conflict resolution. I reinforced this and emphasized looking beneath the surface of behavior.

We don’t have to work hard, here, excavating for answers to why someone would want to harm us. US imperial fingerprints can be found anywhere there are resources to enrich the death profiteers. Since the wake-up blast of 9/11, we’ve wasted precious time and countless lives.

So many Americans were rabidly patriotic for months following 9/11 (and are still), their minds imprisoned by “my country right or wrong.” We witnessed this again when two young men, identified as the alleged perpetrators of the Boston bombings, were associated with Islam.

Capt. West lost his leg, amputated on the battlefield, to an IED while on foot patrol in Afghanistan. He said the Boston attack was the work of extremists who share the same anti-American ideology as his attackers. “This was an act of terror,” he said, referring to Boston.

Human beings in AfPak-Iraq would say the same about US intentions in their countries.

Imagine if even one of the troops who flew to Boston, seeing the marathon victims, or one of those victims, seeing the troops, had elaborated on the “life’s not over” with more than bonding over shared injuries, challenges, and how-to advice. Had talked cause and effect. Had said, “Let’s examine why this happened.”

Had continued with:

“Why do we choose war?”

“How do we end the violence?”

“What can we do to sustain peace?”

“Why aren’t we questioning a government that sends its young to be maimed, to die thousands of miles away?”

“Why aren’t we questioning a government that sends its young to maim, kill, to destroy civilizations?”

“Let’s consider the people in these countries, what they’re thinking and feeling, our weapons aimed at them, their children. The children.”

Yes, Capt. West said, “We’re all in this together.” He’s right.

We are all in this together. Whether we identify as Americans, Afghans, Iraqis, Pakistanis, Syrians, we are all in this together. Whether we are adherents of Taoism, Sufism, Christianity, Islam, Judaism, Buddhism, Hinduism, or members of the Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster, we are all in this together—human beings.

Whether we turn on the TV to watch reality shows, read Foucault, power the computer and scroll through photos of celebs without makeup, work crosswords, are either elated or outraged that a sports figure has come out as gay (or believe this should be a nonissue), we are all in this together. Whether we are scared stupid because the government demands our dumbing down to launch perpetual war or we question every noun, verb, pronouncement spoken by the deciders, we are all in this together.

And because we are all in this together, we cannot label as terrorists those who use improvised explosives against us without acknowledging our own use of WMD, terrorism, against them.

We deliver chaos, we receive it.  And we are all in this together.

Missy Beattie can be reached 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
November 17, 2017
Friday - Sunday
Paul Street
Thank an Anti-War Veteran
Andrew Levine
What’s Wrong With Bible Thumpers Nowadays?
Jeffrey St. Clair - Alexander Cockburn
The CIA’s House of Horrors: the Abominable Dr. Gottlieb
Wendy Wolfson – Ken Levy
Why We Need to Take Animal Cruelty Much More Seriously
Mike Whitney
Brennan and Clapper: Elder Statesmen or Serial Fabricators?
David Rosen
Of Sex Abusers and Sex Offenders
Ryan LaMothe
A Christian Nation?
Dave Lindorff
Trump’s Finger on the Button: Why No President Should Have the Authority to Launch Nuclear Weapons
W. T. Whitney
A Bizarre US Pretext for Military Intrusion in South America
Deepak Tripathi
Sex, Lies and Incompetence: Britain’s Ruling Establishment in Crisis 
Howard Lisnoff
Who You’re Likely to Meet (and Not Meet) on a College Campus Today
Roy Morrison
Trump’s Excellent Asian Adventure
John W. Whitehead
Financial Tyranny
Ted Rall
How Society Makes Victimhood a No-Win Proposition
Jim Goodman
Stop Pretending the Estate Tax has Anything to do With Family Farmers
Thomas Klikauer
The Populism of Germany’s New Nazis
Murray Dobbin
Is Trudeau Ready for a Middle East war?
Jeiddy Martínez Armas
Firearm Democracy
Jill Richardson
Washington’s War on Poor Grad Students
Ralph Nader
The Rule of Power Over the Rule of Law
Justin O'Hagan
Capitalism Equals Peace?
Matthew Stevenson
Into Africa: From the Red Sea to Nairobi
Geoff Dutton
The Company We Sadly Keep
Evan Jones
The Censorship of Jacques Sapir, French Dissident
Linn Washington Jr.
Meek Moment Triggers Demands for Justice Reform
Gerry Brown
TPP, Indo Pacific, QUAD: What’s Next to Contain China’s Rise?
Robert Fisk
The Exile of Saad Hariri
Romana Rubeo - Ramzy Baroud
Anti-BDS Laws and Pro-Israeli Parliament: Zionist Hasbara is Winning in Italy
Robert J. Burrowes
Why are Police in the USA so Terrified?
Chuck Collins
Stop Talking About ‘Winners and Losers’ From Corporate Tax Cuts
Ron Jacobs
Private Property Does Not Equal Freedom
Kollibri terre Sonnenblume
Mass Shootings, Male Toxicity and their Roots in Agriculture
Binoy Kampmark
The Fordist Academic
Frank Scott
Weapons of Mass Distraction Get More Destructive
Missy Comley Beattie
Big Dick Diplomacy
Michael Doliner
Democracy, Real Life Acting and the Movies
Dan Bacher
Jerry Brown tells indigenous protesters in Bonn, ‘Let’s put you in the ground’
Winslow Myers
The Madness of Deterrence
Cesar Chelala
A Kiss is Not a Kiss: Sexual Abuse and Exploitation of Children
Jimmy Centeno
Garcia Meets Guayasamin: A De-Colonial Experience
Stephen Martin
When Boot Becomes Bot: Surplus Population and The Human Face.
Martin Billheimer
Homer’s Iliad, la primera nota roja
Louis Proyect
Once There Were Strong Men
Charles R. Larson
Review: Mike McCormack’s Solar Bones
David Yearsley
Academics Take Flight
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail