FacebookTwitterRedditEmail

Settling Scores in the Theater of Endless Wars

I know vengeance personally, the anger that drives a fantasy to action. I admit that it feels too good to be good. I also admit my own complicity in being taken advantage of, but I lied only to myself.

My saga is nothing compared to what’s being done in our names, a cycle of war violence by the government, although the two people against whom my malice was directed would disagree. They’re that self-absorbed.

So where am I going with this? Here: an article about Pakistan’s announcement that on Wednesday a CIA drone killed the Pakistan Taliban’s 2nd in command, Wali ur-Rehman. This just days after Barack Obama spoke of a “new direction” for the secret drone wars, the “sweeping changes” to the drone program, and a shift to transparency about the secret killings.

American “officials” are talking about the exception to the new rules. And I’m wondering just how many exceptions there are. Or if the new standards are just like the old ones—that as long as US troops are in Afghanistan, the CIA will drone the bejesus out of anyone in Pakistan suspected of nefarious thoughts without so much as a care about legality and/or who’s nearby to be collaterally cremated.

And the transparency? Washington, thus far, is closed-lipped about the latest murder, despite the Pakistan statement that Mr. Rehman is dead—and was one among five people killed.

Who are the others? Any children?

During the period of old rules at least 350 drones have been joysticked to Pakistan. And according to, again, “officials,” many Pakistanis are grateful for the CIA dronings. Because they rid the country of so many bad men. But they often obliterate the unintended, a human being holding not a rifle but instead something harmless, like a farming tool, or a child.

On Wednesday, Pakistan’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs expressed concern over the drone strikes that violate national sovereignty and international law. His alarm is trumped by American exceptionalism. Always.

It’s reported that Mr. Rehman had ties with several religious parties that worked to mediate with the Taliban. Mualana Syed Yusuf Shah, deputy leader of one of the religious parties, said Mr. Rehman’s death would make it difficult to negotiate peace. “Now the Taliban will avenge his killing, resulting in more bloodshed and violence across the country,” he continued.

We might consider that this was the US Empire’s intent. And we know that each time we drone one of the biggies, several more are ready to ascend. In fact, the Pakistan Taliban has purportedly chosen Rehman’s replacement, Khan Sayed.

Supposedly, vengeance doesn’t belong to us. I claimed it as mine briefly, writing, exposing deception, and sunbathing in retribution. It’s the wanting more that’s disturbing, the tension between a choice—either reprisal or taking the moral high ground. Like those in Washington who refer to certain drone attacks as “good-will kills,” I had a purpose to defend my gender. That settling of the score is a microcosm of what we view at the theater of endless war. I can’t promise I’m finished. I want to be, but I know my offenders continue the insanity, hurting so many others and really we must stop the hurting of others.

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

bernie-the-sandernistas-cover-344x550
August 19, 2019
John Davis
The Isle of White: a Tale of the Have-Lots Versus the Have-Nots
John O'Kane
Supreme Nihilism: the El Paso Shooter’s Manifesto
Robert Fisk
If Chinese Tanks Take Hong Kong, Who’ll be Surprised?
Ipek S. Burnett
White Terror: Toni Morrison on the Construct of Racism
Arshad Khan
India’s Mangled Economy
Howard Lisnoff
The Proud Boys Take Over the Streets of Portland, Oregon
Steven Krichbaum
Put an End to the Endless War Inflicted Upon Our National Forests
Cal Winslow
A Brief History of Harlan County, USA
Jim Goodman
Ag Secretary Sonny Perdue is Just Part of a Loathsome Administration
Brian Horejsi
Bears’ Lives Undervalued
Thomas Knapp
Lung Disease Outbreak: First Casualties of the War on Vaping?
Susie Day
Dear Guys Who Got Arrested for Throwing Water on NYPD Cops
Weekend Edition
August 16, 2019
Friday - Sunday
Paul Street
Uncle Sam was Born Lethal
Jennifer Matsui
La Danse Mossad: Robert Maxwell and Jeffrey Epstein
Rob Urie
Neoliberalism and Environmental Calamity
Stuart A. Newman
The Biotech-Industrial Complex Gets Ready to Define What is Human
Nick Alexandrov
Prevention Through Deterrence: The Strategy Shared by the El Paso Shooter and the U.S. Border Patrol
Jeffrey St. Clair
The First Dambuster: a Coyote Tale
Eric Draitser
“Bernie is Trump” (and other Corporate Media Bullsh*t)
Nick Pemberton
Is White Supremacism a Mental Illness?
Jim Kavanagh
Dead Man’s Hand: The Impeachment Gambit
Andrew Levine
Have They No Decency?
David Yearsley
Kind of Blue at 60
Ramzy Baroud
Manifestos of Hate: What White Terrorists Have in Common
Evaggelos Vallianatos
The War on Nature
Martha Rosenberg
Catch and Hang Live Chickens for Slaughter: $11 an Hour Possible!
Neve Gordon
It’s No Wonder the Military likes Violent Video Games, They Can Help Train Civilians to Become Warriors
Yoav Litvin
Israel Fears a Visit by Ilhan Omar and Rashida Tlaib
Susan Miller
That Debacle at the Border is Genocide
Ralph Nader
With the Boeing 737 MAX Grounded, Top Boeing Bosses Must Testify Before Congress Now
Victor Grossman
Warnings, Ancient and Modern
Meena Miriam Yust - Arshad Khan
The Microplastic Threat
Kavitha Muralidharan
‘Today We Seek Those Fish in Discovery Channel’
Louis Proyect
The Vanity Cinema of Quentin Tarantino
Bob Scofield
Tit For Tat: Baltimore Takes Another Hit, This Time From Uruguay
Nozomi Hayase
The Prosecution of Julian Assange Affects Us All
Ron Jacobs
People’s Music for the Soul
John Feffer
Is America Crazy?
Jonathan Power
Russia and China are Growing Closer Again
John W. Whitehead
Who Inflicts the Most Gun Violence in America? The U.S. Government and Its Police Forces
Justin Vest
ICE: You’re Not Welcome in the South
Jill Richardson
Race is a Social Construct, But It Still Matters
Dean Baker
The NYT Gets the Story on Automation and Inequality Completely Wrong
Nino Pagliccia
Venezuela Retains Political Control After New US Coercive Measures
Gary Leupp
MSNBC and the Next Election: Racism is the Issue (and Don’t Talk about Socialism)
FacebookTwitterRedditEmail