FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail

The Standard

by

For several days, I’ve read, written, deleted, read more, written more, deleted. I confess. I don’t know exactly what the hell is going on in Iraq except that this War of Terror is an epic clusterfuck and that the US armed Syrian jihadis who now have entered Iraq to join Sunni extremists in slaughtering Shi’ites.

Perhaps that George Bush “Mission Accomplished” photo op was a celebratory slam-dunk to commemorate Middle East destabilization—a goal that was supposed to lead to another: neo-liberalizing Iraq.

On Friday, June 13, early afternoon, my brother Mark called. CNN’s Pamela Brown was interviewing Marine Staff Sargent Mitch Beeler who served with my nephew Chase (killed in Iraq on August 6, 2005) about the current Iraq situation. Pamela and Chase were friends, grew up together in Lexington, Kentucky, saying they’d marry someday.

Late Friday, Mark sent a link to the CNN video. After watching it, I lay awake, thinking of Chase’s death scene. Witnesses had told Mark that Chase was leading a convoy when a vehicle approached. Chase stood, aiming his rifle. Loaded with explosives, the vehicle slammed into Chase, blowing off his face. I closed my eyes and saw him, standing with his rifle, aimed at the driver that moved closer, closer, closer. I know Chase knew, had time to know he was going to die. And I couldn’t sleep.

It’s been almost nine years since Chase died. I think of him often, but not the way I did Friday night. Usually, I see the child, adorable and little-boy naughty. Never in that amphibious assault vehicle thousands of miles from home, because I don’t want to dwell on that, the choice he made to enlist, engaging in whatever he was trained to do, whatever, whatever, whatever. Whatever we know troops are trained to execute in dehumanizing another person and therefore dehumanizing themselves. I can’t bear to think about his death and what he was ordered to do in my name, in our names.

Many times when I lived in NYC, I took the train to Baltimore to either attend or speak at a DC peace rally. Mark called the evening before one of these, one at which I was scheduled to speak. He said an acquaintance, offering condolences, told him Chase died protecting his country. Mark responded, “No, Chase did not die protecting his country. The suicide bomber who killed Chase died protecting his country.” I knew this would be the bulk of my speech, brief yet powerful—my brother’s words spoken in painful truth.

These words are with me now, were with me on my morning run when I went out to sweat some anxiety but returned still carrying oppressive apprehension. I’ve heard the fear mongers, those predicting more attacks here at home, the jingoists, artful in frightening the public to juice up American nationalism. No acknowledgement from them about Iraqi sacrifice. No recognition that Saddam Hussein kept the balance; that the 2003 incursion and the dictator’s overthrow resulted in chaos. The mainstream media are complicit partners, interviewing not just the same bloodthirsty endorsers of violence but also veterans, like Staff Sargent Beeler who said we can’t allow a breeding ground for terrorism after we provided a safer environment, liberated women and children.

Again, I don’t understand exactly what’s happening, but it’s reported that there’s a new and meaner bin Laden, leader of the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS or ISIL), Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, with a $10 million US bounty on his head. There always will be someone to scare us stupid, replacing the villain eliminated by a team of US special operatives after which Americans can chant, “USA! USA! USA!”

Earlier this week, I read that Obama’s deployed troops to Iraq and that more are on standby, combat ready.

It’s Wednesday night. The DC death dealers convened today to strategize. Despite calling Iranians “thugs and killers”, Lindsey Graham, who customarily errs on the side of aggression with Congressional thugs and killers, called for dialogue with Iran, diplomacy.

White House spokesperson Jay Carney said administration lawyers are examining the legal implications if Obama chooses military action and doesn’t seek Congressional approval.

Gen. Martin Dempsey said, “… anytime we use US military force, we use if for those things that are in our national interest. That’s the standard.” When asked if the US will honor Iraq’s request for air power, Dempsey said, “It is in our national security interest to counter ISIL wherever we find them.”

Insert: No surprise that Obama has announced the deployment of up to 300 military “advisers” to Iraq.

Years ago, Henry Kissinger said, “Military men are just dumb, stupid animals to be used as pawns in foreign policy.” My nephew was among the 4500 US pawns killed during use in Iraq, where millions of Iraqis have been murdered, maimed, or displaced by Empire. You know, for “those things that are in our national interest,” but actually, really, ultimately aren’t.

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

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

CounterPunch Magazine

minimag-edit

bernie-the-sandernistas-cover-344x550

zen economics

June 22, 2017
Jason Hirthler
Invisible Empire Beneath the Radar, Above Suspicion
Ken Levy
Sorry, But It’s Entirely the Right’s Fault
John Laforge
Fukushima’s Radiation Will Poison Food “for Decades,” Study Finds
Ann Garrison
Jeremy Corbyn, the Labour Party, and the UK’s Socialist Surge
Phillip Doe
Big Oil in the Rocky Mountain State: the Overwhelming Tawdriness of Government in Colorado
Howard Lisnoff
The Spiritual Death of Ongoing War
Stephen Cooper
Civilized, Constitution-Loving Californians Will Continue Capital Punishment Fight
Bruno Rodríguez Parrilla
Cuba Will Not Bow to Trump’s Threats
Ramzy Baroud
Israel vs. the United Nations: The Nikki Haley Doctrine
Tyler Wilch
The Political Theology of US Drone Warfare
Colin Todhunter
A Grain of Truth: RCEP and the Corporate Hijack of Indian Agriculture
Robert Koehler
When the Detainee is American…
Jeff Berg
Our No Trump Contract
Faiza Shaheen
London Fire Fuels Movement to Challenge Inequality in UK
Rob Seimetz
Sorry I Am Not Sorry: A Letter From Millennials to Baby Boomers
June 21, 2017
Jim Kavanagh
Resist This: the United States is at War With Syria
James Ridgeway
Good Agent, Bad Agent: Robert Mueller and 9-11
Diana Johnstone
The Single Party French State … as the Majority of Voters Abstain
Ted Rall
Democrats Want to Lose the 2020 Election
Kathy Kelly
“Would You Like a Drink of Water?” Please Ask a Yemeni Child
Russell Mokhiber
Sen. Joe Manchin Says “No” to Single-Payer, While Lindsay Graham Floats Single-Payer for Sick People
Ralph Nader
Closing Democracy’s Doors Until the People Open Them
Binoy Kampmark
Barclays in Hot Water: The Qatar Connection
Jesse Jackson
Trump Ratchets Up the Use of Guns, Bombs, Troops, and Insults
N.D. Jayaprakash
No More Con Games: Abolish Nuclear Weapons Now! (Part Four)
David Busch
The Kingdom of Pence–and His League of Flaming Demons–is Upon Us
Stephen Cooper
How John Steinbeck’s “In Dubious Battle” Helps Us Navigate Social Discord
Madis Senner
The Roots of America’s Identity and Our Political Divide are Buried Deep in the Land
June 20, 2017
Ajamu Baraka
The Body Count Rises in the U.S. War Against Black People
Gary Leupp
Russia’s Calm, But Firm, Response to the US Shooting Down a Syrian Fighter Jet
Maxim Nikolenko
Beating Oliver Stone: the Media’s Spin on the Putin Interviews
Michael J. Sainato
Philando Castile and the Self Righteous Cloak of White Privilege
John W. Whitehead
The Militarized Police State Opens Fire
Peter Crowley
The Groundhog Days of Terrorism
Norman Solomon
Behind the Media Surge Against Bernie Sanders
Pauline Murphy
Friedrich Engels: a Tourist In Ireland
David Swanson
The Unifying Force of War Abolition
Louisa Willcox
Senators Bernie Sanders, Cory Booker, Tom Udall Back Tribes in Grizzly Fight
John Stanton
Mass Incarceration, Prison Labor in the United States
Robert Fisk
Did Trump Denounce Qatar Over Failed Business Deals?
Medea Benjamin
America Will Regret Helping Saudi Arabia Bomb Yemen
Brian Addison
Los Angeles County Data Shows Startling Surge in Youth, Latino Homelessness
Native News Online
Betraying Indian Country: How Grizzly Delisting Exposes Trump and Zinke’s Assault on Tribal Sovereignty and Treaty Rights
Stephen Martin
A Tragic Inferno in London Reflects the Terrorism of the Global Free Market
Debadityo Sinha
Think Like a River
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail