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Over a Barrel

By       (Page 1 of 1 pages)   2 comments
Message Missy Beattie
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Anger moves people out of complacency. Americans are angry. Some of us have been angrier longer than others but each day more and more people voice their anger louder and stronger. The target of all this anger is the presidency of George W. Bush.

Unfortunately and tragically, it's essentially road rage that's bringing Bush's poll number down. Road rage and pump rage. The skyrocketing cost of gasoline and the obscene profits of the oil industry are capturing the attention of everyone.

It's not the rising death count of our soldiers in Iraq and Afghanistan. It's not the empty boots or the emptiness in the hearts of those who've lost a loved one.


It's the gouging at the pumps and the tanks, registering empty.

Americans have a love affair with the automobile. Many pamper these adult toys more diligently than they care for their health. Gas is the life blood of our culture.

But there's something deeply, fundamentally wrong with a nation that disapproves of the president because of the price of gas instead of the huge sacrifice and price of war. For shame.

We seem to care more about keeping the cost of gas down than demanding that the human cost of war is zero. There's something depraved about a nation that continues to support a president whose lies have led to the deaths of more than 2,400 US soldiers in an illegal occupation, gouging the hearts of so many families here and in Iraq and Afghanistan. There's something intrinsically flawed with a nation that cheers an operation called "Shock and Awe" that killed thousands of Iraqis, including women and children. There's something defective about a nation that demands no accountability for an unnecessary and failed war. Shame on us.

We rally in criticism of a president about the amount of money it takes to fill a gas tank but sit back in silence while so many lives are lost for nothing but greed, revenge, and power. While inadequate body armor is implicated in many deaths, while soldiers who make it home are denied benefits, while some are even being charged for damage to their equipment, so many of us remain mute. Shame on us all.

Only when we are forced to dig deeper into our wallets or pockets to pay more at the pumps do we feel called to action, complacent no more. Our ire is raised, finally, because we value the need to push the pedal to the metal.

Shame on those of us who complain about the high cost of fuel for our automobiles when the blood of our loved ones is soaking into the sand and dirt of Iraq and Afghanistan.

War rage, please!
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Missy Beattie lives in New York City. She's written for National Public Radio and Nashville Life Magazine. An outspoken critic of the Bush Administration and the war in Iraq, she's a member of Gold Star Families for Peace. She completed a (more...)
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