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Upping the Ante and Widening the War

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Message Missy Beattie
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See this page for links to articles on OpEdNEws that articulate both sides on the issues in the middle east. It is the goal of OpEdNews to air opinions from both sides to stretch the envelope of discussion and communication. Hate statements are not accepted. Discussions of issues and new ideas for solutions are encouraged. .
Is there anyone, other than those spellbound by their tax breaks, who believes that george bush and the neocons haven't f**ked up the universe? More and more countries around the globe are denouncing Israel. Condemnation of the United States is at fever pitch for not only sanctioning the actions but also providing the weapons which have changed the landscape of Lebanon, the psyche of the survivors, and the number of graves being dug for the dead. This is not just an "overreaction" by Israel. So many of the coffins are small and hold children.

Our mainstream media continue to refer to the "crisis" in the Middle East in the same way they speak of the "brink" in Iraq. The tragedy of Lebanon is more than a crisis. And civil war in Iraq breached the brink long ago. Both were and remain calculations. The weapons of death are covered with neocon fingerprints and kissed by bush, cheney, rumsfeld, and rice. If this were a movie where justice was finally served to the miscreants, we'd hear lines like "book 'em" and "you have the right to remain silent...."

The descent of Iraq into chaos has left our soldiers demoralized. Hundreds of Iraqi civilians are dying weekly. And now we're sending extra military to Baghdad to quell the violence. That means additional troops will be killed. More families will hear the words, "We regret to inform you." These families won't hear the truth-that the citizens of Iraq want us out of their country where we are perceived by a majority not as liberators but as occupiers whose actions are fueling the sectarian carnage.

Like our merciless administration, long denying the detainees at Gitmo any benefit of doubt, we should not deny the war criminals any either. There is no reasonable doubt. They knew what their plans would wreak. They knew that their precision weapons weren't precise. They knew that children would die. They knew that skin would melt and flesh would burn. They knew exactly what they were doing. And most reprehensible of all is that they just didn't give a damn. Didn't and don't.

Most of them, these warmongers, either received deferments years ago during Viet Nam or got special treatment from low friends in high places to remain stateside and obtain the cushy, safe assignments. It's one of the reasons the swift-boating of those who actually saw combat is perplexing-why war veteran Max Cleland, a triple amputee, could be so vilified that he lost his reelection bid.

Actually, it's not so difficult to understand when you examine the stupor in which many Americans prefer to reside. Add to this the people who praise the toughness of george. I know plenty of them who admit that bush is stupid, but they like him because he's resolute. I always respond with: "That's a terrible combination for someone in such a powerful position-stupid and stubborn." Surely, we can elect someone who's intelligent, compassionate, and willing to be adaptable when flexibility is demanded.

Tragically, we have another intransigent at the controls. Brash with her caveats, condi rice stamps her Farragamoed feet, demanding that Hezbollah disarm. Shouldn't she be requiring the same from Israel? Shouldn't we all? Just as the United States miscalculated the tenacity of the insurgency in Iraq, Israel is misjudging the will of Hezbollah to defend itself.

For our children's future and in the name of peace, we must all look, with eyes wide open, at the Middle East and concede the insanity of continuing this gallop towards mass annihilation.

Gandhi said, "There is no path to peace; peace is the path."
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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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