Tuesday, August 16, 2005

Everyone Must Read This Letter

From One Pissed Off Veteran, we get linked to a must read letter. The Lexington Herald Leader printed this letter from Missy Comley Beattie expressing her pain at the loss of her nephew, Marine Lance Cpl. Chase Johnson Comley to a suicide attack in Iraq.

“He is number 1,828, 1,829 or 1,830. We don't know for sure, because so many died last week.

[…] As I write, Chase is being flown to Dover Air Force Base. His 6-foot-4 body is in a coffin draped with the American flag. He loved his family, his country, his Sayre classmates and his life, but we don't think he loved his mission in Iraq.

[…] For those of you who still trust the Bush administration -- and your percentage diminishes every day -- let me tell you that my nephew Chase Johnson Comley did not die to preserve your freedoms. He was not presented flowers by grateful Iraqis, welcoming him as their liberator.”

For those of us who have not been in Missy Beattie’s position, there is no way we can comprehend the pain and anguish that comes with the news of such a horrible, tragic death. It is easy to dismiss her anger as being borne of her pain and grief. But, it would be wrong not to understand that what causes Missy Beattie the most agony is knowing that her beloved nephew died in a war of choice. A war chosen by men who have never willingly placed themselves in harms way. A war chosen by men for reasons that they still won’t explain to the people doing the dying.

“He died fighting a senseless war for oil and contracts, ensuring the increased wealth of President Bush and his administration's friends.

He died long after Bush, in his testosterone-charged, theatrical, soldier-for-a-day role, announced on an aircraft carrier beneath a "Mission Accomplished" banner that major combat was over.”

Chase Comley didn’t die to protect America. He died because the Bush Administration wanted a photogenic war against an inferior enemy so that they could push forward their right wing neocon agenda both at home and abroad.

“He died in a country erupting into civil war and turned into a hellhole by Bush, a place where democracy has no chance of prevailing, a country that will become a theocracy like Saudi Arabia.”

Missy Beattie sees the world and Bush’s war for what they are. She sees the ironies and inconsistencies that President Bush and his cronies refuse to acknowledge.

“Consider what the money spent on this could have done for health care, our children's education or a true humanitarian intervention in Sudan. And then think about Bush's inauguration. Picture the lavish parties, the couture gown worn by Laura Bush. And imagine the cost of the security for the event.

And then think about Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld when he visits our troops. Picture his heavily armored vehicle, a machine impregnable to almost anything the insurgents toss in its path, while our troops are not provided sufficient armor to survive an improvised explosive device.”

Missy Beattie asks us to consider the path we are on and the toll it is taking.

“So think of my family's grief -- grief that will never end. Think of all the families. Think of the wounded, the maimed, the psychologically scarred.

And then consider: The preservation of our freedom rests not on U.S. imperialism but on actively changing foreign policies that are conquest-oriented and that dehumanize our own young who become fodder for endless war as well as people in other countries who are so geographically distant that they become abstract.”

Maybe, if Cindy Sheehan gets tired, we can send in Missy Beattie to ask the President some hard questions.

Someone has to do it.

We all have to do it.