FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail

Peace Be With You

by MISSY BEATTIE

Daily, we learn more about Aaron Alexis and all the troubling signs.

Joining the Navy in 2007, Alexis was cited multiple times for misconduct before his honorable discharge in 2011. He had an arrest record. Had discharged a firearm within city limits. Had shot out the tires of someone’s vehicle. Had a history of mental illness for which he was being treated.

And there’s that contradiction: He aspired to be a monk.

This, of course, is the story of the week—the latest violence (in the U.S). By the time these paragraphs are up, latest (in the U.S.) could be something else, another Sandy Hook or George Zimmerman’s standing his ground, pulling it out from under someone else.

Late Monday, I decided to reach for the remote. As soon as I saw Chris Matthews and guests in debate about the cause of the shooting, I remembered the reason I don’t watch television anymore. A quote from Obama appeared on the screen. He’d called the rampage a “cowardly act.”

I’ve never understood this customary pronouncement.

Pointing the control, I silenced Matthews. And opened my laptop where I read a plea from MedStar Washington Hospital Center Chief Medical Officer Janis Orlowski. She said:

“There’s something evil in our society that we as Americans have to work to try and eradicate. I would like you to put my trauma center out of business. I really would. I would like to not be an expert on gunshots. Let’s get rid of this. This is not America.”

Dr. Orlowski’s right about the evil but wrong when she says, “This is not America.” Ask anyone living under the threat of drone warfare, of military strikes, large or small. Ask anyone within the borders that define our country who’s lost a job, a house, health insurance, is impoverished, has collided with the system. Indeed this IS America, the country that creates trauma globally with its fingerprints, boots, futuristic weaponry.

I reread Orlowski’s words on Tuesday and then clicked to this, an article about probabilities—predicting additional carnage here at home. That “if such incidents occur at the same pace for the rest of Obama’s term as they have since 2009, there could be 14 more before he leaves office.” This was followed by, “It is indisputable: white men are most likely to commit such acts, though not exclusively.”

While the shooter that paralyzed DC on Monday was a black man, another black man, the president of the U.S., is dishonorably discharging terrorism across huge swaths of our planet, albeit he’s controlled by mostly filthy wealthy white men who profit from the deaths of people of color. These murders are considered legitimate by the state, because they occur beneath banners of WAR MISSIONS.

Detouring to a piece written by CNN’s digital correspondent and mom, Kelly Wallace, I read advice for telling our nation’s children—tips to calm their fears. Perhaps, we should seek the expert wisdom of parents in those regions we’ve turned into wastelands and graveyards in the Middle East or Southeast Asia.

Jessica McFadden, a Silver Spring, MD mom, makes an appearance in Wallace’s article. She’ll “take her cues from her children about what to say and when.” Because, “One of the biggest questions children ask is why, and that’s something that we can’t answer.”
Oh, but we can.

Violence pervades our society, our senses. For weeks this country has been on the brink of yet another military action, despite public resistance. War weariness isn’t exactly a moral imperative for opposing aggression. Nor is the understanding that the war of terror inspires terrorism. Nor is the certainty that troops returning from multiple deployments may be next month’s or next year’s Aaron Alexis. Seems the sole motivation to denounce militarism should be reverence for our ecosystem.

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 Baltimore. Email: missybeat@gmail.com.

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:
May 25, 2016
Eric Draitser
Obama in Hiroshima: A Case Study in Hypocrisy
Ryan Mallett-Outtrim
Does Venezuela’s Crisis Prove Socialism Doesn’t Work?
Dan Arel
The Socialist Revolution Beyond Sanders and the Democratic Party
Marc Estrin
Cocky-Doody Politics and World Affairs
Sam Husseini
Layers of Islamophobia: Do Liberals Care That Hillary Returned “Muslim Money”?
Susan Babbitt
Invisible in Life, Invisible in Death: How Information Becomes Useless
Mel Gurtov
Hillary’s Cowgirl Diplomacy?
Kathy Kelly
Hammering for Peace
Dick Reavis
The Impeachment of Donald Trump
Wahid Azal
Behind the Politics of a Current Brouhaha in Iran: an Ex-President Ayatollah’s Daughter and the Baha’is
Jesse Jackson
Obama Must Recommit to Eliminating Nuclear Arms
Colin Todhunter
From the Green Revolution to GMOs: Living in the Shadow of Global Agribusiness
Binoy Kampmark
Turkey as Terror: the Role of Ankara in the Brexit Referendum
Dave Lindorff
72-Year-Old Fringe Left Candidate Wins Presidency in Austrian Run-Off Election
May 24, 2016
Sharmini Peries - Michael Hudson
The Financial Invasion of Greece
Jonathan Cook
Religious Zealots Ready for Takeover of Israeli Army
Ted Rall
Why I Am #NeverHillary
Mari Jo Buhle – Paul Buhle
Television Meets History
Robert Hunziker
Troika Heat-Seeking Missile Destroys Greece
Judy Gumbo
May Day Road Trip: 1968 – 2016
Colin Todhunter
Cheerleader for US Aggression, Pushing the World to the Nuclear Brink
Jeremy Brecher
This is What Insurgency Looks Like
Jonathan Latham
Unsafe at Any Dose: Chemical Safety Failures from DDT to Glyphosate to BPA
Binoy Kampmark
Suing Russia: Litigating over MH17
Dave Lindorff
Europe, the US and the Politics of Pissing and Being Pissed
Matt Peppe
Cashing In at the Race Track While Facing Charges of “Abusive” Lending Practices
Gilbert Mercier
If Bernie Sanders Is Real, He Will Run as an Independent
Peter Bohmer
A Year Later! The Struggle for Justice Continues!
Dave Welsh
Police Chief Fired in Victory for the Frisco 500
May 23, 2016
Conn Hallinan
European Union: a House Divided
Paul Buhle
Labor’s Sell-Out and the Sanders Campaign
Uri Avnery
Israeli Weimar: It Can Happen Here
John Stauber
Why Bernie was Busted From the Beginning
James Bovard
Obama’s Biggest Corruption Charade
Joseph Mangano – Janette D. Sherman
Indian Point Nuclear Plant: It Doesn’t Take a Meltdown to Harm Local Residents
Desiree Hellegers
“Energy Without Injury”: From Redwood Summer to Break Free via Occupy Wall Street
Lawrence Davidson
The Unraveling of Zionism?
Patrick Cockburn
Why Visa Waivers are Dangerous for Turks
Robert Koehler
Rethinking Criminal Justice
Lawrence Wittner
The Return of Democratic Socialism
Ha-Joon Chang
What Britain Forgot: Making Things Matters
John V. Walsh
Only Donald Trump Raises Five “Fundamental and Urgent” Foreign Policy Questions: Stephen F. Cohen Bemoans MSM’s Dismissal of Trump’s Queries
Andrew Stewart
The Occupation of the American Mind: a Film That Palestinians Deserve
Nyla Ali Khan
The Vulnerable Repositories of Honor in Kashmir
Weekend Edition
May 20, 2016
Friday - Sunday
Rob Urie
Hillary Clinton and Political Violence
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail