Something Quite Atrocious

I take the  Metro’s blue Line into DC from where I’m staying in Virginia.  Among the stops are the Pentagon and Pentagon City stations.  As the Metro rolls in to these, I see advertisements for military recruitment juxtaposed with a colorful  announcement of the Kennedy Center’s production of “Mary Poppins.”  Suddenly, the word supercalifragilisticexpialidocious is in my head, “even though the sound of it is something quite atrocious.”

But it’s not this word that’s atrocious;  it’s the wars, at home and abroad.  Wars against our environment, our working class, and against those who live in lands that are rich with the resources we covet.  It’s the breaking, entering, taking, and laying waste. It’s knowing that antiwar sentiment has risen, yet nothing has ended the wars. It’s hearing Barack Obama talk about “success” in Afghanistan.  It’s watching the tourists with their cameras and United States of America shirts and caps exit the train at the Arlington National Cemetery station where they’ll photograph the stone markers, each grave a failure of reason, failure of conflict resolution, of humanity, and of peace.

Nobody knows the number of civilians killed in the longest war in our nation’s history.

We don’t do body counts of the citizens who live in the countries our craven foreign policy destroys, but we know that, at least, 1,149 US troops are dead and many more than this have returned with traumatic brain injuries and PSTD.  Some will require a lifetime of care.

This is not “success.” Instead, “the sound of it is something quite atrocious.”

Atrocious, too, is the loss of rights in our country.  On Tuesday, when Peace of the Action (POTA) protested across from the White House, we were pushed back, far from the street where Benjamin Netanyahu’s motorcade was arriving.  Cindy Sheehan took the bullhorn and demanded that Obama arrest the war criminal. She, then, yelled for Netanyahu to arrest Obama for war crimes, followed with a request that the police enter the White House and arrest both Netanyahu and Obama.

Pushed back with us was a delegation of Orthodox Jews, present to protest Netanyahu.  They advocate the dismantling of the criminal state of Israel.  Their printed material says that they “hope and pray for a peaceful and speedy end to the Zionist state.  For more information, go to their websites:  www.israelversusjudaism.org and www.nkusa.org.

Despite the huge number–more than 2500 men–there was no mention of this action by the mainstream media.  Certainly, this is atrocious.

The day before, I had taken the bullhorn to ask Obama if we could use the Rose Garden for Cindy’s birthday party on Saturday.  “After all, you did tell us that your new residence is really the people’s house.”  Now, that would be pretty supercalifragilisticexpialidocious, and not atrocious, but there was no response, and that’s atrocious.

Today, Thursday, we assembled at Lafayette Park and walked a couple of blocks to the building that houses offices of General Atomics, manufacturers of unmanned aerial vehicles that, now, have killed an estimated 800 civilians in Afghanistan and Pakistan.  We hadn’t been on the sidewalk very long when the building’s security detail called 911.  Yes, that’s right–they actually dialed 911.  A police officer emerged from his cruiser to make sure we didn’t breach the peace.  Cindy used the bullhorn to let General Atomics, bringing incalculable  agony to so many, know that they are guilty of breaching the peace.  With their HELLFIRE MISSILES.  These breaches are “something quite atrocious.”

We members of POTA continue to demonstrate for a world without US imperialism, a world without war.  On Friday, we’ll be across from the White House at 9:00 AM for another action.  We work to end something atrocious. Our website is www.peaceoftheaction.org/

Missy Beattie lives in Baltimore, Maryland.  Email her at:  missybeat@aol.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

Weekend Edition
December 14, 2018
Friday - Sunday
Andrew Levine
A Tale of Two Cities
Peter Linebaugh
The Significance of The Common Wind
Bruce E. Levine
The Ketamine Chorus: NYT Trumpets New Anti-Suicide Drug
Jeffrey St. Clair
Roaming Charges: Fathers and Sons, Bushes and Bin Ladens
Kathy Deacon
Coffee, Social Stratification and the Retail Sector in a Small Maritime Village
Nick Pemberton
Praise For America’s Second Leading Intellectual
Robert Hunziker
The Yellow Vest Insurgency – What’s Next?
Patrick Cockburn
The Yemeni Dead: Six Times Higher Than Previously Reported
Nick Alexandrov
George H. W. Bush: Another Eulogy
Brian Cloughley
Principles and Morality Versus Cash and Profit? No Contest
Michael Duggin
Climate Change and the Limits of Reason
Victor Grossman
Sighs of Relief in Germany
Ron Jacobs
A Propagandist of Privatization
Robert Fantina
What Does Beto Have Against the Palestinians?
Richard Falk – Daniel Falcone
Sartre, Said, Chomsky and the Meaning of the Public Intellectual
Andrew Glikson
Crimes Against the Earth
Robert Fisk
The Parasitic Relationship Between Power and the American Media
Stephen Cooper
When Will Journalism Grapple With the Ethics of Interviewing Mentally Ill Arrestees?
Jill Richardson
A War on Science, Morals and Law
Ron Jacobs
A Propagandist of Privatization
Evaggelos Vallianatos
It’s Not Easy Being Greek
Nomi Prins 
The Inequality Gap on a Planet Growing More Extreme
John W. Whitehead
Know Your Rights or You Will Lose Them
David Swanson
The Abolition of War Requires New Thoughts, Words, and Actions
J.P. Linstroth
Primates Are Us
Bill Willers
The War Against Cash
Jonah Raskin
Doris Lessing: What’s There to Celebrate?
Ralph Nader
Are the New Congressional Progressives Real? Use These Yardsticks to Find Out
Binoy Kampmark
William Blum: Anti-Imperial Advocate
Medea Benjamin – Alice Slater
Green New Deal Advocates Should Address Militarism
John Feffer
Review: Season 2 of Trump Presidency
Rich Whitney
General Motors’ Factories Should Not Be Closed. They Should Be Turned Over to the Workers
Christopher Brauchli
Deported for Christmas
Kerri Kennedy
This Holiday Season, I’m Standing With Migrants
Mel Gurtov
Weaponizing Humanitarian Aid
Thomas Knapp
Lame Duck Shutdown Theater Time: Pride Goeth Before a Wall?
George Wuerthner
The Thrill Bike Threat to the Elkhorn Mountains
Nyla Ali Khan
A Woman’s Selfhood and Her Ability to Act in the Public Domain: Resilience of Nadia Murad
Kollibri terre Sonnenblume
On the Killing of an Ash Tree
Graham Peebles
Britain’s Homeless Crisis
Louis Proyect
America: a Breeding Ground for Maladjustment
Steve Carlson
A Hell of a Time
Dan Corjescu
America and The Last Ship
Jeffrey St. Clair
Booked Up: the 25 Best Books of 2018
David Yearsley
Bikini by Rita, Voice by Anita