I’ve Lived Thru Too Many American Wars and I’m Done

American Flag (untitled) 1970, silkscreen, printed on the blank side of a Carson Morris calendar. Courtesy of Shapero Modern, London

When I was a kid, growing up in Ohio, I remember clipping pictures of F-16 bombers out of theNew York Times. They were like toys, I remember running my scissors around the missiles. Then I watched the bombs drop on CNN, only tangentially on Iraq. It looked like fireworks. Like the 4th of July.

I didn’t know. I was a child.

When I was a young adult, studying in Montreal, I remember when Iraq War 2 began. I remember the protests, millions of people around the world. But not me. I remember actually supporting the war because of reading lots of scary things about Saddam, Uday, and Qusay Hussein.

As Madeline Albright said, “What’s the point of having this superb military you’re always talking about if we can’t use it?” The adults in the room were not so different from young me, playing with jets like toys, crushing people like bugs. At this point, I still thought they knew what they were doing.

Oh, God. I was still a child.

As 1st Corinthians says:

When I was a child, I spake as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child: but when I became a man, I put away childish things.

Now I am old. I don’t know what being a man is, but I try to be human. I have children of my own. What do I want them to believe? Not this. None of this. I was lied to and I lied to myself. And now they still want me to believe?

Now, these assholes want to start World War III. It’s the same invisible intelligence, the same inane hypocrisy. I’m fucking done. White Empire has zero credibility. I don’t need to see the latest reports to know that whatever America is planning will just be more obscene.

I’m not backing war with Russia, China, or whoever’s the enemy of the week. I’ve been to school, I done graduated, I’ve seen people pay tuition hooked up to electric wires, on their knees in orange jumpsuits, buried beneath rubble and struggling to eat.

I’ve heard the drums of war before and even followed their siren song before. But now I know where they lead. I’ve lived through too many American wars and the White Empire has zero faith and credit with me. As the old gospel song says, I ain’t gonna study war no more.

Human Rights Watch Watcher

This time

There’s always some reason. This time is always going to be different. This new villain is always a really bad one, they’re threatening democracy, human rights, and everything we believe. Well, I don’t believe it in that shit anymore. I know what I’ve seen.

This time is just like the last time, which was like last time, which was like the time before. War talk leads to war leads to war crimes, I know, I fucking know, it’s been reruns since 1983. Americans just leave starvation, slave markets, and destruction wherever they go. They got a taste for blood money after World War II, and every now and then the beast just needs to eat.

How many millions of people have been killed, how many tens of millions were displaced during my adulthood alone? I’m only 39. How much longer is this going to go? Color me disgruntled because I don’t give a fuck about good intentions anymore. Do you think this is my first fucking rodeo? Is it yours? How much more do you need to see?

That Propaganda

As a child, I remember sitting around watching cartoons of Rocky and Bullwinkle, which sucked. Couldn’t wait for something better to come on than a moose and squirrel chasing sneaky Russians around. But that’s how insidious American propaganda was. They’ve been demonizing Russians since I was watching cartoons on TV.

As a teenager, we sat in basements playing GoldenEye. There they were again, those vaguely bad Russians, attached to no particular nation this time, but still Russian and sneaky. We’d kill them merrily.

Now I’m a grown-up and it’s the same shit, different day. The same vaguely bad Russians are in the decrepit new Bond film, and now the same bad Russians on CNN and the BBC. But this time something’s off. I’ve been primed for decades but I just don’t believe it anymore. I’ve also experienced reality.

Recently I was watching a Stephen Colbert clip and they casually laugh at Rudy Giuliani for, and I quote, ‘being friends with Russians.’ I was shocked. Giuliani is an asshole, but he’s an American asshole.

Why are they always trying to pin their own evil on Russians, like Boris and Natasha are really running around, tricking them into ever nefarious deed? How is it still a laugh-line, to be friends with Russians? Are they not human beings? As Sting said a long time ago:

It’d be such an ignorant thing to do
If the Russians love their children too

It is an ignorant thing these Americans do. Let their own children get gunned down in schools, while crying wolf about everyone else. Fuck you. You are the wolves, and the sheep’s clothing is irreparably torn. They’re telling the same fucking stories, but they’re covered with so much bloody reality.

I know that Russia’s not my enemy. China’s not my enemy. Muslims are not my enemy. America is the enemy. The country creating all the enemies is the problem. My God, it’s America. The country I was rooting for the whole time. They’re the baddies.

Diplomacy the American way

Shut up

At this point, how many failed wars in, it’s obvious. America is evil. And yet when they ring the dinner bell of war for the corporate arms dealers, the corporate media also lines up to feed. The same fuckwits who were wrong before are still reporting, still writing Op-Eds, still recycling American intelligence reports as if that’s even a thing.

The sad fact is that American pundits only fail upwards. Being wrong about every war is not a disqualification, it’s a recommendation. These fuckers don’t pay for their mistakes. On the contrary, they get paid even more. They get TV spots, they write books, they get rewarded for being wrong and never fucking leave.

America has just privatized the propaganda for its privatized wars. It’s all advertising on a big bloody show to sell more bloody advertising and keep people glued to the TV. America’s corporate media is just the marketing arm for war profiteers.

The sad fact is that it still works on lots of people. I see many American liberals jump on the same intelligence reports like they require serious analysis, ignoring all common sense and history. It was bullshit before and it was bullshit now, but there’s no greater sin than a columnist’s vanity.

After the marketeers got caught lying and making shit up, they still want us to believe them this time. After the military got their asses handed to them by the poorest country on Earth, they want us to trust them with World War III. Whilestarving the poorest people on Earth, they want us to think they’re the good guys. They can still say it, but we’re fools to believe.

By now we know that America is the aggressive army, Americans are the torturers, Americans are the killers, Americans destabilize the world and leave wreckage wherever they are.

They’re the ones besieging entire countries for generations, they’re the ones without honor or humanity. They got no legs to stand on but still for the war they pout and scream. The media messages are as strong as ever, but now, increasingly, so is history. So I just don’t believe their bullshit anymore. I believe the horrors I’ve seen.

Vietnam protest art via PBS


I don’t want to debate the war with Americans this time or anytime. They have no right to violence across the world. It’s bad if shit happens and there are bad people out there, but these assholes just make everything worse.

I don’t care how bad this bad guy is, I know Americans are worse. They’re talking about Putin like he’s Rasputin, but I know who’s up to the real trickery. America simply has no more faith and credit left in the world. Their media is a clown car. Their government is a hearse. Whatever bad there is in the world, America just makes it worse.

The idea that every dumbfuck Senator from Montana to Massachusetts gets to play god is a historical abomination. It’s a curse. We don’t inflict our village idiots on you. Take yours home. Reverse.

The idea that opinion writers from London to LA get to have opinions on attacking other people is absurd. We get put on terrorist watchlists for talking like that. We get our cavities searched. What gave Americans and their fuckbois this right to incite violence as they please? Shut the fuck up. Cease your bloody hypocrisy.

I don’t care about your Op-Ed columns, I’ve seen the column after column of dead, missing, and fleed. I don’t care about your intelligence reports, I’ve seen the rank stupidity. For fucks sake, just look at yourselves. Thousands of your own people are dying every day. Save the world? Save yourselves. Defend human rights and democracy? Look around you fuckers. Who are you to lecture anybody?

“In the U.S., only one person is being served at this restaurant” While Schools, Libraries, Art and Health sit with empty plates, all waiters attend to just one person — War. (Russia Beyond)

Deliver clean water to your own people. Keep your own electricity grids up. Secure your own Capitol. Don’t destroy drinking water, power plants, and governments everywhere else. My god, the perversity.

I can’t watch this shit anymore, and I certainly can’t be complicit. Pack up the clown car. Back up the hearse. Do you want to do good in the world? Just shut the fuck up and stay home. You’re making everything worse.

I have seen

When I watched the bombs first fall on Iraq, I enjoyed it. When I saw the bombs fall again, I believed it still. Will I be forgiven for this? For delighting in such utter misery? As much as Jesus offers forgiveness, I haven’t asked him.

I was a child, but did that excuse all the children that died? What prayers did they offer to their god, the same god really. Were they answered? Those bombs I traced scissors around, they cut those children out of the fabric of life entirely.

And Iraq was just one theatre of war, in a multiplex of misery. Today it’s Human Rights IV and tomorrow it’s Democracy XIV, then they change the cast, add some more blasts, and do it all again. After a while it gets repetitive, and then you realize. This isn’t heroic cinema. These are snuff films. And the show never ends. It just keeps taking life and making money.

These aren’t war films. These are war crimes. These aren’t ‘just’ wars. These are just wars. These aren’t the good guys. These are the bad guys. It’s been decades but c’mon. How long are we going to live in this morbid fantasy?

The Bible says, “When I became a man, I put the ways of childhood behind me.” I get the sentiment, but the Bible is really over-estimating men, like always. War isthe way of men. Suffer the little children to teach something to me.

Little kids don’t hit. They don’t steal. They don’t lie. If they do, they get spoken to, they get settled down, they get a time out. We get this at a preschool level (run mostly by women) but not at a political level (run by women). America needs a fucking time-out, and this is the time.

I don’t care what anybody else is doing. I don’t care how bad the latest villain is. Y’all on a time-out. You’re in the naughty corner. You’re the wolf that cried wolf one too many times. Yeah, you are the wolves, and God knows your bite.

So shut the fuck up, sit the fuck down, and stop pretending to do good while making everything worse. Spare us your invisible ‘intelligence’, your inane ‘opinions’, and all the bullshit reasons other people have to die.

I’ve lived thru too many American wars, and too many children have grown up knowing nothing but war. Today nobody’s clipping out your F-35s that just crash into the sea. Nobody’s watching the bombs drop on Yemen like whee!!! Nobody’s scared of the evil you make up, we’re all too horrified by what we’ve seen.

I’m fucking done. I’m out. I study imperial war no more. America’s got no faith, no credit, and nothing but rage and revulsion from me. Now ask yourself. How much more do you need to see?