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Ain’t Gonna Study War No More… By Mark Lampkin

It has not yet been a month since President Joe Biden’s decision to pull our men and women out of war-torn Afghanistan, after more than 20 years of being an uninvited and unwelcome occupier of their Nation. Let that marinate for a minute. We have had armed troops in another sovereign nation for a generation, 20 years. I read a story recently that a son had been deployed to the area where his father served back in 2001. A generational journey that NO ONE should seek to emulate.

As I dig deeper into this segment, know that these are my opinions and beliefs, based upon what I have seen and lived for almost 67 years in this yet-to-be United States of America.

Let me apologize, in advance, for what I will share here that may offend some of you. But, as we have seen over the past 20 years in general, and the past five years in particular, being offended is often times the first step into being awakened from the slumber that has landed us in this dire place we find ourselves. How one responds after they get past their “feelings” is where true progress and growth can occur. So, fasten your seat belts. The ride is going to get a bit bumpy and uncomfortable.

There Are NO WINNERS in War.

The news media has been complicit in fomenting dissension and propaganda as an avenue to engage our citizens in feeling like we must be first and the best regardless of how it is achieved and who is harmed for decades. Just win, baby. Sorry about those women and children dying due to the drone attacks. Collateral damage. Listen to our panel of talking-head-experts tell you why we are justified in that attack. Move the lights and camera to the next story…nothing else to see here. Next.

That’s the truth. We NEVER see the true destruction of a community nor the thousands of lives lost and forever changed due to injuries, physical and emotional. Lives that will never be healed. Nope. Just keep marching forward and create new taglines and sound bites that can be sold to the people as American exceptionalism. That is how to market the “never-ending-wars.” And create “heroes” who will endure nightmares, guilt and shame for the remainder of their lives. Make America Great again? When?

The USA goes to war to expand her insatiable need for power and profit. Wealthy white folks looking for new resources to plunder. It’s the American playbook. Name one nation that we have “democratized?” Show me where a country is better off because we sent our sons and daughters to their shores to liberate them? I’ll wait…

The Trillions of dollars spent on an unwinnable occupation in Afghanistan could have been better used in numerous ways to serve Americans; build state-of-the-art railroads, bridges, schools, health care. You get my drift. We seem never to have the money for things We need, but the Pentagon is never told No. And our schools, roads and bridges continue to crumble, and our citizens die – just like those in the nations we destroy in the name of Democracy.

For those of you into numbers and statistics, here you go. The USA has been at war for 227 out of her 245 years of existence. That is roughly 93% of our existence. At war. Fighting. Killing. Exploiting. Dying. Somebody needs an intervention and therapy, yes?

Another fact. We have a generation of young people who have NEVER known a time when our Nation was not at war/occupation. Anyone born after 2001 might think that it is normal to spend trillions of dollars and send our men and women to a foreign land to fight. Many of them never questioning why. Yet, we thank them for their service. Whom did they serve?

Companies tied to the military industrial complex Lockheed Martin, Boeing, General Dynamics, McDonald’s are the only beneficiaries of endless expansion of empire. For them, there are no profits in peace. For them, it matters not who is the President, Vice-President…they have the Nation in a corner – support our mission or America loses her Freedoms. Double-Speak at its finest.

Maybe it’s time we raise up a generation of U.S. citizens for whom war is an aberration and not something to be glorified. A generation who can utilize their best efforts towards saving our Earth from climate disaster, not push it faster towards her extinction. This is the time We The People have to stand Up and say Ain’t Gonna Study No More War*.

*The refrain of “ain’t gonna study war no more” is a reference to a quotation found in the Book of Isaiah, chapter 2, verse 4 (KJV): “nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war any more.”