It appears that WAR is the answer to the majority of ongoing conflicts we have in the world today. And it appears that the countries of the world and their leaders have no other reaction but to meet force with force. Smart bombs are the response to acts of unbridled terrorism and unimaginable acts of violence visited upon individuals and entire ethnic groups worldwide. The drumbeat of War continues to resound with no end in sight. It has become easier to engage in a wartime mentality than to stop fighting and dropping bombs long enough to re-envision a world without WAR.
Over the past six decades (at least) there has not been an extended period of time… a time where, malady as a nation, we have not been engaged in some type of conflict somewhere in the world that involved the use of our military forces. When war and violent encounters become a state of being, one begins to see war as a normal condition and common response to the “trouble” in the world, thereby engaging in a “wartime mentality.” The reconstruction efforts post-war and the “nation building” process ironically become huge income generators for construction businesses and military contractors. So WAR is an ultimate moneymaker for some folks.
Human history is full of the legacy of war as a mechanism of imperialism, colonialism, and also a strategy for change and transformation. In each instance, the cost has always been great in lives and treasure. The cost of war is incomprehensible, immeasurable, and limitless. The havoc that it wreaks on generational legacy within families, communities, and nations cannot be quantified. Diplomacy becomes too difficult because of dysfunction, distrust, and the history of the declarations of WARS never declared but in which we are engaged contributors both openly and clandestinely.
At this present moment, the U.S., under the leadership of the President, is leading a coalition of nations waging an undeclared war in Iraq, Syria, and various places within the Middle East and Northern Africa. The focus of course is ISIS (the Islamic State) but this “non-war” WAR should concern everyone that has supported getting the U.S. out of Iraq and Afghanistan. There is a proverb that says, “If you play with fire will your clothes not burn?” We are definitely playing with fire here. If you believe we are not at war right now, because no war has been declared, I have a bridge in Brooklyn that I want to sell you!
When you continue to do the things you’ve always done, you cannot expect to get something you’ve never had. You are either in denial or a self-imposed oblivion. WAR is not the answer! It has not worked out well for us thus far over the past decades and it will not work now. We have to CHANGE our mindset and re-set our programming if we are to achieve anything other than perpetual war. Right now, we are ALL settling for a type of Wartime Mentality out of “mindless” patriotism, fear, or the terror being fanned by the flames of propaganda and media hype. However, if we continue in this vein…we will always be at WAR, and I am so weary of war right now…especially the kind we refuse to admit that we are fighting.
Tawnya Pettiford-Wates, Ph.D.
Founder and Artistic Director
The Conciliation Project and
Virginia Commonwealth University
Up Next Week: How Much Evidence Do “They” Need?