I was 11 years old when I became cognizant about the concept of war. It was 2003 and what we know now as the Iraq War had begun. A newspaper was lying in a room I was sitting in with some other students. We took turns reading parts of the paper as part of a speech training exercise to help us become more cognizant about our speech. As I waited my turn, my mind was focused on the photograph featured under the headline. It was smoke and fire that resulted from missile strikes carried out by the U.S in Baghdad. My memories begin to fade around this point, but i remember asking about the reason why America did this and not being satisfied with the explanations. All I heard was a repeated phrase, "We're freeing them" , that did not satisfy me.
It's been 14 years since I first heard that phrase, and now more than ever I think that's bullshit.
When I look at war now, I don't view it as a singular event. To me, war is a never ending phenomenon. A self aware process that updates every few years to make people excited about the bombing and destabilization of a new country, while dropping all interest in the suffering of the last country bombed. I was in college when I noticed this happen to the bombing in Libya when after weeks of bombing, America became bored with Libya and began to rally for Syria to be next. I cannot tell you the last time I saw any headline about the Libyan people despite the fact that America bombed the country again last year. It's disgusting.
But of course eventually Syria will become a bore for the war cycle, especially given that the current administration doesn't even want Syrians to travel here according to the travel bans. If the Democrats had their way, we would be bombing Russia right now because they want us to believe Vladmir Putin is playing 19 dimensional chess games with Donald Trump and we're all seconds away before Red Dawn becomes real or some shit like that. The only ones being played are the American people who still fall for the same sloppy excuses for killing millions of people ([Insert Topical Terrorist Group] is going to kill more, they were killing children, or the old standby "we're freeing them".)
At the very least the country could just be honest and admit that our warfare does not liberate, it desolates. We are not the heroes of this story called life, we are the villains. We are not saving children featured in those videos shared on social media, we are sentencing them to death. But that won't happen as long as the American public continues to worship the concept of "Freedom" despite warfare creating less of it in the countries we bomb, and even within the country doing the bombing.
I want to believe in a tomorrow where global warfare finally stops.
But it won't. It never stops.