I have heard this phrase frequently in the last few weeks. It finally struck me. It was one of those “wait a minute!” moments. Then I said WHO, is war-weary? Yes, our military has been fighting non-stop for years, waging some simultaneously. They have not only been deployed, but beaten into the ground. And beaten, meaning no definable win to the American eye. Or military eye? Beaten, by our own leadership when, with a stroke of a pen, a deployment becomes extended. A few more months on an FOB battle field, a continent away from loved ones and language, or culture; a few months of which must feel like a lifetime. Add the demand for even more boots-on-the-ground. It blows to hell the schedule of the 'weekend warriors' like an improvised explosive device. Besides being in combat through seven-day weekends for months on end, what happens if those months are extended mid- or close-to-end-combat? What do they get when they have to make war 'overtime'?
Our military deaths, have for the first time, been counted more in suicides than in combat. A bit of reading on our military you will further learn that less and less Americans are touched by war and its' bloody reality, for the last decades of war. Less than one percent of American families have members deployed as military soldiers, private contractors notwithstanding. That is compared to approximately nine percent during WWII. Not to mention, but to scream, we have plowed into war that was spun as a “war on terror” (something you don't hear much anymore) and to save us from weapons with destructive capacity to be massive (I get weary of euphemistic acronyms overused to make meaning, meaningless); Or now in Syria, to rescue children, victims of a civil war of multiple sides, with interchangeable labels of 'good guy/bad guy. Horrific no matter what side you look at. Or scream at from the middle and beneath.
Americans certainly cannot claim weariness from living under the threatening, ever-present buzz of drones meant to kill, trained on human targets labeled 'squirters'. How is that for a new buzz (word) of war?
What about the cost of these endless wars we wage? Do we feel even that, since, at least under Bush, it was unpaid, and just tacked quietly to the deficit. How come those dollars go unfigured, unless they are humanitarian aid? I have heard of the nearly two million refugees made by the Syrian war but also the inhumane lack of humanitarian aid. If I had a dollar to spare, that would be where I would offer it. If only...
So how dare we be war-weary? When we oughta be outraged. Outraged, a long time ago. A lot more of us. Screaming about the indiscriminate killing of civilians (there are those kids again!) in many places. Screaming about the suicide rate of our soldiers. Screaming about a president who quickly utters “imminent attack” but deftly walks back to a calm-ish bully pulpit to claim diplomacy doesn't stand a chance without a big stick in the form of cruise missiles. Yeah, we definitely need to spank Assad for his use of chemical weapons; while we ignore the chemical weapons on other sideS, or maybe just the one the CIA has been training. No matter if civilians are killed along the way on the military spanking. I think they call that 'collateral'. No matter that some of those chemicals came from our shores. Or that others have chemicals stockpiled in the region. Or worse, nuclear, You can HAVE your guns/weapons/chemicals, as long as you don't USE them. Is that not the reason for nuclear weapons in the first place? I guess it is like insurance. You have it in hopes you don't use it. With the slight caveat that nuclear weapons can mean mutual death and destruction. Remember, insurance typically excludes war and acts of God. Sure, blame Allah/God, ___, some do..
So what the hell are we weary of? The only geography lesson that most Americans likely have time for as they struggle to stay alive with illness and no medical care? Or to read with less and less education? Stay afloat financially when the unemployment runs out? If our only war weariness comes from our domestic battles, we have no damn right to be war-weary.
It is also hugely ironic to claim war weariness when we have a gun culture grossly protected by a single amendment-right that has been stretched to the moon and back. Our right is so prized, people with blindness, in at least one state, can conceal a gun and tote it more and more places, like playgrounds and state parks to name just two. We live in a culture that is moved to terrible life-long tears when a public space or classroom is instantly turned into a zone of war. Then wait a few months while the tears of the public have gone dry, wreathes to follow. The life-long equation of that misery remains with victim's families, the few American families who may feel destroyed. Hey wait, like the very few Americans who are truly ripped apart by our decades-long state of war we wage in other places in the world?
I am not war-weary. I am war-furious. War-outraged. I hope I am among more than a very few.