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I Am Not 'War-Weary'

by Kelly Rae Kraemer

I am not ‘war-weary’; I’m angry

… angry at those who used sarin in Syria
… angry at those who think more killing is the answer
… angry at all presidents with blood on their hands
… angry at the talking heads who distinguish worthy from unworthy victims
… angry at politicians who care more about ‘credibility’ than about human life
… angry at those who call for war any time the flag is waved
… and angry at the endless headlines that claim we’re just ‘war-weary’, as though one good head-clearing nap would make Americans see the wisdom of killing to punish killing.

I am not ‘war-weary’; I’m sick

… sick at the sight of so many dead from breathing poison in Damascus
… sick at the thought of so many dead or damaged by uranium in Fallujah
… sick at the thought of Afghans massacred in Kandahar
… sick at the memory of Japanese vaporized in Hiroshima and Nagasaki
… sick at the memory of all the young soldiers sent to kill and die
… sick at the thought of all those shot, bayoneted, bombed, gassed, and nuked in war
… and sick at the thought of those who will die in a US attack on Damascus, because a ‘limited’ attack is still an attack.

I am not ‘war-weary’, but I am tired

… tired of peace prizes going to warmakers
… tired of politicians who play games with people’s lives
… tired of presidents and legislators who ignore the laws they’ve sworn to uphold
… tired of war drum beating that passes for journalism
… tired of the claim that war can be ‘humanitarian’
… tired of indoctrination into the false belief that war can bring peace
… and tired, so tired of hearing there will be “no boots on the ground”, as if a war that only kills foreigners is morally acceptable.

I am not ‘war-weary’; I am anti-war

… because war is always a failure
… a failure of diplomacy and understanding
… a failure of will and effort
… a failure of imagination and creativity
… a failure of ingenuity and investment
… a failure of compassion and morality
… a failure to invent and practice real, nonviolent humanitarian action.

I am not ‘war-wear’; I’m hungry for peace.


Kelly Rae Kraemer, Ph.D., is Associate Professor of Peace Studies at the College of St. Benedict/St. John’s University in central Minnesota


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