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Page 16
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<< 15. RIP Bob Riggle17. They Were Soldiers: How the Wounded Return from America's Wars - The Untold Story >>

The Future Is Now

By R. G. Cantalupo

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Born in the shadow of the mushroom clouds of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, we are the first generation to grow up with the reality of earthly extinction merely a pushed-button away.

And that marks us as if by an indelible stain.

October 1962: The Cuban Missile Crisis.

When I re-imagine the living fear of those weeks, I'm viscerally flooded with dread, nausea and cortisol. The nightmarish (and absurd) fight or flight images of bomb shelters, hiding under school desks, and storing canned food and water bottles to protect against radiation effects lasting centuries splotches my brain like a smeared blood trail.

I was thirteen.

A lifetime ago, but as I sit down to write about "future wars" tonight while the hot winds of a potentially devastating present war with Russia blow through the Oval office, through the halls of Congress and the Senate, through the distorted and hawkish minds of the corporate media, and out the mouths of thousands of men and women over the air-waves, the same visceral dread floods my veins.

I have been against war ever since I fought a war.

And I have never met another combat veteran — someone who killed and witnessed others being killed, who woke up post-trauma, reliving battles they wished to forget — advocate war as a solution to a political or economic problem, or out of some self-righteous fervor called patriotism.

Those of us who remember wish to forget.

Those of us who have forgotten wish not to be reminded.

Those of us who could not and can not forget and whose wishes remain as unanswered prayers, have found ways to help others, self-medicate, or become proactive in order to survive.

The guilt of having survived when some of the best among us did not, becomes our most devastating enemy; suicide and addiction our weapons of mass destruction; our hope that no one will die in vain again, our life's-long battle cry.

If I look beyond today however, beyond this cross of history we are currently forced to bear, if I'm able to see ten or twenty years into the future, I do not see war, or at least war as we know it.

Not wars like Vietnam, or Iraq, or Afghanistan, or Syria, or the Ukraine.

In the future, we will need to redefine what we mean by war.

Will drone warfare waged on domestic and foreign enemies of the New World Order on a computer screen in an office in New Mexico or Utah be war?

Will H.A.R.P. warfare waged with ELF waves shot from Alaska into millions of brainwashed brains or up into clouds to create devastating climatic events be war?

Will economic terrorism or monetary fascism be called war?

But perhaps even to define war in America is an impossible task.

Because for us, war is a way of life, a cultural milieu. We declare war on everything: Drugs. Crime. Terrorists. Obesity. Wolves. Cancer.

We decimate small farmers growing wheat or corn with non-Monsanto seeds.

We search and destroy purple-mountain majesties by cutting off their peaks, fracking them, and destroying everything that surrounds them, humans, animals, plants, water, air, soil.

We blast oceans with sonic waves to test our warring capabilities accidentally killing thousands of dolphins, whales and numerous other species, collateral damage.

We wage war on sharks for shark-fin soup that magically gives hard-ons to ultra-rich connoisseurs.

We wipe out rivers, lakes, forests, and whole eco-systems and argue it's a betterment or necessity of life.

We extinguish species, cultures, civilizations.

We've become the best killing machine money can buy and we do it under the false banners of freedom or God or self-righteousness, while the real banner being flown is to make more profits or carve out more power for the richest 1/10th of 1% among us.

Perhaps instead of future war(s), we should simply think of perpetual war.

Perpetual war on Human Rights and Dignity.

Perpetual war on Freedom of Expression.

Perpetual war on the US Constitution.

Perpetual war on Privacy.

Perpetual war on Freedom of Assembly.

Perpetual war on truth, books, ideas, independent thinking and hope.

Perpetual war on the homeless, the disenfranchised, the mentally ill, the aged, on anti-war protesters, on veterans, on civil disobedience, on peace.

Perpetual war on the poorest and least powerful among us.

And what will these perpetual wars look like?

They will not be televised.

They will not be broadcast on corpora-tacracy TV.

They will be battled anonymously in the middle of the night inside the castles and fortresses of our homes against the pit-bulls of governmental police, often ending in staged suicides or accidental sudden deaths.

They will be brought to us in the living color of flames like "The Hunger Games" or Waco, Texas.

They will be defended as they are now, by our peaceful resistance and the honor of our presence; by the belief in a quality of life beyond mind and debt slavery doled out by the New World Order.

They will be waged against whomever wishes to monitor our thoughts and actions; to pass laws in our name that imprison us with cameras and recording devices and neighborhood drones; against lies, revisions, spectacles, and perpetual propaganda.

They may well be our last battles, for if we lose there will be nothing left to fight for, nor any reason to resist.

We will have become who they wish us to be: conscienceless soldiers following orders from above; Manchurian Candidates, the Mindless Masses.

And we will have forgotten who we are: Our origin and our cause for loyalty.

We are warriors against war!

Vietnam. Iraq. Afghanistan. Syria. Iran. Ukraine. Russia.

And we are witnesses: Were, and are, and will be again.

And So We Stand.

Pledge our allegiance.

Begin, again.

R. G. Cantalupo's (Ross Canton) work has been published throughout the United States, Canada, and England. His award-winning Vietnam War memoir "The Light Where Shadows End" was serialized in the literary journal "War, Literature and the Arts". He was awarded three purple hearts and a bronze star with a combat V during his tour in 1968-69 with the 25th Infantry Division.

<< 15. RIP Bob Riggle17. They Were Soldiers: How the Wounded Return from America's Wars - The Untold Story >>