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Up Against The War – Anti-War Blog

by | Jun 13, 2024

In her 1970 book, Up Against The War, Norma Sue Woodstone gives voice to those who refused conscription and campaigned against the US war in South-East Asia. Men who refused the draft were tarred by polite society as being cowards, ‘Draft Dodgers!’ A slur to be thrown against them. Those who begrudgingly went to fight a war that many of them did not understand came home wounded physically or morally to a public that wanted to pretend it all never happened. Millions of South-East Asians die, many continue to do so even generations later as bombs, mines and chemicals randomly take lives or mutilate what remains.

The US government was desperate to push men into uniform so that they could fight in Vietnam or fill the ranks of a military that spanned the globe. The US was to oppose communism, then it was a bi-polar globe with the twin super powers peering down at one another to the point of frequent brinkmanship. Now it’s destiny is to retain the monopolar world of one superpower. Even then, when the Soviet Union was at it’s most exaggerated in power communication occurred. The channels were open. Information was exchanged, envoys met, trade even occurred. There were the boycotts and chilly periods but the Cold Warriors of the 20th century attempted to balance proxy wars with the risk of a nuclear one.

Now the West, led by Washington, wants war with China, Iran, Yemen, Syria, North Korea and Russia. The Taliban send their best wishes. Confidently the world sleepwalks into a catastrophe that seems baffling. The political masters of the past were pricks, blood thirsty mass murderers who saw the map as a playground for death. Though they had a rationale that seemed, at times, logical. In the 21st century it now feels as though cosplayers want to re-enact the last centuries cold war and see what it feels like to add some heat. Though it’s never been a great game, its deadly.

A mother of a dead US soldier once asked, “what if they had a war and nobody turned up?”

There are those who will turn up because they are deluded by the religion of nationism and intoxicated with the honour cult that the military relies upon, others like the pay. There is a belief that constant aggression, forward pressure is the best defence. If Rome continues to expand it’s borders, it will be safe but as it expands its borders it meets new threats and enemies. The frontiers of US and NATO military bases are on their borders, they are the ones who feel threatened and because they are threatened they feel the need to push back. That’s how wars are waged.

“The war was wrong, so I burned by card (draft card),” Andrew Stapp said in Up Against The War. Democracies pretend to like referendums. Should conscription return, what would happen if most refuse? Should the war pigs squeal for more blood what would happen if the people refuse to pay the taxes that feed the beast of death? That is the radicalism of the past, though those radicals have died or like John Kerry who was once a champion for anti-war movements turned into a big government imperialist. Radicalism dies with a mortgage and career. The planet be damned, post-apocalyptic pension plans coming soon.

We can see clips in the Ukraine of males being abducted by government goons, fitted into a uniform, barely trained and forced to a front line so that life or limb may be ripped from them. It’s a war that the US is willing to support to the last Ukrainian boy. Negotiations are off the table. When the Soviets invaded Hungary and Czechoslovakia, both sides still talked. When the US invaded Vietnam and Grenada they talked. And even as the USSR became bogged down in Afghanistan diplomats and leaders still spoke.

It turns out that Steve Gutenberg may have saved the world. After watching the 1983 TV movie The Day After starring a pre Mahoney, Gutenberg, President Reagan picked up the phone and spoke with his Soviet counter part. The dramatic events in the film sickened him, war was not fun and games especially with nuclear weapons. Even at the height of the Cold War between the USA and USSR, the leaders spoke and negotiated. They pulled back from the brinkmanship that only ever makes weapon manufacturers and military careerists rich anyhow. Now the current US retard in chief and the despot of Russia don’t talk, they speak and mumble indirectly at one another through the screen. Communist hating Dick Nixon went to China and shook Mao Tse Tung’s hand. Perhaps the greatest mass murder in human history. But Putin is the next Hitler or something.

In her book, Up Against the War, Woodstone gives us pages of letters from soldiers writing to their family from Vietnam.

Dear Mom and Dad, …I got hit with about 20 pieces of shrapnel from a mine explosion. The mine killed one man and wounded twenty others….We lost another man today, he was accidentally killed by another man in the platoon…

and the other letters from the Government once the soldiers are no longer of use to them…

Dear Mr and Mrs…

It is with great difficulty that I write this letter expressing my deepest sympathy over the loss of your son…

It’s not just the soldiers, but civilians who are ripped to pieces. In a war on a grand scale, like the one Ronald Reagan watched in The Day After, cities full of people are wiped out. And as Steve Gutenberg survives the initial blast, his body succumbs to the sickness of radiation. That’s war. That is the war the world sleep walks towards. In the Cold War and when Up Against the War was written the wider public had a greater awareness of the dangers of nuclear war. Now, it’s brazenly ignored. Because war has never really come home. It’s always those over there dying and suffering, the body bags returning back are few in comparison. Maybe it’s time to be Up Against the War, all of them. Maybe you don’t care, war doesn’t bother you, then again maybe one day it will.

June, 2024

Kym Robinson

Kym Robinson

Kym is the Harry Browne Fellow for The Libertarian Institute. Some times a coach, some times a fighter, some times a writer, often a reader but seldom a cabbage. Professional MMA fighter and coach. Unprofessional believer in liberty. I have studied, enlisted, worked in the meat industry for most of my life, all of that above jazz and to hopefully some day write something worth reading.

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