Wars And Rumors Of Wars

“Get ready to draw the rockets of peace

There’s a showdown tonight on the bright milky way

Ambush the bad men, blow him right out of the east

We’ll be singin’, “yi yippy ky, whoopee ky yippy I aye”

Big GunsDaniel Amos

I grew up in the shadow of the cold war. I was a hawk as a child. Fed on the glory and heroics of movies like Von Ryan’s Express, The Bridge at Remagen, and Where Eagles Dare. I believed that evil could be vanquished with the appropriate application of violence. Just like we used to eliminate Hitler and Nazi Germany.

I believed the propaganda of the day. The USSR was the enemy. The communists were evil. And evil must be defeated. If that involved the use of American blood and treasure then so be it.

I was a fool.

Since that time, I have grown up. I served in the Navy during the first Gulf War. (I didn’t join for the glory of it. I joined for the education. Honestly, if I had wanted glory I would have joined one of the ground forces such as the Army or the Marines.) I got closer to the reality of war. I realized that when you go to war it has a cost both human and financial. I began to see the effects. People killed. Soldiers destroyed. Physically. Mentally. Emotionally.

Sure, I still believe that everyone who chooses to serve their country in the Military is a hero. Especially those that give their lives or limbs for their country’s cause. It’s the causes and the people who determine them that I no longer have faith in.

I no longer believe that a suitable application of violence can solve evil.

Part of this is the result of my Christian faith. Part of this is the result of seeing evil march on despite the wars waged against it.

Now don’t get me wrong. I am not a fool. I understand the need to use violence in the form of self-defense and the defense of others. What I don’t believe in is the idea of a “just war”. 

There is no justice in war. 

People die. Both soldiers and sailors and the innocent.

Is evil defeated? No. At best it is displaced.

Defeat one evil and another will take its place. It is like a hydra. Cut off one head and two will take its place.

We defeated Hitler and the Nazis. A true evil. Unfortunately, we allowed the evil of Stalin to continue and even thrive for a time. Then we defeated the USSR through economic violence. Now they are superseded by communist China. Not to mention North Korea and all the terrorists out there. Where does it end?

It doesn’t. At least not until Jesus returns.

But that brings me to today. The drumbeat of war echoes through the halls of the American government. We are posed to use violence, both economic and physical, to defend Ukraine from Russia. But should we? 

Should we spend American treasure and spill American blood to defend this eastern European country? Is it true that Putin, the President of Russia, wants to recreate the USSR? Do we have diplomatic obligations to Ukraine? Or are we being sold a “bill of goods” by our leaders?

I don’t know the answers to those questions. But I am against war in general and until someone can make a case for me on how this is self-defense in some way, I can’t support direct action in support of Ukraine.

I Struggle

You see me now a veteran of a thousand psychic wars

I’ve been living on the edge so long

Where the winds of limbo roar

And I’m young enough to look at

And far too old to see

All the scars are on the inside

I’m not sure that there’s anything left to me

Veteran Of The Psychic War,  Blue Oyster Cult

I struggle. 

The world falls apart around me. Crime is on the rise in American cities. COVID stalks our lives at every turn. New wars brew around the world. Deception and corruption run rampant. The machines are on the rise. Where do I turn for leadership?

You ask me why I’m weary, why I can’t speak to you

You blame me for my silence say It’s time I changed and grew

But the war’s still going on, dear, and there’s no end that I know

And I can’t say if we’re ever…

I can’t say if were ever gonna be free

Veteran Of The Psychic War, Blue Oyster Cult

I struggle.

I can’t speak up or have a reasonable conversation about the issues of the day. Cancel Culture grows daily. Trivia rules the day. Misinformation fills our media, social and otherwise. Where do I turn for the truth?

You see me now a veteran of a thousand psychic wars

My energy’s spent at last

And my armor is destroyed

I have used up all my weapons and I’m helpless and bereaved

Wounds are all I’m made of

Did I hear you say that this is victory?

Veteran Of The Psychic War, Blue Oyster Cult

I struggle.

Do I have faith? In God? In Man? In Truth? Or are the only facts in life death and taxes. Is there freedom left in this world? Or is freedom just an illusion? Where can I turn to reinvigorate my faith?

Don’t let these shakes go on

It’s time we had a break from it

Send me to the rear

Where the tides of madness swell

And been sliding into hell

Oh please don’t let these shakes go on

Don’t let these shakes go on

Don’t let these shakes go on

Veteran Of The Psychic War, Blue Oyster Cult

I struggle.

Jesus help me! Help me to have faith. In God. In Man. In Truth. Show me the path to freedom and fearlessness. Jesus meet me where I am.

My Inner Poet

So yesterday, I took one of those silly internet quizzes. (If you follow me on Facebook, you know I take a lot of silly internet quizzes.) The topic of this one was “Who is your Inner Poet”. After I answered questions like “pick a color” and “who would you rather smoke a bowl with Che Guevara, a bored llama, or Cthulhu” and “Pick an cute animal”, I received my answer: Charles Bukowski.

Now before I explain how I had no idea who Charles Bukowski was, let me in my defense say, I am not ignorant to world of poetry and poets. I like most people was exposed to the classics in school: Whitman, Cummings, Poe, Dickinson, Shakespeare, etc. But also like most people, I was to young to appreciate poetry when I was in school. I have grown a greater appreciation of poetry as an adult, but I have found that I enjoy the work very few poets. Most recently, I have found myself reading (and enjoying) the work of Michael A. Arnzen, Robert E. Howard (yes, Howard wrote more than just Conan and Solomon Kane stories, and he was an excellent poet), Milton, Dickinson, and Poe. All that being said to say I am not ignorant of poetry, but I had never heard of Charles Bukowski.

Now because it was an internet quiz, I could have just said “whatever” and went on with my life, but so some reason I became intrigued and headed over to the knower of all things the NSA, er… … I mean Google. Google lead me to Charles Bukowski website (http://bukowski.net/) where I learned that Bukowski was poet, artist, writer, postal worker, and odd, provocative character who’s life reminds me a bit of Earnest Hemingway and Hunter S. Thompson. His site also has a lot of poetry, a bibliography of his books, his FBI file, interviews, articles, etc. I read a few of his poems there. I enjoyed a poem titled “Locks” the best.

Based on all I have learn of Charles Bukowski may actually be my inner poet (curse you internet quizzes for knowing me so well), but as Mojo Nixon said about the Elvis in Joan Rivers, “but he’s trying to get out, man! He’s trying to get out!”