“I Ain’t Marchin Anymore”

War and killing are now as American as apple pie. Little thought of the victims of U.S. aggression is evident. This lack of compassion for human suffering at the hands of the political and corporate state, and the complicit military, is a travesty. It exposes widespread apathy at a level that belies imagination, and uncovers the glaring lie that Americans are exceptional.

The exceptional ones are those who stand against war and tyranny, not those who salute a flag that represents the murder and slaughter of innocents. Worshiping the purveyors of war is no different than worshiping war itself, but this distinction is lost in the brainwashed minds of those who hold the state up as a god. When support of war and those who prosecute war becomes common even in the houses of religion, as it has in the U.S., then the country as a whole has lost its way.

The War on Terror: The... Christopher Lee Bollyn Best Price: $9.50 Buy New $14.99 (as of 01:05 EDT - Details) The indifference concerning war in this country is a double-edged sword. While ignoring the horrors of U.S. foreign policy is the easy way out, especially when that indifference can be shielded from scrutiny behind the shadow of false patriotism, it does not erase guilt by involvement. No war can be sustained by the state unless consent of the people is given, regardless whether it is informed or implied. Blood is not just on the hands of soldiers hired to murder for the state, it is also on the hands of the people who do nothing to stop it.

If the soldiers refused to do the bidding of the state, no war could take place. If the public stood against war, no war could be prosecuted. In the U.S. today, both the warmongering military and the public are in support of aggression, and therefore war will continue unabated until either the people or the soldiers find the moral courage to say no more war. During the Vietnam War, many stood up and were able to force a stop to that massacre. One of those was Phil Ochs, a brave protester who sang: “I ain’t marchin anymore.”

Oh I marched to the battle of New Orleans
At the end of the early British war
The young land started growing
The young blood started flowing

But I ain’t marchin’ anymore
For I’ve killed my share of Indians
In a thousand different fights
I was there at the Little Big Horn
I heard many men lying
I saw many more dying
But I ain’t marchin’ anymore

It’s always the old to lead us to the war
It’s always the young to fall
Now look at all we’ve won with the saber and the gun
Tell me is it worth it all
For I stole California from the Mexican land
Fought in the bloody Civil War
Yes I even killed my brother
And so many others

And I ain’t marchin’ anymore
For I marched to the battles of the German trench
In a war that was bound to end all wars
Oh I must have killed a million men
And now they want me back again
But I ain’t marchin’ anymore

For I flew the final mission in the Japanese sky
Set off the mighty mushroom roar
When I saw the cities burning
I knew that I was learning
That I ain’t marchin’ anymore

Now the labor leader’s screamin’ when they close the missile plants,
United Fruit screams at the Cuban shore,
Call it “Peace” or call it “Treason, ”
Call it “Love” or call it “Reason, ”
But I ain’t marchin’ any more.

~Phil Ochs—Songwriter

I Ain’t Marchin Anymore lyrics © Universal Music Publishing Group

The lyrics of this song are more telling than one might realize. War has been the predominant core of American society, more common than any other aspect of our heritage. This is an abomination, as rallying around the flag is the unifying element of this society, not peace, freedom, and harmony as is mistakenly assumed. It is a shameful reality that should turn the stomach of any who believe in human decency.

After all the unnecessary wars in U.S. history, after all the tens of millions slaughtered for nothing, after all the torture, the brutal sanctions for political gain, and the destruction of entire countries, where are we today? We are still at war! Legacy of Ashes: The H... Tim Weiner Best Price: $2.01 Buy New $5.88 (as of 04:25 EDT - Details)

As pointed out by Stephanie Sevell in The Cost of War Project, the map of the United States war on terror shows there were “counterterror missions in 80 countries in 2017 and 2018, or 40% of the nations on this planet (a map first featured in Smithsonian magazine).”

This carnage will not stop until the people stop it. It will only continue to get worse. The U.S. is now in its bogus war on terror fighting in 80 countries, and is threatening more war against larger powers with nuclear capability. This can only lead to total devastation not only in other countries, but here in America as well.

War is not worth the lives of our children, friends and families. It is not worth the lives of those in other countries. War is worthless, and is used only as a tool so the ruling elite can control the masses through fear and intimidation. This brings them wealth and power. As I said long ago:

In the United States, war has become a constant. War is a part of our everyday lives, and it is difficult to even imagine peace. A better way is to be unable to imagine war!