War Is Not ‘Normal’
We All Want a Sane Peaceful Compassionate World.
Yet we tolerate our states being endlessly at war?
With only one possible global conclusion.
No one wants children, women and men to continue to be killed, maimed, mentally scarred, made refugees … whether by ‘conventional’ or by nuclear weapons being dropped on people, ‘for our peace and security’. Beyond all politics and propaganda telling us otherwise, we common people of the Earth yearn for peaceful coexistence and resolution of conflict.
But being so heavily conditioned and desensitized to wars continually going on – ‘over there’ for Western citizens – apparently ‘for good moral reasons’ and ‘as a last resort’, we’ve become largely passive observers, half shrugging apathetically at our inability to stop the war machine, and half won over with its ‘normality’.
On an increasingly regular basis, wars and military flashpoints – in the Middle East, Ukraine and North Korea, for example – bring out the high likelihood of us sleepwalking into allowing our unreliable militarist leaders to cross the line from mass-murder with ‘conventional’ weapons to a nuclear war killing many millions and poisoning the planet for generations.
Why is this fast-track path to hell so easily laid with hardly a whimper from most of the general public in our apparently highly-educated well-informed democratic and free modern states? Is it apathy, ignorance, being too busy with other stuff …?
Why do corporate-state media talk so complacently, triumphantly even, of military ‘solutions’ with scant consideration of either short or long term alternatives?
Besides the consistently proven-false pretexts for the mass-murdering, mass-refugee-causing, infrastructure-destroying, terrorist-creating US-allied attacks in Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya and by proxy in Syria, for example, our politicians and media don’t rest from feeding us more of the same pro-war justifications for ‘the next big thing’ on an almost daily basis.
As if the lies of just last week never happened, we get stuck in the role of being passive observers of the merry-go-round of ever new military dramas with us ‘good guys’ having to ‘spread freedom’ somewhere new.
Are we to simply accept our transformation into jelly-brained goldfish?
Given the fire-hose media assault on our brains channelling the latest moral crusade, and the brushing under the carpet of lies spread as ‘fact’ in yesterday’s war, we are increasingly unable to recollect and piece together – both individually and particularly as a national consensus – the truth behind cover stories used to topple non-compliant leaders and control their countries’ resources, killing millions and causing a cycle of more killing, suffering and misery in the process.
As well as aiming to challenge misinformation by sharing informed angles on events that go against the mainstream grain, our goal here with Step Back is to help shatter the literally earth-destroying ‘normalisation’ of war in the media and political world that will kill us all, hand-in-hand with man-made climate change, unless we wake from our zombie state.
Often spread as war-porn on our screens – with a revealing close-up of a shiny new phallic weapon or clip of a destructive climax streamed from a missile-cam – it seems ‘us’ bombing ‘them’ ‘for good caring reasons’ has become gradually more and more acceptable to a largely numbed, distracted and apathetic populace in recent years. No doubt a large part of that is the fact we (the US, UK and allies) have been almost constantly bombing someone somewhere for as long as anyone can remember: “the US has been at war 222 of 239 years of its existence”.
Represent Us Accurately! – The People-loving Peace-loving Vast Majority
What an enlightening change it would be to see news on violent conflict and the threat of it reported always as it is most strongly actually felt by humans: in terms of agonising pain, misery and horror felt by people just like us!
In that sharp clear light, moralising propaganda for war becomes empty drivel. Weighed against the personal experience of the murder and disfiguring of loved ones, on all sides, arguments for war clearly stand as the biggest evil we must fight.
Where do we see reported our politicians’ and media’s own crucial role in the complete and utter failure of humane sanity by wars being presented so contentedly and – “now here’s the sport with Gabby” – with such a demented disconnect from the real consequences?
Where are the urgent calls for us to stop pouring petrol on the fire and instead to focus on finding negotiated peaceful resolutions?
Why isn’t the strong compassion we feel for other humans who are affected by war picked-up and represented by news creators and politicians as an urgent call to step back from war insanity in favour of negotiation and diplomacy?
Is strong public feeling only worthy of being made into news when headed by an approved face or channelled into some massive political event? Or does it depend on whether the subject matter supports or goes against the establishment?
What about celebrities, ‘captains of industry’ or the UK royals – always on our screens and front-pages because apparently so many people ‘love’ and/or ‘respect’ them! Surely there is a far wider almost unanimous consensus on our love and respect for all our fellow human beings in harsh circumstances: let’s see the common people of Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, Syria … given that level of attention!
Even when the underlying humanity against war insanity does translate into huge demonstrations and similar events, it always plays at best second fiddle to the apparently ‘sensible serious grown up reasons why we need to go to war’ fed to us as our main diet by politicians and media with nodding ‘experts’ in the studio on hand to explain why ‘war makes peace’.
Organised War-Crime as ‘Moral Imperative’
That great clearseer and satirist of human depravity George Orwell is one of many who has stated that war exists to maintain the hierarchy of power.
It seems that to help keep the world public supportive of its own enslavement through mass murdering ourselves, in the political-media mainstream the ‘normality’ of war and the huge spending dedicated to it in the ‘educated’ and ‘informed’ 21st century is never seriously challenged, but instead taken as a given. Certainly, huge profiteering by the few from the process of preparing for and enacting mass murder and destruction is almost a taboo subject, almost never even touched upon except with reference to ‘creating jobs’.
Any small hint of exasperation at the complete madness of war is always drowned out in the mainstream by a mood of moral obligation when it is ‘Our (US allied) brave service men and women’ who are involved in the fighting. In those cases, at the very worst we are given an image of a ‘hard but completely unavoidable moral endeavour’, something beyond extreme fire-fighting, say, that simply ‘cannot be questioned’.
And on ‘happier’ days Western incursions are presented as a form of ‘humanitarian aid’, with shots of soldiers interacting with local people, giving out sweets among children who are victims of something that ‘we are only ever there to remedy’.
The dominance of pro, or at worst neutral, war and war industry assumptions in the mainstream can be interpreted as a systemic institutionalised attitude habitualised over many years. Or questions can be raised over the active influence of interests we hardly see, and will probably never see reported openly in full detail, between war-mongering political leaders, war-profiteers and news providers. This is a big subject, but we presume here that both causes play a role: the influence on state-corporate owned media to deal sympathetically with major state-corporate issues – including the business of war – can be both cultural and intentional.
“War is a Racket” , a criminal conspiracy, famously explained the whistleblower Smedley Darlington Butler in 1935. He was a United States Marine Corps Major General, the highest rank authorized at that time, and the most decorated Marine in U.S. history when he died. In his short exposé, he lays out the ruthless self-interested basis of war with some specifics on US military incursions into countries that he was ordered to carry out in order to profit particular US corporations that he names. (Watch acted out / read his outstanding and insanely uncelebrated full critique here)
“War is a racket. It always has been. It is possibly the oldest, easily the most profitable, surely the most vicious. It is the only one in which the profits are reckoned in dollars and the losses in lives.”
In 1961 in his farewell speech, President Eisnehower warned the world of the threat to humanity by what he called the ‘military industrial complex’, a group of arms contractors and military holding formidable influence over government. Who can say for sure how much controlling influence has been exerted by that force in the multititude of documented US coups and wars.
After the Pearl Harbour effect of 9/11 unleashed the US, and allies, into a morally-charged war without end across the globe, the arms industry and associated security businesses went into overdrive. War profiteers are highly skilled and organisd: “this new coalition of companies, agencies, and lobbyists dwarfs the system known by Eisenhower when he warned Americans. War may be hell for some but it is heaven for others in a war-dependent economy.”
We Can Build A Better World Without War
In the 21st Century several thousand years of worldwide accumulated experience expressed through historical accounts, philosophy, poetry … beg to tell us; until assimilated into the herd, the still-questioning common sense of the young repeatedly tells us; and when able, our own freed hearts and minds tell us: War is Madness, War Is Perpetuated By Corrupt Elements, War Will Kill Us All, but also that War Is Avoidable.
“Truth is the first victim of war” it is often said, referring to political and media brain-washing over wars.
We as a world of people wanting to break the insane globally suicidal, and ecocidal, elite-empowering cycle of war need to work together to win the battle against the spin to permanently Make War the Victim of Truth.
It’s just insane nonsense to continue to go along with the presentation that there is truly ‘no other option’ available besides continued mass murder on ever bigger more hideous scales, until only a charred radioactive mess remains, bar perhaps a safely bunkered powerful elite.
Exactly as with Man Made Climate Change, there already exist achievable solutions which are in our power to enact, but it goes against the current flow of money and power for those changes to be made willingly.
So it is that certain resource rich and strategically important countries are targeted in the global game of chess with people’s lives. Vast power and profits through geopolitical conquest and the rotten arms business come to a tiny few, while we the watching world are led by the nose to accept these endless wars as ‘normal’ and even ‘humanitarian’.
What about the plans for a Global Security System proposed by the non-violence movement World Beyond War? – a detailed blueprint for demilitarised security.
What about the readjustments to taxation proposed by Conscience – Taxes for Peace Not War?
What about the Ammerdown Group’s proposals for Rethinking Security?
What about the UN actually being enabled to independently fulfil their vital peace-keeping role, sadly largely theoretical and superficial, without constant behind-the-scenes coercion from some of the most powerful states to subvert that purpose to their own selfish war-mongering ends?
What about some steps – or at least some public discussion! – to isolate the booming arms trade from influencing those in power? “The arms industry has inserted itself into the very heart and machinery of government giving it totally disproportionate access and influence over vital areas, warping public policy and harming us all. “
What about ending unethical military recruitment methods targeting children and young people?
Demanding a Complete Change from News Creators and Politicians
To begin to make progress in the no doubt long struggle against the most profitable and filthiest racket on the planet, we the general public need to open ourselves to sense intimately (to ‘de-desensitize’ ourselves from) the evil of war as experienced by the victims, as well as to understand and share widely the real immoral self-serving motives behind wars.
A key part of that involves creating and sharing alternative-to-mainstream channels of information, and demanding there and everywhere en-masse that war-‘normalising’ politicians and news-creators must either Shape up or Ship out. We will dump them if they don’t move on.
It is up to us, no one else, no fairy godmother to express as loudly and as clearly as we possibly can our united and total opposition to the perversion of war insanity being presented to us as ‘normal’ and ‘necessary’.
We believe that people globally feeling more, noticing more, discussing more, questioning more, and calling together for proper representation by pollies and media against corrupt war insanity: these are essential steps on the path to condemning war to history, the evolutionary advance we need to survive and thrive.
So we ask you to please share this site among friends and please take part in and share the ‘Wake Up The World’ email campaign to news-creators and politicians – as well as to sympathetic figures in arts and popular culture – calling for an end to war ‘normalisation’ in all its forms.
United and determined to break the mould, we have the power to make sure the world does not go as far as the pictures of nuclear devastation in the header.
Together through compassion and better understanding we can and must shatter the ‘us vs them’ engendered groupthink that divides and rules us and keeps us panicked and casting blame, and therefore accepting of being on a permanent war footing, which enables the dominance of a self-serving global oligarchy, a militarist corporatocracy, that depends on endless war and a confused frightened populace.
Together WE can Grow a Wave of Compassion and Sanity that will END WAR and NORMALISE PEACE.
In a Nutshell:
“NO WAR! NOT IN MY NAME! We the world public feel compassion for other humans and have no interest to keep enriching and empowering war-profiteering arms-traders, energy corporates and others who profit from mass-murder and destruction in wars.
If this is truly a democracy we live in and not just the facade of one, if news media truly reflect the public’s greatest concerns and are not simply useful tools in thrall to the war-mongering war-profiteering powerful few, then REPRESENT US AND THE VAST MAJORITY OF THE PUBLIC by insisting that world leaders GET BACK TO THE NEGOTIATING TABLES AND WORK CEASELESSLY TO FIND PEACEFUL RESOLUTIONS.
If our political leaders and media controllers are unwilling to represent the public and work first and foremost for the peace the public want, they need to be Kicked Out to allow in truly committed peace-makers to take over. ‘Normalised’ war is insanity devoid of humanity, pushed forwards by war-profiteers and ingrained militarists who know nothing else.
Peace is Achievable by Diplomacy. But it’s ‘bad for business’.
AS CITIZENS OF THE WORLD WE WANT ACTION TO MAKE PEACEFUL CONFLICT RESOLUTION THE NORM FROM OUR FAILING REPRESENTATIVES IN BOTH POLITICS AND MEDIA. REPRESENT US or GET OUT!”
The aims of this site are twofold:
- To ask you to join and share a global wake-up call on news creators and politicians at all levels – local, national and international – urging them to fulfil their most crucial role of representing unanimous opposition to the mass killing of other humans by war, ‘conventional’ and nuclear. We demand instead that senior politicians, journalists and media-controllers represent public compassion, and therefore abandon war, war-profiteering, and propagandising for war, and direct themselves instead to achieving peaceful conflict resolution. We also want to recruit as many sympathetic figures with a public voice from the world of arts and popular culture to help spread the message that War is most certainly not ‘normal’.
- To open debate on a wide range of questions and offer articles with alternative viewpoints and evidence that challenge the limited, largely war-accepting and loyal-to-government/military perspective of corporate-state media. We aim to help us all never forget the devastating human consequences if aggressive actions are not urgently exchanged for a currently easily passed over and Achievable non-military negotiated resolution to conflict.
- Do we get the whole story from mainstream media?
- Why do we dismiss some foreign media as ‘propaganda’ but take our own news as ‘unbiased’, against the evidence of experience? (e.g. Iraq, Libya)
- ‘Good guys vs. Bad guys’ – This is the approach we’re fed, and of course ‘we’ are always the ‘good guys’. How is that illusion maintained and how can we get over it to a truer picture?
- As the US’ war on Iraq was an ‘Oil war’, what drives Western interests in Syria, Ukraine and North Korea? Is it, as we are told by pollies and media, a ‘desire to spread democracy’?
- Do war-hawks / war-profiteers influence our political representatives and / or media owners?
- What more can people do to stop war insanity?
I’m just one person, what can I do?
“I am only one, but I am one. I cannot do everything, but I can do something. And I will not let what I cannot do interfere with what I can do.”
― Edward Everett Hale
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What/who exactly is Step-Back.org?
The Step-Back.org website was set up in 2013 by a group of friends with a joint interest in the media, specifically against poor reporting that falsely justifies war. Our focus then was the growing drumbeat for military intervention in Syria by the US/UK and others and we later expanded this to offer against-the-mainstream-grain informative reports on Ukraine and other areas of conflict.