Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Our Children's Endless War?

1984 by George Orwell
- The war is not meant to be won, it is meant to be continuous. Hierarchical society is only possible on the basis of poverty and ignorance. This new version is the past and no different past can ever have existed. In principle the war effort is always planned to keep society on the brink of starvation. The war is waged by the ruling group against its own subjects and its object is not the victory over either Eurasia or East Asia, but to keep the very structure of society intact.

Perpetual War by TARIQ ALI
US General Petraeus (currently commanding the CIA) tells us: “You have to recognize also that I don’t think you win this war. I think you keep fighting. It’s a little bit like Iraq, actually . . .. Yes, there has been enormous progress in Iraq. But there are still horrific attacks in Iraq, and you have to stay vigilant. You have to stay after it. This is the kind of fight we’re in for the rest of our lives and probably our kids’ lives.”

The key thing to realize is that they do not want peace. Peace is not their goal. Right now, a trillion dollars or more is being taken from all of us in the form of taxes. That money is then spent to fight this endless war. Their biggest fear is that someday we might stop giving them the money.

Anyone alive in the early 90's saw this. The great bogeyman, whom generations of Americans had been told that we had to constantly fight, suddenly collapsed. That Evil Empire, the Soviet Union, suddenly collapsed despite people like Robert Gates telling us that they were actually a huge threat that demanded that we spend hundreds of billions of dollars fighting.

This collapse left a great void. And the government types and the Pentagon types who want to keep taking a trillion dollars are more from us suddenly were searching for a new enemy. They needed something or someone whom the American people would fear as much as they had feared the great Soviet threat, in order to to keep the billions and trillions of dollars flowing to them. They floated all sorts of ideas, the remnants of which can be seen in old Chuck Norris and Tom Clancy movies from the 90's. Evil drug lords who threatened to control the world. Evil Chinese billions who are going to be the yellow tide that swarms over the world. Evil Russian generals who might retake control of the Russian military and then suddenly attack us because ... well... they never really had reason. Just the fact that they were Russians or Chinese was always assumed to be enough of a reason on its own.

Then came Osama Bin Laden and 9-11. I'm not a big believer in consipiracy theories about how this was an inside plot. But, I'm not at all above believing that there are people who would use those attacks in order to make sure a trillion or more dollars a year keeps flowing towards them. And I'm not above believing that the deaths of thousands of people wouldn't faze them from keeping that money flowing towards them.  There's an old bumper sticker about how wouldn't it be great if someday the schools had all the money they needed and the Air Force needed to hold a bake sale to build its bombers. There are generals who hate schools and hate bake sales, and who want to make sure the money comes to them instead.

For that, they need a war. And the bad thing about wars in history has always been that the wars end. The wars end and the soldiers are expected to go back home. And the people expect that one day we'll spend money on their children's schools and giving Americans decent health care. That is not an optimal outcome for the generals who have their hands on our money. They don't want to go home and be civilians. They don't want to spend hundreds of billions of dollars on education and health care and bridges that don't collapse. They want to keep the money and power that first our long endless war against communism, and now our long endless war against terrorism, gives them.

Its up to us to say no. Its up to us to take our country back. Vote for a real peace candidate this next election. They probably won't have a (D) or an (R) after their names, unless they are some sort of maverick the rest of their party hates. Nope, odds are you'll have to look a little deeper down the ballot, or maybe even put your name on the ballot, to cast that vote.  But we need to cast those votes in this next election.

We need to end these wars now. We need to bring our troops home and we need to spend our hundreds of billions of dollars on American jobs to rebuild America's economy. Its time for the American people to say no. We don't want Orwell's endless war as the future of our children.

James Madison, 1787
In time of actual war, great discretionary powers are constantly given to the Executive Magistrate. Constant apprehension of War, has the same tendency to render the head too large for the body. A standing military force, with an overgrown Executive will not long be safe companions to liberty. The means of defence agst. foreign danger, have been always the instruments of tyranny at home. Among the Romans it was a standing maxim to excite a war, whenever a revolt was apprehended. Throughout all Europe, the armies kept up under the pretext of defending, have enslaved the people.

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