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Enlightenment by trauma - soldiers speak up
January 9, 2010 3:59 AM   Subscribe

Our real enemies are not those living in a distant land whose names or policies we don't understand; The real enemy is a system that wages war when it's profitable, the CEOs who lay us off our jobs when it's profitable, the Insurance Companies who deny us Health care when it's profitable, the Banks who take away our homes when it's profitable. Our enemies are not several hundred thousands away. They are right here in front of us. — Mike Prysner (YT)

This video is an illustrated excerpt of Mike Prysner's speech (parts 1, 2) at the Winter soldiers testimonies of the Irak Veterans Against War (IVAW, previously).

IVAW, together with VVAW form a network of veteran organizations whose members have realized on the battlefield that "wars are easy to start and hard to stop and that those hurt are often the innocent." These soldiers speak up to educate, unfortunately a posteriori, about how they were deceived into believing they were defending freedom.

Without their first-hand accounts, the rationale behind conflicts might be forever lost to history.
posted by knz (52 comments total) 20 users marked this as a favorite

 
Very eloquent. But Im afraid the perception Obama as a war mongering capitalist just looking to line his pockets with blood money is not something I can get with.
posted by freshundz at 5:12 AM on January 9, 2010 [1 favorite]


The problem with this critique is that war isn't about profit. War is about waste. It's a vast potlatch served up to the god of state, a human sacrifice to the moloch of government. From the beginnings of civilization, it's been understood that merchants thrive in times of peace, that commerce thrives in a peaceful borderless world. Some people do indeed make money in times of war. Sometimes they make a great deal of money. But in general, war is bad for business. It is good for collecting taxes, conscripting soldiers, demonstrating the power of the state, destroying wealth, burning cities, and creating big piles of dead bodies (see Edwin Starr, War, Motown Records, 1970). War does not draw from the business or commercial side of human nature, but from religious part of the brain. The same part of the brain that piles up wealth in the Vatican, that performs human sacrifices, the sticks pins in voodoo dolls. Don't confuse the ghastly, destructive ritual of war with wholesome and mostly beneficial practice of making money.
posted by Faze at 5:20 AM on January 9, 2010 [8 favorites]


Considering that very little has changed that's visible, freshundz, I don't know why you'd think otherwise. Essentially all of the policies that Bush instituted are still in force, and we've increased our war commitments, not decreased them.

As Greenwald points out, people so badly want to believe that Obama is "a good man" that when he continues policies that were so loudly hated by so many, suddenly they become okay. The team thinking in this just nauseates me. He gives fantastic speeches, but does pretty much exactly what Bush did, and somehow's he's all different.

Yeah, right. Tell that to the people in Guantanamo who still haven't gotten trials.
posted by Malor at 5:22 AM on January 9, 2010 [13 favorites]


I think that's a bit of an uncharitable view, Malor. I'm not US, but things like Waxman-Markey, health reform, just off the top of my head. I'm sure Americans will be able to come up with many other examples.

Don't get me wrong, he's done some shit stuff too and deserves some flak for it, but the ship of state is a slow-moving and heavy one. He is just one man, and democracy - especially yours - is such that change is hard to accomplish.

We have the same issues with our prime minister here in Australia, but I think it's important to remember, these people are large representing us, all of us. It's easy to blame our heads of state, but we should also blame our fellow citizens, complicit - from ignorance, belief, whatever - in these inequitous dealings. These people aren't Atlas - made to bear the world - the are simply a distilled reflection.
posted by smoke at 5:37 AM on January 9, 2010 [11 favorites]


From the beginnings of civilization, it's been understood that merchants thrive in times of peace, that commerce thrives in a peaceful borderless world. Some people do indeed make money in times of war. Sometimes they make a great deal of money. But in general, war is bad for business.

And yet the incestuous relationship between government and business only ever seems to increase, regardless of which party is in power at any given time, and the government is crawling with businesspeople. Funny how that all works out.
posted by metagnathous at 6:04 AM on January 9, 2010


Prysner's just part of a larger movement living in some theoretical construct of reality which struggles with the simple fact that a foreign army invaded and killed civilians. That it was stateless has make it all the more difficult to process the event, but the enemy he speaks of is truely right in front of him: it's him and the others propagating this crap.

Anyone who has worked in a large organization can tell you all about the joys of bureaucracy and how hard it is to make even the smallest changes. The government is that to the Nth degree and with movements like this the few that are working to correct it just get sidelined by their own people, concentrating the power of the idiots endemic to the system in the process. It's a self-fulfilling prophecy.
posted by jwells at 6:17 AM on January 9, 2010


The problem with this critique is that war isn't about profit. War is about waste.

no, much of the time, it's about resources - it's about barbarians who want things from civilizations and civilizations that want territory and resources from the barbarians or other civilizations, sometimes because of greed, other times because of sheer desperation

that much of the time, the resources wasted in a war exceed those gained doesn't matter, as the conscious goal is to make the other guy suffer the losses, not oneself - the romans profited from war and so did the germanic tribes that invaded them - the mongols, the arabs, the europeans that invaded the 3rd world, all profited immensely from war - yes, they destroyed wealth, burned cities and created big piles of dead bodies, but they were the OTHER guy's, not theirs

the conflicts of the last century, ww1 and ww2, were caused by countries that wanted things at the expense of their neighbors - and the one clear victor at the end of it all in 1945, the u s, profited immensely, even as many others lost immensely - it wasn't our motivation to do so, but it was the result

is it really a coincidence that the poorest civilization of the world, the middle eastern muslims, are having conflicts with the richest, especially when those poorer people have territory with resources that the richer people need? - is it really a coincidence that the economically and ecologically stressed countries of africa are currently full of war and turmoil?

when merchants, commerce and the population at large thrive, things tend to be peaceful - when they don't, things aren't
posted by pyramid termite at 6:17 AM on January 9, 2010 [5 favorites]


War, what is it good for?
posted by Damienmce at 6:36 AM on January 9, 2010 [1 favorite]


Those who can't get behind the use of images to equate Obama with other figures that are in positions of power ill-used might want to look at recent US history. Many presidents have inherited unpopular wars of occupation and chosen to expand US participation in that war. Each has had convenient political facts at their disposal to explain this decision.

At the end of the day we have the political will of that office (and, therefore, the political will of the decision makers within the country) manifest as foreign occupation. That this occupation is made possible by using an army fuelled by racist, classist ideals is the whole point of the video.

It may be pure agitprop, but not referring to Obama simple because he is a populist, polarizing leader who has made a career of distancing himself from those we traditionally think of as "war-mongers" or blindly ambitious politicos is a mistake.

The fact is that O. rode a wave of populism and hope into office. He may be the nicest, smartest guy who has ever held that office, but he is also clearly one of the moneyed or powered elites the person making the speech is talking about.

You don't get to become the president of the US without being an enfranchised elite. You can be a smart, caring elite, but that does not change the facts of the matter.

However, history judges us all, so let's see what movies the next Oliver Stone will make about Obama's legacy 20 years from now.
posted by clvrmnky at 6:45 AM on January 9, 2010 [3 favorites]


I suggest that before getting caught up in this sort of thing, you turn first to American history to see when it all began and how it has developed over time...
You could consider the Mexican War, Cuba, Monroe Doctrine, stationing of troops world-wide for an empire after WWII, Ike's farewell speech warning of military/Industrial Complex; Colin Powell's (seldom known) speech warning on abuse of Terror as cover for all sorts of domestic and foreign intrusions into civil rights and on and on. Nolte too that as unemployment gets worse, govt jobs increase.
posted by Postroad at 6:57 AM on January 9, 2010 [1 favorite]


Faze, you've been holding forth like that for a few days now, and I think you've got one of those ideas that really, really seems to make sense to you, but you're not really evaluating it. War is indeed good for business for Americans for two reasons:

1. Wars tend to happen outside the territory of the United States, and
2. The "business" in the phrase "Good for business" refers specifically and exclusively to the bottom lines of American firms.

We can explain war as the result, perhaps inevitable, of political friction and of the influence of firms that stand to profit at the expense of others, and I think that result is quite satisfactory and does not require any romantic talk of "human sacrifice" and "ritual" and "the religious part of the brain". That something is horrible and seems worthy of purple prose does not cause it to require the invocation of sacrament to explain.
posted by Pope Guilty at 6:59 AM on January 9, 2010 [1 favorite]


I helped make Mexico, especially Tampico, safe for American oil interests in 1914. I helped make Haiti and Cuba a decent place for the National City Bank boys to collect revenues in. I helped in the raping of half a dozen Central American republics for the benefits of Wall Street. The record of racketeering is long. I helped purify Nicaragua for the international banking house of Brown Brothers in 1909-1912 (where have I heard that name before?). I brought light to the Dominican Republic for American sugar interests in 1916. In China I helped to see to it that Standard Oil went its way unmolested.

During those years, I had, as the boys in the back room would say, a swell racket. Looking back on it, I feel that I could have given Al Capone a few hints. The best he could do was to operate his racket in three districts. I operated on three continents. "

posted by haltingproblemsolved at 7:25 AM on January 9, 2010 [15 favorites]


That quote is clarity itself. I'm sure Smedley Butler knew what he was doing.
posted by imperium at 7:41 AM on January 9, 2010


Pope Guilty -- If war is a function of the quest for profit, why is it also popular (if less destructive) in pre-capitalist or tribal societies? The desire to kill is even more primal than the desire to make money. It's hardwired in our DNA. In advanced societies, populations work themselves into the killing frenzy, and the businesspeople, who are always seeking an advantage, go along for the sometimes profitable ride. But not many businesspeople would say, "Let's loose the dogs of war, and see if we can make a profit in the ensuing chaos." Instability is the enemy of profit. However, once the dogs of war are out there, businesspeople, who are always looking for a way to make money (thank heaven), will try to take advantage of the situation. From my experience deep inside the capitalist establishment businesspeople aren't interested in actual war and killing. Even arms dealers (of whom I know one) don't want actual war to break out. They are enthusiastic about preparedness for war (and are often fueled by paranoia), but they aren't motivated by the hunger for death and destruction of wealth and resources that characterizes those who serve the state, or collectivity. Back in the 60s we used to say, "War is good business, invest your son." But it wasn't Wall Street who was asking you to invest your son. It was Washington. It was LBJ and Nixon and the state they served who were asking you to pile your boy's body onto their flaming potlatch -- to sacrifice your kid on the altar of their sacrificial belief.
posted by Faze at 7:42 AM on January 9, 2010


"Bring the troops war home."

..is a bumper sticker I want. Also, I don't like it when "the system" is blamed in lieu of people. You can't execute a system.
posted by clarknova at 7:47 AM on January 9, 2010 [1 favorite]


The only manufacturing we have here in the states now is military. War is the U.S.'s ONLY business.
posted by Max Power at 7:51 AM on January 9, 2010


Let's not forget that now more than ever, war IS business. A recent count put the number of private defense contractors in Iraq at 100,000, about ten times the number deployed in the 1991 Gulf War. Private contractors account for about half the U.S. presence in Iraq and Afghanistan. Without them, the government would have to institute a draft to support those wars. And every U.S. politician knows that would be political suicide.
posted by TheDailyRhyme at 8:21 AM on January 9, 2010


The only manufacturing we have here in the states now is military.

This seems to be pretty inaccurate.

Overall US GDP from manufacturing was around 1.6 trillion in 2006, with gross output of 4.5 trillion when you look at all commercial activities around manufacturing. The entire military budget (which is personnel, consumables, and supplies in addition to manufactured items) is $638 billion for 2010 (plus additional supplemental spending in Afghanistan and Iraq, bringing it up to 680 billion and change).

The breakdown is as follows:

Operations and maintenance $283.3 billion
Military Personnel $154.2 billion
Procurement $140.1 billion
Research, Development, Testing & Evaluation $79.1 billion
Military Construction $23.9 billion
Family Housing $3.1 billion
Total Spending $685.1 billion

I figure that if you count all of procurement and R&D as manufacturing activities, it's around 220 billion- which is 13% of overall direct manufacturing GDP. It's still a huge part of our economy, but I don't think your assertion that all (or even most) manufacturing in the US being military in origin has been true since 1944.
posted by jenkinsEar at 8:22 AM on January 9, 2010 [3 favorites]


War is controlled by the powerful and suffered by the powerless.
posted by five fresh fish at 8:40 AM on January 9, 2010


From my experience deep inside the capitalist establishment businesspeople aren't interested in actual war and killing. Even arms dealers (of whom I know one) don't want actual war to break out. They are enthusiastic about preparedness for war (and are often fueled by paranoia), but they aren't motivated by the hunger for death and destruction of wealth and resources that characterizes those who serve the state, or collectivity.

Ignoring the trolling bit at the end there—of course they aren't motivated by such things. No one but a small child would think otherwise. But death and destruction are nonetheless the results of their actions because, however comforting they themselves may find their blameless motives in the wee hours, the universe doesn't give a fuck.

Back in the 60s we used to say, "War is good business, invest your son." But it wasn't Wall Street who was asking you to invest your son. It was Washington.

Are you seriously contending that the war in Vietnam had nothing to do with an anti-Communist paranoid hysteria whipped up exclusively by and for the business interests of America during the preceding 40 years?
posted by enn at 8:43 AM on January 9, 2010


I would very much like to see some information on the outcome of war on the wealth and power of, ooh, say everyone that's more than a standard deviation or two above the mean. Completely ignoring the "little people," because they don't count for shit in the big picture, how do the wealthy, powerful families fare?

My suspicion is that the wealthy have profited immensely over the past several hundred years. That war is, for a set of powerful people, one helluva great way to accumulate more wealth for their family dynasty.
posted by five fresh fish at 8:47 AM on January 9, 2010 [1 favorite]


The idea that war is good for the economy, or overall corporate profits, or business in general, is a fanciful notion not supported by facts or even more than a cursory anecdote.

All arguments for war being good for the economy boil down to cute stories devoid of facts like one of these -

1) If a window gets broken, someone needs to fix it. Thus business is stimulated.
2) Things used to kill masses of people are expensive. Thus business is stimulated.

Of course, this means we could also stimulate the economy by encouraging vandals and causing inflation to skyrocket.
posted by y6y6y6 at 8:51 AM on January 9, 2010 [1 favorite]


But Im afraid the perception Obama as a war mongering capitalist just looking to line his pockets with blood money is not something I can get with.

I can't "get with" that idea either - but the question isn't whether an idea is emotionally comfortable to us but whether it's true.

I welcomed Mr. Obama with positive expectations. The very first week, those expectations were dashed when he ordered missile strikes on Pakistan, a country that the US is (still) not at war with. And then things went downhill from there... expansion of the war in Afghanistan; new military actions in multiple countries; increased military spending.

I try to keep up with politics - but I was quite surprised to discover that the US was running a new secret war in Yemen with CIA bases and the like. By my count, the US is running small or large scale military operations in at least five Muslim countries now...

Now, it could be that what you're objecting to is the motives - the claim that Mr. Obama is doing this for economic reasons, to profit Wall Street. We can't read Mr. Obama's mind, and perhaps you're right that he has some other reason for doing these things.

However, looking at the advisors that he has chosen, we see endless Wall Street mavens, endless hard line military rah-rah boys, all the old favorites of the military-industrial complex - but few if any progressives, no one who is even "cautious" about war (forget about someone who's actually against war).

I'd say at this point that the onus is on you to prove that Mr. Obama is not a "tool of the military-industrial complex" because, unfortunately, all the facts seem to point that way.
posted by lupus_yonderboy at 9:43 AM on January 9, 2010 [4 favorites]


Very eloquent. But Im afraid the perception Obama as a war mongering capitalist just looking to line his pockets with blood money is not something I can get with.

You can't "get with" the "perception"?

Is that like a PG way of saying "Fuck the Facts"?
posted by srboisvert at 9:47 AM on January 9, 2010 [1 favorite]


We have heard that Obama's administration was asked to educate themselves by reading about our involvement in Vietnam a few decades ago. A connection between the war in Afghanistan (and perhaps Iraq) and Vietnam was presumed to be the reason for this homework assignment.

George Santayana's famous remark about those not knowing the past being condemned to repeat it seems to be tragically false here. As one who lived through the Vietnam era, I am angry beyond words at seeing my country being driven off a cliff.

The interesting conversation about who exactly is responsible for our present wars aside (and it is increasingly difficult to separate Corporate America and The Government), the current state of affairs cannot continue.

With two and a half million Americans staffing 737 military bases in other countries, how can we possibly fix the disaster unfolding within our own borders? Bring them all home!
posted by kozad at 10:01 AM on January 9, 2010


Is that like a PG way of saying "Fuck the Facts"?

Its my way of saying that I'm not ready to jump on this bandwagon- I'm very wary of worldviews that basically reduce to that everything is a nefarious conspiracy perpetuated by the man.

Call me ignorant and naive; but I do believe that the idea of an Islamic caliphate with access to nuclear weapons and a Jihadist agenda are at least part of our reason for being in the Middle East.
posted by freshundz at 10:08 AM on January 9, 2010


This is news to me: where did you hear that there was an Islamic caliphate with access to nuclear weapons? Such hallucinatory exaggerations of reality are an inadequate justification for our extreme commitment in the Middle East. I think you also exaggerate the anti-war point of view by calling us adherents of a world view that reduces everything to "a nefarious conspiracy perpetuated by the man."

Nevertheless, freshundz, you are correct that blaming Obama for everything is wrongheaded. Perhaps the repeated images of our President in the video contributed to this idea. Still, he certainly doesn't seem like the anti-Bush that many of us voted for.
posted by kozad at 10:21 AM on January 9, 2010


All arguments for war being good for the economy boil down to cute stories devoid of facts like one of these -

1) If a window gets broken, someone needs to fix it. Thus business is stimulated.
2) Things used to kill masses of people are expensive. Thus business is stimulated.


that is not the argument for the profitability of war. further, the argument for war's profitability is not grounded in some notion that it's good for america. it is grounded in the notion that for those people who DO profit in war (which used to be called War Profiteering in the same way you'd say "highway robbery.") it is vital to their industry to influence our government to be warlike, and that so far they have succeeded admirably. the argument for the profitability of war is theft. theft of resources, theft of wealth, theft of opportunity. that you think we're in iraq in order to build demolished homes or use expensive weapons alone, instead of to secure oil pipelines, is evidence of what's wrong with your argument. expensive weapons and corrupt building contracts are the whip cream on the oil pipeline sunday.
posted by shmegegge at 10:35 AM on January 9, 2010 [1 favorite]


sundae.
posted by shmegegge at 10:35 AM on January 9, 2010


I wonder if we're out occupying foreign countries less out of an "It's profitable" motive than out of a "Peak Oil is coming upon us, and we've got to get strategic control of what's left because it's cheap, abundant petroleum is fundamental to the society we've built and our way of life collapses without it" motive.

Welcome to the age of resource wars. Water's gonna be next (says the monkey in California)
posted by Pirate-Bartender-Zombie-Monkey at 10:47 AM on January 9, 2010


I've said it before (excuse me if you've heard it before) but I see Obama more and more as America's Gorbachev, who truly believes in his country's system (Gorby was/is a proud Communist/Socialist even if he dropped it from the name of the new Russian party he's leading) and tries/tried to save it via reform and 'enlightened leadership'. For all the Perestrioka, Gorbachev still sent in the army when parts of the Soviet Union started seceding. Of course, it's not a perfect analogy and the President does not have the centralized power the Secretary General had. And it is a very different kind of system and (most shockingly) probably has not have gotten 'bad' enough to produce a 'true reformer', making Obama maybe a 'half-way Gorbachev'.
posted by oneswellfoop at 11:08 AM on January 9, 2010


Are you seriously contending that the war in Vietnam had nothing to do with an anti-Communist paranoid hysteria whipped up exclusively by and for the business interests of America during the preceding 40 years?

Shure ah'm a saying that, pardner. That ol' anti-communiss hysteria yer talkin' about is sumpin we used to call a "witch hunt", pogrom, or religious war. Warn't nothing commericial about it. It's some kinda hoodoo voodoo thing. Like ol' Hitler when he deesided that our Jewish friends were the source of all evil in the universe. Ya couldn't talk him out of it! (He had a thing about communisses too.) Before you knew it, he jess about kilt all of 'em. Why'd he do it? You tell me! When people git the killin' frenzy on 'em, well, there's jes no stopping 'em, whether they wants to kill Jews, communisses, 'rackies, terrorists, Japs, you name it. (I unnerstan that fella Pol Pot would kill a man jes for wearin' glasses! My brother Orville who's allus readin' wunna stood a chance!) Now I reckon we killed about couple hundred thousand o' those 'rackies over the past five years. An' some people made a heap o' money off it. But not that much. And there's easier ways o' making money than mobilizing a whole government, dragging thousands of men and machines overseas, and murdering men, women and children. Lookit that fellow that made them films, Titanic and Avatar. I don't reckon he killed more'n a few hunnert people making them pitchers. Goin' to war to make money jes' don' make sense. That's all I'm sayin'.
posted by Faze at 11:35 AM on January 9, 2010


Is that like a PG way of saying "Fuck the Facts"?
posted by srboisvert

This is news to me: where did you hear that there was an Islamic caliphate with access to nuclear weapons? Such hallucinatory exaggerations of reality are an inadequate justification for our extreme commitment in the Middle East.
posted by kozad


The nonhallucinatory facts are these: Pakistan has nukes. Pakistan is in trouble. Pakistan is in trouble because of the Taliban. The Taliban support an Islamic caliphate. (The Taliban also does shit like throwing acid into the faces of girls trying to go to school, but that's a different issue).

I don't know what the answer to the Middle East is. But part of figuring it out involves addressing the risks that are there. Reacting to a description of risks as characterizing it as "fuck[ing] the facts" or "hallucinatory" does nothing to further reasoned debate.
posted by angrycat at 11:52 AM on January 9, 2010 [1 favorite]


faze - If war is a function of the quest for profit, why is it also popular (if less destructive) in pre-capitalist or tribal societies?

reduced to slightly inaccurate simplicity, war (raids, etc) is about someone else having something you want, and you taking it from them. i don't quite know why you are all trying to make some kind of weird dichotomy where WAR=RELIGION on one side and CAPITALISM is on the other but i really want to know what inspired this train of thought

The desire to kill is even more primal than the desire to make money.

what
posted by beefetish at 12:24 PM on January 9, 2010 [2 favorites]


Sorry for the word "hallucinatory," (that's too flame-war-y) but the facts you cite above do not mean that there is an Islamic caliphate. That is a jihadist's wet dream and an American nightmare, but sticking to the facts is what I also would like to see in a reasoned debate.
posted by kozad at 12:26 PM on January 9, 2010


I didn't say that there is one, I said that there could be one. Try reading the comments for a change you crazy kid!
posted by freshundz at 12:32 PM on January 9, 2010


@angrycat: the Taliban are where they are now because the US funded them in the '80s to get rid of the Soviets and in 2000-2001 to regulate opium production. They are pissed now because the money stopped flowing. You reap what you sow: the risk exists merely because of shitty macro-economic policies of the US government.

The current follow-up to this previous fuck-up is aggression: there will come no good out of this.
posted by knz at 12:35 PM on January 9, 2010


Faze:
The desire to kill is even more primal than the desire to make money.

beefetish:
what

Neither killing nor making money is primal. What is primal is territory. Humans tend to relate to very large expanses of land, possessions, and abstractions like money in the way that other primates relate to the relatively small expanses of land they instinctively mark and protect against both predators and others of their own kind. Killing and all sorts of other behaviors become natural when it becomes apparent that they further the goal of protecting or expanding the territory.

For any of our animal ancestors protecting terrotory was a necessary instinct. Fail to do that and interlopers will overhunt your game, overgather your produce, if you're male they will dally with your females, and generally they will mess up the cushy thing you've got going. So you will do ANYTHING to keep that cushy thing going. It's not a matter of making sense; we're programmed that way.

And much of what is wrong with the world today has to do with us mapping things like nation states and nuclear weapons in brain structures that evolved to deal with a local pond and small flint-knapping quarry. We will instinctively seek out and/or protect those things at ANY cost. And with modern weapons in the mix, the meaning of that word "any" can be very significant.
posted by localroger at 12:55 PM on January 9, 2010 [3 favorites]


boo
posted by Artful Codger at 1:00 PM on January 9, 2010


sorry
posted by Artful Codger at 1:01 PM on January 9, 2010


(posting problems)
posted by Artful Codger at 1:03 PM on January 9, 2010


That ol' anti-communiss hysteria yer talkin' about is sumpin we used to call a "witch hunt", pogrom, or religious war. Warn't nothing commericial about it. It's some kinda hoodoo voodoo thing.

It is with pleasant satisfaction I read your latest missive on the matter of casus belli, Diminuitive Abner, as you have precisely encapsulated the philosophy we in the hallowed halls of Pluto wish you to embrace. Please do not pay any attention to the balance sheets of those who procure for Mars, nor those who perform quicksilver service with cinema productions and television dramas to persuade hoi polloi that their mores populi are being defenestrated into the bowels of a demahypnogogic hades, by yclept liberals, amateur pharmacists and swarthy rascals from unclean lands.

Do carry on, good chap.
posted by pyramid termite at 2:38 PM on January 9, 2010 [3 favorites]


This thread went to a weird place.
posted by Pope Guilty at 4:54 PM on January 9, 2010 [1 favorite]


i don't quite know why you are all trying to make some kind of weird dichotomy where WAR=RELIGION on one side and CAPITALISM is on the other but i really want to know what inspired this train of thought.

Could he/she be taking dictation from Mont Pelerin?
posted by peppito at 7:27 PM on January 9, 2010


This thread started off weird, and went downhill quickly. Not surprising, given that it's a conflict between multiple worldviews that are only tangentially related to reality.

At least this time when people mutter about "wealthy and powerful people" they haven't been bringing the usual suspects up.
posted by happyroach at 7:29 PM on January 9, 2010


Yes, happyroach, the observation that wealthy elites have disproportionate influence over governments- to the point that their desires can in many cases simply override the desires or even needs of the rest of the population- is totes crazy and antisemitic. Well done. The world must be a cheerfully egalitarian place where all have an equal say, because people who suggest that the powerful and wealthy serve themselves first, and that this takes the form of high-level politics, are antisemitic cranks. Fabulous analysis.
posted by Pope Guilty at 7:52 PM on January 9, 2010


The nonhallucinatory facts are these: Pakistan has nukes. Pakistan is in trouble. Pakistan is in trouble because of the Taliban. The Taliban support an Islamic caliphate. (The Taliban also does shit like throwing acid into the faces of girls trying to go to school, but that's a different issue).

And that relates to Iraq how?
posted by c13 at 7:53 PM on January 9, 2010


freshhundz, you crazy kid: read your own comments. You did not say there "could be one." You suggested waging war based on the "idea" of an immanent Caliphate.

This is similar to waging war in Vietnam on the "idea" of the domino effect. You do know how that turned out, don't you?
posted by kozad at 8:23 PM on January 9, 2010


This thread went to a weird place.

kinda paralleling (or veering towards) this one :P

oh and speaking of wars of convenience and opportunism...

cheers!
posted by kliuless at 8:00 AM on January 10, 2010


War is about waste.

War fuels humanity's creative engine because it allows those in charge to cut through vast swaths of social red tape that would otherwise prevent the required gross reallocation of vital resources (money, metal, meals, and manpower).
posted by Civil_Disobedient at 11:47 AM on January 10, 2010


It is sad that we will cast aside all civilized norms to kill and profit but we won't do the same to help each other prosper.
posted by polyhedron at 3:13 PM on January 10, 2010 [1 favorite]


localroger, i dig it, i was just prodding at faze because his sentiment was poorly phrased and abstract like county fair spin art
posted by beefetish at 10:14 AM on January 11, 2010


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