Sunday, November 15, 2015

The Problem With War

The problem with war, as I have pointed out many time over the years, is it’s like tossing a handful of unknown seeds into the air and then coming back a year later hoping to harvest a certain crop. You may have some idea what might happen but in the end that rarely is what happens. It’s one of those strange things that whatever reason you go to war and whatever outcome you might imagine the reality of war is unknown and unknowable. That’s why anyone with a sense of history avoids it all cost if they care about humanity.

If you look at the war in Syria it seems like a fairly cut and dried problem; the man running the country is an evil human being and getting him out would mean good things, right? But that was the case in Iraq. We discovered that by interjecting a massive amount of firepower and money into a region and then destroying the political infrastructure, we created a massive amount of power that emptied that part of the world of a lesser power, and then we left leaving a vacuum that was filled by the most violent entity that arose after we were gone.

Anyone who reads history saw this coming.

What all armed conflicts cause is a massive amount of both soldiers and arms left over once some semblance of peace has been cobbled together. After the American Civil War both sides contributed to the wayward and senseless slaughter in Kansas and the American West. The native population of this region should have known as soon as the combatants were done tearing their own country apart they would look to keep the battle going with someone else.

The very sad truth in all of this is as long as there is an obscene profit to be made in war there will be those who will sell arms to anyone, and worse, everyone, so that no one is left without the means to kill a lot of human beings as swiftly as possible. The Americans left billions of dollars’ worth of war material in Iraq and those who opposed the Americans also invested in arms so what to do with all that equipment meant for humans to wage war on one another?

We might not like to admit it and we certainly aren’t going to speak aloud about the root causes of terrorism, what happened in Paris was something that has happened many times before in many places, recently, and in the past. Anyone psychotic enough and sociopathic enough to run a terrorism campaign successfully also knows that the only way to keep the war alive is to keep killing people. And they also know as long as they can kill there will be those willing to fund the killing so even more weapons can be sold. More than ideology, pure predatory capitalism, in other words greed, fuels terrorism.

Without money terrorism ceases to exist on a global level. Without greed the need to fund terrorism ceases to exist. Without war, the industry which supplies the basic needs and the basic conditions for terrorism ceases to exist.

Paris will happen again and again just as long as we, the people of planet Earth, continue to fund it. As long as we listen to those who would divide us with religion, politics, false nationalism, and invented racial rifts, we will continue to fall prey to delivering our resources to those who plan, begin, propagate, and profit from war, conflict, fear, and terrorism.

At some point in time, we as a species, will have to realize that resources are finite and we must care for these resources or we will most certainly become extinct, along with most of the species that share this earth with us. Yet as long we fall prey to the conditions of greed and war, we will see only those false and immediate threats that devour our spirits as well as our time, our treasure, our humanity and our young.

Take Care,



  1. "... pure predatory capitalism, in other words greed, fuels terrorism."

    Yep. I saw lecture by Richard Wolff Friday night. (

    It largely centered on the overall frailty of capitalism rather than the military implications but he did touch on the privatization of military adventurism. In short, it is unsustainable.

    1. Worse, Willaim, is that it is poisonous.

  2. I read a book called “The Arms of Krupp 1587-1968”, the history of the Krupps weapons giant in Germany. They told of a continuing practice of selling the latest and greatest cannon to country A, to defend themselves from their worst enemy, country B. Then go to B and say A bought this, you should buy the same, or better yet buy that. Next go to country C telling them A and B bought this and that, which puts you in danger from both, so you should buy the other. This went on continuously for centuries.
    Ike warned us about the Military-Industrial Complex in ’61, but they already had congress in their pocket.

    The Sunnis and Shias had been fighting for dominance since the 7th century, through many incursions of outside power. This battle is still going on and will until one wins. What happened in Paris and NYC and Boston, is just spatter from the Sunni/Shia war. When that war is over, the world will really be in trouble as the winner will need a new adversary. They certainly can’t just stop after fighting for 1400 years. But don’t worry the arms merchants will supply everyone with plenty of firepower.

    1. And that war between the Sunnis and Shias, Bruce, does cause really amount to anything worth killing for?

    2. Besides control of the middle east with the wealth in oil to buy more guns, many flocks of sheep some of them virgins, and doing Allah's will. What more could you want?
      Except maybe to be a big fish in a small pond, where the way to be an outstanding member of the community, is to kill more infidels, and torture more women and children. You known, real manly stuff.

    3. Bruce, and their culture fuels this, much like our love for guns here in America contributes to the lack of meaningful gun control laws.

    4. That is their culture, part and parcel, in entirety, everywhere in the sandbox. The people grow up with it, it’s the norm, so Hezbollah, al qaeda, ISIS, come and go as they can raise funding or not. The people just endue the in-charge-of-the-day, because they’re use to it… or GTFO as millions have.
      Guns have nothing to do with it. If they can’t get guns they use bombs or clubs or stones, whatever. Guns are available in every corner of the earth if you have the money, England, Australia, behind the former iron curtain, Antarctica, everywhere. Blaming it on guns is a strawman, a distraction. So is religion these assholes use as an excuse. People are willing to buy and blame religion, so they don’t have to face up to the real cause, culture.

  3. I am reminded of the Judge's treatise on war in Cormac McCarthy's "Blood Meridian." To me his words ring true in describing this mess we call civilization. We are all imperfect and susceptible to foils and ruses that obfuscate and confuse our untempered little minds, but the one thing we seem to be overly gifted with is our ability to creative murder the crap out of each other for very thin reasons. War was here before us and waited for its perfect partner. As Walt Kelley's Pogo once said, "We have met the enemy and it is us."

    1. And I believe Pogo was speaking about the war in Nam at that time.