...I'm okay with being REALITY-based.

Wednesday, March 26, 2003
      ( 11:54 AM )
The Art of War
I found it instructive this morning during a break to read through Sun Tzu. Not because I'm trying to learn about how to conduct an excellent war, but because I am trying, through various ways, to understand. Reading Digby this morning made me think about whether we Americans are a 'warlike' people, or if that is just basic human nature.... or if the warring is simply accepted because it's been done for so long, and no one has really tried resolving conflict without war on a sustained basis...so that one day the latter option might evolve into the status quo. I don't know if it really is productive to try and establish whether it's human nature to wage war on each other. It's been done since the beginning of the history of humanity, and I think the "nature v. nurture" argument is overdone. But what about WHY the war is waged? In the beginning, war was waged because of basic needs. If you took my food, I'll get it back from you. If you invade my home, I'll beat you back. But today, men and women of this country are waging a war based on the empire-building aspirations of our political leaders. Do people who keep telling themselves that we are waging this war so the Iraqi people can be free feel that the people of Chile did not need to be free of Pinochet (just as one example)?

There was so much comparison of Saddam Hussein to Hitler before our invasion that it was becoming almost a mantra on cable news shows. But who has really followed in the footsteps of Hitler now? While we invade and wage war on a country so far weaker than ourselves, at home our secret police continue to keep tabs and round up certain citizens of particular lineages that we are told "could" be a danger to us, the real threat to our well-being. We have isolated ourselves from the rest of the democratic world while making pacts with oppressive and abusive dictatorships. Meanwhile, the population that can be heard, along with the media as the voice of the government, sings praises to our leaders and feels that our support of our fighting men and women is enough to equal justification for this war we have begun. Those who take a stand are silenced by storm trooper police and/or the media which portrays them as lunatics and hopeless idiots without reason or true purpose. Chemical weapons are tested on our population and military. The government raises paranoia and fear in the population at its own whim, using imaginary threats arbitrarily. Military and Political leaders, along with experts trusted by the public, declare that this invasion most certainly can't be the last in order to establish true freedom from the threat of other countries to our own precious way of life. So we should expect this pattern to continue. But we will be triumphant because we are the better race. We are more deserving and the rest of the world will want to live our way, even if they don't yet realize it. And the people keep shopping because, really, what else is there to do?

I don't apologize for the comparison. I'm scared about the road our leaders are taking us down, and if you're not then you're not paying attention.

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