Posts Tagged ‘maching’

War is like Crack

Wednesday, December 7th, 2011

What happens when a bunch of testosterone-fueled dudes have tons of weaponry to play with and nothing else to do? Well, you just know they are going to blow stuff up. Case and point, the video above, showing an A-10 strafing some Arab soldiers trying to expel what they see as foreign invaders.

Most chilling from the video, apart from the gory realities of a battlefield, is Sgt. Steiner’s reaction at the end describing the unparalleled rush that comes from combat. “That’s fun, though. That’s fun,” Steiner says to the cameraman about the live firefight, “You can’t get a better high. It’s like crack.”

Great, so not only are these bored soldiers stuck in a foreign place, armed to the teeth and given free rein over a nation, one of the most stimulating behaviors they can partake in is to fight and kill the people around them. No wonder the over-a-decade long war in Afghanistan has proven so fruitless.

Of course, it’s not about ‘winning’. The only real goal for the war machine is to perpetuate and proliferate armed conflict. As long as war is waging, profits are being made, and that is all that matters to the entities responsible for the majority of modern warfare.

But apart from enriching a tiny minority, war serves no purpose in today’s world. It’s just that institutionalized violence has been around for so long that it has etched a deep groove into our minds, making the path of least resistance lead straight to armed conflict.

The path to peace, on the other hand, remains so underdeveloped that a lot of people don’t even know it exists. But this will change dramatically over the coming few years, as humanity continues to unite on unprecedented levels and the way to a peaceful planet further reveals itself.

The vast majority of the world’s people – 99% or more – have already grown sick and tired of war and want it to stop. Now, it’s more about realizing that peace can and will happen when we make it happen.

Greenwald on Never-Ending War

Thursday, November 24th, 2011

Once again, champion of the people Glenn Greenwald has taken the fight to the powers that be, this time setting his sights on what is perhaps the greatest blight on our planet: the military industrial complex.

In a timely article on Salon, the former civil rights litigator begins his assessment by showing how the vastly expanded Security State – justified in the name of 9/11 – will not be going anywhere despite a recent announcement that the terrorist group Al-Qaeda has been defeated. This prompts Greenwald to sarcastically quip the following:

I’m sure we can all agree that we must endure years more of civil liberties assaults, endless war, bulging military budgets, suffocating government secrecy, a sprawling surveillance regime, and the slaughter of countless more Muslim children in order to save ourselves from [extremist threats]. And that’s to say nothing of the fact that endless war, drone attacks, occupying countries, and engineering regime change is precisely what causes and fuels these threats in the first place. In other words, what little Terrorism does exist is caused directly by our own actions — the very actions justified in the name of stopping Terrorism.

The author goes on to highlight the defining mentality of never-ending armed conflict, stating:

The key trick of Endless War is to permanently maintain two contradictory official premises: (1) we’re on the verge of Victory!; and (2) the threat is grave and we cannot let up. Without both of those premises, the citizenry will wonder why endless war is necessary or wise.

Finally Glenn, ever the teacher, offers further reading regarding the seemingly endless cycle of war:

There are four articles from yesterday that I highly recommend: (1) This, from The Atlantic‘s Conor Friedersdorf, about progressives who praise President Obama “as if his civil liberties abuses and executive power excesses never happened”; (2) this, from Eric Lewis in The New York Times, on the various ways Obama has shielded torture crimes from all accountability and the consequences of his doing so; (3) this, from The Guardian, on the latest emerging Obama foreign policy “success” to be soon celebrated by Democrats: his efforts to overturn the global ban on cluster bombs (which I wrote about a couple weeks ago here); and (4) this, from Rolling Stone‘s Matt Taibbi, linking Endless War and the mentality it spawns to the UC-Davis pepper-spraying incident.

Greenwald’s frequent output of eloquent, poignant, and well-researched articles is nothing short of remarkable. Here’s hoping that Glenn Greenwald, much like Snoop Dogg, can “somehow, someway keep coming up with funky ass shit like every single day.”