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Journal richie2000's Journal: War. WTF is it good for? 8

Yesterday I read the local newspaper summary of the recent dig in Habra, Iraq. There are a bunch of mass graves, probably from the late 80s and probably filled with kurds, at least 300 of them but there could be up to a thousand in there. The Iraqi butchers had separated the men from the women and children. One boy still held on to his ball. One young mother was found tightly clutching her infant to the chest. The infant had been shot in the neck, the mother in the face.

The parallells to My Lai/Song My and countless other war-time atrocites (the Holocaust, anyone?) are way too strong to ignore. It seems that almost all warfare since the dawn of time has hinged upon de-humanification of the enemy and subsequent slaughter of non-combatants. A leads to B which leads to genocide and ethnic cleansing. Easy as that.

And for what?

What did the Third Reich actually gain from waging war on their neighbours? How did killing six million jews, twenty million soviets and millions of gypsies, disabled and retards actually help the nationstate of Nazi Germany prosper? What did they gain from occupying large parts of western Europe, stretching their military all over the continent? Why did Saddam (and Turkey) insist on not giving the kurds their own state and instead expend billions of hard-earned dinars on keeping a resistant people in check? Why doesn't Putin simply walk away from Chechnya? Why did the US step into Vietnam after the French gave up and called it a day (as an outside observer, being neither a yank nor a frog, it's pretty obvious the French are a lot smarter about picking their battles than the US.)? What is Israel doing in Palestine? How about the former partly ethnically cleansed republic of the remains of what was once known as Yugoslavia? Rwanda? What's with Sudan, right fucking now?

What's in it for the aggressor?

For one, they get a lot of problems. They have to keep the occupied peoples quiet, ie post large military forces there to keep them down. A resistance to occupation is as natural as day and night. Northern Ireland, say no more. This drains the economy of the invader and puts significant stress on their own population once the "us or them" rhetoric wears off. Is it to get at natural resources? Maybe, but historically those don't directly lead to genocides, large land grabs or occupations - they are targeted military operations like Rommel's in Africa and the first Gulf War. And it doesn't have to be oil, it can easily be water like with the Golan Heights. So what else can prod national leaders to whip up a frenzy and take up arms against their neighbours?

In some cases, it's a convenient way to rally the people around yourself and create a climate for pursuing an agenda - like the second Gulf War. So why exactly did Argentina try to take the Falklands? And why did Maggie want them back? Strategic values? Please. Let's go to war over a bunch of sheep and a lighthouse. Yeah, good idea!

What The Fuck Are They Thinking?

Are they thinking, at all? I just don't know anymore... If we get the politicians we deserve, I wonder what the fuck we could have done to deserve these. Some days I'd like to just nuke the whole fucking planet and let it do a hard reboot.

I mean, it's not like the germs and cockroaches would do worse than us.

Gaia #> shutdown -r now

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War. WTF is it good for?

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  • What started my recent nosedive into the sea of politics is the Stolen Honor discussion right here at the Dot. One high hobbit wanna-be [slashdot.org]... No. We better start by establishing his frame of mind here. This is not just another case of too much weedsmoking, this is a guy who's been diagnosed with a seriously debilatating psychological disorder and ordered by a court to keep eating one pill a day to keep down the urge to dress up in a ski mask and tutu while sniffing a donkey in the ear canal. This guy stopped e
  • Huh! Say it again y'all!

    Actually, the sad truth is that they are not stupid, they (warmongers) just measure costs and benefits differently from normal humans. Unfortunately, to quote Chomsky, "violence usually works." Of course, it doesn't work if your goals are sane ones. But their goals are not sane, and within their bizarre, insane framework, war works quite well.

    What do I mean? Well, war does a great job, for instance, of keeping people occupied fighting amongst themselves so that they are unable to

    • For the true hardcore warmonger, I think war is really an end rather than a means.

      I'm starting to come to the same conclusion myself. All the other "benefits" you mention gives less yield for results like popularity than approaches that involve giving actual benefits to the population.

      Unfortunately, to quote Chomsky, "violence usually works."

      For arbitrary values of "works". In other words, carrots work better than sticks to make a population love their leaders. Problem here is that love evaporates

      • All the other "benefits" you mention gives less yield for results like popularity

        I'm not talking about popularity, I'm talking about maintaining power and priviledge, which is a very different thing. To maintain power, it is often more important to prevent the emergence of competition than it is to actually be popular. Think of it this way: if you have vast money and power at your disposal, and nobody else does, who gives a fuck what the unwashed masses think of you? Think Micro$oft here.

        As for the res

Honesty is for the most part less profitable than dishonesty. -- Plato