The word “war” has an awe-inspiring affect on people. “It’s time for our nation to go to war.” “Our nation is at war!” “We are at war with (insert various).”
The word has been made a euphemism that associates ideas like tradition, greatness, endeavor, glory, majesty, history, achievement, victory, and patriotism with something that is ridiculously stupid and primitive.
What is “war”?
It’s when a group of chimps gangs up on a smaller group of chimps, kills some of them, and takes their stuff.
A study in Current Biology finds that the closest primate relative to humans, chimpanzees, engage in “war-like” behavior to gain resources.
Groups of chimps, the study finds, go on the prowl, and when a group encounters another group with which it is fairly evenly matched, “the patrollers will either call loudly as they retreat immediately back toward their home territory, or a brief, indecisive battle will ensue.”
They don’t fully attack because they know there’s a chance they’ll lose. Hence, we are treated to decades of the chimps controlling the US corporate state ceaselessly screeching and screaming at countries that they can’t really fight because they might partially lose to, like Russia, nuclear North Korea, China, Iran, etc.
“If, on the other hand, the patrolling party [of chimps] greatly outnumbers the strangers, its members will generally attack.”
That’s because the big group knows a little, weak group of chimps can’t stop them, and therefore the big group stands to gain significantly by attacking the smaller group and taking its stuff. Hence, the USA has constantly, throughout its history, attacked much smaller, weaker groups (like Africans, Native Americans, Cubans, Haitians, Filipinos, Nicaraguans, Vietnamese, Laotians, Cambodians, Indonesians, East Timorese, Guatemalans, Bolivians, Nicaraguans, Colombians, Salvadorans, Venezuelans, Panamanians, Haitians, Grenadians, Iranians [1953, 1982], Iraqis, Afghans, Syrians, Palestinians, and Libyans, to name a few) and gained from conquering land, raw materials, and US-repressed labor, as well as from the terrorizing mental affect the shocking displays of savagery have on other vulnerable groups.
Humans have added to gang-violence profiteering by creating a vast industry of making tools for carrying out gang attacks. Thus, the more gang attacks are perpetrated, the more that industry, particularly its owners, benefit. This is what Dwight Eisenhower, after vastly expanding it, referred to as the “military-industrial-congressional complex”, since congress members also benefit from helping out the industry by voting “Yes” for more gang attacks, as they just did again last week regarding further US arming/training of terrorists to attack UN member state Syria.
Humans have also perfected the art of having other people do the actual gang fighting and dying for them. They send other people’s kids away to force open foreign markets at gunpoint while they sit back in air conditioned offices and regal estates and rake in the resultant dough.
Also unlike chimps, humans have found a way to direct gang violence profits into the pockets of only a tiny, tiny fraction of the gang’s overall population, while the people who finance the violence, the taxpayers, lose their meager freedoms. (The USA is about the most impoverished industrialized country, by some measures a “third world” country, despite also being the world’s richest country, thanks to the US constitution having been set up by and for the benefit of a tiny wealthy elite. But even if gang attacks against defenseless groups did benefit the US as a whole, so what? If child pornography was good for the economy, it doesn’t mean we should pursue it. Car accidents benefit the economy. Doesn’t mean we should try to have more car accidents. Hitler was a shot in the arm for the German economy. Enough said.)
Oil Price recently documented that the USA is trying to target ISIS’s ability to profit from oil sales.
However, the USA will not be targeting Saudi Arabia’s ability to profit from oil sales. Rather, a handful of opportunists in the USA will continue to censor the 9/11 report pages on Saudi Arabia, while at the same time profiting from sponsorship of and partnership with that very regime. The USA has an ironclad policy of regime continuity (as opposed to regime change) towards the head and hand-chopping, blogger-torturing, woman-targeting Saudi theocratic dictatorship.
The difference between Saudi Arabia and ISIS is that Saudi Arabia is a US ally.
Here’s Ron Paul: “Under last week’s authorization bill, the president [Obama] would have authority to train 5,000 fighters in Saudi Arabia for insertion into the civil war in Syria. … That Saudi Arabia is considered a suitable place to train Syria’s future leaders must be some kind of sick joke. While ISIS was beheading two American journalists … the repressive [US-backed] Saudi theocracy was beheading dozens of its own citizens… If we want to stop radical terrorists from operating in Syria and Iraq, how about telling our ally Saudi Arabia to stop funding and training them? For that matter, how about the US government stops arming and training the various rebel groups in Syria and finally ends its 24 year US war on Iraq [in which the USA has murdered some 3.3 million Iraqis].”
If we think the USA wants to attack ISIS because the corporate CEOs who overwhelmingly dictate and control US state power are concerned and are designing a plan to save people, we are sadly gullible and wholly ignorant of their ugly history, as we are supposed to be (hence, corporate media).
If we were exposed to our actual history, we would quickly see that the people who control US state power are every bit as bad as anyone else (or worse, according to Martin Luther King Jr, facts, etc.). We would then realize that our carefully cultivated supremacist, state-serving, self-flattering ideology is, as in every case of it in history, preposterous and deadly. Then it would be much more difficult to convince us, the taxpayers, to keep passively or actively accepting and funding US gang-violence against weaker groups.
Someone recently said to me, in these general terms, “but we need to destroy ISIS because they are killing children!” I said, what are the 700,000 Iraqi children knowingly (and likely intentionally) murdered by US sanctions? Chopped liver? No? So, should we destroy the USA by bombing it, since the USA is killing children? (I say no.) You can go on with this logic forever: should we bomb Israel into destruction since it came into existence by using rape as a weapon, lining children up against walls and machine-gunning them for fun, etc.? Should we do same to US again, since it came into existence in the same way? Should we also bomb Israel into destruction for using US weapons to constantly pile up mountains of corpses of Palestinian children? No, no, no.
And if we think the USA should again break international law, because it can’t be stopped, and attack ISIS regardless of actual US™ intentions, because maybe the result will be to save people from ISIS, we are again ignorant of our own history. The USA destroys every country it attacks: Iraq, Afghanistan, Syria, Libya. The USA has reduced that entire region to nothing but failed states, and the chaos, along with direct US support for the terrorists, has created a new group, ISIS, just as US support for terrorists in the 70s, 80s, and 90s helped create Al Qaeda.
If we want to “do something” to make things better, then we can’t attack because that makes things much, much worse in virtually every example. The US government’s own studies find that US foreign interventions increase terrorism (not to mention they are terrorism – among the worst examples of it in human history).
If we really want to decrease violence in the world (as well as protect ourselves), we have to work towards peaceful reduction of the US empire, so US elites can’t keep attacking and ravaging smaller groups all the time.
But if you still think “we” should go kill and maybe torture some folks, you should get your own lazy ass over there and show ’em what you’re made of! Don’t be a coward! Go for it! ISIS wants a piece of you! “You” (if you conflate yourself with the state) have been murdering and repressing millions of Muslims for decades, and a few of them are itching for a chance to hit back.
Get out there and take back the bananas!
(Obviously, we have a child army of the poor in this country. Many kids join the gang because their other options are worse than possibly getting blown up or shot. If we really want to stop gang violence, we should create circumstances in which kids don’t have to join the state/corporate terrorist army.)
Robert Barsocchini is an investigative journalist and writer for the film industry. Here is his blog. Also see his free e-book, Whatever it Takes – Hillary Clinton’s Record of Support for War and other Depravities. Click here to follow Robert and his UK-based colleague, Dean Robinson, on Twitter.