From the beginning of recorded history through the end of WWII the term “war” was understood as armed conflict between states or governments. This definition obtained through the Korean and Vietnam wars, gradually losing precision by adoption of such terms as “conflict” and “insurgency”, presumably so as not to dignify grossly unbalanced contests with the glorious name bestowed on mutual slaughter by giant, equal adversaries.
Since Vietnam–with the shameful, degrading brutality involved in the Grenada, Panama, Nicaragua, Haiti and other “police actions”–and signally since the Iraq/Kuwait Turkey Shoot, the old, abused term has lost any solid relation to its original meaning and is pathetically applied to any violent rape by the American War Machine of any putative “enemy”, regardless of the incommensurate forces involved, often when the victim–not even a legitimate adversary–has no capacity at all to strike back or defend itself.
This suits the psychopaths who govern us perfectly, which is no surprise considering what they are. The system of War Capitalism that owns their contemptible, diseased souls can only burgeon and grow fatter by extortion of literally uncountable sums of our money, every dollar diverted from any beneficent use in our society or the least social profit for our people.
Schumpeter said it best and it can’t be too often repeated: “Created by the wars that required it, The Machine now creates the wars it requires.”
The tragedy–no surprise, either–is that the American people are so deeply steeped in the pretty poison of Exceptionalism that they are, if not overtly, then tacitly, fully behind the mindless military vandalizing and brutalization of people just like them in all essentials: powerless, no better and no worse.
So far gone are we as a culture in the adulation, if not worship, of our own state primacy and the infliction of horror and death on which it is based, that even women, creators and nurturers of life, including many prominent ones, betray their higher selves by supporting our indefensible state murder of hundreds of thousands of their distant sisters and helpless children.
Four CEOs of the five giant industrial purveyors of death and destruction–Northrup Grumann, General Dynamics, Boeing, and Lockheed Martin–are now women. That Glass Ceiling was apparently shot out, not broken.
In our faineant Congress women as different as Nancy Pelosi and Lisa Murkowski, Diane Feinstein and Liz Cheney, Elizabeth Warren and Claire McCaskill, all supported the rabid War Machine, and even Tulsi Gabbard only objects to where our murder is done, not to the fact it is done at all. Nikki Haley is in a category of sick mendacity, gross deceit, and nightmare rabidity all her own. One wishes women would recoil in shame from our national omnicide; nothing can be hoped for of men in their pathetic frailty, desperate to cover their tiny nuts with a flimsy shield of false bravado.
Behind and beneath all the shaming failure at the individual level in taking on our war addiction–the cowardice of even the best allowed into the clown car of public celebrity, such as Bernie Sanders–is the schmutzig juggernaut of The Party. I use the singular since there is but one party in all essentials apart from sandbox spats over toys and fetishes. On no policy are the two factions in surer sync than on unshakeable devotion to the War Machine.
The “War, Hell Yes!” faction has strung itself out on the tenuous wire of Mr. Mueller’s Hobby, and its geriatric leaders–the Crone & Geezer politburo– shocked to find that many of its faithful want radical new blood, are now furiously scheming to drain off the very little of it that was elected.
The “Values, Shmalues, I’m Getting Mine” faction, scrambling to stay on their own Brahma Trump to the buzzer, has no purpose or agenda at all but survival and padding resumes that will get them on boards of the corporate thieves they’ve pimped for, before all that helicopter tax money gets stolen.
Into the political hog’s nest of our polity, churning and ripening, one minor act and reaction to it perfectly illustrate the extent of American perversity.
Trump moves to marginally trim our floundering, anodyne “ground forces” in Syria, who never go near an enemy without total air dominance, and the Deep State deities who’ve given us l7 years of Full Spectrum Failure roar and gnash teeth that it could just mean that we might not get 17 more.
It would all be funny, as the dirtiest of jokes can be funny, if our lives didn’t depend on the outcome. They do. The Empire is a monster that will take us all down in its inevitable fall. Empires can be broken from within but only by a citizenry prepared to risk everything. The easy alternative is to accept your sad serfdom and allow your humanity to be erased and obliterated.