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FREE, in 2010


10A001: Endless War by Jim Davies, 7/31/2010

One subset of the 90,000-odd Wikileaks that Bradley Manning has allegedly let loose on the world is the revelation that a key department of the Pakistani Government - its intelligence service - has been funneling our money to the Taliban. US Government people rushed to assure us that among the "secret" memoranda Brad so heroically bestowed upon us, "nothing new" had been revealed. Therefore, they have known about this for a long time, yet evidently did nothing to stop it.

There are only two possibilities:

  1. The Feds could not stop it, or
  2. The Feds did not wish to stop it
It's not credible that the FedGov could not lean on its Paki friends and insist that this outrage be terminated yesterday, the moment (a long time ago, they tell us) they first discovered it was going on. Accordingly, Alternative #2 applies. Now, why might our government wish to finance its alleged enemies?

Try as I have, I can only imagine one reason: they want the Afghan war to continue, and think that without some extra funding the Taliban would collapse and so bring it to an end. Of course, that does lead us to a second question: why might the Feds want this war to continue?

Within the abundant storehouse of government lies, spins, excuses, fictions and fairy tales I can imagine no answer to that one. Their whole pretense has been that nine years ago they invaded Afghanistan to root out Osama bin Ladin as the 9/11 perp, and destroy the government that had harbored him and his gang. Success was spectacular, except that bin Ladin has been slippier than an eel in BP oil. And so the endless war continues, with no end in view and no purpose that plain Peorians can perceive.

We therefore have to look outside that storehouse, and I'm suggesting the answer is that war - especially low-level war with relatively light casualties - is very good for government. Some of the ways:

  • It prolongs the myth that "we" need Leaders to protect us from a common danger
  • It keeps scores of thousands of men in uniform, well-paid and (except Brad) loyal to those Leaders
  • It furnishes lucrative contracts to weapons firms, to stimulate generous re-election contributions
Without the stimulus of war every few years - or better yet, Orwell-like continuous war - ordinary folk like us might get the idea that we really don't need government. Without a large and loyal military, plain people might get on with our own peaceful lives and forget loyalty, duty, the Flag, the Country. And without those contracts, manufacturers might have to make smart plowshares instead of swords, and sell them to multiple buyers in a competitive market, and make less money with which to help their friends get re-elected.

And none of that would ever do, for it might fast lead to a zero-government society.

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