10A052 Another Wasted $2B by Jim Davies, 10/24/2010

It's only a drop. So far the Feds have stolen over a trillion dollars from us and our descendants to wage its wars in the Middle East for no reason that seems clear to me, and on Friday they announced a further couple of billion in aid to Pakistan's military; a mere 0.2% drop in the bucket. Is it a big deal?

The whole fantastic mess is a very big deal. Nine years ago there was a horrid attack, and a Saudi citizen was quickly named as prime suspect, thought to reside in Afghanistan, probably near its border with Pakistan. Requests for extradition were turned down, though they might have been pressed much more patiently, so the US Government began waging its endless war. It has made us millions of new enemies and cost us that trillion-plus, but hasn't actually netted bin Ladin.

One group of those new enemies is in Pakistan, which the Feds bullied into giving them transit rights and helping in the hunt. The bullying took the form of an open threat: "Pakistan's President Pervez Musharraf claims the U.S. threatened to bomb his country if he did not agree to support America's war on terror. '60 Minutes' correspondent Steve Kroft reports" on CBS' 60 Minutes. Later Musharraf repeated this to Jon Stewart on The Daily Show, acknowledging that the threat had come within days of 9/11, via Colin Powell and Richard Armitage.

Who can predict the future, but this is shaping up to be another disastrous war. By the time Obama's first term is up in 2012, the troop draw-down should be nearing completion but little or nothing tangible will have been achieved. Iraq and Afghanistan will be strewn with new graves, vicious armed factions will still be fighting for control (in effect, multiple mini-governments in conflict and in chaos - even worse than single governments) and the FedGov will have nothing it didn't have in 2001... except several million more people who resent it.

Utter waste is what government brings. There's nothing new here; there's never a net gain from the destruction of war, yet governments keep on waging them and always have done, since they first appeared in society about ten thousand years ago. Government in its very nature is an institution based on force; it knows no other way to function, whether it's the nice folk at Town Hall who issue "permits" (think about that word!) or the Commander in Chief whose decisions mean life or death to vast numbers of people merely trying to live their own lives.

Those two billion stolen dollars might have been given to the desperate millions struggling to rebuild life after the appalling floods in Pakistan, rather than to its government army; but they would still have been stolen money, forced exactions. Force is all government knows, and it never works. You want peace? - you have to end government. No other choice.

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