Just What's Needed! - Another War
by Jim Davies, 3/3/2011
Since the weekend, war drums have been thumped for intervening in Libya. The US Navy is moving close, the French are not opposed, John Major of the UK thinks there may be poison gas ready to use on helpless Libyans (never mind that it has first to be packed in shells, and never mind that the scare about Iraqi WMDs was a fraud) and supports the idea, like David Cameron. It's an odd thing, but I don't recall noises like these being made when the head of state in Tunisia or Egypt was resisting calls to quit. What's so different about Libya?
Oil. As we saw in Slippery Questions, the price of oil might rise about 10% if the whole Libyan spigot were turned off, and that's happened in my part of the US already. If there is a rise much greater than that, "regional unrest" may account for some of it but a 2008-like speculative bubble will account for the rest. On its own, Libya is not that big a deal.
Last week thousands of foreign residents were shipped out, and what would have taken them there but the need to operate the oil wells? So now the wells are idle and unprotected, and nobody forgets what an enraged and demented Saddam Hussein did to the wells of Kuwait before he left. So to secure 2% of the world's oil supplies from the latest madman of the desert, war is being prepared.
Never mind that the one in Iraq has been such a failure. No matter that the one in Afghanistan is no better. Oil is in danger, so people must die. Never mind that the rebels in the East are already shipping oil out again, but don't let's get confused with facts: intervention is required. Governments love war.
They love it because their incessant calls for sacrifice are heeded better when patriotic fervor is aroused, so extending their domestic control is easier. Oscar Bias noted how Brits had been stirred to sacrifice by their King and Prime Minister, 70 years ago; the result was death, privation and poverty - and vastly increased government control; even food rationing continued until 1954, nine years after the fighting stopped.
I can't recall a war that brought net benefit to humanity. WW-II is supposed to have been a "good war" but its cost was about 80 million dead. What did that appalling price purchase, and for whom? - Europe was devastated, the USSR was given several more decades of life support because of the patriotism its Communist leaders aroused, and the USA got the job of being World Policeman, which bogged us down in Korea, Vietnam, Iraq and Afghanistan and turned a much-admired society into a profoundly hated empire. Ben Franklin was right: "There never was a good war, nor a bad peace."
And Libya? We're all pulling for the rebels to kick out this mad dog running their country, but armed intervention will achieve no good. Libyans on their own must do the job, and the rebels themselves say they don't want the "help."
To abolish war, you must abolish government. There is no other way, and this Blog demands nothing less.