Saturday, July 16, 2005

War on...

Many years ago the US decided to wage war on drugs.

This was a very silly thing to do. Drugs (by which they meant illegal ones, meant mostly for 'recreational' use) are inanimate. They are either a chemical or organic substance, they never behave very belligerently and certainly no country has ever been taken over by drugs.

Countries HAVE at one time or other been taken over by drugproducers/dealers. A drugproducer is something one can to war against (how sensible it may be is an entirely different matter). They tend to be armed, belligerent and very defensive of their trade. They want only to be rich (at the expense of as many other people as it takes), and once rich, they will do everything it takes to stay that way.

The war on drugs (or more precisely, their producers/sellers) is stupid, and here's why: As long as there are people who want to buy and use drugs, there will be people willing to produce and sell them.
Now don't say: Then make war on the users. Another stupid move, and here's why: If people are so fucked up and selfdestructive they want to use drugs, there's really not that much you can threaten them with to change their mind.
Motives behind drug abuse are many and varied, and very fascinating, and they need to be removed. If people stop wanting drugs, the whole problem goes away. The nasty people who now produce and sell drugs will still be nasty, but they will no longer be rich and powerful.

Why the US went to war against drugs is a bit of mystery really. I am convinced they realize fighting this fight is completely useless. It may be just politically motivated, it may be a convenient way to create and maintain a huge and powerful law enforcement apparatus, which is good for a lot more than just tracking drugdealers. But whatever the reasons, it's costing money and lives, and there's really no gain. And the worst of it is, it is hypocritical.
It is hypocrisy to not name the actual problem: Millions and millions of your own citizens creating a demand for expensive drugs. It should tell you something about the society you've created if large sections of your own population can't handle life without drugs to numb them, boost them or 'enhance' their minds.

Fighting 'drugs' is fighting a symptom. And I know that that is the way the West practices medicine these days, but it's still stupid.

The misnomer 'war on terror' is equally hypocritical. It implies you're fighting acts of terror, like the bombings in London recently, or in Netanya. It also implies (as in the war on drugs) that you're not actually interested in fighting the root cause. Even renaming the war to 'war on terrorists' would not be sufficient, as the supply of terrorists is almost as ample as the supply of aspiring drugdealers. There always seems to be someone willing to step up to the plate. It would still be fighting symptoms, not causes.
With drugdealers it's not that difficult to see why. Lots of relatively easy money, relatively little risk, the fast lane, etc. Often young drugdealers come from an environment where there's little choice, and little incentive to take the high road. It's no excuse, but that's how it works.

In the case of the 'war on terror' it is not that hard to see why the US chooses to fight an abstraction instead of its very real and tangible causes.
Going to war against the Taliban in Afghanistan was and still is rewarding. Afghanistan is a poor country, and no American lost any money when the ridiculous stone-age barbarians were removed from power there. You can really only win there.
Much the same goes for Iraq. The only ones making money off Saddam were France, Russia and Kofi Annan & Sons, so things could only get better if the US invaded. Moreover, even if oil would still take years if not decades to start flowing again, billions of US taxpayers' dollars can and will be spent on rebuilding Iraq. And the rebuilding will be done by some of the largest companies in the world, who thus stand to make dozens, perhaps hundreds of billions of dollars. The companies involved have boards made up almost exclusively of former government employees. The revolving door is alive and kicking.
And the same interests that made it so very interesting to go into Iraq make it vital to stay out of Saudi.

Terrorist acts cannnot be fought. Terrorists can be, but they are 'just' a symptom. The root cause of Islamic terrorism is political. It is the dictators who walk a tightrope, balancing alliances with terrorists (who receive most of their funds from the oil leeches) with their business relationships with the West. The Arabs' hold on power is precarious, and only as long as the desire for revolt can be focused abroad are they safe.

So they pay for mosques all over the planet to preach hatred, Islamic world domination and infidel inferiority.
They sponsor suicide bombers' families.
They finance terrorist training camps in Africa and Asia, so 'fighters' can then bomb, kill and kidnap us.
They buy the schoolbooks that teach children their version of history, including their view of the Jews, the Crusades and the eternal victimization of the Arab people.
They employ marketing- and advertizing agencies to create or alter the 'corporate' image of themselves and their (perceived) enemies, and expensive lawyers to sue any opposition at the drop of a hat.

And they buy the US State department.

That's why there's no war on 'The Cause Of Terrorism', or even a 'War On Terrorists', but only a meaningless and hypocritical 'war on terror'. A war with such objectives can never be won.

And that's why it, like the war on drugs, was lost before it was started.


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