War Is, Has, and Always Will Be a Racket


Three simple reasons why we shouldn’t go to war with Syria:

1. War is a racket. This is the crucial foundation for all the below reasons as to why we shouldn’t go to war with Syria. Retired United States Marine Corps Major General and two time Medal of Honor recipient Smedly D. Butler gave a speech in 1935 entitled “War is a Racket,” where he said the following:

“War is a racket. It always has been. It is possibly the oldest, easily the most profitable, surely the most vicious. It is the only one international in scope. It is the only one in which the profits are reckoned in dollars and the losses in lives.”

Butler’s prescience is underscored when one looks at the gargantuan profits made by the German subsidiaries of JP Morgan, IBM, Standard Oil (to name a few) during WWII. War is indeed something which seeks out profits; even when shamefacedly made from building Panzer Tanks, supplying oil and producing the punch cards for the Holocaust so that the trains could run on time (see The Untold History of the United States – these are just the facts. Some corporations even went so far as to sue for reparations because the Allied forces bombed their German factories, causing damage to infrastructure.. AND THEY WON). Fast-forward 65 years and you see the same underhanded tactics, where the likes of Halliburton and company are making a killing off the so-called war on terror. Butler’s words have never rung so true.

So you have to ask yourself, how much pressure are defense contractors and their lobbyists placing on our politicians on the hill? Is this war really about humanitarian intervention? Or is there an ulterior motive involved, one which looks at the bottom line of a balance sheet?

2. Wars don’t end. David Keen, a professor of conflict studies at the London School of Economics, explores why wars languish on despite the significant costs associated with them and despite western governments’ supposed efforts to preempt a situation with surgical “operations” so to prevent a larger metastasizing down the road. Keen states, we need to go beyond the usual model or paradigm of conflict, which belies that war is between two sides that wish to win outright. War, he argues, serves economic, political, and psychological functions that prevent anything close to a clean win. Keen explores a wide range of cases which support this theory: Afghanistan, Sierra Leone, Sudan, Uganda, Vietnam, and more.

Note the chilling observations Keen found regarding the Sierra Leone conflict:

“My interest in the paradoxical nature of modern war – and the proliferation of goals other than winning – was further stimulated by research in Sierra Leone at the height of the civil war there (in 1995) and again when the situation was calming down (in 2001). The Revolutionary United Front rebels in Sierra Leone had been widely – and rightly – condemned for their brutality against civilians, which included amputations and rape. But what most actors – including the major ‘players’ in the international community – seemed to be missing was just how pervasive was the complicity of a variety of powerful actors in the rebellion that they claimed to be opposing or suppressing.

One element of this complicity was when politicians from the ousted single party regime (the All People’s Congress) gave covert support to the rebels. Another was when families aspiring to the post of village chief supported rebels that were attacking their local rivals. A third element (and the most significant) was when government soldiers – generally poorly trained, poorly paid and poorly equipped – were drawn into a strange kind of symbiotic relationship with the rebels that included selling weapons to rebels in exchange for diamonds. Government soldiers would also engage in attacks on civilians (sometimes dressed as rebels with red bandanas) and they frequently proved more interested in taxing agricultural produce and in diamond mining than in confronting the elusive rebels. Battles were rare, and ‘both sides’ engaged in widespread attacks on civilians that predictably attracted support for ‘the other side’. At the same time, a climate of violence to which many government soldiers were contributing helped to legitimise the troops’ lucrative presence in resource-rich areas. Meanwhile, siphoning off international aid also became a significant part of this exploitative economic system.”

Compare this with the current findings of Jeremy Scahill, where after visiting Yemen he has found that we are supplying their Counter-Terrorism Unit (CTU) with hundreds of millions of dollars to fight against AQAP (which is a branch off of al-Queada found in the Arabian Peninsula). But there is reason to believe that these monies aren’t going toward fighting actual terrorism but rather ousting possible tribal leaders that are vying for the presidency. They are using our tax dollars funneled through “foreign aid” to make political hits.

So again, we need to somehow divorce ourselves of the idea that war is a moral choice, that Uncle Sam is looking out for his fellow international man. Nothing could be further from the truth, and history has proven it so.

In conclusion, Syria is quite simply a geopolitical grab in order to further corner Iran, which as we know is oil rich. Furthermore, there is a pipeline from Pakistan which, if snaked through Iran-Syria-China, could be very lucrative for our perceived enemies. Make no mistake, this is on the top of the list as to why we would strike Syria.  War is, has and always will be a fucking racket.

3.  See Iraq.

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