Friday, March 23, 2018

War: Cui Bono?

(A cry of despair.)

@neeratanden, a long-time Hillary Clinton supporter, tweets: “I know we need to unite. But having gone thru the twitter hazing of 2016 where folks regularly attacked Hillary as a warmonger (and me as her supporter) and lauded Trump as some pacifist and then to see Bolton … well I’m furious. These people need to own up.”

I thought about this and agreed. Maureen Dowd and many others owe the country some kind of penance. And then I thought more. Hillary Clinton never had Trump's father issues or masculinity doubts. She is in no way as huge a warmonger as Donald Trump. But the Obama administration, during her time as Secretary of State, did support the 2009 Honduras coup, which installed a brutal regime that has lasted to this day. In a Clinton administration we would not be fearing the start of World War III. We would probably, however, see support of authoritarian regimes, and smaller wars and coups.

John Bolton joined the Maryland Army National Guard, rather than risk being drafted and sent to Vietnam. He wrote: "I confess I had no desire to die in a Southeast Asian rice paddy. I considered the war in Vietnam already lost." And those who served, not because they hoped for victory, but out of loyalty? Chumps, I guess. For all his fine rhetoric, another white man who found his fine self to be more important than country. The attitude, if not yet the acts, of a traitor.

Why? Why do our elites think that war makes any sense at all? After Iran, Korea, Vietnam, and Iraq, two losses, and two stalemates turning into losses, why? After Nicaragua, El Salvador, Honduras? And who are the hawks? It's not just Bolton. Even "moderate" US foreign policy is brutal, if not the complete madness that Bolton advocates. We are haunted by the shadow of Henry Kissinger, even when he is not directly making policy.

Cui bono? Quid est beneficium?

"I want to know who the men in the shadows are / I want to hear somebody asking them why / They can be counted on to tell us who our enemies are / But they're never the ones to fight or to die." – Jackson Browne, Lives in the Balance.

1 comment:

The Blog Fodder said...

Empires require war to hold them together. During the Pax Britannica, Britain was involved in something like 9 military actions per year on average. Right now I appreciate America helping keep Putin out of Ukraine and overlook everything else for that.