May 2, 2009

The Lure and Allure of War

War-- everyone claims to abhor it, yet we go marching off to the next one with monotonous regularity. Is it an unavoidable part of being human?
The history of the world seems to be a litany of wars; one King against another; one nation against another; one sect against another; it started before we remember, and goes on and on. If we don’t like it, why does it never end? In other essays, I’ve argued that war has been a part of our society for ages, despite our abhorrence, because the rich and powerful movers behind the scenes profit greatly from wars. They profit in wealth terms because they finance both sides of conflicts, and they own the armament manufacturing companies, and so on. But they also profit in terms of furthering their maneuvers towards the ultimate goal of world domination. Every major war has reset the global chess-board in a way that has set the stage for the next step; and each step has brought the world closer to that goal.

In this essay, though, I don’t want to go over that same line of logic. This time, I want to consider the other side of the coin-- the response of the masses. Why do the majority of people so readily fall for the war-drum beat of the puppet masters? How do they stifle their revulsion for mass murder and, mostly, go along with the clarion call to put their lives on the line for the next war to be fought? The answers are not as irrelevant or obvious as they might seem. After all, the idea of dying for some rather abstract cause, as usually happens to justify war, would seem like a hard sell. And it’s usually the flower of manhood-- young men, barely adult-- who are sent off to sacrifice themselves for the purported glory. Yet, there’s rarely a problem finding plenty of recruits who step up ‘into the breach,’ to feed the insatiable war machine. The answer, I propose, rests on several pillars.

The fact that soldiers, until very recently, have always been predominantly composed of young males, from their late teen years to the twenties, is a prime explanatory factor. The old men who design and incite war know the power of testosterone in young males, and the force of peer pressure typical in that age group. A few vocal proponents of war can whip up excitement among their confreres for participation in the great adventure of carrying weapons and using them in the ultimate team sport-- war. Today, powerful advertisements portray the ‘extreme sport’ aspect of battle training, and the attraction of group solidarity among the brotherhood of the warrior. So, the main source of soldiers-- young males-- is highly amenable to the so-called glamour of uniforms, weapons, and battle... especially when a plausible and glorious-sounding pretext can be promoted. For the promoters of international wars, the recent extension to recruiting soldiers from the ranks of young women has been a boon. Now they can not only decimate the ranks of males, but they can take some females into the death machine as well. The other thing you have to keep in mind is that the great majority of ‘cannon-fodder’ (common soldiers) are drawn from the ranks of the lower economic classes, whether males or females. This has two important implications. First, these are the classes where there’s the highest incidence of high-school dropouts, and unemployed or under-employed persons. Hence, the offer of a respectable job, with training, reliable pay and benefits, and camaraderie, has a strong appeal. Second, this is the class that the Powers that Be are most desirous of eliminating in their eugenics sub-agenda. Moreover, the young are most inclined to have an ‘immortality complex,’ the notion that death may come to the next guy, but not to ‘me.’ In summation, it is pretty clear that on the ‘supply side’-- i.e. the source of the rank-and-file troops who do the actual dirty work on the ground-- there are compelling factors that predispose young males (in particular) to be quite amenable to joining the army and going to war.

What is more curious is how the families of the young men can be so willing to see their offspring participate in such a hazardous occupation as war. This is the more interesting question. For instance, in Canada since the nation’s involvement in the war in Afghanistan, there have been (as of this writing) over 100 soldiers killed in the line of duty in that far-off country. The whole cycle in each death has become sickeningly familiar. First, they conduct a ‘ramp ceremony’ at Kandahar airfield for the valiant fallen one. Then the body is flown back to Canada on an armed forces aircraft, where there’s another ceremony as the casket is transferred to a hearse and driven to a cemetery along a highway that has now come to be called the ‘Highway of Heroes.’ This sorry sequence demonstrates clearly all the clues as to how the PTB manipulate the public into full compliance with the war agenda. The conducting of emotional ceremonies complete with flag-draped coffins and military honor-guards is intended to stir the patriotic juices of all viewers, and especially to impress the families of fallen soldiers how esteemed is the sacrifice of their loved one. The renaming of a stretch of highway to honor the fallen ‘heroes’ of a disputed war fought in an obscure corner of the world is obviously designed to enhance those same feelings of patriotism and purpose. And it’s the purpose of this war that has given so many Canadians pause for questioning. By emphasizing the appreciation of the government and the military for the sacrifice made by soldiers, the decision-makers draw attention away from the proximate reasons for the war (which many contend are flimsy indeed) towards the purported valor and glory of those who serve and die.

You’d think it’s a fools’ game; that after observing this sad spectacle a dozen or a hundred times, that the populace would catch on; they’d see the puppet strings for what they are, and they’d call for a halt to the madness. But no; the leaders are able to exploit a common characteristic of human nature whereby we desire to believe that our loved ones do not die meaningless deaths, but rather that their deaths are imbued with significance and value to our society. In this case, they honor their dead as heroes who died in the cause of ‘preserving freedom,’ installing ‘democracy,’ and rendering ‘nation-building service’ to the Afghanis. This is a self-reinforcing stratagem, for once one soldier has been lauded for his/her death, then every family after that wants to believe that their fallen one also deserves hero status. And so, because no one wants to burst the illusion, to call the scam for what it is, they convince themselves that the war must be justified and even worthwhile. Thus, this desire to deny that their son/daughter died for a fabricated excuse, a useless war, forces family members to participate in the grand illusion. The families of soldiers thereby are like the people in the famous fable of ‘The Emperor’s New Clothes,’ who could ‘see’ cloth that didn’t exist, while they allowed their minds to be bamboozled by the power of group-think.

I can still recall a documentary series of programs in the early days of television. It was called ‘The Valiant Years,’ and was a BBC production on the conduct of Britain during WW-2. Even the title telegraphed the desired tone of the videos. The last war was a still-fresh and still traumatic memory; but the manipulators were already hard at work putting a shiny cast on the tragedy of a 6-year war that killed millions of civilians as well as combatants. That’s how the war game is played by the real players. Notice that the soldiers who survive war do not like to talk about it, and even if they do, they cannot fully convey the true horror of what goes on in war. The few combatants who write glowing accounts of war are almost always retired generals who ‘fought’ the battles from the safe distance of a command bunker... or even a remote ‘war office.’ So, before the last war is a memory, the managers are busy sanitizing it, glorifying it, and preparing the way for the next conflict. And the next conflict has already been planned in advance by the bankster elite who pull the levers of power. Hence, there is no hope that war will end anytime soon. ‘Seems that everyone loves a good ceremony, regardless of the bloody cost. Everyone weeps... but they’ll back the next war, because that’s all they know. Pity, that.

No comments:

Post a Comment