An blog by a member of the Catholic peace movement, Pax Christi, to explore the nexus between contemplation and resistance. "The Christian must discover in contemplation, and in the giving of his life, those symbolic actions which will ignite the people's faith to resist injustice with their whole lives, lives coming together as a united force of truth and thus releasing the liberating power of the God within them." - James Douglass, Contemplation and Resistance.

Tuesday, December 08, 2009

Perpetual War




Over and over, we hear the same bemusement from liberal writers over the hypocrisy and sheer irrationality of Obama's war strategy. And their analysis is often devastatingly accurate. But they rarely examine the material motivations for this deception, preferring psychological explanations. As in this quote: "...this is 'the way we prefer to see ourselves and, therefore, the narrative that we use to justify all that we do in the world.'" - Andre Bacevich.

The problem is that such articles usually end utterly devoid of any answer as to why anyone would pursue such an obviously self-destructive course, no matter what one might say about the hypocrisy of his rhetorical pose. We are left with a sense of impotent frustration, a sense of powerlessness in the face of irrational self immolation.

And, in a way, that's what defines liberalism - the inability to ask the decisive question and seek a genuine answer to it.

What liberals don't understand is that the goal of the war against Afghanistan and Pakistan is not to create "stability" - it is to create sufficient numbers of enemies so that we can perpetuate war and the profits that ensue from it.

In the words of George Orwell: "The war is not supposed to be winnable, it is supposed to be continuous...all for the hierarchy of society...The essential act of war is destruction, not necessarily of human lives, but of the products of human labor. War is a way of shattering to pieces, or pouring into the stratosphere, or sinking in the depths of the sea, materials which might otherwise be used to make the masses too comfortable, and hence, in the long run, too intelligent..it helps to preserve the special mental atmosphere that a hierarchical society needs. War… is now a purely internal affair."

The purpose of the war in Afghanistan is to maintain a permanent state of war. This state is necessary for the national security apparatus to flourish, as well as to ensure the subjection of the majority. Obama, the smiling liberal, is well-chosen as executor of this totalitarian strategy because he can pull off the crime while keeping his progressive credentials intact. Liberals wish to live in the illusion that we are "resistors of oppression" "who never seek to occupy other countries." How noble and lawful we are compared to our manufactured "enemies".

A secondary goal of the war is the control of Central Asian energy resources in a game the U.S. cannot afford to cede to the Russians and Chinese. But principally, war in Afghanistan helps to preserve the special mental atmosphere that a hierarchical society needs. Liberals play an essential role in the maintenance of this state through the proliferation of their illusions about "democracy" which mask the realities of power. That is their role and in that they serve the security state well.

2 comments:

Ben said...

Why do you think Obama won the Nobel Peace Prize, when all he has done is expand U.S. imperialism?

Boyd said...

Good to hear from you again, Ben. I just published a posting about this that you may want to take a look at - it's called "Obama's Praise of War." Essentially, my thought is that his role in the current strategy of imperial dominance is to legitimize the newly necessary military measures that violate international law such as torture and preemptive warfare pioneered by Bush and Cheney. Glenn Greenwald put it well when he said, "...Obama has actually done more to legitimize Bush/Cheney 'counter-terrorism' policies than Bush and Cheney themselves -- because he made them bipartisan."

Notice how the exact same people who condemned Bush when he tortured and spied and bombed innocent civilians now are silent when Obama does the same. Obama sheds a moralistic legitimacy on these practices, and his Nobel speech is a classic example of the justification of violence. It was a parade of all the self-justifying lies Americans have told themselves over the past 50 years. The amazing bipartisan support he received indicates that he was successful in pleasing those he serves.