Sunday, November 2, 2008

Free Enterprise and Our Endless Wars

President Bush will bequeath to his successor the ultimate self-licking ice cream cone. To defense contractors, lobbyists, think-tankers, ambitious military officers, the hosts of Sunday morning talk shows, and the Douglas Feith-like creatures who maneuver to become players in the ultimate power game, the Global War on Terror is a boon, an enterprise redolent with opportunity and promising to extend decades into the future.

--Andrew J. Bacevich

Dear George,

There you have it in a nutshell: everything you need to know about your Eternal War of the Empty Policy. In the end, it’s all about free enterprise, and that ultimate American freedom, the freedom of a few to make a bundle off the misery of the many.

It’s common sense. We are a warrior nation, sort of, though it’s more accurate to say that we are a nation controlled by a warrior elite who realize that the ultimate profit center is a war of any kind on anything.

Wars on (fill in the blank) are elaborate sleights on hand that give the illusion that our elite are attacking a given problem head-on when, in fact, they are insuring that the problem will continue in perpetuity so they can continue to profit from it. The simple fact is that, economically, we can afford peace on any front.

Bacevich elaborates on this point when, speaking of your GWOT, he says, “[The] very enterprise has become a fiction, a gimmicky phrase employed to lend an appearance to a panoply of activities that, in reality, are contradictory, counterproductive, or at the very least beside the point.”

He goes on to cite the War on Drugs, which he describes as “a very expensive fraud,” as an example of this. The public has been led to believe that the goal of the War on Drugs is to stop the flow of drugs into the country and, in doing so, cure our national addiction to controlled substances.


Its real purpose is to give us multiple opportunities to mess in the affairs of foreign nations and to establish client states in countries where both oil and drug trafficking thrive, such as Columbia, or where we want to run an oil pipeline, such as Afghanistan.

If we were really serious about stopping drug use, we would legalize them and use the billions we would save by halting our futile interdiction activities to provide free treatment to any addict who wanted it, because every addict, at one point or another, wants treatment.

This will never happen because the first rule of free enterprise is that you don’t eat the goose that lays the golden eggs.

Not only is America addicted to drugs, it is addicted to the income generated by the useless and expensive to stop them at our borders, because war is capitalism Viagra.

Your admirer,
Belacqua Jones

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