Wednesday, March 16, 2011

"the most ingenious and valuable achievement"

Again, Glenn Greenwald:
the most ingenious and valuable achievement of the National Security State: enabling endless war while appearing to impose costs on only a tiny percentage of the population, thus ensuring that pointless, unnecessary, unjust wars will continue without much resistance even when the vast majority of the public recognizes them as such.
Yes, it's been a while since I posted links like this. I'm not sure why I quit (possibly ill-founded ... not euphoria, I was never euphoric about Obama ... mild content) but I didn't stop reading them. Nor should you.

In fact, just to whet your appetite, a bit more of Glenn:
Humanitarianism is the pretty package in which every new war is wrapped. That's just the Manichean propaganda tactic needed to induce public support for killing human beings: it's justified because we're there to destroy Evil and do Good. Wars can sometimes incidentally produce humanitarian benefits, but that isn't the real aim of war. We can (perhaps) remove Gadaffi from power, but we'll then up defending and propping up (and thus be responsible for) whatever faction will heed our dictates and serve our interests regardless of their humanitarian impulses (see our good friends Nouri al-Malaki and Hamid Karzai as examples).

As our other good friends Saudi Arabia and Bahrain collaborate on attacking civilian protesters, there are no calls for U.S. intervention there -- even though that's arguably more serious than what's happening in Libya -- because those governments serve our interests. Nor is there much anger among Americans (as opposed to Egyptians) over our decades-long support for the dictator of Egypt (and most of the other tyrants now suddenly being vilified). That's because our conduct in the Middle East isn't driven by humanitarian objectives no matter how manipulatively that flag is waived. It's driven by a desire to advance our perceived interests regardless of humanitarian outcomes, and exactly the same would be true for any intervention in Libya. Even if we were capable of fostering humanitarian outcomes in that nation -- and that's highly doubtful -- that wouldn't be our mission.

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