by Milo Clark
(Swans - August 28, 2006) Verified several times from several sources, I understand that the spark for Israel smashing Lebanon back to rubble, again -- the capture of two Israeli soldiers -- occurred not in Israel but in Lebanon.
Yet, W and all will have us understand that the event happened in Israel. In his view, Israel is therefore fully justified in destroying half of Lebanon, killing unknown numbers of people obviously collateral and very much terminally damaged. And all this was so recently rebuilt after the last Lebanese civil war.
Setting back Lebanon a generation is nothing in the eyes of Israeli leadership. They are cheered on in their mayhem by the president of the once United States of America and the prime minister of Great Britain, et al.
Now we have a very spongy "cease fire" which Israel has already announced she will honor as she sees fit and acted to do so. The countries allegedly who will supply troops for a peacekeeping force are dragging feet, scraping fingernails in the dust, and hiding in any place they can find. After all, Israel demonstrated concretely that existing UN troops "peacekeepers" in Lebanon would be taken out whenever and wherever Israeli leadership deemed.
W, magnanimously, allowed that the once US of A would donate $230 million to rebuild Lebanon. . . again. That is pathetic, sick, deplorable, horrible, and icky to the max! People polled gave him credit nevertheless. His ratings crawled up a mite.
I watched a very old Henry Kissinger on the Charlie Rose PBS show the other night. A friend gave me a DVD copy. Kissinger mouthed the appropriate lines and lies with a vacant and very straight face. Rose quoted data from a pile of source material in front of him that was contrary to Kissinger's statements. Kissinger didn't blink an eyelash or give any indication that he heard a thing.
Also on that DVD, I watched talking heads all staring straight ahead and doing the same in numerous flashes of "news" and commentary. Revolting is about the least to be said.
Meanwhile, war is being privatized and corporatized. Vast numbers of firms following good business practices are taking over what the military used to do, even fighting. I read a book about Afghanistan's recent history written by the son of a very influential man in the government. He was deeply embarrassed and chagrined that Karazi's personal bodyguards were hired from Dyncorp, a privatized military corporation. The Americans wouldn't protect him or allow an Afghan government entity to do that duty.
Remember pictures of American proconsul in Iraq, Bremer, surrounded by a scruffy bunch of white guys with MP5s and other lethality. Did you assume that they may have been American military in mufti? No. Hired guns. Same with the guys strung up from the bridge that unleashed the American military in retaliation. Note: those guys strung up were no American military. Hired guns, okay?
ROTC at most American colleges and universities is no longer run by soldiers but by a hired company with folks dressed like regular soldiers. Wars around the world from Timor to Timbuktu pit ordinary rebels against hired guns with the most sophisticated weaponry, hired Air Force, hired Navy...you name it. Failed, weak, and devastated quasi-states here and there buy their military from private contractors. All those guys and all their hardware are just hanging around waiting for a war.
Biggest employer of private armies, military consulting, strategic planning, logistics, construction, rebuilding, etc., all once the purview of the services is, you guessed it, Uncle Sugar. Profits are nearly unimaginable. Great supplement for retired generals' pensions.
Given that there may be eight to ten million ex-military around the world and given that vast mounds of weaponry are nearly free for the taking, is it any wonder that a good way to keep them busy is to give them wars to fight? Minimizes official casualties. Avoids nasty questions about atrocities, torture and other unpleasantries of war. Renditions? Huh, not us. Deniability rampant.
There are lots of people with major investments in war. They have minimal interest in peace. Keep them busy. Keep them happy. Make sure they get paid well and make good money for their work. Throw in a little excitement and blood-thumping adventure just like old times or just like old fantasies of old times that never happened. Just like a night in a Veterans of Foreign Wars bar.
And always know that the biggest money comes from rebuilding. Katrina is hardly worthwhile considering when a war can be set up on demand. Lebanon is not much as wars go, but the once US of A has offered $230 million as openers and will lean on others to up the ante. Guess who will get the contracts?
No fair? You know the answer already.
Should I buy stock in these outfits? Bet on wars continuing?
Isn't this kind of stuff amoral?
See what I don't know?
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