VERIFIED: Where Wars Do — and Don’t Come From

Where wars DO come from:

It is not civilizations that promote clashes. They occur when old-fashioned leaders look for old-fashioned ways to solve problems by rousing their people to armed confrontation.–Kenichi Ohmae, The End Of The Nation State, (New York: The Free Press 1995), p. 11.

Why of course the people don’t want war. … That is understood. But, after all, it is the leaders of the country who determine the policy and it is always a simple matter to drag the people along –Head Nazi Hermann Goering

Mr. Bertie Felstead: “A German began singing All Through The Night, then more voices joined in and the British troops responded with Good King Wencelas… the next morning, all the soldiers were shouting to one another, “Hello Tommy, Hello Fritz” … The Germans started it, coming out of their trenches and walking over to us. Nobody decided for us – we just climbed over our parapet and went over to them, we thought nobody would shoot at us if we all mingled together… There wouldn’t have been a war if it had been left to the public. We didn’t want to fight but we thought we were defending England. England’s Oldest Man Remembers The 1915 Christmas Truce

People do not make wars; governments do. –U.S. President Ronald Reagan

President George W. Bush and seven of his administration’s top officials… made at least 935 false statements in the two years following September 11, 2001, about the national security threat posed by Saddam Hussein’s Iraq. …an exhaustive examination of the record shows that the statements were part of an orchestrated campaign that …led the nation to war under decidedly false pretenses. –Charles Lewis and Mark Reading-Smith, False Pretenses: Iraq THE WAR CARD Orchestrated Deception on the Path to War, www.publicintegrity.org

Wars throughout history have been waged for conquest and plunder. …The feudal barons of the Middle Ages, the economic predecessors of the capitalists of our day, declared all wars. And their miserable serfs fought all the battles. The poor, ignorant serfs had been taught to revere their masters; to believe that when their masters declared war upon one another, it was their patriotic duty to fall upon one another and to cut one another’s throats for the profit and glory of the lords and barons who held them in contempt. And that is war in a nutshell. The master class has always declared the wars; the subject class has always fought the battles. The master class has had all to gain and nothing to lose, while the subject class has had nothing to gain and all to lose–especially their lives. …the working class who freely shed their blood and furnish the corpses, have never yet had a voice in either declaring war or making peace. It is the ruling class that invariably does both. They alone declare war and they alone make peace. Yours not to reason why; Yours but to do and die. That is their motto The Anti-war Speech That Earned Eugene Debs 10 Years in Prison, Socialist Party convention in Canton, Ohio, 16 June 1918

By contrast, where wars DON’T come from:

…we preferred hunting to a life of idleness on our reservations. At times we did not get enough to eat and we were not allowed to hunt. All we wanted was peace and to be left alone. Soldiers came and destroyed our villages. Then Long Hair (Custer) came…They say we massacred him, but he would have done the same to us. Our first impulse was to escape but we were so hemmed in we had to fight. Crazy Horse/Tashunkewitko

The Aztec strategy of war was based on the capture of prisoners by individual warriors, not on working as a group to kill the enemy in battle. By the time the Aztecs came to recognize what warfare meant in European terms, it was too late. Aztec

New England’s first Indian war, the Pequot War of 1636-37, provides a case study of the intensified warfare Europeans brought to America. Allied with the Narragansetts, traditional enemies of the Pequots, the colonists attacked at dawn. … The slaughter shocked the Narragansetts, who had wanted merely to subjugate the Pequots, not exterminate them. The Narragansetts reproached the English for their style of warfare, crying, “It is naught, it is naught, because it is too furious, and slays too many men.” In turn, Capt. John Underhill scoffed, saying that the Narragansett style of fighting was “more for pastime, than to conquer and subdue enemies.” Underhill’s analysis of the role of warfare in Narragansett society was correct, and might accurately be applied to other tribes as well. Through the centuries, whites frequently accused their Native allies of not fighting hard enough. -James W. Loewen, LIES MY TEACHER TOLD ME, (New York, NY: Touchstone 1996), p. 118

Iraq Veterans Against the War: The Documentary

Per IVAW:

Voice of Art, the new documentary series on Pharrell Williams’ I Am Other YouTube channel, is releasing Part 1 of its new episode entitled “Iraq Veterans Against the War” on Friday, June 29 2012. The episode features the historic march and returning of Global War on Terrorism service medals by members of Iraq Veterans Against the War (IVAW) in Chicago during the May 2012 NATO summit.

No War, No Sanctions, No Intervention, No Assassinations

Clear, simple, to the point. A nice, simple set of values that all kinds of people should be able to get behind.

It’s the platform, manifesto, talking points, everything of No War on Iran: National Day of Action, February 4th.

A lot of anti-war activities get bogged down in lengthy laundry lists of talking points and arguments from the “top,” before they ever reach the larger numbers of people they’re supposed to recruit or inflluence. They end up having something for everyone to disagree with.

This thing leaves everyone free to make their own arguments and not have to answer for someone else’s stupid ideas. No war, no sanctions, no intervention, no assassinations. Anything else you want, bring yourself.

“Radical anarchist KN@PPSTER” and “sane policy advocate KN@PPSTER” are both down with the four points, for different but not really incompatible reasons.

From a policy standpoint, screwing with Iran is the silliest damn idea I’ve heard in a decade characterized by silly ideas.

The US has fought and lost two full-blown wars in Asia (and smaller ones in Asia and elsewhere) over the last ten years, draining its treasury and degrading its military (in both the moral and practical senses).

Launching a third major war, against an opponent three times as populous, with much greater regional support, and much more militarily advanced than either Iraq or Afghanistan … well, if you were looking for  proof that the assorted War Colleges of the US armed forces have “special needs” classes, just check out the number of different crayon colors used in drafting that contingency plan.

From an anarchist standpoint, war (and preparation for war) is one of the primary instruments which the political class of every country, and their “transnational” partners, use to savage the freedoms and empty the pocketbooks of their subjects for their own benefit. 99% of the time, that’s its only purpose. The other 1% of the time is when one particular clique of the political class is in real existential danger from another clique or cliques, and wants their subjects to bail them out.

So, get back to me if the war you’re selling is revolutionary class struggle, productive (us) vs. political (them). Otherwise, I’m not buying. And this ain’t that.

But that’s all just me. I’m sure you have your own reasons. On February 4th, let’s set those other reasons aside and stand together for no war, no sanctions, no intervention, no assassinations.

[cross-posted from KN@PPSTER]

Antiwar.com’s Video Contest: Playback for Peace

During our next pledge drive, we would like to feature videos made by our readers on what ten years of war means to them. For more information, please contact Angela Keaton at akeaton@antiwar.com or call 1-323-512-7095. The top 10 videos will be selected by our staff. Deadline is Tuesday November 1.

To kick off the contest, James Cox of Peace, Freedom and Prosperity created and narrated AntiWar: 10 Years In The Middle East.

Antiwar.com’s Week in Review | September 9, 2011

Don’t forget to sign the open letter to Obama and Congress to end the wars: ComeHomeAmerica.us

IN THIS ISSUE

  • Mission accomplished in Iraq?
  • Libyan civil war is far from over
  • The expensive deterioration of Afghanistan
  • Ten years since 9/11
  • Israel’s struggles with Turkey and Palestine
  • Assorted news from the empire
  • What’s new at the blog?
  • Columns
  • Antiwar Radio
  • Events

Iraq: From war zone to client state

Continue reading “Antiwar.com’s Week in Review | September 9, 2011”