As the US government ramps up toward war on Syria’s regime, a sense of puzzlement seems to have descended upon America. Politicians can’t seem to identify any “legitimate” US “interest” that war would serve; polls show that the public opposes the project; military leaders, when pressed to propagandize for intervention, have instead repeatedly cautioned that war would likely boost the fortunes of al Qaeda and other groups who have been designated “the enemy” for a decade and more. There just doesn’t seem to be any reason, logic or “up side” to the whole idea.
Nonetheless, US President Barack Obama seems to have decided that military action is the only way to get whatever it is that he thinks he wants. He’s ordered the release of a “report” purporting to “justify” military action, his minions are falling into line , the Republican jingoists who never met a bloodbath they didn’t like are in high dudgeon that he’s taking so long, and world media are beginning to paint war as inevitable.
If all this seems confusing and counter-intuitive, here’s why:
You’ve been told all your life — in junior high civics class, at your local church, on the nightly news — that politicians and soldiers work for you. You’ve been told that their job is to defend the United States, to support its Constitution and to protect your rights. You’ve been led to believe that while they may do the job poorly, that IS the job.
To quote a popular movie: “You’ve been living in a dream world, Neo.”
In real life, politicians and soldiers work for (and constitute part of) the political class. Their job is to transfer as much wealth as possible from your pockets to that class’s bank accounts. Pursuant to that goal, they run the single largest welfare program on Planet Earth: The US “defense” budget, which is split between a gigantic workfare program (military “service”) to bring some portion of the proles on board both physically and mentally, and a gigantic corporate welfare slush fund or the purchase of weapons, planes, ships and ammunition and the construction and ongoing maintenance of the bases from which these items and their operators are deployed.
There are two major consequences of this ginormous welfare program.
One of those problems is that when you have armies, navies, etc. ten times any reasonable size for “national defense,” the crazier elements of the political class just can’t resist the urge to USE them. For something. For ANYTHING. Because all politicians are criminal sociopaths, it’s just a fact of life that at any given time some of them will be jonesing to murder a few million people.
The other problem is that the US military has become so incredibly bloated that suggesting further expansion — more aircraft carriers, more and more expensive planes, etc. — has become a laugh line. The only way to keep the corporate welfare aspect of “defense” spending going is to consume some of that ammunition and wreck some of those weapons and weapons platforms every now and again so that they have to be replaced. Otherwise, the CEOs of DynCorp, ATK et. al might have to wait a couple of years before trading up to longer, more well-appointed yachts. And we can’t have that, can we?
When Michael Ledeen allegedly said “every ten years or so, the United States needs to pick up some small crappy little country and throw it against the wall, just to show the world we mean business,” the business he meant was “guaranteeing Boeing’s bottom line.”
You’re going to get war with Syria whether you want it or not, because Obama and Friends don’t work for you. They never have and they never will. It’s time to stop pretending they do.