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The WMail Newsletter Essays
Volume III - Issue #29: November 2002

"War Is Good?"

        Seems a damn shame that we have to dust off the old term 'warmonger', but the U.S. of A. has been acting like one.
        Back in WMail Issue #3 ('John Galt vs. George Dubya' October 2000), I predicted that Dubya would have eliminated the budget surplus (done!), act tough against the unions (see ILWU and Taft-Hartley news stories), and start a recession (done!). But I did not figure that Dubya would emulate his father and push the U.S. into another war in the Middle East. Who'd've thought that even George Dubya could be so stupid.

        The situation at this writing is that the United Nations is passing a resolution, though watered down, and that weapons inspectors will be sent to Iraq – though none have left yet – and that Dubya is waffling on the matter, hoping to convince our allies in Europe of the justice of initiating armed aggression in the forever volatile Middle East.

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        The last time that the U.S. started a war was in 1846-48, against Mexico, the result of the buildup of tensions after Texas won its independence and then asked to become a U.S. state. Whatever caused the battleship U.S.S. Maine to blow up in Havana harbor – remember the Maine? – at least we had an event to cite as provocation for the Spanish-American War of April to December 1898. For the VietNam War, we had Lyndon Johnson and the Gulf of Tonkin – plus Daniel Ellsberg and the Pentagon Papers.
        But the impending attack on Iraq has no such incident or event to cite as justification. Theories abound as to the real (but secret) reason for Dubya's desire to start a war, which mostly center on his fealty to Texas oil interests. Could be, we don't really know. And even should an Ellsberg-type whistle-blower appear, that will happen after the fact.

        My theory is that Dubya's power has gone to his head, he wants to start a war because he can – after all, he did steal the election, nobody can stop him – and his advisors have their reasons for encouraging him.

        What I find most interesting, however, is that the U.S. is so very alone in wanting further armed conflict in the Middle East. Israel is busy trying to prevent damage from the Palestinian intifada, and Russia has their own troubles with Chechnya and elsewhere, Australia is inundated with boat people, and Al Qaeda is still not contained. The U.S. is losing the public relations battle on all fronts. Even Tony Blair's Britain is moving farther away from Dubya's pocket.

        Everybody seems to be getting madder and madder at America, even after our taking a hit on 9-11-01. The attitude around most of the world is that Al Qaeda is bad and America is also bad. How can this be?

*          *          *          *

        Well, I found out something real interesting just this week: The Green Party, which has enough strength in California to be an official minor political party, says on one of their websites that the United States – individuals and corporations – owns FIFTY PERCENT of everything on the planet.

        Okay. So the U.S.A. has 6% of the world's population and owns a disproportionate share – by eight times – which means the other 94% have only 50% among them. The Oligarchy as I use the term is the 1% of the population that owns 50% or more of everything. This is true within the U.S. and around the world, but more importantly, recent stock manipulations here have increased the Oligarchy's share in the U.S. to between 55% and 60%. So that means that the U.S. Oligarchy – 0.06 percent of the world population – owns 30% of the entire planet, which is 500 times their share.

        So what? 'It has ever been thus', et cetera. Well, the problem is that the Oligarchy are slumlords. The U.S. infrastructure is decrepit, and things are worse elsewhere: no electricity, fetid water supplies, and death at the whim of tyrants. Ten years ago, Werner Erhard's Hunger Project eliminated death by starvation [down to causing something like 1% of deaths per country] in all but the three worst countries – Bangladesh, Pakistan & Somalia were not solved. But a recent article in the Los Angeles Times tells of a U.N. report on world hunger showing that the numbers are up, big time: death by starvation is now back as a serious problem in 30 countries.

        The Oligarchy is doing just fine. They even have defense contracts in place so that they will profit from Dubya's warmongering even if not a shot is fired. The Oligarchy plans for your sons and daughters and classmates and friends to be conscripted to kill the sons and daughters of Iraq and Iran and Israel and Palestine and Afghanistan – none of the Oligarchy will suffer even a scratch.

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        For the record, I served in VietNam – at Bien Hoa Air Base, attached to the 603rd Air Commando Squadron. War might be necessary, now and then, and when it came time I enlisted and served. That did look like a just cause at the time.
        But any war in the Middle East will not be justified – I say – unless and until the Bad Guys start it!

        Central to Ayn Rand's Objectivist philosophy is her specification of the three purposes of government: to enforce contracts (the courts), to prevent use of force internally (the police), and to defend against the initiation of force by other nations (the military).
        Though he is a Republican, Dubya has never professed belief in Objectivist principles – will we ever see the day when the President of the U.S. is a proclaimed Objectivist? (Republicans profess only the parts of Ayn Rand's ideas that serve their venal intentions.)
        No Objectivist can stand with George Dubya Bush in the initiation of force, of armed aggression against another sovereign country – not even a country headed by a despicable despot like Saddam Hussein or Libya's Muammar Khadaffi.
        The initiation of force is anti-Reason, and readers and other citizens in the U.S. cannot pretend to uphold the ideals of the U.S. Constitution and of F.D.R.'s 'Four Freedoms' speech or the promise of democracy if we help deliver a mandate FOR initiation of armed aggression by casting our votes for any warmongering Republican [or Democrat or 'other'] candidate in this month's elections.

        The Senate and Governor and Congressperson races are critical. Voting for any pro-war jingoist next week is cause for shame. Unless millions of U.S. citizens and voters wake up and prevent it, the U.S. of A. will position itself in history alongside other aggressors such as Hitler and Stalin and Mao and the Japanese military of WWII.

        Your future will be known to you next Wednesday.

[copyright 2002 by Gary Edward Nordell, all rights reserved]

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