Why We Fight
יום שישי, יולי 14, 2006 | link
Money and power. All wars can be reduced to the pursuit of money and power.
Ideology? That's a red herring. Ideology is only the wool pulled over our eyes to spur on nationalistic fervor (whether physical nationhood or a more amorphous peoplehood).
I hate to sound like a Marxian reductivist, but everything, at the end of the day, boils down to class struggle, and the wealthy manipulating the poor to line their own pockets.
While lower class American youth are returning home from Iraq missing arms and legs, Dick Cheney is padding his bank account with war profits and diversifying his portfolio in anticipation of an American economic collapse.
In the Middle East, the conflict is so embroiled in religious and racial supremacism it's much harder to follow the money, but you'd be a fool to think it isn't there.
Benny Morris can race to substantiate the myth of ideology as being the Islamists' primary objective all he likes (which I would argue is his delayed attempt at saving face after outing Israel for its earliest crimes against the Palestinians). While it's true that ideology may be the driving factor for the fighters in the field, the consolidation of power and the continued enslavement of the subservient masses are the more obvious objectives.
The Islamic regimes have kept their people down so long, they can only react to the "globalizing" world -- one moving too fast and furious to keep up -- with extreme violence. Once everyone has Internet access and economic and ideological freedom of choice, the masters lose relevance and control (Case in point: How many Muslim bloggers have found themselves behind bars?). When the masters are "living the life" at the expense of the plebian and serf classes, you can bet they're going to fight like hell to stay high on the hog. The invocation of religion and nationalism are but mere weapons in their arsenal which have proven all too effective manipulations of the human central nervous system, driving earnest volunteers to stand up, like good slaves, fo' mas'ah. (I believe that religion and nationalism have their merits, and that the "problem" is not religion or even nationalism, but imposition of hierarchy and our all-too-human predilection for deference to authority.)
For Israel, the situation is more complicated. Despite the Musaceaen nature of this republic, it is nonetheless a functioning civil democracy, Socialistic at its core, and I earnestly believe, for the most part, righteous in its intentions. However, even if the Israeli public desires a true peace, even if they wish to do "the right thing" when it comes to the Palestinians, its leadership often manipulates the public will in the advancement of its own interests (the Greater Jerusalem Municipal Plan is one such example), and so to uses religion, nationalism and xenophobia to stir the passions of the public. Israelis are thereby indoctrinated in their own right, by the public education system and by their compulsory military service, to support the directives of their military command. But militaries have a vested interest in self-perpetuation. Israel's economy is sustained by its arms industry and by military aid from abroad. If there is no war, there is no money flowing into the region. Therefore, I believe that Israel may choose military options when unnecessary, seeking out justifications for the escalation of the conflict.
The unilateral disengagement from Gaza and the West Bank serve to illustrate this point. While Israel could have had bilateral negotiations that may have resulted in a more bonafide semblance of peace (or at the very least, a 50 year cease fire), it chose instead to declare itself as having "no partner" on the other side of the line, and withdrew from Gaza knowing full well that the second the Palis were to act up, they'd move in and bomb the ??? out of them, while holding up the disengagement as an example of Israel's earnest desire for peace and the Palestinians' historic rejectionism. This gives the impression that Israel has no choice but to act forcefully, and the conflict is escalated while Israel is given a 'greater' pass than it would have otherwise gotten. All the while, cutting-edge American weaponry continues to unload at Israel's ports, and eventually make its way to China and India at mark up.
With a full-scale Arab-Israeli war on the horizon, the floodgates for war profiteering are slowly creaking open, and the only thing holding back the deluge is the ephiphany of one conniving motherucker who can figure how to profit the most from a Middle Eastern bloodbath.