Wednesday, July 7, 2010

ENDLESS WAR - July 8, 2010

For over 60 years, we have been hearing about war syndromes, as though these were in some sense individual and accidental errors, all different. Actually, they are all aspects of the same problem, which has been haunting US for the past 6 decades, and as it reappears, we act as though it were unique, something we had never seen before except for the fact that the most perceptive among us see it as a reflection of the past immediate instance, but not as a chronic weakness that threatens to afflict us until it finally brings the US experiment to a crashing ruin. In capsule, it arises from the belief that US military and diplomatic superiority is so huge in comparison with the resources of underdeveloped countries and movements that it is required only to rattle the saber to bring compliance from a force that DC considers inimical to their orders. It reflects what we imagine was the history of the late XIX and early XX centuries as we see it was still in effect. That was a history in which the disjunction between the advanced countries and their colonial servants was settled by confrontation between Gatling Guns on one side and sharpened sticks on the other. Them days is gone forever, and good riddance. Even the Spanish Empire was easier to confront than the Philippine guerrillas that fought for independence when the European masters were gone. And we have been learning over and over what it means to be arrayed against a domestic resistance movement that swims like a fish in the sea that is the population. After the Greek resistance and Tito’s Croatian socialists, there was the armies of Peru, Chile and Argentina against their people, the conquest of Guatemala by its colonels, the overthrow of the elected governments in Iran and Chile, and always the same script with new antagonists, always at a disadvantage our rulers never imagined.

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