It is becoming clear that war is not only an undesirable method of "forging ahead" but also a futile one. Up until now, as long as war has been profitable there has always been someone willing to try it, to weigh the overheads against the net gain, the broken lives against the financial ledgers.
Trench and chemical warfare, the first cases of shell shocked survivors, starving civilians and livestock, the burned villages and pillaged fields of WWI were enough for people to declare never again. A scant few decades later, humanity outdid itself in the hellstakes with WWII. Since then, public response to war, although always silently disapproving, has grown increasingly vocal. Vietnam, Algiers, the horror of Cambodia's killing fields, pages and pages could be filled with war and the names of the places it has taken. Each time a war breaches public consciousness we recoil, and in trying to comprehend our atrocities we look for a villain, for a Pol Pot, a Milosevic, a Saddam, someone to lift the blame from our shoulders and unburden us of guilt. How could we let this happen? Again. And again. And again. And the tests. The Christmas Islands, the Mururoa Atolls, the hidden military laboratories, the people, the primates we sometimes substituted.
Each time we hear of a new war our resolve solidifies, our horror fixes, the danger seems a little closer to home, the image a little too real. It becomes clearer and clearer that war can never be conducted tidily. Each has its own hidden cripple that sooner or later crawls towards the light where we can see it. The Falklands, the 1990's Gulf War, Kosovo. Finally Kosovo. Suddenly what seemed to be a simple minimal collateral air run became hundreds of thousands of people streaming towards borders, a humanitarian crisis within weeks. An unexpected tragedy, and just one more reason for the UN's reluctance in endorsing this latest middle eastern misadventure. Has there ever been a successful war? No. The short answer, is no. Has there ever been a war somebody made money out of? Yes. There have been a handful of people who have profited at the expense of everyone and everything else. Is it worth it? No. It is not worth it.
And am I going to march down some street bawling "troops out now"? No. I am not. Let W Bush have his troops. Let him deploy them all over the world. Let him chew up his military budget, and then his domestic budget, and finally his own salary. Let him deploy his troops and never give them a moments rest, until they are tired and weary of their futile expeditions, of the dirt and sweat and grit and noise and stench and uncomfortable clothing and infrequent sleep and lost companions, let them grow tired of the empty jaws their administrations slap together, mashing out words between teeth and tongue till no one can understand anymore. Yes, let W Bush deploy his troops all over the world until tired and sick with war and its false promises his own troops turn on him.
the United States under W Bush has troops in 135 countries. Here is the list:
Bosnia and Herzegovina
Serbia and Montenegro
Trinidad and Tobago
United Arab Emirates
(a lot of prospective purchases for ihath, may prosperity shine upon her megalomania.)