Pic of the day: Detail of the mosaic of the Battle of Issus, showing Alexander the Great and Bucephelus.
If a warrior is not unattached to life and death, he will be of no use whatsoever. The saying that “All abilities come from one mind” sounds as though it has to do with sentient matters, but it is in fact a matter of being unattached to life and death. With such non-attachment one can accomplish any feat.
Yamamoto Tsunetomo, Hagakure
A rant about one word. War.
We like war, as a species. All cultures practice it and all will until mankind through either evolution or death move beyond the need(or capacity) to make war. Even when we are not actually at war, a rare enough event, it seems there is some war nearing or beginning or being fought somewhere most Americans have never heard of or been to.
There have not been very many weeks, never mind years where there has been no war in the last 2000 years. The United States has seen little in the way of peace, and some of it created by us. Think Iraq and Panama at the very least. Our history of military conflict is a long one indeed. Sometimes we are right to fight, but that is not the point of this article.
War is what we do best, and it’s in our heads that it is what we do best, and therefore we do it a lot. But we use the word wrong, and I’d like to make the point by showing how we use the word to show what is wrong with it and why, with a few side points.
There is the war on drugs, which in some places actually is a war but in most places is simply a police action. In Mexico there is a war on drug dealers and manufacturers. Here? Not so much, though it can seem like it at times. Mexico and a great many other places are a mess because drug dealers want to sell their drugs and governments and citizens simply don’t want to deal with the mess it makes of the lives of the people affected.
Not all drugs are bad, I’d like to see marijuana legalized, and a few other drugs as well. Make it legal, tax it, and there go your budget woes. No more dead cops fighting a war that is at best a war on a subculture, if it can even be called that. It takes the teeth from the people on the other side of the war, by making of them legitimate businessmen, just like the guys at Goldman Sachs.
There is what is called the war against terror, which is real war in some places and ways, but in most is more of a reason to increase government intrusiveness into our personal lives. The people on the ground of this war are not the cops with dogs sniffing peoples bags, or faceless homeland security guards hiding behind bureaucracy and putting us in full body scanners because they are paid to treat us like our freedom isn’t real, or NSA agents tapping all of our phones (assholes.)
They are members of the intelligence community infiltrating Al-Qaeda, and soldiers getting into gun battles with members of the Taliban, and drones destroying Al-Qaeda strongholds. The fine people dealing with Al-Qaeda and the Taliban need our support. The group from the previous paragraph needs to be done away with. Completely. They are leeches on society and freedom and need to be gotten rid of. Find them another line of work. I hear landscaping is good for building strength and character.
Class war? We have it. Culture war? We live it.
There is even war on Christmas, if you listen to some of the slower chimps in our society.
War is apparently what we are about as a species. Every day for as long as there have been weapons and people to use them on and nations or leaders with invasive agendas there has been war of some kind on this planet. We like killing each other, no matter the protestations to the contrary that we tell ourselves.
But truth be told much of our warlike stance is a facade, particularly when speaking of class war, culture war, and even some aspects of the war on drugs and terror.
There is no war on drugs, at least not here in America. There are people on drugs, people who make money from drugs, and people who don’t like it and think it makes the world a complete mess. They are right of course, they make a mess of everything, but just because there are two sides to an issue and occasional guns involved does not mean there is an actual war going on. If there is anything war-like involving drugs it is more a police action against drug dealers who are trying like hell not to get arrested.
There is no war on terror per se, but there is a war going on there, because there is actual war against the Taliban going on for the next 18 months or so. Then it becomes a police action, unless we invade Yemen which is a possibility which should be considered or Saudi Arabia, which wont be considered. And the police need to stop infringing on freedoms in the name of freedom, and the government needs to stop letting them do it.
There is no class war or culture war, there is just people bitching about the way the world works, because they don’t have enough. That isn’t war, that’s yakking. I understand mind you, I bitch a ton about how I’ve been screwed by being unemployed, and the lack it confers. Doesn’t mean I’m in a war against anyone.
There are legitimate wars, and legitimate reasons for war, but the use of the word has gotten completely out of hand. We are at war in Afghanistan with segments of the Afghani population. We are not at war with George Soros or the Koch brothers.
To be slightly facetious, there is war going on in Syria, there is no war going on over Christmas. I have yet to see anti-tank missiles used against Christmas, no orders given for the 7th fleet to sail to Santa’s aid, so that word war used there is pure bullshit. Syria on the other hand, there is some serious shit going on there. Just like in South Sudan, with claims of fresh bombings there. It’ll shake out eventually. But I don’t think either Santa or Christ were involved on a personal level in either the war in Syria or South Sudan.
War is nations (and other large conglomerations of people)shooting at one another until one of them either dies the death that nations die, or surrenders. Nothing more. Anything that does not meet those criterion is not war.
That’s it from here, America. G’night.