Sunday, November 15, 2015

Paris Is Burning: We Didn't Start the Fire?

Paris is Burning: Now “the West” Started the Fire
P. Schultz

            The latest attack in France, in Paris, has been labeled by the French government “an act of war,” as if this act was initiating a war and not continuing a war already initiated. Moreover, this rhetoric obscures the fact that the already initiated war was initiated in part by the “victimized” France, as well as by the allegedly “victimized” “West.” Hence, the message is: the blame lies with “the Rest,” not with “the West.”

            But this is clearly false. “The West,” as it in called by some, has been engaged in war with “the Rest” for some time now, starting at the very least with Reagan and continued, by choice, by Bush I, Clinton, Bush II, and Obama, with the support of other nations of “the West.” Repeatedly, “the West” has chosen and chooses to make war against “the Rest.”

            Starting with Reagan, that is, leaving aside for now the U.S. choice to make war in Korea, in Cuba, and in Vietnam, his administration and the U.S. government generally chose to go into Afghanistan to support the jihadists there against the Soviet Union, chose to station marines in Beirut, chose to invade Granada, chose to make war in Nicaragua, chose to support Saddam Hussein in his war against Iran, and chose to make war in Libya. Papa Bush chose to undertake “Desert Storm,” invading Iraq by choice.

            Similarly, Clinton and the government generally chose to keep the war against Iraq going, while engaging in warfare in eastern Europe. Bush II chose to invade Iraq, after invading Afghanistan after 9/11, despite the fact that Iraq had had nothing to do with 9/11 and had been “defanged” since “Desert Storm.” And Obama, and the government generally, have continued Bush II’s policies in Afghanistan and Iraq, while supporting jihadists in Libya and Syria for the sake of “regime change.”

            The point is this: For a long time, the U.S., with the support from other members of “the West,” has chosen to engage in wars, either full blown wars or “low intensity conflicts,” against “the Rest.” And “the West” has done this by choice, and not because it was forced to do so by “the Rest.”

            Some have labeled such war making “yuppie war,” because “the West” sought to conduct these wars – or this war – in a way that did not interfere with its lavish or posh life styles, a choice that advancing technology seemed to make more and more prudent or realistic. But as such, it was and is important that these choices for war making be disguised, and this in at least two ways.

            First, these wars or this war needed to be disguised as defensive or as “accidental” or “unintentional,” as in the famous quagmire called Vietnam. Either ‘the West” was and is merely reacting to “the Rest,” which is necessarily labeled, as needed, an “evil empire,” the “axis of evil,” or bloodthirsty Islamofascists. Or, conversely, “the West” gets sucked into, against its will, another quagmire from which it could not escape, ala’ Vietnam.

            Second, these wars or this war must be disguised as “small” or “clean” wars, fought with “smart” weapons used to make “surgical strikes,” thereby hiding their brutality, their bestiality, and their inhuman character. Otherwise, it would not be possible for the aggressors, “the West,” to react each time they are attacked as if they were being “victimized” by those, “the Rest,” who allegedly “hate us” for our life styles and freedom, and not because we are repeatedly attacking them. One thing I find so interesting is how so many people genuinely seem to believe that “the West” is being victimized. But then you can “fool some of the people all of the time.”

            And these disguises work so well, win so many “hearts and minds,” as it were, that I am tempted to think and say that Machiavelli was correct. That is, what appears to be moral virtue is actually little more than a disguise behind which the brutal, the bestial, and the inhuman hide. But even if I were to succumb to this temptation, I would console myself with the realization that Machiavelli knew what our current day “Machiavellians” don’t know, viz., that the brutal, the bestial, and the inhuman are not deserving of his or our admiration. For Machiavelli, unlike our current “Machiavellians,” was not a relativist and he sought to improve upon or at least control those inhuman beings so often confused with and even praised as real humans. 

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