Monday, March 31, 2008

Success in War

March30th 2008
It is remarkable that even the majority of people who speak out against the war in Iraq voice their opposition within what is essentially a Western, Militarist paradigm. There has been plenty of opposition to the war but most of what I hear addresses the misinformation leading up to the war, certain fundamental mistakes made during initial months of the war, and a general lack of knowledge on the part of the United States concerning the nature of Iraqi society in general. Within this paradigm is commonplace to say that the war was a mistake and a failure. However, the war in Iraq can only be seen to be a failure and a mistake if you follow what is basically an American and militarist analysis. But I contend that the war was in no way a mistake and has been largely a complete success. I say this because I believe that the United States did not invade Iraq for any of the reason which are stated publicly and accepted by the majority of people. The US was not concerned about weapons of mass-destruction (Hanz Blix, the very man sent by the UN to investigate the weapons was the most vocally sceptical about their existence). Democracy was certainly not a US concern (the US supported Hussan’s dictatorship for years and continues to support dictatorships throughout the region.) Battling Islamic radicalism was not the issue (Iraq was hardly a hotbed of Islamic radicalism and if the US was truly interesting in undermining the constituency of Radical Islam they would settle the Palestinian issue because that would surely have the greatest impact on the growth of this ideology). The reasons for the war in Iraq are the same motivations for almost every war in history: money and power. War is business. The rich and powerful execute wars for very simple reasons: to increase their wealth and power. Analysed within this paradigm the war in Iraq has in fact been a roaring success. The military/industrial complex was feeling the end of the cold-war more than most people are willing to admit. The invasion of the middle-east has renewed the power and profits of the military/industrial complex and made billions of dollars for men like George Bush and Dick Cheney. Furthermore, recent events have guarantied this power and these profits for decades to come. The war in Iraq has been an incredible success because the reasons for the war have played out exactly like the rich and powerful men who instigated it had hoped. The resistance that the US has met with is perfect for Haliburton and Lockheed-Martin. The Iraqi resistance keeps the corporations busy and keeps the dollars flowing. Just as has so often occurred in history, the rich and powerful started a war in their own interests and convinced the majority of people to wave the flag and support it. How sad and pathetic is this? If ever there was an example of false consciousness this is it. We must stop lamenting that the invasion of Iraq was a terrible mistake and a woeful failure – and start talking about how sad it is that it has been a remarkable success.

Poetry and War

Poets must be experts at remembering, but also at forgetting. But while remembering seems to be an infinitely complex web of construction and forgetting appears to be a simple act, things are not what they seem. Forgetting is much more complicated than remembering, just as thinking is always easier than non-thinking. Remembering has its own momentum and moves like a stone rolling down a hill. Forgetting requires the immeasurably difficult act of stopping the stone of remembering with mental power. The stone is most obviously visible in the ferocious momentum of war. The desire to go to war is a habit of history whose source is our inability to forget. Yet we are surprised each time a generation seems almost glad to go war. But the warriors are just remembering, and unavoidably being run over by the stone.