Tuesday, March 28, 2006

Can this man be saved?

This is from an acquaintance lawyer who is from the Helen Thomas school of politics: The war is about oil! Bush wants to make money! You know the drill.

Is there ANY WAY to talk sense to this man? What would you say to him?
----
I used to think Jello Biafra was a bit of a conspiracy theorist. In
light of the now-two memos that have surfaced showing that G.W. and
Tony Blair wanted war with Saddam Hussein regardless of the presence
of any WMD's, I am beginning to re-think that position. Check it
out:

"Are you believing the morning papers? / War is coming back in
style / There's generals here, advisers there / And Russians
nibbling everywhere / The chessboard's filling up with red / We make
more profits when we blow off their heads

Economy is looking bad / Let's start another war / Fan the fires of
racist hatred / We want a total war

Drooling fingers, panic buttons / Playing with missiles like they're
toys / There's easy money, easy jobs / Especially when you build the
bombs / That blow big cities off the map / Just guess who profits
when we build `em back up

Yeah, what big Business wants Big Business gets / It wants a war /
Trilateral Commission goonies laugh / and scheme for more / Call the
Army! Call the Navy! / Stocked with kids from slums / If you can't
afford a slick attorney / We might make you a spy

Forget those demonstrations / Kids today sit on their ass / Just a
six-pack and they're happy / We're prepared for when ya get drafted."

That was written in 1978. I'm beginning to think he's some sort of
prophet.

6 Comments:

Blogger Walker said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

7:38 AM  
Blogger Walker said...

Here's what I wrote him:
" Economy is looking bad / Let's start another war / Fan the fires of racist hatred / We want a total war"

Since the economy today is as good as it has been in the last 20 years, this can't be prophetic about the USA.

But it is probably true if you read it as the agenda of Al Qaeda. At least that is what Bin Laden says their agenda is. In effect, the entire "insurgency" in Iraq has been an attempt to foster civil/race/ religious war.

And the effort has been backed at every turn by Democrats, Bin Laden's "useful idiots" (to use Stalin's phrase) in the war effort.

7:40 AM  
Blogger kevinwillis.net said...

The short answer is "no". And it's not really, and can't be, the goal. The goal should be to limit his sphere of influence and expand ours. Refuting his arguments with both logic, rhetoric, and enviable style is less for his benefit and more for the benefit of others.

Unless he's young, argument is unlikely to persuade him unless it's absorbed passively, without anybody to judge any changes of opinion he's likely to undergo. And all people whose arguments are weak have a reliable defense mechanism, if you start getting to them: they stop talking to you. The unsubscribe from the list, stop listening to that radio program they used to listen to to laugh at stupid conservatives, they stop talking politics to you.

That being said, the "war for oil" thing is silly. Unless we actually took Iraq as a province of America--frankly, I don't think that would be a bad idea generally, but it's never going to happen in this day and age--it's hard to argue that it's war for oil, because we could have gotten plenty of oil, at better prices, from Iraq under the UN's corrupt Oil for Food program that we are now. It would have been much cheaper and more effective to life sanctions on Iraq, if our goal was more oil. One could argue that kicking Iraq out of Kuwait was to prevent one country from controlling too much oil, thus giving one person too much power over our access (thus, "a war for oil"), but whatever the current Iraq conflict is, it cannot be said, by any rational measurement, to be a war for oil.

In regards to the deep wisdom of Jello Biafra, starting a war has no inherent benefit to the economy. It's destablizing, which discourages investment in related areas (such as energy, in this case). People worry about the future of the economy, should the war become a "quagmire" like the press hopes. I mean, come on. How great was the economy during the middle of Vietnam?

Even World War II, often given credit for helping to end the depression, was debt financed, and that debt had to be repaid, or serviced in some way, taking money out of the economy. Also, much of the FDR era "economic stimulus" programs that were strangling the economy had to be removed leading up to the war, and after it, which did much more for the economy than World War II. And I could go on about how the consumer economy was ten times worse during and immediately after WWII, and so on, but you get the drift.

Additionally, there is no inherent profit to "blowing off their heads". We lose some of the best minds and potentially productive workers in war. We've fortunately got that under control in comparison to the huge losses of WWII, but the 2000 we've lost in Iraq would all probably have been productive, highly contributive members of our society, had they lived. It's a cost, not a profit.

Oh, well, we kill a lot of the other guy. Well, great, and hopefully that helps prevent future terrorism, which can have an economic benefit. And hopefully it will help establish some form of Democracy in Iraq, and free enterprise there, which could have a long term economic benefit to that region and the world. But there is nothing inherently profitable about killing or dieing. There can be war profiteers, of course, but there is nothing inherently profitable, or stimulative to the economy, about war. It's economically and politically risky and, frankly, if we had foregone the Iraq war while still preventing terrorist attacks, I think our economy would be more robust than it is.

Jello says "Just guess who profits when we build `em back up". Well, it's certainly not us, as it's tax payer funded. The people who profit the most are the folks we're building the cities for--in this case, the Iraqis and the Afghanis.

Jello warns: "Yeah, what big Business wants Big Business gets". This is both true and false. Big business often doesn't get what it wants, and, frankly, Big Businesses are often diametrically opposed. Something of the wealthiest individuals on this planet are anti-war, anti-American leftist. George Soros, for example. Warren Buffet is very liberal, if not anti-American. Some of the richest men in the world are oil-field owning Arab aristocracy. They want a War on Terror? And many businesses suffer in war. Think of how hard the Iraq war has been on all those folks making money off the UNs Oil for Food program, for example.

Jello also notes: "Call the Army! Call the Navy! / Stocked with kids from slums" . . . yeah, like Pat Tillman. Back in the day, like Elvis Presley or Jimmy Stewart or John Kennedy or, heck, John F. Kerry who may not have been a great soldier, but he sure didn't come from the slums. Frankly, that sort of nonsense is insulting to the American soldier. It's patently untrue.

Last president to instute a draft? A Democrat. Who instituted a peace time draft while building up for war? FDR! The liberal icon.

And your friend writes: "That was written in 1978. I'm beginning to think he's some sort of
prophet."

Short answer, "no, not even close". Obvious, boring, cliched hyperbole does not a prophet make. Jello not only didn't say anything original today, it wasn't original in 1978 and wasn't original in 1878. It's an "insight" as old as war between tribes and a fetish for shiny yellow metal. And the observation, in the modern world, is more inaccurate than ever.

The wealthiest nation in the world doesn't need to start wars for money. In the short run, they're always going to be a net loss.

11:14 AM  
Blogger Gayle said...

After reading that last comment, I feel rather tongue-tied. :(

12:36 PM  
Blogger Walker said...

If you had a draft today, you would have to suspend the pee test. Trucking companies can't even hire kids these days because they just can't pass the drug tests. I don't know who we would draft to fight a war.

9:29 AM  
Blogger Walker said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

9:29 AM  

Post a Comment

Links to this post:

Create a Link

<< Home