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Read the Friday Afternoon Wrap-Up for 3/2/2012, Weekend Thoughts and the Monday Morning Commentary for 3/5/2012

I’m writing this piece Friday afternoon, and wasn’t sure what topic I’d write about until the last second.  I have several things on my mind, but watching today’s Cartel attacks – with Wednesday’s “LEAP DAY VIOLATION” fresh on my mind – I figured it was best to choose the topic engendering the most anger.  And that, of course, is WAR.

Throughout history, the ONLY institution with a higher probability of catastrophe than fiat currency is WAR.  Despite the propaganda of “revisionist history,” few, if any wars belied just causes.  Some represented pure imperialism, many were religious crusades, and still others opposed subjective ideologies (“Communism,” for example).  Many were started under fraudulent circumstances – such as Vietnam (the “Tonkin Incident”) and Iraq (“WMDs”) – and even “good wars” like World War II to this day are fraught with conspiracy theories as to how and why they actually started.

It’s funny how World War II is considered a “good war,” as silly as World War I being deemed the “War to end all Wars.”  Yes, a “good war,” in which roughly 70 million were killed – 3% of the world’s population – with another 100 million casualties in some way, shape, and form.  Europe lost the power base it had held for centuries, the world’s oldest religion was nearly wiped out, and the nation of Israel was created, destined to one day be a focal point of World War III.  FDR was considered a “hero” from residing over the nation’s worst tragedy, and Truman a “patriot” for dropping bombs that wiped out more than 200,000 Japanese in a matter of seconds.

Like the criminal institution based in “the City” and “Wall Street,” the business of WAR benefits 1% of the population at the expense of the other 99%.  In both cases, PROPAGANDA is circulated to convince the 99% their lives were “improved” by the experience, but unfortunately “patriotism” has no net worth, and we all suffer from the increased debt and broken relationships war entails.  Military contracting and war financing, however, yield incalculable rewards to a handful of bankers, politicians, defense contractors, and sundry war profiteers.

During wartime, ironically the people that receive the least amount of (well-deserved) attention are SOLDIERS.  I do not employ blanket judgments on these men and women, as being a soldier does not make one “good” – as no doubt World War II “doughboys” were considered – or “bad,” per the abhorrent treatment of Vietnam veterans upon returning in the early 1970s.   Moreover, being a soldier doesn’t necessitate being “patriotic”, “heroic”, or even “strong,” although many fit those descriptions.  Sadly “patriotism” can be a dangerously misguided concept, as many are forced to fight for causes they neither agree with or understand, a tragedy worse even than being shot at.  For these factors – and many others – I have the utmost respect for those risking their lives in the defense of others, and conversely, unparalleled hatred for those giving marching orders.

I have been fortunate enough to be born in peacetime, and if World War III starts in Iran, Israel, or elsewhere, will be too old to serve.  Unfortunately, hundreds of millions were not so lucky, such as the 1.2 million Americans that have died in at least 40 wars (depending how war is defined) in just 235 years – not to mention the 1.6 million wounded, and countless others whose lives were destroyed by such incursions.

Throughout history, no less than one billion people’s lives have been terminated or destroyed by war, the large majority of which were SOLDIERS.  Men and women who, regardless of their personalities, backgrounds, and reasons, followed orders from a handful of “elites” that never faced a gunshot, bayonet, or land mine.  Incalculable deaths and debilitating injuries in the name of events with no historical significance, such as the Iran/Iraq war (2 million dead), Napoleonic Wars (3 million), Crusades (3 million), Korean War (4 million), 30 Years War (11 million), and World War I (20 million).

Military and Civilian War Related Deaths Through the Ages

And those were just the wars of conquest, as opposed to revolution and genocide.  It is estimated that five million died in the Congo ten years ago, five million in Vietnam, nine million in the Bolshevik Revolution, and up to 100 million in the Chinese uprisings of the 19th Century.  All those SOLDIERS dead, money spent, time wasted, and lives destroyed, for WHAT?

List of wars and anthropogenic disasters by death toll

I will never be able to empathize with the plight of soldiers, risking their lives and obediently taking orders from people they’d never met, often in the name of causes they neither believe in nor understand.  However, I can certainly sympathize, as soldiers experience horrors – both physical and mental – that no man, woman, or child should be exposed to.  I’d pray this anti-war message will be heard and heeded, but I know that will never be the case.  Thus, I can only hope time – and luck – works in the favor of this generation’s youth, and if that works, out I’ll pray for the next generation as well.

Unfortunately, the Middle Eastern war drums are deafening – as loud as at any time in my life – so if and when military confrontation breaks out, I want the SOLDIERS to know I unconditionally support their efforts at survival, without judgment or prejudice.  And when I say soldiers, I mean ALL soldiers, be they American, Israeli, Iranian, or otherwise.