Wars Are for Making Money or Gaining Power
'All the reasons which made the initiation of physical force evil make the retaliatory use of physical force a moral imperative.'
- Ayn Rand, Russian-American writer and philosopher (1905 - 1982)
No doubt the pivotal word in Ms. Rand's quote is "moral." Every leader who proposes war--who advocates violence of any kind to others--does so on moral grounds. "It's the right thing to do under the circumstances before we have big problems." Moral response to offensive physical force always has a religious connection. Seldom is the more secular ethics explanation (excuse) given for revenge.
Islamists--not Muslims, but former Muslims who perverted the words of the Prophet and the Qu'ran to something political and violent--claim that everything and everyone they don't like is a threat to Islam or an insult to the Prophet. Few (if any) of such claims are valid references to the Qu'ran, most are concocted lies designed to deceive the innocent (who never check the facts) into committing acts of violence, including suicide bombing and killing that solidifies membership in such perverse groups as the Taliban or Al Qaeda.
Former US President George W. Bush went to war with Afghanistan and received support from American people and the governments and militaries of many countries by claiming that revenge was necessary after the events of 9/11. The undercurrent of his revenge speeches always pitted Islam against Christianity in the USA. Though both the Taliban and Al Qaeda have continued and flourished since the war began, not a single act of violence is known to have occurred since September 11, 2001 on US soil. Precautions were taken to prevent them, which could easily have been done without beginning a war. Will Mr. Bush's oil investor friends profit when a pipeline is run over Afghan soil from oil-rich former Soviet states to the sea from where it may be shipped to any part of the world? Certainly.
President Bush also took his country to war with Iraq (with less support than for Afghanistan) by claiming it was morally right to attack a country that had Weapons of Mass Destruction (which the US had sold to Iraq, but which Iraq had used up in its war with Iran). He claimed that it was the moral duty of Americans and any right thinking people of other countries to eliminate the repressive regime of Saddam Hussain (remember the Axis of Evil?). He could have made that claim about any Arab country, as we are now learning, but most of the others do not have huge oil reserves underground.
Though the Tutsis and the Hutus of Rwanda had lived together in tense harmony since the departure of German imperialists, the minority Tutsis ran the government while the majority Hutus were considered (by the Tutsis and the Germans before them) inferior and incapable of being employed in government service. Hutu leaders pleaded moral outrage at the prejudice against their people. When war between the two began, it was brutally violent. It turned into a genocide because the Tutsis did not have the power to fight back with equal measure. The Tutsis eventually gained allies and weapons sufficient to bring the war to a close in a stalemate. It was the moral claim by the Hutus of prejudice and repression by the Tutsis that fired up what became the genocide. Nearly a million people died, countless survivors will never get over the emotional scars.
A more recent example of genocide happened in Kosovo where the Christian Serbs were morally outraged at the Muslim Albanians for [insert the excuse that suits you, the Serbs used many, none of which were valid--it was a religious war and everyone knew it except the Serb fighters].
Americans still claim that everyone in their country would be speaking German if the US had not entered the Second World War in 1941. As unsupportable as this claim is--such language migrations have never happened successfully in history--it was moral infuriation of Americans against Hitler that resulted in the declaration of war. World domination would not succeed any better for Hitler, if he had been left to his own plans, than it had for the British with its empire that encompassed nearly one-quarter of the land mass of the planet, or the Roman Empire or the empires of any self-appointed world emperor because military domination requires far more cash than any country can produce no matter how many allies it might have. (Big empires cost too much to support--see the history of the USSR.) But the fear of Hitler brought moral rectitude into play until enough countries destroyed Hitler and his Nazis.
Since its creation Israel has received enormous financial help from the US. Conspiracy theorists claim this happened because of the huge influence Jewish industrialists and media barons have over the US government. While this theory is largely unsupportable (no one claimed the Jews were taking over the US when they controlled the garment industry, for example), it continues to exist for reasons that are mostly based on religious prejudice. The US supports Israel due to guilt over its not taking action against the Nazi genocide of Jews, which results in millions of deaths in Europe. Guilt always has a religious (moral) base.
While many people die and more suffer in any war, on both sides, a few always become rich (or richer). Those few always lead the charge of moral outrage against the enemy they intend to plunder. While Germany and Japan lost the Second World War and neither had any oil to speak of, both were physically destroyed in war and rebuilt later into economic giants as a result of investments and loans from wealthy people in the "winning" countries.
In today's world, those with money have power. While this has been the case throughout human history, it is more true today when rich people can buy influence over elected decision makers. The wealthy don't need to hold power when they can buy it.
Bill Allin is the author of Turning It Around: Causes and Cures for Today's Epidemic Social Problems, a guidebook for parents and teachers who want their children to grow and develop in all ways necessary, not just intellectually and physically. Social problems in our cities (and the taxes they cause) demonstrate the urgent need for change.
Learn more at http://billallin.com