Skip to comments.War drums are beating for Iran. But who's playing them?
Posted on 12/18/2011 5:50:06 AM PST by Cardhu
In the 14th century there were two pandemics. One was the Black Death, the other was the commercialisation of warfare. Mercenaries had always existed, but under Edward III they became the mainstay of the English army for the first 20 years of what became the Hundred Years war. Then, when Edward signed the treaty of Brétigny in 1360 and told his soldiers to stop fighting and go home, many of them didn't have any homes to go to. They were used to fighting, and that's how they made their money. So they simply formed themselves into freelance armies, aptly called "free companies", that proceeded around France pillaging, killing and raping.
One of these armies was called the Great Company. It totalled, according to one estimate, 16,000 soldiers, larger than any existing national army. Eventually it descended on the pope, in Avignon, and held him to ransom. The pope made the mistake of paying off the mercenaries with huge amounts of cash, which only encouraged them to carry on marauding. He also suggested that they move on into Italy, where his arch-enemies, the Visconti, ran Milan. This they did, under the banner of the Marquis of Monferrato, again subsidised by the pope.
The nightmare had begun. Huge armies of brigands rampaging through Europe was a disaster second only to the plague. It seemed as if the genie had been let out of the bottle and there was no way of putting him back in. Warfare had suddenly turned into a profitable business; the Italian city states became impoverished as taxpayers' money was used to buy off the free companies. And since those who made money out of the business of war naturally wished to go on making money out of it, warfare had no foreseeable end.
(Excerpt) Read more at guardian.co.uk ...
There are collaborators in this ~ they know what they're doing.
The 14th century signaled another great change...the death of chivalry. With the advent of the English longbow (particularly at Crecy, Poitiers, and then Agincourt in the next century), the rules of engagement changed and the code of behavior of knights and “civilized” warfare with it.
Why should foreclosed mortgages be paid off? How about un-foreclosed mortgages? Why should a person who can't pay his bills be rewarded, while one who can pay his bills ends up having to pay his own bills plus the mortgage of the guy who can't?
And speaking of hospitals and schools, many times the money spent on the military has been send down their gaping maw in the past fifty years, and to what effect?
Yet Western Civilization has clearly defined enemies against which it must protect itself if it is to survive.
In the 14th century it was the church that lived in symbiosis with the military. Nowadays it is the politicians. The US government spent a staggering $687bn on “defense” in 2010. Think what could be done with that money if it were put into hospitals, schools or to pay off foreclosed mortgages.
I can sympathize with the thought that perhaps much of that money was wasted. Ive worked in the defense industry for 33 years and Ive produced equipment that went straight from receipt to the scrap heap. It was even known that was what would happen to it before it was ordered. Defense contracts, like any rent seeking behavior, generate its own constituency. It finances those constituencies and those constituencies finance campaigns and provide graft to politicians. (Free rides on the corporate jet, vacations in company owned hunting lodges, infinite golfing, to name a few.)
But when the author says, suppose we put money into hospitals, schools and paid off mortgages, he undermines his argument. These merely redirect the money to different constituencies, who then provide a different sort of graft. Michelle Obama, for example, had a well-paid position in a hospital with a vague job description. She got a million dollar award through her husband for the hospital and she got a substantial raise. Then, when she could no longer fill the role and had to leave the hospital eliminated her position. Thats just one example of how giving money away creates graft.
If theres a choice on where to uselessly spend money, Id prefer the graft be spent on the military. Given how rapidly wars progress today you cant ramp up to build something after the conflict starts. As Secretary of Defense Rumsfeld famously observed, You dont go to war with the Army you want. You go to war with the Army you have.
Yes!! Let’s melt the metal, hold hands, and sing Kumbaya! Peace and joy will prevail and muslims everywhere will love us!
Ron Paul forever!
Ignoring the Guardian’s silly spin on things for the moment, I want to question their axiom that this is a war somebody here wants. The truth is that nobody here wants to go to war with Iran; it’s just that the Iranians are forcing us to.
Before 1941, nobody in the US wanted war with Japan, but many people thought that such a war was increasingly likely, or even inevitable, because of unending Japanese militarism and aggression.
It took Pearl Harbor to force us into war. But today, with Iranian nuclear weapons and missile technology, we no longer can screw around until we are attacked.
And for their part, the Iranians are doing everything on their part to rattle sabres, brag and bloviate about how they are going to kick their enemies asses.
But even if you believe that this is all the US and Israeli belligerence, then why are all the Arab nations of the Gulf allied against the Iranian threat *to them*?
Saudi Arabia has announced that it *must* develop its own nuclear weapons to *counter* Iran’s nuclear weapons.
Archers could now kill you at a distance instead of bashing your head with a mace or splitting you open from breast bone to the crotch, which as everyone acknowledges, was a much more civilized way to die.
Disembowelment was the most glorious way to expire, guts being dragged out by the dogs...Oh, yeah, gimmie that ol' time religion.
Save your time and don't bother reading this bleeding heart rendition of how bad the USA is for saving the ass of the europeans in two WW and for decades after during the cold war.
Ungrateful snobs, the author needs to invest in a tooth brush.
Yes, the radicals in Iran are beating the drums for war.
What many people don’t understand is their reason for doing so.
Simply put — and, yes, it seems fantastical and ridiculous — they need war to force the return of the “Mahdi.”
Terrible, but true.
"...In 2003 Blackwater won a $27m no-bid contract for guarding Paul Bremer, then head of the Coalition Provisional Authority. For protecting officials in conflict zones since 2004, the company has received more than $320m. And this year the Obama government contracted to pay Xe Services a quarter of a billion dollars for security work in Afghanistan. This is just one of many companies making its profits out of warfare."
Blackwater has again changed its name from "Xe" to Academi.
With mercenaries you get a return on your "investment".
Not to excuse the Plague Bacillus, or anything-—buttt... didn’t them Muzzies attack us?
(i.e.—bobby Kennedy in ‘68?)
I agree with you that the military is not the only place where taxpayer’s money is wasted, redirecting it to another bunch of grifters is not a good idea.
Mr. Jones mixes half truths with blatant lies to reach his preordained liberal conclusions.
I'm thinking you'd be banging your head on the floor 5x a day!
So what? They provided a valuable service and were paid for it. We wasted a staggering sum on Stimuli and got zip in return. We wasted Trillions more on poverty programs and have more poverty to show for it. Our countrys defense is a constitutional expenditure. The other stuff, including hospitals, IS NOT.
Thirty plus years after Iran declared war on US, Iranian Revolutionary Guards are in Venezuela, Hezbollah set up shop in Mexico and the Muslim Brotherhood has an office or two in the White House.
In the meantime, ongoing US efforts to create a dialogue with Iran go nowhere.
If things continue like this the American people are going to need every blade of grass the Japanese feared so much because our political leaders do not act like they give a flying fig about our Nation’s continued existence.
“War drums are beating for Iran. But who’s playing them?”
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