article: War is Good for Business

War Is Good for Business
Commentary Read on KGNU fm Boulder County Community Radio 9/13/01

By Joseph B. Juhasz 

The secretary of state has said that Monday’s terrorist attacks on New York and Washington mean war. The president and commander-in-chief has promised retaliation against the terrorists and those who harbor them.

Thus, we are caught up in a series of events greater than any of us, and it behooves us to try to understand these events: the acts of terrorism, the state of undeclared war, the promise of retaliation against those responsible and those who might harbor those who are responsible.

In capsule then, undeclared guerilla war against the remaining one superpower; that guerilla war being taken as a state of war by said superpower (us); and the concept of retaliation as the effective means of waging such a war by said superpower (us).

It’s about war.

When one tries to analyze and understand a war, it is best to look, at the minimum, at two facets: war rhetoric and war profiteering. What is being said; who stands to profit.

With regard to war rhetoric, it is always the quest on the part of both parties, to take the moral high ground. Yet, war itself is not on the moral high ground: thus war rhetoric is a fascinating example of the abasement of language-that is to say of propaganda, advertising, and the management of “opinions.”

The terrorists have said nothing openly, as no one has taken responsibility for these acts. Covertly, one assumes that the rhetoric has to do with the US as “the great Satan.” How destroying noncombatants diminishes the power of Satan is unclear. Crusades and holy wars have long histories-but search high or low for successful crusades, even crusades in Europe, and you will see that they do not succeed in eradicating alleged “Satan.”

The rhetoric being put together by our government appears to frame this, as a war to make the world safe for civilization and unsafe for barbarians. It seems to say that the world can be and will be made safe for civilization by means of organized violence (war) against barbarians: punishment, vengeance, &c. This rhetoric has a long history-yet I do not believe there is a single instance in history where violence has suppressed barbarism if for no their reason, then because the suppression of barbarism by violence is itself barbaric.

When a hundred years from now historians will look back to the inception of this war, they will wryly smile at the rhetoric of both sides and mourn the lives lost. They will also look at who stood to profit and who did profit from the war.

Who stands to profit from a war-any war? Anyone on either side who has investments in war industries and war materials. Anyone who has investments in these things anywhere at all. German industrialists profited from world war 2 as did Japanese and American industrialists. Confederate blockade-runners and confederate industrialists profited from the civil war-as did northern merchants and industrialists. It is in part because both sides profit from war that neither side “wins” a war: neither Satan nor the barbarians are eradicated-satanic and barbarian investors laugh all the way to the bank while innocents bleed.

As everyone knows: war is good business; it is the sure fire recipe for avoiding or pulling out of economic hard times.

The real oddity of this war is that all appears quiet on the investment front. When will the stock exchanges open so that we can graphically see who stands to benefit from this war?

What causes war? Rhetoric or greed?

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