"...it's not the training to be mean but the training to be kind that is used to keep us leashed best." ~ Black Dog Red

"In case you haven't recognized the trend: it proceeds action, dissent, speech." ~ davidly, on how wars get done

"...What sort of meager, unerotic existence must a man live to find himself moved to such ecstatic heights by the mundane sniping of a congressional budget fight. The fate of human existence does not hang in the balance. The gods are not arrayed on either side. Poseiden, earth-shaker, has regrettably set his sights on the poor fishermen of northern Japan and not on Washington, D.C. where his ire might do some good--I can think of no better spot for a little wetland reclamation project, if you know what I mean. The fight is neither revolution nor apocalypse; it is hardly even a fight. A lot of apparatchiks are moving a lot of phony numbers with more zeros than a century of soccer scores around, weaving a brittle chrysalis around a gross worm that, some time hence, will emerge, untransformed, still a worm." ~ IOZ

Apr 15, 2010

Scylla Over Here, Charybdis Over There


I get the argument. Sort of.


Short version: Afghan war = bad because Americans don't have jobs, which could be created if only that Afghan war money was spent on job creation.

Kept within the confines of its own argument, the position seems reasonable enough. Don't drop bombs over there, build factories and whatnot over here.

Except - it just flat ignores the underlying contradictions.

Let's say we*  "get out of Afghanistan."

What then?

Will McDonnell-Douglas-Boeing-ExxonMobile-TimeWarner-GE-Disney stop occupying the middle marches of the North American continent? Will these leviathans stop extracting resources from underneath the feet of brown people everywhere else?

Who will control these "jobs created" by transferring payroll receipts to these State contracted private firms? Will Uncle tell GE how to set its wage scale? What about Wally World? Do we really want to have Uncle tax us to create low paying jobs for those of us not currently shit-stuck in a crap job, so that ADM et al can strip off the greater share of our labor value, to then buy up more politicians, who will undoubtedly trick up a war somewhere else?

Who will derive the lion share of the profit, and the political benefits of that accumulation, after most of the labor value gets skimmed and extracted?

How will ending the occupation of Afghanistan prevent these same corporate behemoths from using that power and new accumulation to find a better military playground, one not tied up so intimately with imperial graveyards, opium and "pathologically unconquerable" tribal recidivists?

I should also note that the appeal to "jobs creation" ignores the most obvious, discernible and easily recognizable problem with occupying Afghanistan - we* kill them, loot their land, bomb their homes and imprison those stupid enough to speak up about it. We* turn our neighbors and children into murderers, to do so.

Ending occupation of Afghanistan seems like a no brainer. I get the argument. But, let's not take all that "saved money" just to strengthen corporations at home, under the false flag of "jobs creation," eh?

* - heh, the conceit, when the word really ought to read as They, as in the guys who occupy and buy the offices, sit at the desks, issue the orders, outline the quarterly estimates, determine recruitment needs, coordinate procurement with delivery, convince poor kids to don uniforms and kill other poor people who speak English and their own native tongues...


JM said...

What would this businesses be replaced with?

Richard said...

economic downturns seem to invariably follow military demobilizations and decreases in defense spending

and, beyond that, the "war on terror" seems to be quite profitable for those corporations involved in it, and may partially explain the difficulty in bringing the occupations of Iraq and Afghanistan to an end

Jack Crow said...


Good point. So much of the parasitical American economy depends upon the war machine, that to end one of the two or three ongoing wars (at any given time) is tie off one of the supply sectors of the economy.