Sunday, September 16, 2007

It's all explained by Bertolt Brecht.

Now it seems that we will be in Iraq for at least a few more years, regardless of who wins the Presidential election in 2008. And who knows how long we will be in Iran when we decide to go there later this year (that's a prediction.) In any event, Bertolt Brecht looms large in my cerebral cortex.

Brecht who escaped Germany some 75 years ago, wrote a play called Mother Courage while in exile. It was nominally about the Thirty Years War but was really about war's larger evil. There's one line in Mother Courage that is all there is to know, and all ye need to know:

"Peace is a waste of equipment."

You can't spend trillions year after year on weapons and not use them. A practice field is to a football team what Iraq is to our military. It's a place to work on new plays.


dawife said...

Too bad that equipment needs to be manned by soldiers who happen to be relatively young Americans.

Most likely those soldier aren't too well off or too well educated. Or relatives of those in congress. But of course they are sons, brothers, fathers, uncles moms, sisters, etc.
A recent NYTimes article profiled how many soldiers go to Iraq to get out of their personal dept. What a shame that really is.

geo said...

The real truth of the matter is this: Since the days of slaves and serfs, in other words, for just about all of human history, the little people--the people now dying in Iraq, soon to be dying in Iran, have been regarded as cannon fodder, or catapult fodder. In the late 19th century public health had declined to such a point that the British didn't have enough able-bodied people to fight the Boer war. It was only then that public health, mandated sanitary conditions, and hygienic housing and adequate food became causes the moneyed classes began fighting for.

Two predictions, by inauguration 2009 our cannon fodder will be in Iran, Iraq, Afghanistan and Pakistan. Also, the first year or two of the new administration will be dominated by debate about a reinstatement of the draft.

tore's tour said...

That's what's scary with huge nations like china (or india). they have a lot of cannon fodder to spare. especially since there's a certain imbalance between the genders after years of one child policy.