Destroying to rebuild: the paradoxical logic of war

Posted on | maart 23, 2011 | No Comments

There is a video game called Destroy All Humans! 2: Make War Not Love that has been around for five years – from what I know at least, considering my ignorance of these things. While young people play this game to fill the void with pent-up energy that the video game allows to release, the logic of the game is based on the reality of what takes place in the real world today. War has its own logic rooted in ideology, value system, politics, economics, and culture that includes religion. That paradoxical logic may not make any sense to pacifists worshiping Mahatma Gandhi, but it is the aggressor who shall not inherit the earth, while the pacifist has a clear conscience!

Countries with the means to do so, as the US in the last fifty years, launch regional wars and then they have corporations rebuild the countries destroyed, thus generating economic activity and capital concentration. This is now unfolding before the world watching Libya on TV and web, just as it has in Iraq and Afghanistan. Three Islamic countries targeted for destruction by the US (NATO) war machine behind which there is the military-industrial complex; three Islamic countries where vital economic and strategic interests have been identified as ‘vital interests’. After the war is over, comes rebuilding by western corporations that have a ‘hold’ on the assets of those countries (oil in the case of Iraq and Libya) destroyed and rebuilt hostage.

After two days of the military offensive against Libya we have a situation in which there is massive destruction of the basic infrastructure that US, and EU multinational corporations will step in to rebuild after the civil war ends and a new regime replaces Gaddafi. But so far, Gaddafi’s defiance seems to pose the question of whether air operations are sufficient without ground troops to force him from power. But that was not what the UN Security Council voted on, and it was certainly not something the US, UK, or France (the crusading trio) advertised before commencing military operations.

Turkey continues to object to military intervention, but at the same time tries to show that it respects UN Security Council decision to impose a no-fly zone, and it permits its military installations to be used in operations against Libya. Greece, a long-time ally of Libya and right next door, expresses support for UN Security Council decision, and permits its naval bases in Crete to be used for resupply and launch operations against Libya. The cost to bankrupt Greece under IMF-EU austerity measures is an estimated one million euros per day!

Germany abstained from the UN Security Council vote, but it has endured the wrath of the ‘crusading trio’; a military alliance Germany views with deep suspicion. Nevertheless, it has allowed its military installations to be used for operations. Meanwhile, NATO cannot carry out any actions unless there is unanimous vote – having Turkey and Germany on the same side as China and Russia poses a problem, despite what countries are doing behind the scenes to support anti-Gaddafi operations.

The biggest problem for the ‘crusading trio’ is that the Arab League has now changed its position on military operations. Shocked at the fact that at least 110 tomahawk missiles were launched against pro-Gaddafi installations indiscriminately to destroy the infrastructure along with any human being standing in the way, the divided and politically bankrupt Arab League is now saying that it never meant for innocent human life to be lost and for such wholesale destruction to be visited on Libya. The ‘crusading trio’ is not releasing any information on civilians casualties; a policy the US adopted in the Iraq war.

The Arab League went as far as indicating that it was manipulated and used by the ‘crusading trio’, though it seems to support the UN Security Council’s vote. On 21 March 2011, US Defense secretary Robert Gates visiting St. Petersburg, urged Russia to be more energetically involved in global affairs, meaning to actively support the ‘crusading trio’ efforts against Gaddafi. Putin stated that the military operations constitute a Medieval crusade; language that Gaddafi uses as well in order to win world public opinion. President Dmitry Medvedev differs to a small degree.

The situation is becoming worse than Putin describes it. The UK and France differ about how to proceed just two days after military operations. Both are concerned that Germany’s position is undermining their united front at a time that France has decided on a major international gamble by assuming the lead role in Libya – perhaps duped by the US. Concerned that the situation is getting out of control with wider ramifications that will backfire, Obama and Robert Gates have stated that within a couple of days they want either NATO and/or EU to be in charge of the Libyan military operations, while US will be supportive from behind the scenes.

War has its own logic and it is not based on anything rational. War is based on the adventure and romance of raw power and tangible political and economic interests accruing to the victors. Will Libyans be better off after the uprising interrupted by crusading Western intervention? According to some estimates, Libya has the highest per capita income in Africa. Will this be the case after the ‘crusading trio’ is finished with Libya? After the Gaddafi regime, the need for reconstruction owing to the massive destruction of the country by the crusading trio will mean billions for western corporations in contracts, for which Libya will have to devote oil revenues and lower living standards.

It is true that Gaddafi favored the Warfala tribe from which he comes at the expense of other tribes. Many from his own tribe have defected, as have many from the Zawiya, Zentan, the Bani Walid, and Obeidat tribes.Most of these tribes believe they will be better off under a post-Gaddafi regime, but living standards will decrease as oil contracts will most likely be signed on less favorable terms than exist currently, and enormous amounts would have to be spent on reconstruction. Given that we have a global recession in which the multinational corporations are trying to squeeze every dollar or euro they can from any place in the world, Libya presents a great opportunity to make money. It is all in the name of freedom and democracy and above all for the people!

AUTHOR: Jon Kofas
E-MAIL: jonkofas [at]


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