For those of you who have been taught to be conventional or traditional in thought and belief, and who adhere strictly to whatever our government and mainstream media tell us, I have some alarming news: How do we know a war is actually a racket, a fake conflict carried out for purposes of power-grabbing, border-redrawing, and money-slurping? When their ROE includes laughable articles like the Geneva Conventions and other mandates that clearly hamstring one or more opponents and thus draw out wars and conflicts interminably. This kind of behavior, one that puts trillions of dollars into the pockets of a few at the expense of the rest of us, is criminal and must be punished. But before we can mete out justice, we must study the molecular nature of it using hypercritical, nondestructive imaging and understand this organic machine inside out.
The aim of Part Two of my seven-part series is to continue my essay on the absurdity of war and once again plunge into the murky abyss. Given many of the concepts I present here are sacrilege to the average American, I beg your indulgence. I kindly ask that you simply listen and read with an open mind, consider my words, do your own research and analysis, then do something constructive and productive to counter the moves of the beast that kills so many of us good people. . . .
War is a Racket
Marine Corps Major General Smedley Darlington Butler coined the phrase and wrote the book, War Is A Racket. Several copies of the original 1935 edition are often on AbeBooks.com. Newer models are available from Amazon.
His brilliant expose introduces the concept of war as a money-making game that kills and maims good men who are blindly fighting for a hidden power that cares little for the ordinary fighting man and, these days, woman. Here we evaluate the veracity and authenticity of war and conflict to show that it is much more than a battle between one or more nations. There are many hidden agendas and motives we must learn about and understand, so we can somehow counter them in the next generation. But how do we even begin to evaluate a war, let alone its millions of moving parts?
Some in-depth factors I suggest you consider when further evaluating the “authenticity” of a war:
Justification: When assessing the reasons provided by a belligerent country for initiating a conflict, it’s essential to critically analyze the stated motives. Look for consistency and coherence in the explanations provided by the parties involved. If the justifications appear weak, inconsistent, or lack supporting evidence, it raises suspicions of hidden agendas. Genuine conflicts are typically driven by clear and compelling reasons: self-defense, protection of national interests or response to an immediate threat. These are rare in modern times.
Consistency and Coherence: Evaluate whether the reasons put forth by the parties involved are consistent and coherent. Do the statements and actions of the involved parties align with their stated motives? Look for logical connections between the stated goals and the actions taken to achieve them. Inconsistencies or contradictions in the explanations provided raise doubts about the authenticity of the conflict.
The initiation of conflict, whether interpersonal or on an international scale, is a significant event that can have far-reaching consequences. The justification for such conflict is therefore a matter of crucial importance. By critically analyzing the stated motives, and examining their consistency and coherence, one can effectively evaluate the validity of the reasons given for instigating a conflict. In scenarios where the justifications appear weak, inconsistent, or lack substantial supporting evidence, it raises doubts about the true motives behind the conflict, suggesting the presence of undisclosed agendas by a hidden hand of the power-masters.
Every conflict is rooted in a cause, a fundamental reason or a set of reasons that form the basis for the contention. The reasons can range from territorial disputes and resource allocation in international conflicts to disagreements over individual rights or perceived breaches of trust in interpersonal conflicts. These reasons must be clear, logically sound, and backed by concrete evidence. If these criteria are not met, it invariably leads to a suspicion of ulterior motives concealed behind the professed reasons or propaganda.
However, clarity and supporting evidence alone do not validate a conflict. Consistency and coherence of the reasons given play a significant role in substantiating the legitimacy of the conflict. Consistency refers to the constancy of the stated motives throughout the duration of the conflict. A nation proclaiming the protection of sovereignty as the cause for conflict, for instance, should maintain this position consistently. If it subsequently shifts the narrative to economic benefits, such inconsistencies raise red flags about the legitimacy of the conflict.
Coherence, on the other hand, implies a logical congruity between the stated reasons for conflict and the actions of the parties involved. If a party claims self-defense as its justification but initiates actions escalating the conflict beyond reasonable limits, like the Soviets are doing in Ukraine, it contradicts its stated motives and raises questions about its true intentions. Coherent justifications result in actions that align seamlessly with the stated reasons, strengthening the legitimacy of the conflict and reducing the likelihood of misinterpretations or misunderstandings.
In our current age of information, where facts and disinformation coexist and spread rapidly, the need for consistency and coherence in conflict justifications becomes increasingly paramount. The parties involved must ensure their stated reasons are not only compelling but also consistent and coherent with their actions. Any deviation or contradiction could cast doubt over the legitimacy of the conflict, escalating tensions, and potentially exacerbating the situation. Worse, the Russian Federation continues to issue propaganda and disinformation that skews public opinion, making it nearly impossible to evaluate the legitimacy of their actions. Their end game will reveal the true nature of why they attacked Ukraine. Personally, I say it’s because the Soviets need Ukraine to force the evolution of their own dark, backwards culture and bring them out of the Dark Ages. Please see my SOFREP article on this topic.
Inconsistent and incoherent justifications also impact the perception and response of third parties or neutral observers. International condemnation, imposition of sanctions, or even military intervention are potential consequences for a nation whose reasons for engaging in conflict lack consistency and coherence.
Therefore, a critical analysis of conflict justification is necessary in assessing the legitimacy of the conflict. It requires a thorough investigation into the clarity, consistency, and coherence of the stated motives. Any shortfall in these aspects can cast a long shadow of doubt, possibly revealing concealed agendas, and undermining the perceived legitimacy of the conflict. So for the integrity of their cause and to produce peaceful conflict resolution, it is incumbent on the involved parties to ensure their justifications are clear, consistent, coherent, and supported by solid evidence.
Supporting Evidence: Assess the presence or absence of supporting evidence for the stated motives. Genuine conflicts are typically accompanied by verifiable evidence that substantiates the need for military action, though this is now rare. This may include intelligence reports, documentation of threats or provocations, or factual information about imminent dangers. Lack of compelling evidence or over-reliance on vague or unsubstantiated claims can indicate that the stated justifications are pretextual, exaggerated or outright lies. False-flag attacks on Russia, carried out by Soviet-sponsored operators, have served as the stimulus for war against Ukraine, and all have been generated by the Soviet regime as pretext for invading and escalating the conflict. The Soviets rely excessively on ambiguous or unsubstantiated claims instead of presenting verifiable evidence. This overdependence on vague assertions indicates that the stated justifications are a smokescreen for concealed agendas.
Furthermore, the presentation of supporting evidence should be timely and transparent to ensure credibility. Late or secretive disclosure of evidence may not only cast doubts over its authenticity but may also undermine the perceived legitimacy of the conflict. It is, therefore, vital for the parties involved to provide evidence supporting their justifications at the earliest opportunity and in a transparent manner. The Soviets violate these tenets on all levels.
Alternative Solutions: Consider whether there were viable alternatives to military action that could have addressed the concerns or conflicts at hand. Genuine conflicts typically arise when diplomatic efforts, negotiations, or other peaceful means fail to resolve the underlying issues. If it appears that peaceful avenues were not adequately pursued or that there were overlooked diplomatic options, it raises questions about the true motivations behind the conflict. Soviets almost never pursue peaceful talks. They simply act, do some land-grabbing, kill innocent civilians, and eventually fade back into their own territory with the stolen loot.
These solutions refer to any possible means or strategies that could have been used to address the underlying issues before resorting to conflict. They may include diplomatic negotiations, economic sanctions, arbitration, mediation, or even appeals to international bodies like the United Nations in cases of international disputes. The feasibility of these alternative solutions is largely context dependent. For example, in an interpersonal conflict, alternative solutions could involve open communication, counseling, or mediation.
The exploration of alternative solutions demonstrates a commitment to peaceful resolution and reduces the potential for unnecessary conflict. If the parties involved can show that they have made sincere attempts to address the underlying issues using these alternatives, it strengthens the legitimacy of their eventual decision to engage in conflict, provided that these attempts have been unsuccessful.
On the other hand, if it appears that these alternatives were not sufficiently pursued or were prematurely dismissed, it casts doubt on the authenticity of the stated motives for the conflict. It suggests that the decision to initiate conflict might not have been the last resort, as it ought to be in genuine disputes. It also raises the possibility that the conflict was not actually driven by the stated reasons, but by undisclosed agendas.
Furthermore, a lack of efforts to explore alternative solutions can lead to greater resistance from external parties. This is particularly pertinent in the international arena, where the quick resort to conflict without exhausting peaceful options can draw widespread condemnation, potentially leading to sanctions or intervention.
Proportional Response: Assess whether the scale and intensity of the military action align with the stated motives. Genuine conflicts tend to involve a proportional response, where the military measures taken are directly related to the perceived threat or objective. If the military action appears disproportionately large or unrelated to the stated reasons, it suggests that the conflict might serve other ulterior motives. Soviet aggression in Ukraine appears to be about asserting power over previously held territories and their people, but there also are other motives at work that will soon reveal themselves in after-action reviews of the war.
In an international conflict, if a country’s stated motive is to repel an invasion or a specific threat to its territorial integrity, the actions it takes should be proportional to this threat. This may include defensive military actions specifically targeted at repelling the invasion. However, if the response involves large-scale, aggressive actions that exceed what is required to address the specific threat, it raises questions about the actual motives behind the conflict. An over-the-top response could imply the presence of additional, undisclosed objectives that the conflict might serve. Witness: the Soviets in Ukraine.
Lack of proportionality in response not only questions the legitimacy of the conflict but can also result in unintended consequences. It can escalate tensions, lead to unnecessary harm, and erode sympathy or support from neutral observers or third parties. This is particularly true in the international context where disproportionate military action can lead to international condemnation, imposition of sanctions, or even intervention. Soviets are savage animals that couldn’t care less what the international community thinks or how it reacts.
International Consensus: Consider the reactions and responses of the international community, including governments, intergovernmental organizations, and influential non-state players. Evaluate whether there is a broad consensus among independent entities that the conflict is justified based on the presented motives. Widespread skepticism or opposition to the justifications provided raises concerns about the authenticity of the conflict.
Governments and Intergovernmental Organizations: Analyze the positions taken by governments and intergovernmental organizations regarding the conflict. Consider whether there is a broad consensus among independent entities that the conflict is justified based on the presented motives. Evaluate whether influential nations or regional powers support or oppose the actions taken. It’s crucial to analyze whether there’s a broad consensus among these independent entities that the conflict is justified based on the presented motives. If widespread skepticism or opposition towards the stated justifications is observed, it raises serious concerns about the authenticity of the conflict.
The United Nations attempts to counter and silence hate speech, e.g. the kind of rhetoric that Russia and the Soviets broadcast via their state-sponsored propaganda.The international community, a collective term encompassing foreign governments, intergovernmental organizations like the United Nations or European Union (EU), and influential non-state actors like non-governmental organizations (NGOs)or multinational corporations, wields considerable power in shaping the narrative surrounding a conflict. Their stance, derived from an outside perspective, can provide crucial insights that parties directly involved in the conflict might overlook or intentionally downplay.
To evaluate the conflict justification, it’s vital to gauge the positions taken by foreign governments. These are often manifested through official statements, voting patterns in international bodies, or implemented policies, such as the imposition of sanctions or provision of military aid. A broad consensus among governments supporting the stated reasons for the conflict lends credibility to the conflict’s justification. Conversely, if influential nations or regional powers express skepticism or outright opposition, it suggests that the conflict’s stated motives may not fully align with observable actions and circumstances. In the case of the Soviets, international consensus clearly condemns the aggressor’s actions in Ukraine.
Intergovernmental organizations, such as the United Nations, African Union, or NATO, play a critical role in maintaining global peace and security. Their collective stance, often arrived at through deliberations and resolutions, can provide a well-rounded perspective on the conflict’s legitimacy. If these entities uphold the conflict’s justification, it bolsters the claim’s validity. However, if they oppose the actions taken, citing violation of international norms or rules, it casts doubts over the authenticity of the conflict.
Influential non-state actors, like NGOs or multinational corporations, add another dimension to this evaluation. Although not possessing political power, can influence public opinion and indirectly affect policy decisions. Their research, reports, or public campaigns can reveal ground realities and highlight discrepancies between stated motives and actual actions in a conflict.
Consider the viewpoints of human-rights organizations and NGOs working in the field of conflict and human rights. Evaluate their assessments of the situation, including reports on civilian casualties, human rights abuses, and violations of international humanitarian law. Widespread condemnation or documentation of misconduct by multiple reputable organizations raises questions about the legitimacy of the conflict. NGOs often serve as neutral observers, meticulously documenting events and reporting on the ground realities. Their viewpoints, represented through comprehensive reports on civilian casualties, human rights abuses, and violations of international humanitarian law, provide an invaluable lens for evaluating the legitimacy of the conflict.
Furthermore, these organizations often evaluate whether the parties involved are fulfilling their obligations to protect non-combatants and respect human rights during the conflict. High civilian casualties, gross human rights abuses, or the deliberate targeting of non-combatants are typically deemed as violations of these obligations, potentially invalidating any justification for the conflict, no matter how compelling it may seem.
If multiple reputable human rights organizations or NGOs provide similar findings of misconduct or violations, it raises a red flag. This not only brings into question the legitimacy of the conflict but also calls for immediate attention and corrective action. Such consensus among these organizations serves as a strong indication that the situation is not as it’s being portrayed by the parties involved in the conflict.
United Nations Resolutions: Assess the actions and resolutions of the United Nations (UN) and its relevant bodies, such as the Security Council and the General Assembly. Examine whether there have been resolutions or declarations regarding the conflict and the justifications provided by the parties involved. The level of support or opposition from the international community, as reflected in UN actions, can provide valuable insights into the authenticity of the conflict. As one of the most influential international organizations, the UN is mandated to maintain international peace and security. Its actions and resolutions, especially concerning conflicts, carry immense weight in determining the perceived legitimacy of a conflict.
The United Nations Security Council, endowed with the responsibility to ensure global peace and security, often passes resolutions related to conflicts, which can include imposing sanctions, authorizing the use of force, or mandating peacekeeping missions. These resolutions, backed by the international community, can help assess whether the justifications provided for a conflict align with international norms and the principle of proportionality. For example, if the Security Council condemns the actions of a party involved in a conflict or calls for a cessation of hostilities, it indicates that the international community does not deem the conflict justified.
The General Assembly, another important UN body, can also pass resolutions regarding conflicts. Although these are not legally binding, they express the international community’s collective stance on the issue, giving moral weight to the assessment of conflict justification. A majority support for a resolution condemning the conflict or disputing its justifications raises serious questions about the authenticity of the conflict.
Additionally, the UN, through its specialized agencies like the UN Human Rights Council or the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, can issue reports on the humanitarian situation in the conflict zone. These reports can provide invaluable information regarding civilian casualties, human rights abuses, or violations of international humanitarian law, supplementing the evaluation of the conflict’s legitimacy.
One year ago, the UN issued a statement condemning Russia for attacking Ukraine:
“We are collectively outraged and distressed by the Russian Federation’s aggression on the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Ukraine. Use of force by one State against another is fundamentally unacceptable and strikes at the very heart of the object and purposes of the Charter of the United Nations.
The consequences of this military attack on the protection and promotion of human rights in Ukraine will be profound and long-lasting and will cause immense suffering and irreparable harm through human rights and humanitarian law violations, forced displacement of civilians and environmental destruction. The consequences will last for generations.
We are profoundly concerned about the safety and protection of everyone in Ukraine and the well-founded fear which now pervades the daily life of every member of that society, and which has forced many to flee their country for safety.
The UN Charter, from which our collective work as experts on human rights flows, was created expressly to settle differences between States and to peacefully prevent armed conflict and protect the right to self-determination. By doing so, it establishes the basis for protection of the human rights and fundamental freedoms of all people.
We express our profound dismay at the violations of the right to life, liberty and security that have already occurred. The right to life is the bedrock right of our international legal order and the core human right which enables all other rights to be exercised. We are also profoundly troubled by the impact of the conflict on freedom of assembly, association and expression, including restrictions within the Russian Federation and call for all those arrested and detained to be treated consistently with the Russian Federation’s international human rights obligations.
We strongly urge the Russian Federation to listen to the collective voice of the international community which has unequivocally condemned its military actions as unacceptable to all.
As human rights experts, we urge the Russian Federation to observe and respect the principles of international law including the laws and customs of war related to the protection of the civilian populations, to end these hostilities immediately and unconditionally, and to restore the ability of the Ukrainian people to exercise all of their fundamental rights without military or external interference.”
Regional Consensus: Evaluate the positions of regional organizations and neighboring countries in relation to the conflict. Consider whether there is a consensus among countries in the region regarding the justifications provided. Regional dynamics and the responses of neighboring nations can shed light on the authenticity of the conflict and potential hidden agendas.
Regional organizations, such as the African Union, Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), or EU, consist of countries that share geographical proximity and often, common historical, cultural, or economic ties. Their collective stance on a conflict within their region is of considerable importance. Just as the UN resolutions do on a global scale, resolutions or statements by these regional organizations express a collective regional position on the conflict. If these bodies support the conflict’s justification, it adds to the legitimacy of the cause. However, if they express doubt or condemn the actions taken, it could imply that the stated justifications might not be entirely accurate or authentic.
Neighboring countries, due to their proximity to the conflict, are often among the most affected parties, dealing with consequences such as refugee flows, border instability, or spillover violence. Furthermore, an understanding of regional dynamics is vital to interpret the positions of regional organizations and neighboring countries accurately. Historical rivalries, shared cultural ties, or economic dependencies can influence a country’s stance on the conflict, which can either validate the justifications provided or expose potential hidden agendas.
Independent Analysis and Expert Opinions: Seek out independent analysis and expert opinions from respected scholars, analysts, and researchers who specialize in the region or the specific conflict. Assess their assessments of the situation, including their evaluation of the motives and justifications put forth by the parties involved. Diverse and well-supported expert opinions can provide additional perspectives on the authenticity of the conflict.
When evaluating conflict justification, the input of independent analysts, scholars, and experts specializing in the region or the conflict in question, is an invaluable resource. These professionals, often with decades of research and expertise, can provide detailed, nuanced perspectives on the conflict, dissecting the motives, and assessing the justifications put forth by the involved parties. Their diverse and well-supported opinions can provide a balanced and comprehensive view of the situation, contributing significantly to the understanding of the authenticity of the conflict.
Expert opinions from researchers who specialize in the region or the specific conflict carry significant weight due to their in-depth understanding of the underlying dynamics and complexities of the situation. Their analysis can elucidate intricate nuances, such as cultural subtleties, historical context, or regional dynamics, which may not be immediately apparent but can drastically affect the legitimacy of the conflict. They can also draw from comparable situations or conflicts, providing a comparative analysis that further enlightens the evaluation of the conflict justification.
However, while independent analysis and expert opinions are invaluable, it’s also crucial to ensure that these opinions are diverse and represent a broad range of viewpoints. This multiplicity allows for a more comprehensive understanding of the conflict, ensuring that the evaluation of the conflict justification isn’t skewed or one-sided. A range of opinions can also highlight areas of consensus or contention among experts, offering additional insight into the authenticity of the conflict.
“War is a racket. It always has been.” Major General Smedley Darlington Butler
Political and Economic Interests: Investigating the potential political and economic gains associated with a war can provide insights into its authenticity. Wars have historically been linked to ambitions for territorial expansion, control over strategic resources or geopolitical dominance. Analyze the interests of the parties involved, including governments, corporations, or influential individuals, and evaluate whether their actions align with these interests. Consider factors such as access to resources, influence in a region, economic benefits from military contracts or the consolidation of power.
Territorial Expansion: Nations may seek to acquire or control specific territories to extend their influence, secure valuable resources, or establish strategic positions. Analyze whether the conflict involves disputed territories or regions with geopolitical significance. Assess whether the parties involved have historically expressed ambitions for territorial expansion in those areas. The motive of territorial expansion has, for centuries, driven nations into conflict. When investigating the authenticity of a conflict and the motives behind it, it is essential to examine whether territorial expansion plays a part in driving the parties involved. Nations may covet specific territories to extend their geopolitical influence, secure valuable resources, or establish strategic positions. By examining the circumstances surrounding territorial disputes and historical ambitions, we can gain deeper insights into the justifications for a conflict.
When a conflict involves disputed territories or regions of geopolitical significance, it potentially flags territorial expansion as a driving force. Disputed territories often have a history of contention and are seen as valuable due to their strategic location, economic resources, or cultural significance. A conflict centered on such regions could be a manifestation of deep-seated territorial ambitions. It is vital to consider the geographical context of the conflict, whether it encompasses major trade routes, oil reserves, or historically contested borders, to discern if territorial gain might be a covert motivation behind the conflict.
Analyzing historical patterns of territorial ambitions of the parties involved can further substantiate or challenge the stated justifications. Have the parties involved historically sought to extend their territories, particularly into the regions currently in dispute? Have they made territorial claims or displayed expansionist tendencies in the past? A pattern of such behavior could indicate that the current conflict is a continuation of these territorial desires, even if the stated reasons suggest otherwise.
Moreover, the rhetoric used by the parties involved, both in domestic and international forums, can be a telltale sign of territorial motives. Declarations of historical or cultural ties to the disputed territory, allegations of protecting ethnic kin, or emphasis on strategic importance often accompany territorial ambitions and should be critically assessed in the conflict analysis.
Control Over Strategic Resources: Wars can be fueled by the quest for control over strategic resources, such as oil, natural gas, minerals, or waterways. Investigate whether the conflict region possesses significant resources that are valuable in terms of economic or military power. Consider whether controlling these resources would provide the involved parties with a clear economic advantage or enhance their geopolitical influence.
Historically, control over strategic resources has been a prominent motive behind many conflicts. A desire for resources such as oil, natural gas, minerals, or control over strategic waterways can drive nations into war, often masked behind other justifications. Therefore, when assessing conflict justification, it is critical to consider whether control over such resources could be a hidden factor motivating the parties involved.
A conflict region endowed with significant resources instantly raises suspicions about the true motives behind the conflict. Such resources are typically essential for economic prosperity or military power. Therefore, controlling them would provide the involved parties with an economic advantage and enhance their geopolitical influence. For instance, oil and natural gas reserves can dramatically boost a nation’s economy and secure its energy needs. Similarly, minerals like uranium can serve both civilian and military purposes, while control over waterways can significantly influence global trade routes.
When assessing the authenticity of a conflict, it’s essential to evaluate whether the possession of such resources aligns with the economic interests or geopolitical ambitions of the involved parties. Do these parties stand to gain significantly from the control over these resources? Would these resources boost their economies, solidify their domestic power bases, or enhance their international standing? If so, it becomes increasingly plausible that the desire for these resources might be driving the conflict, even if it’s not explicitly stated in their justifications.
Geopolitical Dominance: Some conflicts are driven by aspirations for geopolitical dominance. Powerful nations may seek to exert influence over a particular region to establish dominance, weaken rivals, or secure access to key trade routes. Examine the geopolitical dynamics and power struggles in the region. Evaluate whether the parties involved have a history of pursuing regional dominance or challenging existing power structures. A history of pursuing regional dominance or challenging existing power structures can indicate potential geopolitical motives behind a conflict. Have the parties involved demonstrated consistent efforts to consolidate or expand their influence in the region? Have they previously engaged in power struggles or conflicts that served to weaken their rivals or establish their supremacy? If such patterns are evident, the conflict might be another maneuver in their pursuit of regional dominance, regardless of the stated justifications.
Many conflicts are driven by the strategic ambition of powerful nations to exert influence over a particular region, establish dominance, weaken rivals, or secure access to key trade routes. Therefore, a detailed examination of the geopolitical dynamics and power struggles in the region is necessary to uncover the true motives behind a conflict. Geopolitical dynamics are shaped by a multitude of factors including history, geography, culture, economy, and military power. These factors collectively determine a nation’s status and influence in a region. Nations often strive to gain an upper hand in these dynamics, shaping their actions, alliances, and confrontations. When a conflict emerges in such a context, it is essential to analyze if the conflict aligns with a pattern of power struggle or the pursuit of dominance.
For example, a conflict over a region with key trade routes can be viewed as an attempt to control the economic lifelines of rival nations. Similarly, a conflict in a region that is culturally or politically influential could be a strategy to mold regional opinion in their favor or project their influence.
Interests of Governments, Corporations, and Influential Individuals: Analyze the interests of the parties involved, including governments, corporations, and influential individuals. Governments may engage in wars to divert attention from domestic issues, consolidate power, or boost nationalistic sentiments. Corporations and individuals with economic stakes in the region may seek to capitalize on the war by gaining control over resources, securing lucrative contracts, or expanding their market share. Assess whether the actions and behavior of these entities align with their interests in the conflict region.
Analyzing conflict justification requires a comprehensive understanding of the interests of all parties involved. This includes not only the governments but also corporations and influential individuals who might have a stake in the conflict. Their interests and potential gains from the conflict can provide valuable insights into its authenticity, unearthing hidden agendas that might be driving the conflict.
Governments often have complex motives when engaging in conflicts. Some might use war as a diversion from domestic issues, effectively distracting the populace from internal failures or controversies. In other instances, conflicts can be a strategy to consolidate power, where a government uses the conflict to rally public support, boost nationalistic sentiments, or undermine political opposition. When assessing conflict justifications, it is crucial to scrutinize whether such political benefits align with the actions of the government and the state of domestic affairs.
Corporations and influential individuals with economic stakes in the conflict region represent another layer of complexity. They might seek to capitalize on the conflict by gaining control over valuable resources, securing lucrative contracts, or expanding their market share. For instance, defense contractors could profit immensely from war through the sale of arms and equipment, while oil corporations might benefit from access to new reserves. Hence, the financial interests of such entities must be factored into the analysis.
Furthermore, the actions and behavior of these governments, corporations, and individuals need to be evaluated. Are they behaving in a way that aligns with their interests in the conflict? For example, is a government emphasizing patriotic themes and downplaying domestic issues? Are corporations lobbying for continued engagement in the conflict? Are influential individuals investing heavily in industries that stand to gain from the conflict? If the answers to such questions point towards the conflict serving their interests, suspicions about the authenticity of the conflict increase.
Economic Benefits from Military Contracts: Military conflicts can generate significant economic benefits through the production and procurement of weapons, equipment, and services. Examine whether the war provides an opportunity for arms manufacturers, defense contractors, or private military companies to secure profitable contracts. Evaluate whether there is a pattern of financial gains for specific industries or entities linked to the conflict.
The economic advantages derived from military contracts represent a significant, albeit often overlooked, aspect of conflict justification. These contracts, involving the production and procurement of weapons, equipment, and various services, can generate substantial economic benefits, which can, in turn, shape the motives and decisions related to a conflict. Therefore, understanding this dimension is crucial to decipher the authenticity of a conflict and its justifications.
Arms manufacturers, defense contractors, and private military companies often secure profitable contracts during times of conflict. The need for weapons, equipment, military technology, and professional services usually skyrockets during war, creating lucrative opportunities for these entities. The inflow of these contracts can lead to increased profits, market expansion, and even technological advancements for the companies involved. As such, they might have a vested interest in the initiation or continuation of a conflict.
When assessing conflict justifications, it’s essential to examine the potential financial gains associated with military contracts. Are certain industries or entities benefitting disproportionately from the conflict? Has there been an increase in military contracts coinciding with the conflict’s escalation? If so, these correlations can raise suspicions about the true motives behind the conflict.
Moreover, it’s crucial to assess whether these entities have any influence over the decision-makers involved in the conflict. Are defense contractors lobbying politicians? Do arms manufacturers have strong ties with the military or government? If there is evidence of such relationships, it might indicate that economic interests are shaping the conflict’s dynamics, thereby questioning the authenticity of its justifications. Remember: the military-industrial complex is, well, kinda intentionally complex so prying eyes are thrown off the course of any investigation.
Consolidation of Power: Wars can be used as a means to consolidate power domestically. Leaders or ruling elites may exploit conflicts to enhance their authority, suppress dissent, or divert resources towards the military-industrial complex. Evaluate whether the war coincides with power struggles within the involved governments or if it serves to bolster the authority of certain individuals or groups.
War and power are intricately interwoven concepts, with conflicts often serving as a potent tool for power consolidation. Leaders and ruling elites can manipulate conflicts to enhance their authority, suppress dissent, or divert resources towards the military-industrial complex. Thus, when assessing the justifications for a conflict, it is essential to scrutinize these possible ulterior motives concerning the consolidation of power.
Domestic political landscapes play a crucial role in shaping a nation’s engagement in conflict. Power struggles within governments or ruling elites can manifest as conflicts, cloaked under the guise of other justifications. Therefore, it is important to examine whether a conflict coincides with such power struggles. Are there political factions or individuals whose power would be enhanced by the conflict? Does the conflict serve to diminish the influence of potential rivals or critics? All these countries are directly controlled by one entity, the power-masters who also own and control the Bank for International Settlements, the funding source of all wars and conflicts.
Furthermore, leaders might exploit conflicts to suppress dissent or opposition. The state of war often creates an atmosphere where dissent is labeled as unpatriotic or even treasonous, effectively silencing critics and reinforcing the authority of those in power. A conflict that occurs amidst growing dissent or opposition can raise suspicions about the true motives behind the conflict.
The military-industrial complex’s expansion can also signal attempts to consolidate power. Leaders may divert resources towards this sector to strengthen their control over the military and defense industries, which are crucial power bases. Therefore, a sudden increase in military spending or a substantial growth in the military-industrial complex during a conflict might suggest hidden power motives.
Historical Context: Examining the historical background leading up to a conflict can reveal patterns of behavior and provide valuable context. Look for precedents of similar conflicts, previous territorial disputes, or geopolitical rivalries in the region. Consider the involvement of external actors, such as countries providing military support or intelligence, as their interests and historical interactions can shed light on potential ulterior motives. By understanding the historical dynamics, you can assess whether the conflict is part of a broader pattern or serves a specific agenda.
Patterns of Behavior: By studying the historical context, you can identify patterns of behavior that may shed light on the motives behind the conflict. Look for precedents of similar conflicts in the region or involving the parties involved. Assess whether there is a history of territorial disputes, ethnic or religious tensions, or power struggles. Identifying recurring themes can help determine whether the current conflict fits into a broader pattern or is an isolated incident. Historically, the Soviets have always been aggressive toward its neighbors, but many of them have defeated Soviet aggression and sent the losers back to their dungeons. Still, the Soviets don’t learn from their mistakes and continue their acts of violence.
An analysis of a conflict’s justifications would be incomplete without scrutinizing the historical context and identifying behavioral patterns that might illuminate underlying motives. By delving into historical precedents and recurring themes, we can make a more informed assessment of whether the conflict aligns with a broader pattern or serves a specific, potentially hidden, agenda.
The historical background leading up to a conflict often reveals invaluable insights about the context and trajectory of the situation. Previous conflicts, territorial disputes, and geopolitical rivalries in the region or involving the parties in question can provide a comparative lens. For instance, if a region has been riddled with territorial disputes for decades, a new conflict over a different issue might, in reality, be an outgrowth of this historical friction.
It’s also important to consider the role and interests of external actors in the conflict, as their actions and historical interactions can provide a broader perspective. Countries providing military support, intelligence, or other forms of assistance often have vested interests in the conflict’s outcome. For instance, if a country has consistently backed a particular faction in a region due to geopolitical interests, its involvement in a new conflict could suggest a continuation of its historical agenda.
However, it’s equally important to distinguish between a pattern and an isolated incident. If the conflict does not fit into identifiable historical patterns, it may suggest that unique circumstances or agendas drive it.
Previous Territorial Disputes: Historical territorial disputes can be indicative of underlying motives for a war. Analyze past conflicts or disagreements over land or resources in the region. Evaluate whether the current conflict is a continuation or escalation of unresolved disputes. Consider whether there have been previous attempts at peaceful resolutions, negotiations, or diplomatic initiatives.
In any assessment of conflict justifications, historical territorial disputes often serve as a telling point of reference. These disputes, lingering under the veneer of current conflict narratives, may indeed underpin the motives for war, serving as embers of discord that have the potential to erupt into flames of conflict.
Historically, the territorial disputes in any region have been significant drivers of war, irrespective of the present justifications put forth. By scrutinizing these past disagreements over land, borders, and resources, one can gain valuable insights into the root causes of the current conflict. Is the conflict, at its core, a manifestation of historical territorial issues, merely dressed in contemporary garb? A careful comparative study of past and present territorial claims can provide an answer to this question.
Evaluating whether the current conflict represents a continuation or escalation of unresolved territorial disputes is also crucial. Such an assessment involves tracing the trajectory of these disputes and how they’ve evolved over time. Has the conflict morphed into a different form, or is it simply an intensification of past hostilities? Identifying these patterns provides a broader picture of the conflict’s genesis and the fundamental issues at play.
Moreover, assessing previous attempts at peaceful resolutions, negotiations, or diplomatic initiatives concerning these territorial disputes provides important context. This analysis can illuminate whether these avenues were exhausted or bypassed, and how this might contribute to the current conflict. For example, if a history of failed negotiations precedes the conflict, it could indicate deeply entrenched positions that have now resulted in an outbreak of hostilities.
Geopolitical Rivalries: Geopolitical rivalries play a significant role in shaping conflicts. Investigate whether there are long-standing rivalries or power struggles between nations or regional actors in the area. Assess the historical interactions and interests of external actors who have a stake in the conflict. Understanding these rivalries can reveal hidden agendas or ulterior motives tied to the conflict. In understanding the complexity of conflict justifications, geopolitical rivalries often serve as a hidden but crucial layer that shapes the contour of disputes. Long-standing rivalries or power struggles between nations or regional actors can be a powerful catalyst for conflict, beyond the ostensible reasons put forth by the parties involved.
Understanding these rivalries, in essence, involves unraveling the complex web of geopolitical power dynamics that envelop the region. A thorough investigation of the historical tensions, rivalries, or power struggles between nations in the region or involving the parties can shed light on the subtext of the conflict. Such analysis may highlight any endemic competition for regional dominance or control over strategic resources, further clarifying the real stakes of the conflict. It also offers essential insights into the hidden agendas or ulterior motives tied to the conflict. It challenges us to look beyond the presented justifications, to read between the lines of the public discourse and delve into the less-apparent but equally potent forces shaping the whole mess.
Historical interactions and interests of external actors also play a significant role in conflict dynamics. Countries, corporations, or influential individuals with a stake in the conflict might not be directly involved but can nonetheless significantly shape its course. For instance, external actors providing military support, financial aid, or strategic resources might be doing so not merely out of altruism, but to further their interests or ambitions. Unveiling these hidden actors and their motivations often reveals the chessboard on which the conflict plays out.
Involvement of External Actors: Examine the involvement countries providing military support, intelligence, or financing to the parties involved. Investigate their historical interactions with the region and their interests in the conflict. Evaluate whether these external actors have a history of meddling in regional affairs or pursuing their own geopolitical or economic objectives. Their past actions and alliances can provide insights into potential ulterior motives or power dynamics at play.
The complexity of modern conflict often extends beyond the borders of the countries directly involved, thus necessitating an analysis of external actors. These actors, such as countries offering military support, intelligence, or financing, significantly influence the trajectory of conflicts and shape their outcomes.
The assessment of external actors involves a multi-faceted investigation. It requires examining their tangible involvement in the conflict. Are they providing military support or funding to the involved parties? If so, what forms does this support take, and how does it influence the dynamics on the ground? This tangible support often is a manifestation of deeper interests in the conflict. Past alliances, confrontations, or interventions can illuminate the underlying motivations driving their current actions. It’s essential to decipher whether these external actors have a history of meddling in regional affairs or have consistently pursued their own geopolitical or economic objectives in the region. Such a pattern could suggest that their involvement is more self-serving than altruistic.
The interests of these externals in the conflict are of paramount importance in understanding their motivations. Are they seeking to gain control over strategic resources, secure their political dominance, maintain the status quo, or drive a change? Answers to these questions could help decipher the broader geopolitical or economic objectives at play and reveal potential ulterior motives.
Broader Patterns and Agendas: By understanding the historical dynamics, it becomes possible to assess whether the conflict is part of a broader pattern or serves a specific agenda. Consider whether the war aligns with a country’s historical expansionist tendencies, regional influence ambitions, or efforts to secure resources. Analyze whether there are geopolitical or economic factors that may influence the conflict beyond the immediate issues being addressed.
The causes of conflict seldom exist in isolation. They are typically embedded within a web of historical dynamics, geopolitical motivations, and economic aspirations. Understanding these broader patterns and agendas is crucial to discerning whether a conflict serves a particular purpose beyond its immediate issues.
Historical dynamics play an invaluable role in this analysis. The actions of countries involved in a conflict often mirror their past behaviors. For instance, a nation with a history of expansionist tendencies might use a current conflict as a cover for further territorial acquisitions. Similarly, a country with past ambitions for regional influence might engage in a conflict to strengthen its dominance or curb the power of a rival. Hence, understanding these historical dynamics allows for the prediction of possible future actions and intentions of the involved nations.
Economic and geopolitical factors also weigh heavily in the assessment of broader patterns. Conflicts often serve as strategic tools for countries to secure valuable resources or strengthen geopolitical positioning. A country might justify its involvement in a conflict on humanitarian or security grounds while simultaneously benefiting economically or geopolitically. Thus, it becomes imperative to scrutinize whether the parties involved are motivated by factors beyond the immediate issues at hand.
An awareness of these broader patterns and agendas can also be useful in uncovering hidden narratives or intentions. Are the conflict’s perceived causes the real triggers, or are they merely a façade for underlying objectives? If the reasons presented for a conflict seem inconsistent or weak, it may hint at concealed agendas or wider patterns. It is through this meticulous analysis that we can pierce the veil of surface-level narratives and reach the heart of the conflict’s true causes and implications.
Manipulation of Information: Evaluate how information is presented and disseminated to the public during a conflict. Manipulation of information can be indicative of attempts to shape public opinion or obscure the true nature of the war. Look for consistent patterns of disinformation, propaganda, or biased reporting from both official and unofficial sources. Pay attention to the media landscape, censorship, and the suppression of dissenting voices. Independent journalism, access to multiple perspectives, and critical analysis are essential in countering potential attempts to manipulate public perception.
Consistent Patterns of Disinformation: Look for consistent patterns of disinformation, propaganda, or biased reporting from both official and unofficial sources. Assess whether the information being disseminated aligns with verifiable facts or whether it is distorted or selectively presented to support a particular narrative. Scrutinize the consistency and coherence of the information being shared, especially if it contradicts well-established facts or independent sources.
In the theater of war, information is a potent weapon. The ability to control, manipulate, or suppress information can have significant implications for the dynamics of conflict. It can shape public opinion, obscure the true nature of a conflict, and even affect the international response to a situation. Therefore, it becomes imperative to evaluate the manner in which information is presented and disseminated during a conflict.
These destructive behaviors are the hallmarks of an information manipulation campaign. Campaigns may emanate from both official and unofficial sources, aiming to propagate a specific narrative or to divert attention from the real issues. Disinformation can distort the reality of a situation, while propaganda can drive particular political agendas. Biased reporting, on the other hand, can skew perceptions and lead to a lack of understanding of the true state of affairs.
To counter these tactics, it is necessary to scrutinize the consistency and coherence of the information being disseminated. This involves comparing the narrative presented with verifiable facts and independent sources. Inconsistencies or contradictions can signal manipulation, revealing attempts to deceive or mislead. However, information manipulation isn’t limited to the dissemination of disinformation or propaganda. It also involves controlling the media landscape, imposing censorship, and suppressing dissenting voices. This is often seen in conflict situations where governments or factions seek to control the narrative by restricting access to independent information, stifling free press, and quashing opposition.
Independent journalism plays a crucial role in mitigating these effects. By providing access to multiple perspectives and conducting critical analyses of the situation, it helps to maintain a balanced narrative. Independent journalism strives to unearth the truth, countering attempts to manipulate public perception, and ensuring the authenticity of the conflict narrative.
Propaganda and Biased Reporting: Evaluate whether there is a systematic effort to manipulate public perception through propaganda or biased reporting. Governments, political groups, or military entities involved in the conflict may use various media channels to disseminate information that supports their objectives while discrediting opposing viewpoints. Look for instances of one-sided reporting, demonization of the enemy, or efforts to control the narrative by suppressing dissenting voices.
In the realm of conflict, narratives are often manipulated and shaped to suit the objectives of those involved. Propaganda and biased reporting play a significant role in this context. By leveraging the power of media channels, governments, political groups, or military entities can craft narratives that bolster their cause, discredit opposing viewpoints, and sway public opinion in their favor.
Propaganda is a powerful tool for disseminating selective information or disinformation that serves specific goals. It often involves simplifying complex issues into stark dichotomies, creating an “us versus them” narrative. This narrative can help rally public support, justifying actions that might otherwise be viewed as aggressive or unjust.
The demonization of the enemy is another tactic commonly used in propaganda. By painting the opposing side as inherently evil or dangerous, propagandists seek to justify the conflict and provoke fear or hatred, further solidifying the support for their cause. This demonization often involves the dehumanization of the adversary, presenting them as a threat to a common way of life or values.
Biased reporting, on the other hand, involves the presentation of information from a single perspective that aligns with a specific agenda. It’s characterized by one-sided reporting, selective omission of facts, and a lack of balance in presenting opposing viewpoints. Biased reporting can shape public opinion by creating a skewed understanding of the situation, suppressing crucial nuances, and complexities.
Efforts to control the narrative are also evident in the suppression of dissenting voices. By limiting access to alternative perspectives, those in power can control the dominant narrative. This suppression can be achieved through censorship, intimidation, or even violence against journalists, activists, or anyone attempting to challenge the status quo.
Evaluating these aspects is crucial in understanding the dynamics of a conflict. Recognizing propaganda and biased reporting can help us challenge the narratives being presented, seeking a more balanced and nuanced understanding of the situation. Independent journalism and critical thinking play a key role in this process, enabling us to navigate through the labyrinth of propaganda and biased narratives to find a path closer to the truth. Through such efforts, we can ensure that we’re not mere passive consumers of information but active participants in questioning, understanding, and ultimately shaping narratives.
Media Landscape and Censorship: Examine the media landscape in the region where the conflict is taking place. Consider whether there is a free and independent press that can provide diverse perspectives on the conflict. Evaluate whether journalists have access to the conflict zone or if there are restrictions on reporting. Instances of media censorship, harassment of journalists, or limitations on the flow of information may indicate attempts to control the narrative and manipulate public perception.
The media landscape and the presence of censorship play a pivotal role in shaping the narrative and controlling public perception during times of conflict. By examining the media landscape in the region where the conflict is taking place, we can gain insights into the flow of information, the existence of a diverse range of perspectives, and the potential manipulation of public perception.
A key consideration is the presence of a free and independent press that can provide diverse perspectives on the conflict. Are there media outlets that offer critical analysis, present alternative viewpoints, and promote an informed understanding of the situation? A robust and independent media environment allows for a multiplicity of voices, fostering a balanced understanding of the complexities inherent in a conflict.
The level of access granted to journalists to report from the conflict zone is another crucial factor. Evaluate whether journalists are able to operate freely, gather information independently, and report from the frontlines without undue restrictions or interference. Limitations on reporting and access to conflict areas can be indicative of attempts to control the narrative by the conflicting parties. By impeding journalists’ access, the parties involved can manipulate the flow of information, presenting a distorted version of events. In a real war, journalists would be considered combatants who only get in the way. They would be slaughtered.
Instances of media censorship, such as the blocking of websites or social media platforms, are red flags that should not be overlooked. Censorship can restrict the public’s access to diverse viewpoints and critical analysis, leading to a distorted understanding of the conflict. Governments or conflicting parties may employ censorship as a means to control the narrative and shape public perception in their favor. The Soviets practice all forms of censorship to control the narrative inside and outside the Russian Federation.
Furthermore, the harassment of journalists, arrests, or other forms of intimidation raise serious concerns about media freedom and the objective reporting of the conflict. When journalists face such hurdles, it not only hampers their ability to provide accurate information but also creates an atmosphere of fear and self-censorship, limiting the public’s right to access the truth. In an era of increasing information flow, it is crucial to remain vigilant and advocate for media freedom, ensuring that the public has access to a diverse range of perspectives and unbiased information.
Suppression of Dissenting Voices: Assess whether there are efforts to suppress dissenting voices or limit the ability of individuals or organizations to express alternative viewpoints. Look for restrictions on freedom of speech, intimidation of activists or human rights defenders, or the targeting of independent journalists. A climate of fear or a lack of space for critical analysis may suggest an attempt to control information and manipulate public opinion.
In the realm of conflict, the suppression of dissenting voices serves as a powerful tool to control information and shape public opinion. Assessing whether there are efforts to silence or restrict those who express alternative viewpoints is crucial in understanding the authenticity of the conflict narrative and the extent of information manipulation. One critical factor to consider is the presence of restrictions on freedom of speech (personally, I advocate for liberty of expression, which is the only true form of “freedom of speech.” Evaluate whether individuals or organizations are able to openly express their opinions without fear of reprisal. Are there legal or social barriers that curtail the freedom to dissent? A climate of restricted speech can create a chilling effect, hindering the development of a diverse and vibrant public discourse.
Intimidation of activists or human-rights defenders is another indicator of efforts to suppress dissent. Are there instances of harassment, threats, or violence against individuals or organizations advocating for human rights or challenging the status quo? Such actions not only curtail the freedom of expression but also create a climate of fear that stifles dissenting voices and discourages critical analysis of the conflict.
The targeting of independent journalists is also significant in evaluating the suppression of dissent. Are journalists subjected to arbitrary arrests, censorship, or violence for reporting on the conflict? Such acts hinder the free flow of information and limit the public’s access to unbiased reporting. When journalists are targeted, it not only curtails their ability to investigate and report objectively but also undermines the public’s right to be informed.
A lack of space for critical analysis is another indication of information control and manipulation. Are there restrictions on think tanks, academic institutions, or civil society organizations that seek to provide objective analysis or alternative viewpoints? In an environment devoid of critical analysis, the public is denied the opportunity to engage with a diversity of perspectives, hindering a comprehensive understanding of the conflict. Promoting an environment that upholds liberty of expression and protects dissenting voices is essential to fostering an informed public discourse and facilitating a deeper understanding of the complexities of the conflict.
Independent Journalism and Multiple Perspectives: Independent journalism is crucial in countering potential manipulation of information. Seek out reliable sources that provide unbiased and well-researched reporting on the conflict. Look for outlets that present multiple perspectives and provide analysis based on verifiable facts. Cross-referencing information from different sources and seeking out diverse viewpoints can help counter the influence of manipulated information. In the face of manipulation, independent journalism stands as a powerful antidote. By seeking out reliable sources that provide unbiased and well-researched reporting on the conflict, we can counter the potential influence of manipulated information and gain a more accurate understanding of the situation at hand. One crucial aspect is the identification of trustworthy news outlets that adhere to journalistic principles of objectivity, accuracy, and accountability. Look for outlets with a track record of providing balanced reporting and conducting rigorous fact-checking. These sources strive to present information based on verifiable facts rather than sensationalism or bias.
Diverse perspectives are essential in countering the influence of manipulated information. Engage with outlets that present multiple viewpoints and encourage dialogue between conflicting parties. Such outlets provide analysis that considers different angles and offer a broader context for understanding the complexities of the conflict. By actively seeking out and considering diverse perspectives, we can avoid falling victim to a singular narrative and develop a more comprehensive and nuanced understanding.
Cross-referencing information from different sources is another effective method to counter manipulation. Verify facts and claims by consulting multiple reliable sources. By comparing and contrasting the reporting of various outlets, we can identify inconsistencies, biases, or instances of manipulation. This critical analysis helps us discern the truth amidst the noise, allowing for a more informed perspective.
Independent journalism plays a crucial role in investigative reporting. Investigative journalists delve into the deeper layers of a conflict, uncovering hidden truths, exposing corruption, and challenging official narratives. Their work provides valuable insights that can counteract manipulation and shed light on the complexities that often remain obscured.
It’s essential to recognize that even independent journalism may have its limitations. Journalists face various challenges, including safety risks, access restrictions, and financial constraints. Supporting independent journalism through subscribing to reputable outlets, sharing their work, and advocating for press freedom can help bolster their efforts and promote a healthy information ecosystem.
Marine Corps Major General Smedley Darlington Butler coined the phrase and said, “War is a racket. It always has been. It is possibly the oldest, easily the most profitable, surely the most vicious. It is the only one international in scope. It is the only one in which the profits are reckoned in dollars and the losses in lives. A racket is best described, I believe, as something that is not what it seems to the majority of the people. Only a small ‘inside’ group knows what it is about. It is conducted for the benefit of the very few, at the expense of the very many. Out of war a few people make huge fortunes.”
The General Admits He Was Wrong
General Butler went on to admit his part in this insidious racket: “I helped make Mexico, especially Tampico, safe for American oil interests in 1914. I helped make Haiti and Cuba a decent place for the National City Bank boys to collect revenues in. I helped in the raping of half a dozen Central American republics for the benefits of Wall Street. The record of racketeering is long. I helped purify Nicaragua for the international banking house of Brown Brothers in 1909-1912. I brought light to the Dominican Republic for American sugar interests in 1916. In China I helped see to it that Standard Oil went its way unmolested.”
Only in the afterglow of his service did he realize the extent of the damage he and his power-handlers had done, and began to tour America with his famous speech, “War Is A Racket.” His following suggestions were richly applauded though went unheeded:
“It can be smashed effectively only by taking the profit out of war. The only way to smash this racket is to conscript capital and industry and labor before the nation’s manhood can be conscripted. . . . Let the officers and the directors and the high-powered executives of our armament factories and our steel companies and our munitions makers and our ship-builders and our airplane builders and the manufacturers of all other things that provide profit in war time as well as the bankers and the speculators, be conscripted—to get $30 a month, the same wage as the lads in the trenches get.”
While General Butler’s words and passion were well received wherever he went, absolutely nothing was done by the American people to stem the tide of death and destruction, although they bitched about the “military-industrial complex.” This bitching/accepting is an intimate subset of what I term “complain-comply behavior,” where people will moan about something for a spell, then go along with it without further complaint:
Venting Frustrations: the process in which individuals voice their complaints or frustrations about a particular issue or situation. This can be done through public protests, social media, or other forms of expression that provide an outlet for people to voice their objections openly.Venting frustrations is a natural human response to injustices or perceived shortcomings in society. It provides individuals with an outlet to voice their complaints or frustrations openly, expressing their objections to a particular issue or situation. Whether through public protests, social media platforms, or other forms of expression, venting frustrations serves as a starting point for raising awareness and instigating change.The nature of complain-comply behavior refers to a pattern where people vent their frustrations or complaints about a specific issue, only to subsequently accept the status quo without further action.
Venting frustrations, in itself, is a valid and important initial response to societal issues. It allows individuals to release their emotions, share their concerns, and connect with others who share similar grievances. This venting process can occur through various means, such as public protests, rallies, or social media campaigns. It serves as an outlet for people to voice their objections openly, raising awareness about the issue at hand.
Unloading like this creates a ripple effect, sparking conversations and discussions that reach beyond individual complaints. By expressing discontent collectively, individuals foster a sense of solidarity and unity, amplifying their voices and drawing attention to the underlying problems. These expressions of frustration can attract broader public attention and generate empathy from those who may have previously been unaware or indifferent.When frustrations are voiced, they can serve as catalysts for dialogue and critical reflection. Venting frustrations prompts individuals to question the status quo, analyze the root causes of the issue, and explore potential solutions. These conversations can lead to the exchange of ideas, the formulation of alternative perspectives, and the generation of innovative approaches to address the problem at hand.
It also acts as a stepping stone toward concrete action. While initial expressions of frustration may not immediately lead to sweeping transformations, they lay the groundwork for further engagement and mobilization. By expressing their objections openly, individuals may encourage others to join in, initiating collective efforts to advocate for change and hold institutions accountable. While it’s true that some individuals may fall into the complain-comply behavior subset, it’s important to recognize that venting frustrations can be a starting point for action rather than an end in itself. The key lies in channeling frustrations into tangible efforts, such as grassroots organizing, community initiatives, or political engagement. By leveraging the awareness and solidarity generated through venting, individuals can translate their frustrations into meaningful change.
Sharing our frustration and anger and disappointment all play a crucial role in society by providing individuals with an outlet to express their objections openly. It serves as an initial response, raising awareness about societal issues and stimulating dialogue. While venting frustrations alone may not lead to immediate change, it creates the foundation for further action and mobilization. By channeling frustrations into concrete efforts, individuals can bridge the gap between venting and effecting positive transformations, ultimately challenging the status quo and shaping a more just and equitable society.
Temporary Sounding-Board: those in power tolerate this behavior because it allows citizens to vent their frustrations publicly. By permitting this temporary expression of dissent, the power-holders provide individuals with a brief opportunity to voice their objections and temporarily alleviate their discontent.In the realm of power dynamics, a phenomenon known as a “temporary sounding-board” emerges, wherein those in positions of authority tolerate public venting of frustrations. This behavior, which permits individuals to express their objections openly, provides a brief opportunity for citizens to voice their dissent and temporarily alleviate their discontent. However, it is crucial to recognize that this temporary release should not overshadow the need for sustained action and meaningful change.
The notion that power-holders tolerate public venting of frustrations as a temporary sounding-board holds true in many contexts. Allowing individuals to voice their objections publicly, albeit temporarily, can serve as a pressure valve, offering a momentary release of dissent without fundamentally challenging the existing power structures.This temporary expression of dissent can provide individuals with a sense of catharsis and a feeling that their frustrations have been acknowledged. It offers a brief respite from the emotional burden of discontent, allowing individuals to experience a temporary relief or release of pent-up emotions.
While the temporary sounding-board permits citizens to vent their frustrations publicly, it is essential to recognize that it may also serve as a distraction from addressing the underlying systemic issues. By providing this limited avenue for dissent, power-holders may divert attention away from the need for comprehensive and sustained change, thereby maintaining the status quo. Although the temporary sounding-board provides a momentary outlet for dissent, it should not be mistaken for a solution or a substitute for meaningful action. By tolerating this behavior, power-holders may create an illusion of participation, dampening the urgency for lasting change. Without sustained efforts to address the root causes of discontent, the temporary release of dissent remains superficial and fails to catalyze transformative outcomes.
To move beyond the limitations of the temporary sounding-board, it is vital to create a culture of activism and sustained civic engagement. Individuals must recognize the importance of ongoing participation and channel their frustrations into collective action aimed at effecting tangible change. Engaging in grassroots organizing, advocacy, and political mobilization allows individuals to challenge power structures and influence decision-making processes more effectively.
Ensuring substantive change individuals must recognize the temporary sounding-board as just a starting point. It is imperative to channel frustrations into sustained efforts, demanding accountability and pursuing systemic reforms. By harnessing collective energy and organizing around shared objectives, individuals can amplify their voices, disrupt power dynamics, and foster meaningful transformations.
Individuals get a momentary release of dissent and the illusion of participation, but it should not overshadow the necessity of sustained action and genuine change. Recognizing this dynamic is crucial for individuals to move beyond venting frustrations and embrace a more proactive approach to effecting substantive transformations. By channeling dissent into collective action and challenging power structures, individuals can create a pathway toward a more equitable and just society.
Dissipation and Loss: the initial surge of public dissatisfaction eventually subsides and fails to create significant, sustained pressure for change. As a result, the power-holders and those benefiting from the system ultimately achieve their objectives, albeit delayed.In the realm of power dynamics, the initial surge of public dissatisfaction often dissipates over time, failing to generate sustained pressure for change. As a result, power-holders and those benefiting from the system may ultimately achieve their objectives, albeit with some delay. Understanding this process of dissipation is crucial for individuals seeking to challenge the status quo and drive lasting transformation.
Public dissatisfaction often arises in response to perceived injustices, systemic flaws, or failures of governance. This initial surge of discontent can be powerful and energizing, prompting individuals to voice their concerns and demand change. However, without sustained efforts, the momentum of public dissatisfaction tends to diminish over time.Several factors contribute to the dissipation of public dissatisfaction. The passage of time may erode the urgency of the issue, allowing it to fade from the public consciousness. Other crises or distractions may emerge, diverting attention away from the initial concerns. Additionally, power-holders may employ various tactics to dampen dissent, such as co-opting movements or offering superficial concessions that fail to address the root causes of the discontent.
The dissipation of public dissatisfaction can inadvertently serve the interests of power-holders and those benefiting from the system. By allowing the initial surge to subside without implementing substantive changes, power-holders can ultimately achieve their objectives, albeit with some delay. They may count on public weariness or shifting priorities to diminish the pressure for meaningful transformation, allowing them to maintain the status quo.
Sustaining pressure for change poses significant challenges. The energy and unity that initially fueled the surge of public dissatisfaction may wane as time passes and frustrations are not adequately addressed. Maintaining a cohesive movement with shared goals requires ongoing organization, strategic planning, and a commitment to sustained engagement.To counter the dissipation of public dissatisfaction, persistence is crucial. It requires recognizing that change often takes time and that setbacks are an inherent part of the process. Instead of allowing frustration to turn into apathy, individuals and movements must remain resilient, adapting strategies, and renewing their commitment to effecting substantive change.
History has shown that transformative change rarely occurs without sustained pressure. Movements such as civil rights, women’s suffrage, and labor rights required years, if not decades, of unwavering dedication and persistent action to achieve their objectives. Understanding these historical examples can serve as a reminder that the dissipation of public dissatisfaction is not an inevitable outcome but rather a challenge to be overcome.
Recognizing the cycle of dissipation and loss in public dissatisfaction is essential for individuals seeking to challenge the status quo and drive lasting change. Understanding the factors contributing to dissipation, acknowledging the delayed objectives of power-holders, and maintaining persistence are critical steps toward sustaining pressure for meaningful transformation. By learning from history and embracing the challenges ahead, individuals and movements can navigate the ebbing tide of public dissatisfaction and continue the pursuit of a more just and equitable society.
Intentional Design: by allowing people to express their complaints and frustrations publicly, power-holders create the illusion of openness and democracy. However, they anticipate that the protests will eventually fade away, ensuring that the status quo is maintained.The intentional design of systems by power-holders includes allowing people to express their complaints and frustrations publicly, creating the illusion of openness and democracy. However, these power-holders often anticipate that protests and expressions of dissent will eventually fade away, ensuring the perpetuation of the status quo. Understanding this intentional design is crucial in unveiling the mechanisms that uphold existing power structures and hinder genuine transformation.
Power-holders employ strategies that create the illusion of openness and responsiveness to public concerns. Allowing people to voice their complaints and frustrations publicly can create an atmosphere of engagement, giving the appearance that the system is receptive to dissenting voices. This illusion can temporarily placate public dissatisfaction while maintaining the existing power dynamics. They are adept at anticipating the trajectory of protests and expressions of dissent. They recognize that, over time, the initial fervor tends to wane, and public frustration may lose its intensity. This anticipation allows power-holders to weather the storm, knowing that eventually the protests will dissipate, ensuring the continuation of the status quo.
By intentionally designing systems that permit public expression of dissent, power-holders create an environment that seemingly accommodates demands for change. However, this design is carefully calculated to ensure that the core power structures remain intact. Superficial concessions or minor reforms may be offered as a means of appeasement, diverting attention from the need for more substantial, transformative change.
Power-holders understand that allowing limited dissent provides an outlet for people to vent their frustrations and grievances without fundamentally challenging the underlying power structures. By creating the illusion of responsiveness, power-holders maintain their grip on power while providing an illusion of change. This intentional design perpetuates the existing power dynamics and inhibits the emergence of genuine transformation. To challenge the intentional design and dismantle the illusion of openness, it is crucial for individuals and movements to recognize these tactics employed by power-holders.
Vigilance and a critical understanding of the underlying dynamics are necessary to avoid falling into complacency or accepting superficial reforms. Genuine transformation requires sustained pressure, a commitment to systemic change, and strategies that disrupt the status quo rather than conform to it. Overcoming the intentional design of power-holders necessitates collective action and a commitment to accountability. By encouraging unity, building coalitions, and holding power-holders accountable, individuals and movements can challenge the illusion of openness and demand substantive change. This requires sustained efforts, strategic planning, and an unwavering commitment to challenging power structures at their core.
Understanding the intentional design of systems that permit public expression of dissent is crucial in unveiling the mechanisms that perpetuate the status quo. The illusion of openness and the anticipation of fading protests are intentional tactics employed by power-holders to maintain their grip on power. Challenging this intentional design requires collective action, strategic planning, and a commitment to genuine transformation that disrupts existing power structures. By remaining vigilant and holding power-masters accountable, individuals and movements can navigate the intricacies of intentional design and forge a path toward meaningful change.
Some Personal Observations On War: Sisu
Thankfully, I’ve employed my own brand of hypercritical, nondestructive imaging to see and scrutinize war and combat situations of different color and stripe. And as an overseas operator on more than 220 missions and many missions hunting poachers in Africa, I witnessed firsthand the horrors of close-in combat and life-death struggles. And many times it was graphic and bloody and extremely painful. By witnessed, I mean I was a member of and participant in those events and feel fortunate to have emerged alive. Can’t say the same for some of my opponents, though, some trained a little too conventionally, others just downright stupid and careless under extreme stress against a man who morphed into a raging animal with one goal in mind: total annihilation of the enemy.
Not surprisingly, I still practice what the good people of Finland term “Sisu.”
Are you familiar with “Sisu”?
It’s a cultural construct unique to the Finnish psyche, and embodies extraordinary resilience, tenacity, and perseverance against all odds. Sisu denotes an audacious, seemingly indomitable spirit, pivotal in overcoming adversaries regardless of their size and strength. I know this all too well and still feel the aftereffects each day and eve.
In war or combat, the role of Sisu is instrumental. Historically, it was manifest during the Winter War (1939-1940), when Finland, outgunned and outnumbered, held off a colossal Soviet invasion and handed a whole lotta Soviets their butts on pikes. The Finnish resistance, fueled by Sisu, surprised the world, demonstrating that a smaller force could challenge a superpower. It transformed into an emblem of national pride and resistance, illustrating the grit and determination intrinsic to the Finnish people.
Even today, the concept of Sisu continues to imbue the Finnish military ethos, emphasizing audacity, fortitude, and the will to fight until the end. That does not include the enemy’s killing the good people of Finland en masse. Its power does not stem from brute force, but from an inherent, enduring resilience, a steadfast refusal to surrender in the face of overwhelming odds. Again, I know this all too well, as I’m a little guy by common metrics: 5’9″ and just under 190 lbs. Plus I have a “butter jacket” (read: fat on my torso) that makes me look like a non-threat. I like this.
Thus, Sisu is not merely a term, it is an embodiment of unyielding courage, an essential component of Finnish identity, and an extraordinary example of indomitable spirit in the theater of war and combat. I would love to say that I wish everyone practiced and lived by this extraordinary ethos, but if that were the case, I might have succumbed to those a-holes who were 6’4″ and 250 lbs.
Selfishness aside, let’s dive further into Sisu:
The profound principle of Sisu isn’t confined to the battlefield. Its spirit of unyielding determination can be incorporated into the fabric of everyday life, enabling individuals to confront adversity with fortitude. Sisu represents a universal trait, transcending the barriers of culture and location, and can be adopted by anyone seeking to strengthen their resolve. Hey, if I can do it, so can you.
Adopting Sisu starts with reframing our perspective on challenges. Instead of viewing obstacles as insurmountable, we can approach them as opportunities for growth. This reframing aligns with the Finnish mindset of seeing difficulties as a chance to display courage and develop resilience. This shift alone can spark a transformation, encouraging tenacity in the face of adversity. Simply put, change the way you view some terrible situation and change the values you use to define it.
Sisu also involves cultivating endurance. Whether it’s pursuing a rigorous fitness regimen, persevering through a challenging project, or weathering emotional turmoil, the spirit of Sisu encourages us to keep going. It propels us forward, even when our energy wanes or we feel overwhelmed.
Furthermore, Sisu encourages community strength. Just as the Finnish people united during the Winter War, we can apply Sisu to create supportive, resilient communities. By fostering empathy, cooperation, and mutual support, we can collectively withstand adversity, demonstrating our shared resilience. This can only begin when we understand the world around us, including who runs the joint.
Ultimately, adopting Sisu is about embracing an ethos of indomitable courage. It calls us to embody resilience, determination, and perseverance, qualities that can elevate our lives, helping us to not merely survive, but to thrive in the face of any adversity we encounter.
War Can Only Be Done One Way
With this uncommon spirit-soul in mind, I feel there is only one way to wage war: all-out mayhem and without remorse or second thought. And, yes, I am considered a normal, well-adjusted man. I simply have taught myself good situational awareness and to employ various actions and behaviors situationally, using Sisu and all it embodies. You can do the same, but it takes considerable time and effort.
As an aside, I also learned an evolutionary adaptation about people, in general, something I call “The Foxtrot Five.” They tend to react in one of five different ways when faced with a life-death scenario:
1. Fight: stand up to their enemy
2. Flight: run like hell from an enemy
3. Freeze: please think of a deer in headlights so I don’t have to explain it in detail
4. Freak out: recall the guy who has a hissy fit or conniptions when confronted
5. Fraternize: the guy who attempts to talk or bribe his way out. [Hint: #5 usually doesn’t work in his favor, but I’ve seen it in living Technicolor and Dolby Atmos and it was a fckn hoot.]
The Foxtrot Five is a compelling framework that captures the range of responses that people can have when faced with life or death situations. These reactions are deeply human and underscore the instinctual, primal nature of our responses to extreme stress and danger. They also reflect the importance of training and preparedness in enabling individuals to respond effectively in these situations.
If you’re one given to #3, 4 or 5, all is not lost. You can change your chemical makeup by changing your behavior. Sometimes we’re cursed with busted DNA, but it doesn’t have to be a death sentence. We humans are capable of changing our own chemistry through deliberate actions and behaviors. Over time, our new behaviors change our chemistry and can morph us into Tasmanian devils, if need be. That’s why good, long-term, repetitive training is so important. You must make the time, not see it as drudgery or, as the Brits love to say, toil over the mundane.
Thank goodness I’m blessed with good training, mostly because I studied others and adopted good methods and techniques and responses. You might say I was raised and schooled by a thousand different souls, not all of them benevolent. I also have pretty good situational awareness (SA) to instantly analyze a potential fight and choose either 1 or 2. I’m not ashamed to report that #2 has saved my bacon more than once, enabling me to go “all-out #1” in most other scenarios. And, no, I have not employed 3, 4 or 5. They’re simply not in my chemistry because my deliberate repetitive training blotted them out, or at least down to only a few insignificant quarks.
For most of us, good SA comes with lots of training, coaching, tutoring and practicing. It also takes a mentor at an early age to guide us on and to the right path. Even in later years, you can make significant changes to your chemistry, so get out there and become a late-model chemist.
From Deep Pain To Supreme Self-Confidence
Me? I wasn’t born an effective soldier, let alone some killing machine. My DNA is fraught with nucleotides that sometimes don’t play nice, especially with each other. Plus, having eaten too much food at one sitting (think: 10,000 calories/meal) when I was an athlete and combat participant, and consuming (read: abusing) alcohol for much of my life, I developed diabetes and other deleterious health issues when I stopped all that combat noise cold turkey, save a growth spurt hunting poachers in Africa at age 54. Poor health brought me down to earth, landing violently in a smoking hole several years ago. These are the hidden demons I fight every day. Exercise, diet and caring for my gut microbiome are healing me as we speak, albeit slowly.
Thankfully, too, a dear friend turned me onto ketamine therapy, which has reversed my PTSD in less than six months. Cowabunga! It has enabled me to write 17,000 words for an article like this one . . . in a single 10-hour period. I feel sorry for my Managing Editor, Guy McCardle because he now must slog through the equivalent of 10 articles in one sitting. That’s 35 pages in a typical nonfiction book. As a metric, most authors do no more than about 3,000 words in a day and that is a struggle for them.
Here’s further context: recall Bradley Cooper in the cool film, Limitless: he plays Eddie who is an average writer going nowhere fast and forgetting to wash that hair-mop of his. The dude then gets turned onto NZT-48 and transforms himself into a super-thinking machine who kills it on Wall Street. That’s what ketamine has done to/for me. No kidding. The VA is still so slow to adopt it so I went private and discovered a new life. Perhaps I should also tell you about the cognitive/thinking power of nicotine patches. Another time.
Anxiety and depression derailed much of my life, thanks to severe physical beatings from ages 7-10 by my mother, who also inflicted untold emotional terror that was often worse than the metal end of a belt or her balled-up fist. To say she raged on my sister and me is absurd. This damaged woman changed clothes in a phone booth and emerged the daughter of The Hulk, then looked around the room for her first target, usually little Dino.
The journey from a turbulent childhood marked by abuse and emotional turmoil to becoming a resilient protector is a testament to the indomitable human spirit. My personal share unveils the transformative power of overcoming adversity and finding purpose in the midst of severe pain.
Sadly, my childhood was marred by severe physical and emotional abuse inflicted by my mom. The lasting impact of the physical beatings and emotional terror endured during those formative years cannot be overstated, let alone reversed. The scars she left behind were not merely physical but extended deep into my emotional well-being. I wish I could say that this monster should never have spawned children. Then again, I may have been hatched by someone else and turned out to be a whimpy thing. Hard as it is to admit, I wouldn’t change a thing with dear young Olga Garner, mommy dearest. Not. One. Thing. Sometimes in life, ya gotta eat a whole lotta shit along with that hot apple pie and vanilla ice cream.
Trauma endured during childhood cast a long shadow, leading to struggles with anxiety and depression that significantly impacted various aspects of my life. These internal battles threatened to derail my personal growth and hinder my ability to lead a fulfilling life, but I refused to allow this demon to overtake me.
In the face of these immense challenges, I embarked on a journey of self-discovery and resilience. Through sheer determination, I learned to navigate through the darkest moments and developed coping mechanisms to survive in times of severe stress. These survival instincts became a source of strength as I confronted adversity and seemingly impossible odds head-on.
As I engaged in increasingly difficult situations and emerged victorious, my self-confidence grew exponentially. Each combat survival (read: kill) served as a building block, solidifying my belief in my own resilience and ability to overcome adversity. The skills honed through these trials became the foundation for my personal journey toward becoming a protector.
Driven by my own painful experiences, I made a conscious decision to channel this newfound strength and resilience toward protecting women and girls. My focus on safeguarding the vulnerable (including men and boys, as well) became a driving force, shaping my sense of purpose and guiding subsequent actions.
Rather than allowing the pain of my past to consume me, I made a profound shift in perspective. I recognized that these painful experiences, devastating as they were, became the catalyst for personal growth and the development of a deep empathy for others. Through this transformation, I found the strength to forge a path of empowerment and champion the rights and well-being of those who couldn’t protect themselves from bullies.
Through resilience, I thanked my mother for the gifts that emerged from the pain inflicted upon me. The personal journey from a traumatic childhood to becoming a protector reflects the power of the human spirit to triumph over adversity. My wish is that my story will become a transformative example of resilience, empathy, and the ability to find purpose in pain.
I now thank my dear mother for these wonderful gifts, devastatingly painful as they were at the time. Besides, my first seven years were just peachy and I’m doing pretty doggone well now. Better living through [changes in] chemistry and Sisu. . . .
Please stay tuned for Part Three next week. . . .
** To get your own copy of War is a Racket, click here.
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