domingo, 22 de noviembre de 2015

The tooth for a tooth mentality and a world increasingly submerged in violence

In the struggle for power the extremes appear to be bent on their mutual extermination, but in fact they are complimentary and operate on the basis of a brutal shared concept: a tooth for a tooth. You hurt me, I hurt you. But I need you to hurt me to justify my actions. War therefore is perpetuated and “beneficial” to both sides.
The “victory” of U.S. led capitalism against Soviet style communism was indeed short lived. It is well known that the “Cold War” pitted Western supported dictatorships and anti-communist regimes—characterized by neo-liberal market economics—in the world’s peripheral areas.  Korea, Vietnam, Chile, Argentina…Afghanistan…Iraq…
It was sufficient to become a “friend” of Washington to get money and guns for the struggle against leftist and populist movements considered peons of the Soviets by U.S. experts in counter-insurgency. Counter-insurgency tactics—clearly in violation of basic human rights—were used in this cloak and dagger war. The justification? The ends justify the means.
Certain countries, considered geopolitically essential, were lavishly supported not only for the cold-war and post-cold-war tug-of-war, but because of oil—the black gold of the Western industrial system. Curiously enough, many of these regimes represented values in nearly complete opposition to those professed by Western democracy.
Perhaps the best example is Saudi Arabia, a repressive Sunni oil producer, into which the Pentagon has pumped an enormous amount of weapons and money. Yet not a few Sunni terrorists have been nurtured there.
The Hollywood type view of good guys and bad guys perhaps had its most pathetic appearance in CIA training of “guerrilla” groups in Afghanistan to fight against the Soviets. That backfired in the form of Ben Laden’s subsequent appearance and the attack against the Twin Towers.
The reaction of President George Bush was to declare war and he chose what appeared to be a push-over: Iraq. The invasion of that country, with the death of thousands and massive destruction of property, led to the death of Dictator Saddam Hussein and the ousting of the Sunnis from power in favor of the Shiites. But that in turn provided the fire wood necessary for the organization of extremists Sunni groups such as the present Islamic State.
And the violence has been growing by leaps and bounds, taking Syria as the point of departure for a burgeoning potential world war: arming and supported supposedly “moderate” groups against the Assad dictatorship has led to a virtual military free-for-all. From Shiite groups such as Hezbollah, to the half dozen extremists of the Islamic State and others, and the bombing operations of the U.S., France, Russia with others… England is now on the point of joining the bombing attacks. (During which an uncalculated number of civilians have been killed…
A curious reader could have noticed something shocking following the brutal extremists attacks in Paris recently that took some 130 lives:
The stock of companies producing weapons took a sharp upturn on Wall Street and Europe: Boeing, Lockheed Martin, Raytheon, Northop Grumman, Gernal Dynamics, Ingalls Industries, Airbus, Finmeccanica, BAE Systems, Thales…all of them raked in enormous profits.  According to Claudio Scaletta (Página 12) “The main arms producers on the stock markets in the U.S. and Europe increased their capitalization in close to $15 billion dollars.”
The theory of those who support the notion of tooth for tooth is that applying more violence will eventually solve the problem. Washington points out that winning the war against Hitler’s fascist regime and the use of atomic bombs against Japan gave way to democratic governments.
But the unending wars in the Middle East have a different facet: oil. The Western industrial system is based on petroleum. Therefore, regimes opposed to most of the basic tenets of Western democracy have become allies or “friends.” This has sent millions of dollars into the hands of dictatorial and repressive regimes in the area and has bloated banks in Switzerland and elsewhere while exacerbating social and cultural clashes.

The increasing number of rightwing neo-liberal market oriented governments in Europe (with threats in Latin America) has led to the growth of racism and a tendency to place the struggle as of religions or civilizations, feeding the notions of a tooth for a tooth: the “other” becomes an enemy to be eliminated. Terrorism and extremist actions are crimes and must be dealt with as such. But the use of terror against terror would appear only to push the violence into more violence. And violence in today’s world is not only in Paris: it is pathetically manifested in language used to refer to the other, in domestic violence, the alarming number of women who suffer aggression on the part of their husbands, lovers or ex-spouses; violence against children, hunger, the growing disparity in income and opportunities, in drug oriented brutal attacks and assasinations...

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