Cities and suburbs, real and imaginary.

Friday, December 10, 2010

not world war iii?

Ever notice people keep talking about some mythical global warfare where nations clash against nations and billions die?

I was thinking about this while I was out for my morning walk, and it would seem like we have been quietly living in world war iii for some time, but no one realizes it.

The Haves (us) have been destroying the environment, raking whole impoverished nations for precious minerals, oils, and metals to the detriment of their nations, fueling the warlords that destroy the people of the world. Druglords and organized crime proliferate as the corrupted world feeds us, the Haves, with all the shiny plastic geegaws we desire. The environmental disasters that follow in that wake might as well be nuclear bombs, for the sudden deaths, and lingering pollution.

Don't tell me this isn't world war iii. Afghanistani Muslims hates us because they are in poverty, and we are "free". Iranians face sanctions of aspirin and medicine, but we sleep at night because none of our sons have died. China's bankers play tricks, and their party leaders sweep the internet, for any advantage of currency they can muster in the world economy, to the detriment of the people in the Rust Belt who don't even realize they're just casualties of a global war, far more dangerous than anything carrying a gun.

Bloodshed and conquest are done quickly in colonial wars of the past. 3 years, 4 or 5. This war, without bullets, extends for decades.

Blood for oil. Oil for blood.

Lone gunman, lone bombers, running through the dark, wanting for the open warfare that could resolve this slow, lumbering, ponderous combat in a lifetime, instead of century after century of economies acting selfishly instead of selflessly, taking when they ought to give, and relying on the backs of distant lands for the bread on the table, the table, and the bricks that build the house, the wealth that bought the house.

We are in a long, slow war. It is an economic one. We are Adam Smith's Invisible Army, raping and pillaging by proxy, through corporations and ambassadors, while few, if any, of our sons and daughters touch the guns.

And, there's very little I can do about it. I'm conscripted into it, for better or worse, with my family and everyone I know. Being aware of it only makes it harder to buy shoes, and stop at a restaurant for take-out after a long day's work. It only makes me angry, but I am impotent. One man can do nothing. There's nothing to do.

Except Vote.

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