RANGER AGAINST WAR: Winners and Losers <

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Winners and Losers

Right now, investors know the price of everything
but the value of nothing

--Value of Investments Clouded

One thing I have learned is that
belief doesn't change reality
--C. Everett Koop (
New Yorker, 3/13/06)

One never knows, do one?

--Fats Waller


When a society (or a person) exchanges illusions or falsehoods for reality or truth, then it is dead or heading for a fall.

Our leaders and the media agree that the surge in Iraq was successful, and that this success is somehow related to General Petraeus. How do we accept such a falsehood? Is it possible that we accept falsehood when the truth is too repellent? Or maybe when the facts don't compute, and we are programmed to tie things up in a neat package.

We also believe that the U.S. has enjoyed an economic recovery -- out of recession since June of '09, they say, yet the facts flying about our heads indicate otherwise. Joblessness, sluggish markets, the death of local businesses and general hopelessness surround us, but we are thrilled when the unemployment rate falls .01%. This is what passes
for Good News and progress.

Our jobs continue to migrate overseas and we suffer an unfavorable trade balance, yet we revel in the concept of internationalism. This is not a partisan issue, yet neither side seems willing to address the situation.

Our states lack tax bases and the Fed survives by printing money like it's going out of style -- not a formula for national survival, nor is cutting government spending a formula for national recovery.

Simply put, we can't have it all. We can't have oil without oil spills; we can't have wars without debt. We can't have winners without losers. Congress has pitched in $38 Billion more for a mini surge in Afghanistan, seeing how well it worked in Iraq. But Iraq was a more tamable country going in, and this is now money that we do not have.

Is the U.S. safer than before we invaded Iraq? Or do we still live in fear and under reactive policies that fail to address the threat? Is Iraq now a threat? Is Iraq actually a country, or is it an uneasy regional/ethnic coalition that is grasping to survive? Despite their showpiece elections and titular leaders, they are unable to form a viable government, which would be the proof of a democracy.

What has been achieved in Iraq that remotely resembles a success? Our Army is still in theatre with no discernible purpose. The Iraqis want us gone yesterday (as it should be). "Failure to lose" and "winning" are not equivalent concepts.

Even if Iraq and Afghanistan became wildly successful democracies, then they are winners, but this is separate and distinct from the U.S. being a winner. How would the U.S. be repaid for their success, were it to occur in the form we envision?

We claim to export democracy but our policy is to trade with undemocratic countries that exploit their citizens, and in return we get cheap underwear. If democracy is our goal, then we should export it through economic policy as well as military efforts.

Have we created an ally in Iraq, or is it another whore performing to rake in our dollars?

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Blogger Underground Carpenter said...

Hi Jim and Lisa,

Damn! If that doesn't just say it all, I don't know what would.

Great post!


Thursday, September 23, 2010 at 7:45:00 PM GMT-5  
Blogger Brooklyn Red Leg said...

Stefan Molyneux has touched on this several times. This probably best sums it up.


Not for the faint of heart.

Friday, September 24, 2010 at 6:52:00 AM GMT-5  
Blogger Serving Patriot said...

Great post. Too bad our entire culture relentlessly tells our citizens that "you can have it all!"

Maturity is accepting that this premise is false. I wonder how much longer we can collectively live with such cognitive dissonance?


Retired (once-Serving) Patriot

Monday, September 27, 2010 at 9:00:00 AM GMT-5  

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