Wars and politics seem a little different now. Not so clear and understandable as of yore, more ambiguous than we have assumed they would be. Your troops used to go in, take over, ‘pacify’ a place and it was yours. Now, they go in and are serially blown up before getting to the ‘pacify’ part. They never quite get to that part anymore since the other side uses cell phones, videos and the internet to advertise pacification activities; politicians don’t allow them; they tend to upset voters at home. You end with your occupying forces often deprived of bullets and/or not allowed to return fire, since it usually originates from crowds of civilians with kids. Instead of installing a military governor, you have to conduct an election, too often won by a guy who hates you. So what do you gain by war nowadays? You tell me…
War was called: “A continuation of politics by other means” or similar; today, both seem to employ interchangeable means and it’s getting hard to tell which is going on. Lebanon, like the U.S, is split along religious lines but the split is between Christians and Moslems rather than between Christians and unbelievers. Same difference; both places have two groups unwilling to tolerate the other’s demands. Both places are therefore, unstable over time. Lebanon Bomb Kills Top Security Official describes a car bomb in Beirut that killed a top government security guy, the likely target, plus a bunch of folk now known as ‘collateral damage.’ The U.S. regularly bombs targets with collateral damage in Pakistan, Yemen and other places via drones. Hard to know whether this is politics or war, at least it’s hard for me; while Pakistan harbors Taliban (who never attacked America that I heard), what has anyone in Yemen done to us?
A car full of explosive is cheaper and simpler than a drone with missiles but there’s no other difference I can identify. And both are proliferating around the world. In Renaissance Italy, you used an assassin rather than an army any time you could, from what I’ve read. Plain sense. Car bombs and drones are the modern stilettos. Cheap, effective, hard to pin down and harder to defend. And increasingly hard to classify as ‘war’ or ‘politics.’
We’ve assumed in America that all that is far-off, foreign stuff that will never happen here. Well, most of us have assumed that; Chicago residents may be a little more thoughtful on the subject. Yesterday’s news reported America’s crime rate is up some 28% after years of little change. That’s changed because the times are changing, altering people’s attitudes along with the changes. The Congress has directed the President to train the army to police American cities, another change. And Congress has directed the opening of U.S. skies to fleets of drones, including armed drones. Some are already in use.
“Who has eyes to see; let him see.” The only unfailing operator in the universe, Murphy, makes it crystal clear; we are going to see all that ‘foreign’ stuff right here. It’s cheap, easy, effective and almost untraceable. What’s not to like? If you’re government, you’ve plausible deniability; if you’re not, you can blame it on government. What could be better than that?