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Endless War on Another Planet

What can you say about a town in which all the car bumpers have the same stickers? On a recent ride through the Little Pueblo I noticed a bumper sticker that was cracked and sun-faded: "God Bless the Whole World. No Exceptions." This slogan was almost obligatory in this town, and I agreed with them. Presumably the bumper sticker was intended to be a refutation of those "God Bless America" bumper stickers that Fox News listeners installed after 9-11.

Once again this got me rolling my eyes at the hypocrisy of the anti-war Left. The cracked and sun-faded bumper sticker was installed during the Bush II Imperium; the New Mexico sun had finally taken its toll. Why weren't all the "anti-war" people in town installing new bumper stickers with anti-war slogans, now that the Afghanistan war has become longer than Viet Nam? Why weren't they holding a protest march or a candlelight vigil because of the Libyan invasion? What about America's great ally Saudi Arabia and their invasion of Bahrain? We all know why.

In Colorado during Bush's last year I went to a couple meetings of a local anti-war group. Do you think that group officially disbanded in January of 2009? Everybody at the meeting was a leftist stereotype, except me, so I kept my mouth shut on political subjects other than war. 

Of course there is plenty of hypocrisy from the other side of the aisle. It is quite amazing how anti-interventionist George Will has become recently. There are even a few Tea Party guys whose fealty to the United States Constitution goes as far as objecting to presidentially-declared wars. I suspect most of this crowd wouldn't say boo if a Republican was in the White House right now. 

Recently I rewatched an episode from Star Trek, the original series. (The episode, "A Taste of Armageddon," can be streamed for free from Hulu dot com.) The Enterprise steps accidentally into a 500-year war between two planets. Computers  simulated "hits", which declared people in the stricken area to be official casualties. Then they had 24 hours to walk into a disintegration chamber that turned them into real casualties. In this way War -- or in modern parlance, "kinetic military actions" -- caused only death, while minimizing discomfort to their material civilization. Captain Kirk showed them that it was this discomfort that caused people to actually end wars. 

This episode is not exactly analogous with our present form of Permanent War, but there's enough for me to see the episode as prescient and brilliant.