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War, Victory, Power and Dispair

I have been resistant to writing about the amplification of organized violence in the Middle East because I don’t see any way of communicating about it that helps shed any light.

Three things are becoming clear to me.

First: The objective of the organizers of group violence, whether state sponsored or organized at a level of organization lower than a state, is never really peace. There objective is always the aggregation of more power. Both sides will claim they are threatened. Both sides will claim the other side started it.

Both sides will claim that peace will break out when they are done killing all the enemies of peace. But this is just the Orwellian marketing hype they require as a fig leaf to cover their naked urge for more power.

Second: The drain the swamp metaphor used by the U.S. in the “war on terror” is the U.S. version of this marketing disguise. The ultimate logic of this tactic is really mass annihilation of those who stand in the way of achieving more power. As the military begins to drain the swamp by killing the “enemy”, the swamp is filled with the blood of children and parents. The survivors are left broken, bitter, justifiably angry, festering with open wounds, in a stinking swamp of congealing blood and feces. These people are very dangerous individuals if they have any power to retaliate, so they must be reduced to a state of extreme powerlessness, or murdered. Mass murder, or slavery, in the service of aggregating more power is the logic of draining the swamp.

Organized group violence is not the same as individual violence for self-defense, or vengeance. The individual violence of personal protection or vengeance is personal, and small scale. What mother or father wouldn’t protect their children if they had a chance? However, organizers of group violence are only too happy to use the misfortune of others to their advantage. They recruit by focusing the emotions of those broken survivors of violence and rouse them from their grief and confusion, to “drain the swamp” for their own side. The illusion of victory and more power drives the group leader.

They find new recruits weeping on the shores of the swamp of festering blood, next to the charred remains of a child, a husband, a wife, a parent, a grandparent, a favorite uncle, a niece or nephew. They offer revenge, victory, glory, but under it all, a most seductive prize, they offer a little power. Because what good is any one who can’t protect the ones they love from harm, how weak, how inconsequential must a person be, to not be able to prevent the death of a loved one. Don

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