Letter to the editor: Capitalist war machine
John Hoffman, torture is hardly the engine of perpetual warfare. It isn’t a single piston, or even in the drive train. It is one of those unfortunate add-ons weak nations resort to, to assert an illusion of being a bad ass. It is more like the glass-packs mufflers kids add to their rods to let the neighborhood know they have a muscle car.
The actual engine of warfare are resources to pillage. Resources to keep in check, so they do not flood the market of your own resources (driving your economy) and lessen their value. And market share to gain for the subsidiary business of armaments sales. These three have become irrevocably intertwined with the industrial age expanding everything to unprecedented levels.
The U.S. has actually been at war perpetually since its founding. Most of this was westward to settle the lands the French claimed, despite the indigenous sovereign nations, and sold to us. Then, to unite this with coastal ports, along the Pacific. WW I got us a seat at the table with the Great Powers (who have been playing this game for some time), and we consolidated power during WW II mostly because the infrastructure of our factories were way out of bomber range.
So, with our allies deciphering the codes of submarines decimating resupply routes, and our creating the new markets of nuclear war – dropping nukes on Japan was much more about our position in the new era of these perpetual markets as it was about ending this theater of the old order. Just like democracy is the banner we hide the sins of capitalism behind — we rose to the top.
The problem with those neocons you mentioned is their fathers didn’t teach them that perpetual warfare needs managing. To play one side against the other you need strategies that keep the enemy on the board. In other words, greed and self-aggrandizing ideology blinded them to how the market works. Torture arises in these self-created panics.