4 Pillars of War

Posted: 24/08/2011 by zandtao in Media, Struggle, War

There are few people who like war, even the most hawkish do not accept that the killing is enjoyable. Therefore to fight a war it is necessary to make it acceptable to all the required people that war should be fought. It is therefore necessary to understand how war is built up, and how in the building-up to war the components of the war machine do not see themselves as war-like – more especially they do not see themselves as the instigators. These components I have called The Pillars of War.

1) To begin with we have the military. Typically a soldier is a “good citizen”. By this I mean that the soldier believes in his country, and believes the political leaders that it is necessary to go to war. For the ordinary soldier it is necessary for them to believe they are fighting for “king and country”, “the good old US of A” or the tribal king taking them to war. A significant part of the soldier’s training is discipline. This discipline is two-fold, necessary for survival under battle conditions, and a complete acceptance of the command structure up to and including the political element. For the military the political interface is between the generals, admirals etc and the political leaders. It is important to understand this role of the military leaders as pillars of war. These men are often known as hawks, but the truth is that these people are not the instigators of war – they are usually defenders. They perceive their role as defending the honour, democracy, the American Way, or some such moral high ground. They become convinced that at the time of war what they believe in has been threatened. This notion of defence is important to them in not being responsible for the aggression, at the same time they consider their position moral – at least I hope so. These generals etc. are life-long military, and have spent years accepting this notion of defence and moral highground. Their function is primarily to enact the war although in the political interface they do make recommendations concerning the defence of the country. Whether you or I think the same way as these hawks, in terms of the “Pillars of War” it is important to understand that these people have been inculcated into the military mindset and believe that they are defending their country. They too get caught up in the war rhetoric created by politics and media.

2) In order to fight a war there is a need for military hardware, and someone has to manufacture it. This industrial wing needs to see itself as amoral – as a business. It is not their decision to go to war but they are willing to sell the government the necessary munitions. As such they cannot be perceived as culpable in starting a war, and making a profit is considered acceptable in business. Perhaps munitions should be non-profit-making?

3) Political leaders – These leaders are considered to be the people who make the decisions about going to war. In order to make the political decisions more acceptable, in the West these leaders are given legitimacy by the democratic process, and therfore if they make a decision to fight the war they say it is the will of the people. At the same time there are a number of supporting cast voted in as the representatives of the people such as in congress or parliament, all of whom add legitimacy to this democratic process that gives credence to the fighting of a war.

4) The people themselves are an integral part of the process as they provide the legitimacy for the political leaders, and it is the people and lifestyle that the military say they are defending.

The way I have described these 4 pillars war is a matter of honour defending a nation, and even though the munitions manufacturers are making a profit they are technically not part of the decision-making process.

This is what we as voters are asked to believe, but this is not the reality that is in place. Over the centuries it became recognised that munitions were highly profitable. As Eisenhower warned in “Why we fight”:-

profits made from the Second World War were huge, and he feared the powerful machine that the munitions had become. Here is Eisenhower’s warning from the film but watch the whole whole film to get some feeling for the relationship between the first three Pillars of War.

The first thing to remember is that a significant premise of the western war machine is that people must not affirm a decision to go to war, they must feel it is forced on them. There are innocuous sounding words which describe how the relations of the Military Industrial Complex works. The first one is influence. Let’s start with the munitions companies. The CEO’s of these companies publicly meet with politicians. In their meeting together they might say business is bad, and how it might affect the people the politician represents. This is a warning because the politician knows that ther is a knock-on affluence from sales of munitions. Now the politicians have survived years in the political party so they are already moulded, so when the situation arises they are likely to be more favourable to war as it helps their people. I am not saying that the politician changes his views but if there were doubts maybe she is persuaded to forget the doubts – this is not confrontation but influence. All the powerful players in the decision-making process are under the same influence – they are like-minded. Business people need profits so they blame business and take the immoral decision that encourages war. The Generals are already of a like mind for war because that is how they became generals. And the politicians survive politically by contribution so they are under the influence of money – Wall Street, the Square Mile, and the MIC. It is all influence.

So the first three Pillars are surrrounded by like-minded influence that encourages war. But that is not enough. It is not possible to wage war without the complicity of the voters – at least a significant proportion of them. Here the war in Iraq was a good example. In the First Gulf War Iraq invaded Kuwait because Kuwait was mining their oil, Saddam also thought the US would not object because they had supported him in his rise to power (see Iraq page). When the war had finished sanctions were in place thus ensuring that a dictator would exploit his people giving the West a moral position to support their later claims for war. But the main pretext was Weapons of Mass Destruction which the West initially knew Iraq had because they had provided them. Despite sufficient evidence to the contrary WMD were still used as a pretext in 2003 for the Second Gulf War. However before that happened 9/11 happened. There is much controversy as to what happened on 9/11 but at best it was an event the type of which the US establishment were waiting for – there are far worse scenarios offered including complicity by the US government. As a result of 9/11 the “war on Terror” was started – as predicted by David Rockefeller (see frontpage quote), and as this lynchpin of the corporatocracy points out the “war on Terror” is not an enemy that can be targetted and expunged – there will always be people who disagree with capitalism (the corporatocracy) so there will always be people to be called terrorists. Through the media politicians drew a connection between the War on Terror and Iraq, and all of these loose associations enabled the war machines to kick in and the troops are still there.

Significant in this process of making the war seem acceptable is the media on two levels, firstly in presenting the propoganda that the enemey is heinous, and secondly nowadays that people are not hurt in war – the myth of precsion bombing etc. I don’t think it is necessary for the political leaders to persuade the people that what they say is right but they just need to create enough obfuscation and doubt that there will not be a public outcry when the invasion takes place. In the case of Iraq the ground had been seeded in the US and UK for a long time that Saddam was an evil dictator. As the leaders pushed for war there were demonstrations against, but these were not sufficient to deter and the result was the devstation that followed. And there has not been a public outcry. What is worse is that since then the war machine has started up again enabling an attack on Libya supporting rebels whose democratic credentials are dubious at best. Only yesterday these rebels and the weapons of the MIC entered Tripoli, and we shall now see the devastation in Libya – on a par with Iraq where the construction and security industry will take their spoils in the country.

With Libya the fourth pillar was only tacit – perhaps because there were no troops involved. Obama started the war without the consent of congress – the supposed peoples’ representatives. This is very worrying, now war can be started with a tacit acceptance of the people.

In the US the government has a debt deficit. This is substantial and can easily be traced to the borrowing to service the wars. This debt is a political issue – perhaps this is a platform on which war can be fought. For me the humanitarian cost is far more significant but the death of a person in the Middle East sadly does not merit enough consideration. The first three pillars have a vested interest in the propogation of war, the only way that can be fought is by a democratic upswelling that makes the waging of war unacceptable. But can a Peace campaign win? There is no evidence in the past that Peace campaigning has worked significantly, perhaps it can be said that the worst ravages have been reigned in in the past.

The people need their homes. The political analysis of the corporatocracy recognises that these homes are connected by the economic system to the wars that are waged. You can call this trickle-down or simply recognise that with the increased money paid to the workers communities can survive better. I don’t think however that people accept this. They work to pay for their homes and bring up their families, this seems reasonable. But the economy is not as straightforward as that. The capitalist economy has moved beyond such simple transaction. It is debt-driven rather than transactional, the wealth of the rich cannot be substantiated by traditional methods such as the gold standard. If all the people including the rich were to demand the money that was in their accounts the economy would crash. To avoid such a run the economy needs significant infusions of purchasing that give the impression that the economy is perhaps functioning at the credit-level it pretends to be. In reality the economy is not sustainable, and it is true that if the economy was altered drastically such as by removing war purchases it would collapse.

But isn’t it better to collapse than to have it continue based on the War on Terror?

People needing their homes is a status quo scenario. What happens to the economy if the government moves to the left. The Superclass manipulates the economy so that it appears that such moves will cause ordinary people hardship. They induce fear and insecurity so that ordinary people decide that if they alter the status quo they put their homes at risk. This is in fact true because the people who manipulate the economy put their homes at risk. In effect this status quo ensures sufficient compliance to the government of the day irrespective of the morality.

And that brings me back to the wars. The war economy is an integral part of the status quo, and whether ordinary houseowners are aware of this or not they instinctively know that the status quo cannot be altered. So the fourth pillar could equally be described as the status quo. If ordinary people in the West acceopt the status quo then we will have deaths from war – it is that simple.

So where does that lead us with a humanitarian anti-war strategy? Promoting peace by voting for candidates who stand on an anti-war platform is one way. But look at Obama. I have no doubts that he lied to get voted but that is not provable as he will always blame the Republicans. And I doubt if an anti-war candidate would get sufficient votes in western governments.

A sustainable economy does not depend on war but long before such an economy could come into existence there would be manipulations that would promote the fears associated with changing the status quo.

Now that there is no Cold War, the US has no enemy to hold it back. War is integral to the US economy, and therefore integral to the economy of the world. In describing the four pillars of war I have tried to show what is required for war to continue, and sadly I can offer no solution as to ending war. The only possible solution is alterinbg the status quo by taking an anti-war platform but that is unlikely to work as the Superclass would ensure that ordinary people would suffer first. A sustainable economy would alter the status quo but again manipulations would ensure that the economy continued wioth its debt. However sustainability provides a better lifestyle, and is worth considering from that standpoint alone.

I find this analysis saddening, it was not where I expected to end up when I began writing. However as a compassionate man I am unable to turn away from the need to fight war however integrated it is in the fabric of my family and countrymen in the UK. Very sad.

Compassion is the source of our response. With the status quo that compassion is focussed on the family. Previously I had tacitly accepted that compassion for the family is enough but how do you weigh that compassion for the family against the dead in Iraq?


The corporatocracy has taken advantage of that compassion and exploits through war and other means. Recognition of this reality means that compassion for the family is not enough, because that compassion has been misused. Being insightful one needs to look beyond the family as the object of our compassion because of the tacit complicity inherent in the status quo pillar. Activists being active of course is part of the solution but houseowners and families in general are now forced to move out of their sphere of compassion because of the exploitation their devotion has left them vulnerable to. How families take on that activist decision is their choice but sadly compassion for the family is not now an option.

Or we accept this:-

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