Saturday, April 24, 2010

Wen Tzu - Verse 178, Part II

from Verse One Hundred Seventy-Eight
Against a formidable enemy, of a hundred that go, one returns; those who happen to make a big name for themselves may get to have some of the annexed territory, but it costs a hundred thousand slain in combat, plus countless numbers of old people and children who die of hunger and cold.
~ Wen-tzu: Understanding the Mysteries ~
Whenever two or more nations decide to do battle, it is important to try to ascertain which individuals will profit most from the bloodshed. While the leaders of each country will try to rally public support by throwing around religious and/or nationalist rhetoric, there are always certain sectors of the elite who will benefit financially.

In the past decade, it's been rather easy to understand who has benefited most from the US invasions of Iraq and Afghanistan: industries tied to the military-industrial complex and the petroleum industry. While this nation has been in the throes of a devastating economic slump, many of these industries have seen record profits. Those profits have been borne through the blood of the soldiers on both sides plus tens or hundreds of thousands of innocents who live in the battleground regions.

But this principle doesn't apply solely to the US; it's universal. Look at any war in any locale and you will find economic and/or status-based fingerprints all over the war plans.

Far worse, most of the people that draw up the battle strategies will never go to war themselves!!

This post is part of a series. For an introduction, go here.

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