The War on Terrorism celebrates Christmas
If you had your choice where would you rather celebrate Christmas - Afghanistan or Argentina?
On the one hand you can have the Christian high holy day expressed by savage and brutal killing without mercy - dead or alive in the words of the apparent leader of the civilised, Christian world - utilising the most advanced technology in the world to destroy every trace of an enemy driven already into holes in the ground and armed only with what their current enemies were willing to sell or donate to them when they were supposed allies just a few years ago.
Or, if you prefer the Dickensian depiction, Victorian images of unbearable suffering of the poor driven into extremes of despair by the unmitigated greed of the usurers, you may choose Christmas in Buenos Aires or any other Argentinian city.
Although in individual details these choices are poles apart, yet they both represent scenarios we are likely to see repeated in the future. Due to the price paid in terms of human destruction and extensive 'collateral damage' you may well hope that they are only the last option reserved in the case of extreme opposition. But the question must be asked, opposition to what? Civilisation? Opposition to the United States of America? Opposition to the G8 or NATO or the International Monetary Fund? The key unifying theme in both cases: siege by starvation. Although in Afghanistan the sound and fury of modern weaponry are more glamorous in television terms and therefore get more air-time, yet the real, on-the-ground pressure on the Afghani people, from every tribe and locality, was and continues to be the unallayed and inevitable hunger of people who have nothing to eat. And Argentinians are now facing the same dilemma of children whose mothers can offer a diet that only promises a slow death or life-long deformity and crippling due to severe malnutrition.
Well, perhaps the answer isn't clear yet because in fact Argentina and Afghanistan did not oppose a discrete identifiable entity, rather they represent an inevitable 'down-turn' in much the same way that the famous apple hitting Newton's legendary head represented a natural force in opposition to an artificial one. These two 'nations' are examples of an artifice called human achievement running into its own natural limits.
Now as to the distinguishing characteristics of the two:
Afghanistan exemplifies the treatment applied to the conglomeration of a people out of step with the twin programs of a culture based on consumerism and politics based on unlimited profits. In other words, here are human beings who, willingly or unwillingly, are a thorn in the side of a phenomenon commonly known as progress. Afghanistan is one of the unfortunate products, found throughout Africa, Asia and south and central America, of a retarded technological and commercial infrastructure aligned with occupation of a territory boasting resource wealth and a location of vital economically strategic importance.
Argentina, on the other hand, is how progress eats its own young. After all, in a world economy based on usury-generated profits we can't all be winners. In fact, given the simple and inexorable mathematics of compound interest, the ratio of winners to losers is in the region of a million to one. And since the majority of the winners currently are to be found in the USA and Europe and Japan, that means that Argentina could never be seriously considered a contender for arrival on the north side of the divide between the rich and poor. Brazil and Chile may be breathing easier at the moment but their days are numbered too, and the numbers are to be found by a simple glance at their respective national debts along with the prevailing rates of interest in comparison to the gross domestic product and the national currency's curve of devaluation on the trading boards of the international money markets.
To the starving and economically ruined Argentinian it is presumably small consolation that they are a one-hundred per cent willing participant in the program which has brought their society to total collapse.
But what is this program? As ephemeral as a chimera yet as universally referenced as a diety, the modern program of progress incorporates a true witches brew, a mixture in unpredictable proportions of political party democracy and dictatorship, national and supra-national commercial regulation, international usury-based economics and unilateral and multilateral military intercessions to arbitrarily enforce the decrees of any number of power blocs whether from national states such as the USA, Britain, Russia or France or corporate and super-corporate entities such as oil companies, OPEC, or the G7, G8 and the IMF and World Bank, to continually redefined alliances such as NATO and the OSCE. Despite the diffuculty to truly come to grip with exactly what is being promoted, nonetheless the media-born message of continuous progress is promulgated by the articulated voice of what amounts to an unembodied sovereign.
Unembodied because whoever or whatever is really behind the violent destruction in Afghanistan or the destabilisation of Argentina no-one can seriously believe that G.W. Bush is in charge of the world, nor is NATO, the UN, the IMF or the World Bank. Nor are any of these entitites in agreement on anything beyond the pragmatic necessities of 'getting on', 'staying in power' and 'being on the winning side'. And also, importantly, these results, i.e. the deaths of thousands in Afghanistan and the imposition of totalitarian regimes there and in Argentina with the thinnest veneer of democracy, are certainly not the recompense or just revenge for the terrorist attacks in the USA last September.
The uncomfortable facts may well be that there is no rational agency leading the modern human endeavour that favours the name of civilisation, that whatever progress is being achieved it may be predominantly negative and that we are all like children from a hybrid marriage of human managerial assumptions with technology. And these unfortunate children are educated by their parents without an argument to oppose the nihilism that science has to offer as the religion of progress. Nihilists can celebrate Christmas with equal aplomb whether despatching a bunker-buster super-bomb or a token shipment of surplus food aid.
Nihilism is the surrogate-religion of robots and bankers alike and it spreads like contagion.