I wonder if economics is making war obsolete, at least for the larger countries. Waging war is just too damned expensive, even if your enemy lives in mud huts. If you're looking for the silver lining to the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, here it is: They prove once and for all that the occupier doesn't come out ahead even by "winning."

It makes more sense to turn off the economic spigot to any country that starts to look threatening to its neighbor. Arguably, the United States is already in a war with Iran, but it takes the form of developing alternative fuels. When Iran can no longer find much of a market for its oil, it will have to start being a lot friendlier. The same goes for the United States. The next President of The United States (probably Obama) will be projecting a new humility thanks to a crippled economy.

North Korea has been defeated economically, for all practical purposes. So was the Soviet Union. Venezuela is getting less cocky as the price of oil plummets. China has become zero threat to the U.S. because of economic interests.

Terrorism is still the wild card. But the end of oil will put more of a dent in terrorism than any war could.

In the old days you could make a profit from a good war, thanks to pillaging and slavery. Those days have passed. Switzerland has one of the highest standards of living in the world.

I think the age of big war has passed.
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Jan 19, 2009
There is no good economic reason for modern industrialized countries to go to war anymore. Everyone could gain far more from peaceful trade than by attempting to loot each others' resources by conquest.

The only reason that war persists anywhere other than the least developed parts of the world is ideology. In other words, it persists because one or both parties is ideologically fanatical. In variably, the types of ideologies that serve as the trigger for modern wars include religious supremacism, nationalism, and communism - ie. all theories that elevate the group over the individual.

The solution is for people to see themselves as individuals first, and members of collectives second.
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Nov 24, 2008
You are !$%*!$% smart, Scott.
Err I mean... that is very accurate.
Nov 4, 2008
I am very worried that if Obama wins, we will be facing more war, not less. Terrorists will feel freer to attack us. It's no fluke that both Iraq and Israel wanted McCain to win, b/c he is far stronger on national security and will protect those states.

Also, I fear what will happen if and when Obama is assassinated. At the very least, he can't possibly measure up to what many blacks and young people expect him to be, the Savior of this land. How can they possibly expect so much of one man? This change mantra is so simplistic it's silly. I almost feel sorry for him in that respect.

Going back to 1960s liberalism and the Great Society is not the answer. Look at the Bible; lazy people will always be poor. We can't wipe out poverty; that's unrealistic.

Unions would proliferate, and we all know that their greed destroyed the auto and airline industries, just to name a few.

Ronald Reagan is spinning in his grave...
Nov 4, 2008
Today, should be remembered as a day of infamy.....by all standards of a late, great president. We as Americans should be ashamed of the actions of others, though regarded by some as actions of a patriot, the news has already begun to report on actions taken by some that are down right IGNORANT!!! When a presidential candidate has backing of scrupulous groups, and some that are know for violence, and racial seperatism, that does not say alot about that individuals moral or ethical view. And as for the economic struggles we are facing, let's be serious, it is a worldwide epidemic, not just a local event. May God have mercy on us all.....
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Nov 4, 2008
Guru Adams sez "Voters are so dumb they can be swayed by signs."

Gee, I thought that putting up a yard sign was about expressing your views, not necessarily about swaying others. Hmmm, I seem to remember something about freedom of speech or something in that ratty old constitution. Or isn't that allowed anymore in the United States of Elbonia?
Oct 26, 2008
I am sorry for the double posting. I am a newbie at this game. With respect to the topic of this discussion, a new world order could mean peace forever, or something, perhaps not quit the opposite, but not much different from what we know already.
Oct 25, 2008
I posted this comment but didn't see it posted. We need to think outside of the box, outside of those cute little dolls within dolls within dolls within dolls.... We need to think. Considering the cataclysmic global events that have unfolded since 9/11, I wonder if we're not on the way to a world government, governed not by politicians but by such groups as the IMF, Group of 7-10, World Bank, and other, as yet unidentified "economic advisory groups." My musings are secondary to my re-reading Hobbs' Leviathan but I wonder: was it just the way things happened, or was it all planned? And if it was planned, by whom and what is their agenda?
Oct 25, 2008
Considering the cataclysmic global events that have unfolded since 9/11, I wonder if we're not on the way to a world government, governed not by politicians but by such groups as the IMF, Group of 7-10, World Bank, and other, as yet unidentified economic advisory groups. My musings are secondary to my reading Hobbs' Leviathan but I wonder: was it just the way things happened, or was it planned? And if it was planned, by whom and what is their agenda?
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Oct 25, 2008
I can't help but to completely disagree with you!

Not only war is not bad for US economics, but it's always been one of the better industries for the country.
The american army sells guns, military equipment and vehicles overseas (no matter how many people is killed with them) and employs millions of US citizens, either directly or indirectly.

So I think is pretty simple-minded to think that the United States will ever keep a long-lasting world peace.Not only have the american governments made loads of enemies through the years (enough to keep the country worried for upcoming terrorist attacks almost forever) but it is also in their own economic interest to start/get into a war every 5 to 10 years. It doesn't matter the number of casualties caused by these "tragic events". Business is business and in the capitalist way of thinking money is very often more important than life. Besides, the americans that die in those wars are mostly inmigrants and poor people, and it seems that most people don't give a damn for them...
Sorry to talk like a comunist, which I'm far from being ;) Just trying to set some facts and not ignoring the reality.
If you don't believe me, check american history books -they're filled with wars- and the HUGE budget of the department of defense of the US.
Oct 24, 2008

I disagree about war benefiting corporations. Both Halliburton and Blackwater have lost people in Iraq. Sure, they are greedy like many corps, but I don't see why they'd want to start or aid and abet a war just to make money. This might sound naive, but I point out that big CEOs from eBay and Microsoft are stepping up to help out the poor during this global financial crisis. The founder of eBay also wants to make governments and the media more transparent and accountable. THE MEDIA. Imagine that!

The media always hounds government and plays watchdog, but who watches them? No one.
Oct 24, 2008
I agree that the global economy means less war.

Don't agree, however, that Obama will probably be our next president. People I talk to -- even Democrats -- want some checks and balances. A Democratic Congress and Republican president.

We need experience to deal with the financial crisis, someone who also understands we can't be taxed to death and want to keep working. The Dems did a survey in the '90s and somehow concluded people would keep working even if 95 percent of their income was taken away by the feds.

Huh? Sounds like socialism to me.
Oct 23, 2008
Ironically, the same was said right before WWI (a book was written on it). It wasn't true then, it isn't true now.
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Oct 23, 2008

War is a hell of a business for the military industry, and that is why there will always be wars.

If you like science and are not afraid of what the truth maybe I dare you to do this: watch on youtube videos of the *collapse* of the WTC on 9/11 and explain how can fire cause it to explode? Why it turns to dust? Why the second building to *collapse* starts doing it from the top (can the sky put pressure on a building so it crash itself from the top, instead of on the dent that the plane made)?

I do not know either the answer to this, but as you point out in Gods Debris: "Just because I do not know how a magician makes his tricks does not make it magic", but those buildings exploded.

Thanks for all the laughs, yesterday comic was great.

Oct 23, 2008
If only.

The Iraq War is expensive mostly because we refuse to be ruthless and just kill indiscriminately. I don't think any other major belligerent in history has ever tried as hard as we have to spare civilians, etc.

Now, this is a good thing. But some other countries/organizations/whatever aren't so self-restrained. They're really only kept in line because they're militarily weaker than us so they can't ignore our opinion. And if our opinion is "we don't really care" (which often seems to be true in Africa, at least), naked brutality can still reign today.
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Oct 23, 2008
Mr. Adams,

I came across a news article about new solar panel technology that I thought you'd be interested in, since it relates (however loosely) to today's blog.

Oct 23, 2008
The age of war will be past when ignorance is past.

Wars aren't usually fought on logic, are they?
Oct 23, 2008
I sincerely hope you are right, but I'm not sure we've reached the end of history just yet. As long as there's a disconnect between those who make the decision to go to war and those who must suffer its consequences then I think the future may still provide these ugly surprises from time to time.
Oct 23, 2008
I think with all social-economic problems they can best be described with cat analogies.

I have 2 cats. Both are friendly. One cat when you stop petting him he does everything he can to win your love back and another cat who when you stop petting him will attempt to scratch you for stopping.

Which would Iran do if we cut them off from our economy?
Oct 23, 2008
There has been so much talk about oil money but the Taliban doesn't get it 's money from oil, they get it from the drug trade (opium in Afganistan). I am sure that even if we were to remove oil money from the dangerous places of the world, the money would come from other sources (for example, drugs).

Of course it ticks me off that we transfer so much of our wealth to nations that are opposed to the basic human rights we have fought so hard to achieve so I think it's a good thing if we stop doing this but I don't think it will stop wars.
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Oct 23, 2008
Scott, wars are very bad for a nation and its citizens, but very good for who has power and money.
And external enemy is great to justify shifting the power balance from the citizens to the government.
And of course, a fatter military budget.
Would have people accepted the Patriot Act, tortures, and re-elected W if they weren't scared to death?
This has been so since the birth of democracy, with the only difference that wars are on smaller scale and longer duration and fear is used instead of ideology as motivation.

Did anyone made a cost/benefit analysis on the war on terror or the war in Iraq as opposite as, say, investing that money on cancer research or road safety?
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