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Weapons of War

Satisfactory Essays
Weapons of War

“War on Iraq” and “sexual identity” showcase instructive new tactics for contemporary politics.

If you can’t beat ‘em, join ‘em. In conventional warfare. The US military no longer needs nuclear weapons for its better-publicized outings when they’ve built a 10-ton conventional bomb and aren’t above firebombing civilian centers. At a moment when anti-militarist criticism had crystallized around activism against specialized forms of military machinery (the Bradley was too expensive, the School of the America’s too brutal, the nuke too indiscriminate), all such criticism can be blown with the broadcasted desert winds to the enemy and yanked on for leverage - thus permitting/demanding all the kinds of actions (with or without marked technologies) that were the initial object of criticism. Now it’s Iraq who has dangerous WMD’s, not the US (a country with a nuclear policy of first strike against non nuclear nations). What may once have been a criticism of military violence became one of the weapons themselves (Depleted Uranium Bullets, land mines, space weapons, ‘bunker-busters’), and now ‘we’ shall fight clean against an enemy who (gasp!) might not. Just as the crime becomes the criminal, Saddam becomes his weapons programs; he “is a homicidal dictator who is addicted to weapons of mass destruction" (Bush). Programs that are mostly despicable because they aren’t supposed to have these weapons (according to international agreements, and sometimes early 90’s US mandates, to which, of course, US policy and rhetoric always shows such commitment). The trick is simultaneous with, and analogous to, the more obvious game of peace versus threat. “We are resolved today, to confront every threat, from any source, that could bring sudden terror and suffering to America” (Bush), except threats from America, naturally. But, the weapon issue focuses on technologies in a way that makes the two rhetorical devices non-homologous and makes weapons more relevant here, because the question is not just of representations but also of instruments.

Such conditions are not governed by banker’s rules of an economy of power (we get some percent more, you get so much less), or by a monarchical power that runs roughshod over (innocent) individuals, trampling the green grass of knowledge. Rather, the banker’s rules matter in the bank, and work only if there is a commitment to the illusion of the bank. Go ahead, tell “Bush” he isn’t a good king, he isn’t using power responsibly.
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