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The Festivals of Mars

Just the other day, the United States concluded the third of the annual American Festivals of Mars — Veteran's Day. Taken together with Memorial Day and the Fourth of July, these holy days are dedicated to the celebration of massive death and widespread destruction. These holy days are intended to foster support for the continued conduct of hostile takeovers of foreign lands for the benefit of those priests of profitable war and who remain above the actual level of impoverishment enjoyed by the majority.

The idea that war is merely the enforcement of international business deals by other means is not new. It was openly discussed many years ago by those opposed to America adopting imperialism and by someone who knew well about its practice from the inside. This notion that Military Might Makes Good Business has often been the basis for America's wars throughout our history, beginning with our Revolution, continuing with the War of 1812 and the Mexican War, and being a little-understood reason for the Civil War. 623,026 men died fighting over the notion that the business interests of a minority of the nation should hold sway over the aspirations of the majority. [This and all subsequent tallies of American war dead come from the U.S. Army Military History Institute.]

This notion that a minority could dictate to a majority was frankly the very reason our national forebears rebelled against the British Crown. Colonial business interests – a group much smaller than the established Imperial commercial mainstream which competed against them – demanded rights out of proportion to their size when measured against those of the entire Empire, and would not take no for an answer. Liberty from colonial status satisfied some, while the remainder again pressed for rights and privileges beyond their due from their new countrymen. Over 600,000 American men later paid the costs of settling that internecine disagreement.

Native Americans became the next conquest of profitable mercantilism over national sovereignty, and then it became the turn of the corrupt and decaying Spanish Empire. Both lost rights to the vast majority of their property and other assets to the New World Orderers. In the greater scheme of things, these were easy conquests for the American military machine. Fewer than 4000 American men died fighting these wars, which could hardly be considered harbingers of the bloody future awaiting the US in the 20th century.

Outside of a few losses suffered in the early years of the 20th century defending the territorial rights of colonialists in Asia, and defending the Monroe Doctrine against nationalist sentiment in countries surrounding the Gulf of Mexico, there was no idea that American expansionism was going to collide with ambitions of another fledgling empire – Germany – who had to be disgruntled about the upstart plebeian Yankees having a larger colonial conglomeration than did the Imperial German House of Hohenzollern. One of the motives for Germany to get involved in the arms race which culminated in millions dying in seas of mud and blood was to realize those ambitions and rectify a perceived slight by the other royal houses of Europe. 116,708 Americans died protecting the colonial markets of these other royal houses from German conquest.

In the end, the sacrifice of so many went for naught as a newer form of German elitism, meticulously copied by the sons of the Samurai, emerged to again attempt to create new colonial empires to compete with those of the old. It took the lives of 407,316 Americans to stop this effort, and about another 100,000 who died later as the victors squabbled over the spoils of that success. The millions of uninvolved civilians who perished through these muscular tussles of commercial hustlers are of no consequence to the bottom line. They were just another cost of doing business. Collateral damage, as it were.

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  • Irene Wagner

    I had to click on Realist’s name and go to his author’s page to be able to access this article. Trouble might be the HTML in the last para.

  • Christopher Rose

    I’ve fixed those errors now, Irene, so hopefully you won’t have any more problems.

  • Irene Wagner

    For a day or so after your last comment, this article could be accessed from the Politics page.

    Something changed since then, though, because now, when one is on the Politics page and clicks on the link to this article, one is brought to the Administrative Login Page. (I took a different route.)

  • Roger B

    USA citizens LOVE war! We go on and on about it: how glorious our Mission is, how noble the soldiers.

    Our appetite was really whetted by WW2, which we saw as proof of our virtue, though mostly it was luck and one or two good moves.

    Since then, in spite of our miserable win/lose record we have found plenty of material for the good movies and books that our wars produce.

    And that’s the bottom line, isn’t it? Did we sell the tickets and fill the movie theater seats?