can’t see the forest

How To Succeed In the War Business Without Really Trying

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Please note: while the following satirical get-rich-quick plan seems plausible enough, it has not yet proven completely reliable. Individual results will vary. This example represents an extreme case of success, and it should not be implied that your results will match these.

(1) First, you’ll need to be an investment firm specializing in defense contracting, so you can supply the war, and in telecommunications, so you can sell the war.

(2) It will be absolutely essential that your firm employ, at least at intervals, politicians such as George H.W. Bush, George W. Bush, James Baker III, John Major, Frank Carlucci, Frank McKenna, and Thaksin Shinawatra. This means, for all intents and purposes, you must be the Carlyle Group. These affiliations will be necessary because everyone knows you can’t conduct a war unless you’re firmly entrenched in government. It also helps if you have major foreign investors such as the Binladen family.

Gas Prices(3) Now that you’re the Carlyle Group, you will want to secure an alliance with an external industry which can likewise profit from the venture—this works something like portfolio diversification. I would suggest that you choose the world’s largest oil refiner. It’s called Halliburton. The reason this is a good idea is that the world relies largely on oil to function, and, since the oil supply of the Earth is about to reach its production peak, prices will only soar. The future looks bright—but to discourage conscientous conservation (oh, those pesky market flaws), you’ll want to set to work straightaway on discrediting the patently obvious science behind the mechanism of global warming (you’ll have to enlist PR and marketers since even a kindergartener could understand the dangers unless they’re professionally downplayed.) You’re certainly not going to want to mention the near-term complete economic collapse that would be caused by a supply-demand gap in oil of just 10 or 15 percent (ask your investment banking friends.) It might be instrumental to attack science from another angle, too, by funding the Intelligent Design ‘movement.’ This will also later attract many well-meaning Christians to your cause through indirect, nearly subconscious means. You should read some Carl Jung to get grounding for these tactics.

(4) Next, you’ll want to ensure that a Presidential administration friendly to you (or—better yet—consisting of you!) is elected. This might be tricky, but if you dress up a Yale grad business failure as an honest, hardworking, Christian American, you can probably make it. You’ll want to make sure his father was a wartime President with appointees sitting on the Supreme Court, just in case the race needs refereeing. Also you might want to add a cutthroat political advisor to your campaign who is suspected of having planted a bug in his own office just before calling the cops on debate night, and who once advertised an opposition fundraiser as a free kegger for homeless people. His name should be Karl Rove.

(5) Success so far? Great. The hardest part’s almost over. Put the 500 year-old champagne on ice, or Bud Light if you prefer. Now, with Carlyle Group minions as your President and Secretary of Defense, with a Halliburton goon as your Vice-President, and with various other oil and defense industry cronies strategically stationed throughout your administration, all you’ll need is a pretext for war. What’s that? You say there is intelligence coming down the wire in droves reporting planned terrorist attacks in Manhattan? Poifect! Just pretend you didn’t see it. Your VP is really, really good at that. You can always blame your failure to prevent the attacks on a lack of clear intelligence.

Ground 0 - Lone Firefighter(6) This step is hard; don the safety goggles. Once the terrorists have attacked, you’ll want to waste no time in mobilizing the country for war. Now, the real goal here is to get control of Iraqi oilfields, but first you’ll need to invade Afghanistan in order to convince the public that you’re actually interested in getting the bad guys. Don’t worry—there’s money to be made there, too. The Americans will be so angry, shocked, confused, and hurt by the terrorist attacks that this won’t be difficult—but you must call it the ‘War On Terror,’ being sure to foster an America-versus-the-world attitude by dredging up old enmities from the Reagan years (sorry, the USSR is gone. Used up that one!) Make it seem as if the terrorists just hate Americans for being Americans and not because their tax dollars have been supporting military bases in the Muslim holy land and a forty year-old illegal Israeli-directed slow-mo holocaust in Palestine. Employ terms like ‘Axis of Evil’ and ‘the great ideological struggle of the 21st Century.’ You have to tell really big lies so that, later, when your scheme begins to come apart at the seams and your cruel plutocratic operation is exposed for what it is, people will be so war-crazed and ashamed to admit they were ever so stupid and gullible that many will continue to support you regardless (read Becker for more on this.) It is highly advisable that you use your telecom interests (and just assloads of cash in general) to ensure that at least one major media group keeps the public cloaked in an ethic of perpetual victimhood (consult with the Israel Press Office.) You’ll want to emphasize Old Testament vengeance over New Testament forgiveness. You know, that Jesus guy that said “love your enemies” and “turn the other cheek,” and what not. You’ll want the public to forget about Jesus’ teachings on forgiveness in this context, so they won’t try to apply them to the terrorists you allowed to attack their homeland.

Bush Declares Victory a Bit Soon(7) When the public gets sufficiently riled up for war, that’s your signal to go for the (black) gold! Now you can turn to Iraq, where the real money is. Manufacture (or at least doctor up) some intelligence linking Iraq to the terrorists that hate America, and then swear by it. Even though your Secretary of Defense was photographed shaking the evil dictator’s hand only months after said dictator gassed whole cities, be sure to have your President remind the public that “this is the guy who tried to kill my Dad.” For effect, have your President publicly state that he talks to God about world issues. When opinion polls droop, just declare victory and keep fighting. Also, be sure your administration specifically prevents airing footage of the caskets of dead children in military uniforms. Instead, just show more footage of the attacks in Manhattan and of Iraqi children playing, or something. It might also be helpful to announce terrorist plots you’ve foiled, always nestling them in the bosom of war coverage.

(8) This is key: you have to set up your military bases and oil logistics real quick. Otherwise Halliburton might bail on you. Since the Iraqis will constantly rebel against your presence once the dictator is gone, your defense business is now set on autopilot. Set up a puppet government in Iraq, botch it on purpose from the start, and continuously assert to your home public that the new government is just not strong enough to resist the…terrorists, that’s it.

Torture and Abuse at Abu Ghraib(9) When Americans begin to realize that thousands of people are dying because of your profiteering scheme, simply crank up the patriotic rhetoric and symbolism, always being sure to exploit Christian and American values while torturing Iraqis. When the Iraqis begin to realize you have no intention of allowing them to operate their own true democracy, kill some civilians so they don’t lose their fighting spirit. This ensures a continued need for defense, and thus for your business. Know your market.

(10) Congratulations! You’ve now succeeded in the war business without really trying, and your friends in the oil business are also fat and happy, to boot. Just be sure to talk them into lowering gas prices at election time. Meanwhile, build self-sufficient residential compounds with renewable energy supply systems and start the unit rent at, say, a million dollars a year. When the economy can no longer support itself because of a gap in oil supply, declare martial law.


One Response

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  1. zilla said, on 9/27/06 at 6:59 am

    Just lurking and holy smokesing, and lamenting that more minds don’t delve beyond the surface. My coffee went cold while I was catching up, but somehow that’s okay. I’m stimulated.

    Here’s to truthiness!

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