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Not so very long ago, when we still felt things and were still human, if someone annoyed us enough we would hit them either with our fists, or with whatever came to hand.  Later, this would become gangs of us - kids mostly - marauding for whatever might be going, and fighting if necessary before escaping with our booty.  Since then, things have progressed - for some.

The institution of 'leaders' and more regal 'kings' rather formalized such affairs, so that we then had armaments and uniforms, bands, marching, flags and such, and organization of the mêlees, with strategies and all, though for those at the sharper end, it was more a matter of 'kill them before they kill you'.

The invention and intervention of politics, with the selection or manufacture of their opposing 'sides' - ours or theirs, made such affairs easier to arrange on a national scale, and the plunder from such organization more considerable.  Public patriotism could be enlisted via psychological propaganda, and via mere oratory the soldiery could be made fervent in the righteousness of the cause and so on and so forth well beyond the point of nausea.

The further intervention of finance as a raison d'être then made the provision of war even more interesting for those that such things interest, though the personal motivation of the individual participants was still 'patriotism' or a more personal sentiment of 'they've killed my mates, so I'm going to kill them'.  Whole mercenary armies could be hired and provided and used, requiring only uniforms to distinguish between those with whom and against whom you fought for your pay when 'after you' had been duly offered and executed by those out of the firing-line.  Of course, as today, you never caught a whiff of those really for whom you killed forever or died forever.  You just did as you were trained and were told, like the good, obedient, mindless idiots you were - and by all appearances still are.

So today, as some of us all too plainly see, merely for the potential booty beneath the feet of those unfortunate to live above it, our brave and very well- and most expensively-equipped armies can and do invade and sack entire geographical areas, complete with all-too-convincing moral justification as to why we should have to do so.  At the drop of a check or two, most others' nations can also be enlisted to the cause - yours v. ours, with God obligingly on both sides as per requirement.

However, in the satisfaction department, lately things have become a little jaded.  Morale is difficult to maintain.  It might have been all very rewarding to swagger the streets of home with the smell of battle still upon you and with your blood still racing from your deeds of valor, or even to have adorable nurses coo over your wounds.  But you have to admit: you hardly have to wade through flak and night-fighters at eighteen thousand to mete out vengeance against your nation's foes these days, do you? 

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No, you're at ground level or below in a sumptuously-appointed bunker, with half the planet between you and your supposed 'enemy', so there's not much risk coming your way unless you get your armchair cushion rucked and it chafes, or you chance to rupture yourself leaping up over-energetically high-fiving with your fellow morons on scoring yet another bullseye.  Where exactly is any authentic manly thrill in slouching in a comfy armchair, playing impersonal kiddy war-games to wipe native villages off the map?  There's no contact anymore with any decent gore, not even of the 'terrist' women and babes your vicarious shrapnel shreds.  After a tough day at the console when you saunter casually into your Starbucks or maybe the more exclusive clubs your 'specialist' pay now puts within your reach, the girls no longer pant to your nonchalant 'Yeah, I got my target', when they know that any common-or-garden clerk or salesman can claim the same.  Besides, they being women and hoping to have a child or two in the future, you shouldn't be too surprised if they take a rather partial feminist view of the indiscriminate nature of your activities and their somewhat untidy results.

So come, if you really want to get into at least the good books of Miss American Pie, you will just have to rationalize the matter a little, understand that 'money' is behind it all and behind you, and so adjust the course of your drone and its weaponry to take out a more fitting target or two to eliminate the finance factor and get back to basics.  Simple.

Should you ever be so minded and find the decency in you to follow through I can give you the co-ordinates of a few, starting with The City, Wall Street, BIS . . .

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Aged beyond belief, with a fund of experience that few could challenge and fewer envy, and with the wealth of information and expertise that goes with it, the author is a lifelong specialist in differentiating between reality and unreality. (more...)

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