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They Want You



Almost eight years since 9/11/01 and after enormous subsequent failures, we are beginning to make inroads in depoliticizing national security. Obama's national security speech today emphasizes the fact that we should not turn our back on our values when taking measures to preserve our nation.

The issues so hotly discussed by left and right---the closure of Gitmo, the sovereignty of Pakistan, the wish in Europe for war crimes tribunals in Europe---they all come down to the same issue: whether or not the military must play by rules made by civilians.

The War Machine---which always exists external to the State, rather than within it---is naturally at odds with attempts to keep it sworn to the same laws by which the rest of us must abide. It exists in lawless lands and rarely does it play by rules. Some practices may be counterproductive to our goals---not all lawless practices are, however.

In fact, it is precisely the quality of lawlessness that makes the War Machine effective; and it is the quality of lawlessness that also makes it dangerous. When you enlist, you cross over from on country and enter another. Your eyes should be wide open to that fact.