Working at a Big 8 Peace Firm, a Look Back
War activists, like peace activists, push for an agenda. We don’t think of them as activists because they rotate in and out of government positions, receive huge amounts of funding, have access to big media, and get meetings with top officials just by asking — without having to generate a protest first.
I was a junior analyst working on developing pro-peace material. Part of my job was booking our leading peace advocates on the Sunday morning talk shows. If it seemed like every Sunday you saw the same peace advocates ganging up in a four to one “discussion” with one war monger there was a reason. Unlike them, our people were well trained, articulate and buddies with all the producers and hosts. The media loved our men and women as guests. We booked everyone, from the red white and blue wearing men to the serious, hard-hitting realist female experts.
You know all those op-ed pro-peace articles you read in the editorial sections of the major media editorial sections? That was us. The firm I worked for was funded by a company that made farming equipment from recycled weapons.
Other firms got their multimillion dollar budgets from agribusiness, pharma and tech. Sometimes it seemed crazy how much money they threw at us, but their premise was, “You can sell more equipment, food, drugs and tech to live people than dead ones.” Made sense to me. People with two hands can do more work than those whose arms were blown off. One scientist working for Big Pharma said, “It is more logical to heal than kill.”
When I started a group of war activists out there were whining about how nobody was funding their blood-lust. Their leaders said the glory of war was a noble thing and they expected people who believed the same to do the work for free. Because of that, only the most dedicated (or those subsidized by a crazy billionaire) would end up in the media pushing war.
Their ideas were outrageously wrong and and their views were so morally repugnant they were usually marginalized by the journalists and media hosts. Who can forget the show where the country’s most powerful journalist made it clear how factually wrong one of the war activist’s was and then ended by pointing out just what an immoral blood-thirsty freak he was.
I remember one time a smiling ghoul named Bill Redglass was shut down by one of our staff members from the Peace College. A few years after Redglass was on TV I ran into a former Senator who called out Redglass as a monstrous, bloodthirsty fraud.
What I don’t understand is why folks like Redglass kept going. Surely they knew that pushing war was a lost cause? Everyone knew war was stupid and destructive and rarely got countries what they wanted. But they kept pushing it. I kind of felt sorry for them. Many couldn’t hold a job. When people found out how much they loved death they were quietly let go from sensible firms Some lived in their parent’s basement because they were the only ones who believed their crazy ideas–like wishing for a disaster to happen on US soil as an excuse to start a war. Some would write on “weblogs” trying to sound tough.
I sometimes wonder about a parallel universe where people listened to them. Hundreds of thousands of innocents would be dead. If their pimply, adolescent Zeus fantasy’s came true, the whole world would be a worse place–even for the “winners.”
If the war activists had been successful, how would they feel about what they did? How could people look at them, knowing they cheerlead and promoted death for so many? Historically were the people who promoted war for Pol Pot, Stalin or Colonel Green feted? Would people invite them on their TV shows and treat them like rational beings and not the PR men for monsters? Thank god nobody took them seriously. Can you imagine? what kind of world that would be?
I don’t think we would be out in the galaxy among the stars today if we hadn’t figured out how to stop the mental illness and errors in thinking that lead to the wars of the past. I’m just glad that the people who promote war aren’t rich and happy but are shunned by people. I’m so happy companies that make money by selling things to people understand dead customers are bad for business. And companies that make weapons are bad for humans.
Photo by Trey Ratcliff under creative commons license