The Targets of War

Who is the Iraq war being fought against? The answer to large and complex political questions is always very simple: follow the money.

The Iraq war – like all wars – centers around a massive transfer of money from the majority to a minority. Your money – and your children’s money – is being stolen through taxation. A tiny part of it goes to the troops – and the vast remainder goes to well-connected war profiteers.

It is crucial to understand this reality: your money is not stolen so that the troops can go to Iraq. The troops are sent to Iraq so that your money can be stolen.

If this seems cynical, imagine the following scenario: your brother says he needs $500 from you because he has to fix his car. You are about to give him the money, when you suddenly remember that he sold his car a year ago. “Oh,” he says, without missing a beat, “I meant that I have to fix my roof.” Again, you are about to give him the money, when you frown and realize that he lives in a rented apartment. You bring this up, and he says: “Sorry, I meant that I need $500 to get my guitar back from the pawn shop.” However, he has never played guitar.

Is it so hard to figure out what your brother is really after? Every story he makes up has to do with getting $500 out of you. Every time you point out a flaw in his request, he changes his story. He doesn’t want $500 from you to satisfy a particular need. He invents random needs to get your $500.

The relevance of this analogy to the Iraq war is obvious. The American government has gone to war in order to steal from the American population. All other reasons change, but the cost of the war – and the fact that it is not being paid for by any reductions in government spending – is the one constant, as it is for all wars. The ‘enemy’ is merely the means: the taxpayer is the end.

This much should be familiar with everyone who reads Orwell – what is not as often mentioned, however, is the relationship that taxation has to the ‘free choice’ of soldiers.

I had an argument once about the US Civil War. My opponent said that, by freeing the slaves, the government did a good thing. I replied that the freeing of the slaves was irrelevant. What was relevant was that, through the draft, the government enslaved hundreds of thousands of men – killing many of them – to fight the Civil War. Enslaving men to fight slavery is logically foolish and morally evil. (Besides, it was the government that made slavery legal in the first place by refusing to add property rights to the Constitution.)

In the same way, it is not that important whether the soldiers in Iraq are there because they want to be there. What is important is that current and future Americans are being enslaved at gunpoint to pay for the war.

We must save the soldiers by fighting the violent taxation that makes it profitable to have them out shooting and dying. We must reclaim our own freedom, because war is the greatest evil we shall ever face, and wars will never cease until we are free.

Stefan Molynuex, is the host of Freedomain Radio (, the most popular philosophy site on the Internet, and a "Top 10" Finalist in the 2007-2010 Podcast Awards.

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July 2024

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