War is about two things: theft and subjugation (which themselves are closely related). In the Roman model which is no longer in use war was also about glory (the glory of conquest), however that was most likely the result of a successful propaganda campaign.
There is no such thing as real hate in the context of war (hate only occurs outside of war). Hate is never the reason for war. People only hate their enemies after they become enemies, never before. Hate is a useful emotional tool which allows for mass killing, and especially for effective killing as it turns humans into tools of death. Sufficient technology allows no more need for hate, when one can achieve mass killing by pushing a button, but subjugation will always involve intimacy with humans on some level so there will always be hate involved with war so long as there is war.
On something of a side note, what is called a “hate crime” in the United States is actually a war crime. Most wars do not involve large armies and are organized. Many wars are genocidal in nature and are carried out sporadically and in everyday life. The Ku Klux Klan is not a hate group but a militant group that periodically carries out acts of war.
The humans who perpetuate wars are those who gain the most from theft and subjugation and who pay the least in terms of the cost of war. In hierarchical power models such as have dominated the world for millennia it’s the humans on the top of the hierarchical structure who reap the largest benefits from theft and subjugation and pay the least cost in terms of having other humans die on their behalf. They invent fictions like honor, glory, and duty to allow others to be controlled by them as they go to their death in slavery to give the powerful more control and wealth.
The question “How do we end war?” is often asked but rarely answered. It’s not that difficult to stop or at least greatly curtail the amount and degree of wars in the world. The first thing to do is eliminate all hierarchical power structures, which put those on top both unaccountable to everyone else and most eager to commit to war. The second thing is to use military force only in defense and in circumstances that allow for no other course of effective action (such as stopping a genocide).
On a side note, no hierarchical structure is ever or can ever be democratic. No modern state is democratic, the United States perhaps the least of all. Hierarchy is the opposite of democracy. There are no such things as leaders or citizens in a hierarchical model. There are only rulers and subjects. Rulers treat subjects differently depending on their relation to the ruler, so for American rulers the American people are deemed “citizens” (those they keep a close eye on and give gifts to) and non-Americans are deemed “non-citizens” (those they don’t worry about except to exploit).
The “War on Terror” by necessity will be fought by American rulers primarily against the American people within the United States, since that is where the greatest threat to the American rulers exists (due to physical proximity, material relations (taxation) and elections). It will also provide a pretext for foreign wars, as we’ve already seen and will continue to see. While terror means one thing in a dictionary, it means something else to a ruler – it means anything that threatens his interests. Hence he uses terror to “stop terror” and he considers unruly American subjects to be “terrorists”, again receiving terror from him.
Modern elections have nothing to do with democracy. Elections are where subjects choose between Ruler A and Ruler B. The subjects themselves experience little difference between the rulers – only the elite culture treats the two rulers with much anticipation and differential.
The term “subject” is a fairly kind one by me. Subjects are always enslaved, as we witness whenever the police are called upon to stop whatever demonstration occurs if it “gets out of hand” (where it threatens the interests of the rulers).
In a “democracy” the police don’t use pure force because they want to maintain the fiction of being a democracy. The only difference between a “democracy” and a police state is that the police state no longer seeks to maintain the fiction of being a democracy.
Americans range between deluded and severely deluded on all political issues. They are ignorant about war, they are ignorant about the American political system, they are ignorant about their own role and degree of power within the system. Thus they are “shocked and outraged” about the Bush Administration, when all that administration is is a more transparent and less maintaining-of-fiction version of what has always come before, and what will always come again until the hiearchical model itself is destroyed.
Back to the original point of this writing: it’s extreme useful for a ruler to enslave someone. A ruler always wants control and slavery allows for total external control. A ruler wants nothing better than to enslave the world – that was the Roman vision that has so enthralled civilized Western society. Control means the ruler can do whatever he wants with that person – the ruler wants to avoid threats and he achieves that – he wants to reap material rewards and he achieves that.
The case of American rulers waging a war in Iraq is typical. Mass killing is undertaken in order to subjugate the populace. Torture is used to further the subjugation. Iraq has vast oil wealth which is now being transferred to American multinational corporations.
The only real solutions will occur following democratic revolution. There has to be no such thing as rulers and subjects in order to avoid the monstrosities of the past and today.