Monday, September 26, 2005

Disarming an Armory

It has been reported that the Irish Republican Army (IRA), successful purveyors of violence against civilian populations for decades, has been disarmed.

We don’t want to discourage efforts to curb armed violence and applaud the development with the caveat that it is good so far as it goes.

Disarmed, the IRA can rearm in a minute.

It has always been a theory almost exclusively the scribe’s that the panorama of endless violence that threatens each of us in every corner of the world can be tied to the successful marketing of arms worldwide.

People need them, so the sell’s not hard, but were it that every global industry was as successful at penetrating the nooks and crannies of the market in the way the arms-peddlers are.

We are reaping what they, and the governments that sustain and patronize them, hath sowed. A world awash in arms. Arms available in a flash for a price.

Back when the scribe was young and toying with insurrection as politics, he lamented to a friend, a former Marine, that arms technology was getting so advanced that all street-born rebellion would soon be crushed.

Not so, Joe Bender said, “the technology always trickles down to the street.”

And the spiral of available violence soars.

And so it goes. In Mesopotamia, a bunch of guys using washing machine timers to trip their bombs have locked the mightiest army the world knows in a deadlock.

The IRA can get money and if they can get that, they can purchase the violence they feel they need. Walk across the street to the pub, order a pint, pick up a phone and make a call. The rest is an old habit.

As it is for too many others.

In the Organized Violence on a Large-Scale Department: It must be observed that the war protests over the weekend failed to garner much resonance in the media. They were not ignored, rather treated with journalistic time and courtesy, but off-pitch in the political moment.

Such are the perils of grass-roots politics. While the movement was marshaling its troops and resources over a five-month period a tropical hurricane shoved America a few steps forward into history.

Folks ended up with a better story for bringing down Bush, who went ahead and brought himself down anyway.

But the war is burning under the surface like nobody’s business. The situation worsens, the ship of state rudderless, the administration lost without an election to aim for, and the country slipping from their hands and out of anybody’s control.

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