Printer Friendly

Feeding the God of War. (The Right Perspective).

Centuries before the phrase "Wag the Dog" entered the American vocabulary, an earlier American superpower perfected the use of politically convenient phony wars. Through the use of stage-managed, conspiratorial conflicts called "Flower Wars," the Aztecs became the dominant Meso-American military power, assembling an empire of tributary states.

"The Aztecs ... were the chosen people of the sun," writes historian Alfonso Casos in The Aztecs: People of the Sun. "They were charged with the duty of supplying him with food. For that reason war was a form of worship and a necessary activity that led them to establish the Xochiyaoyotl, or 'flower war.' Its purpose, unlike that of wars of conquest, was not to gain new territories nor to exact tribute from conquered peoples, but rather to take prisoners for sacrifice to the sun."

Aztec rulers would approach leaders of other tribes and arrange for wars to be fought in which few warriors would be killed, but thousands of prisoners would be taken. Concealing themselves behind a barricade of flowers, the treacherous leaders would witness the consummation of their betrayal as their armies were taken away to serve as fodder for Aztec altars.

The Flower War was devised by an Aztec warlord-priest named Tlacaelel, who for decades was the power behind the Aztec throne. He was also the chief architect of the Aztec kingdom's foreign policy, in which the Aztecs allied with the city-states of Texcoco and Tlacopan against Tiaxcala, Cholula, and Huexotzinco. One historian notes that following the creation of this grand alliance, "the Aztecs carried out these highly ritualized campaigns against their neighbors, especially the Tlaxcalans. Curiously, they refrained from conquering Tlaxcala because it provided a training ground for young Aztec warriors and a source of sacrificial victims." In short, the entire scheme devised by Tlacaelel was intended to bring about a state of perpetual warfare, with the Aztecs either preparing for war or fighting wars against enemies they would never entirely destroy.

Assuming that our own Power Elite pursues a variation of the Flower War strategy would explain a great many things. For instance: Why was our nation led into no-win wars in Korea, Vietnam, and the Persian Gulf? Why do our rulers persist in creating enemies and then wage inconclusive wars against them? Could it be that our own rulers, like those of the Aztec empire, seek to perpetuate war, rather than resorting to it reluctantly in the cause of national self-defense?

Some might object that while such conduct might be expected of superstitious, primitive people like the Aztecs, it is alien to the outlook of our own sophisticated political class. But while the Aztecs were indeed superstitious pagans, they were far from primitive, excelling at architecture, astronomy, and mathematics. They regarded the abominable practices of human sacrifice and cannibalism as practical necessities. Similarly, our own Power Elite considers perpetual war to be a practical necessity, as it supplies the fodder upon which its War God feeds: Debt.

In The Creature From Jekyll Island, the definitive study of the Federal Reserve System, G. Edward Griffin points out that a fiat money system such as ours is based entirely on debt. Absent debt, this paper money would effectively disappear. Federal Reserve Governor Marriner Eccles made this point explicitly in congressional testimony in 1941: "If there were no debts in our money system, there wouldn't be any money." Charging interest on such debt has proven to be a singularly lucrative enterprise for those belonging to the Federal Reserve's banking cartel.

Nations, like individuals, are devoured by the banking cartel when they are driven into debt. This is the value of creating monsters like Saddam Hussein, whose military machine was generously underwritten with debt financed foreign aid subsidies from the U.S. government. Writes Griffin: "If an enemy does not exist at all, it will be necessary to create one by financing the rise of a hostile regime." It is also useful to ensure that neither side emerges as the unambiguous victor.

Griffin calls this framework for perpetual war the "Rothschild Formula," named after the banking dynasty that became notorious for underwriting both sides in various 19th-century wars. The political elitists who follow that formula, Griffin observes, display "cold objectivity, immunity to patriotism, and indifference to the human condition ... [in propelling] governments into war for the profits they yield.... As long as the mechanism of central banking exists, it will be to such men an irresistible temptation to convert debt into perpetual war and war into perpetual debt." In our parallel with the Aztecs, the banking cartel plays a role akin to that of the Aztec priests who supplied Huitzilopochtli with a steady diet of human victims.

Confronting the prospect of a pointless resumption of the UN-mandated war with Iraq, and an open-ended "war on terrorism," Americans must understand that these conflicts are fundamentally no different from the "Flower Wars" of Aztec antiquity: Ritualized bloodshed through which an embedded ruling elite retains its hold on power.
COPYRIGHT 2002 American Opinion Publishing, Inc.
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 2002, Gale Group. All rights reserved. Gale Group is a Thomson Corporation Company.

Article Details
Printer friendly Cite/link Email Feedback
Title Annotation:analogy: the perpetual wars of the Aztecs, and of the United States
Author:Grigg, William Norman
Publication:The New American
Article Type:Brief Article
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Sep 9, 2002
Previous Article:Insider opposition to Iraq war? (Insider Report).
Next Article:George W.--master of disguise: spouting patriotic rhetoric and enjoying the support of fellow Republicans, George W. Bush has masqueraded as a...

Related Articles
On the Rhetoric of a "War on Terrorism": A Lecture Presented at Ashland University on September 17, 2001.
The roots of war. (Flip Side).
A Swiftian harvest. (Flip Side).
War & remembrance: the U.S. and Mexico share a long, sometimes-troubled history that goes back to the Mexican-American War--which still resonates on...
When a win may not mean much.

Terms of use | Copyright © 2017 Farlex, Inc. | Feedback | For webmasters