Well, uh… hmmm… After reading most of the day about the object lesson in nineteenth century-style realpolitik which Vladimir Putin has been giving the world in Ukraine over the weekend I’m not really sure what to make of this video I just happened across via Harry’s Place. Can this be real? The video purports to show LA gangbangers joining the fight in Syria on the side of Assad’s regime forces. Observe.
The scene brings to mind the postscript of Martin Van Creveld’s Transformation of War:
…the question as to what future societies will go to war for is almost irrelevant. It is simply not true that war is simply a means to an end, nor do people necessarily fight in order to obtain this objective or that. In fact, the opposite is true; people very often take up one objective or another precisely in order that they may fight. While the usefulness of war as a means for gaining practical ends may well be questioned, its ability to entertain, to inspire, and to fascinate has never been in doubt. (p. 226)
What common cause could we have here? For what are these fellows fighting?