RUFUS T. FIREFLY: Where's my Stradivarius?Let us presume that the Italian government is lying when it denies claims that it "bribed" the Taliban, paying them off in order to maintain calm in Afghan provinces patrolled by Italian troops. Wouldn't this simply reflect the adoption of the Anbar-Awakening Strategy, you know, As Seen On the Surge™?
OFFICER: Here, sir.
FIREFLY: I'll show 'em they can't fiddle around with old Firefly!
[he pulls a tommygun out of his violin case and opens fire]
FIREFLY: Look at 'em run! Now they know they've been in a war!
BOB ROLAND: Your Excellency!
FIREFLY: Hahahahahaha, they're fleeing like rats!
ROLAND: But sir, I've got to tell you...
FIREFLY: Remind me to give myself the Firefly Medal for this!
[he fires again]
ROLAND: Your Excellency, you're shooting your own men!
[Firefly fires again]
ROLAND: You're shooting your own men!
FIREFLY: Here's $5, keep it under your hat.
[holds out his hat to take the $5 back]
FIREFLY: Never mind, I'll keep it under my hat.
One of the most curious attitudes of our so-called capitalist society is the dishonor it assigns to certain kinds of monetary exchange. Like, it is okay to spend a gazillion dollars invading Iraq and Afghanistan, but no one ever considered offering Iran a few tens of millions a year in exchange for not building a nuke, or what have you?
And is there not also a lesson here about the supposed intractable, millenarian, indissuadable, extremist, fundamnetalist, murderous kook squad that is--supposedly--the Taliban, or al Qaeda, or whomever? I mean, if broke-ass Italy can afford the price of peace, then surely a) the price of peace is not that high, and b) the United States can afford to borrow the money to afford it.
This in turn is a roundabout way of saying that, obviously, neither peace nor "victory" are the point; the point is to prolong. That is all.