"The West won't permit a war to last more than a few weeks these days," she continued without an audible change of direction. "They put a stop to wars these days before bankers and brokers start hurling themselves through windows. The United Nations already has soldiers here. For Croatia, of course. But they will have to get their hands dirty in Sarajevo, too. Vietnam, Afghanistan. Capitalism, Communism--the big isms learned their lessons in those petite shit holes. They'll let the little brats of the world make their point, then clean up their mess. That's why Kuwait, Panama, Haiti were short wars. War burns money. For each bomb you see, imagine a million dollars in cinders. For each body you see--and, I beg your pardon, I am thinking of your mother, too--imagine someone who can't buy a thousand more Cokes. Losses add up. The West might let killing creep on in Ethiopia or Somalia. People there don't have two rubles to rub together for a Coke." Mrs. Julianovic slapped her hands against her wrists for emphasis. "But they're in the Dark Ages. We are in Europe. We have Benettons here on Vase Miskina Street. Richard Branson sells music next door. Forget that human life is priceless. Consumers' lives have market value. In the end, it's a better guarantee. My mottto: you can't sell Volvos to dead people."
--Scott Simon, Pretty Birds