Via the The New Inquiry, Christina Kral and Adriana Valdez Young on the connection between the two activities that may be opposite sides of the same coin:
What is the relationship between war and shopping? Both can be quite aggressive and at the same time appear to be innocent or absolutely necessary. As we shop or war, we serve a greater other. There are seasons for shopping and seasons for war. Both keep us busy and controlled. What would people do if going to war or to the mall wasn’t an option anymore?
But I think there is something much more primal about going shopping and going to war. As we saw from the post-9/11 patriotic calls to shop and support the economy, there was a fear that if Americans stopped consuming that the terrorists would win.
The US Army also had more direct mall-based, anti-terror strategies. As part of the ‘Shock and Awe’ campaign in 2003, the U.S. military attacked three government-run shopping malls and two major markets in Baghdad. The assumption was that if Iraqis could no longer go shopping, then they would be less likely to resist American occupation—why fight if you can’t shop?