Tuesday, November 24, 2015

A Mad Turk and Nuclear Winter

Some brainless jackass in Turkey may have launched World War III.  Whether he had the advice and consent of an equally brainless jackass far up the United States military command may never be known.

If we believe his government ’s story — but why should we? — he shot down a Russian warplane that invaded Turkish territory.  NATO and the United States support this version of the event.

But even the United States acknowledges that if —IF — the Russian plane, engaged in fighting rebel groups in  the insane Syrian civil war that the U.S. created, did in fact violate Turkish territory, it did so for — all of five seconds.

The Russians say the plane never strayed beyond the border of Syria, where it was engaged in fighting not just what the U.S. calls ISIS or ISIL, but all of the forces that seek to overthrow what is, like it or not, the legitimate government of Syria. Russia is there at the Request of the Syrian government and with the formal blessing of the United Nations.  The United States is there because its rmilitary-industrial oligarchs demand unceasing war somewhere, preferably where the war-hawk government of Israel wants war to be.

The Turks insist they “warned” the Russian aircraft ten times.  Ten times in five seconds?  C’mon man!

The plane crashed in Syria.  Someone on the ground shot one of the pilots as they parachuted toward earth.  This violates the Geneva Convention; it is a war crime.  The whereabouts of the second pilot is unknown as I write this.  If he landed in turf controlled by one of the rebel groups that the U.S.  supports, he will meet or have already met the fate of a Jordanian pilot who baled out and landed there:  immolation in a steel cage. This goes beyond being a war crime; it is a barbarian affront against civilized humanity. Unless, of course, it is done by a United States ally.

United States “policy” in the Middle East — and around the globe — has become such a mish-mash of illogical shooting first and asking questions later, if at all, that future historians will never decipher it all.  If there are any future historians.

Because whatever is left of this planet when the war launched by this Turkish asshole is over will probably not be inhabitable.  If there are pockets of habitability in the nuclear winter, they will probably be in the large land-mass countries — China and Russia — that we have chosen to alienate in our own pursuit of endless war all over the globe. Not to quibble with Einstein, but there may not be enough people close enough to one another to fight the next war with clubs, sticks and stones.

The Turks, by shooting down the Russian plane, have assured that every nuclear power on the globe now has a stake in what follows.  Vladimir Putin, the Russian president who is perhaps right now more popular with his own people than any other head of state in the world, cannot retain that support without responding in some warlike fashion against Turkey.

Turkey is a member of NATO, whose Article IV maintains that a strike against one is a strike against all.  That would require a host of nuclear powers to retaliate against Russia.  Russia would respond with its own nuclear arsenal, and its treaties with China and other nuclear powers would bnring their A-power into the carnage.

Our pal in Israel, Benjamin Netanyahu, would no longer be under any restraints from using his nuclear arsenal. Bibi would go to his own obliteration happy in the knowledge that before he turned to cosmic dust, he had nuked Iran into nothingness.

Who or what will survive this madness?  Read Cormack McCarthy’s  “The Road.”  It is, if anything, too optimistic an answer.

The American Way of Racism

The three other liberals here in southern New Mexico often remark to me, usually with a shudder, how frightening it is to consider a Trump or Carson presidency — or whichever other right-wing lunatic happens to be rising in the presidential preference polls.

What’s really frightening is the hatred that has saturated the electorate, and accounts for the popularity of the Republicans’ thinly-disguised racism, contempt for non-Christians and their arrogant dismissal of the impoverished and dispossessed as creatures less than human.

The war-mongering profiteers who have taken over our country despite former President Eisenhower’s warning against them understand that the wars that sustain their infinite greed require the manufacture of a Great Evil for the masses to fear and hate.

Orwell depicts this brilliantly, of course, in “1984.”

I grew up being taught to hate The Hun but especially The Jap.  For World War II we interred, impoverished and mistreated far more Japanese-Americans than German-Americans or Italian-Americans.  The non-Christian yellow dogs were far easier to hate.

After World War II the new Great Enemy was the Soviet Union.  We cowered in our bomb shelters during the cold war knowing that if we let down our guard for a millisecond those atheistic communists would slaughter our women and children and burn down our Christian churches.

When St. Ronnie Reagan tore down the Berlin wall and broke up the Soviet Union, single-handedly, the way Erroll Flynn sank the Spanish Armada,  we had to look around for new Great Enemies.  

Atheistic Commie China was handy but then Dick (I Am Not a Crook) Nixon did ping-pong diplomacy and big trade money was at stake so we had to cool it a bit with the Yellow Menace crap.

Muslims! Islam!  Now there was a Great Enemy you could drum up some real hatred for, especially if, like Iraq, they had weapons of mass destruction they were ready to use on our kindergartens and hospitals.  Had to fight ‘em there or we’d be fighting ‘em here.  Same for Iran.  Libya.  Yemen.  Afghanistan.  Pakistan.  An endless supply of Great Enemies for our staggeringly profitable policy of endless war.

But you’ve got to be taught to hate and fear and sometimes it helps to have enemies near.

Wetbacks!  Black people!  Brown people!

Trump: The Black Lives Matter guy “needed to be roughed up.”  (Translation:  Things will settle down around here when we put Uppity Niggers back in their place.)

No Syrian refugees!    No more “free stuff” for people of any color.  Build a wall along the border.  Make “them” register so we can build a data base.  Keep the refugees out (even though it was United States policy that created the refugee crisis). Support your police (especially when they shoot unarmed black guys in hoodies with their arms raised in the universal gesture of surrender).  Put more guns in the hands of more white Americans  so they can Keep Our Neighborhoods Safe!

In a recent poll, nearly half the respondents said the United States has a major racism problem.  Highest percentage ever recorded on the question.

Yes we do.  In fact, as a people, we ooze racism from every pore. We love it when our blathering white politicians threaten to bust heads, kick ass and “rough ‘em up.”  Doesn’t matter the color, as long as it ain’t white heads or asses we’re kickin’.

America the Beautiful.