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War drums

There’s talk of war. Not the best way to start off a new year. But yet here we are.

quote-and-when-the-drums-of-war-have-reached-a-fever-pitch-and-the-blood-boils-with-hate-and-julius-caesar-146-56-77War should always be a last resort, if indeed it needs to be a resort at all. But too often in my lifetime it’s been the first option….the result of men (it’s nearly always men) waving their dicks at each other, trying to rile up their respective bases. War is a great diversion, which is why a leader who lacks self-confidence and has managed to get himself into deep shit at home is always the most dangerous on the world stage. And since those who start wars have almost never fought in them, all they know of war is what they’ve read. History. Learning from it. But if they’ve proven themselves to be largely, functionally illiterate, well……you can see where this is going.

Nobody except soldiers see what war is. What it feels like and smells like and tastes like and what killing does to a human soul. The men who start wars don’t do the killing or the dying. That part has never really changed. It’s an awesome burden to carry…..knowing that with one word one can unleash this type of fury. We like to think that word only comes after many long nights of intense soul-searching, huddled with experienced soldiers, drawing up the pros and the cons. If it’s at all worth the blood of the innocents? Once we go in, how do we get out? If we break it, do we have to buy it? I mean….this might be reasonably expected in a world that wasn’t upside down. But now? This crazy fuck might have ordered it because Greta Thunberg was named Time magazine’s person of the year.

To wage war and sacrifice lives to gain political capital, or because you don’t think your ass is getting sufficiently kissed, seems to me the worst type of treason imaginable. But maybe I’m just hopelessly old fashioned.

War sells though. It sells newspapers and magazines and is manna from heaven to cable television. It can even jump-start a stalled economy. It gets packaged like a Hollywood spectacle. Shock and awe and bombs that look like Disney World night after night. The dying is invisible…..done mercifully behind the scenes, and mostly by non-combatants who just get in the way. Once it kicks off dissent is all but crushed. Somehow “supporting the troops” does not include not wanting them put int harms way in the first place.

Over and over….it happens. We blunder into what becomes a disastrous war. We cook the books. We make up the “intelligence”, or even more brazenly we just say there is some and then never divulge it. The press seems skeptical at the beginning, but eventually are carried away in a tide of frenzied nationalism and become de-facto cheerleaders. Coffins are flown home under the cover of darkness, and if we’re not touched personally by a casualty, it’s pretty easy to ignore the entire thing by turning off the TV. When it’s eventually over…..everybody too chickenshit to say “hey….what the fuck are we doing?” at the starting line will write books that ask “what the fuck were we thinking?” once the butcher’s bill has been added up. And we pledge never to do it again, Until the next time.

This may all blow over. It may not. It may escalate. It may smolder. Iran may have intentionally missed US targets in their retaliatory strike, in an attempt to simply save face. Or they may simply be the gang that couldn’t shoot straight. Nobody really knows. Talk is big on both sides….nobody is going to admit to the smaller penis. That’s not the way these things work. So we just sit and wait……

Nobody mourns the death of somebody like Qasem Soleimani. He was a bad guy. Blood all over his hands. Yet the world is filled with bad guys with blood on their hands. We don’t have enough weapons to take them all out. And we do seem quite selective in our condemnation. President Trump slobbers all over Putin and Kim Jong Un,  calling them “friends”. I’ll be willing to bet that both of them are responsible for more deaths than a gangster like Qasem Soleimani. How do we measure such things?

I don’t have any answers. Australia is on literal fire….and the Middle East awaits a lightning strike. We’re burning ourselves down.

I don’t know why…but I’m reminded of this quote from a past US President who was a bit more….er….eloquent than the current occupant of the White House..

“For, in the final analysis, our most basic common link is that we all inhabit this small planet. We all breathe the same air. We all cherish our children’s future. And we are all mortal.”

We used to use words as something other than a tweeted cudgel. I miss such times…

In a bit..


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