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War on Russia
For some, the end of World War II and that of the cold war are not good enough. Hawks are hard to please. They are genuine vampires and their thirst for blood is unquenchable. Never in the history of the United States, it seems, has the discrepancy between the governed and government been greater than on an issue such as the assorted uses and abuses of missiles -- all equally senseless. Point blank, war on Russia, either for real or a suggested daydream, is not in the interests of the American people. But elected officials with bankrupt minds, lacking diplomatic skills and moral anchorage, will not get the message. Recently, in Chicago, the North Atlantic Treaty Organization met. A few days later, the Russians tested a missile. Nobody needs this.
Why are American leaders and her sympathetic counterparts overseas so callous? There are reasons. First and foremost, politicians generally distrust rationality. That they are anti-intellectual is automatic. So are their constituents. But not all. There are Americans who can deal with heavy thinking, and nothing less is called for now. Before the button is pressed is the only space allotted to think things through. The fact that at least some high-ranking honchos are not as geo-politically and ballistically sophisticated as they should be was expressed by the Chicago meeting itself. It served no legitimate purpose. And it was unnecessarily provocative. Why Europeans made the scene is an entirely different matter. Clearly, they were taking advantage of American naiveté. Striving for leverage in the belly of the Leviathan. Ignorance is not their excuse. They wrote the books, don't forget, that Johnny ain't gonna read.
American ingenuity excels, however, in the high-pressured field of manipulated feelings. Americans are good with images, slogans, music, and an ability to get people to feel this, then that, then something else by means of movies, songs, photos, catchy phrases, and news stories. The good part in all this rigamarole is that people matter enough to warrant info-tainment, however sinister the practice. In the future, the cozy relationship between the media and its varied audiences will probably terminate. As the United States abandons the republic to the temptation of empire, still thinking that fascism and dictatorship "can't happen here," the American people will figure less and less into the larger picture. At present, they must get smart quick and vigorously resist any concerted effort to rile them up.
The term American imperialism has been heard before. But it involves a new twist today. Retaliation against Al Qaeda has given birth to a vision of American dominance in regions heavily influenced, traditionally, by Russian presence and/or oversight. Russians do not discomfit their intruders with music videos and long-running television programs that are barely disguised platforms for the espousal of political positions. That is not their forte. Nevertheless, they have every imaginable weapon, including missiles, and the requisite knowledge as well as will to deploy them. If threatened, they will not back down. Surely, rather than nuclear summits, Western leaders need retreats at which to unwind. Tough talk is great to get votes and raise funds. But when the missiles emerge from those silos, it is past time to draw the line and just say nyet.
And so another blog-like editorial bites the dust. Still, it pays to bear in mind the rock and the hard place. As President Nixon points out in Real Peace (Little, Brown & Co., 1983), worldwide conventional warfare is not an option, or the lessons of the twentieth century will have gone for naught. Atomic warfare is equally forbidden. And an international conference so that militants from global hot spots can get together and try to discover ways around either the rock or the hard place should also be ruled out.