(originally posted to Myspace, 23 November 2007)
In addition to feeding my revived interest in the blues, I've been downloading some of the anti-war songs from the ‘80’s, during the latter stages of the Cold War, when Andropov and Gorbachev were Presidents of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (aka Soviet Union) and Ronald Reagan (or, as I call that son-of-a-bitch, Ronnie Raygun) was President of the United States. I was pretty involved with the anti-nuke movement here locally, among some of my other causes at the time, and I can remember the atmosphere of fear caused by that California cocksucker, Raygun.
Raygun, by the way, was a chickenhawk himself, just like George Bush II and John Wayne. It really shows how gullible and willfully ignorant the American public is when its two foremost icons of muscular, swaggering, militaristic ‘patriotism’ are not only actors but became bellicose hawks after weaseling their way out of the draft, which they did not for reasons of conscience but to save their own arses, which would still be not only forgivable but acceptable except for the fact they both then turned about and advocated sending other young men off to die.
Because of little Ronnie Raygun's careless half-arsed shield-thumping, saber-rattling, amateur rhetoric, the world very nearly came to an end in the autumn of the year 1982, when the U.S. Navy's Sixth Fleet was in the Eastern Mediterranean, when tensions between the USSR and USA were such that American forces spent two weeks - that's TWO FULL WEEKS - at DefCon 2. If you haven't seen the movie “War Games”, I should explain that DefCon 5 is situation normal, DefCon 1 means, push the big red button, let the missiles fly, destroy the planet...so you can see how close for how long the chickenhawks had the world at the brink.
The reason all that has returned to mind recently is the state of affairs between the governments of our two countries, and between the USA and Iran.
Yesterday, I said to my mother “Thank God for Vladimir Putin.” Funny thing for an agnostic atheist to say, but I did so because he at least is standing up to the second-rate bullying thuggery coming from the White House directed at Iran, and its collateral threats of nuclear warfare. The only comfort I can take is that in this case the chickenhawk neocon threats will probably amount to nothing more than a chimera, since not only are our imperial forces stretched farther and more spread out than ever before, but because Putin is moving to block the very real threat to his own country's security.
Vladimir Putin, mind you, is a second-rate former mid-level thug of nowhere near the finesse or ruthlessness of the two predecessors I just mentioned, but, frankly, he's just what the Russian Federation needs right now. Ruthless and authoritarian he may be, but as far as being corrupt in terms of avarice, no; he's just what his country needs to un-mire itself from the quicksand of corruption and chaos into which it was allowed to sink by its alcoholic and administratively incompetent, though physically brave, immediate predecessor—Yeltsin—who, in fact, chose him to succeed.
That the descent was not only aided and abetted but encouraged, sponsored, and in many cases initiated by commercial and financial interests in the U.S.A. Perhaps if the American President in this most crucial immediate aftermath of the fall of the Soviet bloc, break-up of the USSR, and its transition from a totalitarian society to what was initially hoped to be a real democracy, had been someone other than George Bush I, the rapacity of whose corrupt practices in office may have surpassed his son's had he not been thrown out after one term, citizens of the former Soviet Union would be much better off.
The reasons which the current situation bring the ‘80’s and all that to mind aren’t just simple nostalgic. It has more to do with my term paper for my class in English Composition, which I had my junior year at the university.
Being an anti-nuke advocate, I began the paper by condemning nuclear weapons and proceeded through my logical, but humorous, argument. Hell, it was one of the best things I've ever written, poetry or prose. But by the time I got to the end of the paper, my own logic had led me, and anyone reading my essay, to the conclusion that the existence of thermonuclear weapons and the threat of MAD (mutually assured destruction) had kept the peace for forty years, but NOT because they served as a deterrent to Soviet expansion and bellicosity.
No, what MAD served to check was American imperialist domination and expansion. As the Caledonii leader Calgacus once said of the Romans, so could the world say now of those in power in Washington: “A rich enemy excites their avarice, a poor one their ambition. To robbery, slaughter, and plunder, they give the lying name of government; they create a wasteland and call it peace.”
This current state of affairs cannot stand. I am no longer merely an American, a citizen of the United States of America. I am a Terran, a citizen of Earth; the whole world is my home and all its people my brother, sisters, and cousins, and I say NO MORE! If it appears the chickenhawk neocon regime in Washington may be close to getting the desire of its latest wet-dreams (attacking Iran militarily), We the People should rise together and resist side-by-side with nonviolent noncooperation until our own government becomes as afraid of us as those in Europe are of their own People, which is how democracy should be.
(Postcript: Were I to write this today, the last thing I would do is endorse Putin as leader of Russia. I left that piece intact and in place to show I’m not afraid to admit mistakes of perception and to emphasize this one WAS a mistake.)