Aug. 25, 2008
In George Orwell’s tale of dystopia, 1984, the main character, Winston Smith, works for the Ministry of Truth. Winston’s job is to make sure the news of the day fits the current propaganda of the Party or Big Brother. When Winston changes the news to fit, the old, incorrect news gets dumped down the “Memory Hole,” and the “Proles” of Oceania (where keeping ones TV on 24 hours a day is mandatory—it’s also a two way receiver to spy on the citizens) are supposed to alternatively switch seamlessly and unquestioning between: “We have always been at war with Eastasia,” or, “We have always been at war with Eurasia.”
I have written extensively on the parallels between 1984 and the current state of affairs in America today, but with renewed hostilities and demonizing of Russia back in full swing, it appears that, “We have always been at war with Russia.”
I grew up in Bellflower, CA during the height and heat of the Cold War. I was even chastised in 2nd grade because I got very confused about a question my teacher asked. She asked her class of seven and eight years old children if: “A Russian put a gun to your head and told you not to recite the pledge of allegiance, what would you do.” Believe it or not, I was a very shy child, but at that moment my hand confidently shot up because I was sure of the answer. Miss Mac Murray called on me and my small voice called out: “I wouldn’t recite it.” WRONG! I was called “un-American” even back then when I was still wearing bobby-sox and saddle shoes and I think that was the beginning of my childhood fear of “Russians” or, even worse, “Communists.”
Besides not wanting to get my head blown off by the evil Russians, every Friday at exactly 2pm, the town’s air raid siren would go off and we would dive under our apparently nuclear-bomb proof school desks like a bunch of Pavlov’s dog salivating for safety. I don’t remember one instance when one of my close-knit group of classmates ever questioned this practice…we just robotically complied. Not to worry though, if the evil Russians decided to drop the “bomb” at a time other than 2pm on Friday, we were taught to take refuge pinned up next to a brick wall, or other solid structure. Needless to say, it was a very stressful time to be an impressionable kid.
As my classmates and I gained “sophistication” in world affairs (during the “hey day” of the Vietnam war) we were shown glimpses of a Soviet Union that constantly surveilled its citizens; imprisoned many political dissenters without American-style due process; and, of course the biggest crime of all: the USSR was not a democracy, and there was only one person to vote for on the ballots (sounds like present day Oceania—oops, I meant America). From my earliest awareness during the Cuban Missile Crisis to the fall of the Soviet Union and break up of the empire, because of militarism and a bloody decade long war in Afghanistan (not because of doddering Reagan saying “Mr. Gorbachev, tear the wall down”), I was seriously nervous about an impending “mushroom cloud” and that image lay like a shadow over our nation and the only thing, I think, that saved us from obliteration was the doctrine of “Mutual Assured Destruction.” (MAD). The image was revived in 2001 by BushCo and “mushroom cloud” became the buzz-word and way to falsely reignite Cold War fears to promulgate war with a nuclear weaponless Iraq.
When the Soviet Union collapsed, much of the raison d’être of the war machine also collapsed and the neo-conservative movement, (which has always pushed for American military and corporate hegemony since Leo Strauss fathered the movement from his professorial seat at the University of Chicago in the early -60’s), was put into a pickle. Some world politicians were even talking about a “Peace dividend” now that the Cold War was over and our nation could actually begin to put the MADness of mushroom clouds behind us and shore up positive policies such as education and our infrastructure while closing military bases and reducing defense spending dramatically.
“Luckily” for the neocons, the USSR’s misadventure in Afghanistan led to the rise of the Taliban and Osama bin Laden’s “al-Qaeda.” “Luckily” for the neocons, the USA (Charlie Wilson’s War) armed and trained the mujahadeen (which Reagan called “freedom fighters”) to combat the USSR’s invasion. This US trained force was transformed into “terrorists” and the war machine and the neocons could again exploit an enemy to pursue their goals of “Pax Americana.”
Also, “luckily” for the neocons, their “new Pearl Harbor” was realized on September 11th, 2001 and the Project for a New American Century (PNAC) could be realized and a fearful American public who sheepishly went along with Military Industrial Complex (MIC) abuses during the Cold War, followed George Bush and the neocons into full-blown wars because we were propagandized to be properly fearful and patriotic and almost thankful ourselves that we could focus our rage on the enemy du jour and settle back into our coma of consumerism and let our “Big Brother” take care of things for us.
This was obviously a thumbnail sketch (I recommend the wonderful BBC documentary The Power of Nightmares for an in depth history of terrorism and neo-Conservatism) of the last 40+ years, but today the world is once again sitting on a power keg cobbled by the MIC.
Most of our brothers and sisters here in the USA have caught up with the rest of the planet and now realize that the whole “terrorism” scheme was just that: a failed and unnecessarily violent and destructive scheme to enrich certain segments of American society while killing and impoverishing others. However, both Parties (as I like to call them: The Twins) are still shoving the war machine down our throats with their tail-wagging-the-dog “Global War on Terrorism.”
There is controversy over the Russian-Georgian-Polish nightmare. Did Condi Rice or John McCain give Mikhail Saakashvili the “go ahead” to invade separatist South Ossetia. Permission was definitely given by someone, much like the US Ambassador to Iraq, April Glaspie, giving Saddam Hussein the green light to invade Kuwait in 1992. It doesn’t matter who gave Saakashvili the permission, we know that either the State Department, or McCain are lying—they always have and always do and always will, but now, after the unstable American puppet follows his orders from his puppeteers, the USA government and their propagandists, the US corporate media is blaming Russia and trying to revive Cold War fear to assuage the war machine’s fear of a lack of pretend “enemies.”
Russia is not and never has been completely innocent, but Russia rushed into Georgia to protect its people and all of a sudden, Condi, George and warmonger, McCain are saying that in the 21st century countries don’t “invade other countries.” These statements would be laughable if they weren’t so horribly sad.
Allowing weapons systems in Poland would be a dangerous and obviously hostile move to Russia and the doctrine of MAD would insanely be reasserted into our daily lives in a world that is competing for precious energy, food and water resources. With unstable fingers of unstable leaders on the triggers of nuclear weapons all around the world, the Doomsday clock is ticking and this situation calls for aggressive diplomacy on the part of an international community that doesn’t want these missiles pointed at their cities. The situation also calls for renewed talks of eliminating nuclear weapons totally.
Since WWII, we have always been “at war” with some country, ideology or group, and our economy, ecology and psyches are growing strained to the point of breaking.
If there was ever a time to turn back the hands of the Doomsday clock, it is now, but unfortunately, the Bush regime is incapable of wisdom and/or peace, but the candidates of the two major parties are both tools of the war machine so, consequently, our only good prospects are within each of us.
A candidate or party platform that is truly pro-peace and pro-humanity would call for the following actions:
* All foreign occupying forces out of Iraq AND Afghanistan
* The closure of most of US military bases around the world
* Dramatically reduce Pentagon spending to be used for defensive purposes only
* Complete multi-lateral nuclear disarmament
* Reorganize NATO which has just become another imperialistic US military tool and a
destabilizing factor in Europe
* Dissolve the Security Council at the UN which inhibits peaceful conflict resolution
* An aggressive plan to speedily wean America off of fossil fuels