“Those who don’t know history are destined to repeat it.” – Edmund Burke
Oh, I know, I know…that’s a well-worn, clichéd quote by now, but a universal truth worth repeating, nonetheless.
Here’s another one :
“The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again
and expecting a different result.” – Unknown (usually attributed to Einstein)
By that definition, I’d say the world – particularly the USA – has officially gone round-the-bend, over-the-hill, batshit-in-the-belfrey…crazy.
So, they’re actually going to do it? Again,,? Go to war? Again? Drag the whole fucking planet into yet another (third) world war…again? Starting with Iran? Or Venezuela? North Korea? Russia? China? All of the above? Take your fkn pick. As the war-piggies love to say; “All options are on the table.”
You know, this joke usually applies to lawyers, but it works just as well here:
What do you call 1000 politicians chained together at the bottom of the ocean?
A good start.
Humanity..? (Especially you, ‘Murica). We need to talk.
On my 6th birthday, my mother bought a big box of lollipops for me to hand out to all the kids in my classroom. After class, once the teacher and most of the kids had left, one kid, this arrogant, bragging, bullying little shit, named (we’ll call him) Biff, and his little circle of sycophants cornered me, and he politely asked if he could have another lollipop. So I gave him another one. Then he asked if he could have one for his baby sister. So I gave him another. Then he asked if he could have one for his little brother (by now he’s smirking smugly and his entourage of apes are chuckling) and he gave me a glare daring me to deny him. So, I gave him another. Then, he wanted two more for his mom and dad. So I gave him another two. I don’t know how many I ended up giving him but Biff and his pack of piglets swaggered out the door with a fist full of lollipops, giggling at my gullibility…and cowardice.
For some reason, while watching the latest chaotic moves in the grand 4D chess game that is US “Foreign Policy” – specifically, America’s perpetual bullying of Venezuela, Iran (and the rest of the Middle-East) while endlessly provoking Russia and China – I thought of Biff. Maybe it’s because the Pentagon somehow reminded me of him. And the MIC (Military-Industrial Complex) with its gargantuan, relentless Weapons & War lobby are like Biff’s band of bandits. And the lollipops…are like the over-inflated military budgets that the Pentagon keeps demanding from the US tax-payer for more (illegal) hegemonic wars. And Hank’s little sister and brother (if they even exist) and his parents are like all the countries that the US claims they want to save – by bringing them democracy and freedom – but end up destroying instead. And I…am like the US taxpayer…who keeps giving them their fucking lollipops. I mean, wars. But hey…I was six, and being shaken down by the class bully and his brotherhood of bums. What’s your fkn excuse, tax-paying ‘Murica?
I’m confused…getting mixed signals here. Maybe you can help me out.
As with every year, this past year saw the same old commemorations honoring those who died in all the major wars over the past century or so; on the 28th June, it was the Treaty of Versailles, on the 6th June, it was D-Day, on the 27th May, it was Memorial Day, on the 8th May it was Victory Day. And, with all these commemorations, come many tears, toasts, speeches and salutes. Last November, 2018, on the eleventh hour, of the eleventh day, of the eleventh month, more than 60 of our world leaders came together beneath the Arc de Triomphe in Paris, wearing a red poppy in their lapels, while some dabbed tissues at crocodile tears in the corner of their eyes, and they fell silent for 2 minutes to commemorate the centennial anniversary of Armistice Day (also known as Remembrance Day). And during that 100-year ritual they uttered the same, old, well-worn words that politicians and war veterans have been mumbling for the past century; “Remember”, they say. “Never forget”, they say. “Never again“, they say. And they just did it again, last week, for the 101th time.
“Remember, remember, the 11th hour, of the 11th day, of the 11th month, November”
In case you’re a little sketchy on your history (as I am), the signing of The Armistice in 1918 marked the end of what was then called, The Great War; a bloody global conflict that raged in Europe from 1914 to 1918. It claimed the lives of nine million people and maimed or displaced millions more, and has since become known as the First World War or WW1. H.G. Wells called it “The War That Will End War.” In the same article for the Daily News in August, 1914, he wrote;
“This is already the vastest war in history. It is a war, not of nations, but of mankind. It is a war to exorcise a world-madness and end an age. For this is now a war for peace. Every soldier who fights against Germany now is a crusader against war. This, the greatest of all wars, is not just another war—it is the last war!”
Here’s a quick crash-course on why and how that Great War (allegedly) sparked off. And, when it was finally over and the Armistice signed, that’s when the world first heard those famous last words; “Never again! Never forget! Remember!”
Fortunately…it wasn’t all for nothing, because Wells was right; it was the war to end all wars. And there hasn’t been another war since. Peace on earth…for ever more. Right..?
Let’s just cut the crap.
Because, this is the part I’m confused about. Where are we at, today? Huh? How far have we fallen since then, since that “Great War to End all Wars”? What exactly did humanity (and the powers that be) learn from that first Great War? Huh? Nothing. Absolutely nothing. (Except the arms dealers, of course. They learned very, VERY quickly…that there’s gold in them thar battlefields; tons of MONEY to be made in WEAPONS.) If we had any common sense or dignity as a species, instead of commemorating these token memorial dates annually with sniveling and whimpering and “remembering”, humanity should all be collectively ROFFL. Never again? The war to end all wars? Really..? (Pffft!) I think that was wishful thinking by the planetary population back then, they clearly underestimated the extent to which they were being manipulated by the elite psychopaths we today call leaders and politicians. Because, twenty years later…the world was back at it. In fact, if WWI is Number 1, then…let’s tally up, count with me…how many other BIG wars have followed since. Let’s revise. Let’s go…
2) WORLD WAR II (1939 – 1945)
That’s right. Lest we forget, just over twenty years after they signed that “Never Again” Armistice, the world was back in the big boom-bang business with WW2. And what was the reason this time? The Nazis. (Or, some would argue, the terms of the Treaty of Versailles – which created the perfect storm in Germany to spawn someone like Hitler and his Nazi party). But here’s the “official” recycled narrative and reason for WW2 – the way we’ve been told to remember it. If you want an alternative history lesson, there’s this. The second world war made WW1 look like a minor skirmish; the weapons were bigger, better and deadlier, it lasted six years and between 80-85 million people lost their lives. The Russians and Chinese alone lost more than 40 million between them (but are never really credited or acknowledged for it by the West) and more than 11 million people (6m of them Jews) were exterminated in the Nazi death camps during the holocaust. After six years of unspeakable carnage, Nazi Germany signed a total and unconditional instrument of surrender on 8th May, 1945, on what has become known as Victory Day in Europe. But the war effectively only finally ended later that year after the U.S. dropped two atomic bombs on the Japanese cities of Nagasaki and Hiroshima, forcing Japan to surrender on August 15th. (Apparently, they didn’t need to drop those bombs as Japan was ready to surrender…but nuking Japan seemed more about sending a strong message to Russia than it was about winning the already won war.) To date, America is the first and only nation to drop a nuclear bomb on another country. And, after that war was finally wrapped up – with the Paris Peace Treaties of ’47…guess what they, our leaders and politicians, said? About that war. About the holocaust. About the atomic bombing of Japan. That’s right, you guessed it. They dabbed those croc tears, blew their snotty noses and whimpered; “Never again! Never forget! Remember! (Especially the Holocaust!)”
So, you’d think after TWO great World Wars – and a Holocaust – humanity (especially so-called civilized countries like America, Britain, France and Germany) would’ve really learned their lesson. Right? A solid lesson about the hazards of war and the benefits of peace. Right..?
The whole fucking world, especially the US and their allies, must be bipolar or schizoid or have the memory of a goddamn goldfish or something, because…after WW2 ended, the Cold War was just warming up. (The term was first used by George Orwell in a 1945 essay titled; You and the Atomic Bomb). And with the Cold War came many, MANY proxy wars and conflicts – particularly in East Asia, Latin America, Africa and the Middle-East.
First up, in this new Cold/Proxy war…
3) KOREAN WAR (1950 – 1953)
In June, 1950, North Korea (backed by the Soviet Union and communist China) invaded South Korea (backed by the United States). More than 20 UN countries were pulled into the conflict and North Korea was relentlessly carpet-bombed to kingdom-come by the US. By the time the final armistice was signed on 27th July 1953, more than 2.5 million had lost their lives…and just about every single building over a story high in that country was destroyed. (Which might explain why North Korea is still reluctant, to this day, to trust the United States and give up their nuclear weapons…don’t ya think?) Today, that war is also called “The Forgotten War” or “The Unknown War” because of how little attention it received by the world. (Because, just like today, the white western world back then didn’t seem to give a shit about wars that affect black, brown or yellow-skinned people on the other side of the planet.) In fact, the Korean War was never officially declared a war, it was called and remains to this day, a “Police Action”.
Did they learn after Korea? The politicians? The USA? The world?
Did the wars end there?
A mere TWO fkn years later the bombs were falling again, in another part of Asia, and this war would come to span nearly thirty brutal years.
4) INDOCHINA / VIETNAM WARS (1946 – 1975)
By now, most of the world has heard of the Vietnam War, but not many know that it didn’t actually start in 1955, it began almost a decade earlier with the First Indochina War (1946 – ’54) which, again, practically no one in the western world was following. When the Second Indochina war broke out it became known in the west as the Vietnam War. Again, as with Korea, driven by its foreign policy of communist “containment” – the US supported South Vietnam (ARVN) against the North (NVA), who were again backed by communist China & Russia. President JFK tried to stop the war in ’63, but after he was assassinated in November that year, the U.S. government ramped up the invasion. Despite overwhelming resistance and outrage at home – and from other countries against this unpopular war – it prevailed for another two decades and killed (depending on who you ask) more than a million North & South Vietnamese and more than 250 000 US and allied forces. And if you thought the bombing of North Korea was excessive, get this; according to a New York Times article by Jonathan Mirsky in 1973, the U.S. dropped SEVEN MILLION TONS of bombs on Vietnam – 2 million on Laos alone. That’s “nearly a ton for every man, woman and child” in Laos. Think about that. Let it fucking sink in. (Good job, ‘Murica. GREAT fkn genocidal work!) And, in the end, the US had to slink away with its tail between its legs and acknowledge that they got thrashed by a rag-tag, impoverished, unassailable army, who lives on a bowl of rice a day…and fights in their pyjamas.
So, after ANOTHER thirty-year war, you’d think they’d be done. Right?
By now it should be clear that the human race (particularly the USA) is undoubtedly a glutton for sadomasochistic punishment – and war. Because, next came…
5) LATIN AMERICAN WARS (1898 – Present)
Note the start date. That’s right, the Latin American & Caribbean wars didn’t actually come next, they’ve been ongoing for more than a century. This means that even while WW 1 & 2, Korea and Vietnam were raging, the US (particularly the CIA after WW2) were involved in coups, conflicts, interventions, assassinations, regime change, wars and proxy wars in several countries in Latin America and the Caribbean, including – count them (post WW2 only);
- Costa Rica (1948)
- British Guiana (1953 – ’64)
- Guatemala (1954)
- Paraguay (1954 – ’89)
- Cuba (1959 – present)
- Peru (1962)
- Ecuador (1960 – ’63)
- Brazil (1964 and current)
- Bolivia (1964 – ‘ 75)
- Dominican Republic (1965)
- Chile (1964 – ’73)
- Uruguay (1964 – ’73)
- Argentina (1976)
- El Salvador (1979 – ’92)
- Nicaragua (1912 – ’86)
- Malvinas / Falklands (1982)
- Grenada (1979 – ’83)
- Panama (1989)
- Venezuela (2002 and current)
Take a long hard look at that long fucking list. And that’s just Latin America. Get the picture? Put all those wars, conflicts and coups together…and you’ve got one massive, relentless, century-long war in that region. That long list alone should help explain exactly where that caravan comes from – and others like it. And US intervention and interference in Latin America continues to this day. Why, not so long ago they facilitated a soft coup in Brazil – which helped a fascist come to power, who now stands by and watches while predatory corporations rape and pillage what’s left of the Amazon…until it goes up in flames. As we speak, they’re implicated in a military coup in Bolivia, while simultaneously trying to effect a coup in Venezuela and put yet another pliable puppet leader in power – by military force if necessary (a fact that journalist, Max Blumenthal is now paying the price for exposing). Oh, and…intervention in Nicaragua and Cuba is also back on the table.
Are we learning yet..?
Of course, in addition to the proxy wars and conflicts in East Asia & Latin America during the Cold War, the US and USSR also faced off on another continent.
6) AFRICAN PROXY WARS (1800s – Present)
Apart from their legacy of slavery and colonization in Africa, we also know that Britain, Europe (specifically France, Germany, Portugal, Belgium and the Netherlands) and the US have been involved in many wars, proxy wars, interventions, assassinations and coups that have plagued the African continent over the past two centuries or more. The most notable conflicts, post WW2, include; The Congo (1960 – ’65) and the assassination of Patrice Lumumba (coordinated by Belgium and the CIA) in 1960, Nigerian Civil War (1967), Ethiopian Civil War (1974 – ’91), The Ogaden War (1977 – ’78), Angolan Civil War (1975 – 2002), South African / Namibian War (1966 – ’90), LRA Insurgence in Uganda (1987 – present), Somali Civil War (1991 – present), Rwandan Genocide (1994), Etrian-Ethiopian War (1998), Congo War (1998 – present), Sudan war (2003 to present), Boko Haram Insurgency in Nigeria (2009 – present), CAR Civil War (2012 – present), and the Libyan Civil War (2011 – present). Then, of course, there’s that scandalous list of African leaders who were assassinated by the West, particularly France, over the decades. Not to mention, the US, UK and Israel – among others – supported the apartheid regime in South Africa in their war against the ANC, SWAPO and other liberation struggle groups.
The deaths, casualties and displacements from these African wars (and proxy wars) over the past century alone run into the tens of millions. Doesn’t that qualify as one big continent-wide war? And the interventions and military adventures continue in Africa to this day. Since 9/11, the US has funded the military forces of Niger, Chad, Mali, Mauritania, Nigeria, Senegal, Morocco, Algeria and Tunisia in the interests of “promoting stability” on the continent. While we’re on the subject, keep your eyes on Africom – and the shadow wars they are currently involved in all over the continent. I get the nasty feeling they’re about to do to Africa what the US has been doing to the Middle-East, for decades. Of course, they’ll first have to go through China and Russia.
But then…for a while…it looked like all the wars were coming to an end, when – after the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989 (which the world also just recently commemorated) and the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991 – the Cold War ended. During the Two Plus Four talks on the unification of Germany in 1990, western politicians assured Soviet leader, Mikail Gorbachev that NATO would not advance its military bases eastward; “not one inch, not one thumb’s width” was apparently the actual expression used. (Although, some Russophobes and war hawks today – like NATO SG, Jens Stoltenberg – deny that NATO ever made that promise.) Still, all the remaining wars and proxy wars should have officially ended right there and then in ’91, right? The “Evil Commie” Boogeyman of the world, Soviet Russia, had fallen. No more threat, so…no more wars. Sound good…?
(Sighhh) If only…
The Cold War may have ended, but, in Eastern Europe another full-blown hot war was about to kick off.
7) YUGOSLAV WARS (1991 – 2001)
This series of conflicts and wars spanned a decade, killed more than 130 000 people and led to the break-up of the Yugoslav state. They included; The Ten-Day war (1991), Croatian War of Independence (1991 – ’95), Bosnian War (1992 – ’95), Kosovo War (1998 – ’99) and the Preševo & Macedonia Insurgencies (1999 – 2001). During the Kosovo War (spurred and justified by more lies and propaganda about ethnic cleansing), NATO launched Operation Allied Force (aka Noble Anvil) and relentlessly bombed the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia between March 24 and June 10, 1999; a move considered by many countries to be illegal under international law. After the war ended with the signing of the Kumanovo Agreement on 9th June 1999, at least 161 officials were prosecuted by the ICTY (International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia) for their role in war crimes and genocide. Among the accused was ex-Serbian President, Slobodan Milošević – who died in 2006 before his trial was complete. To date, none of the NATO leaders and politicians who approved and supported the bombing campaign have ever appeared before the Tribunal, or been charged with war crimes against humanity.
Since the end of the Yugoslav Wars, NATO ultimately broke their promise to Russia and, today, has advanced something like 17 countries to the east – effectively rebooting the Cold War. And, between that betrayal and the ongoing, relentless, resurgence of hysterical, McCarthyite, Russophobic propaganda coming out of the west lately, particularly over the past decade, this new Cold War 2.0 is heating up hotter than the first one. It doesn’t help that NATO forces are brazenly playing war games in Russia’s backyard, the Baltic states, and the US are still interfering in the Ukraine. Yet, we’re supposed to believe that Russia is the main aggressor in this new Cold War…right?
So, did it all end with Yugoslavia? Were they, the politicians, warmongers, war hawks and war pigs all now fully satisfied and officially done with organized mass murder?Well…like John Bender said to Mr Vernon, in The Breakfast Club…
“Not even close, bud.”