The Summer of 2010 … let the Nightmares Begin
Yes, summer 2010 is here, or will be shortly depending on exactly where on the globe one is. At the very least the summer solstice, the longest day of the year is here, so in an astronomical sense the year is half over. And in fine old Doug’s Darkworld tradition, I thought I would review some of the bad things that might very well blow up in our faces this summer. Summer is always a traditional time for war, and this summer is no exception. And starting wars are especially something that governments like to do if they are losing their grip on a situation or desperately want to divert attention away from something.
And this summer, there’s at least three or four somethings that are slowly but surely undermining the west, especially the USA’s grip on power. The first of course is the economy. Despite all the fabulous efforts to massage the situation and make things look good, the recovery looks more like a twitching corpse than any sort of recovery. Doctor Obama: “See, he’s fine, he just moved!” Nurse Concerned Citizen: “Um, I think that was just a post-mortem spasm Doctor.” Doctor Obama: “Nonsense, he’ll be up and around in no time! And you’re fired!” OK, got carried away with myself there. In any event with bank failures run at double last years already alarming pace, not to mention national economy failures in Europe, there’s only so much longer that the western economy can be kept inflated with borrow and spend tactics (conveniently renamed “stimulus recovery packages.”) And there’s be nothing like a war to ram through “emergency measures” that could do for our taxes what the Patriot Act did for our constitutional rights.
In another completely media massaged and underrated economic catastrophe, the Gulf Oil Leak is just that … an environmental and economic Chernobyl in the making. Anyone notice how as the leak becomes “old news” and thus no longer front page news, the evidence about the amount of oil that is leaking keeps rising? Yes, as the leak worsens, or more accurately it becomes harder to conceal what a disaster this is, press coverage is falling off? Very clever, but it doesn’t change the ugly fact that this is a monstrous event that is going to hurt millions of people at the bottom of the economic ladder very hard. And may very well effect the health of millions of people as well, crude oil is toxic, and huge numbers of people are already exposed … and just think what a hurricane might do. Again, nothing like a war to put news of what could easily become the largest environmental catastrophe and mass poisoning in history on the back pages.
There’s a couple other back burner things that are putting the pressure on so to speak too. The war in Afghanistan is not going well, that’s becoming harder and harder to hide. The fact that the USA fired one of their biggest rockets in their propaganda arsenal to further justify the war shows how desperate it is. The Soviets discovered decades ago that Afghanistan has vast untapped mineral wealth, this was not some amazing new discovery as it was presented as. And only in the small print did anyone mention that the corruption, war, and utter lack of infrastructure in Afghanistan make it unlikely that any of this wealth will be accessible in the near further. And almost nowhere did anyone mention that doesn’t this wealth belong to the people of Afghanistan and how the hell is it that the west somehow is entitled to exploit it? And Israel has a few minor propaganda problems of its own to deal with, it’s becoming harder and harder to maintain the fiction that the current government of Israel wants peace, and somehow the people in their occupied territorials are the problem. I recommend this article for understanding how the current Israeli regime fears the political normalization that peace with the Palestinians would bring.
And why do I bring up Israel anyhow? Well, a fleet of US and Israeli warships has just moved through the Suez Canal. Apparently headed for the Persian Gulf, since it seems unlikely that the USA would be sending an aircraft carrier to fight Somalian pirates. And the USA if anything has ratcheted up its propaganda war against the Iranian regime and done all it can to forestall any sort of diplomatic solution to the “problem.” I say “problem” in quotes since as a signatory to the NPT Iran is allowed to develop nuclear power for peaceful purposes, it’s the USA that keeps insisting that somehow Iran can’t be allowed to do what so many other nations in the world are doing. There’s also some other “peace flotillas” heading for Gaza, which has to be alarming the Israel regime. I say “peace flotillas” in quotes because some of these are being sent by people with an inimical interest in the whole affair. There are those in Iran and elsewhere who want the USA and Israel to get involved in yet another land war in the Middle East … not of course because they are evil Muslims or they hate our freedoms, but because they think they can win.
So am I predicting more war in the Middle East this summer? Maybe, the signs don’t look good. It’s looked grim for years though, and more than anyone I know that predicting the future is a fool’s game, the future has a nasty way of surprising everyone. Still, when one has a situation where militaristic nations seem to be hell bent on war, and they have good “motives” for doing so, it’s time to take cover. In any event I just wanted to get this niggling worry out of my system so I can get back to blogging about Romans, cosmology, space exploration, history, and other fun stuff. And as a chance to remind everyone that war is bad, people die, they never turn out the way people predict, and if we don’t stop this “murdering in the name of freedom” madness it’s going to be the death of us all eventually. Or at the very least the death of the American Empire, which might be a good thing, but I’m not sure I want to be there when it happens.
(The above image was taken during World War One and is thus Public Domain under US copyright law. It’s an image of German war dead at the Battle of Verdun. one of the bloodiest battle in history. The French “won” the battle since the Germans didn’t achieve their goal, and it only cost them a mere 163,000 dead. The Germans lost 143,000 dead but failed to capture Verdun or inflict disproportionate losses on the French. Of course such losses could never occur again, we’re too smart now. The 500,000 American dead and wounded in our recent wars don’t count since of course most of them were only “slightly” wounded, what’s a little brain damage or hearing loss to our brave boys and girls anyhow? It’s worth it to make Afghanistan the Saudi Arabia of Lithium, right?)