Thursday, January 17, 2019
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The Mother of all Follies


The intention of Donald Trump’s mega-bomb recently dropped in Afghanistan was allegedly intended to send a ‘clear message’ to the Taliban and the Mainstream Media were keen to enhance the drama of it by describing the bomb blast as being so violent that it was felt ‘like an earth quake across Afghanistan’.

The more ‘militaristic experts’ trotted out by the Mainstream Media were keen to describe how this ‘earthquake’ was intended to destroy the labyrinth network of underground tunnels and bunkers used by the Taliban, a story embellished by magic numbers of Taliban leaders killed (in their tunnels); no civilians of course.

However, after some 16 years of warfare conducted, as usual, by the world’s No 1 Superpower against one of the world’s poorest nations possessing no airforce, no military industrial complex, no satellite images, tanks, humvees or high-tech communications kit, this ‘clear message’ has only one possible interpretation by any serious-minded spectator. It represents a fist in the chess-board during the end-game that says “I don’t want to lay anymore!” My guess is that the Taliban are smart enough also to take that interpretation and are probably rejoicing in their tunnels.

Coming as it does at the apparent end of an episode that began with the ill-judged, arrogant and over-confident opening gambit of George Bush Junior it seems to closely parallel the Vietnam episode, which I also lived through and by my own first-hand experience of that era can clearly see that it too was one of wanton, senseless destruction and immense human suffering inflicted with an ostensible justification based on absurd and later to be exposed lies.

A recent article by Mike Whitney (at confirmed for me that the original 1950’s conflict in North Korea was an equally senseless and morally reprehensible outrage by the world’s No 1 Superpower against yet another of the world’s poorest nations. Had my father’s generation not been persuaded of the notion that it was somehow ‘noble and heroic’ not to talk about what one experienced in war but to suffer in silence, I believe I would have had much richer first-hand understanding of that war. How convenient that all is for those who would wish to conduct violent, immoral crimes under a cloak of deceit.

There is one ongoing human tragedy to be seen in the destruction and suffering in consequence of this rampant empire. There is another in the grotesque scene of a nation gathered like a gang of thugs to support the school-yard bully in beating up a trail of hapless victims. There is a probably sadder tragedy evident in the spectacle of a global mob of perverse spectators come to watch the event and gloat like Roman citizenry lining the halls of the Colosseum, entertained by the slaughter and cheering them on.

Perhaps the worst tragedy of all however, lies in the futility of this rise and now apparent decline of yet another empire at a time when humanity, once in possession of a green and resource-rich planet and inspired by great aspirations, currently has far more pressing imperatives in the face of a dying biosphere and the prospect of a dark fate seemingly hastened along by all of its smart bombs and wasteful destructiveness.

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