When I was a boy I had this crazy fascination with war movies, books, magazines… anything about war, real or fictional, I enjoyed reading.
I especially liked war movies, all that action with those… what you call “stars” – men like Audie Murphy, Victor Mature, John Wayne, immediately come to mind.
I truly cannot recall the names of any of those films, which always included a line-up of predominantly white males, in starring roles, along with minor characters of both genders (but mostly males) in supporting roles. And there always was that female love interest – a wife, girlfriend or lover… maybe all three. Seeing a Black character in that black-and-white era of film was an aberration.
I simply enjoyed watching and reading those war stories, which pitted the enemy of the day (German, Oriental…) against the “good guys.” At that age I couldn’t get beyond the entertainment value; I just didn’t understand…
But time, growing up, maturity, learning… served me well by helping me purge, cleanse and mentally re-configure my propagandized mind.
And then the Vietnam debacle happened, a real war, with news clips bringing the action to the people whose government had become engaged in another of its pastimes – recurring overseas conflict, if only to demonstrate its military superiority to Russia, another ideological player at the time. We were sometimes graphic illustrations of the tragedy of war, giving rise to growing anti-war sentiments, growing civil rights and other protests… giving rise to social upheaval.
“War, what is good for, absolutely nothing…” the late Edwin Starr sang in one of the many anti-Vietnam war songs of protest.
I developed an interest in news to gain a better understanding of what was going on in my world, and why. [The specious reasons for, and geopolitics of, war helped me gain a better understanding of the reasons always proffered for war.]
Needless to say, war movies and publications were no longer sexy; my boyhood fascination had waned… died. Years of enlightenment had been helping me develop and nurture an immeasurable distaste for, and abhorrence of, all military conflict, primarily because of the inevitable destructive outcome in material and human lives.
Television and radio, as well as various publications, and in recent years the www, have become my sources of all the necessary information needed for personal use vis-à-vis where I live in this mad, mad world. Notwithstanding the fact that those mediums – individually and collectively – have been providing me, almost daily, with copious amounts of graphic images of the casualties of wars… Vietnam in the 60s and early 70s, recurring images of casualties of African and Middle East (proxy) bloodletting, horrible images of the break-up of Yugoslavia in the 90s, and look at Syria the last six years, the crumbling of a country.
Who needs war?
I know, the makers and profiteers. And there are always nations with the means to acquire the tools. Earlier this year the U.S., the primary arms manufacturer, sealed a $multi-billion deal – $110 billion according to various sources – with Saudi Arabia. The president made a stop in that country to shake on the deal. The weapons are now wreaking havoc on a sliver of a country in the region called Yemen. Tens of thousands of people have reportedly been killed so far.
As the Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr., said in a 1967 speech at Riverside Church in New York City, in a strong condemnation of the Vietnam War, as well as highlighting other urgent social problems of the day such as poverty and racism, “The greatest purveyor of violence in the world today: My own government. I can not be Silent.”
Poverty, racism, perennial issues. [Add blatant (recorded) shootings of Black men by white police to the mix in the 21st century.]
Vietnam (a defeat and waste of tens of thousands of American lives, and two million Vietnamese.) Iraq: two futile wars, human carnage, refugees and chaos. And the presence of the world’s unprecedented military superpower, and rumblings, not of conventional war, but nuclear war, with a nation America has been mixed up with generations ago, now called North Korea. Now come threats against leader Kim Jong-un and 25 million North Koreans.
[Google the name Donald Nichols, and the name Blaine Harden, and his book King of Spies: The Dark Reign of America’s Spymaster in Korea. Or listen online to the Wednesday, October 18 edition of CBC’s The Current for enlightenment.]
The talk is about nuclear rumblings…
I recently watched a BBC documentary on the bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, and the unspeakable destruction of those two horrific incidents, perpetrated by the U.S. They looked like the images caused by the ravaging fires in northern California, but worse.
By virtue of the power invested in him by the American people comes the unbridled rhetoric, bombast and threats of war and other ‘incomprehensibles’ coming out of the president’s mouth – recurring military exercises to send a message to Kim that America is serious.
“World War 111?” What an ominous prospect.
So should we all be making preparations for the inevitable? And how do we prepare?
With a maniacal, megalomaniac of a man as president of the U.S. and with ample tools at his fingertip, and ostensibly at his disposal, should we be nervous, in preparation mode?
Donald already sent notice to the world, by issuing a threat to Kim to wipe that nation off the map.
“On the path to a Third World War” is the headline of a short article I recently read in one of the local free daily publications.
It starts, “With his threats against certain countries, President Donald Trump risks putting the U.S. “on the path to the Third World War” according to the influential Republican Senator Bob Corker.” This, according to an interview he did with the New York Times.
Anyone who follows the news knows the rest of the story: an ongoing verbal/twitter spat between the so-called “most powerful man in the world,” President Donald Trump (you can bet he literally believes he is), and one of his Republican colleagues, senator Bob Corker. He continues, “He troubles me, and he must trouble all those who love our country…”
The senator went as far as describing the state-of-affairs under the current administrator this way, “[…] sad that the White House has become a day care for adults.”
And in every day care there’s a bully. Nations of the world have their own, described by some commentators as the “most dangerous person in the world today… We’re all in serious trouble”
Will we all be incinerated when WW111, nuclear Armageddon starts?
Let’s just watch the Trumpist.
My mindset today: the hell with war and everything the word evokes. This time it will be a real world war, impacting all the habitable continents of earth. With the employment of today’s “new and improved” tools the results will be incomprehensible.