In that same War that so revolted the Dadaists, both sides used chemical weapons on each other. That was almost 100 years ago now. It seems like 1000 to me, but if you're dead you're dead, I guess. War being politics by other means, you can get shot through the throat and experience that sort of short death; you can explode in a bombing (I wonder what those experiences have been like? Virtually the same question as asking what's death like? A zen master was asked by a zen student, "What happens after death?" The zen master answers, "I don't know." The student replies, "But...you're a zen master." And the zen master says, "Yes, but I'm not a dead zen master.").
Before we resume, read (again) Wilfred Owen's "Dulce Et Decorum Est"
It seems to me what Obama and the international community of global elites who agreed on this shit are saying, if we look at what actually has happened: We believe in killing and war in our own interests. We'll kill you from the sky with drones, drop bombs on you, we've used Agent Orange and the atomic bomb. We've napalmed kids and civilians. And yes <cough> we...mistakes may have been made when we armed Saddam Hussein in his war against Iran and he used chemical weapons on the Kurds. It's just...this use of chemical weapons against civilians, by a little guy on the world stage like you, Assad? No! We will not stand for it!
Let us pray it wasn't chemical weapons here
Yes friends: death by chemical and biological weapons is pretty hideous. But that's life. And death. That's war! This invention of a "red line" that Assad wasn't to step over or the world-straddling Cop On The Beat Unistat will retaliate? It's fucking phony and misses the whole point. Once dropping bombs on civilians from planes was crossing a red line. After Hiroshima and Nagasaki the atom and hydrogen bombs were supposed to be red lines, but look at the tonnage of bombs dropped on little Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia. More than seven million tons of bombs: more than twice that dropped on Europe and Asia during World War II. (And Unistat lost in Vietnam anyway.) Look at Iraq, fer crissakes. Hey my fellow Americans; who is this "we" we're talking about?
Not sure how I feel about this...did they die by
chemical weapons, or by the "normal" ways?
And: we torture. And no one who did the torturing or wrote laws justifying it were brought to justice. The tortures the United States is responsible for are, according to old fashioned Nuremburg Laws, crimes against humanity. But it's okay! Because we are doing it. And we love freedom.
I suspect, but do not know, that Pentagon types think chemical weapons will become easier to obtain and use, and that they'll be used on "American soil," on civilians. And the panic and fallout will be too much. Worse: they fear this stuff will be used on themselves, the Actual Americans, the ones with Ivy League degrees and who sit on the Board of Directors of Fortune 500 companies. Because in Unistat in the 21st century, let's face it: if you don't have power and money, you are expendable, or at least a nuisance.
This just in...I'm being handed a bulletin from the radical left-wing rag Foreign Policy. Sez here that C.I.A. files prove America helped Saddam as he gassed Iran. And I say: It's a new day! That's all water under the bridge, sometimes a freedom-loving society such as ours does, in its zeal to help the downtrodden of the Earth, makes mistakes, our hearts always in the right place, high atop the City on a Hill and and and....pffffffft!
A while back I blogged a bit on The Dictator's Handbook. Recently one of the co-authors, Alastair Smith, said Assad's chemical weapons attack was a shrewd move, and he explains why in this short article from Slate.
This makes a lot of sense to me. I have zero illusions about geopolitics, empires, wars, patriotism, bunting, the flag, John Wayne, Audie Murphy, Chuck Norris or any of that bullshit. (Paradoxically to me: those I've met who seem to love all that are the same ones who tell me I need to "grow up.")
Gawd, if we only had women running the planet! Eh? Huh? Who's with me on this? They know what it's like to bring life into the world; men kill because they blah blah can't give birth blah bleh...right?
I exchanged a few emails not long ago with Bruce Bueno de Mesquita, Smith's co-author of The Dictator's Handbook. One of the questions I asked him was if he thought more women being elected to office would make politics saner, more peaceful. Here's his reply:
According to standard realpolitick Neo-Machiavellian politics, Obama will look "soft" now if "he" doesn't do anything to retaliate. "He" actually shakes out to something like "our armies of well-trained killers." I mean, Obama said if you cross my red line I'll kick your ass, Bashir. Because, apparently, despite all the Yale and Harvard degrees involved here, we're perpetually in 6th grade.
And now I shift to old movie lines:
"Victims? Don't be melodramatic. [Orson Welles as Harry Lime opens the door and the camera looks down from the Ferris Wheel high above] Look down there. Would you feel any pity if one of those dots stopped moving forever? If I offered you 20,000 pounds for every dot that stopped, would you really, old man, tell me to keep the money? Free of income tax, old man, free of income tax. The only way you can save money nowadays."
[Harry Lime, again, to his old friend Holly Martin]: "Don't look so gloomy...Afterall, it's not that awful...In Italy for thirty years under the Borgias they had warfare, terror, murder, bloodshed...they produced Michaelangelo, Leonardo da Vinci and the Renaissance. In Switzerland they had brotherly love, five hundred years of democracy and peace, and what did that produce? The cuckoo clock."
[Charlie Chaplin as Monsier Verdoux is on trial because he got caught doing something illegal that he was very good at and highly paid: he lured rich women into marriage, then killed them for their fortunes. With this money he kept his real wife and child well-fed during wartime.]
"Wars, conflict - it's all business. One murder makes a villain; millions, a hero. Numbers sanctify, my good fellow!"
And again, M. Verdoux on trial:
"As for being a mass killer, does not the world encourage it? Is it not building weapons of destruction for the sole purpose of mass killing? Has it not blown unsuspecting women and little children to pieces? And done it very scientifically? As a mass killer, I am an amateur by comparison."
Shortly after the 1939-45 war, Chaplin and Welles were seen by the Unistat authorities as dangerous un-American types and they were virtually forced to live in Europe. Because, remember Dear Readers: the Americans know and love "freedom."
Tell the truth: how much does it matter to you
HOW they died?