It's said that during the height of the Cuban Missiles Crisis, when President Kennedy was faced with backing-off or starting World War III, he looked seriously rattled. Understandable for a normal human being you might think. Fortunately for the world it was the Russians who had the sense to defuse the confrontation by turning their ships away. Life went on.
Forty-four years later the world is again faced with the prospect of a US President incumbent (albeit fraudulently elected) unleashing a nuclear holocaust. What's different is not that people are going to die --between 1 to 3 million will according to Pentagon calculations-- but that the target is a non-nuclear, west Asian country and that the intended missiles are 'tactical' and thus deemed safe. Safe, that is ... except to the millions of innocent lives that will be sacrificed in their blast and subsequent radioactive poisoning. The country concerned, Iran, has done nothing to deserve such a punishment but has huge reserves of oil which the gangsters running the USA want and consider theirs by right. Right, that is, through Might.
In a normal world this would be called nuclear blackmail, terrorism and the people behind the threat to be criminals of the worst kind. They would be arrested, tried, executed or at best given life sentences.
Clearly we no longer live in a normal world. Not when the scum of the earth can wheedle themselves into positions of the higest power through rigged elections, not when journalists faced with the juiciest story of the century are silenced by editors who in turn have been commanded by their corporate bosses to do so. Not when the same scum engineer the mass-murder of thousands and the deliberate detonation and destruction of public buildings by airliners used as missiles in the middle of a teeming city. Not when they declare this premeditated mass-murder to have been a "terrorist" act --for certainly it was that-- justifying the most repressive onslaught against civil rights and freedoms in "the interests of security."
Reality has been turned upside-down and made to stand on its head. The very leaders who spend so much time warning us all about terrorism turn out to be the very worst liars and terrorists of all. But, cynically, they persist with their lies in the hope that by invoking fear among the masses, fear of an enemy within and without, the majority will be taken in by their crude emotional blackmail. As for the rest who aren't, they can be effectively marginalized.
And so, in this era of total control through fear we find ourselves facing the very worst nightmare of all. Nuclear holocaust.
But, hey, who's doing the nuking on whom? Imagine the relief when the masses realize that they aren't the target and that, actually, it's the Good Guys who are going to do the nuking on those Bad, dark-skinned ragheads who threaten our security. That's ok then, they deserve it for not sharing our values, threatening our security and for putting-up the price of gasoline. Besides which, if we don't nuke them right now they might, just might, nuke us some day.
Twenty-five years ago, when the US planned to turn Europe into a "limited theatre of Nuclear War" the alarms bells rang loud and clear and peace groups blossomed spontaneously across the sub-continent, North America and the rest of the world. It was said that the collective Peace Movement resulting from that mobilization was the largest known throughout recorded history.
It is a sad comment on human nature that when the threat of annihilation is faced by someone else, not us, there isn't quite the same urgency to do something about it. For what other reason can there be for the shameful silence emanating from all quarters of western society regarding the proposed nuclear annihilation of Iran? Where are the peace groups, the churches, the labour movements, the social democratic political parties? Just what kind of trance are we all under that even at this late hour we have lost the ability to speak out against this most terrible crime?
Years ago, studying modern European history, we debated how it was possible for a civilized country like Germany to have been taken over by the obscene thuggery of the Nazis. "If the Germans had stopped it in time, if only they had, if we had ..."
Now look at us! What prevents us, today, still with the relative freedoms we still have to stop our societies going totalitarian? Nuremburg was ok for the losing side. Examples had to be made of. But where is the Nuremburg for our war criminals today? How many of us have the clear-sighted honesty to draw the frightening parallels between the Nazis and the new Nazis in Washington DC and 10 Downing Street?
The worst aspect of human tribalism is how it blinds us from reality.
Yet, if we do not stand up to the dark forces of tribalism that are being deliberately manipulated by the warmongers we, too, shall become its victims. In a global village there can be no freedom from fear, no security, where any group or nation is under a tribal threat of annihilation. What goes round comes round. Like radioactive clouds.
We must stand up, collectively, to the real terrorists now and take whatever action is required to remove them. If we don't the chances are we'll soon find ourselves on their hit list.
It happened before, not so long ago.