"Herding Hamsters And Other Cosmic Reflections"
Disordered thoughts on the National Cockatoo’s latest antics"
by Fred Reed
"One: The aghastment and horrilation about the terrible, appalling, shocking etc nature of gas warfare is nonsense.There is nothing unusually hideous about the use of toxic chemicals. Hideous, yes, but not unusually hideous. Boring old workaday artillery, that nobody criticizes, leaves children watching as mommy frantically clutches at intestines spilling from her opened belly, leaves men without legs trying to drag themselves along until gushing femoral arteries end consciousness, causes traumatic brain injury that leaves its beneficiaries drooling and burbling for life. Poison gas can do no better.
The whole business of WMD, Weapons of Mass Destruction, is two-thirds twaddle useful for herding dim publics. Gas has very seldom been used since the World War One days of Wilfred Owen, not because of its vileness but because it has not proved particularly useful militarily. Horribleness does not bother soldiers, who are amoral when they are not actually sadistic.
Biological warfare? It sounds, like, you know, really scary and all, but in fact is not militarily enticing because it is not controllable and can backfire on its users. It serves nicely, however, to alarm publics with minds of low voltage. We are most especially supposed to be frightened of anthrax. Since it is not contagious it is more in the nature of a poison and in any event hard to use.
Only three weapons of mass destruction exist: Nuclear explosives, artillery, and aerial bombing. Think Dresden, Hiroshima, Guernica, Fallujah.
Two: Whoever wrote Trump’s speech for him –he obviously cannot put together two sentences with dependent clauses without wandering onto the far shores of incoherence – worked the moral-outrage pump hard. The gas attack, by whomever made, killed - eeek! squeak! - seventy civilians and little children. More hamster-herding: git along little furry dogies. On many days in the Mid-East, the United States has killed more civilians than all the gas attacks real or invented in the entire war. The pilots, unprincipled as are all military men, know they are doing it, and don’t care. They get paid for their humanitarianism. By us.
Three: Something smells. The use of toxins, either by Assad in Syria or by Russia in West Pakistan -England, I meant, England - makes no sense. Assad had won his war and had no need of gassing a few civilians. He would have to know that it would give Washington a pretext for an attack. Which it did. Is Assad so foolish?
Similarly with the poisoning of what’s-his-spy and his daughter. Russia had nothing to gain and a great deal to lose, as we have seen. It is one thing to believe Mr. Putin capable of bad things. To believe him stupid is quite another. Note that Theresa May became hysterical before it was established that Russia did it, which has still not been established. The orchestrated expulsion of Russian diplomats by all the vassal states, also before anything definitive had been determined, was just too cute.
Four: Who had anything to gain by the gaseous adventurism? Answer: The American Empire - not America, not Americans - and Israel. Both are desperate to keep Syria from surviving. Note that Washington has a history of lying the country into wars. The Maine in 1898, the Gulf of Tonkin, the imaginary WMD in Gulf I. Plus ca change, plus ca doesn’t.
Five: Syria is of no importance, at all, to America or Americans. It has nothing America wants or needs. It poses no danger to America. It is somewhere else. This lack of vital interest to America it shares with North Korea, Afghanistan, the Ukraine, the Crimea, the South China Sea, and all the other places where the Empire looks for war. Then why does Washington risk nuclear war by accident with Russia, which also poses no danger to America?
Because the Empire’s hegemony over the Mid-East, Asia, and the world weakens. The Empire totters. Syria is at the heart of the looming demise.
Things go badly, Empire-wise. Start with the war on Afghanistan, now creeping toward its third decade, and neighboring Pakistan. China invests heavily in infrastructure in Pakistan: The Karakoram Highway, the Karachi reactors, the China Pakistan Economic Corridor, the IP pipeline, Guadar. If - when - America leaves, Pakistan will become an economic client state of China, without a shot being fired. Afghanistan will quickly follow as China invests in its minerals. This is why Washington cannot leave.
Afghanistan borders Iran, which Washington maintains as an enemy at the behest of Israel. Iran borders Iraq, wrecked by the United States and sharing a religion with Iran. Without the threat of American military power, it could easily align itself with Iran and Asia. In Syria, Assad seems to have won unless the Empire doubles or triples down. Thus the contrived gassing of children and Trump’s missile attack. Turkey balances between east and west, and could easily decide that Asia is the future.
The Empire totters, wounded and dangerous.
Six: Washington’s approach to hegemony is military, relying on bombing and economic sanctions. This requires huge military expenditures that cripple the domestic economy and produces countless countries that would break with America if they could. By contrast, China’s approach is economic, smarter and much cheaper. It is China’s Belt and Road Initiative to integrate all of Eurasia into one huge trading block, excluding guess who, that has the Empire in a panic. How do you bomb a trade agreement?
Seven: Russia and China have adult leadership. Putin and Xi are stable, intelligent, and competent. Their interests are not Washington’s and they will do whatever is in the interest of their countries, but they are not stupid, ignorant, weak, juvenile, or crazy. By contrast, Trump is a loon, ignorant of practically everything, mentally chaotic, and easily modified.
Do you think this excessive? Ponder this luminous tweet: “Get ready Russia, missiles will be coming at Syria, nice and new and ‘smart’!” This is not adult language. It is the taunting of a twelve-year-old. Nya hnya nya! Yet it is classic Trump. This man has absolute power to launch wars whose consequences we will have to bear. Is this not splendid?”