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Saturday, April 13, 2024

Abraham Accords and/or Nuclear War

 I do not have the faintest idea what is going to happen in the Middle East and neither does anyone else.  There are, of course, some people who have more information than the rest of us, but there is no one that knows what is going to happen because they do not know what the other guy will actually do if we do whatever.  Right now, Israel and Iran are taking increasingly dangerous pot shots at each other, but all-out-war has not yet been triggered anywhere, except inside Gaza.  A lower level of violence is, however, pervasive everywhere in the region as various smaller groups of partisans mindlessly shoot at each other and disrupt communications.  Because we still have troops in the region, ostensibly there to fight ISIS, and because we are aligned with Israel, we get wrapped into the mayhem as well.  Nobody in this country likes the situation and none of our various political leaders can come up with a satisfactory policy that has much hope of restoring calm to the region.  When pressed, conservative and liberal alike, cast their policy in terms of staunchly protecting our ally Israel and disassociating ourselves from the mess as much as possible.  Up until very recently, both Trump and Biden favored reorienting military assets away from the Middle East to the Far East to deal with the emerging threat that China poses - as though we could, by so doing, change the dynamics of what was happening in the Middle East.  That is a superb example of wishful thinking on the part of the entire American political establishment - left, right and center, - fully supported by the American people.  Nothing had changed for the better in the Middle East.  We just tried to pretend that we could change our mind.

I argue that this approach to foreign policy on our part has never been intelligent, and is now actually dangerous.  It drags us into war reluctantly and poorly prepared.  Today, our military stock piles are depleted, our military forces are undermanned and inadequately trained, and our corrupt political leaders are bleating irrational threats that they refuse to back up with any real action, because the populace is intentionally sound asleep.  Violence is everywhere in an overpopulated world that is increasingly connected with vulnerable lines of supply and communication.  A rag tag bunch of malcontents is forcing the world to reroute trade along routes that are more expensive and inconvenient while Washington introduces sanctions that further disrupt trade and make it still more costly.  Absolutely everybody in the entire world is on edge or actually engaged in killing each other and, here in this country, we are no longer talking to each other about anything substantive, yelling at each other increasingly loudly about all kinds of trivia that we can get our heads around, instead.

We are on the brink of nuclear war and you and I are refusing to understand what that means.  Always before in human history, war resolved disagreements for some period of time and people eventually accommodated to the new reality.  This next war is going to be slightly different, because it is going to involve an exchange of nuclear weapons which is going to poison some percentage of arable land.  Granted, we will also reduce population pressure to some extent or another, but I find that less attractive than it might have been in earlier conflicts, because you and I are going to be part of the group of people that are going to be done away with, no matter which side “wins.”

Any readers that I might still have at this point in my essay will now ask, in an irritated voice, “well smarty pants, what can we do about it?”  First, understand it.  Then start trying to unravel the stupidity that surrounds our bubble of irrational fantasy, understanding that it is going to be a long, difficult process that is going to require courage, intelligence and perseverance.  Trump’s effort to establish some sort of detent between Muslim and Arab in the Abraham Accords was an excellent initiative even though its’ initial success contributed mightily to the timing of Iran’s triggering of Hamas.  The Obama/Biden approach to Teheran was just as mindless as their abandonment of Crimea to Putin and their decision to give Teheran a nuclear capability was perhaps the worst mistake in the history of Western civilization.  Somehow, you and I have to find a way to discuss foreign policy without permitting intense domestic disagreements to get in the way.  The growing alliance between Teheran, Moscow and Beijing is not something that we can continue to ignore.  The age of the fetus, the price of gas, pronouns, the number of chips in the bag are just plain not as important as some of the other things that are going on outside of our non-existent borders.  Wake the hell up!  Learn!  Think!  Discuss!  Then make your voice heard and vote intelligently.

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