President Joe Biden and his military and state department at a minimum had to have known that Israel’s Mossad was going to sabotage Iran’s Natanz nuclear processing site on April 11. If they hadn’t been warned in advance of that attack, and at least tacitly approved it, they would have publicly protested it. Clearly, they were happy to see it happen, and just as clearly, it means they aren’t serious about trying to undo the damage done by President Trump’s May 2018 decision to pull the U.S. out of the nuclear agreement reached by President Obama and five other nations with Iran to halt for 10 years any further enrichment of uranium.
The has me really pissed. I mean, what does Biden want — the destruction of Iran’s nuclear fuel program? That is war. Serious war. Even just blowing up the Natanz site would cause a nuclear catastrophe spreading radioactive debris from the facility all over the place, and of course inviting a response from Iran. That is madness, not policy.
When you get older you tend lose patience, and at 72, I don’t have a lot of patience. I don’t have time anymore for the nonsense that passes for government and politics in Washington and in my state of Pennsylvania for that matter, where Republican legislators get everyone sick by refusing to wear masks and are trying to preserve their majorities in House and Senate by gerrymandering and passing vote suppression legislation. It’s all games — games where thousands of people suffer and die.
I want to see results. I have two grown kids and their spouses and two grandkids that I want to have a chance to live rich creative lives in a better world than the one that I’ve had to deal with in my life. And right now, that world is not getting better. In fact, it’s pretty sick — literally sick, largely thanks to government incompetence.
So when I see our federal government spending $1.5 trillion to modernize its nuclear arsenal, including making new nukes that are so small (as little as 5 kilotons meaning just 5000 tons of TNT!) that they are considered “useable” instead of the 5 megaton ones a thousand times larger that would destroy the world if they were used so they can’t be, when I hear my politicians in Congress and the White House talking about ramping up military challenges with China and with Russia, when I hear the president stupidly calling the leader of Russia a “killer” right after he just obliterated at least 22 people with an illegal attack using seven 500-lb bombs in a country we have no right to be in, it makes me angry.
What the hell’s the matter with these boneheads in Washington? Don’t they realize that there are bigger issues facing us all — especially our, and their own, kids and grandkids — than whether China has piled up a bunch of gravel on a few coral reefs in the South China Sea to build a couple of airfields that will soon be submerged again by rising seas? I mean for gods’ sake! The South China Sea is on the absolute opposite side of the world, is rarely visited by Americans, and Chinese those islands and the planes on them don’t threaten the U.S. at all. In fact, if we want to sail freighters to and from Vietnam those militarized man-made outposts won’t pay them any mind. Let them have them. China’s a big and powerful country. They have a sphere of influence just like the U.S. does.
After all, look what the U.S. did when this country decided it wanted to keep a naval base on Cuba after Castro’s guerrillas overthrew the Mafia-run government of Fulgencio Batista. The new revolutionary government of Fidel and Che told us they wanted the U.S. out, and Washington said no we’re not leaving, We’ve been there since then, even after the lease forced on Cuba after the Spanish-American War ran out, paying a pittance in rent with annual checks which the Cuban’s refuse to cash. Then when we wanted another island, we sent the Second Fleet of the U.S. Navy and an aircraft battle group and a force of 6000 men to conquer the tiny island of Grenada (pop: 91,000, army 1500). The excuse: because Grenada had a “Marxist government.”
As for Russia, the U.S. is making a fuss because that country is laying a pipeline for natural gas through the Baltic Sea to Germany called NordStream. Washington’s calling that some kind of “threat” because with it, Germany, the main customer for the cheap minimally polluting fuel, will be more closely economically tied to America’s “existential adversary” Russia.
Please. The Germans don’t seem to consider getting cheap natural gas a threat. Their country’s banks are investing in the project.
This is all such pathetic nonsense — but dangerous nonsense.
How about if we, the country with by far the most outsized military, try dialing it down? Nobody’s tried than since WWII. When that ended, the U.S. immediately started industrializing the production of its new atomic bomb, hoping to have a monopoly on the weapon, and by the end of 1949 is had over 250 of them!
President Biden, who surely knows that there is a lot he needs to be spending on that he can’t spend because he’s already spending $1.3 trillion a year on wars and planning for wars, $1.5 trillion over 10 years on the biggest weapon boondoggle in the history of warfare (the F-35), hundreds of billions of dollars a year on 800 overseas bases and hundreds of billions of dollars a year more on a 2-million person military. He surely also knows that much of what the U.S. military is doing — fighting in places that the U.S. has no business, building nuclear weapons that since Jan. 1 have been declared as illegal as chemical weapons under the U.N. Charter, and sending hugely expensive aircraft carriers provocatively into areas they’re not wanted and not needed.
It’s time to bring them all home, mothball the fleets, scrap all the planes, dismantle the nukes and declare peace.
What do people think is going to happen? Will China somehow send a million men to the U.S. to try and conquer this country? Will Russia try it? Of course not. Why would they do that? China wants us to buy their stuff. Russia wants to be friends and sell oil and gas to Europe. Besides this is a nation with 300 million guns in private hands and a fair number of the people who have them know how to use them (and would in an invasion).
With a fraction of the trillion-plus dollars, we spend each year on our military, our intelligence(sic) services etc., we could spread aid around the world that could end starvation, provide fresh water and even make friends.
Okay, after all the dirty dealing and backing of coups and the dictators that they put into power, it might take the people of the world a while to figure what kind of a sneak attack we are pulling, but eventually, they’ll realize that we genuinely want peace.
We could try the same thing at home too. Defunding the police would be a good start (and I don’t mean eliminating the police — we need cops to put the occasional injured deer out of its misery, look for lost dogs, investigate a house break-in or maybe arrest a drunk driver). My town of Upper Dublin, PA, last time I looked, had 26,000 people and 40 cops. That’s one cop per 220 people? We have virtually no crime here! The cops spend most of their time giving parking and traffic tickets, which could be handled with cameras, not salaried uniformed officers with guns. Nationwide, the country looks like a police state. In fact, it is a police state. We have the highest percent of people incarcerated or with a prison record of any country in the world. And clearly, given our crime rate, it’s clear that the strategy does not work.
How about we try creating jobs, and sentencing criminals to school. How about we legalize drugs and sell let trained pharmacists sell them by prescription as some countries in Europe do? How about we stop locking people up for life or so years, and leaving them with public felony records when they get out, making it impossible for them to get jobs ever? That’s just a brilliant idea for preventing crime, don’t you think?
Once we take wars and crime off the table we could really start to tackle the massive crisis facing us all: the climate emergency.
When I go out for a walk in the woods this spring, and I’m heartsick. There are very few spring peepers where the little soprano mating calls of these tiny tree frogs used to be like the roar of a crowd. Now you’re lucky to hear any sounds from a marsh at night. Birts, which at this time of year used to be all out in full song, defending their turf, is almost gone. I only hear a few bird calls. There’s nothing to defend against. Insects used to swarm street lights at night attracting lots of darting little brown bats. Now neither are to be seen. Many species of trees are dying off. We’re getting to be like those goldfish bowls we used to have as kids. One day they’d get cloudy, and the next day, all the goldfish would be floating dead on the surface of a stinking aquarium. The same thing could happen to us very quickly here on fishbowl Earth.
That should be the laser focus of politicians in Washington and our state capitals, not all the nonsense about gaining political advantage, catering to greedy rich people’s whims and corporation’s short-term profit goals.
Let’s all say we have had enough of the bullshit. We need a government that takes care of our needs and our children’s needs.