Monday, July 17, 2006

Here it comes

The time of challenges is upon us. What unfolds in the next 6 months could affect human history for a thousand years. While the fiddler plays, and the world burns, the opposition is distracted with yesterday’s battles, and the trivia of party politics. Very soon now, unless significant numbers of people think in a new way, the much ballyhooed War on Terror will become a self-sustaining engine, implacable and unopposeable in it’s logic, endlessly generating it’s own justification for being. The American electorate’s love of warfare could very well soon once more be taken advantage of by politicians intent on sustaining their own power, and if successful, could forever seal off the possibility of returning in our lifetimes to a world where peace, cooperation, and mutual benefit were the watch words. Rather through deliberate machination, and, far more importantly, deep rooted human mass psychological need, a new era threatens to dawn. An era of might makes right, of truth betrayed to the needs of power and wealth, an era of lies, religious intolerance, and mass manipulation, and endemic warfare.

The powers that be in Washington, and more importantly the cultural, political, and ideological forces behind them have been advertising to all who would listen for many years now their intent to attack Iran. People in the know have been warning us for the last 9 months of the ever increasing planning within the Defense Dept. for just such a strike. The political calculus of rallying the pro-war American voters to stave off an incipient electoral Donnybrook has been not only much anticipated, but indeed openly avowed. The drumbeat of vilification of Iran has been growing ever louder in the conservative media.

The only thing that has not been clear was how the new war would be sold, what justification would be used. There has been clear maneuvering in the simultaneously vilified United Nations quite reminiscent of that leading up to the invasion of Iraq. However it’s transparency has led most observers to conclude that the Europeans, and certainly the Russians, and the Chinese would not this time be fooled into providing cover for a government intent on aggressive warfare. Indeed it seems entirely likely, though admittedly guesswork, to wonder if the recent denial of WTO membership to Russia wasn’t caused by a failure to obtain support from that quarter for a far more desperately desired goal. Something else was needed.

The invasion of Lebanon may well be it. It is the perfect, made to order justification for a rapid widening of the conflict in the Middle East, just in time for the next election cycle. Already voices in the media are blaming Iran for the events that have transpired. With even a small amount of reactive validation from the Arab world, not necessarily limited to Iran, but certainly including Bin Laden and Al Qaeda, these voices could quickly rise to a crescendo calling for US involvement in a military action against Iran. Indeed, unilateral action by Israel alone could quickly force our hand, if, as seems likely, and not at all unjustified, the US is deemed complicit in such an event by fundamentalist Islam.

The stakes are high, and the outcome plain to any who have eyes to see with, and ears to hear. If the United States goes to war against Iran, the world as we know it will be gone forever. Abundant energy, low taxes, a generally harmonious culture with cheap and abundant consumer goods, and free interchange and travel around the globe will be gone. In it’s place will be a world at war. Gasoline will skyrocket in price. The 100 dollar a barrel nightmare scenario is clearly already within spitting distance. Are we ready for $400? Inflation? Taxes? You just wait. A multi-front war, with the source of over half of the worlds oil supply is not going to be cheap. In fact it is going to be the most expensive undertaking we have ever seen. Guaranteed. And we haven’t even begun to factor in the final fracturing of both American and European societies around the issue of support or opposition to such a war, and the resumption of long forgotten hostilities with Russia, and China.

Indeed perhaps the single most likely reason these events might not come to pass is that American business interests must at some level already understand that this war cannot serve them in any way, and this administration they have created must now be stopped. As for the rest of us, I’m not sure what we can do besides pray.

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