World War Whatever

Check out the real situation/Nation war against nation/
Where did it all begin?/When will it end?

— Bob Marley, “Real Situation”, from the album Uprising

Where is the outrage regarding the Trump administration’s bellicose attitude towards North Korea? The past two weeks have been a blur of outright savagery towards other nations, with cruise missiles raining down on Syrians and one giant bomb on an ISIS “cave complex” in Afghanistan. Now, the Donald has promised to send his “armada” towards the Sea of Japan, after it was found heading in the opposite direction a couple weeks ago.

This shifting of belligerent, callous violence and threats around the world could indicate a policy of distraction, orchestrated by the Deep State. Literally all that would have to be done is present Trump with manufactured “atrocities” by Assad, ISIS, or even the DPRK regime and wait for him to react. He can then show his “humanitarianism” by dropping bombs.

Perhaps having Ivanka crying in the room over some real or fake pictures of chemical attacks is what really convinced Trump to intervene in Syria. This game of playing on his loved ones’ emotions could be repeated ad infinitum, on whoever is the enemy of the day. Wag the dog, anyone? Although, in this theory, the public is not the direct object of manipulation: it is the President, his family and inner circle, who could very well be the object of cloak and dagger games played out by the Pentagon, CIA, NSA, or National Security Council.

This all goes back to understanding the President as a puppet. Sure, the elite will let him de-regulate certain fossil fuel industries, hollow out the EPA and education, but he won’t be allowed to touch foreign policy. I think this hypothesis does have some merit, as it has played out before in history: during the Roman Empire it was often the Praetorian Guard who exercised the real power behind the scenes, taking bribes to confirm new Emperors and deposing ones who didn’t conform.

Do Americans even care about our endless wars anymore? China literally warned the world that “conflict could break out at any moment,” and yet the press is treating this as just another day at the office. Apparently, it is cool not to care about the history of Korea, our involvement in the destruction of a nation, and the continued impoverishment of the North Korean people. North Korea has nuclear capabilities which are unknown, yet this topic is brushed off by mainstream talking heads. War is all around us, our financial system is mired in debt, the warning lights are flashing due to the coming catastrophes of global warming and habitat destruction, yet by and large, the public has been indoctrinated not to discuss the most important issues of our age.

When did the shift occur to Americans: that any world news outside of, say, the Anglosphere, along with Western Europe, is of lesser importance, or doesn’t matter? That it is somehow inappropriate to badmouth the government, to revolt, to collectively organize and resist against the US Empire? We are facing a Leviathan, and only a concerted effort can force the hand of our masters.

Do Americans have a broad internationalist outlook as a significant minority did during the Cold War? The answer is no. US citizens have retreated to an insular, selfish attitude towards the rest of the world. How many can point to Iraq or Afghanistan on a map? How many view dead Middle Easterners as “collateral damage”? That type of outlook is pure barbarism, and must be changed fast, before our culture as well as our standard of living descends rapidly to levels of a full-blown dark age.

What kind of war are we even in now? We have proxy war, hybrid war, drone war: or are we approaching yet another World War? Whatever, the pundits swagger. Bring it on.

There have already been more than two world wars, despite what the official history books may say. The modern world, and the general psyche of untold millions, has, in fact, been shattered by world wars. The Cold War definitely can count as WWIII. Just ask citizens of both Koreas, Vietnam, Nicaragua, Angola. The list goes on. The global war on terror could count as a World War, as well. Of course, Obama told us it was over, although the carnage continues throughout the Middle East and North Africa. So is it world war four, or five? Pope Francis has warned of a “piecemeal” world war, and Pankaj Mishra writes of a “global civil war” in Age of Anger: A History of the Present, which I have reviewed here. Within the USA, where is the resistance against this imperial, mega-violent conflagration spreading across continents?

Americans had better wake up, quickly. Place of birth, international borders, and cultural differences are used by our elites to distract, divide, and conquer ordinary citizens’ minds, bodies, and souls. It’s time for our society to re-evaluate our priorities, pay attention to the diabolical geopolitical games and schemes being hatched in our midst, and confront what we’ve been avoiding for so long. Public apathy must be called what it is, apathy. Resistance must begin in every neighborhood, every town, every city, with the acknowledgment that we have dragged our feet for too long. As Martin Luther King Jr. pointed out in April of 1967:

A nation that continues year after year to spend more money on military defense than on programs of social justice is approaching spiritual death.

William Hawes is a writer specializing in politics and the environment. You can find his e-book of collected essays here. His articles have appeared online at Global Research, Countercurrents, Dissident Voice, and Counterpunch. You can email him at wilhawes@gmail.com Read other articles by William.