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Unpopular Ideas

Ramblings and Digressions from out of left field, and beyond....

Location: Piedmont of Virginia, United States

All human history, and just about everything else as well, consists of a never-ending struggle against ignorance.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Attacking Countries Wholesale

Very few people remember, or either they don't find it significant, but I do....

There is some chilling yet highly dramatic newsreel footage of A. Hitler giving a speech to his assembled political cohorts, in the days immediately following the Nazis taking power in Germany. Apparently they had received missives from numerous countries seeking reassurance of the Nazis' peaceful intentions, and, amid the growing chuckles of his audience, he reels off the names of these countries with growing relish while those in attendance all bask in the fear that their rise has induced, so that when he reaches the name "Palestine" they can no longer control themselves, and they burst into a huge roar of sardonic laughter.

That scene eerily anticipated how the onset of the Second Phase of the Endless World War a few years later was characterized by this peculiarity: the two main countries of the fascist sphere called "the Axis," Germany and Japan, were so sure of themselves that they attacked not just one country at a time but many nations en masse. Within just a couple of years the German army invaded and occupied France, Czechoslovakia, Yugoslavia, Poland, Denmark, Greece, Norway, Belgium, and Holland. At the same time they also tried mightily but failed to get a good toothhold on Great Britain, and instead a year or two later settled for ingesting a chunk of the Soviet Union that may have been bigger than all those other countries put together. Yet I think I still haven't listed all the German conquests of that moment.

Meanwhile over on the other side of Eurasia, the Japanese had already spent several years clamping their jaws on large parts of China, like a boa constrictor trying to swallow a water buffalo. Then, totally inebriated by their successful surprise raid on Pearl Harbor, they quickly went on to take over outlying U.S. possessions like Guam, Wake Island, and several of the Aleutian Islands, while at the same time they overran the Philippines, Burma, Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore, and Vietnam, and other places and peoples that I may have left out there, too.

How unthinkable that would be now! For one thing the little countries today have too much in the way of men and materiel (I love that old, outdated military term), while the big countries have too few, in the way of men eager to rush off to be killed. Yet there is still one supposed national leader who doesn't think this to be true at all.

In the time since Phase 2, several U.S. Presidents have ordered attacks on more than their share of (naturally!) much smaller countries, in pursuit of the missions that they felt obliged to take because of what they perceived to be the U.S.'s preeminent position in the world, but only one at a time, because, outside of Vietnam, these expeditions didn't last long.

But GWBush took advantage of 9/11 to try what I consider to be a choice only of the Non-Attentive and the Hopelessly Reckless -- invading Afghanistan -- and he quickly followed that by also invading Iraq. And now, by sending in troops on operations inside its borders, he has essentially declared war on a third country in that region and a supposed ally, Pakistan, while at the same time he has been lining up firepower to attack a fourth, Iran, and he is busy sending military advisers a la Vietnam plus materiel to a fifth, Georgia. And let's not forget how, during one of his early State of the Union addresses, he likewise read off a list of countries, considerably shorter than that heard in the Reichstag but a list nevertheless, of countries that he considered potential targets and that he called the "Axis of Evil."

This demonstrated practice of attacking other countries wholesale strikes me as being just one more sure sign that, however much they might deny it, Bush's end of the political spectrum has taken as its models the Brownshirts, the Blackshirts, and the Japanese militarists of just a few generations ago.


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