How long will the Forever war last?

The nostalgia laden icon, known as “the Peace symbol” is ubiquitous in Berkeley CA.  The prolific bit of graphics could provide an industrious photo student with a potential theme for a project which could furnish enough raw material for a photo book.

The idea that the commercial exploitation of the Northern California city’s altruistic sentiment would be an ironic example of the crass basis for all capitalistic endeavor might be perceived by cynical columnists as an example of oxymoron thinking, but the unfortunate truth is that making a profit on idealism is a more realistic effort than is the lofty goal of the people who display the graphics which may or may not express the political move for nuclear disarmament by presenting the letters “N” and “D” in semaphore signals style.  Apparently they think that nuclear disarmament is the first necessary step towards achieving a perpetual world-wide Peace.

Did the hippie trend of using the two finger “V” hand signal (popularized by Winston Churchill in WWII) to express the “Peace” sentiment originate inBerkeleyduring the Sixties?  Dunno.

Ironically, the city that is almost a synonym for anti-war sentiment is also the location for a weapons laboratory think tank.

Sadly, the events of the first half of this year may put the altruistic goal of “Peace” so far out of reach that it can realistically be considered “Mission Impossible.”

The industrious family men who provide mainstream media with commentary would loose their precious paychecks for pointing this out, but a rogue (gonzo?) blogger can churn out such a column knowing that, in a culture dominated by clever conservative propaganda, his effort, even if it is a “spot-on” evaluation of a bleak truth, at best it will just provide a curious footnote for future historians scrutinizing the detritus from that year’s pop culture.

What evidence is there to back the deduction that Peace is now an unattainable goal? 

For one example, examine the quagmire inAfghanistan.  Now that Osama bin Laden has been sent to his eternal reward (which may be an inappropriate cliché phrase) the American military operation inAfghanistanmay seem to be unnecessary.  The fact that there will be no withdrawal of troops and no rational explanation for the American military’s continued presence in that country will be a subtle preview of the “perpetual war” reality that American voters will slowly comprehend.

Greater analytical minds than the one that this columnist possesses will have to make an evaluation for this possibility:  “Could it be that President Obama was “played” into making a rash move when he ordered the assassination of Osama bin Laden because the short term surge in his popularity ratings will later be eclipsed when the military industrial complex forbids Obama from adding to his reelection potential by evacuating the American military presence from Afghanistan?”

Obviously the gangland style treatment of Obama was a crowd pleaser, but if (for whatever reasons) the American President fails to remove troops from that theater of operations and concurrently fails to provide the voters with a rational explanation for that failure to make the logical move, then his popularity rating will suffer. 

Here’s a doggy treat for the conspiracy-theory-lunatic crowd:  Suppose that some dastardly advisors, who are secretly committed to Ayn S. Rand style conservative goals of perpetual profits for privatized military support firms, lured President Obama into ordering the rub-out of Osama, knowing that the long-term payoff would not be beneficial to a Democratic party incumbent candidate in the 2012 Presidential Election.

Could it be that Obama is getting tainted advice from moles committed to the Republican agenda? 

If al Qaeda responds to Osama’s death, as they have promised, with a devastating example of terrorism in the form of a nuclear explosion and if that happens before the next Presidential election is held, that might have a negative effect on Obama’s popularity ratings and vote totals.  If they hold off until after the 2012 elections, then it will be a matter of either: Obama won’t care because he can’t have a third term, or a Republican winner would easily blame such a retaliation on the fact that it was Obama who ordered the hit on Osama.  Either way they will have to respond in kind.

TheUShas participated in the NATO air strikes in support of the Libyan rebels. Col.Qaddafi has shown patience and perseverance in the past when he chose to send terrorists to deliver his retaliation answer to theUSA.  Qaddafi shows little potential for aSt. Paulmoment decision to adopt the “turn the other cheek” religious philosophy.  Hence, it can be assumed that Qaddafi will veto any “Peace” sentiments.

What aboutIraq?  Since revenge is an integral part of Muslim culture, it seems that for a generation or two there will be a large contingent of Iraqi citizens who are relatives of people declared “unintended collateral damage” fatal casualties, and who will consider it their duty to remind Americans of the Biblical axiom about justice demanding “an eye for an eye.”  They would not feel obligated to be bound by any peace deal withAmericaby (to use a George W. Bush phrase) a “scrap of paper.” 

Recent events inEgyptmay remind foreign policy wonks of the old FDR assessment of a dictator.  His succinct assessment could well apply to recently deposed Hasni Mubarak:  “He may be an S.O.B., but he is our S.O.B.” 

A zoo in theNew York Cityregion recently had to contend with a cobra snake who got out of her cage.  Well, the American Mid East policy wonks may have an analogous problem developing inEgypt.

Do you think thatNorth Korea’s leadership enthusiastically hold an annual celebration for the birth of “the Prince of Peace”?  Me neither too.

What aboutIran?  If the 2012 election delivers Republican majorities back to the House and Senate, will a President from either major American political party be prone to ignore dire assessments from the CIA? 

The new CIA director will be a fellow with the “Green Machine” mentality.  Would he be tempted to tailor make intelligence about Iran’s nuclear development program for the fellow sitting in the Oval Office after the January 2013 Inauguration ceremony?

If the Expanded War Authority Act, which is now being voted on by the Congress and Senate, passes, the next President would be empowered to order a bombing strike on the Iranian nuclear development facility without the seeking prior permission from Congress.  Anyone who has noted the long stream of news items about Republicans urging such a preemptive strike wouldn’t need to consult a fortune teller to predict what will eventually happen if the <a href =>Expanded War Authority Act</a> passes and is signed into law.  (Hat tip to the Mike Malloy radio program for directing our attention to that obscure bit of legislative news just as this column was being written.

There are other pockets of animosity that portend of additional troubles forAmerica.  Such as? Somalia,Yemen, theIndia–Pakistanborder disputes, andAmerica’s porous borders to name some. 

Some immature Americans reacted to the news of Osama’s death as if they had just witnessed a walk-off grand slam in the ninth inning of the seventh game of a World Series.  Guess again.  Folks in Berkeley who reacted by dusting off various examples of <a href =>their Peace symbols</a> might be more realistic if they made plans to revive efforts to provide draft counseling advice for students. 

Omar Bradley is quoted in Barlett’s for saying:  “In war there is no second price for the runner-up.”

Now the disk jockey will play John and Yoko’s “Give Peace a chance,” the Doors’ “War is Over,” and Berkeley’s own Fogerty Brothers (their band is called CCR) playing “Who will stop the rain?”  Now we have to go see how the latest hunger strike on campus is going.  Have a “it ain’t over ‘til its over” type week.


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