Thursday, February 18, 2016
Then came the rumble of thunder -
During these days of stifling dissent and unnerving suspense, while the world's nerves are stretched as taut as catgut and played on as fiercely as those of Joshua Bell's violin, wild headlines prognosticate the end of US hegemony, the collapse of capitalism or the start of WWIII, while the stench of sulfur has begun to constrict the chest and afflict even the moribund nations of the paralyzed West as political parties are sent into spasms as their sleepy citizenry slowly begins to sit up in the grass or rub the sand from their bedazzled eyes as the price of the security for which they traded their civil rights threatens to bankrupt them with its real costs.
Who are we? What is this? Where has our somnambulance brought us? Dusk, rubble, and sand, fire reddening a murky sky that bellows incessantly with dull thunder, the arid air rent by piercing, singsong whines and raging, onrushing hellhound howls that end their arc in a splintering, spraying, fiery crash filled with groans and screams, with brass blaring, about to burst, and drumbeats urging us onward, faster, faster. There are faceless buildings spewing drab hordes that run, stumble, jump, fire. There is a line of hills, dark against the distant conflagration whose eerie glow sometimes suddenly erupts into a flash of flames. All around, what was once rolling farmland has been gouged and battered to sludge. And there is a road, covered with muck, lined with half-razed vehicles, blood and corpses, much like the silent buildings that stare mournfully through their hollowed doors and shattered windows. Branching off from the road, a country lane, a rutted quagmire, winds up the hill; tree trunks jut into the stifling darkness, naked and stripped of branches. Up ahead there's a signpost - but that tells us nothing - the twilight would cloak its message even if it hadn't already been riddled with bullets and ripped to ragged shreds. East or West? It is the desert - this is war. And we are reluctant shades by the roadside, ashamed of our own shadowy security and yet still indulge in hate-filled bombast and vainglorious pretensions; the camouflage the soldiers wear but a reflection of the camouflaged reason for the purpose behind their strife. Like a feline invisibly stalking its prey in the tall grass, thereby getting sprayed by the gardener who also doesn't see it, they are just as unaware that the same stealth that makes them invisible to the object of their murderous intent leaves them vulnerable to being incinerated into collateral damage by a hot spray of friendly fire. All camouflage worthy of the name is not seen equally by all sides in a conflict. But we can also see gray, running stumbling swarms as they troop out of buildings or climb from under a pile of rubble and gaze into the ordinary face of their companion of many, but so few, years; that kind-hearted sinner, and compadre we used to call neighbor but now referred to as fellow refugee, and wonder, is he my enemy? Is there anyone left to trust?
They have been called up, these comrades, for yet another push in a battle that lasts all day, to regain that hill, to protect the villages that have been burnt to the ground just beyond. They daren't ask why. It is a regiment of volunteers, youngsters, students mostly, called out to confront, rousted in the middle of the night, ridden in trains till morning, marched in searing heat all afternoon, taking wretched roads or, if the roads were already jammed, or no roads at all, just fields and dunes. Hours upon hours that turn into days, in heavy uniforms, laden with battle gear - it's no promenade. Their exhausted but excited bodies, youth has done it, those with the last reserves of energy, have no need of the food and sleep they've been denied. Their flushed sweaty faces, bespattered with mud and blood are framed by chin straps of helmets worn askew; they are flushed with exertion and thrashing, diminished by the casualties they took moving through the hilly, blinding dunes. For the enemy, distant and faceless had laid a barrage across their path, shrapnel and large-caliber grenades that burst in their ranks - a splintering, howling, spraying flaming scourge across wide uselessly plowed fields.
Already in their forced march many a man has severed himself, has proved too young and too weak, turned pale and staggered, doggedly forced himself to be a man, only to fall back all the same in the end; although he drags himself alongside the marching column for a while longer, as his strength fails him he vanishes, lying down where it is not wise to lie down. As then comes the bone-shattering BOOM! But they are still many as they swarm forward; an army of men can hemorrhage badly and still be a great teeming force. And they flood over the scourged, sun-drenched land, the road, the country lane, the sandy wastes as shadows on the roadside watch in silent terror. And they rush forward as best they can, with brash cries and nightmarishly heavy feet, clods of earth clinging leadenly to their boots, they hurl themselves down before projectiles howling toward them, only to leap up and rush on, shouting courage in brash, young voices - they've not yet been hit. But then they are hit. They fall, arms flailing. Shot in the head, the heart, the gut. They lie with their faces in the dirt and do not stir. They lie, arched over their knapsacks, the backs of their heads buried in the soft sand, their hands clutching the air like talons. But the army keeps sending new men, who hurl themselves down, leap up, and, with a shout or without a word, stagger forward among those who've already fallen.
Watching, one might dream of another scene, even imagine such boys sparring with a schoolmate or swimming in a sparkling stream, maybe strolling along the shore with a girlfriend, his lips pressed to his beloved's ear, or in happy friendship, teaching another boy how to change a tire. But instead, there they all lie, noses in the fiery filth. That they do it with joy, and also with boundless fear and an unutterable longing for home, is both shameful and sublime, but surely there is no reason to bring them here to this. The spectacle is so the opposite of reason. It is madness.
I know, because there is my friend. He is soaked through, his face is flushed, he runs with feet weighed down by mud and he is stepping on the hand of a fallen comrade, pressing it deep into the blood-drenched, branch-strewn earth. He stumbles. No, he's thrown himself onto his stomach at the shrieking approach of a howling hound of hell, a large explosive shell, a hideous offering from the abyss. Laden with horror, this product of science gone berserk crosses thirty yards in front of him, buries itself in the ground, and explodes like the devil himself, bursts inside the earth with ghastly superstrength and casts up a house-high fountain of soil, fire, iron, lead, depleted uranium and dismembered humanity. For two men had flung themselves to the ground beside one another in front of him - they were friends. Commingled now, they vanish.
Oh how ashamed we should feel in our shadowy security, as into the tumult, the dust, the dusk, he disappears from sight. Farewell. Your chances are not good. the wicked dance in which you are caught up will last many an evil year yet, and it would not be a very good wager that you will come out whole. Perhaps there were moments when you saw the intimation of a dream of love rising up out of all this death and this carnal body, and out of this fast-spreading carnival of carnage, this ugly rutting fever that inflames the hellish sky all around. But can love ever hope to rise out of this?
Posted by Robert Lowrey at 6:00 PM
Tuesday, February 16, 2016
|The Princettes of Thrones.|
They may wrap themselves in blankets and wear holier-than-thou headgear, but that doesn't disguise the fact that they've been bombing the bejeesus out of their neighbors, beheading by "Royal" decree, drowning the world in oil, thereby dragging the global economy not only to the brink of recession, but, more likely, to a greater global depression, as a rabid deflation sucks the trickle-down economics that world-wide finance is leveraged on down the drain of the urinal the phrase evokes. The vast sweep of Humanity reduced to groveling piss-bottoms. Only America's Hollywood-spawned Ronnie Reagan could come up with that one and still have people pushing each other out of the way to be first at the trough. "Let them eat urinal cake."
So just who is this Bob and Nabob that's searing their neighbors to Shish KaBab?
They're from the house of Saudust, as in House of Saud/House of Bush fame, and like all monarchs, they rule by blood, they sit in power because their father did, the same reason the Assad family rules Syria. only, like all divinely chosen rulers, free to use a more medieval despotism. Because all monarchies are but the leftover tailings from religion. A kingdom is, by definition, a tyranny, a government structure that contradicts all the humanitarian principles the United Nation espouses, as they are, at their core, racist in nature. Yet Saudi Arabia sits on a panel at the UN Human Rights Council (UNHRC) that interviews experts from among whom successful candidates are nominated to examine specific human rights challenges. These challenges include the human rights record of a particular country or a specific theme, and those themes can include violence against women, the rights of migrants, religious freedom, or sexual orientation. All of which are issues that the House of Sand has an abysmal record on. The kings and all the kings' kin, the princesses and princettes, thousands of them, are supported by people who don't have the correct DNA to ever even have the right, for half of them, to drive a car, the very symbol, if there ever was one, of the very foundation of the Monarchy's wealth.
All monarchs are informed from the time they are born that they are better, by virtue of nothing more than their genetics, than those over whom they hold sway. They are therefore convinced that "MY genes are better than your useless piss-ante genes anyday. I, Moi, after all, I have Designer Genes." And by virtue of that, and that alone, I command you to your knees, surrender your progeny to me, and go forth to other lands and train them in the art of death-dealing, or else I will sever your head from your infidel body. An art the Sandies have gotten down to a science, having been funded and recruited for such a purpose by the Cowboy Capitalist himself, Ronald Reagan, to fight the good fight for the United States of Armamentaria's own fundamentalist sect, the evangelical Christians that, together with American Jewelry, make up the majority of the Neo-Con minority that thought it was a good idea to enlist the support of a jihadist sect of Islam, protected by an autocratic regime awash in petrodollars, to fight the War in Afghanistan for them.
So now, emboldened by the plethora of weapons showered on them by the West, and intent on destroying any branch of Islam that differs from their own, the "Kingdom" has adopted the Margaret Albright philosophy of, "What 's the use of having all these superb weapons you're always talking about if we can't use them?" After all, if the Great Satan thinks that (to quote Mrs. Albright, of the so-dim mentation again) "Half a million dead Iraqi children, yes, I think it's worth it" (the "it" never having been very well defined), then what's a coupla million more?
Although the time span of a century makes similarities to WWI unnerving, the similarity to the civil war in Spain prior to the outbreak of all out World WarII, is more accurate, as Syria is being used as a testing ground for the military might of the various players in these War games in much the same way that Spain was used to hone the skills of the NAZI regime's Luftwaffe and Mussolini's army. And, even though all the attention is going to The Donald, another Bush, from the same family that has more ties to, and more in common with, Saudi Royals than to any of the millions of Americans over whom they wish to once again rule, wish to once again, now for the third time, destroy the economy while enriching their dynasty. because, like monarchs, they feel that they have a right to Power, simply by virtue of their DNA. The fact that whenever either one of them is in office, in Bush Père's case, even if that office is VP, they embroil the country in a catastrophic war, manipulate the oil price as if this were a command economy, (purportedly for geopolitical purposes, but always, coincidentally I'm sure, enriching themselves and their cronies in the process) against all the tenets of their Economic Dogmatism, which they believe in only so far as it enables their ascendancy, and then leave office only after shattering the most resilient economy in the world (GW's description) to smithereens, leaving their successors to pick up the pieces.
Upon reviewing these qualifications, it becomes crystal clear that, The Donald aside, the slate, come November, still more likely looks like it's going to be just what it was always going to be, John Ellis, aka the Jeb, against Hillary. Either one is a victory for the Sandies and a defeat for the US electorate, because neither one, Jebbie by virtue of his close family ties to the despots of the middle east, Hillary, by virtue of her attitude that the "We came, we saw, he died", quip about the murder of Muammar Gaddafi, demonstrates, has the capacity or the will to pull the world back from the brink to which American foreign policy has pushed it.
Because America and its allies and enough of their populations still enjoy a better standard of living than the rest of the world, and that standard of living, no matter who is ensconced in the White House, is dependent on War War and more War. Mostly over oil oil and more oil, the better to dig up and burn another trillions barrels and spew the resultant CO2 into an atmosphere already besotted with it. Yet as the world gets closer and closer to becoming more embroiled in the unthinkable, world trade becomes even more dependent on the arms trade, as the Merchants of Death engorge themselves on the institutionalized folly of leaving the defense of the country completely dependent on liquid fuels that can only be had in quantities of sufficient amount by importing it, idiotic phrases like "Saudi America" notwithstanding. But, unlike in the US, where we've never seen a weapons system we didn't feel was worth funding, SDI being only the most outlandish example, citizens of other countries will arrive at their own Madeline Albright moment (for those unaware of the fact, she was the US Secretary of State when she uttered her most infamous words) and wonder what's the point of depriving our citizens of a place to live, health care, pensions, and social security so we can pour all our income into "Defense" (Goebbels would be so proud) so that we can have this superb military you're always talking about if we can't use it on whomever we choose, whenever we want?"
As we watch the public display of cravenness that the Republican attempt to appease the most rabid of their fundamentalist followers' demands, with Imelda Marcos Rubio, even as the State of Florida, of which he is the governor, is inexorably drowned in an ever-rising sea, crowing the loudest the belief that climate change is a "hoax" (in other words, a conspiracy theory), it should be apparent to us that the Saudis must do the same, only in secret. They must move to appease the most war-mongering of their brethren, who, there being so many of them, an entire tribe to be exact, (with what they consider to be equally legitimate claims to the throne), that the wars in which the new king is not only willing, but even anxious, to engage in, is mandated by those who stand behind his throne jostling to push him out of it and occupy it themselves.
Yet this new dynamic in the heart of the world's largest supplier of oil goes unmentioned by either side in the Barnum and Bailey debates the two political parties of the US are engaged in. But the War that will destroy Ghawar is only beginning, and the possibility that a region overburdened with a population it cannot support, yet whose religiosity continues to compel its citizens to augment it under pain of death, can emerge from their quandary in a peaceful way is quite literally impossible.
But that was the plan all along. One glance at Afghanistan tells it all. Just as we used them to fight our battle against the now-shattered Soviet Union and then dropped them like a used tissue, so the idea is to drain the middle east of its oil the same way we drained the US of its oil, and then leave them to squabble amongst themselves in the arid wastelands. Until then, their "Monarchs" will use beheadings and a despotic rule to keep them under the sway of the Supernatural until we have no further use for them.
Posted by Robert Lowrey at 1:47 PM