|BOMBARDMENT (by Philip Guston)|
It was 1991, and surrounded by computers in the fishbowl environment of Wells Fargo's data Center, I watched the operators and programmers in the sealed-off adjacent room as they stood agog, mesmerized by the video display of George Herbert Walker Bush's Stealth bombers as they rained destruction down on the helpless citizens of the country of Iraq. The self-same country that we had recently supplied, (while then-President Bush, the former head spook of the CIA, analogous to Putin today, was Reagan's VP), with chemical weapons and military intelligence so they could carry on their War with our enemy-of-the-week, Iran.
Soon Wells' personnel were all oohing and aahing at the pretty lights and fluorescent green lines of arcing rockets, being loosed onto yet another ally turned enemy, as though they were at a fourth of July barbecue watching a fireworks display .
The reason I was there was to do an upgrade to the company's computers. Implementation of the OSI (Open Systems Interconnect) architecture that would open up previously inviolable networks to interoperability with other networks was in full swing, arguments questioning the wisdom of leaving vulnerable to hack attacks the previously impervious networks dismissed, as the greed for the mountains of money to be thus garnished allowed blind ambition to override hesitant naysayers' objections. And there on the video screens of Wells Fargo was the apotheosis of that thrust, the melding of Stealth technology and instant communication via electronically driven networks of weapons and personnel on full display to silence those objections and make manifest the gains to be had by wielding, though the dust had barely settled following the collapse of the Soviet Union whose existence would have stayed our hand, unassailable power, and the USA! USA! unleashed its latest additions to its arsenal of weapons of mass destruction onto the civilian infrastructure of Saddam's Iraq, cementing its position of Full Spectrum Domination and flaunting its newly crowned title as Soulless Super Power.
Twenty years later that same internet technology was used to facilitate the coordinated destruction of the World Trade Center in New York City.
On a parallel track with the Internet's implementation was the planned development and deployment of another deadly technology to take the risk of US 'warriors' off the table when conducting America's illegal incursions into sovereign territory: the drone. This weapon would allow a Milgram-like capability of US commanders as they separated Honor and Valor from the Armed Forces and transformed soldiers into something worse than assassins: murderers without risk. Hidden in mountain fortresses and ensconced in comfortable office chairs in front of computer monitors, they could assail with impunity. Thus validating my argument, formulated while watching the WTC pancake earthward in a swirl of flames and dust, that the military has, far from making the world Safe for Democracy, put their countrymen, who they are supposedly paid to defend, into grave danger while they themselves remain protected from retaliatory strikes that their own murderous unlawful activity had prompted.
Now we have commercialized drone technology and made it so easy to manufacture, its penetration so complete, that Amazon uses it to deliver packages.
So let me backtrack to that "dustbin of history" phrase, and show why such glib dismissal of a great Empire is dangerous and ominous:
In a previous post, I wrote,
On May 28, 1987, Mathias Rust took off from Helsinki, and, flying at low altitude to avoid radar detection, landed a small, single-engine plane in Moscow's Red Square.
... and in my last post, I mentioned the use of katyusha rockets by the USSR during WWII.
These rockets were so effective because they were cheap to manufacture, and hard to take out as they could be loaded onto very mobile platforms and then moved from their launch site before the Germans could accurately pinpoint their location and destroy them with a retaliatory strike.
So now the great USA has added to the terrorists' bag of tricks a technology that can "flying at low altitude to avoid radar detection, land a small" drone, an aircraft that is cheap to manufacture and can be moved from their launch site, and now, fully capable of remote operation, be deployed to retaliate against the very entity that devised and paid for their development.
It is in this environment, one that we have ourselves created, one that gives operational superiority to any poorly-financed and nefarious group capable of moving its base of operation, much like real drones do with their Queen bee, to safer locales whenever circumstances warrant it, that the US President has decided it's just fine to start blowing up the world for fun and profit. He, after all, is well protected by a huge cadre of secret service personnel and mountains of armamentaria paid for by the very population he has so nonchalantly endangered by his reckless displays of maleficent machismo. And, because he knows that on September 11, 2001, after two airliner jets slammed into NYC's tallest skyscrapers while a third plowed into the Pentagon itself, not only did not a single government person lose their job, but the smirking chimp who was our Fearless Leader at the time rose in the polls to the highest level of popularity of any previous American president, he has nothing to stay his hand from continuing on this course of madness until the disaster he has invited strikes.
But he'll still be yelling "Lock her Up" and blaming Obama, because, to him, the mayhem won't matter. All that will matter is that he'll be alright; he'll be able to continue stuffing his Marshmallow-a-Lardo face with the most beautiful piece of chocolate cake you've ever not seen.