The Use of Nuclear Weapons – 2

It was a dark and stormy night in Okinawa, 1962; the seas were beaten into foam by the wind that howled across the island.

No, that’s not right. But it seemed like a better setting for “almost the end of the world.” And there was a storm, but it was a storm of toxic, invisible, lies. Lies were the fuel of the cold war; their target was the population of the whole planet, who were not trusted with anything close to the truth.

[Read more…]

Retaliation Strikes That Miss

Resistance to an occupying power is a human right, the nationalists say. I’ve always felt that arrangement was set up because even nationalists eventually figure out that eventually you’re not the top dog, anymore. It’s a sort of a back door built into the system for authoritarians to justify their eventual resistance to any power that overcomes them.

[Read more…]

Different Perspectives

When I encounter wildly different perspectives, I freeze in place like the proverbial rabbit in headlights. My brain just locks up for a couple seconds then starts running furiously trying to re-establish some kind of understanding of what’s going on. Sometimes, I reach for meta-understanding, i.e.: “I don’t know what’s going on but this is really messed up.”

[Read more…]

Afghanistan: The Endless War of Finger-Pointing

Success has many parents, who have PR machines behind them and trumpet it to the skies. Failure is, as they say, an orphan. In the case of Afghanistan, like Iraq, the war party has diligently flicked the remaining scraps of egg from its face and declared everything is the current administration’s fault (for doing exactly what the previous administration was planning to do).

[Read more…]

Nasty Denouements

A dozen years ago, I read Arendt’s Eichmann in Jerusalem and that provoked a lengthy peripheral interest in the problem of using legalisms to deal with the unexpectedly nasty monsters that occasionally crop up in humanity. As a moral nihilist [*] the nazi elite seemed tractable to me: they were just a bunch of power-drunk assholes who managed to gain power over a country with a great military, and they went on a great rampage, doing whatever got them off.

[Read more…]