The new Cold War
This morning a friend asked on Facebook what I thought of this article, and I will try to reply here. BREAKING NEWS – PUTIN EXPOSES OBAMA’S PAID ISIS MERCENARIES IN MIDDLE EAST AND SYRIA! | THE MARSHALL REPORT:
(Putin speaking): First point. I never said that I view the US as a threat to our national security. President Obama, as you said, views Russia as a threat, but I don’t feel the same way about the US. What I do feel is that the politics of those in the circles of power, if I may use those terms, the politics of those in power is erroneous. It not only contradicts our national interests, it undermines any trust we had in the United States. And in that way it actually harms the United states as well.
But I can’t reply to this in isolation. It is part of a whole string of media reports and media reporting that goes back two years or more.
Concerning the Middle East in general, and Syria in particular, we are bombarded by increasingly shrill and decreasingly credible media propaganda from all sides that I’ve simply stopped paying attention to most of it. If there is any truth wrapped up in the all-too-obvious lies, I have no means of sifting and discerning it.
I have tended to interpret all in the light of Samuel Huntington’s “clash of civilizations” thesis, as expounded in his book The clash of civilizations and the remaking of the world order. I’ve already written about that here, so I won’t repeat much of it now, except to say that things are now much worse.
I have tended to attibute the growing American Russophobia, which strikes me as loony and entirely irrational, to Putin’s blocking of Obama’ s plans to bomb Syria. But now the Russian air force is bombing Syria.
Two years ago, I regarded Russia Today as a more reliable news source than most of the Western media, especially on events in the Middle East. Now it is blatantly filled with anti-American propaganda, so I don’t watch it any more. It’s clearly playing tit-for-tat to the Russophobic line of the BBC, Sky News, CNN, and Fox news. As a result the truth suffers.
Can Al Jazeera be trusted? When reporting on other parts of the world, perhaps. But Syria? I’m not so sure. Al Jazeera’s base is Sunni, the Syrian government tends to be Shia. There could be some bias there that would be difficult for non-Muslims to discern.
Also, since I’m inclined to be pacifist, I find the increasing belligerence of warmongering politicians distressing. Obama promised “change you can believe in” but he is just as belligerent and bloodthirsty as his predecessor George Bush and the only difference is that he is more articulate about it. David Cameron is just as belligerent and bloodthirsty as Tony Blair, but I didn’t expect him to be any better. I did, at one time, and probably foolishly, hope that Obama would be better than Bush and Clinton. But it’s always naive to believe in politicians’ promises, and Obama proved to be no exception.
If the Labour Party, under Jermy Corbyn’s leadership, manages to win the next UK general election, will it be any better? Will this, at last, be “change you can believe in”?
Not if the British media have anything to do with it. They have slammed him left, right and center, dismissed him as insane because he has qualms of conscience about annihilating millians of people in a nuclear holocaust.
And my mind goes back more than 50 years to Jeremy Taylor, a Johannesburg school teacher who sang this song:
Well one fine day
I’ll make my way
to 10 Downing Street.
“Good day,” I’ll say
“I’ve come a long way
Excuse my naked feet.
“But I lack, you see
to buy a pair of shoes
I lose my zest
to look my best
when I read the daily news
’cause it appears you’ve got an atom bomb
that’ll blow us all to hell and gone.
If I’ve gotta die
then why should I
give a damn if my boots aren’t on?
Three cheers for the army and all the boys in blue
three cheers for the scientists and politicians too
three cheers for the future years when we shall surely reap
all the joys of living on a nuclear rubbish heap.
I would fight quite willingly
In the forces of Her Majesty
but not at the price of sacrificing
all of humanity.
That expressed my sentiments when I was 21, and still does, now that I’m 74.
And, since the politicians of the world seem to be determined to restart the Cold War, and threaten to make it hot, another Cold War hymn seems appropriate.
The day God gave thee, man, is ending
the darkness falls at thy behest
who spent thy little life defending
from conquest by the East, the West.
The sun that bids us live is waking
behind the cloud that bids us die
and in the murk fresh minds are making
new plans to blow us all sky high.