A call to arms
I’m not entirely sure it’s safe these days to quote Noam Chomsky when one is a Labour Party member, but I feel emboldened after having listened to an interview he recently did with the Intercept (and he’s also Jewish, if that counts). The key thing he said (in my mind) was that there were only two ways wars can end: a) by the complete defeat of one side or b) in negotiation. Clearly the latter option in many people’s minds means something akin to appeasement, which must be rejected at all costs lest it gives the aggressor encouragement. There is actually a third option, which is a hostile stalemate, and that I think is how the Ukrainian war will end up—it is an option which the West would probably live with, since nothing much happened after Russia reacquired Crimea, or indeed effectively took control through a puppet, of Syria.
But retired British generals, who are free to speak out on the BBC will have none of it. We in the British Isles must prepare ourselves for war, something which was left too late in the 1930s. I heard one such today saying that Brits were (alarmingly) going about their normal lives as if nothing was happening (perhaps he’s insulated from the cost of living crisis). Remember that in 1930s, only at the last minute did we rearm, only late in the day did the pacifist camp lose its dominance before WWII (and let’s not forget that it would be a fairly accurate description of Neville Chamberlain to call him a pacifist of sorts). There is now this constant pressure, from various sources for NATO ‘to do more.’ Well, here’s a suggestion. Why don’t we nuke some obscure city in Russia? Let’s show ‘em we’re not lily livered cowards hiding behind President Zelinsky’s Churchillian resistance-coat! This may of course border into Dr Strangelove territory, but isn’t it time we nailed this nuclear war business for good, and with a nuclear winter crack the global warming threat at the same time?
Naturally, this is not my opinion. But you can sense that the hubris of triumphal Western (military industrial complex) thinking will if given half the chance outpace and then trump common sense. Diplomacy is a dirty word in the world of the top brass, their world is more concerned with logistics and tactical advantages. And the great thing about that world is that it is so simple (despite its human toll). What’s changed since the days of General Haig? Or for that matter Richard M. Nixon who (if I recall correctly, I was in the RAF at the time) put his worldwide nuclear weaponry on alert during the Yom Kippur war? It’s all so simple: blast ‘em to Hell!
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