Our leaders are eager to escalate a conflict that could very easily spiral out of control. So why not embrace the inevitable?
A hundred years ago, the world “sleepwalked” into the First World War, the war that wiped out an entire generation of Europeans. Aren’t we repeating the same sleepwalking march again, this time with even deadlier consequences? The recent baiting and bullying of Russia and the Russian-speaking population of Eastern Ukraine; the proposals in Congress to supply lethal military aid to Ukraine coupled with the Defense Secretary nominee's enthusiasm for such help, all indicate a major dysfunction of rationality.
Russia has been sending signals that it is not backing off from this conflict, that the situation in Ukraine is too important to its national security. Recent signals of Russia’s resolve include its reformulation of its military doctrine that views NATO expansion into Russia’s neighborhood as the major threat; and the view of US policy in Ukraine as a proxy war against Russia.
While some scholars and journalists point to the possibility, if not inevitability, of the all out war, major news outlets prefer to underreport the depth of the conflict, treating it as something farcical rather than tragic. Maybe the press and politicians have the point? After all, how can a possible war with a nuclear-armed rival be serious? So let’s learn from our political leaders and stop worrying. We might as well die laughing:
10. In regular wars, common people die in the trenches while those who send them there spend their time giving speeches at luncheons and making TV appearances. By contrast, a nuclear war will put everyone in the same boat. We, the people, should all rejoice in the fact that we’ll finally witness the examples of personal courage and leadership provided by our brave politicians. To see a politician putting his money where his mouth is, is one of the greatest joys of citizenry. For many true patriots, it is a joy worth dying for.
9. A nuclear war will provide great satisfaction for messianic nations that take offense at America's self-proclaimed status of "exceptional" and "indispensable." The US's status as the only nation that had used nuclear bombs against civilians will no longer be exceptional.
8. Americans can celebrate the efficiency of their Congress that is frequently accused of not being efficient. The politicians who are voting for providing lethal military help to Ukraine are successfully killing two birds with one stone. (Maybe all the birds with one nuclear explosion, but that’s beside the point). These two significant birds are: 1) the end of Russian aggression and expansion, and 2) the problem of impending climate catastrophe. Drastic reduction of populations of US and Russia, whose carbon emission per capita are the highest in the world, will surely reverse global warming. Talking about inefficient congress? Sheer nonsense. They really take care of things. Please write to your congressman that you intend to celebrate their achievements … while you can.
7. George Soros, who at the ripe old age of eighty feels that he hasn’t accomplished enough, and thus decided to get engaged in geopolitics, should immediately establish a Soros War prize, modeled on Nobel Peace Prize. Among the candidates might be New York Times columnist Thomas Friedman, known for his brave new slogan, “Give war a chance”; or the French intellectual Bernand-Henri Lévy, who travels around the world demanding its leaders to bomb various naughty countries; or the influential American political scientist and world-class hawk Zbigniew Brzezinski, who wrote in 1997 that “without Ukraine, Russia ceases to be a Eurasian empire, ” thus giving Russia one more reason to fight for its survival. Yet, strong as these candidates are, I think that the War Prize should go to President Obama, so that we all can celebrate another of his “first time in history achievements”; this time as the recipient of both War and Peace Prizes.
6. Americans are accustomed to having a choice in everything. That’s our fundamental value. So we should all welcome and rejoice in the plethora of choices that our politicians offer us. According to various climate scientists, in thirty years parts of Europe will be submerged underwater while other parts will be as dry and hot as the Sahara. Those who don't want the slow and painful death of being roasted alive can find a demise of their liking. Some people will find the choice of a more immediate departure more desirable. Furthermore, it is clearly more democratic. While it is easy to imagine how the rich and famous will create artificial environments with AC, synthetically produced food and so on, nuclear destruction would be an equal opportunity thing. It will touch rich and poor, powerful and powerless.
5. This equality dimension of nuclear war will trigger a great joy for the French, who would recognize that the coming onslaught will finally bring forth the cherished dreams of the French Revolution: egalite, fraternite, and liberte. As we embrace strangers and die in their arms, we’ll have a chance at least to die like brothers. The ideals of the French Revolution will be achieved. “But where is liberty?”-- you might ask. But what about liberty from all the worries connected with our lives: mortgages, bills, shoveling the snow, buying a new car?
4. The millions of Ukrainians who scream “Glory to Ukraine” will finally have the reason to do so. Maybe Ukrainians did not start Western civilization (as many Ukrainian nationalist fanatics constantly claim), but they should feel comfortable and proud of themselves for ending it. And that’s something worthy of celebration. “Glory to Ukraine!”
3. I can imagine the great joy and celebration of various neocons, endlessly pushing for Russia’s weakening. With the destruction of Russia, which is always meddling in Middle East, Israel will be able to claim its status of the nuclear power house of the Middle East, no longer threatened by nasty regimes supported by Russia. Of course, there will be Pakistan, Iran, and other nuclear powers in the region, but without the neocon’s endless meddling in Middle East affairs, Israel will find the way to negotiate and achieve long lasting peace. And if not, neocons would still rejoice knowing that Israel died following faithfully their overseas master. Millions of Israelis already want to live like Americans. At least they will have a chance to die like Americans.
2. The coming destruction will be the realization of the dreams of millions of people. Russians who hate the West can die peacefully, knowing that their enemy is destroyed. Numerous Russophobes from London to British Columbia will have a similar reason to celebrate, bringing to reality a well-known joke about one anti-Semite who on the verge of dying, decides to convert to Judaism. “Why are you doing it?” asked his relatives. “What’s happened?” “I want to die knowing that there is one less Jew in the world,” he answered. So rejoice my fellow Russians, my fellow Americans, my fellow Poles, and Ukrainians. There will be a drastic reduction of your enemies. You don’t even need to convert or emigrate to realize this dream. Just stay put and watch your sworn enemy disappear. Most likely you’ll disappear soon after, but what a glorious moment that would be: worthy of Faust's famous claim: “Ah, stay a while! You are so lovely!”
1. World equilibrium will be restored. Ancient civilizations like China and India will finally resume their old roles of leaders and innovators and will surely rejoice at the prospect. Of course, as these countries owe their recent prosperity to their ability to sell useless products to USA and EU, they might find themselves at a loss. They might even turn against each other in frustration. But one hopes that Ancient Civilizations became ancient precisely because of their wisdom, their ability to compromise and negotiate. So people of the world will have plenty of reasons to celebrate: life will go on, wisdom will prevail, while the fate of Western civilization will find continuation in the place where it truly belongs: the morality tales of narcissistic, militaristic self-righteous cultures that follow the way of ancient Athens and Rome.
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