Category: War

The Past Speaks To The Present.

This is a propaganda or educational movie made by the US government in 1943. Even as the US joined the fight against the NAZIs, many in the US espoused a similar ideology.

Since the rise of Trumpism, it has become acceptable for this hate and bigotry to reappear in Main Street USA, culminating in the death of a young anti-fascist protestor, mowed down by the car of a NAZI.

This is a message America needs to hear again, but can anyone imagine the Trump government producing a similar movie today?

 

https://video.fper3-1.fna.fbcdn.net/v/t42.1790-2/20831307_193917281147449_8308182744517574656_n.mp4?efg=eyJybHIiOjc0NSwicmxhIjoxNTU3LCJ2ZW5jb2RlX3RhZyI6InN2ZV9zZCJ9&rl=745&vabr=414&oh=fbfb4a2167aa04284bea47bc1951304d&oe=59943752

The More Things Change …

 

Over 280 of Ron cobb's Cartoons

Back in the Seventies I discovered the cartoons of Ron Cobb, an American who moved to Australia.

One of his cartoons has stuck with me, the image seemingly burned in to my brain. It encapsulates the mind set of those who will blindly follow whatever their leaders decree, as long as they’ve got their TV.

This cartoon predates MTV, FOX, and the 24 hour news (re)cycle, and yet it strikes me as being more appropriate for today’s world than when Ron drew it in 1966. With the US President seemingly making decisions based on whatever he saw on TV in the last 20 minutes and determined to rush headlong into anything that pops in to his mind, this is where he, and we, will end up.

You can see the full size cartoon, along with more of Ron’s work at his website.

Like Deja Vu All Over Again

I grew up during the Cold War and some of its hotter parts. I well remember the fear as a child of a nuclear war. The Doomsday Clock always seemed about to strike Midnight.

I read Neville Shute’s “On The Beach” and it seemed less fiction than a portent of what was about to happen to us. I grew up in Melbourne, the location of both the book and subsequent movie. The scene of Fred Astaire driving his sports car full throttle through Melbourne’s deserted streets burned in to my young mind. The sense of all loss of hope pervades the story as the end slowly descends on all that is left of mankind. Shute wrote the book as a cautionary tale, hoping that the world would step back from the brink and reject a nuclear arms race.

I have vivid memories of The Bay of Pigs landing, The Cuban Missile Crisis, and the never ending predictions of war in “Old Moore’s Almanack“. It was not a good time to be a child, and many nights I would lay awake wondering what I would do when the bomb went off, if I could get to the kitchen in time to grab a knife and slit my writs, rather than die a horrid death from radiation poisoning.

However, most of the time, there was still an adult in charge and each time the clock was about to strike midnight, sense prevailed and a way out was found. The US and USSR still had their proxy wars, and these caused untold suffering and loss to the victims of those wars, but all out annihilation was avoided.

Today, the world has changed, and not for the better. We no longer have practitioners of realpolitik shirt fronting each other, we have two very spoiled children in charge. Both have had a similar upbringing, being treated as demi-gods, told they could do anything and having anything, they just needed to be strong enough to snatch from the other children. They were raised with no boundaries, they grew up without empathy, and their only measure of pleasure is how much stuff they have.

Kim cares deeply about preserving North Korea as it preserves his status and power, but does not care how many people must die. Trump cares about nothing except winning, and has no idea how mnay people will die to give him the win over Kim.

We’ve Been Here Before

Sinofar: Our powers grew out of a thousand years of war, out of hate, and fear, and the will to survive.
Giroc:  We built destruction, weapons that your peoples have not yet dreamed of. Every passing year brought new ways to kill, and throughout the centuries the war raged across our planet.
Sinofar: With each generation there were fewer of us. The dead vastly outnumbered the living. There was not victory for either side.
Roj Blake: How did it end?
Giroc: How? Another development of another weapon. We demanded their surrender, they refused. The weapon was used. Those that we call our enemy were annihilated.
Space Commander Travis: You won. That’s all that matters.
Sinofar: It wasn’t a victory, only the end of the war! We were left with a planet made barren by radiation. Our children were monsters, or died, or were never born. This, we won.
Roj Blake: How many of you are there now?
Giroc: None. We are a dead race.

“Blake’s 7: Duel (#1.8)” (1978)

I woke this morning to news that US President Donald Trump has again been finger wagging at North Korea. But, just like two drunks outside a pub yelling “You wanna go?” at each other, the posturing will lead to far more serious and deadly actions.

North Korea best not make any more threats to the United States. He has been very threatening. As I said, they will be met with fire, fury and frankly power the likes of which this world has never seen before.

Threats made in response to continued belligerence from the Bully in the Whitehouse. Like all bullys, Trump has no idea of where his bullying will lead, nor does he care; all he cares about is being seen as the strongest man in the room.

North Korea has been an isolated, paranoid, hereditary dictatorship since its founding. During the Korean War it was bombed back in to the Stone Age, almost every piece of national infrastructure destroyed. North Korea has been in a permanent state of war since 1950, with the US blocking every move for it to become a part of the wider world. Isolation of a nation leads to an “us against them” attitude, and that is prevalent through North Korea. North Koreans have very little knowledge of the outside world and are easily manipulated.

In recent years North Korea has seen what happened in Iraq and Libya when they gave up their nuclear weapons programs. Both countries wee destabilised and invaded by US forces and are now basket cases, hot beds of terror and crime. North Korea determined to avoid their fate and pressed on with its nuclear campaign, believing it was the only way to prevent a US attack.

North Korea is not intent on world domination, it is intent on self preservation.

Right now, North Korea has sufficient artillery aimed at Seoul that it is estimated it could destroy a large portion of the city and its people would be killed, creating mass panic and economic disruption. Any US attack on North Korea would see an all out attack on Seoul.

The people of North Korea deserve a better government and a brighter future, but Trump does not care about that. All cares about is winning and who loses is not his concern, they are, after all, just losers.

We can just hope that saner minds than Trump’s make the decisions.