Originally published at http://www.commondreams.org/views/2020/04/02/fury-and-folly-we-need-vaccine-stop-endless-war
“Developing a vaccine requires studying and understanding the virus, not waging war against it.”
Viruses do what they do: and very successfully. We have been brought to our knees by the simple microbe – impressive. Disease has always been destructive to humans: but we have been far more destructive to ourselves. Before the coronavirus we were already on course for another world war. By ignoring history we will kill far more people than the disease. If interested to read more on this search: never forget the ghosts of history – wordPress.
The anti-war vaccine won’t work until there is a 12 step program to enable the GOP and Dimcritter Party to kick their corporate money addictions.
We don’t need MORE idealism, but less, with far more willingness to accept that other people are entitled to their own ideas. Idealism is one of the biggest causes of war throughout history, or perhaps I should say, a difference in ideals.
Robert Koehler always writes a good commentary, and yours is a good followup comment, mj.
Does Pope Francis have the courage to move from the generalities to the specific? To be red-baited and touted as sympathetic to communists, as was JFK (by the John Birch Society), as was Dr. King, and as was Bernie Sanders in the March 15 debate, when Joe B and the CNN moderators teamed up on the red-baiting? Bernie’s defense has been, “The truth is the truth.”
Pope Francis won’t be specific, although that would be one fine day. On the contrary, he hosted Mike Pence in a private audience in the Vatican for an hour on January 24. Notice any change in VP Pence’s politics since then? Neither have I.
It is funny to recall “the most Christian candidate is a Jewish man,” and I read that in the CD forum a month ago. Still makes me smile.
BillinDubuque and ModeforJoe both level criticisms against Pope Francis. Neither am I Catholic or a defender of the Church as an institution that is among the largest private property and real estate owners in the world, yet maintains its own bank that ranks with the worst of the Feudal Lords of Financialization and is among the most tenacious in legally fighting against Sunshine Transparency legislation to lift the veils of bank secrecy laws.
Having said that, here is some of why I’ve viewed Pope Francis as being made of the same stuff as the finest of our Whistle Blowers of institutional corruption and under-miners of their own office’s privileges:
UK GUARDIAN Editorialist Heidi Moore back around Thanksgiving 2013 wrote: “It’s a historic and bold statement, mainly because it’s rarely heard from clergy. Money has always been at odds with religion, going back to the times when God had a fighting chance against Mammon. Moses grew enraged by the golden calf, Jesus by moneychangers in the temple, Muhammad by lending money at interest, or usury. It is easier for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to go to heaven, the Bible tells us.”
I don’t mean to quibble, but Moses well before he’d had any direct communication from the Maker (who Tom Waits was correct to note is often “Away On Business”) and lacked any protectziya\protection from the ultimate Godfather was still a hot-tempered Hebe Slave with a speech impediment who committed homicide of a royal agent when he himself whacked an Egyptian slave driver on a construction site and buried the body. That was a capital crime that coulda woulda brought down the Pharoah’s own heat.
Labor Leader Moses’s loss of his temper on Mt Sinai watching his own brother Aaron the High Priest appease the restless escaped nation of slaves birthed from within a slave-holding imperial nation that once offered its forefathers and mothers pastureland in their prized lush Land of Goshen when ‘The Promised Land’ was in the midst of yet another Drought\Famine cycle and not long before Moses’ birth was less about the mammon and more about the chutzpah of slaves on the run lugging much Egyptian booty!
Here was Labor Leader Moses descending with the tablet Memo from Mt Sinai to find the ever anxious camped tribes sprawled on their circuitous trail of exile in the peninsula connecting the imperially controlled continents of Africa and Asia already worshiping a human projection of gold from the booty their own less visible Maker allowed them to escape Egypt with.
Pope Francis hasn’t leveled his own well-focused temper at the Wage Slave and Clock Puncher end of the concentration of wealth quantified by UC Berkeley economist Saez and cited in Heidi Moore’s op-ed. Credit to the Pope for keeping the Energy of Slaves and their evolution rather than blood-letting and counter-productive revolution in his sights. That brings anyone claiming alliance with the cause of the righteous to line up against the corrupt institutions.
Note how it is the civil society uprisings that make National Security elites seek to attack not the hot-headed extremists. Rather, Shin Bet coddled early Hamas in the Gaza Strip and in a bid to rile up the materially impoverished civil society Israeli Shin Bet with the planning of Genral Arik Sharon instead targeted the secular and more political PLO (not to say they didn’t have their strategic and hot-headed blunderers and corrupt materially minded opportunists) and egg them on to armed uprising because guardians of power and privilege know the civil society poses a deeper threat to institutional corruption than the hot-headed fire-brands who lose sight of what African American Civil Rights generations in the Americas saw as Keeping Their Eyes On The Prize.
Syria’s Bashar Assad, as secular, if as ruthless a leader as the Arab World had and a keen observer of how Western Powers handle imperial prerogatives from his education as an optometrist in London’s tonier circles, always knew how to use the very Islamist Militias arrayed against his 17 internal security agencies like flies challenging a zapper to his own advantage.
Far less effective was Washington’s use of those same zealot martyrdom seeking Islamist revolutionaries in expelling the Soviets from Afghanistan, while Washington wound up getting played by their own clients for generations of our sacrifice of our soft global power and very real former economic power and tech edge in guiding the post-Soviet Central Asian Islamists to any kind of rapprochement with Washington’s crony self-serving western educated and selected Afghan elites.
I’ve been impressed with Pope Francis’s analytical eye on the core problems and the real global trouble makers who continue to concentrate wealth in corrupt financialized facades, while the Middle Class is turned into the Muddle Class and disappears from history nearly as quickly as it appeared (historically speaking). That brief Post WW II growing Middle Class offered as the Pope correctly understands, the hope for civil society evolution rather than the hellish and counter-productive outbursts of ego-guided revolutionaries.
If Wall Street and London’s Anglo Saxon Financializers sense trouble, it will be from the better prepared and more focused on the tasks of breaking up the monopoly Private Interest Neo-Feudalists of the Corporate Caliphate like Elizabeth Warren more than from the bluster of the nevertheless righteous rage of Bernie Sanders.
Prof Senator candidate Warren is a better teacher which is what our body politic needs given the corporate capture of our tools of mass communications. Sanders the Social Democrat needs to be working for the genuinely reformist Market Democrat and engage in the creative tensions that will make U.S. stumbling students find our way in the wilderness once those Feudal Lords of High Finance\Tech are indeed properly broken up into audit-able entities under the control of Public Interest regulatory enforcers. There’s no instruction manual for what’s never been done!
Given Pope Francis’s position at the top of the Church’s financialized pyramid and real estate scheme, his role can only use communications, comity and creativity rather than any direct hand in the reform of the institutional corruption within the Church’s ranks and the government ranks and most important, of its shady list of global financial institutional ranks of collaborators. We’ll know real Whistle Blowing when we hear it, no coded language will need to be used.
I take my cues from a now forgotten investigative journalist whose instincts have been proven correct over time and decades of further journalistic expose. Namely, Jonathan Kwitny who learned more than most about the Church’s financial institutions and its own internal security forces guarding the corrupt Golden Cities of loot like Pithom and Ramses. Never insist on or trust any Whistle Blower taking on the aspirations of a shaheed\martyr. Just pick up the remaindered paper backs from a few decades earlier authored by Jonathan Kwitny and corroborated by his generations of evolutionary muckrakers.
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Well this is no Conspiracy theory but the disease of endless war was definitely one that was manufactured somewhere in the USA. Now has Ft Detrick been around since 1776 or is this an in White House design exclusively?
Good thoughts but I doubt that anybody in power, in this country anyway, is ready to understand any of this. You might be interested in a book by charles Eisentein, Climate: A New Story. It is about the same mistake that is being made with respect to the climae crisis. The problem, as he sees it, is that making war is a reductionist approach that is bound to fail because all life systems are holistic. In the same way, a push for Peace needs to be a push for equality, justice, and respect and care for all life, not just human life. I think that the opportunity given us by this virus and by the Iranians-- to put sanctions aside while the virus is active is a wonderful teaching moment for all of us. It might have been the defining event that historians would remember about this time. Unfortunately, we seem to be under the sway of forces of darkness. As the pandemic continues, maybe enough of us will wake up.
This is a good post calling attention to this most serious problem. We rightly see the US as a leading perpetrator of endless war, not just because as Americans we tend to focus on our own country but also because we are the largest military, largest weapons maker, largest intruder in having bases on foreign soil, largest arms merchant, and play a major role behind the scenes in all the world’s conflicts. That said, I think a worldwide peace movement has a better chance if instead of singling out just the USA it remembers the US is not the only such player (think of the reluctance to compromise on the parts of both Koreas, Israel-Palestine, Russia-Ukraine, all the players in Syria…) and while noting all such conflicts calls on ALL the world’s people and countries to recognize our common humanity, especially in the face of the virus, and work to end all the conflicts and seek demilitarization.