Jason Smith was both very unlucky and very lucky.
Climate change will keep peace at bay for centuries.
I compliment Mr. Feffer on making deft use of the "frozen" analogy to show how conflicts remain unresolved, yet enter a sort of stasis. However, I object to the use of the WE-frame for the following concluding paragraph:
"Twenty-five years ago, the Cold War ended with the collapse of the Soviet Union. Thereafter, we were supposed to embark on a path of peace and prosperity. But somehow, we lost our way. We tripped. We fell. And now we find ourselves, like Jason Smith, face down in the snow. If we’re lucky, we’ll get pulled out in the nick of time, our various traumas frozen in suspended animation. We will have lost something in the process, but we will survive."
Millions of people would have preferred peace, but those millions hardly had a voice at the decision-making table.
It was not the great amorphous WE that shifted from the Cold War to an ongoing War on Terror, it was CONCERTED INTERESTS; and those interests were deeply tied to the weapons' manufacturers, traders, and make-warriors. (To this list one could also add the Oil Men/interests and their banker associates.)
Eisenhower warned against the GROWING (at that time, back in l961) influence of the Military-Industrial Complex. Since then, important exposes have come out on the nefarious networks built by Allen Dulles to ENSURE that the war mentality remained front and center to U.S. foreign policy. ("The Devil's Chessboard" by David Talbot does a tremendous job in chronicling this nemesis.)
From the importation of Nazis (Eric Lichtblau), to the workings of the Deep State (Mike Lofgren), to the privatization of formerly government-run services (Janine Wedel), to the marginalization of the public's input in important decision-making (The Page and Gilens Study), to the muscular interests INTENT upon maintaining ongoing war profits, the "WE" that would define "The People" has had very little to do with foreign policy, nor has it had any impact on those Mars-ruled interests intent upon making and spreading wars.
Since the assassination of JFK, many citizens recognize that their government ceased to serve them. Instead, something equivalent to a silent coup has taken over and IT makes war at ITS pleasure specializing in the use of false flags, mass media campaigns of propaganda, and murdering those who might voice opposition to The Dark Side's motives and engineered opportunities.
No, Mr. Feffer... the WE item is a crock of shit! And here's an apt analogy for you: if a company that produces toxic waste decides to mix that dangerous detritus into the soils of empty lots (lots that one day in the future will likely have elementary schools built on them), it is not WE the community that's responsible for the deed.
The Dark Side spreads its agenda in an analogous fashion. Those impacted are hardly the same as those responsible for the actions.
You have written much of what I would have written in general. The only thing I would add is that anyone can follow the career paths of both Rumsfeld and Cheney, see what they did to get W into the White House, see how they reacted to the 9-11 attacks and know that those of us who thought that there was a chance for peaceful existence once the cold war ended were dopes. Self deluded dopes.
There is always a chance for peace as peace is humanity's intended state.
The problem in societies based on orders of privilege and hierarchy is that 3 types get to the top:
Those with wealth--be in inherited, stolen, or finagled (not much in the way of VAST sums is honestly earned).
Those with intelligence--and too often, it's the type of intelligence that serves "the dark side."
Those who exhibit muscle or might--and they frequently have no compassion, nor respect for human rights.
Patriarchal capitalism fuels all 3 and so long as these become the coin of the realm, peace will be forfeited for conflict, graft in the place of justice, propaganda in the place of truth, and false prophets in the place of would be religiously-inspired leadership.
Thank you for the acknowledgement. Many people embrace the We-meme and it's impossible to know if they do this because they are part of the military/deep state and find it necessary to insist that all persons are complicit--as subjects of a martial empire; or if they are just lacking in intellectual acumen and thus willing to identify with the memes du jour (these operating as blueprints for the control of citizens through the manufacture of official narratives and other devised cognitive frames repeated often).