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You Must Be Kidding! On War, Peace, and Absurdity


You Must Be Kidding! On War, Peace, and Absurdity

Tom Engelhardt

Recently, sorting through a pile of old children’s books, I came across a volume, That Makes Me Mad!, which brought back memories. Written by Steve Kroll, a long-dead friend, it focused on the eternally frustrating everyday adventures of Nina, a little girl whose life regularly meets commonplace roadblocks, at which point she always says...


Once Obama realized that Israel had 200 nuclear bombs that they were never going to give up or even admit to having, he lost interest in a nuclear free world.
Just like he lost interest in ending our wars when the warmongers like Hillary insisted that he stop 'being so soft."


And yet 58% of the American public support the job he's doing.
Somebody's lying.


No offense, but the glidepath to an ending of Military Keynesianism is a crashlanding. For the MIC has pushed the 99s down a debt mineshaft. The collapse of the defense sectors of the economy would ensure another Depression. It's another way TPB and The Alphabets hold 5 Aces in the game.


Good article, Mr. Engelhardt. The only thing I disagree with is the "You must be Kidding" response. That is not any where near a strong enough rejoinder.


Wish I could upvote this more than once...


BO could have done something about police violence especially on people of color... BO could have sought to rebuild black and minority crumbling inner cities and schools...BO could have taken control of the nation's energy policy from oilgarchs like BP and Exxon and instituted a much more progressive energy policy rather than an "all of the above" policy...BO could have allowed first amendment rights to journalists during the BP Gulf Oil Spill Crime rather than allow BP to control access to the beaches....BO could have stopped the neocons within the State Department from launching their own 21st century miniature version of Operation Barbarossa in Ukraine...BO could have disallowed the arming, training, and funding of Syrian rebels and IS terrorists and saved 100's of thousands of lives....Yeah BO could have done a lot more instead of squander the opportunity he had to be an transformational leader. Too bad!


"In the face of serious matters like life and death
everyday speech tastes stale, grows pale enough to fail,"
muttered Joseph Conrad the writer honing his bitter breath to bite

"Nothing less than a long laborious venture into the heart of darkness
will still that chatter of the rabble's endless droning on terror,"
vowed the novelist shadowed night and day by the same whispered words--
"The horror! The horror!"

Joseph Conrad, Heart of Darkness (1899)


If only these tragedies were merely absurdities! This column is excellent for giving us just a short list of what makes us mad. But the bottom line is that all of these geopolitical games result in grief and terror and chaos and poverty and we are supposed to choose a leader who will continue to wreak havoc on the world by determination or by imbecility. There is very little to choose between Trump and Clinton. Our two party system is finally recognizable as not only broken but corrupt. We need to build a third way and we need to start with this election. We don't have much to lose by casting our vote toward a future of peace rather than war. Go Green!


The major party Presidential candidates are a bigot and a war monger?

You've got to be kidding!

Note: Thanks CD for inserting a balanced article among your unending stream of anti-Trump ones.


Terrific piece and I love the "That Makes Me MAD! image.

The United States of America is far more dangerous to the world than a country like Iran.

Glorifying the military - that makes me mad. Upgrading the huge nuclear arsenal and creating battlefield nukes - that makes me mad. And is just plain nuts.

As others have written, we desperately need a Peace Movement that will stand with the movements for justice, equity, and sustainability.


The ACA marked a new low point in US legislative history and that's saying something considering some of the horrid laws this nation has formulated in the past. I remember thinking as the ACA headed to Obama's desk for signing that he doesn't have a hair on his ass if he doesn't veto it.

The ACA is a disaster. Sure it has provided some poor with long-overdue health access, but it did absolutely nothing to fix the for-profit money-skimming outrage that affects all of the 99% of us. Most of us continue to pay through the nose for a helplessly faulty product. But as that purveyor of diabetes inducing high fructose corn syrup says - image is everything.


" A president is now not just commander-in-chief but assassin-in-chief, a role that no imaginable future president is likely to reject."

Unless the next President is Stein or Johnson. But then even if a majority of voters had even heard of them, why would they want to "waste" their vote on an honest, moral, peace-loving candidate?


Thanks for the excellent response, ekm! "The horror! The horror!" is perfect!


This article is amazing and manages to put any number of outrageous American foibles in one place at one time. It also points to the fact that the US election cycle is a gong show without any redeeming value. How can the World's most powerful nation resort to two compromised clowns as their candidates for the presidency? It is beyond ludicrous and extremely dangerous, not only for the country but for the whole World.