Welcome to DU! The truly grassroots left-of-center political community where regular people, not algorithms, drive the discussions and set the standards. Join the community: Create a free account Support DU (and get rid of ads!): Become a Star Member Latest Breaking News General Discussion The DU Lounge All Forums Issue Forums Culture Forums Alliance Forums Region Forums Support Forums Help & Search

H2O Man

H2O Man's Journal
H2O Man's Journal
October 31, 2015


“ The war in Vietnam is but a symptom of a far deeper malady within the American spirit, and if we ignore this sobering we will find ourselves organizing clergy- and laymen-concerned committees for the next generation.”
-- Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr.; A Time to Break Silence; Riverside Church, NYC; 4-4-67.

Earlier today, on the internet, I had a conversation with an old friend from DU. Although he no longer participates on this forum, we keep in touch on Face Book. Will had posted an article having to do with the growing tensions -- and violence -- in the region around the Middle East. He noted the dangers associated with two outside powers, the USA and Russia, pursuing different agendas in that region.

For the sake of this discussion, I think that we can focus primarily upon four nation-states: Syria, Iraq, Iran, and Afghanistan. The four run approximately from east to west, bordering one another. Other countries in the region, of course, play a variety of roles in the conflicts found there.

There is some of the most impressive, fascinating, and valuable of human experience in the region, throughout its long history. There had also been conflict, from the tribal to empire levels. So much of recent events is the re-playing of old, unsettled passions. It is just that they are currently being played-out with the latest technologic advances in weapons.

During the Industrial Revolution, sections of the region were recognized by other nations as a source of oil. The US and Russia/USSR engaged in competitions with various European nations for license to exploit the natural resources of the Middle East. While violence has been an all too common feature of the region.

Another factor in the dynamics in the Middle East is religion. Three of the most influential world religions are rooted in the Middle East. Although the three are very closely related, there is a history of hatred, fear, violence, feuding, and gross de-humanization of the region’s inhabitants, and the religions’ followers.

Definitely not the best place to have US and Russian military men, women, and weapons. Not to mention “private contractors,” the polite name for the mercenaries employed by various multi-national corporations to “advocate” for the corporate financial interests. Indeed, those same corporations have significant influence upon the stances of governts that are sending soldiers and weapons to the region, in their search for “peace.”

I thought about King, especially the meaning of his April 4, 1967 speech. Until our society comes to understand that powerful message, we will never institute meaningful change. It is as urgent a communication today, as it was when King presented it. He paid a severe price for delivering the Word; we continue to pay a severe cost for ignoring it.

In answering Friend Will, I opted to use a lesson from another great American prophet, Malcolm X. If we take an objective look at this region, we can accurately describe it as a “powder keg.” The powder keg is large, and has the potential to explode. Yet, few events surrounding a true powder keg will actually set it off.

Rather, it requires a fuse to set off the powder keg. The fuse appears very small next to the keg. It could be easy to either miss it, or ignore it. For the fuse is not important, until a tiny spark sets it off. (Kind of like the spark that set off WW1.)

If we take a step back, and consider the US and Russian military presence -- their roles and goals, and the tensions and associated violence -- it seems fair to say that there is the potential for sparks to fly. And, at least in theory, based entirely upon the combination of past history plus human nature, there is a possibility of one of those sparks hitting a fuse.

I think that this is something that is worthy of our consideration. It may seem easier to find a mis-placed sense of security, and to truly believe that the “leaders” of the civilized world will not allow conditions to create WW3. That instead, we will enjoy an extinction due to climate change, rather than violence. Surely, the loss of natural resources always brings about peace on earth, and good will unto men. Right.

If we consider it, and recognize that the dangers are real -- and that the ruling class is incapable of dealing with, much less resolving such issues -- then we must change both our thinking and our behavior. What might those changes include and involve? Rather than pretend I have the answer, I would recommend a review of the teachings of Martin and Malcolm -- among others. A “new way of thinking” on our part does not equal ignoring the higher messages of the enlightened ones of past generations. No, not at all. The “new” is found within us. No more politics as usual.

H2O Man

October 30, 2015

Necroconservative Debate

-- Mike Huckabee
Mr. Haney’s half-brother
Traveling through Green Acres
Preaching to the sinners
Finding few new takers.

-- Rand Paul
Yappy ankle-biter
Poodle/ west highland terrier
Waiting at the republican shelter
For campaign to be put to sleep.

-- Carly Fiorina
Mutant preying mantis
Feasting on morsels of decay
Pre-Halloween costume
The Swine of Babylon.

-- John Kasich
Death throes of a
Salesman’s campaign
His american dream is
Of a VP position.

-- Jeb Bush
Frankenstein-headed monster
Reduced to ‘50s sitcom nerd
Company man devoured by
Lord of the Flies.

-- Donald Trump
“Hate, fear, panic”
Goebbels the turkey
Symbol and symptom
Of a brazen new world disorder.

-- Chris Christie
Pork chop-faced swine
Soprano reject screams
Lights, camera, inaction
Closed-bridge campaign.

-- Ted Cruz
Always remember:
W called him obnoxious
Nothing more
Need be said.

-- Dr. Ben Carson
The boring man risen
To the depths of tedium
Let us send flowers
To Algernon’s campaign.

-- Marco Rubio
The shark puppet
Attacking the bloated
Lifeless corpse of
Barbara Bush’s campaign.
October 13, 2015

A Question:

Is anyone planning on watching the debate tonight?

(I am.)

Profile Information

Member since: Mon Dec 29, 2003, 08:49 PM
Number of posts: 73,791
Latest Discussions»H2O Man's Journal