The Cuban Missile Crisis is my first political memory. The fear was palpable. I recall looking in the newspaper at concentric circles of where they thought the missiles could reach. My hometown in Michigan was on the edge of the outermost one. It turned out the Russian ICBM's on Cuba could have reached every major American city but Seattle.
The "slow motion Cuban Missile Crisis" of North Korea is worse. Because it is more distant and more abstract, it's more likely to end in the use of nuclear weapons.
It's also playing out as macabre entertainment with cable news "journalists" like Brooke Baldwin on CNN. The bread and circuses media is losing its efficacy in diverting the people.
Despite what most people want to believe, some things in history are destined to happen. Do you really think it's a coincidence "a standoff that has defied three presidents has only grown more ominous in recent weeks as North Korea successfully tested intercontinental ballistic missiles for the first time?"
Do you really think it is happenstance of history that America has a president, who, after lying about ordering the modernization of America's nuclear arsenal, vaingloriously tweets, "Hopefully we will never have to use this power, but there will never be a time that we are not the most powerful nation in the world!"
"Make America Great Again" my arse. America may once of been great, but only a small leader of a small country would descend to the same rhetorical level of the boy-dictator Kim Jong-un.
Echoing Harry Truman after he ordered the bombing of Hiroshima by "Little Boy," Trump uttered words that will live in infamy: "They will be met with fire and fury like the world has never seen."
Even a regionally contained nuclear war would make 9.11 look like a warning blip on history's retrospective radar screen. We not only have to think the unthinkable; we have to prepare for it. And by prepare I don't mean build bomb shelters, or stock up on iodine.
Fifty years after the summer of love, we're in the midst of the summer of hate and heat. Climate change, which the POTUS still denies, is evident everywhere. Meanwhile, the screws of the Russian investigation are tightening down on the Donald. Soon he'll have nowhere else to turn as "Commander-in-Chief" except war.
It all has the feeling of an execrable, inexorable tragicomedy. No, this isn't going to end well. The question is, can we look beyond the looming catastrophe, and pour the foundation for a new beginning? Because once the shit hits the fan, it will be too late.
The Trump Administration played the UN Security Council for suckers again. He didn't even give the new sanctions against North Korea a week, before rendering them stillborn with his "fire and fury" threat.
No more phony "global war on terror;" Trump means to start a real war. The question is, what will China and Russia do? Will it be regional or global nuclear war?
Kim and Trump are crazy birds of a feather. One of the cuckoos has his finger on 10 nukes, which the propagandistic 'intelligence' and corporate media complex says he'll be able to place on ICBM's in one to three years.
The other cuckoo controls 7000 nuclear weapons. And just one Trident submarine could reduce North Korea to a pile of radioactive ash in minutes.
John F. Kennedy made some huge mistakes. For example, he ignored Charles De Gaulle's warning after the French debacle in Indochina that Vietnam would become "a bottomless military and political swamp" for the United States. Even so, JFK's handing of the Cuban Missile Crisis saved the world from all-out nuclear war.
Contrast the man, and the time, with the lies, contradictions and chaos (the hallmarks of evil) of the Trump Administration. The word hubris doesn't begin to describe this White House. After Trump's little boy threat a few days ago, deputy assistant Sebastian Gorka said, "We are not just a superpower. We were a superpower. We are now a hyperpower."
It saddens, sickens and keeps me awake at night that apparently it will take the use of nuclear weapons again to destroy all nuclear weapons.
Trump has revealed a vacuum, which goes far beyond America's role in the world, even beyond America's desiccated global culture.
American leadership is dead. Pax Americana is dead. The post-World War II international order is dead. But the vacuum goes beyond even this. It is in man's consciousness itself.
What we were as humans we can no longer be if the earth is to be livable, and the world a place any sensible person would want to have children.
The root meaning of the word foundation is 'to pour.' Can we pour a new spiritual and philosophical foundation now, and keep it liquid? That is the only thing that can fill this vacuum.
When the complete collapse of the old order inevitably occurs, the question at the political level will be: Can its formerly best institutions, like the United Nations, be salvaged?
But the most pressing question now is: Are there enough awakening human beings ready to step up and step into the vacuum? If not, Donald Trump and Kim Jong-un will continue to fill it with you know what.
Martin LeFevre is a contemplative, and non-academic religious and political philosopher. He welcomes dialogue. firstname.lastname@example.org
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