FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail

The Other March Madness

by CLANCY SIGAL

I take seriously people like “jokingly” anti-Semitic mad conspiracist  Gen. Jerry Boykin who thinks Obama talks in code to Al Queda.  Usually but not always in retirement wild-man generals say openly what some of their more discreet officers may only think. Boykin’s fanatic mindset would be instantly familiar to Stalin and Hitler as coming from a blood brother.  Such craziness becomes a bit more urgent as the U.S. military expands it crusading mission to almost all the sub-Saharan African countries (Chad, Mali, Central African Republic etc.) in what Nick Turse (in Tomgram) calls “a new kind of expeditionary warfare”.  Backed by the old colonial powers like France, we have begun a major enterprise of dispatching “advisors” and “military aid” to Africa’s most explosive spots,  usually as in Libya, creating not calming chaos.  But it’s a welcome job maker in a depressed military economy.

With thousands of heavily-armed Russian troops occupying this perennially embattled peninsula, an overwhelming majority of Crimeans voted on Sunday to secede from Ukraine and join Russia, resolutely carrying out a public referendum that Western leaders had declared illegal and vowed to punish with economic sanctions.   What an opportunity for Obama, currently sweet talking the Ukraine’s new young prime minster while bumping chests with Putin, to get involved in Europe’s notorious “bloodlands“, the title of a book by a Yale history prof, Timothy Snyder.

Snyder explores how Hitler and Stalin, from the early 1930s through World War Two, between them caused the death of multi-million civilians.  The tyrants may have loathed each other but worked practically as a duet to cleanse the space between Poland and the now-disputed Donetsk of “undesirables” (Jews, gypsies, stubborn peasants, whole ethnic species, anyone who looked wrong at you).

Hitler deliberately – his Hunger Plan to feed German soldiers and civilians by starving Polish and Soviet citizens plus of course mass shooting the “untermensch” (subhumans) on the spot – and Stalin’s economic policy that killed millions of his own people by famine – drenched the soil with blood for generations to come. There is not a city, town or village in the Ukraine that was not Hitler or Stalin’s butcher shop in see-sawing wartime occupations and reoccupations.   If you lived there, what did it matter who brutalized you, a Nazi or a Soviet?

Memories of a time when murder was ordinary are like hand grenades that keep exploding if you tinker with them.

For Putin and most Russians this history is of this moment not something abstract you read about in a book.  There is no Russian family that was not affected (including mine).  Obama and hawks like Sens. McCain and Lindsay Graham have no idea what they’re dealing with because we Americans never suffered anything remotely like the blood lust in the bloodlands; our “social imagination” does not grasp the enormity of the war wound.  Not far from where I live in Plummer Park former Soviet soldiers proudly wearing their “Patriotic People’s War” medals gather every May 8 V-Day in dwindling numbers.

In the past we’ve made other people like the Vietnamese pay for our “innocence” (read Graham Greene’s The Quiet American).  We have 448 nuclear tipped missiles aimed squarely at Russia, and they probably have the same.  It wasn’t so long ago when the U.S. and Russia agreed to a slow mutual nuclear disarmament…up to a point.  But all it takes is a dropped wrench socket down a missile tube, as happened at Arkansas’s Titan Two site, or for a vodka-fuddled Russian soldier to press the wrong button…

I assume there are Gens. Boykins, Petraeuses and Jeffrey Sinclairs on the Russian side too.  Watch it, Barack.  Don’t be too hasty to take advantage of Putin’s justified paranoia, calculated fears and miscalculations to make matters worse.

We righteously opposed the Syrian dictator Assad and thus opened a Pandora’s box of faction-fighting jihadists who probably agree only on wanting to kill Americans.   We support the new Ukrainian government riddled with faction-fighting neo-Nazis, like Waffen-SS admiring woman-hating Svoboda and Right Sector, who probably agree on only one thing, kill the Jews.

Clancy Sigal is a screenwriter and novelist. His latest book is Hemingway Lives

 

Clancy Sigal is a screenwriter and novelist. His latest book is Black Sunset

More articles by:

CounterPunch Magazine

minimag-edit

bernie-the-sandernistas-cover-344x550

zen economics

Weekend Edition
January 20, 2017
Friday - Sunday
Paul Street
Divide and Rule: Class, Hate, and the 2016 Election
Andrew Levine
When Was America Great?
Jeffrey St. Clair
Roaming Charges: This Ain’t a Dream No More, It’s the Real Thing
Yoav Litvin
Making Israel Greater Again: Justice for Palestinians in the Age of Trump
Linda Pentz Gunter
Nuclear Fiddling While the Planet Burns
Ruth Fowler
Standing With Standing Rock: Of Pipelines and Protests
David Green
Why Trump Won: the 50 Percenters Have Spoken
Dave Lindorff
Imagining a Sanders Presidency Beginning on Jan. 20
Pete Dolack
Eight People Own as Much as Half the World
Roger Harris
Too Many People in the World: Names Named
Steve Horn
Under Tillerson, Exxon Maintained Ties with Saudi Arabia, Despite Dismal Human Rights Record
John Berger
The Nature of Mass Demonstrations
Stephen Zielinski
It’s the End of the World as We Know It
David Swanson
Six Things We Should Do Better As Everything Gets Worse
Alci Rengifo
Trump Rex: Ancient Rome’s Shadow Over the Oval Office
Brian Cloughley
What Money Can Buy: the Quiet British-Israeli Scandal
Mel Gurtov
Donald Trump’s Lies And Team Trump’s Headaches
Kent Paterson
Mexico’s Great Winter of Discontent
Norman Solomon
Trump, the Democrats and the Logan Act
David Macaray
Attention, Feminists
Yves Engler
Demanding More From Our Media
James A Haught
Religious Madness in Ulster
Dean Baker
The Economics of the Affordable Care Act
Patrick Bond
Tripping Up Trumpism Through Global Boycott Divestment Sanctions
Robert Fisk
How a Trump Presidency Could Have Been Avoided
Robert Fantina
Trump: What Changes and What Remains the Same
David Rosen
Globalization vs. Empire: Can Trump Contain the Growing Split?
Elliot Sperber
Dystopia
Dan Bacher
New CA Carbon Trading Legislation Answers Big Oil’s Call to Continue Business As Usual
Wayne Clark
A Reset Button for Political America
Chris Welzenbach
“The Death Ship:” An Allegory for Today’s World
Uri Avnery
Being There
Peter Lee
The Deep State and the Sex Tape: Martin Luther King, J. Edgar Hoover, and Thurgood Marshall
Patrick Hiller
Guns Against Grizzlies at Schools or Peace Education as Resistance?
Randy Shields
The Devil’s Real Estate Dictionary
Ron Jacobs
Singing the Body Electric Across Time
Ann Garrison
Fifty-five Years After Lumumba’s Assassination, Congolese See No Relief
Christopher Brauchli
Swing Low Alabama
Dr. Juan Gómez-Quiñones
La Realidad: the Realities of Anti-Mexicanism
Jon Hochschartner
The Five Least Animal-Friendly Senate Democrats
Pauline Murphy
Fighting Fascism: the Irish at the Battle of Cordoba
Susan Block
#GoBonobos in 2017: Happy Year of the Cock!
Louis Proyect
Is Our Future That of “Sense8” or “Mr. Robot”?
Charles R. Larson
Review: Robert Coover’s “Huck out West”
David Yearsley
Manchester-by-the-Sea and the Present Catastrophe
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail