“One, Two, Three Strikes, You’re Out…”

Just when those who think the situation vis-à-vis U.S. militarism and empire can’t get any worse, there are visible signs they are. Such was the visit to the militarized and right-wing government of Japan by Donald Trump. With new calls for impeachment—a grand waste of time at this point in Trump’s disastrous presidency—readers might think the visit might add up to something, but it ended as a debacle of Trump tweets and an attempt to hide a U.S. warship.

The military and the Trump administration kept the USS John S. McCain hidden from view (with a gray tarp covering the destroyer’s name) during Trump’s trip because of the animus of Trump toward the late senator. The sophomoric nature of Trump’s attacks against McCain during his life and after the senator’s death are something for the record books. It defies logic to even go to where the arguments about the Vietnam War and what makes up so-called patriotism mean now. This has become such a militarized society since the 2001 attacks that logic and good sense are the second and third casualties of war following truth. The truth, however, seeks loudly to massive war profiteering and empire.

In “White House Asked Navy to Hide John McCain Warship,”(New York Times, May 29, 2019)not only is the insanity of hiding such a weapon unmasked, but the readers’ comment section is so laden with militaristic rhetoric and taunts against Trump that a critical reader might think war is the best thing to happen since the invention of the wheel. Only one, yes one comment draws attention to the fact that the warship has something to do with the hundreds of military bases that the U.S. maintains around the world and the endless wars the U.S. now fights.

During McCain’s illness, there was near-universal support for the late senator’s so-called patriotism. I believed then, and believe now, that verbally attacking someone who is dying is not the best way to deal with human suffering, or making reasonable arguments against war. During McCain’s illness, a video of McCain’s (YouTube, January 30, 2015) chairing of a Senate Armed Services Committee hearing surfaced at which the dyed-in-the-wool warmonger and architect of many wars, Henry Kissinger, appeared. McCain attacks Code Pink demonstrators at the hearing, calling them “low-life scum.” Here’s the mathematical equation for that attack against protesters: warmonger over low-life scum.

So much for any hesitancy to call out McCain when he was well, for his long support of endless war-making by the U.S. and his personal part in that history. Careful attention would allow anyone who cares to listen to the echoes of Reagan’s “noble cause” (the Vietnam War with its 3 million dead) and George H.W. Bush’s push to end the Vietnam Syndrome that led in a direct line to the endless wars of today and their acceptance.

As empires decay, Nero fiddled, Trump tweets, and the delusional mass-murderer Hitler hid out in a bunker in Berlin. Does it come as a surprise that Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cotez, a liberal Congressperson from New York, has had to deal with a steady stream of death threats (“Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez Compared to Kim Jong Un In Pro Baseball Team Video,” Huffington Post, May 28, 2019)? Most who care to pay attention know that it’s “One, two, three strikes, you’re out at the old ball game,” and we’re just about in the bottom of the ninth inning as a society.

*Take Me Out to the Ball Game (1908) by Jack Norworth and Albert Von Tizer

More articles by:

Howard Lisnoff is a freelance writer. He is the author of Against the Wall: Memoir of a Vietnam-Era War Resister (2017).


June 19, 2019
Matthew Stevenson
Requiem for a Lightweight: the Mayor Pete Factor
Kenneth Surin
In China Again
Stephen Cooper
Abolishing the Death Penalty Requires Morality
George Ochenski
The DNC Can’t Be Allowed to Ignore the Climate Crisis
John W. Whitehead
The Omnipresent Surveillance State
William Camacaro - Frederick B. Mills
Guaidó’s Star Fades as His Envoys to Colombia Allegedly Commit Fraud With Humanitarian Funds for Venezuela
Dave Lindorff
What About Venezuela’s Hacked Power Grid?
Howard Lisnoff
Try Not to Look Away
Binoy Kampmark
Matters of Water: Dubious Approvals and the Adani Carmichael Mine
Karl Grossman
The Battle to Stop the Shoreham Nuclear Plant, Revisited
Kani Xulam
Farting in a Turkish Mosque
Dean Baker
New Manufacturing Jobs are Not Union Jobs
Elizabeth Keyes
“I Can’t Believe Alcohol Is Stronger Than Love”
June 18, 2019
John McMurtry
Koch-Oil Big Lies and Ecocide Writ Large in Canada
Robert Fisk
Trump’s Evidence About Iran is “Dodgy” at Best
Yoav Litvin
Catch 2020 – Trump’s Authoritarian Endgame
Thomas Knapp
Opposition Research: It’s Not Trump’s Fault That Politics is a “Dirty” Game
Medea Benjamin - Nicolas J. S. Davies
U.S. Sanctions: Economic Sabotage that is Deadly, Illegal and Ineffective
Gary Leupp
Marx and Walking Zen
Thomas Hon Wing Polin
Color Revolution In Hong Kong: USA Vs. China
Howard Lisnoff
The False Prophets Cometh
Michael T. Klare
Bolton Wants to Fight Iran, But the Pentagon Has Its Sights on China
Steve Early
The Global Movement Against Gentrification
Dean Baker
The Wall Street Journal Doesn’t Like Rent Control
Tom Engelhardt
If Trump’s the Symptom, Then What’s the Disease?
June 17, 2019
Patrick Cockburn
The Dark Side of Brexit: Britain’s Ethnic Minorities Are Facing More and More Violence
Linn Washington Jr.
Remember the Vincennes? The US’s Long History of Provoking Iran
Geoff Dutton
Where the Wild Things Were: Abbey’s Road Revisited
Nick Licata
Did a Coverup of Who Caused Flint Michigan’s Contaminated Water Continue During Its Investigation? 
Binoy Kampmark
Julian Assange and the Scales of Justice: Exceptions, Extraditions and Politics
John Feffer
Democracy Faces a Global Crisis
Louisa Willcox
Revamping Grizzly Bear Recovery
Stephen Cooper
“Wheel! Of! Fortune!” (A Vegas Story)
Daniel Warner
Let Us Laugh Together, On Principle
Brian Cloughley
Trump Washington Detests the Belt and Road Initiative
Weekend Edition
June 14, 2019
Friday - Sunday
Michael Hudson
Trump’s Trade Threats are Really Cold War 2.0
Bruce E. Levine
Tom Paine, Christianity, and Modern Psychiatry
Jason Hirthler
Mainstream 101: Supporting Imperialism, Suppressing Socialism
T.J. Coles
How Much Do Humans Pollute? A Breakdown of Industrial, Vehicular and Household C02 Emissions
Andrew Levine
Whither The Trump Paradox?
Jeffrey St. Clair
Roaming Charges: In the Land of 10,000 Talkers, All With Broken Tongues
Pete Dolack
Look to U.S. Executive Suites, Not Beijing, For Why Production is Moved
Paul Street
It Can’t Happen Here: From Buzz Windrip and Doremus Jessup to Donald Trump and MSNBC
Rob Urie
Capitalism Versus Democracy
Richard Moser
The Climate Counter-Offensive: Secrecy, Deception and Disarming the Green New Deal