I like to think that I keep up with the news. But the morning news I get courtesy of MSM isn’t doing the trick anymore. If it weren’t for my friends in the Near Term Human Extinction movement, I wouldn’t have known about the deadly fires burning out of control in much of the American Southeast. Here in NY, the morning news is all Trump all the time. If the town of Gatlinburg, TN is a pile of ash right now, that isn’t on the radar of the media guys who control content on morning ‘news’ (or as Steve Colbert might have called it, ‘newsiness’). Then again, to honestly cover what’s happening in Gatlinburg and much of the rest of the Southeast would require reporters to say something about global warming and the heating-related drought that has turned the land into tinder. So, no. The coverage is for Dolly Parton’s amusement park, also facing the fires.
But there’s a real failure of ‘newsiness’ when weapons of mass destruction are on the line.
Late last night, I got a message/FB link/Tweet from the head of one of the many peace groups I’ve followed over the year. This person is the model of discretion, is comfortable in a suit and tie and not given to hyperbole. The complete message:
“The alarm is sounding.
This is no joke.
This is deadly serious.”
No other context, but several respondents who knew what he was saying gave him a ‘like’ or a thumbs’up. And now I know. Yesterday, Turkish President Erdogan sent Turkish troops across the Syrian border with the goal of ending Syrian President Assad’s regime. RT has a comprehensive article here, but other media are finally picking up on it. So why the panic?
- Assad (and the status quo of Syria) has the military backing of the Russians under Putin;
- Turkey is not just a US ally–it is a member of NATO. It strains credulity that Turkey would take an action like this without first consulting NATO. And if they consulted NATO, it means that NATO has decided to take out Syria’s current leader a critical ally to the Russians;
- There are Russian military personnel in Syria–possibly it’s just technicians and advisers, but it might also be full-blown Russian soldiers. Soldiers of two separate countries firing on each other–that’s usually called a War. Which brings me to;
- The Russian conventional military machine is not the juggernaut of the Soviet cold war setup, but the Russians still possess almost 2,000 strategic nuclear weapons and a few thousand battlefield weapons as well. And there’s no reason to think that the Russians would not retaliate against Turkey with conventional munitions if their side in Syria started to lose. And there’s no way that the US can honor the NATO treaties it’s a party to if it looks the other way after Istanbul suffers an attack from the air.
I always remind people I am the Simple Artist. I could be wrong about all of this. But for me, this incident reminds me that 1), the lame-duck leadership of our country (that would be Obama) has apparently not been really interested in keeping peace with Russia, and 2), we are in a transition to a a new president, a hot-headed individual who reportedly repeatedly asked one of his Pentagon briefers why we aren’t using nuclear weapons more often.
As my friend David says, “we do not know which butterfly wing will cause the collapse, just that one will do it.”