2021

Some Are Now Saying . . .

. . . a few of them being my friends . . . that most people don’t listen, or watch any News/Views anymore; that they are Exhausted; that they are Offended by Extremism and Hyper-ventilating; that they are Fatigued by a Virus and the Abundant Ignorance that it has unveiled; that the Social Media Platforms that they once enjoyed have become Tainted and Suspicious with Posts and Tweets that are often Fabricated, Photo-shopped, Placed by Dubious Entities; that they Cannot Relate to that America which our Politics have turned into; that they have become too Fearful of the Future and, therefore, have Tuned Out . . . and . . . and . . . withdrawn into their little bubbles. Scary Situation, if you ask me!

And, it is at moments like this that I find myself in between a Rock and a Hard Place. On the one hand, it makes me fearful for this Country that I am proud of and love, and this Democracy – imperfect as it is, and about which I have ranted often enough – which the overwhelming majority of us appreciate and want very much to preserve, but that seems to have been overtaken by Arrogant Politicians, an Untrustworthy Media, and a Minority of loud-mouthed, immoral Extremists . . .

. . . and, on the other hand, I am saying: Ye Reap What Ye Sow, and the United States has been sowing a whole lot of blunders and screwed-up foreign policy decisions for far too long! Our meddling and bullying across the world have invited a backlash of counter-meddling and counter-bullying that brought us up to this dangerous moment. Do we now tone it down, cease and desist from swashbuckling across the globe and realize our humongous blunders? Could we start playing nice for a change? Maybe, just maybe, President Biden has an opening here, because . . .

. . . I heard . . . that he had called President Xi Jinping and that they spoke for nineteen minutes in an effort to lower the confrontational rhetoric and temperature and . . . start playing nice with each other? Agree to be Competitors, but not Sworn Enemies? Perhaps? Fingers-crossed!

Some Are Also Saying . . . that after we finally ended our Military Disaster in Afghanistan, and after our behavior and policies created thousands of Angry, Radicalized and Armed dangerous clusters across the World that we now have to deal with, we should be seriously listening to the many writers and journalists with Integrity who have been talking and writing for decades to the Deaf ears of the Media, Neo-Cons and Military Industrial Complex and, what Trump, as well as others, have called the “Deep State” (whatever that is!). After all, smart people are fully aware that a large amount of the so-called Trillions that this war has ostensibly cost us have come right back here to the US: to the Arms Manufacturers, Corporations, Contractors, Military etc. etc. Does anyone really believe that All of the Trillions were spent on needless projects and building schools in Afghanistan? Wake up, people! This is just one of the results (and they are numerous!) of our misadventures that I call “Socialism for the Ins,” for the Connected, for Corporate Executives, for the Profiteers and Contractors who then decry the Socialism of Bernie Sanders and Progressives because it benefits the People – White People, as well as all of us Others – and aims at bringing on just a little bit of Equality to a Society that has been witnessing Inequality and Injustice for far too long.

Moreover, They Are Also Saying . . . that with the High Drama and Relived Trauma of the Remembrance of 9/11 (which, most of all, stunned the US, because we never, ever, ever expected that Anyone would dare conceive of attacking us here at home) we should never forget how George Dubya Bush and his criminal gang manipulated the EPA (Environmental Protection Agency) to declare that the toxic-infused air around the Twin Towers was Clean and Safe thus causing absolute harm, agony and death to many First Responders and all those in that vicinity, as well as students in schools, people in homes and merchants who went back to the area taking the EPA declaration to be an honest assessment and not the corrupt disinformation that it really was. Massaging the Truth so Wickedly, whether it was the non-existent WMDs in Iraq, or the toxic fumes from the 9/11 tragedy, is what has caused so many people to doubt the Truth/Facts and allowed the Trumpists to distort and mangle more of it to their heart’s content at the expense of Democracy, Freedom and the Physical and Mental Health of this nation. Case in Point is what we . . .

. . . recently heard . . . that the Japanese Prime Minister, Yoshida Suga, had resigned. Apparently, it was because he had failed to control Covid, and, that he had insisted on hosting the Olympics despite many of his own doctors telling him not to, thus sickening more of his people, as well as many athletes. What he did, in fact, was practice a modern form of Hara-kiri, which was a ritual suicide practiced in the olden days as an honorable alternative to disgrace. Contrast this, if you will, with the dishonorable way that so many of the Political Class in the US, and in many countries, behave: Arrogantly, Defiantly, Illegally, Unconstitutionally, Disgracefully. No Honorable Hara-kiri for them, no Resignations, no Apologies! 

Nevertheless, Some Are Also Saying . . . that the Texas Anti-Abortion Effort  (about which John Roberts had said that Roe vs. Wade is the Law of the Land?) Restrictive Voting Laws, Vaccines, Cancel Culture etc. etc. are merely more hot-button issues that will rile us up, create more chaos and mischief and keep us busy in the courts and on the streets while the Trumpists drink what has become the proverbial Lemonade as their Politicians prepare for a takeover in the 2022 Elections and . . . a Trump comeback in 2024? I saw a program on BBC’s HARDTalk with Stephen Sacker interviewing Lindsey Graham who stated his, and his Party’s cold-blooded convictions and relentless efforts towards realizing this goal which gave me chills! Only time will tell where their wicked agenda will go, and where this country is heading, unless the planned rallies taking place on Saturday, September 18 bring on an earlier and shocking drama!

And, finally, remember all those articles that were written when the Virus first hit us? All those Feel Good Predictions of how this Experience will lead to a Better Tomorrow, a Kumbaya Era of Love, Empathy, Justice, Equality, Compassion, Coexistence, Cooperation etc. etc.? Remember that? I do. Is it still possible, I wonder? Could it happen once we overcome Covid? Or, was it just Wishful, Idealistic Thinking? I don’t know. Do you? Does Anyone? All I can sense at the moment is several more years of turbulence, and I can’t foretell what might happen after that period! Alas, it is a very Unsettling, and Dangerous Situation!

2021

Schmaltzy . . . and then some!

It was evening, and I was working on a crossword puzzle that had been stumping me while waiting to hear the weather forecast for the next day – which I usually hate doing and having to watch the inane behavior of the weather people jumping around and breathlessly stretching their vacuous reporting, but that’s what we get with 24/7 television broadcasting that requires filling in with mostly irrelevance. Anyway, I looked up for a second and saw the airplanes landing at Dulles Airport crammed with Afghani refugees who were filing out with their children. There was a five-year old,  same as my youngest was when we landed at that same airport, with his brother, around nine, same age as my third-born then. That’s when the tears started cascading out one after the other as if they had been waiting for a chance to manifest themselves after being bottled up for a very long time. With the tears came all the memories of turbulence, insecurity, trauma and fears shoving and pushing and reawakening years and years of emotions.

And now we have the same in heart-wrenching Afghanistan . . .

We have had many Dramas over the past twenty some years (or, probably and more appropriately, the past century), and most of them have been heart-breaking and excruciatingly painful. However, the reporting on most of them has been the usual cherry-picking of facts and incidents, oftentimes disrespectful, bigoted, discriminatory and racist that on more than one occasion I have found myself yelling at the television screen, or bristling at what I was reading. Our vaunted media rarely gets it right, after all; neither do our esteemed politicians; nor do all our so-called “specialists.” Certainly on Iraq and Afghanistan all of the above mentioned, as well as the neo-cons and the Cold-War-Era military brass, have blundered magnificently as they are now being trotted out again to air the same flatulent scenarios and arguments! These past two weeks, especially, the reporting on Afghanistan has been so Schmaltzy and Cloying that it left me feeling totally nauseated, and I have lost the little respect that I had for anything called Media in all of its forms, although. it seems, that after their initial hyper-ventilating they must have swallowed some Xanax and dialed it down a bit! They are lower than low! What, oh what, were they trying to prove In depicting how “Chaotic” the whole scene at the Kabul Airport was? Do they have the slightest idea of how much planning, organizing and coordination a job of this enormity requires? I do, because I have done that on a much, much, much smaller scale and still my blood pressure hit the roof! Are they proving how Impartial they are, and that they will criticize Trump as well as Biden? That their only objective is the Truth? if so, what a pathetic act, and what an inopportune moment to choose to do it in! Then they came out quickly with how Biden is sinking in the dubious polls, and some people I know started echoing this already! Brain-washing the ignorant is very easy it seems. Just ask Trump!

Nevertheless, was President Biden right in making the decision on withdrawing our military power and personnel from Afghanistan? Of course he was! It was a decision that should have happened back there when, but didn’t. I sincerely hope that Biden is ignoring all the horrid media gaggle on CNN and MSNBC and, especially, on Fox News and its opportunistic amoral sycophants!

Was the “Chaos” that everyone is twisting their knickers about to be expected? Yes, and maybe this could have been done better, the other done differently and yadda, yadda, yadda of pure conjecture and suppositions by the Monday-morning quarterbacks who are both Ignorant and Arrogant! However, the evacuation goal – costing millions upon millions of dollars – was attained as over 100,000 humans were air-lifted in what cannot be called anything but an Extraordinary Undertaking and a feat for which I feel that this Administration needs to be proud. However, while continuing to watch the news coverage of all this drama, I kept on asking myself: where were these anchors, pundits and specialists when our military was bombing weddings and funerals; tearing down doors and traumatizing little children; interrogating and torturing what turned out to be mostly innocent humans in Guantanamo and elsewhere; sending many more innocent men to be tortured in what has come to be known as “renditions” to nations that have perfected the art of torture; when on April 13, 2017 Trump dropped the Mother Of All Bombs on Afghanistan; and the list goes on and on and on. Why, over the past twenty years, have none of them hardly addressed the issue of all the dollars that were shipped in bags to our corrupt puppets Hamid Karzai and Ashraf Ghani on which they enriched themselves, their families and cronies amidst the ruins of their country, and how there was No Accountability for any of these monies whether they went to the Politicians, or Contractors – Local and US? Why not criticize previous administrations for this? How much more Schmaltzier can it get, especially when they emote about “abandoning” some Afghanis with their fake concern for effect? It all goes back to the United States thinking of itself as the Exceptional Nation that will achieve in Afghanistan (as well as Iraq and in so many other places) what the Brits and the Russians and so many other Empires failed to do, while also failing in every which way! And, that failure, is George W Bush’s and his neo-con gang of Ignorance and Arrogance playing God with people’s lives. Despicable! And for Dubya to now be voicing his and Laura’s “deep sadness” at what was going on is beyond ironic! It is insulting, to say the least!

Were most of the Afghanis waiting to be evacuated legitimately worried and scared? No. Anyone with half a brain knows that some of them are hangers-on who saw an opportunity to create a different life for themselves; others may be no-goodniks jumping at the chance to do mischief somewhere else; others yet, especially some of those associated with Feminist and Civil Organizations, Local Contractors, NGOs, Educational Facilities etc. realize that with the Americans gone they will be losing their stipends, perks, privileges and positions so they, too, jumped on the chance. Not everyone is altruistic in these circumstances! However, most – such as our Interpreters, Translators, Drivers etc. – had real concerns, and I totally understand the fears and insecurities that they and the Afghani people are undergoing. They are facing an unknown future, after all, and that is very disconcerting. I personally know exactly how it feels to have lost hope during such miserable circumstances. But, then, and there again, the  hypocritical Schmaltzers were falling all over themselves and their twenty-year belated compassion for Afghanistan and the whole region while they were standing aside and watching it all crumble! Despicable!

News of our 13 US Service Members blown off by what was ostensibly a suicide bomber, as well as the over 90 blown off Afghanis, and all the hurt and maimed humans was heart-breaking and invited more of my tears and anger! Violence breeds Violence. It’s as simple as that, and as long as the United States continues to play God with this Planet and its people under what is becoming more and more of a hypocritical see-through guise of  spreading “Freedom and Democracy,” the Violence will never stop. This is the Reality.

As for the Taliban, neither I, nor anyone else at this point, knows how things will evolve in Afghanistan as they marched in and took it over. Did some of their rank and file and machoism commit some unspeakable atrocities? Of course, they did! However, and there again, the brain-washing media omit to mention our own many military excesses of which we are as guilty! They also had a conniption regarding how the Taliban are going to enforce Sharia’a Law. As I write this, I have in my hand a book titled “How To Run a Jewish Household,” (published in 1982) written by Blu Greenberg, who’s husband is a Rabbi. Blu and I were participants in “The Dialogue Project between Jewish and Palestinian Women” for many years. We couldn’t be further apart in our political beliefs, however, we developed a deep respect and a genuine emotional connection with each other. Anyway, if on reading numerous passages from this lovely book regarding rituals, traditions, inheritance, modes of dress, spousal relationships, divorce etc. etc. one substitutes “Jewish” for “Muslim” no one would be able to tell the difference between these two religions. The similarities are astounding and much more pronounced then the scant similarities between Judaism and Christianity. In today’s Israel, as well in Jewish enclaves (especially in upstate New York which has bred many of the extremist Jewish Settlers living in Israel today) people still adhere to the Jewish/Muslim Sharia’a Laws. But, this is the United States and an American Media that are panic-button pushers and fear-mongers talking of “Sharia’a Law” coming to wreak havoc on humanity! It is the pits of Shamelessness and Ignorance! So, I repeat: Brain-washing the ignorant is very easy it seems. Just ask Trump!

It has no doubt been an excruciatingly depressing two weeks. Did I tell you that some days I dread waking up and listening to the news? Yes, I did. Well, it’s not getting any better, is it? Oy vey! Ya Hasra!