Curtain Raiser

Time to Fight & Be Proud, Colltalers

It’s deja vu all over again. The Trump administration’s threatened to bomb another country, but Iran may be tougher a foe than North Korea. Whether the crisis is averted, is not the president’s concern; having a war at the ready to help on his reelection is.
But the world is, indeed, concerned about it. Such a conflict would surely spill over the Middle East and boost the more than 70 million kicked out of their homes by wars, according to a United Nations study released on World Refugee Day. Worried yet?
The climate emergency is very much part of both equations. For instance, a report by NOAA, the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric agency, found that global carbon dioxide emissions reached the highest levels in 61 years, last May, 3.5 ppm higher than the 411.2 ppm 2018 peak. In the same period, floods and rainfall drove the U.S. to its second-wettest month in 125 years.
A just-arrived traveler from another era would think that mankind’s sole focus would be on these two scourges, war and climate, the only two capable of co-existing, while endlessly feeding each other. But such wanderer would be terribly wrong about that.
When the Federal Reserve’s released its ‘Distributive Financial Accounts’ data series, many an analyst searched it for evidence that would corroborate whatever assumptions they had about the market, the economy, and everything. Except what it all means.
Matt Bruenig, founder of the People’s Policy Project, found something else entirely: that ‘between 1989 and 2018, the top one percent increased its total net worth by $21 trillion,’ while the bottom 50 percent saw its net worth decreased by $900 billion.
And yet, that misguided traveler would again assume, war and climate catastrophe affect everyone equally, so those clearly

with the means to stop them both would be actively pursuing just that, so their own kin would have a future to live on. Right? Nope.
If the staggering inequality the world has been witnessing getting wider, with tragically fewer ways to slow it down, shows anything about our fellow humans is that those who can, won’t do much about, for as long as their own present status quo holds.
And the majority is simply too busy outrunning floods and the rain of bullets. In plain words, the tiny minority at the top wants to profit, while the rest of us swim, run and survive, or sink and drown. As for that tripper, they’d better head back home soon.
Not every wealthy person is oblivious to the urgency of climate change, of course, and not all survivors at the bottom are noble spirits, fighting the good war. But only one side already pays for a rudderless world, split between haves and will-never-haves.
Which brings us to Trump’s game of teasers, designed to regulate at his liking the heat of bad decisions he makes every day. A compliant media is already drumming up ‘reasons’ to press Iran, even when it omits from its coverage the fact that the U.S. has already started the war. It seems that there’s been an intense cyber attack on Iranian defense systems, anticipating any reaction.
Iran has shown that it’s willing to react, heavens help us all, but it’s also wisely taking its time; who needs a conflict that may kill hundreds of thousands, or worse if involves the use of nuclear weapons? Not Iran, not its neighbors, not even archenemy Israel, if its own administration hasn’t lost it all yet. But Trump does, for war is a sure way for a sitting president to win his reelection.
He’s not alone on this stance either. It’s just so that, while we live in the most crucial time ever challenging civilization to act as a whole, we have also a crop of individualistic, war-mongering, manipulative, and anti-democratic leaders to ever being given the fate of billions to manage. They obviously won’t do a thing to risk self-preservation, everything and everybody else be damned.
Risking losing credibility, it may be fair to say that if Iran does become a full-fledged nuclear nation, it’d be all Trump’s fault. The 2015 nuclear agreement was doing its job of containing its capability of developing weapons, and it was supported by the international community. Breaking from it was a mistake, and not just because the administration had no better plan to replace it.
Iran has recently said that it will enrich Uranium. Despite media coverage, though, that was not what started the present crisis.
And for the sake of sanity, let’s not get here into all the lies, the blurry images of the ‘proof’ for an attack in the Gulf of Oman, the preposterous speeches on the ‘threat’ Iran represents, all nauseating reminders of the buildup to the disgraceful 2003 Iraq war.
Trump may have tried to walk back on his words, claiming victory, and, well, lying a bit more about it. Just as he did with the ‘excellent letter’ he claims to have sent Kim Jong-un. But many Iranians are tired of fighting the Ayatollah and Supreme Council, for an opening to the west, only to be disavowed by the most western of them all, the U.S. They may not back down this time.
It was a week when Italy’s Interior Minister Matteo Salvini vowed to send a boat full of migrants back to a war zone; that the U.S. was reported to have been waging cyberwar on Russia’s power grid; and when another woman was featured on a national magazine cover, accusing Trump of sexually harassing her. That is, a typical week in the Trump world of misery we all live in.
And yet, however dark are our thoughts about life, the universe, and the future of everything, there are those who need to be empowered to win the fight for their lives: those whose years on Earth amount to less time than it took us to be alarmed by it.
Older generations have ‘failed to respond properly’ to the climate emergency, while the young are ‘stepping up to the challenge,’ said U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Gutierres at last week’s World Conference of Ministers Responsible for Youth, in Lisbon.
Besides being concerned about the fate of refugees, that also means stripping power away from those who won’t do anything to prevent war or act on climate, and letting the young and progressive forces of society take charge and lead the way. The rich, or technology, could help, but don’t count on it. Our time’s running out. Be happy, be out, and enjoy the Pride/Stonewall 50 March. WC


One thought on “Curtain Raiser

  1. unclerave says:

    Reblogged this on Unclerave's Wordy Weblog and commented:
    Hopefully, some of these issue will come up in the Democratic candidates debate! I hear the opening of the debate will feature all the candidates spilling out of a clown car! — YUR


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