Special Opinion to the Mirror written by Chas Cornweller.
I’d been thinking lately of re-reading, George Orwell’s book, Nineteen Eighty-Four. I had read it once back in High School, after the required reading of Animal Farm. But it was Nineteen Eighty-Four that left me in a mild stage of psychological shock. I was sixteen at time. I am not wholly sure what the catalyst was, but I am pretty sure it was the pre-conditioning of my Vietnam years. The falsehoods of those years from our government and the final stages of the Nixon administration and the eventual lies told to the national press and the American people. Once I grasped the full meaning of Orwell’s masterpiece, it possibly dawned on me. This could happen to America and my world. Ah, the innocence of youth!
Now don’t misunderstand, I was raised a well-adjusted child in a strong middle-class family in a small town in rural America. I went to church most every Sunday. I had plenty of same-aged friends, plus cousins and a family that was close. I also had a paper route during these formative years and a natural inquisitiveness that led me to read those headlines and delve deeper into their portent meanings. So, by the time I was sixteen most of my world-view was shaped by a daily reading of world events coupled with a weekly rendering of current events before my civics class. There was no talk of “fake news” in those days. In fact, historically (and unless someone has altered the entire history of the world since the mid-fifties until the late seventies) I would venture to say almost ninety-five percent of what I saw, read and believed has come to pass as historic fact. Four administrations of presidents DID lie about the objectives and results of a war half-way across the world. ALL of those young college students were correct in deducing that the draft was for naught.
President Nixon was a crooked politician and rightly was well on his way to being impeached. Fortunately for America, he took the honorable route and resigned his presidency. But, in the year nineteen and seventy-two, the issues were not so black and white. And the nation was divided. The war on poverty and the war for social justices were just as bleak and critical then as they are now. But the lie was then, well, we’re winning the war on Social Justice. We’re going to win the war on poverty, as well. Today, these same wars continue. But hindsight being twenty-twenty, we can see all the reasons why they failed, can we not?
America has been wandering in the wilderness since the closing days of World War II. It is interesting to read somewhere…that when Germany and the Soviet Union entered into an uneasy truce (Molotov–Ribbentrop Pact of 1939) that the collective world held its breath and prayed for peace. But, when Germany invaded Russia in nineteen and forty-one, suddenly the Soviet propaganda was that World War Two was a Capitalist Fraud. It certainly appeared that way to Communists around the world. But, again, in hindsight, we all know it was Hitler’s goal all along to eliminate the Bolsheviks. But what was the true intent of World War Two? Obviously, Japan had a different intent than Nazi Germany. But if you look closely enough, both Germany and Japan had rightful justifications for their intentions. This is the double-sided curse of history. Just as, if you look closely enough at America’s history, you will see a dark and horrendously bloody side to its birth and growth as a super-power nation. But most will not look, nor care too. They can’t handle that truth. Which brings me to our wandering these past seventy-odd years as a megalithic drunken giant welding an oversized and bloody sword. Anyone who dares to cross our path and tries to usurp any amount of power from this giant will face its wrath. To the extent that it sometimes has been to our own detriment. Case in point: Research one OSS member A. Peter Dewey and his relationship with communist aligned troops (Viet Minh) and how America came so very close to resolving closure with the Vietnamese people and the French colonials. Ah, but history is not kind. And America was so fixated on rooting out communism from every nook and crevice, ears were closed along with eyes and imaginations in nineteen forty-five. Peace died the day Dewey was killed accidentally by the Viet Minh and therefore, twenty years later, so had fifty-three thousand of America’s youth. Look it up…research the facts.
So, what does this have to do with the book Nineteen Eighty-four? Maybe nothing. Maybe everything. Perhaps somewhere in the middle? You see, we’ve been at war nearly twenty years in the Middle East (Disputed Lands in Orwell’s book). We’ve been told we are there to win the hearts and minds (build schools, hospitals, preach Democracy and goodwill) of these people. We set out to bring Afghanistan into the twentieth century. We set out to free the Iraq people from a despot (which, incidentally we helped to prop up as dictator during the Iran-Iraq conflict – historically speaking). So, yes, he was our problem. Nearly twenty years of our military presence has brought us to where? Just this past week, another major attack on our embassy in Bagdad and the killing of Iran’s General Soleimani supposedly to ratchet down the violence in the area.
At what point, how could all of this have been prevented? At which junction, in the drunken ramblings of this fierce and all-powerful giant, did we take a wrong turn? When was peace on the minds of the ones who are responsible for this mess? And just who is responsible? Was it Truman, when he insulted Soviet Minister Molotov at the White House on April 23rd, Nineteen Forty-Five? Perhaps it was Neville Chamberland caving to Adolf Hitler in giving him the western portion of Czechoslovakia in Nineteen and Thirty-Eight? We could go back to the unfortunate and highly ill-advised Treaty of Versailles of Nineteen-Nineteen. One could argue that this treaty set Germany on the course for the Second World War and so on and so forth. Maybe it was France and England carving up the Middle East just prior to the First World War ending. So many crossroads. So many ill-advised decisions. So many empty-headed politicians guiding the multitudes towards oblivion.
Now, of course, I sit at my computer with complete twenty-twenty hindsight on all of these historic and infamous moments, so it’s easy to say what went wrong. But, here’s the rub; I spoke up to anyone who would listen in Two Thousand and Three and warned that it would not go well in Iraq if we invaded a sovereign nation (unconstitutional by the way – Congress or no Congress) without provocation from that nation. Many I spoke with, agreed. Many did not. It is now history.
I have been saying for years, that this nation’s reliance on oil and oil product is much like a drug addict’s desperation and needs. America claims it is protecting its vital interest in this region. The oil does not belong to us! It would be comparably the same if Japan had staked a claim with the Bush family during the nineteen-fifties and then placed a standing army in Texas and Oklahoma to guarantee unlimited access to that oil. The Bushes get mega-rich, while the rest of this country withers. Meanwhile, Japan occupies our sovereign lands. Do you not understand how much this must chafe at the people of Iraq, Iran, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait? The drunken giant indeed.
So, perpetual war…at least until the wells run dry? Try asking the Ministry of Peace. I am sure we are finally gaining the upper hand within those disputed lands. As long as Eurasia doesn’t interfere. Feeling that generous helping of prosperity and wealth yet? If not, try the Ministry of Plenty. Perhaps you’ll get lucky with one of those many lotteries they like to put in front of us. If you still feel like you aren’t getting the answers you need, or you feel your news feed has let you down. (you know, it’s all fake news) try the Ministry of Propaganda. I am sure you’ll find what you’ll need from them and if not, it’s all soon to be there, in the history books. Fresh from the publications of the Ministry of Truth.
As a sixteen-year kid, I could not understand my anxiety by reading just one book. Little did I know then, what I know now. I was reading the future. It does cut close to the bone. Interesting to me, it was Animal Farm that opened that door. Ironic.