Deleted Scenes: The War Boner

—by , March 5, 2014

Notice that lump in the dialectic’s pants this week? Yeah, that’s the war boner. It pokes up every time there’s a chance World War III might break out. I’m pretty sure with this Russia/Crimea thing, CNN’s war boner alone can be seen from space. Megaboner.

Also: Boner.

Ha.

This probably won’t shock you, but this isn’t going to be the start of a World War, though with civil war-ish in Venezuela and Argentina on the brink of same, continued sectarian violence in Iraq, mass slaughter in Syria, and so on, I’m not exactly sure how it wasn’t already a “world war,” since a decent portion of the planet seems to be directly engaged in killing each other. Business as usual.

It’s easy to rag on “the media” as a general signifier of a kind of out-of-touch elite institution, but the truth is it’s not that and even in this age of such ubiquitous information, a free press serves its purpose—that’s not to mention its corporate masters, also serviced—and if anything, the media is a direct port of American popular opinion made manifest: Loosely conservative, probably religious, loud and not afraid to sound like an ignorant dick while resorting to a clusterfuck of unfounded opinions about the world.

And yes, when I look at the situation with Russia making new laws so it can annex land in other sovereign territories, it’s not pretty. But I defy you to tell me how it’s any different than the U.S. in other parts of the world. Drone strikes are illegal? Not anymore. Due process? Does that count tracking down the GPS location of our own citizens so we can bomb the living crap out them in the name of protecting freedoms?

Russia does some shady shit, no doubt about it, but so do we, and we even use the same language in justifying doing so about it being “in our best interest.” Russia is a former superpower with eyes on past imperial glories and maybe sees annexing part of the Ukraine as a way of recapturing some of that old magic. The U.S. has spent a decade-plus at war in Afghanistan. We’re not looking to mess with the nation that was willing to give up 12 million of its own people to defeat the Nazis. You haven’t and won’t hear anything more than rhetoric from the White House on this because whatever else you can say about President Obama, he’s not dumb enough to get caught up in that crap.

If Russia wants to reestablish some sort of U.S.S.R.-style confederation, fine. If Russia wants to go to war with China, fine. Many, many people will die, but people die all the time. It would be nice for once to sit back on something that has nothing to do with the United States and realize the better play is no play. It won’t get that war boner up, but frankly, that war boner has seen enough action at this point. Maybe leave it alone this time around.

I don’t doubt at some point we’ll have a third World War, multiple fronts, battles on land, sea and air, the whole bit, but this isn’t it. The U.S. doesn’t have the power behind it to go to war with Russia, and even if it did, why would it? Ukraine? Some natural gas. A port. Big deal. World War III is still a ways off, and to speak in hopeful tones about what’s sure to be an orgy of death only increases the likelihood of actually making it happen. Which, as just a basic reminder, we don’t actually want.

JJ Koczan

jj@theaquarian.com


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