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Radio Sistema Tropical

Cardinal Points

The Ignoranti

Diego Azeta

5 June 2016

© 2016 Diego Azeta – All Rights Reserved – Derechos Reservados
A PDF edition of this file (see below) may be downloaded to a personal device for noncommercial personal reading use.
The PDF edition is the final (edited) version of the story.

 
It is easy … to overlook one of the hard facts of history: a nation may lose its power and integrity slowly, in minute particles.
— William J. Lederer and Eugene Burdick, The Ugly American

Goddamn country’s falling apart!
— Vox populi

HELLO, HELLO, and welcome to Cardinal Points, Radio Sistema Tropical’s English programme on strategic geopolitics. I am Teriaki, your host on a global tour of diplomatic intrigue and skulduggery, where nothing can be taken at face value. We shall examine the endless antics thrust upon us every day of our lives by the wretched, amoral characters employed in the service of the all-powerful state, the illegitimate progeny of Machiavelli. The reason for doing this —and why you should care— is that these are the bastards responsible for humanity’s oldest and deadliest pestilence, one that imperils every organism on our planet and of late, the physical planet itself: War. These ignoranti, a term coined to denominate the pompous, garrulous, arrogant, obstreperous, porcine, asinine idiots, are the universalis ultimum casus belli. If humankind is to rid itself of war it must first do away with these reprobate imbeciles, «the worst and the dumbest characters» in society, the historically ever-present but demonstrably never-prescient ignoranti.

Be not unsettled by the aggressive language. It serves as a depictive terminology that underscores humankind’s outrage at these fiendish sanguinary scumbags. I should also state that the incumbent prime minister of Britain insists that such characterizations of prominent figures are an important constituent of Western freedoms, an argument he advanced in defence of the derogatory treatment of Muhammad in certain European media. Note that adherents of Islam have not disparaged the figure of Jesus throughout the present state of confrontations. It follows that Cameron’s tenet backs the present characterizations. Radio Sistema Tropical listeners can rest assured that Cardinal Points is fully compliant with both the spirit and the letter of Cameron’s half-witted, Eurocentric persuasion.

Problem is, the ignoranti are the ones who control political power by means of this clever little artifice they came up with at the beginning of civilization, the legalistic fiction called «state». The state is basically a front for the strongman or, in some cases, the strongwoman: the person who actually wields power and authority in the reticent, acquiescent tribe at any one point in time. Louis XIV, fourteenth in a long line of bastards, put it bluntly: “I am the goddamn state!” A certain blowhard Texan rephrased that to conform to modern parlance: “Mr President, sir, this is your helicopter.” “Son, they are all my helicopters.” My goddamn helicopters, he meant to say. Probably did. Incidentally, Louie’s line was chopped off at XVI. Abruptly. Incarnating the state is a risky proposition. Distributing the strongmanship among a coterie of bastards is much safer.

Some may contend that what I say is not so, for they are blessed to live in a Western democracy —or so they’ve been told— so they “know” I am wrong. Blowhard Texans long gone, they would say, no strongmen or strongwomen sit at the helm anymore. And we the people pick through the ballot which leaders and representatives will govern us. End of prate. Nothing like a well-scrubbed brain to regurgitate officialized doctrine. We must analyse the validity of that folderol in a subsequent programme. For now, let us concentrate on the blasted honchos and ostensible representatives of they the people along with the retinue of bureaucrats and advisors that constitute the vain ignoranti.

To see what the ignoranti actually accomplish, we should first examine what a former generation of the morons obtained in the days of that certain blowhard Texan. It all started before the coming of Camelot in Never-Never Land. A man who had resisted the Imperial Japanese vanquished the French ignoranti after they attempted to reimpose colonial rule in his country and those of his neighbours. These indoctrinated ignoranti all spieled about liberté, égalité, and fraternité. Eurohypocrités. So the «Ugly Americanos», who had nothing to do with the bloody affair but who think of themselves as the gun-toting sheriff of the wild West, stepped in to outdo the French. Camelot sent military advisors but on seeing no progress, connived in the brutal assassination of their client country’s president three weeks prior to being accorded the requited service. What goes around comes around, Jack: «Karma Express». Arose thereupon the blowhard Texan. He retained Camelot’s full complement of ignoranti, widely known as “The Best and the Brightest”. These ignoramuses thought themselves smart because they counted on whizzes from Ivy League. Not the Texan. Ain’t no Ivies in Texas. No, no, repeat after me: Teixas. Teixas. Thar you go! Sound like a regular goddamn Southern 'Publicaan.

Yes, all Ugly Americanos fancy themselves smart, but the B&B ignoranti were a class apart. (Ironically, the truly smart Americans, and there are lots of them around, are hardly ever heard, so loud and obnoxious is the din of the vermin.) At any rate, here is the problem with the Ugly Bunch: they are inveterate liars. They lie as a matter of course, to their own people as well as everybody else, they themselves included. Native Americans found that out pronto: “Paleface speak with forked tongue.” On 2 August 1964, a naval incident occurred in the Gulf of Tonkin very close to the coast of North Vietnam. Three patrol torpedo boats of the People’s Navy of the Democratic Republic of Vietnam approached the destroyer USS Maddox, a signals intelligence platform collecting SIGINT in what the Americanos claimed were international waters. Yeah, right. Tell me, how often have you heard about other countries spying just off any US coast? What do you think the Americanos would do if someone else’s spy ships were snooping near, say, Pearl Harbor’s entrance? Does might in some manner make right? How one answers that last question is a good predictor of the responder’s chances of having his or her own Dien Bien Phu. Remember, you can move your pieces any way you want but you cannot control the outcome of the game.

Think. But not like the Loco Americanos. At the risk of being locked up in a federal penitentiary for the rest of my life due to a National Security Agency fiat (which declares: “Contents of any issue of Cryptologic Quarterly may not be reproduced or further disseminated outside the National Security Agency without the permission of the NSA/CSS Office of Policy”), here is what the senior historian of the Centre for Cryptologic History of the NSA (and author of the article, “Skunks, Bogies, Silent Hounds, and the Flying Fish: The Gulf of Tonkin Mystery, 2-4 August 1964”, Cryptologic Quarterly, Winter 2000 / Spring 2001, Vol. 19, No. 4 / Vol. 20, No. 1, publicly available at Wikipedia), Robert J. Hanyok, wrote about the first of two incidents (he also writes quite a bit more about the second one):

[Note: G is Golf Time Zone (Vietnam), Z is UTC.]

At about 1440G (0740Z) the Maddox sent a flash precedence message to various commands in the Pacific that she was being approached by high-speed craft with the intention of attacking with torpedoes. Herrick [Captain John J. Herrick, the task force commander] announced that he would fire if necessary in self-defense. He also requested air cover from the carrier Ticonderoga, which was then 280 miles to the southeast. Four F-8E Crusaders from the carrier, already aloft, were vectored to the Maddox. The destroyer Turner Joy (DD-951) was ordered to make best speed to the Maddox.

For the next twenty minutes, the chase continued. The Vietnamese boats inexorably closed the gap between themselves and the destroyer. At 1500G, Captain Herrick ordered [the Maddox’s captain, Commander Herbert] Ogier’s gun crews to open fire if the boats approached within ten thousand yards. At about 1505G, the Maddox fired three rounds to warn off the communist boats. This initial action was never reported by the Johnson administration, which insisted that the Vietnamese boats fired first.

A few minutes later the Maddox resumed fire. Through the shellfire, the DRV boats bore in on the Maddox. But their attacks were ineffective. Within fifteen minutes of Maddox’s first salvo, jets from the carrier Ticonderoga had arrived and attacked the Vietnamese boats, leaving one dead in the water and the other two damaged. As for the Maddox, she was unscathed except for a single bullet hole from a Vietnamese machine gun round.

Who was the Texan lying to? To the American people as well as everybody else, they (B&B) themselves included. But take a look at this: A second Gulf of Tonkin incident was attested by the NSA to have occurred two days later, on the night of 4 August 1964. Less than three hours after that alleged attack was pronounced over, Johnson used the NSA claim as an excuse to order massive retaliatory air strikes the next day on all DRV naval installations. This policy of bombing the hell out of North Vietnam is precisely what the B&B had long been pushing for. (The US foreign policy toolbox has only one tool: «bomb the hell out of them». When the Americanos say “all options are on the table”, you know it means only bombing unless the other guys do the Ugly Bunch’s will.) Problem is, the second Tonkin incident never happened. Neither the Maddox nor the Turner Joy nor anything else was attacked.

Even as the last flare fizzled in the dark waters of the South China Sea on that August night, there were conflicting narratives and interpretations of what had happened. James Stockdale, then a navy pilot at the scene, who had “the best seat in the house from which to detect boats,” saw nothing. “No boats,” he would later write, “no boat wakes, no ricochets off boats, no boat impacts, no torpedo wakes — nothing but black sea and American firepower.” The commander of the Maddox task force, Captain John J. Herrick, was not entirely certain what had transpired. … Hours after the incident, he would radio the Commander-in-Chief, Pacific (CINCPAC) telling them that he was doubtful of many aspects of the “attack.”

If you’re going to lie, say the bright ones, go the whole hog! Johnson got his “splendid little war” three months before the presidential election where he was running against the infamous rabble-rousing warmonger, Barry Goldwater, the goddamn 'Publican from the ultra-reactionary state of Arizona. Lyndon was not about to hand the bastard the «wimpy on Vietnam» attack soundbite on a silver platter. To encapsulate, America’s Vietnam War fiasco came courtesy of the goddamn 'Publicans’ jingoistic ideological fanaticism combined with the Ugly Americano consuetudinary practice of lying. It cost the lives of over 58,000 American GIs; three to four million Vietnamese, Cambodians and Laotians, largely civilians; and innumerable maimed children, elderly, women, and men. The maiming and deaths are still going on due to unexploded ordnance and the remnants of highly toxic chemical agents. And yes, the Loco Americanos got their very own Dien Bien Phu. Bright goddamn bastards. The best there is.

And see what Bushito pulled off in Iraq, again, to manipulate the outcome of an election. (Bush Senior begat Bushito. Hey, what can you do.) We will get to Obama in a minute, but first let’s do a carefully controlled thought experiment. Let us, you and I, join the B&B bunch at the White House Situation Room on the morning of 4 August. But instead of telling them that we travelled from the future in a time machine, we will say we were teleported through hyperspace from a higher mathematical dimension. Thinking themselves “the best and the brightest” but unable to understand why that nonsense is wrong, they’ll buy it. Guaranteed. That is exactly how they make foreign policy all the time.

“Gentlemen, good morning.”

“Who the hell are you two and how the hell did you get in here?”

“We were teleported through hyperspace from a higher mathematical dimension. Sir, we are here to warn you about your Vietnam policy.”

“The teleportation story is theoretically plausible, Mr President. There is a coherent mathematical basis supporting the physics of teleportation.”

See? “Keen acumen. You’re the National Security Advisor, am I right?”

“Yes, he is. But I’m the one running this goddamn show. So shoot.”

“Mr President, we are here to advise you not to attack North Vietnam. It will turn out to be a grave mistake, for the nation as well as yourself.”

“How do you know this?”

“Mathematics, sir. There are two branches currently under development that will shed light on the complex and often counterintuitive behaviour of dynamical systems: catastrophe theory and chaos theory.”

“Mac, you’re a math guy. Is this true?”

“I am not familiar with those theories, sir.”

“No, you wouldn’t be; both are still in gestation.”

“Hold your horses. Bob, you’re a systems analyst. What do you say?”

“I have not heard of either one. But math is an innovative field.”

“It certainly is. And what these mathematical instruments show is that a system can drastically change its behaviour in totally unexpected ways. Until now it has been assumed that small changes in a system’s inputs or environment would produce proportionally small changes in the outputs and operational performance of the system. Not necessarily so. These new theories clearly show that the changes in output/performance will, under certain conditions, be enormous. Catastrophically and chaotically colossal. We have reason to believe that such is the case in the Vietnam issue. Prudence is called for, sir. Discretion is the better part of valour.”

“You realize that the US is the most powerful nation in history.”

“Yes, sir. But—”

“And that North Vietnam is no match for the US.”

“But North Vietnam does not stand alone. A bigger problem awaits at the Chinese border and parts beyond. That’s an old story for America, sir.”

“I have to agree with you there. But trust me, we are not going to make the same mistakes again. Vietnam is not and will not be Korea.”

Famous last words. Right on the money, too, ironically. Yet based on nothing but fluff. Now, is this any way to make critically important decisions, decisions with global consequences? With the ignoranti, sure. Ignorance is bliss. Can you think of any other profession where practitioners are allowed to wing it? Then why do we put up with these dorks when it comes to running our countries? Be ye aware that McGeorge Bundy, JFK’s& LBJ’s National Security Advisor, and Robert McNamara, the Secretary of Defence, were indeed among the best and brightest minds in the country: exceptionally intelligent, talented, and prolific. No one in the Bushito or Barackito regimes comes anywhere close. (Hey, equal names for equal jerks.) Still, they messed up just the same. Complex dynamic systems, by their inscrutable nature, readily overwhelm the limited, unassisted human mind. No matter how bright. The brain is not wired for nonlinearity.

One would think that America’s disastrous experience in its mid-20th century East Asian wars would have instilled an enlightened sense of political realism in its foreign policy establishment. To the contrary, the two main pillars shoring up not only American foreign policy but federal governance in general —blind ideological fanaticism and incorrigible mendacity— have hardened enormously. A third pillar of American government is institutionalized corruption. They do not label it as such because the graft and venality have been rendered legal by the wily legislative and judicial branches of the beast. This brand of duplicity the Americans inherited from the Brits, the Engländer, principally. Colonials found the British system intolerable, so the colonies rebelled, but then adopted Engländer political trickery sans the monarchy. Cultural legacies are practically impossible to eliminate. Of course, none of the above is presented to students in American schools, which brings us to the fourth essential pillar of American government: mass indoctrination. In order to maintain appearances of claimed democratic principles —ennobling principles histrionically proclaimed far and wide but legalistically fudged at the federal level— the people must constantly be indoctrinated to keep them gullible and patriotic. That is why hardly anyone questions why it is the ignoranti feel free to do things that the military tribunals in Nuremberg and Tokyo declared crimes against peace and against humanity. People were condemned to the gallows for those crimes. It’s that serious.

Following an old practice in Britain, the United States unabashedly operates at least one covert assassination service as part of its Central Intelligence Agency. It may be «covert» but it is an open secret. Shockingly, its citizens don’t seem to care. How such an attitude is to be reconciled with the democratic values the nation vauntingly claims to stand for, especially the rule of law, is impossible to fathom. More significantly, it demonstrates that the populace is either impotent or negligent in controlling the much ballyhooed elected leaders that cavalierly rule over them and treat them like dirt. That is not what democracy is — a real democracy, not a devious, bogus fabrication. The people are the ones who rule in a democracy, not the lordly, opportunistically dishonest, Brit-aping scum.

Diese Methode funktioniert in jedem Land
Naturally, the common people don’t want war; neither in Russia nor in England nor in America, nor for that matter in Germany. That is understood. But, after all, it is the leaders of the country who determine the policy and it is always a simple matter to drag the people along, whether it is a democracy or a fascist dictatorship or a Parliament or a Communist dictatorship.

[T]he people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. That is easy. All you have to do is tell them they are being attacked and denounce the pacifists for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to danger. It works the same way in any country. [In the original German: “This method works in every country.”]
— Hermann Göring, jail interview, Nuremberg War Crimes Trials (April 1946)
     Wikiquote, from Gustave M. Gilbert, 1947, Nuremberg Diary

The Uglies hit a low point with the flagrant deceit of the Bushito regime. The stink of the rot was so sickening it catapulted a little-known candidate from the ultra-corrupt state of Illinois into the presidency due to three reasons, mainly. One, the man had been one of the few who strongly voiced opposition to the Cheney-Rove-Bushito Iraqi war of «corporate pork» cum political expedience. Congress once again jumped right in (just as it did when it passed the Gulf of Tonkin Resolution on 7 August 1964, two days after the start of the bombing of North Vietnam), therewith showing that stupidity is alive and well in Capitol Hill. Two, he promised “Change we can believe in”, and America, wanting change, believed him. And three, he was African-American, according to the racist classificatory scheme made in USA. Another cultural impediment owing to their European mentality, the Engländer again figuring prominently. Britain made a killing trafficking in slaves, far more than anybody else. Two lines of trafficking created Britain’s wealth: slavery and opium. The wealth of nations or your friendly narco-state at work during takeoff. And too-big-to-fail market economics at every stage of the game, the «commodities» varying but not the approach. You won’t find this thesis in your economic history or development textbooks; it is not ideologically palatable. Sort of like the theory of evolution down South: troublesome to ingrained ways of thinking. “Behaving” is actually the proper word: habits of doctrine require no thinking whatsoever. A piece of cabbage can substitute just fine for the doctrinaire brain.

“Whatcha got there, Dick Cheney?”

“A goddamn piece of cabbage. Why you ask?”

Seriously. He shoots his friends in the face when out hunting. Obama roared into office with plenty of progressive ideas and the backing of both houses of Congress. He got ObamaCare passed, a first if mediocre step towards health insurance for the needy in a country —the only one in the post-industrialized West— that fiercely resists providing universal health care to its citizenry. And this from the richest country in the world, which wastes trillions of dollars on military junk and arbitrary wars and mysterious, unaccounted-for expenditures. The Pentagon, home of the evil military-industrial complex, is the mother of all black holes of corruption. It is where the Ugly Bunch prefers to hang out. I like Ike for warning us. There is something exceptionally idiotic about the average American Joe and Jane: they are mulishly against their personal health interests but adamantly in favor of ever-greater military budgets. Only in America. Must give the goddamn 'Publicans credit, though; they sure know how to fleece their followers.

But that’s it. Nothing else progressive managed to see the light of day in eight years of the Obama regime, despite all the liberal babble. Check out the lofty Obamatalk on his Second Inaugural Address in 2013:

For we, the people, understand that our country cannot succeed when a shrinking few do very well and a growing many barely make it. We believe that America’s prosperity must rest upon the broad shoulders of a rising middle class.  We know that America thrives when every person can find independence and pride in their work; when the wages of honest labor liberate families from the brink of hardship.

We, the people, still believe that every citizen deserves a basic measure of security and dignity. … We do not believe that in this country freedom is reserved for the lucky, or happiness for the few.

Words brimming with democratic ardour. FDR would have been proud to call them his own. Compare that to the following Obamaclaptrap appearing on the United States Trade Representative’s fact sheet, “Transparency and the Obama Trade Agenda”, a propaganda piece about the extremely controversial Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) and Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) trade agreements that are currently being negotiated in airtight secrecy before being shoved down everybody’s throat (available at the USTR website):

Working Hand-In-Hand With Congress, The People’s Representatives
The administration has worked closely with the people’s representatives in Congress as we pursue our ambitious trade agenda. This has included:
• Providing access to the full TPP negotiating texts for any Member of Congress, including for Members to view at their convenience in the Capitol, accompanied by staff members with appropriate security clearance.

Note that nothing is said about providing information about the TTIP. Tricky bastards, trying to slip that one over on us. Can’t trust these bastards, ever since the Philadelphia Convention. That convention was called to devise provisions to amend the existing Articles of Confederation. Surprise! Instead they foisted the federal government upon our backs — the original 800-pound gorilla. And that was done in secrecy —like Obama is doing with the TPP and TTIP— by the Founding Bastards. Hey, maybe David Cameron was on to something after all. History comes alive with these colourfully depictive characterizations.

But there is more. A deliberate effort is made to assert the fundamental statist precept that it is the tricky politicos who will have a say on the matter and not the citizens who will suffer the dreadful consequences: “Congress, The People’s Representatives”, are the ones to be cursorily informed. Just a reminder that it is “the people’s representatives” who hold the levers of power, not the citizenry. These «reps», who are routinely «lawfully bribed» into doing the plutocrats’ bidding, are the ones who will decide for Jane and Joe, who in turn are taken by the bastards to be dupable simpletons. This «representative democracy», as the bastards call it (parliamentary democracy in Europe), is nothing but plain old oligarchy. If I employ a sales representative to conduct business with my clients, I am still the one running the show, not the rep, because I give the rep’s instructions. And crucially important, I can fire the rep at any time. But in the «Americano democracy», the goddamn reps displace the citizens. Jane and Joe revert to being exploitable serfs. Banana Republic democracy, ladies and gents. Made in Bananaland, DC. But fret ye not, for it comes with Carmen Miranda hats of tasty tropical fruits to wear while you dance like a dunce to the beat of the goddamn plutocrats’ colluded pull of the strings. Ah, Amerika! Wise up, Joe and Jane. Make democracy work. No one else is going to do it for you.

So what the Founding Bastards actually bequeathed us in that secret convention is an oligarchy, run by professional politicos. Ordinary citizens need not apply, for the plutocrats already bought it for cash. This should come as no surprise, because the word “democracy” does not appear in any of the three foundational documents of the Republic: the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution, and the Bill of Rights. Check it out. Democracy was never part of the bargain. All they talked about was liberty. For themselves. Wake up, Joe and Jane! As a matter of fact, they seem to be doing just that. See Donald Trump. I can hear the plutobastards grumbling. Trump is beginning to look better than Hillary. Egads, Hillary! Already bought and paid for by the goddamn plutobastards.

Going back to Obama’s trade agenda claptrap, members of Congress can view the limited information supplied by the regime but only in the Capitol, under the watchful eye of armed federal police. What’s this, the old inmates’ library at Alcatraz? No circulation desk? How convenient. And members of Congress can be accompanied by their staff members as long as they have “appropriate security clearance”. That is, someone vetted by the federal security apparatus whose allegiance to their nominal boss is in doubt. Black reflective sunglasses. Coiled cable communication earpiece. Sullen face. Yep, congressional aide.

“So you work for the senator, eh?”

“Who wants to know?”

I don’t know about you, but this is not the USA I looked up to as a kid. It looks more and more like thuggish early Third Reich. Minus the coiled cable thingy. Let’s check out some other Obamatrickery. The man lectured Castro on Cuba’s political prisoners, telling him to free them. He can’t. Guantánamo Bay is not under Cuban jurisdiction. ¡Fuera de Cuba los yanquis! Americano colonialism for all to see. Barackito had promised on the campaign trail that he would close down the Guantánamo Bay concentration & torture camp/marina & golf resort. And as President-elect he resolutely vowed:

“I have said repeatedly that I intend to close Guantánamo and I will follow through on that.”
— Interview, 60 Minutes, 16 November 2008

He is the commander in chief. All he needs to do is sign an executive order. It takes a few minutes to do so. If Congress refuses to allow the internees into US soil, then set them free and send them back to their countries of origin. All it takes is presidential guts. And a man true to his word. Hard to find one among the Ugly Americanos. You’re a little liar, Barackito. A feckless little liar.

Let’s see Obama’s first major foreign policy initiative. The ageing president of Egypt, Hosni Mubarak, nearing thirty years on the post, was angling for his son to succeed him. A big no-no in Bananaland. Bananalanders don’t like political dynasties in foreign countries, people handing the baton of power to their sons or brothers or wives. In other countries Bananalanders want to make sure their puppets follow their orders. The surest way to do that is to make them aware from the start that they owe their ascendancy to the Bananabastards and not to their biological pappy. (The Bananabastards seem to have learned this lesson from their murderous agent, Papa Doc Duvalier. His son, Baby Doc, proved not brutal enough. O Amerika! May karma have pity on thee. Selāh!)

Obama invited himself, just about, to Cairo University —al-Azhar University, the second oldest, degree-granting institution in the world, co-hosted the event (the title of oldest is held by University of Al Quaraouiyine in Fez, Morocco)— in order to fulfil a campaign promise “to give a major address to Muslims from a Muslim capital during the first few months in office”, as reported by Reuters. Bushito had screwed up Arab and Muslim relations so badly that Obama felt it was necessary to walk the extra mile and try to amend the wrongs. Here we see Obama at his finest, the act emblematic of his former pursuit of noble aims. A president of this calibre, many a citizen thought, is just what the ailing republic needs to overcome the Cheney-Bushito neocon disaster. That’s why they voted him in! But the address should have been delivered in Baghdad, along with an apology for the war of aggression based upon blatant lies that has cost the lives of hundreds of thousands of innocent Iraqis. And violently continues to do so. Iraq is the nadir of Ugly Americano belligerent amorality, even by the abject standards of the Bananabastards. It is clear, given the precedents of Nuremberg and Tokyo, that recourse to the gallows is called for here. After all, those are the American-devised rules. But don’t hold your breath. The Ugly Americano Bullying War with Iraq makes it clear that Göring and Tojo were correct:

“This is a political trial by the victors”.
— Hermann Göring, 13 June 1946
     Quoted in the website Famous Trials (in Nuremberg Trials/Defendants)
     by Douglas O. Linder, 1995, 2016, University of Missouri – Kansas City

 “In the last analysis, this trial was a political trial. It was only victors’ justice.”
— Tojo Hideki, December 1948
     Quoted in Stay the Hand of Vengeance: The Politics of War Crimes Tribunals
     by Gary Jonathan Bass, 2000,  Princeton University Press

Did those two megabastards deserve the noose? You betcha! So, will Cheney and Bushito get their just deserts? Don’t count on it. That’s the problem with international law: it all boils down to dirty politics. The question for the rest of us non-politicos is: How do we get rid of these goddamn bastards? The clock is ticking, you know. The Americanos are on the imperialistic warpath yet again. But it’s a whole new ball game nowadays, totally unlike anything seen before. Had the European ignoranti had an inkling of what The Great War they were fomenting had in store for the world, none of them would have opted for war. The stakes now are deadlier for the entire human race. And the volatility of the international system is more precarious. Yet the ignoranti don’t seem capable of comprehending the gargantuan dimensions of the problem or of conceiving the magnitude of the consequences. They are just as grossly imbecilic as the idiots of early twentieth century Europe. Bright goddamn bastards. The best there is.

But frankly, we are no brighter for putting up with these goddamn idiots. It is incumbent on any intelligent species to ensure its survival. We, incongruously, are racing in the opposite direction. No rogue meteors required; we can blow ourselves off the planet on our own. Maybe there are no collectively intelligent species on this planet. In fact, that seems to be the problem: a lack of collective consciousness. As a species, we behave no better than any of the dinosaurs. No surprise, it’s the same stock of DNA. If lack of collective awareness is indeed the problem, then we will not be successful in spreading our genes throughout the galaxy. That means we will remain a pointless dodo species. If other, more enlightened beings encounter the ruins left by us they will say: “These creatures were a bunch of goddamn idiots. What a waste of nature’s great potential.”

That’s all the time we have for today’s programme. We will continue our talk of Obama’s Egyptian initiative on the next instalment of Cardinal Points. Until then, keep your spirits high. World peace is an attainable goal. Let’s do it.

This is Radio Sistema Tropical, the Antillean world broadcasting system.


The problems of the world cannot possibly be solved by skeptics or cynics, whose horizons are limited by the obvious realities. We need men who can dream of things that never were, and ask why not.
— John F. Kennedy, address before the Irish Parliament in Dublin, 28 June 1963

_________
Notes:
• For a different take on the roles of McNamara and LBJ on the second Gulf of Tonkin incident, see Gareth Porter’s “Robert S. McNamara and the Real Tonkin Gulf Deception” at AntiWar.com and “Robert McNamara deceived LBJ on Gulf of Tonkin, documents show” at Voltairenet.org.

• Two senators, Wayne Morse of Oregon and Ernest Gruening of Alaska, voted against the Gulf of Tonkin Resolution. It was passed unanimously by the House of Representatives.
• Historical fact: There was no national security meeting in the White House Situation Room in the morning of 4 August 1964. Johnson received a telephone call from McNamara at 11:06 AM informing him that the USS Maddox and USS Turner Joy were once again under torpedo attack in the Gulf of Tonkin. The following meetings were conducted that afternoon and evening:
  12:35 - LBJ with National Security Council in the Cabinet Room
  13:36 - LBJ with foreign policy advisors
  18:15 - LBJ with National Security Council plus Secretaries of State and Defense
  18:45 - The above meet with the leadership of Congress

This story is available for download as
a PDF file for personal reading use.
(Edited 31 December 2016)

Editorial Antares
How can you tell when a US.President is lying?
When he opens his mouth.
— John B. @ YouTube, January 2016

So what was the point of the war?
Burst of Joy
Image credits:

• Fall of Saigon (top photo) – The classic, iconic photo of the scramble to evacuate Saigon in the midst of the rout is the work of the late Dutch photojournalist, Hubert van Es. This picture, taken on 29 April 1975, the day before the fall of Saigon, shows the pilot assisting evacuees onto a CIA-operated Air America helicopter perched on the topmost roof of the spy agency’s employee living-quarters complex, Pittman Apartments, in Saigon. Van Es worked for United Press International at the time. Posted under the Fair Use doctrine for material of extraordinary historical merit in a noncommercial medium.

• Fall of Saigon (bottom photo) – A color version of the same evacuation scene in Saigon.

• More bad news (and it’s only just begun) – Johnson and McNamara at a meeting with the Joint Chiefs of Staff in the LBJ Ranch in Texas on 22 December 1964. Credit: LBJ Library. Photo by Yoichi Okamoto. Public domain.

• Thanh Nien Road, Hanoi, Vietnam, c. 2016. Graciously borrowed from VietnamNet.vn. So, what was the point of the goddamn war?

• "Burst of Joy" is the Pulitzer Prize-winning photograph by Associated Press photographer Slava "Sal" Veder, taken on 17 March 1973 at Travis Air Force Base in California. It depicts USAF Lt Col Robert L. Stirm being reunited with his family after spending more than five years in captivity as a prisoner of war in North Vietnam. Stirm was shot down over Hanoi on 27 October 1967 while leading a flight of F-105s on a bombing mission, and not released until 14 March 1973. Copyright © 1973 Slava Veder/Associated Press. Fair use of a historically unique photograph. So, what the hell is wrong with having peace?


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