At least paleoconservatives prioritize not dying in a nuclear war. The bar has sunk to levels previously considered unattainable.
Aside from the obvious risk of Turkey pulling NATO into war with Russia, Pat Buchanan sees the big picture:
According to The Times of Israel, Damascus reports that, on Monday, Israel launched four strikes, killing five Syrian soldiers and eight Hezbollah fighters, and wounding others.
Should Assad or Hezbollah retaliate, this could bring Israel more openly into the Syrian civil war.
And if Israel is attacked, the pressure on Washington to join her in attacking the Syrian regime and Hezbollah would become intense.
Yet, should we accede to that pressure, it could bring us into direct conflict with Russia, which is now the fighting ally of the Assad regime.
Something U.S. presidents conscientiously avoided through 45 years of Cold War — a military clash with Moscow — could become a real possibility. Does the White House see what is unfolding here?
Elsewhere, yet another Russia-NATO clash may be brewing.
In southern Ukraine, pylons supporting the power lines that deliver electricity to Crimea have been sabotaged, blown up, reportedly by nationalists, shutting off much of the electric power to the peninsula.
Repair crews have been prevented from fixing the pylons by Crimean Tatars, angry at the treatment of their kinfolk in Crimea.
In solidarity with the Tatars, Kiev has declared that trucks carrying goods to Crimea will not be allowed to cross the border.
A state of emergency has been declared in Crimea.
Russia is retaliating, saying it will not buy produce from Ukraine, and may start cutting off gas and coal as winter begins to set in.
Buchanan doesn’t have delusions of omnipotence:
For Vladimir Putin is not without options. The Russian Army and pro-Russian rebels in southeast Ukraine could occupy Mariupol on the Black Sea and establish a land bridge to Crimea in two weeks.
In Syria, the Russians, with 4,000 troops, could escalate far more rapidly than either us or our French allies.
As of today, Putin supports U.S.-French attacks on ISIS. But if we follow the Turks and begin aiding the rebels who are attacking the Syrian army, we could find ourselves eyeball to eyeball in a confrontation with Russia, where our NATO allies will be nowhere to be found.
Has anyone thought this through?
The man is a racist Holocaust-denier, but he seems to have sound judgment in terms of Keeping Us Safe. For perspective, he was a far-right kook in the 1992 and 1996 Republican primaries, and ran for the Reform Party in 2000. As long as someone talks like this, they have some credibility as the Fatherly Homeland Protector. There was some substance to it, in that he can clearly name other countries and explain how their foreign policies interact. Ben Carson’s own advisers say that you can’t talk sense into him about geography. From NBC News:
But as Syrians continue to flee their nation, Carson reiterated that “there is absolutely no reason” to let Syrian refugees come to the U.S. when “jihadists can infiltrate their own people and create havoc” in the country.
During his remarks, Carson also sarcastically referred to Saudi Arabia as a U.S. ally. And in Davenport, he said the U.S. needs to “put [Vladimir Putin] back in his little box right where he belongs.”
This weekend’s comments from Carson come after a week in which one of his top foreign policy advisers told the New York Times that the candidate cannot get “one iota of intelligent information about the Middle East” when discussing the region. And Carson’s suggestion that the Chinese military has advisers in Syria was met with deep skepticism.
He could at least potentially become President because he makes white people feel better about their racism. That’s more important than reality itself. There’s also the fundamentalist Christianity, which Carson doesn’t grasp, either. This article at CounterPunch is a related explanation of how the Old Testament Yahweh/Jehovah is basically a wife beater, which somehow justifies colonialism:
Brueggemann goes on to observe that in exilic Isaiah, “Yahweh’s massive act of destroying Jerusalem appears to be the work of a wronged lover who determines to humiliate, and finally, to destroy the erstwhile object of love. It is noteworthy that in all of these cases the fury is spent and Yahweh returns to recover the relationship. Irrevocable damage has been done, however, and the testimony lingers on” (p. 384).
Brueggemann wishes that these texts “had not been given is, that they had been expunged from the record” (ibid.). However, Walter then turns abruptly from facing the darkness of these texts and the fact that they had been consciously chosen for inclusion. This at least means that the Old Testament presents us with a violent God who urges Israel (and all others imagining the country they are colonizing is a Promised Land) sacred legitimation for using “holy violence” to purge the land of its impurities and inferior sinners. It also sacralized the American delusion that they are the “city upon the hill” and “light unto all nations”.
Reference is made to Ezekiel 16 being “vile and pornographic,” but it wasn’t quoted directly. It’s as described (New International Version). Note that Africans have always had big penises, and fucking people from a “land of merchants” is outrageous. The Bible says:
23 “‘Woe! Woe to you, declares the Sovereign Lord. In addition to all your other wickedness, 24 you built a mound for yourself and made a lofty shrine in every public square. 25 At every street corner you built your lofty shrines and degraded your beauty, spreading your legs with increasing promiscuity to anyone who passed by. 26 You engaged in prostitution with the Egyptians, your neighbors with large genitals, and aroused my anger with your increasing promiscuity. 27 So I stretched out my hand against you and reduced your territory; I gave you over to the greed of your enemies, the daughters of the Philistines, who were shocked by your lewd conduct. 28 You engaged in prostitution with the Assyrians too, because you were insatiable; and even after that, you still were not satisfied. 29 Then you increased your promiscuity to include Babylonia, a land of merchants, but even with this you were not satisfied.
30 “‘I am filled with fury against you, declares the Sovereign Lord, when you do all these things, acting like a brazen prostitute! 31 When you built your mounds at every street corner and made your lofty shrines in every public square, you were unlike a prostitute, because you scorned payment.
32 “‘You adulterous wife! You prefer strangers to your own husband! 33 All prostitutes receive gifts, but you give gifts to all your lovers, bribing them to come to you from everywhere for your illicit favors. 34 So in your prostitution you are the opposite of others; no one runs after you for your favors. You are the very opposite, for you give payment and none is given to you.
35 “‘Therefore, you prostitute, hear the word of the Lord! 36 This is what the Sovereign Lord says: Because you poured out your lust and exposed your naked body in your promiscuity with your lovers, and because of all your detestable idols, and because you gave them your children’s blood, 37 therefore I am going to gather all your lovers, with whom you found pleasure, those you loved as well as those you hated. I will gather them against you from all around and will strip you in front of them, and they will see you stark naked. 38 I will sentence you to the punishment of women who commit adultery and who shed blood; I will bring on you the blood vengeance of my wrath and jealous anger. 39 Then I will deliver you into the hands of your lovers, and they will tear down your mounds and destroy your lofty shrines. They will strip you of your clothes and take your fine jewelry and leave you stark naked. 40 They will bring a mob against you, who will stone you and hack you to pieces with their swords. 41 They will burn down your houses and inflict punishment on you in the sight of many women. I will put a stop to your prostitution, and you will no longer pay your lovers. 42 Then my wrath against you will subside and my jealous anger will turn away from you; I will be calm and no longer angry.
The prophet Ezekiel came soon after composing those sentences. Maybe it’s the circumcision.
Devout Christians are well aware that the Bible is full of passages like that. To be shocked at the Ted Haggards of the world is to be unfamiliar with the contents of the Bible. They’re obsessed with passages like Ezekiel 16! Of course they’re creepy.
I think that fundamentalists are correct to look down on liberal Christians who pretend the Old Testament isn’t there. It’s much, much longer than the New Testament. The Bible has more of it than it has of Jesus. I remember learning all about how the meaning of love is trembling in fear before the Lord.
The abusive relationship pattern repeats across Israel’s relationship to God, the American public’s relationship to the federal government, and the prevailing gender norms in American society. Flailing around like a coward, terrorizing everyone in fear of losing imaginary control.