“War! What is it good for? Absolutely nothing.” – Edwin Starr, 1969
The great Motown singer was wrong. War is great for business and keeping dictators in power.
Which brings me to one of few situations capable of converting me to six-gun solutions.
“Gun control advocates have a point that ready availability of firearms is a very dangerous thing,” I wrote seven years ago.
“The gun sales industry counters that potential dictators have real problems attaining power in a country with more guns than people. Smart dictators get people to submit by wrapping themselves in the flag. ‘Patriotism is the last refuge of a scoundrel,’ Samuel Johnson noted in 1775.” (“Liberal reasons to oppose liberal positions and policies,” Barbwire, 26 Dec. 2010)
The scoundrel currently in the White House loves tyrants and may come to the conclusion that he should implement one of their most successful subterfuges to make America great again.
“Naturally, the common people don’t want war, but after all, it is the leaders of a country who determine the policy, and it is always a simple matter to drag people along whether it is a democracy, or a fascist dictatorship, or a parliament or a communist dictatorship,” Nazi leader Herman Goering once mused.
“Voice or no voice, the people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. This is easy. All you have to do is to tell them they are being attacked, and denounce the pacifists for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to danger. It works the same in every country,” Goering advised.
After destroying Mikhail Gorbachev’s democratic reforms and watching his popularity crumble, Boris Yeltsin went to war against the equivalent of a central American banana republic, Chechnya. He hired “Putin the Protector,” late of the KGB Soviet secret police, to break the breakaway. Yeltsin got re-elected and Donald Trump’s best buddy rose to power to become, by some estimates, the richest person in the world. Murderous dictatorship has its rewards.
Those much wiser than me are waving red flags warning of a brutal economic crash next year. Wall Street has blown a nice new bucket of big bucks bubbles boiling toward bursting. A crash will crater Trump’s benighted base.
Time for a lovely little war to clear the air, eh wot?
Tsar Donaldov can pick from a buffet of tempting morsels to consume with American firepower. Bush the Elder’s approval rating hit 91 percent after he conjured Iraq War One.
Real and imagined fear can make otherwise sensible citizens agree to disgusting things like kidnaping, torture and murder in the name of national security. Suspending the constitution and declaring martial law is but a short step from there.
What can keep a madcap, narcissistic, psychopathic dictator off that well-worn path?
All those guns in citizen hands may well be the last refuge of what’s left of the American republic.
Pray for redemption, praise the Lord and pass the ammunition.
Be well. Raise hell. / Esté bien. Haga infierno. (Pardon my Spanglish.)
Andrew Barbano is a 48-year Nevadan and editor of NevadaLabor.com. E-mail firstname.lastname@example.org> Barbwire by Barbano has originated in the Tribune since 1988. “War” was written by Norman Whitfield and Barrett Strong.