The news about North Korea is at a fever pitch. Again, we have to ask, why now?
In this war of the elites, those who understand the “crisis of civilization” and are working to build community resilience as a response should be wary of hyper-partisanship. It may be essential over the short run to oppose both the rise of an authoritarian state and the dismantling of national climate policy. But no matter how fierce the contest, it is vital to remember that getting rid of Donald Trump will not make America great again.
The shutdown demonstrates beyond doubt that Washington, plagued by partisan intransigence and captured by corporate special interests, has finally become unable to effectively govern the United States.
We have long since forsaken the good guy in the white hat character so prevalent in 1950s movies and television dramas. Sixty years later it’s the anti-hero who mesmerizes us. Yet he mirrors the parts of ourselves that we reject in an image-intoxicated culture. Walter the “not-white” stands in for us in our refusal to confront the darkness in ourselves and in our culture, and all the while we fail to deal with the Walter in our own psyches, hence opening ourselves to utter economic, political, and social domination by the “chemists” of civilization who constantly sell us “crystal blue persuasion.” No wonder we can’t stop watching Breaking Bad.
In the transition from the mentality of the evil Other to the mentality of interconnectedness, we all face, from time to time, moments of doubtful hesitation: “Is it OK to trust? Is it OK to relax control? What if the Other doesn’t respond in kind? What if he just takes advantage of our ‘weakness’ (our trust)?” For warring factions with, in some cases, generations-long grudges, to take that step requires huge courage. For our own leaders it takes a bit of courage as well. What if they are called soft? What if Assad truly is a monster and he takes our declining to bomb him as license to commit horrors? What if he doesn’t want peace but only, like a James Bond villain, to dominate and destroy? What will happen to the United States if we can’t build a gas pipeline  through Syria controlled by U.S. interests? If I listen to my heart, will I be OK?
So listen carefully as the highly paid military and political analysts parade across your television screens, proclaiming the need for this latest “kinetic action.” Observe how these shrewd distorters evade the three paramount characteristics of war that I have just discussed. None of them will address what war really is. Nor will they mention that those who benefit from war do not suffer its horrors. And finally, they will not admit that war never brings good into the world and is actually a plague that sickens the human project.
I believe that as individuals, we must conduct “wars” in our families and communities to radically alter how we live. More importantly, we must engage in the ongoing transformation of our psycho-spiritual awareness so that we are not just giving lip service to our desire to live in a new paradigm, but are actually embracing it and functioning in alignment with it. Curiously, the original meaning of the Islamic term “jihad” was not a holy war on anything or anyone external, but a holy war on one’s own psyche—a conflagration with unconsciousness that resulted in a profound spiritual awakening.
How bad is it? According to Ron Tice, who worked as an offensive NSA agent from 2002 to 2005, before becoming a source for this Pulitzer Prize-winning New York Times article exposing NSA domestic spying, in the summer of 2004 he saw orders to spy on Hillary Clinton, Senators John McCain and Diane Feinstein, then-Secretary of State Colin Powell, Gen. David Petraeus, and a current Supreme Court Justice. In 2007, the NSA wiretapped a bunch of numbers associated with a forty-some-year-old senator from Illinois. You wouldn’t happen to know where that guy lives now would you? It’s a big White House in Washington D.C. That’s who the NSA went after. That’s the President of the United States now.” Tice went on to say: “The abuse is rampant and everyone is pretending that it’s never happened, and it couldn’t happen. … I know [there was abuse] because I had my hands on the papers for these sorts of things : They went after high-ranking military officers; they went after members of congress — Senate and the House — especially on the intelligence committees and the armed services committees, lawyers, law firms, judges, State Department officials, part of the White House, multinational companies, financial firms, NGOs, civil rights groups …”
Our leaders behaved despicably, and continue to, and we allow it to happen e.g., Democrats boast of Obama “getting Bin Laden” in a reprehensible attempt to gain political leverage from the tragedy… actions that Democratic partisans would have, rightly, shamed a Republican president for attempting to exploit.
“When fascism comes to America it will be wrapped in the flag and carrying a cross.”
—attributed to Sinclair Lewis