Without seeming to endorse or approve of or validate the folks who speak of the coming of a new age following an approaching Armageddon,( for they are surely all nuts, aren’t they?), and those that speak of the enormous relevance of 2012 according to whatever prophecy they subscribe to, or believe in the approach of a new planet wreaking havoc, or that the Masons’ have a calendar which places 2012 as a turning point in the history of mankind, or that the Illuminati are engineering “the end times” and are planning to kill 5.5 billion people and leave the remaining 500 million as mind controlled slaves for their benefit, or that E.T.’s are practising some huge experiment upon us and that 2012 is it’s end point, something BIG is surely in the wind, isn’t it? And 2012 is about right.
As a student of history it’s hard for me to think of a time in the past when such an enormous array of “portents”, or pointers to something big being about to happen , as the time in which we live. Maybe just before the second world war?
Throughout history as we understand it the great movements, the great wars, the great discoveries even have been driven by the leaders that we had at the time and the disagreements these people had between one another or the race for advantage over one another. The ordinary peace loving folk that just want a trouble free life and to maybe raise some kids and keep a dog being dragged along for the hellish ride, serving as cannon fodder, with bit-parts as refugees and “slaughtered in their beds” innocent bystanders. Certainly it’s true to say that whichever of our historic leaders came out on top with the most land or the biggest pile of treasure, the little guys and girls only reaped the rewards of continuing suffering and the job of rebuilding.
The leaders have come in many forms, from robber barons and warlords (still a few of those around) to monarchs and popes and mullahs, to fascist and communist dictators , mostly but not entirely male, but every man-jack of them almost certainly classifiably psychopathic and possessing a thirst for blood and a willingness to slaughter that in any civilised place would be good enough to have them locked away for the entirety of their lives or in a less civilised place put to death. But nobody can lock you up if you’re in charge, (can they?) , so if you are in charge the idea of impunity is part and parcel of what makes life fun for you.
These days, we have our share of warmongers, and their lust for power, territory and money is the same as ever it was. On the periphery we have the terrorist psychopaths, capable of orchestrating and controlling a few “believers” to do their bidding and attack some enemy, usually by blowing up someone whom, if they met them in a café, they would be glad to share a coffee with. The children they kill, they would certainly pat on the head and smile at.. Terrorism is all about murdering innocents, it’s what makes it terrifying. Ditto most of the soldiers and airmen doing the bidding of their political masters for the nation states at war. This has always been the case. Many of you will recall the story of the English and German soldiers playing football in no-mans land in the first world war, sharing a cigarette and swapping stories.
It’s at this point that we come to an historical oddity. In the past, all the big bust-ups have been orchestrated by what one could reasonably call “despots”, rulers above the law, enjoyers of impunity. Our big bust-ups these days, the real big killers at the moment, are the democratically elected leaders of the western democracies and the armed forces of those countries that have elected them. And if you are from north america or Europe they are doing it in your name, and with your connivance, ostensibly to defend you from the terrorists.
A recent international study of worldwide deaths from terrorist attacks (when the figures from deaths in Iraq were taken out, the UN saying that such deaths were from insurgency and civil strife, not strictly from terrorism as we understand it) puts the worldwide total of deaths from terrorism at around 5,000 per annum.
From muslims and Jihadists at around just 500 per annum.
Even if we include Iraq, it’s less than 25,000, although the USA claim it‘s around 65,000.
In 2008, 1,437,180 people died in the USA from cancer. Just under 5.5 billion dollars was spent on cancer research. The war in Iraq has cost US taxpayers 612 billion dollars.
Lets do some simple math here:
2008 Terrorist deaths (largest estimate by th USA) 65,000: Cost of war on terror in Iraq: 612,000,000,000
2008 Cancer deaths USA :1,437,180; Cost of cancer research: 5,500,000,000
So here is a fundamentally odd situation. The leaders of the democratically elected Governments of the Western nations are spending vastly more on a minor killer like terrorism than they are on the known and enormous killer that is cancer. Throw in the enormous costs of bailing out the banks and propping up the deceitful and illegal usury that the modern world banking system is and one begins to form a picture of these people as either stupidly criminal in their judgements, or criminally stupid. I doubt that they are stupid, so I guess this just leaves us with criminal. As I said earlier, a factor common amongst warmongers in the past has been their impunity, their freedom or safety from punishment or recrimination. Our current crop of criminals act as if they, too, benefit from impunity They seem to feel that, no matter what they are accused of, what lies they are caught in, what crimes against humanity they admit to (torture, for God’s sake!), that we, their ostensible masters as the electorates, will do nothing about it. So far, they are right. We’re a gutless, powerless, misinformed and unorganised bunch.
Which brings me back to the start point. There is something in the air that say’s, to most observers, that something BIG is coming. Not since the last world conflagration has there been as many “threats“, from so many sources, as there are now. So many little wars, and threats being banded about by various protagonists about bigger wars.
Threats of WMD’s. of biological warfare, of dirty bombs, of avian flu, of mad shootists, of any and every boogeyman you can think of just waiting behind the next bend in time to jump out and annihilate you. Be afraid, be very afraid, because someone, somewhere wants you to be.
The economy is in a condition not seen since the 1930’s, a condition that led to the Nazis’ gaining power in Germany. The world’s perpetual scramble for control of resources is worse now than it was in the 1930’s , when Japan set out upon it’s war of conquest for those very resources. And even in the Western democracies we have leaders who make criminally bad decisions, who criminally take us into conflict, who order torture, and do so with impunity.
In the second world war for some time only the British and their empire stood against the Nazis and Japanese. The USA joined in much later. Democracy was the cowboy in the white hat. We were the good guys. We saved the world. Who’s going to do that this time?