You Asked “Why Can’t We All Go Home?”

In presenting Vladímir Putin’s 21st Century equivalent to Khruschev’s “We will bury you.” the CBC last night failed to read Putin’s macho but desperate attempt to show the whole world that no one, not even the US, can come out of  a nuclear war unscathed.

Our CBC only approximated fairness last night. Still the same, implied, refrain meant to be innately picked up by couch potato feelers:

“See? Putin is, as we said, ruthlessly scary etc.” A deliberate misread, in my opinion.

The real NATO threat that has forced Russia’s hand: America’s broken promise not to expand NATO Eastward beyond Germany, made to Eduard Shevardnadze by James Baker in 1990 and illustrated by this brilliantly sarcastic image:

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The answer to a friend’s worthwhile tweet question “Can’t we all just go home and respect others’ need for security?” is, I believe, in Simon and Garfunkel’s “people talking w/o speaking” (the weaponized mainstream media) and, since 2001, largely for profit FBI and CIA: the “Neon god they made.”

Disturbed’s inspired, intensely visual, version of Simon and Garfunkel’s amazingly prescient (so clearly now) The Sound of Silence

And the original by Simon and Garfunkel… with high praise for their poetic insight.

My Attempt To End War Like Arlo Guthrie

This key statue, called Canada Bereft, confirms Vimy’s sense of “never again” and not of “glory.”

This is Remembrance Day in Canada and Veterans’ Day in the States. If you’ve never seen the Canadian monument at Vimy Ridge, it is an enormous, beautiful, monument that pays tribute to the courage of  the Canadian and allied soldiers who died there 100 years ago in and around deep trenches fighting the Imperial German Army. I visited it in 2009 and took the above photo. Then, it was about “never again.” Now we have politicians using Vimy to glorify Canada’s coming of age. Having “come of age,” Canadian troops are  part of a super-aggressive NATO in – wait for it – Latvia. Latvia, for Pete’s sake! ‘Nuff said here. I digress.

Anyway, this post is about a song I wrote in 1983, when I learned that the Russians  had so many ICBM missiles pointed at them so close that a Russian human could never respond to an American first strike in time to retaliate.

Vulnerable because of this proximity, Russia was forced to develop a computerized “launch on warning” system that would virtually, for them, take the decision out of human hands. Very scary…

The Nuclear Doomsday Clock got to 3 minutes before midnight in 1984.

So, to “save the world” like Arlo Guthrie, I wrote this country blues song called Radiatin’ A-bomb Blues and started contacting publishers. In those days we mailed them cassettes

In 1984 this light-hearted song was pitched by Mark Altman of Morning Music to Doc Watson for his Sugar Hill blues project, but it was heard too late to be considered. I performed it also live on the CBC’s Metro Morning radio program and was interviewed by its host Joe Coté, one of my all-time favourite CBC Radio people.

Then by 1991, the Cold War over, the Doomsday Clock had been moved back to 17 minutes before midnight.

I stopped singing this song, and look whats happened since!

Its now two and one half minutes to midnight, just 30 measly seconds farther than the closest it’s ever been!

So here is my 1983 song, which I sang again on Thursday. I asked the audience to sing the chorus with me and they DID. One of my listeners reminded me that Arlo said “If you want to end war and stuff, you gotta sing LOUD.”

So it would be lovely if, while you’re listening to my song you can sing along as loud on the chorus as you can:

I got the low down, radiation’ A-bomb blues…

Sing anything you want. Just sing, and LOUD…

Here’s Arlo’s Alice’s Restaurant

And Eric Bogle’s And the Band Played Waltzin’ Matilda is, to me, the finest anti-war song ever written. Have a listen…

 

From Serious Tactical Error to Downright Insanity

The following two paragraphs are quoted from a New York Times tribute to George F. Kennan on March 18, 2005. Kennan, who died at 101 in 2005, was a major architect of the Cold War. He was no friend of Russia and was hard-nosed about waging political warfare with the USSR, but had a healthy respect for the importance of avoiding unnecessary, stupid conflict with that powerful political adversary.

“In February 1997, Mr. Kennan wrote on The New York Times’s Op-Ed page that the Clinton administration’s decision to back an enlargement of NATO, the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, to bring it to the borders of Russia was a terrible mistake. He wrote that

expanding NATO would be the most fateful error of American policy in the entire post-cold war era.

Such a decision may be expected to inflame the nationalistic, anti-Western and militaristic tendencies in Russian opinion; to have an adverse effect on the development of Russian democracy; to restore the atmosphere of the cold war to East-West relations, and to impel Russian foreign policy in directions decidedly not to our liking,” he wrote. His views, shared by a broad range of policy experts, did not prevail.”

That was waaayyy back in 1997. What we see now is the U.S. and the E.U. playing serious “chicken” games with/against each other and Vladimir Putin in a dangerously destabilizing game of craps for the Ukraine. Forcing a bear into a corner is never a smart move.

Radiatin’ A-Bomb Blues

A not-so-scary Doomsday Clock
A not-so-scary Doomsday Clock approaches midnight…

Here’s a YouTube link to an old song of mine: Radiatin’ A-Bomb Blues – a crazy upbeat sort of blues piece that expresses the potential result of a really scary cold-war period we went through in the late 1980’s when the nuclear Doomsday Clock got perilously close to midnight, due to a game of nuclear chicken being played out between the, then two, nuclear superpowers.

Russia – closely surrounded by American nuclear missiles pointed at its major targets – astutely realized that no merely human Russian premier could decide quickly enough whether it was under attack in time to launch a counter-attack. So its boffins invented a computer-driven system that would quickly analyze radar results and launch a huge retaliatory strike at US and NATO targets if this non-human apparatus decided it was warranted. This system was dubbed “launch on warning.” Human judgement became a non-factor.

Pretty wacko scary on both sides, I thought, so I wrote the above song and immediately felt a whole lot better 😉

I will also post this on my My Songs page. Finding appropriate pictures to accompany my songs is the main holdup to posting the rest of them. I’m too parsimonious to opt for the WordPress upgrade.

Any suggestions on how to easily find photos that aren’t encumbered by restrictions on use?