JANE STILLWATER FOR BUZZFLASH AT TRUTHOUT
Yeah, I know. The Bible says that there needs to be four horsemen involved if we are actually going to have a truly genuine Apocalypse -- so having only three horsemen arrive at our doorstep doesn't really count. Or does it? It certainly looks to me like only three lone riders, by working overtime and really putting their hearts and minds into the job, will actually be able to put it off all by themselves!
"And the greatest of these is..." war. Ever since mankind invented the machine gun, it's been all downhill for us human beings. From the trenches of World War I to the jungles of Rwanda and the halls of Columbine and Sandy Hook, war has been the curse of the modern world.
Oops, my bad. Most of the killing in Rwanda was done with machetes. And school shootings can't be considered real wars -- just kids using adult methods to solve problems. Plus World War I was supposed to be "The war to end all wars." Fat lot of good it did there.
In any case, War, our first Horseman of doom, has been doing pretty damn good for himself in the last 100 years, systematically killing hundreds of millions of people and polluting the Earth in the process. And yet people still keep falling for his sweet siren song, time after time -- and then always end up crashed to death on the rocks.
"Please, Daddy, please? Just one more war?"
"Oh all right." And then yet another country is destroyed. And countries aren't like crabgrass or blackberries. They don't just grow back. Especially if undepleted uranium bombs are involved.
So what about the other two Horsemen? One of them has obviously gone nuclear. That massive ongoing radioactive leak at Fukushima is like a grand tsunami of radiation heading our way. Soon there will be two-headed calves being born all over the west coast of California. Enough said about that.
And climate change? Like those proverbial frogs put into hot water, we are failing to notice our Earth's gradual temperature rise until it's too late -- and we're all been cooked like frog-leg fricassee.
But there actually is a fourth Horseman of the Apocalypse besides the three more obvious ones I've included here. This one is more subtle. He may be called "Hubris" by most of us -- but his nickname is "Greed."
PS: It's been 44 days since I broke my left arm in July, but it still really hurts. And if a mere broken arm hurts so bad, imagine how it must feel to be napalmed. Or hit with shrapnel. Or attacked by drones or undepleted uranium bombs. Or to lose your legs to a land mine. You guys up in the military-industrial complex? Stop dreaming about more and better ways to invent Death Star weapons to kill off the planet -- and start developing more empathy instead.
Start imagining how you would feel if war maimed your own children -- or even yourself -- and then, for goodness sake, prove for the very first time that you too are actually human, let go of your greed and hubris, stop trying to play at being some false-god figure and develop some freaking compassion!
PPS: Here's yet another example of American military-corporate Hubris: Back in 2008 when I was an embedded reporter in the Green Zone, John McCain came by and gave us media guys a little talk, running on and on about how wonderful the war on Iraq was. And now he's back to spouting that exact same garbage about how fabulous a war on Syria would be.
But what I didn't understand then and still can't understand now is how the American military-industrial complex can always act so virtuously superior regarding the use of WMDs and chemical weapons -- and still keep a straight face.
o hear the White House, the media, the CIA, the RepubliDem war hawks and the corporate-driven military tell it, you would think that Syria was the very first nation in the entire world ever to use chemical weapons -- as if the US had never ever used them ever before. Like we had never sprayed Vietnam with Agent Orange, never sprayed Kosovo with undepleted uranium, never ever gave Saddam Hussein the gas that he used on the Kurds, and never ever paid for all that white phosphorus that their Israeli buddies sprayed on school children in Gaza.
(Photo: Viktor M. Vasnetsov)