I’m not a pacifist, though I own up to two periods of pacifism; the first as young teen, when I was in considerable need of inner peace (to which Christ was the eventual answer), and the second during the nuclear escalation of the 1980s, when the idea of mutual annihilation seemed, as it does now, worse than the alternative of rolling over and becoming Soviets.
But even back then, the idea of unilateral disarmament a la the CND movement seemed naive – it turns out to have been too naive to have realised it was infiltrated by genuine Soviet agents. As for John and Yoko in bags – that seemed more likely to provoke a nuclear strike than promote peace. Hippy kids stuff.
However, real peacemakers seldom are pacifists. According to this astounding campaign speech by Robert F. Kennedy, Jnr., real global peace was achieved for a time by John F. Kennedy, assisted by R.F.K.s father, who refused to cooperate with the warmongers in the military and intelligence agencies surrounding him, and spoke to Nikita Khruschev instead of refusing to “appease” him by negotiating. He discovered that the latter, too, found himself surrounded by warmongers, but desiring only national security he set up a hotline with Kennedy (an extra line being in Robert’s home, the “summer White House”).
R.F.K, Jnr., grew up in that environment, and is fully aware of the possibilities of breaking down barriers to peace with supposed “inveterate enemies”, nay, even with “dictators,” if one abandons the policy of permanent war that the U.S.A. and its sphere of influence has pursued since the end of the Second World War, and especially during the last twenty years. He’s also aware that the warmongers of the military-industrial complex had his uncle and his father shot (that scarcely seems controversial now in the light of the continued refusal to declassify documents now, and the biased Warren Commission the year after the assassinations).
He saw Lyndon Johnson cancel Kennedy’s order for the withdrawal of U.S. troops from Vietnam within a year, and the resulting prolonged agony of a million Vietnamese deaths, and over 50,000 young American conscripts killed, ending in the eventual defeat of America by a popular guerilla army. The only people to gain were the weapons manufacturers and the various other grifters. He has seen the same story, with variations, rinsed and repeated around the world, resulting not only in the destruction of international stability and prosperity, but in increased violence and polarisation back home. He sees it now, of course, in Ukraine, where the money-machine is churning for the Raytheons and Black Rocks of this world. Neocon politicians seem determined to push the world to nuclear war “to settle this once and for all.”
Well, whilst I suspect that nuclear war would not actually destroy either the world or civilization, it would likely be at least as traumatic as the Late Bronze Age Collapse. The two world wars we’ve had have been destructive enough. Kennedy, brought up like me in the shadow of the nuclear arms race, may take a more apocalyptic view, but it’s scarcely something to quibble over: the present course of the Western world is suicidal, and for a presidential candidate to argue so coherently (and without notes!) for a complete change ought to give us some cause for optimism, if the CIA can resist employing a another lone gunman with Russian connections, in order to maintain the belligerent status quo.
My own take on R.F.K. is that he rightly calls the Deep State out for what it is, not only in relation to militarism but the whole COVID and vaccine scam (his book on Fauci is brilliant). He seems to be less sceptical on climate change, and I don’t know quite where he stands on “woke” issues, but an experienced politician who is willing to think in response to new evidence, and to stand for truth when he knows the potential cost from bitter personal experience, is the kind of guy I’d vote for. Even if he did accidentally blame Boris Yeltsin, rather than the even less savory Boris Johnson, for scuppering the peace treaty Ukraine had already signed with Russia last March (which President Putin showed to an African peace delegation recently).
Donald Trump claims he would end the war with Russia within 24 hours, and I don’t think that’s entirely absurd. He was the least militaristic president since John Kennedy, and achieved some amazing international agreements. But Trump was a King Jehu – the right man to expose the evils of the Deep State fearlessly and recklessly, and start the turnaround, but a wild card. R.F.K. seems more like King Hezekiah, a genuine peacemaker. Listen to his speech back to back with Vladimir Putin’s debrief of the Prigozhin coup – and contrast both with Biden, Sunak, or any of our Western clowns. Anyway, the fact that both US parties have at least one candidate with commonsense is, at least, a small reason for the people to have hope.
And to close, my only anti-war song, written in response to the First Gulf War.