The armrest on the bus was stabbing me in my side. The seat on the small van was too small
The US Is in Multiple Wars (Again)
Some say that the darkest part of contemporary history is ending, but climate change is a problem unlike any other we've faced. We've already caused insurmountable damage, and the way countries like the US and even China are handling this is the same way we've faced problems in the past, only worse.
Here it's a silent secret, or happens in the midst of a culture constantly inundated with new problems or headlines.
In China, as in the former USSR, failures are kept as silent as possible, and the US has picked up that tact as well.
Remember going back to the moon a few weeks ago?
We made it to the moon, but the lander looks like a collapsed tent, and has been swallowed by other disturbing headlines.
I wrote about this when Russia annexed Crimea, and again when they invaded Ukraine, and again when Hamas sparked yet another war in the Middle East.
Each time, I wrote that these wars had to be stopped by US intervention while we still had that power, and that if they weren't, war would once again spread across the world.
Now we're back in the Middle East. We've launched airstrikes against the Iranian backed Houthis in Yemen, and as harsh as this sounds, wars aren't that different from fist fights.
You go all in to win as quickly as possible.
It's brutal, inhumane, and innocent people will suffer. Innocent people are already suffering. But prolonging seemingly endless conflicts makes them worse for everyone, and despite learning this lesson in the past, let alone the lesson that in a war, everyone loses, especially when we have the weapons we have today, this seems to be a lesson we have to learn repeatedly, but consistently fail to remember.
NASA's budget has been cut by over 90% in the last two decades. I hoped Artemis would work, but we spend most of our money on war, or products of wars, so I had the feeling it would fail.
The US is the largest arms exporter by 24% vs the rest of the world, and that percentage has increased over the last five years.
Desert Storm in 1990 was considered to be an arms show, or sale. We stopped the invasion of Kuwait, but the point was to show the world that if you want to buy arms, the US is the best deal. We give our older weapons away because they can still compete, and it adds to our strategic and tactical advantage, as well as scaring the hell out of other countries and forcing them to invest in their own arms to the detriment of the well being of their people.
We're selling or giving away weapons we know are inferior to what we have now and that we know how to use, and we haven't given combatants--even those against us--much of a choice.
The F-22 Raptor took flight in 1997, and no one has caught up to it.
The price seems prohibitive, but most people don't know how cost per aircraft is calculated.
The research and development for all of our planes, especially military fighters and bombers, takes up most of the cost, so as an aircraft gets the kinks ironed out and we sell or produce more of them, the price per aircraft goes down.
The F-22 remains one of, if not the only fighter, the US will not sell to any other country. It's too advanced, it guarantees air superiority, and while it's been upgraded since 1997, we won't even sell the oldest of the relatively small fleet we have.
The biggest air force on earth is the US Air Force.
The second largest belongs to the US Navy.
And we undoubtedly have more terrifying fighters and drones, or other forms of warfare, waiting in the wings.
This is par for the course for us. There's always something more terrifying waiting, and it's kept top secret for years.
Even the maximum capabilities of our weapons in operation are classified. The top speed of our newest operating aircraft carriers, submarines, and the F-22 Raptor are still classified, but I have veterans in my family who told me the first generation nuclear powered aircraft carriers--which were running in the 1960s--could easily cruise at 40 knots, or about 47 mph, and for the unfamiliar, aircraft carriers are as big and heavy as small towns.
Eunice Newton Foote discovered CO2 is a greenhouse gas in 1856.
Exxon Mobile knew about climate change by at least 1977.
The US government decided, especially since 9/11, that rather than fixing the world, having the biggest guns would matter the most.
Our military doctrine is to be able to win a war against China and Russia at the same time, and this isn't antithetical to learning from war, or knowing that everyone loses.
The US has done a lot more than China, the former USSR, or Russia, to try to help the world. We're corrupt and we've had problems, but historically, we have tried and on some occasions succeeded, at least temporarily, but the one thing I can give the US credit for is that we recognized intentions are worthless unless you have the biggest stick.
Our country is fucked up, but do you think the world would be better off being run by Russia or China?
Personally, I don't.
I don't believe any government, or person in general, sees themselves as evil. I believe the vast majority of people on earth just want to live in peace, or at least have the chance to suffer away in silence and take care of themselves and their families.
But unfortunately, this is not the world we live in.
What we have is a failure to communicate, and major justifiable trust issues.
With every new advancement in technology or diplomacy, there's a new war or another disaster to make up for it, so our odds of survival remain about the same.
Scientists are doing 50 to 100 year longitudinal studies, but we have nowhere near that much time.
So as much as I hate to say this, I'm glad the US is getting directly involved in wars again, but we have to remember the point is to win.
I know China realizes this, because despite losing 30% of trade with us over the past few years, they just want to do business, and we're still too entangled with them for now for them to want a real war against the US.
We could end the war in the Middle East and Ukraine tomorrow, and world governments know this, but we might have to do something horrifying to do so, and while I don't want that, I'd rather stomp out a fire than spread it.
The biggest irony is that the US military has stated for the last 20 years that climate change is the #1 threat to national and global security. If we had stopped or mitigated it 20 years ago, the world might not be having all of these senseless conflicts.
I hope I'm wrong, despite all evidence to the contrary, but as times get tougher, people tend to turn against each other, and maybe intelligence, or at least human intelligence, is an evolutionary misstep. We've had our moments, but sharks and insects are the best survivors, and despite our intelligence, we've failed to outgrow our darkest instincts.
Please prove me wrong.