At the Edge of the Rift

A great earth shaking can rip vast rifts, lift mountains or shift sea floors. At the outset, we

Thingvellir National Park. rift valley (Encyclopedia Britannica)

Thingvellir National Park. rift valley (Encyclopedia Britannica)

stare transfixed at the horror of rocks tumbling, mountains crashing, and waves that will not stop marching forward. We, mere mortals, can only watch and wonder at the awesome power. We mourn those lost and begin to rebuild bigger and better. In the process, we convince ourselves, once again, that we have control. A new normal is restored in a few years and, soon, it has always been this way. Such is the wonder of the human mind.

Shakings of the geopolitical world follow the same pattern. We are now settled into a new normal we label the War on Terror, which built itself bigger and better on the detritus of the new normal that emanated from the Cold War (1947-1991). Let us return to the moment of the great geopolitical shake that marked the end of hostilities of WWII and the ripping of the vast rift of the Cold War. Let us remember the dust that rose and the boulders that fell and the wave that kept on coming.

The poor Russian people had jumped out Czar’s frying pan of war into Stalin’s fire of Bolshevik reforms in 1917. By 1945’s cessation of the hot war, the people of the Soviet Union were no longer under any illusions but, by then, had no power to reverse course. The French, British, American, and Russian’s had divvied up the occupation zones, including Berlin, and were already lying to each other about what they would do in their sectors, or so it seemed. Russia, for example, promised free access from the western zones to the eastern sector of Berlin. Maybe from the Russian perspective they kept their promise and we, in the west, just thought they did not. The same four countries divided up the Nazi scientists and quickly folded them neatly into our respective nations. Collaborators and suspected collaborators were killed by the hundreds, yet we hung just twelve of the Nazi high command and sentenced seven to prison at Nuremburg. And those 16 convicted and condemned men were not even the worst of the bastards. It was a chaotic time filled with insane inconsistency. It jargogles[1] me miniature mind and creates the dust from the shaking of WWII.

Boulders fell, too, and some are just being discovered. According to Dan V. Jackson’s research there are documents in the National archives “…indicating that as many as three thousand American Prisoners of War liberated by the Soviet Union in early 1945 were never returned to our side, but instead were shipped to the Soviet Union to provide a source of labor for them to use in rebuilding their country.[2]” I was shocked to learn that our country did virtually nothing as those 3,000 or so men were allowed to die in the labor camps. What about the families of The Forgotten Men? I thought I had heard it all but clearly there must be more boulders buried in the great rift.

The great wave that kept on coming is the Cold War. The escalation of tensions and fear within the population were always followed by the political solutions that benefited so many of the politicians and their buddies. When we forgot to be afraid, conflicts were escalated. The price the nation paid was high. The money, of course, can be printed. The price of conflict is always the loss of many of the young who are the bravest and best who are the first to be eradicated; future leaders are erased from the landscape of possibilities. The hope is that We, the People will learn to read the signs better and become more adept at the games played between wars. Watch carefully the escalation between the puppet state of North Korea and their minder, China. Watch, too, the moves on the game board being made by Russia. Follow the money, as the adage says. Vote with your head, not with the best rhetoric. Demand answers. Be politically incorrect; political correctness kills people. Remember, in a truly free geopolitical market place, this cannot happen.  The price we have already paid for our assumptions is ghastly.

 

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