"You sit at the board and suddenly your heart leaps. Your hand trembles to pick up the piece and move it. But what Chess teaches you is that you must sit there calmly and think about whether it's really a good idea and whether there are other better ideas."~~Stanley Kubrick
Chess is a crafty old game -- one that's been played throughout the ages. When I was a young lad in my Junior year of High School, I was quite good at it. In fact, I became my school champion. Indeed, I wanted to be the next grand-master like my mentor, "Bobby Fisher."
In 1974, Fisher's match against the Russian Spassky was seen as the Match of the Century -- East v. West. Soon after, Fisher resigned from chess after a bout with the body politic. It was then that I realized a simple game that I adored could be exploited for political reasons. In 1992, Bobby came out of exile to replay Spassky in Yugoslavia. This outraged some Americans (but not me) as it was declared a breach of a bogus UN embargo. Evading arrest, in July 2004, he successfully got political asylum in Iceland. He remained there until his death in 2008. May the champ rest in peace...
Whew, youthful days can be so innocent, but soon we realize the world operates in nefarious ways...
Chess was first invented in India during the 6th Century, and has since been played around the world over. It's safe to say that, although the concept of this complex game is a metaphor for various situations, no one can deny that the object of the game -- in terms of winning -- is to take out the opponent's "king" at the expense of all other pieces placed on its checkered layout. In essence, it's a military game. And, as I later learned in life -- and I'm sure Fisher would agree if he was with us today -- it's a shrewd game at best.
Since its invention, game pieces have assumed many colors, shapes and sizes and it's startling to say, chess pieces take on actual human form. It's not my intention to be cynical in making this comparison but, in lieu of all the present-day wars being fought, and when we consider the many Generals who callously move their battle lines from side to side in the war room (on a big grand chessboard), I think it's only fitting that we place a real human face on each one of those lively figurines made of flesh, blood and bone.
Indeed, our military-industrial complex has some very busy players. Aside from all the carnage we have done in Afghanistan and Iraq, in 2002, Washington approved and supported a coup against the Venezuelan government which continued non-stop until Hugo Chavez died of cancer in 2013. Who can blame him for noting on his deathbed that he believed he was infected with cancer cells by U.S. Special Ops?
In April 2008, the United States collaborated with Israel to attempt a coup on Hamas in Palestine, even though Hamas was dully elected by the people in a fair democratic election process that was closely monitored. And, although the United States has had an ongoing interest in Somalia for decades, in early 2006 the CIA was sent back in for a fresh round of more covert actions.
In 2005, then President George W. Bush authorized the CIA to undertake black operations against Iran in an effort to destabilize the Iranian government. This covert policy continues unabated today under the directives of the Obama Administration.
In 2011, Obama issued covert action that authorized the CIA to carry out a clandestine effort to provide arms and support to the Libyan opposition. Muammar Gaddafi was ultimately overthrown in the Libyan civil war, which we started and supported. And, In 2012, President Barack Obama authorized U.S. government agencies to support forced regime change in Syria. This covert action is ongoing, with Israel conducting fresh bombing campaigns daily.
In fact, with all the hostility we seem to love to create, I can honestly say that this ancient game that I call "chess for keeps"... is reason enough for me to exercise my God-given right to make a symbolic request for all those poor souls who were duped into war and have been destroyed. If I could ask the Highest Deity for one small favor, one simple concession -- it would be that all politicians who support or voted in favor of going to war -- including the Generals who think it's cool to play God with human lives on their chessboard of death via covert action or otherwise -- that they attend each soldier's funeral and look into the eyes of each family member and explain to them why their loved ones are dead! I say let them experience the pain and suffering of having your life ripped apart forever.
Remember when I mentioned earlier it would be fitting to place a real human face on those lively figurines made of flesh and bone? Well, here's one worth mentioning. In his own words, here is an excerpt from a sobering letter written by Mr. Tomas Young:
"The Last Letter
"A Message to George W. Bush and Dick Cheney From a Dying Veteran
"To: George W. Bush and Dick Cheney
"From: Tomas Young
"I write this letter on the 10th anniversary of the Iraq War on behalf of my fellow Iraq War veterans. I write this letter on behalf of the 4,488 soldiers and Marines who died in Iraq. I write this letter on behalf of the hundreds of thousands of veterans who have been wounded and on behalf of those whose wounds, physical and psychological, have destroyed their lives. I am one of those gravely wounded. I was paralyzed in an insurgent ambush in 2004 in Sadr City. My life is coming to an end. I am living under hospice care.
"I write this letter on behalf of husbands and wives who have lost spouses, on behalf of children who have lost a parent, on behalf of the fathers and mothers who have lost sons and daughters and on behalf of those who care for the many thousands of my fellow veterans who have brain injuries. I write this letter on behalf of those veterans whose trauma and self-revulsion for what they have witnessed, endured and done in Iraq have led to suicide and on behalf of the active-duty soldiers and Marines who commit, on average, a suicide a day. I write this letter on behalf of the some 1 million Iraqi dead and on behalf of the countless Iraqi wounded. I write this letter on behalf of us all--the human detritus your war has left behind, those who will spend their lives in unending pain and grief."
Young went on to say...
"You may evade justice but in our eyes you are each guilty of egregious war crimes, of plunder and, finally, of murder, including the murder of thousands of young Americans -- my fellow veterans -- whose future you stole."
To read Young's letter in its entirety, click here.
Yes, chess and war are both strati-graphic and strategic, but the end result of war is no game. It's f*cking deadly -- cut and dried. Pawns and People are one and the same, and both are considered expendable. Thus, only a king will survive unscathed... and the only ones who benefit are the shrewd patent holders selling their heartless war game (along with their investors) who always seem to cash in at the expense of everyone else.
Sadly, war will always be big business to those soulless bastards we often write songs about. In fact, here's classic by Black Sabbath, "War Pigs."
Let's do a "Sing-A-Long," shall we? Here's the lyrics:
Generals gathered in their masses
Just like witches at black masses
Evil minds that plot destruction
Sorcerers of death's construction
In the fields the bodies burning
As the war machine keeps turning
Death and hatred to mankind
Poisoning their brainwashed minds
Oh lord yeah!
Politicians hide themselves away
They only started the war
Why should they go out to fight?
They leave that role to the poor
Time will tell on their power minds
Making war just for fun
Treating people just like pawns in chess
Wait 'til their judgment day comes
Now in darkness world stops turning
Ashes where the bodies burning
No more war pigs have the power
Hand of God has struck the hour
Day of judgment, God is calling
On their knees the war pig's crawling
Begging mercy for their sins
Satan laughing spreads his wings
Oh lord yeah!
Vincent L. Guarisco is a freelance writer from Washington State, a frustrated Facebook user, and a founding member of the International Alliance of Atomic Veterans. IAAV with AAV here in the U.S..