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OpEdNews Op Eds    H3'ed 11/1/21

Save Tom Friedman's Mind: Restore Armistice Day

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When the New York Times is paying Thomas Friedman many thousands of dollars to wonder whether Russia or China would help the United States if space aliens attack it, a few conclusions can be drawn.

The ludicrousness of the UFO propaganda coming out of a U.S. military establishment unable to gin up a credible enemy on Earth to justify weapons production is invisible to its own proponents.

The eagerness of Russia and China to ban weapons from space is an unknowable fact within the New York Times offices. The U.S. intent to dominate the weaponization of space creates the notion in addled war-brains of a space alien attack on Earth constituting an attack on Earth's self-appointed weaponizer alone.

The willingness of China to recommend to the United States policies that have kept COVID deaths in China under 5,000 compared with 750,000 in the U.S. is more resented than appreciated, like a 9-11 memorial given to the U.S. by Russia and hidden away in New Jersey.

In some corner of the war-thinking complex there are undoubtedly theories already concocted to urge the space aliens to focus their attacks (as if beings that survived long enough to learn space travel would have the morality of Thomas Friedman) on China and Russia, the stupidity of which theories is really less than that of manufacturing, maintaining, and threatening to use nuclear weapons, which is less than that of excluding militaries entirely and much else besides from climate agreements that have failed for 25 meetings with meeting number 26 openly planned to fail.

The New York Times has a policy of not mentioning military contributions to climate destruction.

When the need to avoid too many more wars because of the priority of belatedly slowing the exacerbation of climate collapse catches up with Tom "Suck On This" Friedman, an alternative to global cooperation or the rule of law or a strong and fair and actionable treaty will emerge in his mind just as the world meets to take up those possibilities, and just as Congress makes clear its refusal to act. And that alternative, laid out in Friedman's November 1st column, is for the United States to act without Congress or the world, laying down a unilateral challenge by executive fiat leading all others and thereby creating a virtuous cycle, a beneficial competition, without in the least diminishing nationalism, competitiveness, hostility, mutual ignorance, or exceptionalist delusions.

The Friedman solution will not involve any changes in behavior, any scaling back of militarism or consumption or travel or carnivorism or destruction of ecosystems, but rather technological fixes alone, which could indeed work wonders in some sectors, but not in others -- including not in militarism, and which alone will not be enough, and which alone will not work without government action of a sort Friedman would oppose as too-China-like even if it saved millions -- action like the direct creation of non-military green jobs in huge numbers at living wages.

But perhaps I'm the one being too hostile here. Perhaps Thomas Friedman's mental state needs to be reconsidered. Perhaps he doesn't fully grasp how many planets we have to work with or what cooperation looks like. Perhaps he's kicked in one too many Arab doors in his million-dollar imagination, and he -- like the Earth's climate -has already reached a point of no turning back.

As with the Earth, I think we have a moral responsibility to do what we can to bring back such minds, even if we may fail. And, as it happens, one way to nudge them toward sanity will soon be upon us. I mean the restoration of Armistice Day on November 11th -- undoing its transformation into so-called Veterans Day, taking a day of war propaganda and turning it back into a day for the elimination of war.

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David Swanson is the author of "When the World Outlawed War," "War Is A Lie" and "Daybreak: Undoing the Imperial Presidency and Forming a More Perfect Union." He blogs at and and works for the online (more...)
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