National Commentary

The Parameters of Today’s Global War

nfbentonpicAdd to the past week’s rise of a new state over the melted bones and ashes of Dick Cheney’s war of slaughter in Iraq, an Islamic “caliphate” dedicated to rule by ancient Islamic Sharia law, the coup over U.S. Constitutional law by a force on U.S. politics even bigger than the gun lobby, the Hobby Lobby, and, behold, lickety-split, meet the parameters of our fast-approaching New Dark Age.

In this corner meet angry and terroristic diehards who’ve carved out some space neatly provided by genocidal war criminal cum modern day TV commentator Cheney and friends who are dedicated to unleashing helter-skelter on the world to advance not the aims of a state, per se, in the antiquated modernist notion of the nation state, but a relentless Global Holy War that can end only in a form of an Armageddon, meaning a final resolution that can be achieved only by the final and total elimination of the enemy.

In the other corner meet angry and terroristic diehards who’ve set in motion the decline and fall of U.S. Constitutional law, to supplant it step by step with the imposition over human behavior of elements of so-called Christian Reconstructionism, a radical form of touted Biblical inerrancy molded into a list of moral and disciplinary precepts and laws that require slavish obedience as the first and foremost requisite for those under its sway.

Immediately at this point in the conversation, countless legalistic mosquito bites descend to object to this or that insignificant detail of the parameters as generally set out. Start mosquito-swatting now, and hope of getting anywhere in wider understanding is lost. This is true for so much of the efforts at deciphering meaning from religious discourse, generally, in the last half century. No wonder the effort has simply been dropped by so many, especially as proponents of deliberately irrational postmodernist schlock encourage.

But the fundamentals are these: The battle is both ends against the middle, and it is over some very basic human interrelational elements. Namely, they include irrationalism, as science and the tenet of the innate knowability of the universe are perceived as deadly threats to the authority of ruling doctrine, and male dominion, the most reductionist form of human-to-human brutality derived from the most intimate settings of species reproduction and rising from that to scales of global world wars and their attendant horrors beyond the imagination. So, irrationalism and male dominion, with a subset of male dominion being dominion over children: These are the signature marks of where the battle lines are drawn in this war for the very soul of humanity and the ability of life on this planet to continue.

This battle has begun to and will consume all of humanity, given the level of technology that has emerged. Armageddon will no longer be fought in a remote battlefield somewhere, requiring a supernatural intervention to give it its cosmic oomph. No, we are quite capable of globalizing our big conflicts now quite on our own, as it can be argued is already, virtually irreversibly, underway in what we are calling “climate change.”

So this leaves no one out. You, dear reader, are not sitting on the sidelines of this one, as much as you may wish to be. This one is not being fought by volunteer armies, but involves universal conscription. Your only choice is to figure out which side you are on and go from there.
In this war, there are no matters too great or too small. Saintly acts of kindness and Good Samaritan generosity are more important than game-winning touchdown passes. On the other hand, acts of indifference or cruelty, no matter the scale, are disproportionately toxic on this cosmic battlefield.

Neither Cheney nor Christian Reconstructionist Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia were born with penchants for high crimes any more than the rest of us. They were acquired through countless acts, great and small, of either cruelty or kindness. Who’s to say which of those acts was decisive for the future of humanity and the planet?

The good news is that there is no act too small, nor qualifications required to undertake one, to make a big difference.