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Sat Jun 29, 2019, 10:46 PM

From Cyber War to Omnicide?

Fearless Muckraking
Since 1993
JUNE 28, 2019

by PAUL ATWOOD

Will the Justice Department and all those calling for the heads of Chelsea Manning and Julian Assange now demand that the publishers of the hallowed New York Times be punished for their transgression of revealing our government’s cyber warfare against Russia? The front page article is titled “U.S. Buries Digital Land Mines To Menace Russia’s Power Grid.” Many citizens undoubtedly feel that this is just payback for the long decreed turpitude of the Russians for interfering with our “democracy.” Of course there is nothing new about this…the cyber warfare that is. One could make the case that such has been ongoing and deepening since at least World War I and in some fashion probably as soon as electronics like the telegraph and telephone were invented. Modern computer science propels this latest installment of the deadly Great Game to new altitudes, however, and, unlike the case for nukes, there are no international treaties or agreements that bind nations in any regard when it comes to waging what is rapidly evolving into extremely hazardous subterranean warfare that can only increase the probability of far worse.

Consider the scenario wherein an entire major city’s electric grid is brought down for three days or a week or more as the U.S. has undoubtedly caused in Venezuela and may soon in Iran. How many are dying in Caracas owing to a lack of potable water, or food poisoning due to spoilage, or in hospitals without power? Were such happening here in the states the government would surely see this as an act of war and would respond with terrifying violence. How do the Russians view matters? Is an escalation looming? When will such “gaming” result in some extreme catastrophe that does intensify to all-out war?

Are we able to pause and reflect seriously on the dire consequences of our collective behavior – or passivity? The globalized capitalist way of life and the parallel evolution of industrial-technological mass murder among humans has led us to a glaring potential for our species extinction. The evidence surrounds us yet few seem to notice. There are two major likelihoods for this end game. One is global warming and its climate, social and economic upheavals that could easily lead to the other, namely nuclear war. Many, far too many of us, ignore these looming terrors precisely because they are so petrifying. Yet no messiah is waiting in the wings. Collectively we awaken to the conditions our own apathy has nurtured about the matters we refuse to face or climactic events are sure to take their course. The extremities in which we now find ourselves can be traced directly to economic and military policies pursued by Europeans and Americans for the last half millennia but now are being duplicated planet wide. As the most powerful entity ever to bestride the globe U.S. policies have long contributed to the Catch-22s in which we are now ensnared and at present American policies threaten to ensure that the worst will occur.

The late 19th Century constituted the take off point of modern American capitalism and the origins of American economic expansion, militarism and armed conquest, all coated with idealism and dishonesty for the very real suffering imposed upon the newly subject peoples, particularly in the all but hidden Philippine War of 1898-1902 where at least 200,000 civilians died, the greatest number up to the time… but not for long. The Filipinos had been promised full independence once the U.S. defeated Spain. Why did they not realize that assurance? As Senator Albert Beveridge, a close ally of Theodore Roosevelt and the imperialists, bluntly put matters, “The Philippines are ours forever…and just beyond lie China’s illimitable markets…we will not renounce our part in the mission of our race…trustee under God, of the civilization of the world…China is our natural customer…the Philippines give us a base at the door of the East”

More:
https://www.counterpunch.org/2019/06/28/from-cyber-war-to-omnicide/

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