The Dogs of War

The Dogs of War by James Howard Kunstler

In that mercifully quiet week between Christmas and New Years, I re-watched Ken Burns’ documentary of the first Civil War, in contemplation of a possible second. What an almighty bloodbath that was. Thousands butchered in minutes in one battle after another, heads and limbs flying, men turned inside-out, and horses, too. The blue and the gray were hostage to their battlefield tactics and didn’t seem to learn from the insane extravagance of souls wasted in massed assaults against massed artillery again and again and again. The population of the whole nation (Confederacy included) was 31 million in 1860 and the war killed two percent of that, almost entirely young men.

Another impression left by that documentary was the startling beauty of the countryside in that day, and of the little towns that dotted the landscape where all the carnage and horror played out. Not a strip-mall in the whole gorgeous panorama. The rolling fields neatly fenced in the stillness of a summer’s day. A peaceful tranquility we today cannot even imagine. Everything human-scaled and so many buildings graced with beauty deliberately made: pediments, steeples, cupolas, columns, and swags. Walt Disney could not have imagined a more tender and appealing place. The lyrical names of those towns are linked to rivers of blood: Shiloh, Spotsylvania, Missionary Ridge, Cold Harbor….

And the last impression accumulated over each installment was that this we did it to ourselves, and couldn’t seem to stop, just as today various parties to current events can’t seem to stop their provocations to a new episode of national domestic violence. This time it is the very government at war with itself, and so far the war is merely legalistic, the battles of lawyers — of which, one senses, we have far too many for our own good. The Department of Justice in particular is at war with itself, one faction in it refusing to cooperate with the other, hiding documents, trafficking in political muck, kluging up the works with deceptions, and still at it in the yet-unresolved case of General Flynn, which should have been thrown out of court months ago based on obvious prosecutorial malice.

Likewise, The New York Times, NBC News, and many other companies can’t seem to give up on their mendacious retailing of obvious falsehoods, in league with rogue government agencies. Their readers and followers learned nothing from the stunning failure of Robert Mueller’s long investigation to find any crimes, and most don’t even understand that the purpose of it was simply to antagonize the president while trying desperately to come up with ammunition against him for the next election — using all the resources of federal machinery. In other words, it was just a government-sponsored elaboration of the “opposition research” conjured up by Hillary Clinton’s Fusion GPS hirelings in 2016.

The bigger picture of all this chicanery is right out there to see for anyone really paying attention. Mr. Obama and Hillary hijacked the most pernicious instruments of government — the CIA and FBI — to win the election, and then to overthrow the actual winner. Slowly slowly, they were found out, despite all the smoke they were blowing and hiding in. Barr & Durham have hardly said a thing about their efforts to unwind the massive hairball of subterfuge and ass-covering that is their purview. Yet, the particulars of what went on, and who did what, are now pinned to the wall. We know exactly what Christopher Steele was and how that all worked. We know how John Brennan played it and how James Clapper and Jim Comey went along with it, and took it further and deeper, and where Rod Rosenstein and Andrew McCabe stepped in, and exactly how Mr. Mueller got roped in to front his operation — despite his mental incapacity. And we also know that Barack Obama approved of all that activity through 2016 into January 20, 2017.

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James Howard Kunstler

James Howard Kunstler says he wrote The Geography of Nowhere, “Because I believe a lot of people share my feelings about the tragic landscape of highway strips, parking lots, housing tracts, mega-malls, junked cities, and ravaged countryside that makes up the everyday environment where most Americans live and work.” Home From Nowhere was a continuation of that discussion with an emphasis on the remedies. A portion of it appeared as the cover story in the September 1996 Atlantic Monthly. His next book in the series, The City in Mind: Notes on the Urban Condition, published by Simon & Schuster / Free Press, is a look a wide-ranging look at cities here and abroad, an inquiry into what makes them great (or miserable), and in particular what America is going to do with it’s mutilated cities.