NATO, Han Solo, and the Death Star
When I first saw the bizarre dispatch from the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) that was circulating on the internet, I thought it was fake, so I checked the official NATO Twitter account. The communique was there, beaming with all the pride the military alliance could muster. The quirky missive read:
“Ukraine is hosting one of the great epics of this century. ‘We are Harry Potter and William Wallace, the Na’vi and Han Solo. We’re escaping from Shawshank and blowing up the Death Star. We are fighting with the Harkonnens and challenging Thanos.'”
NATO is using the superheroes and antiheroes of the Marvel Comic universe, along with those from science fiction and fantasy literature, to talk down to us in a condescending way. Basically, they seek to infantilize, to reduce comprehension of the world to the comic book level. The substance behind this nonliteral nonsense from NATO sounds a lot like the meaning behind the quote largely attributed to the Marxist German playwright and poet Bertolt Brecht (1898-1956), “Art is not a mirror held up to reality, but a hammer with which to shape it.”
Yes, Harry Potter, the fictional young wizard attending the Hogwarts School of Witchcraft written about by J.K. Rowling in her US foreign policy statement, er, sorry… I mean, her fantasy novel series Harry Potter. Now we find that the young wizard is really fighting Voldemort, the Dark Lord of the Russian Federation.
And then there is William Wallace, the great national hero of Ukraine, oops… I meant to say Scotland—Stepan Bandera is the national hero of Ukraine. Wallace was a Scottish knight who led the war for Scottish Independence from England; he was portrayed in the Academy Award winning 1995 movie Braveheart, the part of Wallace was played by the famed Ukrainian actor, Mel Gibson.
Then we have the blue, computer generated Na’vi creatures from James Cameron’s science fiction hit Avatar. The primitive indigenous Na’vi just want to protect their beautiful woodland paradise from the depredations of the greedy Russkie invaders; all the blue Na’vi need are some yellow face tattoos to become walking Ukrainian flags.
Let us not forget Han Solo, the intergalactic swashbuckling smuggler from the Star Wars franchise who inadvertently joined the Rebel Alliance to fight the evil Russian Empire, uh, I mean the Galactic Empire. One can easily see Solo the tough James Dean style star-pilot becoming a supporter of Ukrainian ultra-nationalism; his furry sidekick Chewbacca… not so much.
Things get a bit dicey when NATO says the Ukrainians are “escaping from Shawshank” and are “blowing up the Death Star.” One should never blend disparate Hollywood movies, it confuses the fans. A reboot of The Shawshank Redemption that is remade as Star Wars is only a “disturbance in the Force.” However, Volodymyr Zelensky and Steven King—the author of The Shawshank Redemption, have talked on the phone as best friends, so a reference to the fictional Maine State Prison of Shawshank kind of makes sense.
As for mentioning “fighting with the Harkonnens.” The Harkonnens are an evil noble family from Frank Herbert’s sci-fi novel Dune, the House of Harkonnen was also in the popular Dune movie franchise. However, NATO mentioning the Harkonnens should have carried much more impact. The Harkonnens knew only malevolence, hatred, and brutality, and the house was headed by the cruel Vladimir Harkonnen. The NATO propagandists committed an oversight by not comparing Vladimir Putin to Vladimir Harkonnen. However, they redeemed themselves by saying Ukrainians are “challenging Thanos.”
Thanos, now there’s a supervillain! Forget gobbling up Ukraine, Thanos the eternal-deviant warlord killed half the population of the universe. He battled with the Avengers, the Guardians of the Galaxy, the Fantastic Four, the Eternals, and the X-Men! Even better for propaganda purposes, Thanos is straight out of Marvel Comics, so his mutant powers are well known by video gamers and viewers of films from the Marvel Cinematic Universe! And just think, the Ukrainian armed forces (with the help of $130 billion in military aid from Joe Bidenski), are kicking Thanos in the teeth!
If only NATO had utilized the infantilizing Marvel Comic characters in a 1999 bulletin, when the military alliance along with Democrat President Bill Clinton conducted an air war on Serbia, the dominant republic in the former Yugoslavia. That 78-day bombing helped the separatist ethnic Albanian Kosovar guerrillas of the Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA) carve out their independent nation of Kosovo from the Serbian province of Kosovo. In 1998 the US State Department listed the KLA as a terrorist group, then in 1999 delisted the KLA as terrorists so NATO could bomb Serbia on their behalf. Sound familiar? It should.
In March of 2015 USA Today reported: “a spokesman for the Azov Brigade, said only 10% to 20% of the group’s members are Nazis.” That is supposed to be comforting. If you were told only 20% of your local city council members were Hitler loving “Sieg Heiling” Nazis who wore fascist insignias, you wouldn’t be alarmed, would you?
In March of 2018 The Hill reported the US Congress passed a spending bill that banned aid to Ukraine from going to the Azov Battalion; the bill stipulated: “none of the funds made available by this act may be used to provide arms, training or other assistance to the Azov Battalion.” Democrat Congressman Ro Khanna said: “White supremacy and neo-Nazism are unacceptable and have no place in our world. I am very pleased that the recently passed omnibus prevents the US from providing arms and training assistance to the neo-Nazi Azov Battalion fighting in Ukraine.”
In 2019 Time filed a video report on Azov titled, Inside A White Supremacist Militia in Ukraine. Of course now that Voldemort the Dark Lord of the Russian Federation has invaded Ukraine, the corporate media no longer files critical reports regarding Ukraine. The white supremacist neo-Nazis of the Azov have magically turned into freedom fighters. But I digress, I was talking about Kosovo.
The US did the heavy lifting in the NATO air war, bombing nearly every bridge that spanned the Danube River in Serbia. From the air the US bombed and destroyed industry plants, power plants, hospitals, schools, government offices, cultural monuments, businesses, and military installations.
Infamously, NATO fired a cruise missile at the headquarters of Radio Television of Serbia on April 23, 1999, killing 16 civilian employees and wounding 18 others. They said they attacked the station because it broadcast “propaganda.” Amnesty International called the act “a deliberate attack” and “a war crime.” On May 7, 1999 the Clinton administration slammed five guided bombs into the Chinese embassy in the Serbian capital of Belgrade, killing three Chinese state media journalists. The US said it was a “mistake,” and blamed the error on “inaccurate or incomplete” maps. Few believed the excuse. The Chinese Communist Party has never forgotten what they called “a barbarian act.”
If only NATO had said they were the equivalent of the Na’vi and Han Solo fighting the Serbian Thanos and his Death Star, the air war and civilian deaths would have been applauded! It should also be noted that in 1999 Senator Joe Biden stridently advocated the bombing of Serbia. That fact builds confidence that Bidenski is not, ahem, sleepwalking us into WW3 with a nuclear armed Russia.
I could also mention that NATO, President Obama, and Harry Potter started an eight-month-long air war against Libya that began on March 18, 2011. They launched 110 cruise missiles and 7,000 bombing sorties that sent the North African nation into oblivion. The war ended with a NATO missile hitting Gaddafi’s car as it fled a stronghold besieged by anti-Gaddafi rebels. Islamic “freedom fighters” captured the wounded Gaddafi, sodomized him with a bayonet, then executed him with a shot to the head. Still, NATO, Obama, and Potter should have said they were “blowing up the Death Star” in Libya. A missed opportunity.
As for our betters speaking down to us. On March 1, 2022, Vice Pres. Kamala Harris went on the “Morning Hustle” radio show for an interview and was asked to explain the Ukraine-Russia conflict. Here is what she said: “So, Ukraine is a country in Europe. It exists next to another country called Russia. Russia is a bigger country. Russia is a powerful country. Russia decided to invade a smaller country called Ukraine. So basically, that’s wrong.” Kamala was addressing a bunch of preschoolers, and guess what—the American people are the toddlers.
While Kamala beats everyone when it comes to wordsmithing that leads to the babyfication of an audience, Joe Bidenski’s Secretary of State Antony Blinken is a close second. On Feb. 24, 2023 Blinken was interviewed on CBS Mornings. When asked what he would say to Americans who are having a hard time financially, and can’t understand why the Bidenski government is pouring money into Ukraine, Blinken answered with these words:
“So first, the taxpayers have been incredibly generous, and we have to make sure that we’re using their money wisely in Ukraine. Two things. First, I think viscerally most Americans don’t like to see a big country bullying another, and they just feel it’s wrong and want to do something about it.”
“Incredibly generous” suggests Americans have voluntarily given money to the Ukrainians—yes, some have gladly given their cash. But all Americans through their taxes, are being forced to send $130 billion of their hard-earned income to Ukraine, not just for weapons but for funding the pensions of Ukrainians. People in the US see tens of thousands of homeless fellow Americans sleeping on the streets, many of these souls are veterans, but instead of helping them out… the US government pays the pensions of Ukrainians.
As for Blinken Wynken and Nod saying “Americans don’t like to see a big country bullying another.” Enough of your abysmal jokes Blinken, they fall flat. I know you remember the CIA mining the ports of Nicaragua in 1983, and that you haven’t forgotten the US invading and occupying Afghanistan and Iraq for twenty long years. A big country bullying another… give me a break.
While I wrote this rant Joe Bidenski sent another $2 billion in high tech weaponry to Ukraine. His Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen visited Kiev on Feb. 27, 2023 to announce the release of $1.25 billion—the latest round of the new $10 billion economic assistance package Bidenski promised Ukraine. I’m certain working Americans crushed by inflation will be overjoyed.
But fear not dear reader, thankfully no one is lobbying for peace. Rest reassured—Harry Potter, William Wallace, the Na’vi and Han Solo are fighting shoulder to shoulder with NATO to create a better world.