As we reflect on the apparent death of Yevgeny Prigozhin in the ‘unexplained’ crash of his private jet, we hear news that during a televised debate of Republican presidential hopefuls in America, six out of the eight candidates declared that they would support Trump as president even if he were to be convicted of criminal charges.
I recall some years ago visiting Sigmund Freud’s apartment in Vienna; among the fascinating artefacts, there were sickening details of how NAZI bully-boys barged in during the 1930s, breaking furniture and stealing what they fancied. The common law concepts of the right of property and the sanctity of home did not apply to Jews in Hitler’s Reich.
Perhaps I am naïve, but I have always regarded democracy and the rule of law as what separates us from the animals and the jungle, ‘red in tooth and claw’. But now I find that on the one hand we have a regime that seems to operate like something out of The Godfather. Countries are invaded on the flimsiest of pretexts; non-combatants, women and children, are killed in arbitrary strikes on tenement blocks, difficult personalities are eliminated by 25 years in gaol, Novichock, ‘falling out of windows’, or the unexplained crash of aircraft with previously very good safety records. On the other hand, in America candidates for the highest executive position in the land, declare their willingness to support a person for that office who has apparently conspired to subvert the outcome of an election for his own personal gain, and has, by the way, at least three other criminal charges pending.
Between them these two states control in excess of 10,000 nuclear warheads, each one capable of destroying a city; criminals and potential criminals are holding the world to ransom, and all we can do is watch and hope.
I used to think that the early 1980s were the most dangerous of times, with Reagan on one side and a succession of aged Russian leaders trying to control a disintegrating Soviet Union on the other. But that was nothing compared to now, with China, North Korea, Israel, India, and Pakistan in the mix as well as the lunatics previously mentioned.
It is a time for bucket lists to be ticked off. As they say, ‘be afraid; be very afraid...’
Welcome to the Mirli Books blog written by Peter Maggs