That morning I remembered fondly the days when the USA had boldly dictated its terms to the Soviets under threat of its vast economic, military, and nuclear weapons superiority. This threat had decayed to a whimper and was about to decay even more. All that America had left, that it could count on in a situation of war, was its vast nuclear weapons arsenal, and even that it could no longer claim as being superior, if indeed the concept of superiority applies in a game centered on the thousand-fold redundancy in society's capability to destroy everything that it depends on. The paper didn't mention that either. The article was narrow in scope and written as though disaster was descending out of the blue, but had no consequences.
I don't know if my hands were trembling, or whatever it was that caused the gentleman next to me to comment that it couldn't be that bad.
"Do you think it might be possible that the USA is losing the Cold War?" I asked him.
He just laughed and said that this was the biggest joke he'd heard in years.
Of course, he could laugh. He hadn't seen any of the 46,000 tanks of the Soviets. They weren't all built merely for defense. I tried to imagine the huge size of such a force, ninety times the immense column of 500 tanks that I had seen in East Germany. I couldn't imagine it. I asked him, "Why would a nation need a Wartime Commander-In-Chief, as the Soviet's have, unless it was in a state of war already?"
It was totally clear to me, suddenly, that if any power intended a war in the nuclear age, where the real battles will be fought in minutes, all the preliminary battles must be fought below the surface. They must be fought to shift the balance of power to such an extent that a limited nuclear war becomes possible, decisive, and survivable, whatever that might mean. Towards this aim an adversary would want to employ all possible means for quietly destroying his opponent from within, utilizing whatever self-destructive systems exist within his opponent's society to facilitate its self-destruction.
I suddenly remembered the arrogant speeches that were made in the 60s and 70s glorifying the controlled depopulation of the planet, the speeches that were 'sung' in many 'royal' houses and in the halls of noble institutions. One of these had an ugly motto, as I recalled. The motto was, "The world has cancer, and that cancer is man." I had seen the motto on banners. The banners had been real.
Everything became so plain, suddenly, and so simple. Why hadn't I made the connection before? I had seen the tanks, the guns, and the grim determination. I had felt the tension. We had been at war for years. I had been on enemy territory when I visited East Germany. This enemy had been created in order to help facilitate the unfolding of a vastly more-destructive conflict, a nuclear conflict that the Soviets were groomed to ignite, and had hoped to win. They were groomed by the Western imperial oligarchy that hates the advance of civilization, as if it is a plague. The imperials were determined to 'cure' that 'plague,' as they referred to civilization. Of course they were right in their assessment, because an advancing humanist civilization is a mortal threat to the existence of empires - a threat that no empire can survive. Thus, they were fighting to survive, fighting against civilization, no matter the cost to mankind.
With this in mind, the Ogarkov Plan emerged with a new and still more ugly face, a face that smiled at unemployment lines, starvation, and diseases. So it made perfect sense to see a newly appointed chairman of the US Federal Reserve initiating a collapse of the world economy with loan shark interest rates, which hurt not only the U.S. economy, but also the economies of its allies.
I was shocked. Actually I wasn't shocked by the fact that the Russians had gone so far as they had gone under the Ogarkov Plan. I was shocked by my blindness. The war had been going on right in front of my eyes, while I practically forced myself to deny what I had seen with my own eyes. Damn!!! It should have been plain. The imperial connection with ties into Russia, was visible everywhere. I saw it in congressional fights against the SDI and against the MX missile. I saw it in cuts in scientific research budgets, cuts in health care programs, cuts in social programs, and cuts in education. Also I was sure that if I looked close enough, I would probably see many trails leading also to Moscow from every single major policy formulating institution in the Western World, forcing Russia into lock step. Thus standing behind Moscow, carefully veiled, I saw the Western financial oligarchy, the world-empire, manipulating its puppets.
That's what I saw. In fact, Moscow's link with the drug trafficking organizations were no longer a dark secret at this time, only the reason behind these links was no longer talked about openly. When countless youngsters were destroying themselves on the streets at the imperial oligarchy's pleasure, it was said to be an American social problem. Oh if it only was that! Then the problem could have been easily solved.
The reason why the existence of these links had gone by me unnoticed, was likely, that they had never before threatened my dinner table. If the banking collapse was but another component of the widening war against humanity, then the article was certainly right that the economic collapse of the USA would start a new and rapidly accelerating trend of collapse of the entire world economy, especially that of the Western World.
I read the article four times before the plane landed that morning. I found it hard to believe that I had been so blind to the facts as they were unfolding before my own eyes.
I took a cab from the airport, as usual, but I stopped first at my bank to withdraw all I had on deposit and to collect my Trytech stock from the safety-deposit box, which I sold at the nearest over-the-counter agent. I cashed the check immediately, all two thousand dollars.
It was almost eerie how normally and efficiently the banking system still operated. Everyone was polite. The requests were promptly filled with a smile and without any questions asked.
"Have a happy holiday," said the teller as I re-counted the money.
God, I wished I could have told the teller what I feared! But neither she nor anyone else would have taken me seriously. The girl behind the counter probably had never seen a tank, much less five hundred of them in one endless line shaking the Earth with the thunder of their iron treads. Could anyone really understand what had dawned on me? Could they comprehend what was going on, they, whose noses hadn't been forced right down beneath the glossy facade of those things that are so lovely American and normal?
I stowed the money in my briefcase, and left like a thief with an uncomfortable feeling that I had done something terribly immoral. When the bank's heavy glass doors closed behind me, I stepped sadly away from this palace of gilded facades and ribs of stainless steel, with a feeling that this day marked the end of a wonderful era. The world seemed to have changed suddenly. Nothing had the same meaning anymore. The gold had become tarnished. The lies were shining through. We were on the brink of the greatest depression ever to be experienced, possibly leading to nuclear war! Damn! No one on the street seemed to be aware of it.
One thing I had to do right away. I had to turn the cash into food as fast as possible. Except how does one explain a thing like that to someone like Sylvia, who finds it difficult to face far less incredible treacheries? And after that, what is one to do with all that food?
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