The bankruptcy of an “anti- imperialism” that sides with imperialism.

The recent article on Labour Hub from Pierre Dardot and Christian Laval – reprising the Euston Manifesto in a French accent – makes up in tetchiness what it lacks in analysis. Without dropping to their level and accusing them of “stupidity”, I’d like to put some of their assertions and arguments under a bit of scrutiny in the hope that, even in the impassioned polarisation of current arguments, a bit of light can be generated amidst the heat.

Their argument, that the Left has more than one enemy, is a statement of the obvious that no one could disagree with. What they don’t do, however, is examine the actually existing power relations between different states and draw any conclusions about who the main enemy is.

Since the object of the argument is the reality of imperialism, and how that is revealed in the Ukraine crisis and war – as the latest front line of an aggressive expansion of the NATO alliance right up to the borders of Russia – lets examine the forces involved and their scale.

  • Russia has a GDP slightly smaller than Italy and spends $62 billion on its military.
  • NATO includes all the major imperial predators on the global stage, corralled into one bloc by the USA so that it can intervene at will throughout the rest of the world; knowing that all of its smaller rivals will be lined up behind it (or, in the case of the UK, trying to jump up and down alongside it in a desperate attempt to be noticed and approved of). It has a collective GDP 20 times the size of Russia’s and its military spending is 19 times as much (before recently announced increases which will make this gap even bigger). NATO is the military lynch pin of the global imperial system centred on the United States. Russia is not included in it.

The proportionate military spend looks like this.

These are from 2021. Very large increases are planned by Germany and the USA from this year. UK military expenditure is also increasing.

A quick glance at this imbalance should put paid to any notion that the NATO powers face any kind of threat from Russia’s military, that “Ukraine is just the start” or that revived “Great Russian chauvinism” or “neo Stalinist fascism” is about to steamroller across Europe, restore the Russian Empire and put paid to “democracy”; and therefore plans to significantly increase military expenditure have any “defence” rationale at all. Offence is another matter.

Even more absurd is any notion that that the active expansion of NATO across Eastern Europe since 1991 – amassing East Germany, Poland, Hungary, the Czech Republic, Bulgaria, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Albania, Croatia, Montenegro and North Macedonia into the bloc, with Ukraine, Georgia and Bosnia added to the active waiting room in 2022, following a US Ukraine Security Agreement signed in November 2021 – has been a passive act; let alone “reactive” in Diderot and Laval’s words. The ante has been consistently upped from the US.

The Russian response to this has been to try to be incorporated in it; or to seek “common security arrangements” in Europe with it. Approaches have been made repeatedly since 1991 and consistently rebuffed by the USA. So, no incorporation , no accommodation, just inexorably increasing pressure.

So, Russia has reacted with aggressive defensiveness when this pressure has got too much.

  • defending the South Ossetian enclave after the Rose Revolution installed a pro US President in Georgia, who launched an attack on it-
  • and, in Ukraine – reacting to the 2014 US backed overthrow of a President who had just signed a trade deal with Russia rather than the EU – by annexing Crimea and moving forces into the Donbass; after the rebellion there was about to be crushed by the Ukrainian army and Azov battalion.

The expansion of NATO up to Russia’s borders is not simply a matter of “humiliation” for Russia, as Dardot and Laval put it. It is an existential military and political threat; and seen as such across the full spectrum of Russian political opinion. It has been repeatedly stated as a red line which will lead to a violent reaction if crossed. This is not a mystery to NATO or the USA. It takes a real act of will to ignore it on the Left. The question is, knowing this, why did the USA and NATO push across it and provoke the reaction they had been warned about?

Dardot and Laval explain that in reaction to the Russian response, “pacifism is not an option” and “the immediate imperative is to help the Ukrainians resist” and “let’s not play non-intervention again”. So, theirs is not an anti war stance.

  • They would have no sympathy with the Italian and Greek airline and rail workers who have refused to move NATO munitions to stop fuelling the war.
  • In arguing for arms to be sent to Ukraine until the 2014 borders are reestablished they are calling for the forcible reoccupation of the Donbass and Crimea, against the wishes of the people who live there. So much for self determination and human rights.
  • They are in favour of anti war demonstrations in Russia, not anti war demonstrations against NATO in NATO countries.
  • They don’t specify how far they want to go to “intervene”, but NATO is intervening already. And Dardot and Laval line up behind it.

They try to cover this by turning their polemical fire on “campism”, which they characterise as “one sided anti imperialism”, even though they themselves are forming a bloc with their own imperialism and its allies. You can’t get more “one sided” than that.

They argue that “my enemy’s enemy is not necessarily my friend”,

  • but pose a delusionary framework in which there are no hierarchies of power, as though we were already in a multi polar world,
  • and at the same time pose the actions and values of any powers opposed to the dominant imperialism as worse. “The terrible reality of Communism in either Russia or China” or “post colonial regimes” during the first Cold War.

This follows the well worn trope of every “human rights” intervention by the US and its allies, that the enemy of the day is the new Hitler. So, in practice, my enemy’s enemy is more my enemy than my enemy is. At best, the currents that espouse this sort of position are an opposition within imperialism, not an opposition to it. Firmly in their home camp.

This is not a new phenomena on the European Left. It has been the dominant tradition of Social Democracy since 1914. Lest we forget, at the outset of the First World War, the overwhelming majority of Socialist and Labour Parties across Europe voted for the war budgets of their own countries to “defend” them against the threatening barbarism of their enemies, firmly subordinating themselves to the barbarism of their own ruling classes. At the start of the war, there were already plenty of atrocities to choose from. Looking only at those committed by the other side became almost a moral imperative to justify looking away from those committed by our own. Plus ca change. Plus c’est le meme chose.

As the Left in the imperialist countries has stagnated in reformist parties – sometimes allowed into government if self consciously subaltern enough – or small revolutionary currents with a weakness for syndicalism, and nowhere overthrown capitalist rule; revolutions have taken place at imperialism’s weakest links, in countries that are poorer, with lower standards of living, smaller infrastructure development, often devastated by the struggle and having to build up economic, health and education infrastructure almost from scratch. These have faced military threats, and interventions, from the USA and its allies, and constant economic pressure. The Labour movements of the Global North have been at best ambiguous about the struggles of these countries, with small solidarity movements largely outweighed by an insular condescension, even on the far left, which has considered the judgement of small Western European groupuscules on what is or is not “socialism” to be of more weight than, say, the Chinese Communist Party; which sees itself as a Marxist Party, is running its country with significant success and has 90 million members.

Following in this tradition, Dardot and Laval are quite clear than in a confrontation between developed capitalist countries/imperialist countries/the Global North/ the “democracies”/the “international community”/the “West” (delete description according to political taste) and any actual challenge to it, even from countries that see themselves as Socialist, or “post colonial regimes”, in the final analysis, they plump for the former.

They seem to presume that the “West” supporting dictatorships – and invasions and coups and terrorist movements – across the Global South was a function of the old Cold War, and seem unable to explain why it is a constant feature of what they have continued doing since. The dramatic shift from the “End of History” in 1991, the USA’s dominant unipolar moment, in which it was possible to imagine that the future of the world would be to become a gigantic American suburb, to the current moment in which the USA is for the first time since 1871, no longer the World’s largest economy in real terms is registered in the Global South by a series of political realignments around the Chinese model of investment led development , but in the Global North by a movement among both the ruling class and labour movements that could best be described as “nostalgic”(in the UK ranging from the swashbuckling imperial delusions of Brexit to Keir Starmer’s oddly retro political framing; so he looks like a Labour Prime Minister, but a Labour Prime Minister from the last century). The US is no longer able to subsidise its allies in the way it did after World War 2. It doesn’t generate the capital any more. In fact, it sucks it in, and this has a destabilising effect, primarily on the Global South but increasingly on its allies; the stagnation of Japan since 1989 being a stark example. And this is driving an increasingly delirious domestic politics in the US too.

Because the USAs global dominance is slipping, it is using its armed forces to reassert itself, pushing beyond previously sacrosanct red lines and provoking confrontations – today with Russia in Ukraine and, if it gets away with it, tomorrow with China in the South China Sea. This is designed to spark conflicts it can “win”, lead on to regime change in its interests and the Balkanisation of rival powers before China, in particular gets beyond its threats. It is this that is the threat to world peace, just as it is the current wave of US driven sanctions that is the biggest threat to the wellbeing of the global population, as this briefing from No Cold war makes clear.

We should always bear in mind that this is the country that

  • dropped more munitions on Iraq on the first day of the second Iraq war than the Russians have managed in the whole 5 weeks of the Ukraine invasion,
  • carpet bombed Vietnam, killing 2 million people,
  • imposed sanctions on Iraq in the 1990s that killed 500,000 Iraqi children (a price “worth paying” according to Madeline Albright)
  • killed up to a million Iraqis in the ensuing war,
  • is currently imposing sanctions on Venezuela which have killed 40,000
  • and on Afghanistan which have led to a situation in which a million children are on the verge of starvation.
  • We could add to this the situation in Yemen, ably abetted by its UK vassal, backing the Saudi intervention which has killed almost 400,000 people according to the UN, has directly led to a cholera epidemic and “the worst humanitarian disaster in the world.”

This is what global misleadership looks like. That’s what imperialism IS. That is why the USA is the main enemy, along with our own ruling classes, who are aligned with it. No other country has the capacity to inflict so much pain simultaneously around the world. No other country has 800 military bases in other countries or the capacity to use the world’s financial system to “make the economy” of any given target country “scream.” That’s why an “anti US lens” is essential to any sense of proportion on global developments and, whatever we might think of their opponent in any given conflict, or of what they do in the course of it, a victory for the US is a defeat for all of us and no one on the Left should aid or abet it.

We can add to this the complete failure of the USA – and the ruling class more broadly – to lead humanity in combatting our greatest collective threat; climate breakdown. This is the clearest indication that the capitalist class – through its most powerful states – is no longer capable of leading humanity anywhere except to disaster. The USA is spending 14 times as much on its military as it does in combatting climate change. China is spending one and a half times as much on climate change as on its military. The USA would need a change of regime to begin to do what is necessary.

This shows that imperialism will kill us – in more ways than one.

Dardot and Laval, writing in France – which is about to have a Presidential election between a fascist matron and a centrist blancmange, vying with each other for who can demonise France’s 6 million Muslims the most – note that the other enemies of the Left include “dangerous ideologies” which support “forms of oppression and domination, notably religious”, giving an unmistakable genuflection to the boorish laicity that is barely distinguishable from the Islamophobia that runs virally through the French Left and disables its anti racist solidarity. The only Presidential candidate, in this context, that they take a pop at is Jean Luc Melenchon, the only Left candidate in spitting distance of Len Pen and Macron, presumably on the basis that “the honour of the Left” would not be safe with him.

Their attempted parallel between Ukraine and Palestine – that the Left should support the nationalist side of Ukraine in the same way it supports the Palestinians – shows exactly what is wrong with their argument. For the Palestinians to be free, they would either have to have equality within a common state with Israeli Jews from the river to the sea, or, if this could not be achieved, a viable separate state. The cause of the rebellion in the Donbass against nationalist Ukraine in 2014 was that equality was no longer guaranteed for the Russian population. Support for nationalist Ukraine is therefore – in fact – more like support for the current state of Israel than for the Palestinians who are oppressed by it.

Their central argument is that what they describe as “great movements of democratic emancipation” throughout the world have an independent dynamic and take place completely independently of outside influence or support or direction.

They lump together in this

  • movements like the Arab Spring; that developed organically from large numbers of people rebelling against economic conditions that were becoming sufficiently unbearable that the inhibitions of a repressive state and the ingrained habits of just getting by and making the best of things could be overcome in a great rush of inchoate solidarity – which the US struggled to get a grip on and divert
  • with movements that have been described as “colour revolutions” because they followed a script written in the State Department and could be most accurately described as creatures of it. As good capitalists, the US State Department can’t help themselves in branding these events, even though doing so is a bit of a giveaway that they are their products.

Dardot and Laval argue that “the peoples have free will and they are not the puppets of the great powers” which is true up to a point. Free will is nevertheless often expressed in a way that does indeed make the movements concerned a creature of Foggy Bottom; and given the weight of US finance, expertise and media power, it can be very hard to avoid being suborned by them. The contrary also applies. The existence of the USSR provided a pole of attraction for movements in the Global South/Third World which, at the time, tended to take a secular form and aspire to socialism in some form. The collapse of the USSR meant that such forces have tended to dissipate and be replaced by millennialist style religious movements. The current rise of China is leading to significant political realignment. Each struggle in each country is a unique combination of common elements, but whatever the local specifics, none is innocent of the influence of outside forces. Sometimes this is simply the weight of example or cultural aspiration, sometimes the power of investment or trade, sometimes conscious manipulation and intervention.

The USA, in particular, runs a vast international network of human rights organisations and social media networks, funded through the National Endowment for Democracy, and it intervenes everywhere. Sometimes it initiates a movement. Sometimes it moves in on one and bends it to its will. They have cultivated an international network of “democracy activists” and hold cadre schools to refine their tactics and compare notes. Anyone involved in these networks will in practice be acting as an agent of the USA. Many of them are conscious of that and proud of it.

Some rebellions are not in the USA’s pocket. These tend to be the ones that are demonised by it. Hezbollah in Lebanon is one, the Houthis in Yemen are another, as are the Cubans, Venezuelans and Bolivians.

So, the question is what is the relationship between any movement and the US and its local relays. This is not predetermined, as we make our own history, but not – as Marx once noted – in conditions of our own choosing.

  • Dardot and Laval argue that ISIS was not the inevitable result of the Syrian uprising against the Assad regime, but the involvement of the USA and its local allies certainly helped push it that way. ISIS has been in some ways an irregular frontier version of Saudi Arabia.
  • Similarly, the Rose Revolution in Georgia didn’t have to end up with military adventurism from President Saakashvili, but US involvement and the prospect of NATO membership certainly encouraged him.
  • And in Ukraine, the dynamic of the Maidan movement was inexorably towards the far right. The least that can be said about US involvement is that it inhibited that not at all.

Sometimes the US is aiming for regime change, sometimes to create chaos as a preferable alternative to a government that does not do its bidding.

The current sanctions being imposed on Russia by the US are going to have an immense blowback across the Global South that will be more severe the longer they are in place. Millions are being thrown into poverty right now. The rebellions that erupt as a result will be almost certainly too much for the US to handle. The US war drive is leading to Global chaos and misery. No support should be given it.

Ukraine; How can this war end?

We are living through a nightmare. The logic of war is escalation and demonisation. Each horrific event fuels the next, justifies retaliation, and righteous vengeance screams a descant in the headlines. Once a war starts, the bloody toothpaste is out of the tube, the eggs are smashed, and there is no putting them back together the way they were.

When Tariq Ali writes in the London Review of Books (24/3/22), “no one knows how this will end”, there are a number of possibilities; most very grim indeed.

1. It could escalate out of control into an open clash between NATO and Russia; and we stumble into a Third World War. This is openly discussed. The shadow of the mushroom cloud that has hovered in the back of our nightmares for most of our lives is bigger than ever, and beginning to preoccupy waking thoughts. The USA has 3,500 nuclear warheads. Russia has over 4,000. The “independent” UK Trident fleet is an auxiliary of the US and would fire when they did.

The explosive power of these warheads is many times those of the atomic prototypes dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki in 1945. Use of these weapons would be fast and devastating. Neither Russia nor the USA has a no first use policy, so each would be nervous of the other’s itchy trigger finger. Hundreds of millions would die in a matter of hours and human civilisation would not survive.

Its a moot point whether it would deserve to.

It should be noted that each Trident submarine carries 24 missiles, each of which has 8 warheads that can be independently targeted, so each missile has 192 times the explosive power of the single warhead shown here..

President Zelensky’s call for a No Fly Zone is an invitation to Armageddon. Journalists thinking it makes good emotional copy to promote it, need to get a grip on the scale of the fire they are playing with.

2. The conventional war bogs down into a long term stalemate; or a limited Russian tactical victory leads to no durable settlement, leading to an Eastern European version of Afghanistan in the 1980s. This is a scenario that Hillary Clinton and others project with some relish.

The current pattern of NATO powers fuelling the fire with weapons deliveries would continue. Snipers are being trained for this eventuality. The consequences of this for Ukraine would be to make it a permanent war zone.

The consequences for the rest of the world would make the current impact on oil, gas and bread prices spiral ever upwards – leading to successive waves of impoverishment and upheaval across the planet. This Briefing from No Cold War spells out just how devastating the US Sanctions regime will be for the Global South if they are not brought to an end quickly.

And the resources we need to invest in green transition are being diverted to arms budgets. Great news for Raytheon, Lockheed and BAE systems; a medium term death sentence for the rest of us.

3. A deal is done on the basis of Ukraine remaining outside NATO and ruling out deployment of missile systems on its land, no Russian occupation of Western Ukraine, recognition of the decision of the people of Crimea to join the Russian Federation and an autonomous arrangement for the Donbass.

This would recognise a number of realities. Russia does not have the forces to occupy Western Ukraine even if it wanted to. Ukraine is being used in a proxy war by NATO which it has nothing to gain from. The people of the Donbass and Crimea do not wish to be part of a nationalist Ukraine, even a neutral one. A settlement on these lines could begin the process of de-escalation and rebuilding, allow refugees to return to their homes and limit the damage to the rest of the world.

The scars would take a long time to heal, but this is probably the only basis on which they could even start to. Such a deal would be perceived as a betrayal by the Ukrainian far right and a defeat by the US, so they will try to prevent it in the first place and undermine it if signed. With feelings running as high as they are, they would be cutting with the grain unfortunately.

4. The Russian army loses its will to fight and pulls back in disarray, leading to forcible recapture of the Donbass and possibly even Crimea, NATO rampant right up to the Russian border, political repercussions within Russia and a colour revolution movement pushed by the US to consolidate its advantage and gain control of Russia’s vast fossil fuel resources via a docile and subordinate leadership; which may or may not involve Balkanisation of the country on the lines proposed by Dick Cheney in 1991.

Pro US oligarchs in office in Moscow would break their bloc with China, allowing the US to use its colossal military advantage (3,500 nuclear warheads to 350) to fight the conventional war in and around Chinese territory that is now an openly discussed project there. Steve Bannon argues that such a war would have to be fought by 2024. Former Trump Deputy Assistant Secretary for Defence Eldrige Colby, who crafted Trump’s 2018 Defence strategy argues, in his book, The Strategy of Denial, for a “limited” conventional war centred on Taiwan.

Colby’s calculation is that such a war would damage the US economy by 10% but the Chinese by 40%. Therefore, the USA “wins”. The millions of people who would die don’t get much attention: collateral damage.

The current state of the war on the ground – Russian withdrawal from around Kyiv and consolidation in the East and South – and the limited progress in peace negotiations, do not give a clear indication of how things will go, but whatever is going to happen looks like a long and gruesome slog.

The best hope is a settlement along the lines in 3) the outlines of which are being discussed in the peace talks; and the sooner the better.

The Speech that Keir Starmer did not Make.

With Boris Johnson visiting Saudi Arabia, in an attempt to get more oil pumped, just a day after the execution of 81 prisoners by the Bin Salman regime, this is the speech that Keir Starmer could have made but did not.

While he made a general point…“going cap in hand from dictator to dictator is not an energy strategy”, he stopped well short of calling for Johnson’s trip to be called off,and steered well away from any demand for a shift in policy on Yemen remarking instead, “Obviously there’s a real energy crisis in terms of the cost at the moment, so anything that brings the cost down now is a step in the right direction, whatever it is.” (my emphasis).

In this dark hour, our thoughts, our solidarity, and our resolve are with the people of Yemen.

They have been cast into a war, not through fault of their own. But because Mohamed Bin Salman knows that no people will choose to live under his bandit rule unless forced to at the barrel of a gun.

The consequences of Bin Salman’s war have been horrendous and tragic for the Yemeni people but also for the Saudi people, who have been plunged into chaos by a violent elite who have stolen their wealth, stolen their chance of democracy, and stolen their future.

And we must prepare ourselves for difficulties here. We will see economic pain, as we free ourselves from dependence on Saudi Oil, and clean our institutions from money stolen from the Arab peoples.

But the British public have always been willing to make sacrifice to defend democracy on our continent. And we will again.

Saudi Arabia’s neighbours and every other democracy that lives in the shadow of autocratic power are watching their worst nightmare unfold.

All those who believe in democracy over dictatorship, the rule of law over the reign of terror, in freedom over the jackboot of tyranny, must unite and take a stand and ensure Bin Salman fails.

We must make a clean break with the failed approach to handling Bin Salman, which after the intervention into Yemen started in 2015 – has been complicit in more than 20,000 bombing raids on Houthi territory, indiscriminately bombing civilians and hospitals, schools and other infrastructure, killed over 377,000 people, with one child under five dying every nine minutes, displaced millions more, led directly to a cholera epidemic with over a million people infected and much of the country on the brink of famine, with the United Nations describing Yemen as the world’s worst humanitarian crisis, and turned a blind eye to the arrests of anyone who publicly opposes him, symbolised by the murder of Jamal Kashoggi – and has fed his belief that the benefits of aggression outweigh the cost. We must finally show him he is wrong.

That means doing all we can to help Yemen defend herself -urgently withdrawing the military support that we and our NATO allies provide Bin Salman, and the hardest possible sanctions must be taken against his regime. It must be isolated. Its finances frozen. It’s ability to function crippled. We should even withdraw the after sales services provided by BAE systems for the missiles and aircraft they have so lucratively sold.

And there are changes we must make here in the UK. For too long our country has been a safe-haven for the money that Bin Salman and his fellow bandits stole from the people of the Arabian peninsula. It must end now.

And this must be a turning point in our history, we must look back and say what this terrible day was actually when Bin Salman doomed himself to defeat.

He seeks division, so we must stay united. He hopes for inaction, so we must take a stand. He believes that we are too corrupted to do the right thing, so we must prove him wrong.

I believe we can. But only if we stand together.

Very few words have had to be changed from Starmer’s televised speech at the beginning of the Ukraine invasion – mostly personal names and places. If he were genuinely concerned at projecting “a liberal international order in defence of human rights” we should expect to hear a speech like this directed at UK and US allies and calling for an end to UK complicity in their war crimes.

But we don’t.

Could it be the direct involvement of RAF pilots training Saudi Airmen, or the Royal Navy personnel seconded to the Saudi fleet, and all that money made by UK built munitions that have blown up Yemeni civilians in large numbers, that explains the reticence?

An Invitation to Armageddon

CND poster from late 60s

Nuclear war is not “unthinkable”. Military planners spend a lot of time thinking about and planning for it. We are now closer to it than at any time this century.

President Zelensky of Ukraine is making continual calls for NATO to try to impose a “No Fly Zone” over Ukraine. War reporters elicit similar appeals from people on the ground, giving it a moral charge that builds pressure for it. It is possible that this is being done on the delusion that the consequences are so severe that it can’t happen; that no one in their right mind would sanction it. But the logic of war is escalation. And the people running it are not always in their right mind. Rehearsing something, even as a fantasy, can be preparation for doing it.

In case there is any doubt about what a No Fly Zone would mean, Former NATO Supreme Allied Commander of Europe, General Philip Breedlove has spelt it out “If you put a no-fly zone in the eastern part of Ukraine … and we’re going to fly coalition or NATO aircraft into that no-fly zone, then we have to take out all the weapons that can fire into our no-fly zone and cause harm to our aircraft. So that means bombing enemy radars and missile systems on the other side of the border [i.e. Russia].That is tantamount to war.” General Breedlove is, we should note, in favour of doing this. And he is not alone, if media pundits on US talk shows are anything to go by.

If an action is “tantamount to war” between NATO and the Russian Federation, we should all be clear that a nuclear exchange becomes more likely than not and understand why.

Russia does not have a “no first use” policy for its nuclear weapons, and carried out drills for them just before the invasion, with an explicit warning to NATO not to get involved.

US nuclear war policy is, and always has been, based on a devastating first strike. The first iteration of this was their Strategic Integrated Operations Plan of 1960, in which a conventional war with the USSR would trigger the US smashing every city in Eastern Europe, Russia and China with 3,400 nuclear warheads; killing 600 million people (200 million of them collateral damage in Western Europe, Japan, India and other places close enough to the targets to be impacted) in a matter of hours. That would have been one person in 5 of the total global population at the time. There is no reason to believe that subsequent reiterations of this plan are any less restrained.

Having the two powers with the world’s greatest stockpiles of nuclear weapons, primed and ready, in an open conflict and incredibly nervous that the other is going to strike them first, means that we would be a nerve shredding hair trigger away from mutually assured destruction. No exchange of these missiles would be cautious or incremental, or slow. It would be all or nothing and very fast. All and nothing.

Whatever anyone’s view of this war, the reasons for it, or the way it could best and most swiftly be brought to an end; recognition that anyone calling for a No Fly Zone is inviting us to Armageddon should be seared into all of us and resolutely opposed.