from   Michael  Hammerschlag’s  Commentaries


If the Soviets do this, let the Warsaw Pact go free…. The Cold War is over.  The bombs, the missiles, the threat of nuclear war, nuclear winter, the support for terrorists and revolutionaries, the prison camps, probably the Communist Party itself…. All over, in time.     -  Winds of Change  June 1989

I really fear US will become a target of Palestinian [sourced] rage that will dwarf anything that's happened in Israel: a Paki or Russian nuke (or biological) attack. In fact I think something like that is inevitable, and would turn the USA into an instant police state.    Letter to Israeli friend  August 13, 2001       The end result of all this will be a nuclear detonation in NYC or DC … since they can’t blow up Israel without blowing up the Palestinians. – STM Newsletter- July 14, 2001      “Will it be NY or DC, NY or DC.” - phone conversation w friend in Greenwich Village- Sept 5, 2001


We must acknowledge that the age of oil is over or very soon (20-30 years) will be. Oil is the raw material for nearly all of our organic chemicals, plastics, and drugs; and a future world may look back with incredulity at our stupidity, “They just burned it…. for heat. Within a few decades, the greenhouse effect may raise worldwide temperatures enough to melt portions of the polar ice caps and inundate every coastal city on earth.”-  Feb 1980 Energy for the Long Run-  East Side


The other desperate necessities: a big dumb booster to send aloft cargo cheaply, and a small 747 launched rocket plane (X-34+33) that can carry 4-6 passengers to orbit quickly, easily , and cheaply are proceeding glacially. 27 years after Apollo 13, if a serious accident were to happen aboard the MIR, shuttle, or ISS, people would probably die long before we could launch a rescue mission.  Without a 24 hr rescue capability, it's unfair and dangerous to even expect people to work in space.   State of Space- Oct ‘97


All Americans now suffer from Gulf War Syndrome, the idea- because of the spectacular success of wars in the Gulf, Bosnia, Serbia, and Afghanistan, that wars can be fought painlessly, with almost no casualties…. Inexplicably, cravenly, Congress has sleepwalked into authorizing military force (against a majority of US opinion: 51% to 38% -Zogby†)- perhaps with the notion that Bush is bluffing, and Saddam will back down. But Saddam, who could have left Kuwait with all his booty on Jan 14, 1991 and emerged unscathed.. can be counted on to do the most self-destructive thing…. If we invade Iraq, it will be only because George Bush wants to… and that’s not a good enough reason.     Bush’s Wanton WarOct 2002  Liberal Slant


22 drainage pumping stations operate continuously to keep city from flooding so it is already in flood equilibrium, but these stations will fail during hurricane hit. City could become 350 sq. mi. abandoned destroyed bathtub filled with warm toxic chemicals from vast chemical/oil industry, sewage, 1000's of businesses.  Sat Aug 27, ‘05    Big Beast Blasts Big Easy - Hammernews


8 years ago I took some pictures inside Westminster Abbey, having dumped my backpack on a rear bench. When I returned 2 minutes later, a rector was gazing at it with unabashed horror. It had to be a bomb. England was then still a war zone with the IRA and any package, bag, or backpack was dangerous and often prohibited. ….  If we do go into Iraq, we should expect that to happen here. We can handle a few thousand fanatic Al Qaida members, but if even a couple of tenths of a percent of the world’s billion Muslims go critical with rage, that’s 2 million potential terrorists. We can’t stop that, especially if they are willing to use personal suicide bombings, like they do in Israel. – Jan 2003   Coming Attractions  NPR Commentary


All these proposals rely on these huge continuing surpluses (which due to Social Security under-funding, don't really exist), which could end in a few months, … In fact, the very idea of assuming these unprecedented surpluses will last a decade, let alone a few years, is idiotic. But George wants to commit the entire surplus now to encourage the economy not to tank, and pray that two or five years down the road, the money will exist. He also wants to build a $1 trillion missile defense system that, uh, doesn't exist.  It’s the Economy, Stupid (Don’t Wreck It) – Jan 2001  Online Journal


Each 2° rise puts 6% more water vapor into the air, fuel for hurricanes... A 4°  rise would raise hurricane winds 9-16 mph, "doubling the damage from the strongest ones", according to a NOAA hurricane expert. Almost all computations have only considered carbon dioxide (up 1 billion tons in the last decade), but methane is a 21 times more potent greenhouse gas; as are nitrogen oxides (from cars)- the warming effect of nitrogen oxides may be 3-4 times more than of carbon dioxide. And the water driven into the atmosphere by the added heat (up 10% in the last 20 years) is a potent greenhouse gas itself. So whatever we thought we've been doing to the earth's climate (doubling the CO2 since 1800), we may have underestimated  3-5 fold. We may see the melting of the ice caps, the flooding of port cities and Florida and Louisiana; catastrophic droughts, floods, and storms.  A Warm and Bright Future- Sept 1998  Maui Time


As we plunge into the most reckless, unjustified, and immoral war since the Philippines and commit a blunder that may echo down through the decades; let's say it clearly, without shading or pretense, without genuflection or fig leaf: our President is a liar…The result of all this untruth is that 42% of our people think Saddam was involved in planning 9-11, 55% think he’s in league with Al Qaida…Their job is to fight, and kill, and maybe die for their country- many want to trade their practice video games of death for the real ones, till they see the result. Being wounded or killed isn’t the only threat; one can be wounded by killing.  FIRM of MIND; SOFT on FACTSMar 20, 2003  Liberal Slant, Smrk Chp


China over the next 5-50 years will be the greatest geopolitical threat to world peace. China is now an incredibly unstable place- a spectacularly corrupt booming market economy run by ex-communist dictators with a 3 million-man army splintered into many semi-autonomous corporate fiefdoms. Fueled by 2 centuries of foreign colonialism and humiliations and the rising wealth and confidence from a 11% annual growth rate, the dictators have been using nationalism as a unifying opiate… China, despite it’s boom, is still a 3rd world country-- a police state with 350 million people in poverty, 120 million displaced roaming migrants, pitiful sanitation, 1 telephone per 77 people, and an income of $2200. Last March, to signal it’s displeasure with the most independent Presidential candidate and terrorize the voters, China fired missiles into the ocean only 22 miles from Taiwan’s ports   Dragon RisingFeb 1997


Kerry has to focus on a single theme (like Bush did with inconsistency)- that Bush lies- every Administration statement can be successfully mined for evidence of this. It also would inoculate Kerry from the outrageous slanders that Bush concocts (including the Swift Boat Bushies). Chuckle them off: "See, there he goes again.", rather than whine about unfair attacks. Once one overcame the media barrier to that word, the press would finally start to analyze Bush's serial lies- they would be in play….   The second theme should be corruption - the $10 bil Veep/Halliburton contracts and sleazy overcharging (running empty trucks through the desert), the great Cal. energy robbery and Enron enrichment, the payoffs to drug, insurance, credit card companies. -  Kerry’s Comeback  Oct 2, 2004   Washington Dispatch


Sanctions and embargoes all to often fail miserably: they take forever to work while the killing goes on, they hurt the innocents while leaving the guilty unscathed, the provide a sop to Western democracies while forestalling more effective actions, they become congealed moral dictates that diverge from their raison d’etre and resist reassessment, and they leave smashed economies and basket-case nations that take years to rebuild. Sanctions on Sanctions August 1993  Moscow Guardian


Iraq was created by Imperial British fiat in 1920 out of the Mesopotamian dust from 3 provinces of the 380 year Ottoman Empire. It never existed before. It has been historically ungovernable, even during the 37 year British established monarchy-  they had 50 changes of Government. In 1933, Iraqi King Faisal said,   “There is still no (Iraq) people but ..masses.. lacking any patriotic ideal, connected by no common tie, prone to anarchy, and always ready to rise up against any government whatsoever.” … There may be a way to prevent or limit the onrushing civil war:  partition Iraq into Shiite, Sunni, and Kurdish states: a Kurdish north, Sunni center, and Shiite south below Baghdad. For 12 years we de-facto already did this with the no-fly zones.

Launched by lies, this war was based on fantastically hopeful or foolish assumptions- so there was no planning for the aftermath. From our failure to provide MP’s and our troops allowing the looting and trashing of every institution, to failing to immediately guard or destroy the huge numbers of weapons dumps*, to taking our sweet time in restoring electricity, to insisting on vastly inflated sweetheart contracts to American rather than Iraqi companies;  blind stupidity and monumental arrogance reigned.    STOPPING the NEXT BOSNIA  -  Nov. 2003-  Capital Times

  *Shells of which now used to blow up our soldiers every day


Now with Lieberman’s elevation, Clinton’s primary Democratic critic, that issue (irresponsible impeachment) is not going to be touched- replaced with the tacit admission that “yes, in fact, Bill was scum… and I had nothing to do with him”. It will constantly put Gore on the defensive on an issue that could have scored him major points, though he had nothing to do with Mr. Clinton’s personal sins, and no need to reply to them. – The Wrong Man  - Aug 2000


Alarming all who worried about Vladimir Putin’s KGB past, a coordinated campaign against oligarchs* Gusinsky and Berezovsky has delivered both the two largest Russian television networks: ORT and NTV (the only independent one), into nominal government hands. The third, RTR, is already government controlled. …Of the several vital measures of a civil society: a fair and balanced court system, trustworthy and honest police, a consistent and responsive government- the only one that was functioning: a free press, is now seriously endangered. With Yeltsin, these acts were shots across the bow, but Putin has decided to run them through to their logical conclusion: government control, through cutouts, of television and other media outlets- the situation before that led to the huge paper- Pravda (Truth), printing mostly lies. The psychological damage caused by the promulgation of lies in the Soviet Union was immeasurable. - RUSSIAN  GOVERNMENT  TAKES  CONTROL of TELEVISION  - April 2001 Media Channel


To really effect an Islamic takeover, they need to drive the US out. We are going to understand why Saddam was the monster he was- pie in the sky amber waves of grain doesn’t mean much in this brutal world. It’s likely more American will die in the next year in Iraq than died in the war. The idea that Iraqis can resolve leadership issues between the Sunni overlords and the surging Shiite majority without bloodshed is wishful thinking,… WARBLOG May 1, 2003


For America, seared by the hostage travesty, horrified by worldwide émigré assassinations and the murders of hundreds of foreigners in Algeria and Egypt by Islamic Fundamentalists; enraged at the 350-odd bombing deaths of American diplomats and Marines in '83 and Army in '96, '93 World Trade Center bombing, '88 Pan Am 103 bombing; alarmed at Iranian missile, submarine, and nuclear plant purchases from China and Russia... no thaw (with Iran) is possible. For Khatami, it's also impossible for now- he must prove his toughness on America to hard-liners. Eventually it must come from Iran, perhaps in canceling Khomeini's $2 million murder contract on author Salman Rushdie. A 1995 total US embargo on Iran should be maintained, unless they give up their quest for nuclear weapons (thrilled by NATO expansion, Russia is going ahead with sale of a nuclear power plant to Iran)- they're still the only nation that might use them against us. – NEW HOPE for IRAN – Oct 1997


Over the last half century, North Korea has been the world’s most consistent terrorist nation, repeatedly sending assassins, saboteurs, and infiltrators into the South. After losing their Soviet and Chinese stipends, the North suffered floods, drought, and an appalling famine from 1995 to 1999, where up to 2 million people (of only 22 million) starved to death while the detestable “Dear Leader” held huge celebratory rallies in sports stadiums for foreign dignitaries. The people, who were banned from even foraging for food, died in their homes eating bark and grass, while what food there is goes to their huge military… North Korea is now one big lunatic above ground cemetery….But trying to project chess-like rationality onto the erratic, lying, and vicious NK leaders is a fool’s errand. They already have furnished missile and nuclear technology to Pakistan (and missiles to Iran) that may yet result in the first real nuclear war. If they crank up their plutonium generation, they can distribute it widely enough that some of it will result in a man-made sun dawning on an American city. The plutonium in a Hiroshima size bomb is the size of a baseball and can be safely shielded by cardboard.- SPEAKING  LOUDLY  WITHOUT ANY STICKFeb 2002  Bartcop

But the worst possibility, the worst thing that could happen from global warming... might be......    another Ice Age.  90% of  the last  250,000 years (and more like 2 1/2 mil) have been Ice Age with a 2 mile thick sheet of ice covering Europe and North America down to Chicago and New York City… only about 25,000 years have been warm, habitable- like now.  The last warm period lasted only 12,000 years, ours has lasted about 11,000.  …. once the ice sheets accumulate and start moving, nothing will stop them.  According to several theorists, the root cause of the Big Chill is the interruption of ocean currents (same thing that causes El Nino), specifically the Gulf Stream, which flows 100 Amazons of warm water from the Caribbean to England and Northern Europe. Circling Iceland, the heavy (now, from evaporation) salty water sinks to the bottom and returns south to make a grand loop. Huge amounts of melted fresh water from Greenland's ice cap could dilute the salty Gulf Stream water so much that it isn't heavy enough to sink, interrupting the return mechanism and then the warm flow north.  A Warm and Bright Future- Sept 1998  Maui Time