On February 23, 1967, the 23rd Star Trek episode, “A Taste of Armageddon,” first aired on television. I saw it as a kid.
Precisely 65 years later, on February 23, Russia invaded Ukraine. No doubt for the 23rd time.
The irony could not have been lost on present day John Kerry, who surely found time to watch Star Trek in his Yale dorm room while scheming his political future. The viewing would prove formative for him (as it was for me, but in a different direction), as evidenced in his recent statements condemning the Russian invasion of Ukraine. Rather, not the invasion itself, but the presumed deleterious “climate change” effects brought on by the physical manner of the invasion. Not the thousands of war fatalities, not the dangerous destabilization of global power balances and world peace, but instead, the theoretical risk of global air temperature rising by, who knows?, as much as 0.000001 degree Fahrenheit.
Oh why?, laments Monsieur Kerry, why oh why can’t wars be fought without using fossil fuels to power tanks and fighter jets? Why must we persist in using high power explosives? Why do refugees choose to dash away to Romania in comfy Boeing 747s instead of tromping 800 miles over frozen snow the way war refugees traditionally flee?
Which brings us directly to the 23rd episode of the original Star Trek, “A Taste of Armageddon.”
In a far away solar system, the planet Eminiar has been at war with a neighboring planet for 500 years. The Enterprise beams down Captain James Tiberius Kirk and Spock, along with a professional ambassador (hey, isn’t Kerry a professional ambassador too?) in an effort to bring peace to the two planets. Fair enough. They are befuddled that the capital city is a marvel of undamaged architecture, statuary, and gardens. Long story short, the two planets wage war by electronically “tagging” people with some sort of people-tagging gizmo. If you are tagged, you immediately report to your local euthanasia center. It’s a mandate!!! This prevents physical destruction of cities and landscape. People die, buildings and gardens are untouched. Right up Kerry’s alley.
A kink arises. The Enterprise has been tagged by the enemy! All 400 plus crew must report to the euthanasia center! The ever brilliant Cap’n Jim saves the day by arranging for a few photon beams to blast a few choice architectural gems on both planets. The physical destruction sends the warring citizens into a panic: they immediately negotiate a peace. They love their physical world!
Kerry could be speaking for the warring pre-Kirk planets when, re Russia and Ukraine, he announced, “You have a war and obviously you’re going to have massive emissions consequences to the war. But equally important, you’re going to lose people’s focus, you’re going to lose certainly big country attention because they will be diverted [from giving primacy to the physical] and I think it could have a damaging impact.”
Kerry, like planet Eminaria and its warring counterpart, gives primacy to the inanimate physical, not to the spiritual human. He talks smooth but is even cluelesser than Sleepy Joe.
If Putin had asked Kerry’s advice on how to invade Ukraine, Kerry would have advised using electric tanks (stopping once every 5 kilometers to recharge), helium balloons and bio-degradable bullets. Maybe he’ll draft a new set of Geneva Conventions….