“October 1994. I resolved to remember every sensation, each moment, if I survived, that is. The forests and mountains all around seemed alive with gunfire. This was the frontline on Mount Igman above besieged Sarajevo. The world, it seemed, rose like a tempest, a building storm…”
New Years Eve was rather uneventful. No energy, no excitement. Who is happy about the coming year? Said, our neighbor, who drives a taxi, said early the next morning how it was one of the worst he’s seen. Ana and I made pizza at home and had a bit of Champaign. Julia was having friends next door. Ana took Bleu over with a pizza and a bottle of wine. All the women there are retired and struggling to make ends meet, none worse, I think, than Julia, who has all but stopped working in a terrible real estate market, and due to her health. I stayed at home, working on a contract for a possible project to pitch a TV series with Kamath. Julia and I are still feuding from something that happened last spring.
It was an unseasonable warm holiday season. A beautiful snow a week before Christmas was gone by Christmas morning. Christmas Eve I went to Kamath’s in Evanston for a vegan Christmas with Kamath’s wife, Ben Perkins and his wife, all very serious vegans. I was most taken by the fact I was with an Indian family, celebrating essentially a Christian holiday, feasting on delicious Indian food with a menorah on the shelf. That is Christmas to me, more community that doctrine.
Mid week Nina called crying from Canada with news her uncle Vedo, Belma’s brother had passed away. He was just 48, with two young kids. He’d apparently had heart problems the last few years. He went into the hospital in Sarajevo for a procedure and never awakened.
On the political front, the news gets darker everyday. This transfer of power is hardly peaceful and that their is a historic struggle going on behind the scenes. Ideological, political, legal and personal with international implications? One only guesses, but more and more the building storm becomes impossible for anyone to ignore. What will happen? Who can say, but surely it will be some sort of calamity.
I am more and more thinking and planning for scenarios such as this: Are Obama’s Russia sanctions an attempt to disrupt a Nuclear First Strike under Trump by the US with a follow on strike by Russia? China is disrupting efforts by OPEC, including Russia, to raise oil prices. Russia badly needs that revenue, hence the support for Trump and EXXON CEO and Russian biz partner Rex Tillerson who would lift sanctions against Russia and look away as Russia continues its aggressive strategic influence effort with Turkey, Iran and Syria. Russia benefits greatly with a broken China. Trump has surrounded himself with hawkish generals and advisors vehemently anti-China, who doubtless believe conflict with China is inevitable. Taiwan is the flashpoint, Chinese military assertions in the pacific the excuse. China has 200 total nukes, perhaps 75-100 capable of hitting the US against our 2000+, plus our better missile defense. They will greatly upgrade their naval capabilities over the next decade, but are currently outmatched by US Pacific forces. A case could be made by his advisors of a first strike now before China grows stronger. Immediate casualties in US, 6-10 million, with lethal fallout contaminating much of the nation for decades. Most the dead would be in large urban areas that tended not to support Trump. China casualties, 20-40 million, but with greater devastation to infrastructure, industry and leadership, and a likely break up of the country.