Hot Wars and Cold Wars

Do wars ever end?

These days I see myself as a soldier in a war. Which war? The war on smoking and tobacco.

There are a lot of these sorts of wars under way. There’s also a war on alcohol. And a war on cannabis. And a war on opium. And these small wars are part of a larger War on Drugs. And none of these wars ever ends.

The war on tobacco broke out in about 1500 when Columbus brought back tobacco plants from the newly discovered New World. Some people loved the stuff, and some people hated it, and they’ve been at war ever since. And the tides of this war have been ebbing and flowing for 500 years, with neither side actually winning.

Did WW1 and WW2 ever end? I’m not sure that they did. After all, shortly after the end of WW2, the Cold War started. And the war on smoking and tobacco started at almost exactly the same time. It’s almost as if the soldiers who fought in those wars laid down their weapons, took off their uniforms, and started fighting new “cold” wars which were only slight variants of the hot wars they’d just been fighting. The wars ended in the sense that people stopped shooting at each other, but the convictions and beliefs that underlay those wars remained, and found expression elsewhere.

In fact it may be that “hot” wars are simply what happens when “cold” wars start to boil over. Because the cold wars heat up from time to time. And right now seems to be a time when a lot of cold wars are coming to a boil.

After all, the war on smoking and tobacco has never been more intense than it has been over the past ten years or so. It has seen hundreds of millions of smokers all over the world being exiled to the outdoors, in ways that have quite simply never happened before. The antismokers have been on a roll.

But the war on smoking is, in part, just one element of of a wider War on Carbon Dioxide. It’s part of an entirely new sort of war: a climate war.

And there are wars on obesity. And wars on sugar. And wars on salt. And wars on chocolate. There are small cold wars being fought over absolutely everything.

And today the war on Donald Trump has arrived in Britain. And this is a bizarre new American civil war which sees the USA almost as equally divided as it was during its hot civil war some 150 years ago. What is it that some Americans can’t stand about Donald Trump? That he’s from the Wrong Side Of Town, and he wants to “Make America Great Again.” And the last thing that his enemies want is to make America great again. They’re doing their level best to diminish and destroy America.

And, since all these small wars bleed into each other, the war on smoking and tobacco also happens to be part of the war on America. As I’ve often remarked, antismoking is anti-American. It’s anti-American because tobacco was America’s first gift to the world, and the original source of its great wealth. If you can’t stand tobacco, you can’t stand America, and vice versa.

And this is one sense in which the war on smoking and tobacco is the continuation of WW1 and WW2, which were both wars against America, or wars waged by America (depending from which side they are viewed).

And post-war European history is also a cold continuation of WW1 and WW2. The growth and expansion of the European Union has been another bloodless cold war which has seen one country after another getting consumed by this new monster. Unlike in WW1 and WW2, Britain was successfully invaded by the EU in 1975 or so, and is now trying to escape (which is why Donald Trump is in Britain, to try to help it escape).

In addition to all these various cold wars, there are also multiple trade wars under way, most notably between the USA and China, and the USA and Iran, and now the USA and Mexico (and several other places as well).

And all these various cold wars seem to only be getting hotter. At what point does a cold war become a hot war? There are already hot wars being fought in Syria and Afghanistan (is there ever not some hot war being fought in Afghanistan?)

For example, Trump’s pledge to Build A Wall on the US southern border with Mexico is part of a cold war against illegal immigration, which is seeing armies of migrants entering the USA from Mexico. But the proposed, partly-built wall on the Mexican border is over 2000 km long. Wouldn’t it be simpler to just invade Mexico, and establish a new southern US border in Guatemala or Panama? Then the southern US border would only be about 250 km long, and far more easily defensible. After all, the US states of Texas and New Mexico and Arizona were once part of Mexico.

Mexican Texas is the historiographical name used to refer to the era of Texan history between 1821 and 1836, when it was part of Mexico.

But an invasion of Mexico would entail a hot war. Maybe this is how cold wars turn into hot wars. If it is a matter of urgency for the USA to protect its southern border, what is the easiest and quickest way to do it? The more urgent the matter becomes, the more likely the USA is likely to look for a military solution to the problem.

I’m not predicting a US invasion of Mexico. I’m just using it to illustrate how a cold war can turn into a hot war. And how armies of immigrants can become armies of soldiers.

About Frank Davis

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11 Responses to Hot Wars and Cold Wars

  1. slugbop007 says:

    I was looking at the list of ingredients on my can of SanPellegrino Fantasia – Mandarin/Peach last night and noticed that it contained traces of carbon dioxide. Supposedly it adds extra zing to the carbonation.


  2. slugbop007 says:

    I was just thinking about Ebola and the discovery of a verifiable cure using tobacco leaves. Here is a Time magazine article from October, 2014, on that very same subject. I forget the exact year that the WHO held their conference in Russia during a previous Ebola outbreak, but I’m pretty sure if was after this article was published. Here is the iink:

    If Tobacco Control has suppressed this information in any way, shape or form they should all face criminal charges at The Hague.


  3. slugbop007 says:

    Here is a link to a Neil de Grasse Tyson interview with Air Miles Al Gore this past April. The title is Saving the Earth:


  4. slugbop007 says:

    I found the link to the WHO Russia conference. It was held in November, 2015, one year after the Time magazine article:

    Courtesy of Bloomberg News to boot!


  5. Smoking Lamp says:

    And from the frontlines in California, the social controllers are looking to tax soda using extreme taxes on cigarettes as a rationale. Of course the claim that extreme cigarette taxes have an actual health benefit is dubious and prior soda taxes have been ineffective. But the zealots never stop finding ways to impose their biases and fund their grift. Check out this Los Angeles Times oped: “The cigarette tax has saved millions of lives. A soda tax could too”. As always, the comments are instructive (especially the astroturf prohibitionist messaging).

    • waltc says:

      Unfuckingbelievable. That Times editorial. The “behavior economists” (an Orwellian occupation if ever there was one) who tout this shit. “”Soda taxes also counteract what behavioral economists call “internalities, mistakes we make because we succumb to temptation or don’t have all the information we need before making a decision. ”

      Oh yes, I do want to spend half an hour gathering information before deciding whether I want to succumb to the mistake of ordering a Coke. Waiter, give me another moment here, please.

      • RdM says:

        i>”Oh yes, I do want to spend half an hour gathering information before deciding whether I want to succumb to the mistake of ordering a Coke. Waiter, give me another moment here, please.”

        That so reminds me of Lyle Lovett And His Large Band, the 2nd track, “Here I Am”
        I own this album on LP maybe CD too, but in researching for this I was so pleased to discover a video of the recording tonight, which I’d never seen before.

        Perhaps it’s CD I have – I recall that the dynamic range is huge;- if you turn up ypur hi-fi system to hear the quietly spoken parts at normal conversational level in a room, as you should, then when the horn section comes in, it is really loud (as also it should be!).

        The dynamic range (between loud and barely audible) is squashed compared to the CD, but actually that’s probably useful, if using a lesser system (that can’t handle the peaks ~ and you in any moment are also part of that ~ because you can turn it up a bit to enjoy but not lose the softly spoken parts, nor having it suddenly blaring loud (although they did!)

        You have to take in, sit through, the whole song, to get to the punchline of the story.

        “Make it a Cheeseburger.”

        Some other great tracks on that too.

        Just an aside! ;=})

      • Frank Davis says:

        because we succumb to temptation

        This is a religion. A religion of not succumbing to temptation. The temptation of doing what you like doing.

        It has nothing to do with medicine or science.

        • RdM says:

          Yes. From the whole paragraph,

          Soda taxes also counteract what behavioral economists call “internalities,” mistakes we make because we succumb to temptation or don’t have all the information we need before making a decision. Two facts help quantify internalities. First, more than half of Americans who consume sugary drinks say they do so more often than they should. This suggests soda taxes could help people reduce their consumption to a level they are more comfortable with. Second, those who are more educated about nutrition consume a lot fewer sugary drinks. This suggests that soda taxes could help people reduce consumption toward the level they would choose if they were fully informed.

          It all seems nonsense. Utter non-sequiters. How ironic.
          I’m sure Christopher Snowdon could fisk this too.

          But again as a musical aside, this cover of a Tom Waits song by Diana Krall.



          On a spectrum analyser, I noticed the extraordinary percussion hits at 20khz…

  6. slugbop007 says:

    Someone should request the Los Angeles Times to show valid statistics that would back their claim that smoking bans have saved millions of lives. Put up or shut up. That’s a statement that I would never expect to see from a reputable OpEd journalist unless it was expressed by an independent observer who might not even possess journalistic credentials. California has been bullshitting about the dangers of tobacco for the past twenty years so I guess they have now infiltrated the Los Angeles Times editorial board as well as everywhere else. There are several millionaires and billionaires behind this crusade. I wonder how many $ they have invested in Public Health? As Deep Throat told Woodward in All the Presidents Men, follow the money.


  7. waltc says:

    the same people who bring you sin taxes (with an ever-expanding list of sins) also, just as virtuously, bring you the fragmentation of your culture

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