Saturday, June 19, 2004

A LONELY COMPUTER
For the past few months, I've wondered if there was a reason to write this blog. I’d fallen into the trap of repeating and linking to news events as if I had a unique perspective on them. Maybe I do, but do does anyone want to read it? It wasn't interesting to me. Beyond that, I've mostly been starring slack-jawed at the news of recent months, asking one simple question.

Who thought it would ever come to this?

Actually, a lot of people did. Many, many folks were worried about GWB's lack of brainpower, his evil corporate handlers and where they would lead this nation. Now we know... and it ain't a pretty place. The US is hated or dismissed by much of the world, particularly Muslims or those who can generate electricity and clean water without our help. Yes, certain Third World, ex-Iron Curtain countries still back us, but that’s only to insure their names rising to the top of our Foreign Aid list.

Faced with bipartisan panels that dispute administration claims, our government has hit a stage of reality disconnect that reminds one of a child who, when confronted with disagreeable news, covers his ears and shouts incoherently.

Corporations - who've been greedily pillaging countries and cultures across this planet for decades - are shocked...Shocked!...that dark-skinned non-customers want to kill their employees for no more than symbolic reasons.

And internally? Granted, I live in Florida, but... this afternoon, the family hit the driving range for an hour. When leaving, I saw writing on the rear window of a newish SUV. In large, white greasepaint handwriting, it said "Kill 10 al-Qaida for every American murdered." Isn't it interesting to see someone looking to Nazi Germany for advice on how to handle "bad guys" (the 10 for 1 pledge something they tried in France against the Resistance). And how much would such a threat help anyway since we're dealing with a martyr culture that looks forward to death? Perhaps the threat of homosexual man-piling the homophobic al-Qaida would serve as a stronger threat?

Oh wait... we tried that.

I'm no dove in all this. I backed (albeit tepidly), GWB's move into Afghanistan to take out the Taliban (though he should have finished the job). I strongly backed Bush 1's move against Iraq in the first Gulf War (again, he should have finished the job). But every news story and tell-all book from excommunicated GWB staffers seems to confirm that fact that our Iraq adventure was really about kicking some ass, remaking the Middle East to our liking and (perhaps) taking out a future threat.

It might have taken a couple of months or years later, but we could have achieved those same goals with the help of the rest of the world. And had GWB taken such a prudent approach (the approach followed by his Father, BTW) we might not be in the one-friend coalition mess that we're in now which is on the road to nowhere but perpetual war. And what luck! American's don't like to vote out the President during wars, huh?

Ultimately, the overwhelming sense of dread wins out no mater how optimistic you are. I keep asking myself, where does it end? One scenario was discussed in a recent Fresh Air interviewed a NYT Middle East Correspondent. Contrasting the Israeli/Palestinian conflict with the US efforts against terrorism, he compared the Israeli conflict to the Spanish Civil War - a precursor event in where various sides worked out the plans of attack to use in the larger conflict looming. He also pointed to Israel's building of a wall as a possible future for the US and Muslim worlds. He suggested that if the US and the rest of the West couldn't solve this terror problem, they might simply opt to build a wall in many forms to keep Muslims out of the West.

I believe it. And after that, I see the next step as the West evicting Muslims from Western countries. When push comes to shove, I don't think the SUV guy will have much trouble changing al-Qaida to Muslim or Camel Jockey. Is it right or fair? No. But if we reach that point, I don't think right or fair will matter. And if that happens, I don't know if I want to be here.

Well there I go, talking about the news again. Even though it might not make a bit of difference to anyone, I feel better having written it.

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