Wednesday, January 17, 2007
OVERFLOATER doesn't want to give credibility to all those Nostradamus-believing people who have been saying that the world will end in 2012. But damn it all, if the news hasn't been warming us up for a mega-tragedy then I don't know what. Of course there have always been those who have felt that the world was coming to an end. I can rightly see the perspective of those who lived through World War II Europe, to those who were Jewish in Poland, those who tried to resist the Nazi occupiers along the spearhead of their invasion in the Soviet Union, hell even the ad exec who was trying to get down from the World Trade Center.
Maybe it is because we live in a world where technology is so widespread that someone can record an act of terrorism - or an act of God, such as an earthquake or tsunami - with their cell phone. And then the media can take that cell phone, download its images and broadcast them to the world. So we watch entranced in our living rooms half a world away while the ocean takes buses, cars, children and adults back into the depths.
This morning it was announced that 34,000 Iraqi civilians have been killed in 2006. The United States has lost 3,000 soldiers in 4 years. The cold analysis of that 10:1 ratio in casualties satisfies the unfeeling economical minds in our leadership echelon. Of course now we see the dismissal of the assistants in trying to salvage what could become the greatest lame-duck presidency of all-time. Circumstances arising from terrorism (which is not a new threat) have caused the greatest economic engine of the time to burn out its clutch and leave the transmission by the side of some desert road. My personal take on this is that the Euro was really starting to outperform the dollar and soon it would hold the power to get that second-largest oil reserve in the world under Iraq pumping again. Faced with the escalating sales of SUV's and the increasing consumption of gasoline in the States, our leaders saw an opportunity to take the oil fields by force instead of economic persuasion. A regime in power that was merely a shelled-out house that could be easily toppled, cook up a story about the possibility of WMD and sell it to the American people who want the good times to keep rolling. In turn, you develop a target for the terrorist networks away from mainland America. The rationale: let them try to attack the Army - which will only remain there in time to protect the oil fields while the country collapses into civil war - who are trained for such combat. Too bad for the poor Army fellows who are there simply to be attacked in a remote, foreign country - the leaders say - but we still got a 10:1 ratio.
Iraq is not Vietnam. The reasons are completely different. Today's war is an energy grab, Vietnam was a containment maneuver- an effort to keep poor Asian countries from resorting to communism, which could result in what the American leaders at the time referred to as a 'domino effect'. Then the Soviets would have the majority of control in Asia, making democratic allies such as India very nervous. No such circumstances this time. We have isolated ourselves from the world with our near-unilateral action of invading a country. Just say it, "...invading a country."
Some food for thought. I know getting in political conversations can sometimes be problematic. Especially at a bar, where such conversations can go wrong quickly.
Now for the bright side, let's enjoy professional sports while we can still afford to.