Sunday, March 21, 2004

One Year Later

And no, I wasn't there. Instead, I sent another $20 to the Kerry campaign. That's what I would have spent on tolls, fares, lunch and probably a drink at my regular pub.

Last year I was a bit hostile towards the demonstrators. I was still in the "they wouldn't be saying those things about Iraq if it weren't true" phase of denial. I have learned a lot this past year. First of all, yes they would say those things if they weren't true. There are no weapons of mass destruction. Intent to develop programs is not the same. That's not what they said. Yes, I'm happy Saddam Hussein has been taken down. My heartfelt best wishes to the Iraqi people as they attempt to put their lives back together. I'm gloomy about their prospects, though. Iraq sort of reminds me of Yugoslavia in that once the glue (Tito, Saddam) is gone, there's nothing holding the rest together. Just replace the Serbs of Yugoslavia with the Sunni of Iraq, and you have the promise of serious grief down the road.

It doesn't take a crystal ball to see moderation taking the most hits. Extremism always wins in these kind of fights. I guess the most important question Americans can start asking is, "Which state do we put our two or three million new Iraqi immigrants that we'll be forced to take on humanitarian grounds to save them from massacre?" I say we send them to Texas. If they take to Texas as well as the Cubans have to Florida, it won't be long at all before they can have several of their own Congressmen and maybe even a Senator.

Bush & Company's efforts against terrorism seems to be about as successful as puring gasoline on a hill of fire ants. It burns a few, disrupts the colony, spreads them around and makes them real mad. It doesn't get rid of the fire ant problem. Bin Laden is still free. Probably his money is still free, too. Those details are always murky. We've certainly learned that just because our government says something it don't make it so. Boy, are the Europeans mad about that. I fail to understand why Republicans in this country aren't mad as hell, too, but they just keep denying that there's anyway but Bush's way. Everybody's wrong in the whole world except them.

It's true that there haven't been any bombings in this country since September 11. Fundamentalism however doesn't target just the United States. In the case of Islamic fundamentalism, it targets anything identified as Western: Australians in Bali, Germans in Egypt, a neighborhood in Morocco, Jews everywhere. Does anyone truly believe they are safer because Saddam Hussein has been captured and his brutal reign in Iraq is over?

It's understandable how we got sucked in by Bush & Company's strategy. It seems to be an American tradition. In Vietnam we faced a near invisible foe. Did we give up fighting just because we didn't know who to fight? Hell no, we tried our best to bomb southeast Asia into the stone age. Problem with that strategy is that they were already in the stone age. Fast forward to Afghanistan, another stone age country with no rich targets. Damn, what's a cowboy general going to do? Choose another country with lots of rich targets ruled by an ugly dictator that no one likes, especially his own neighbors.

I can just hear those guys talking amongst themselves. "Hey, in Crawford, an A-rab is an A-rab. It don't matter if its Bin Laden, just as long as its A-rab butt being kicked." "Right, boss. We get two birds with one stone. You get credit for standing tall in the face of terror. We get a country rich for sacking." Who knew they were talking about sacking the U.S. Treasury and economy? Who knew?

I'm rambling now. Happy Sunday, all. Take some time off today, take a walk, smell a flower, bless a child, visualize a new government we can trust to help us imagine a better world. I'm going there now. Peace.