Thursday, August 2, 2007

it's cold outside



You thought you were rid of me. But I'm back with a rant for your pleasure.

Many things have changed since my last post. For one, I’ve single handedly depleted Syria of its supplies of cherry kebabs and smoothies. That's not true. But I did my darnedest.

More ominously and certainly less deliciously, the Bush administration is, according to Columbia academic Gary Sick, engaging in martial arts with Iran, effectively signalling the start of a new Cold War. With a $ 20 billion (that’s right, with a b) arms deal, the United States has thrown its support behind (or, more accurately, increased it support of) conservative Arab regimes and Israel against the Iranian government.

The geo-political calculations behind this strategic decision are many, but one way to examine it is in the context of Mr. Bush’s foreign policy experts. Heralded as the Vulcans when Bush entered office, these men and women had cut their teeth in the waning days of the Cold War, when, depending on the source, America defeated the "Evil Empire" or a weak state-without-a-nation completed its slow motion collapse. Creating the familiar paradigm of moral clarity embodied by the former scenario seems to loom large in the thinking of Bush's foreign policy team. Remember the Long War?

But the differing nature of Al-Qaeda’s threat - as a non-state entity - threw a wrench into these formulations and they pulled a Gatsby (“Can’t repeat the past? Why of course you can.”), seeking a return to wars with discrete nation states. See Iraq and, as it seems now, Iran, where the threat of a country with an economy smaller than that of the great state of Illinois seems to warrant dumping $20 billion worth (again, with a b) of arms into the region.

Where will these arms be in ten years? Who will they be pointed at? Which mothers, fathers, sons, or daughters will be killed by them?

Who is complicit?

If they’d read to the end of Gatsby (you and i both know that Mr. Bush never attended his American lit course at Yale, but I expected more from Ms. Rice) and learned about “what preyed upon him, what foul dust floated in his wake,” they may have known better.

Or they could have just listened to Lonnie Rashid Lynn, Jr., aka one of Chicago’s finest MCs, aka Common, aka Common Sense, who would have told them, “It ain’t ’94 (’84) Joe, we can’t go back.”

Or they could have consulted the millions of human beings (largely in the third world) for whom the Cold War wasn’t so mercifully cold. But I suppose they're not around to say anything.

So it's back to business as usual, leaving some to wonder why we fight.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

hey! i'm going to cali this weekend and won't be back until is the website i was talking about where i made extra summer cash. Later! the website is here