These days, I have a tendency to ignore the outside world. I can hardly bear to read the paper. I keep the TV off too. This new war is utterly cynical, even by already rock-bottom Middle East standards. And how about US policy these days? Abuse, killings, rapes, torture in Iraq. Have we reached bottom yet? Somehow, I don’t think so; worse is to come. Everything is falling apart at once: Iraq, Afghanistan, Iran, Korea, and Somalia. This Lebanon war is only one new symptom of our helplessness post-Iraq invasion. This would not have happened 5 years ago. Nobody is afraid of us now. Plus we have zero contact or leverage with any of the main actors: Hebollah, Hamas, Iran or Syria.
The sad thing is that we actually had such a great opportunity after 9/11 to improve the situation. What a waste. It’s as though FDR had used Pearl Harbor as the excuse to invade Canada. There is no understanding on the part of this administration of the real nature of the “war” we are in.
In my opinion, the mistake we have made goes deeper than the last 5 years. It’s our mindset. Like they say, the generals always prepare for the last war. I think we have spent most of our efforts over the last 60 years re-preparing for World War II. Look at our weapons: huge fleets of planes and tanks, aircraft carriers. We have enough stuff to pound or invade a dozen countries as well as turn the planet into Venus. What do we need all this stuff for? We’re # 1. Even the next 25 countries put together couldn’t beat us. But it seems that’s what we do best. Vietnam: invade and bomb them back to the stone age; invade Grenada, bomb Serbia, bomb Iraq and invade Kuwait and of course, bomb and invade Iraq – the sequel. But it’s not really surprising. If you have an SUV (or a tank) in your garage, sooner or later you’re going to drive it. That’s part of our problem. When you have a whole bunch of tanks, ships and planes hanging around; they’re going to get used, sooner or later to solve our problems. That partly accounts for the bloodlust of 3 – 4 years ago when Bush & co. were just itching for any excuse to strike back at somebody. We’ve got 10 trillion $ worth of freaking hardware. Somebody is going to get it. Pound and invade.
And our military did a splendid job as usual. Just like D-day. The trouble was we had no plan beyond that. (As Donald Rumsfeld himself admitted) As we all know now. Now we’re stuck with a lot of angry, nervous young soldiers tooling around a battered wasteland, full of hostile or hostile-looking natives, with no real mission that anybody can explicate in words. Beyond stay the course, whatever that means Yes sir, “stuff happens” –(another Rumsfeld quote). Now we can’t leave. In a twisted irony, the dangers they lied about and said existed as an excuse for this needless conflict now actually do exist. Now we have to invade – except, by a stroke of genius, we already have.
We are in a pickle, that’s for sure. What will happen? The future is quite predictable, I believe. Look no farther than Palestine. The future of the war on terror. The Israelis have been basically been kicking the crap out of the Palestinians and South Lebanon for decades. Generation after generation of pound and invade. Don’t get me wrong. I think the Palestinian leadership and tactics are odious. But the Israelis are equally unattractive. I wish I was not on the same planet with these people. And what has been the result of 60 years of pound and invade? Have a look at CNN.
Now they’re building this big wall. Maybe a dome next? Keep out those missiles. Gee, a theme park – Israeli World, or whatever.
I don’t think you can establish a home in a neighborhood where you spend all your time shooting the neighbors (and their kids). Israel’s dilemma is like what we see in a Tom and Jerry cartoon. Tom (the Arabs) keeps harassing Jerry (Israel) so Spike (the US) tells him: “ If you need help, pal, just whistle!) Jerry spends the rest of the cartoon whistling for Spike who gives Tom some good beatings. At the end, though, we see Jerry whistling vainly as Spike is carted away by the dogcatcher. That’s the problem. Jerry is a smart mouse but if he doesn’t make peace, Tom is gonna get him sooner or later.