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Wednesday, December 04, 2002
Before beginning this week's blog, I'd like to take a moment to thank those who responded to last week's, "My Reflections on 'World AIDS Day" blog. From those who said it was "very funny" to those calling for my castration. A very special thanks to the gentlemen who wrote, "You are one sick bastard. I hope you die a slow & painful death." Thank you, sir, for the email. All 523 copies of it. Now, without further ado, I give you. . .


On Dec. 7, 1941, a surprise attack on Pearl Harbor, on the coast of Hawaii, changed the course of history, pulling America into World War II. It was, as stated by then-President Franklin D. Roosevelt, "a day that will live in infamy".

Over 2400 lives were lost that day, and each Dec. 7 we remember the sacrifice our servicemen made to protect our freedoms. Well, maybe I should qualify the previous statement. Some remember. Sadly, however, if you asked an under-30 year old American on the street what "Pearl Harbor Day" is, too many would guess it had something to do with jewelry.

To those Americans, as with Americans of all ages, another more recent event became their defining, history changing, moment. The terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001. Another day that will "live in infamy."

So, then how in the hell did we get into Iraq? Figuratively speaking. At the moment, anyway. And is it merely coincidence that the U.S. imposed 'deadline' for Iraqi compliance with UN weapons inspectors just happens to fall on the same weekend as Pearl Harbor Day? From Pearl Harbor to 9/11, two defining moments in U.S. history linked across generations, segueing into the Iraqi threat and finally coming full circle to Pearl Harbor Day itself. Do you ever feel manipulated and used? The world leader who recently called Bush a "moron" is obviously an idiot.

At first, it was the pretext of the Hussein regime having links to Al Qaeda. Soon, the Bush administration sheepishly admitted, "Whoops! We couldn't find any direct links." But Bush assured us that Hussein was still the "Big Bad". Iraq was still part of the "Axis of Evil". The Nazi allusion reminded me of something we used to say as kids...

"I'm not Hitler, you are! Neener! Neener!"

Then, he went to Plan B. Iraq is a "rogue nation" on the verge of having nuclear capabilities. Ok, Mr. Bush, I've got some good news and some bad news. The good news is, I'll agree with you. The bad news is, guess what, North Korea - another member of the oh-so scary, wannabe world dominating "Axis of Evil" - has also been branded a "rogue nation" and, gulp, is ever so close to building nuclear weapons.

As some old president once said, "The bombing starts in five minutes."

Luckily, for North Korea, their leaders never plotted to assassination Pres. George W's father when he visited Kuwait a few years back. Still, for the sake of consistency, shouldn't the U.S. bomb the hell out of them anyway? But then, the Bush administration isn't exactly known for consistency. Well, except when it comes to raping planet earth. But I digress. Environmental Policies 101 is another blog entirely.

Then there's Pakistan. Our good friends, the Pakistanis. A country that supported the U.S. in the early days of the "War on Terrorism." But we come to find out, its a right hand not knowing the left hand kind of deal. From 'New York Times', 2 Nov. '02:

" ...Pakistan's air fleet conducted a deadly barter with North Korea. In transactions intelligence agencies are still unraveling, the North provided General Musharraf with missile parts he needs to build a nuclear arsenal capable of reaching every strategic site in India.

In a perfect marriage of interests, Pakistan provided the North with many of the designs for gas centrifuges and much of the machinery it needs to make highly enriched uranium for the country's latest nuclear weapons project, one intended to put at risk South Korea, Japan and 100,000 American troops in Northeast Asia..."


Sorry, Pakistan. The bombing starts in five minutes. There would be a historical precedent for this one. See, some 20-odd years ago, Iraq was a "friend" of the U.S. too. During the Iran-Iraq War, we supported Hussein. And in the intervening years, boy, that former friend has sure gone to hell. Insert much hand wringing here.

So, Iraq has no direct links to Al Qaeda. The evidence of a nuclear program of any consequence is spotty at best. But wait, as Plan C goes, its still a way big, Galactus-sized, scary. Chemical and biological weapons hidden under Hussein's bed in the palace, and all that. Boo!

Now, we could easily buy altruistic allusions to "bringing peace to an unstable region" as a pretext for war, we could try the historical nostalgia of breaking an "Axis of Evil", but let's not beat around the Bush.

To no small extent, it's about something else. Oil. They got it. We want it. And we'll do anything to get it. We Americans are addicts, and our drug of choice is petroleum based. The Middle East is our supplier. Bush, Cheney, and the rest of the gang - many of whom have oil in their blood - are our dealers. And we are the users.

But, America, we can recover. Remember, we deal with oil - cunning, baffling, powerful! We stand at the turning point. Here are steps we can all take, which I suggest as a program of recovery.

1. We admit we are powerless over oil - that our lives have become unmanageable.

2. Come to believe that a good beating about the head and shoulders might restore us to sanity. Temporarily.

3. Make a decision to turn our will and lives over to the care of alternative fuel sources AS WE UNDERSTAND THEM.

4. Make a searching and fearless moral inventory of our oil consumption needs.

5. Admit to ourselves - as a nation - the exact nature of our wrongheadedness.

6. Seek through prayer, heavy politicking, and a lot of screaming and gnashing of teeth, to improve our use of alternative fuel sources AS WE UNDERSTAND THEM.

7. Having pulled our collective heads out, we carry this message to oil addicts elsewhere, and practice these principles in all our driving affairs.

And here you thought there'd be twelve steps. But I know we Americans like to do things fast, fast, fast! So I cut it down to seven. Still, some reading this will exclaim, "What an order! I can't go through with it!" Do not be discouraged. We didn't become addicted to oil in one day, so easy does it.

Now, as for Iraq... War is so, well, analog. This is the digital age. Let's solve our problems in a more *civilized* manner.

I propose using a Reality TV based method of solving world conflicts. For instance, let's take the Israeli/Palestinian conflict. Let's put them on a game of "Global Family Feud".

"On this side, the Israeli family. On that side, the Palestinian family. Now, let's play Family Fuuuued!" (cue cheesy music here)

"We asked one hundred people in Israel and the occupied terrorities, name something you order in an Israeli pizza parlor."


"Yassar, your answer?"

Yassar Arafat: "If it is an Israeli customer, a sausage and ham pizza."

"Survey says."


"Oh, I'm sorry. It isn't on the board. Now, for the steal, Ariel?"

Ariel Sharon: "I would say the order would be, DIE! DIE! DIE! and then the Palestinian suicide bomber posing as a customer blows himself up."

"Survey says."


Then, before host Richard Karn can say it isn't on the board either, both sides start screaming epithets at each other. Two members of the Palestinian family blow themselves up. At the same moment the Israeli family, members of the military all, pull their guns and start shooting.

Richard Karn is cut to ribbons in the crossfire of flying shrapnel and bullets.

And hardly anybody watches because, after all, just how many times can one watch Israelis and Palestinians ruthlessly killing each other? Whether its on the Game Show Network or CNN, it still looks like a repeat episode and everybody knows how it will end.

As for Iraq and the U.S., I think wrestling's "WWE Smackdown!" would be an appropriate venue. In this corner, George "The Animal" Bush. In the other corner, Saddam "Insane" Hussein. Its got everything global politics has. A well defined, yet illusionary, line between good and evil. A running backstage soap opera element. Lots of strong words to incite the audience into a state of frenzy. And the winner takes all. It's perfect.

And while we're watching this world stage, we can wax nostalgic about how much simpler it all was back in 1941.

So, happy Pearl Harbor Day everybody. If you decide to go out and celebrate, try not to get bombed yourself.


Next Tuesday: "The Mystery of Cattle Mutilations SOLVED!" Be here! Until then...

posted by Pete 1:24 AM
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