Monday, January 30, 2006

Reasons I Can't Sleep and Will Have Ulcers, High Blood Pressure and Worry Lines Before I'm 30

These topics have been dominating the news as of late (some for, you know, the past few decades), and will probably continue to do so for some time, so I thought I would weigh in with my two cents. Who's ready for some shallow, uninformed analysis, opinion, innuendo, cliches and self-deprecating humor?

Israel & Palestine's Bitch Fight: This one's older than many of our parents, but much bally-hoo has been made of Hamas' recent parliamentary election victory. My take? Meh. The Palestinians wanted to send a message (this may be a vote more against Fatah than for Hamas), and countless terrorist groups have successfully made the transition into political legitimacy before (such as those damn American Revolutionaries!). Mahmoud Abbas is still president, Hamas' remarks have been nothing but rational, cooperative and promising, and the peace process is still progressing. They've adhered to the truce for about a year now and as for acknowledging Israel's right to exist, hell, I don't acknowledge Israel's right to exist (beyond their original borders) -- you can't just lay claim to a region your people allegedly inhabited 2500 years ago that's been inhabited by someone else for the last 2000 years! Worst part is, they milked a real tragedy committed upon them (the Holocaust) for sympathy from the rest of the world for this unrelated cause. Lame. So anyway, unless the world community does something rash and stupid (such as withholding or cutting aid), we may see the creation of a new Palestinian state in our lifetime. But, given our recent history with rash, stupid actions, the peace process may instead deteriorate into a clandestine slap-fight between Israel and Palestine, or worse, we may drive the Palestinians into the open, Israel-hating, nuclear arms of Iran, which brings me to the next issue...

Iran's Napoleonic Complex: The new Iranian president Mahmud Ahmadi-Nejad is boastfully asserting that they will try to enrich uranium. In the past we would just arm and train an oppressive regime to deal with these dudes, but we've kinda had that bite us in the ass recently. Fortunately, damn near the whole world (even China) is against Iran having the ol' bomb. Diplomacy's gonna have to cut it this time; we just plain do not have the support, manpower or resources anymore to mount another war/police action/Operation Iranian Freedom. Of course, we'll probably just impose sanctions, thus effectively crippling their infrastructure and making them want/need nuclear technology even more, while simultaneously making them hate us very, very much. If diplomacy and sanctions fail and Iran joins the I've-got-nukes-so-respect-my-authora-tah club, Christ only knows how they'll use that leverage. If we also piss off the Palestinians, the two might team up and go all cowboy on Israel. A massive Middle Eastern war would ensue, and in this post-9/11 world of terrorism, Jihad and Muslin extremism, combined with the weak-ass state of our military, and, well, that wouldn't be pretty.

North Korea's Even Bigger Napoleonic Complex: Reinforcing the notion that all brutal, third-world leaders are hung like house kittens, Kim Jong Il continues to pursue his interests of nuclear weaponry and crappy cinema while his government has recently been caught trafficking arms, drugs and counterfeit U.S. money. Ditto for everything discussed above under Iran except for the parts about China and Palestine -- China is North Korea's buddy. Yikes.

India & Pakistan's Even Scarier Bitch Fight: The media would have you believe that both these countries are docile as Hindu cows. Neither gets much press attention, and when they do it's about outsourcing, globalization or them being our allies in the war on terror. But guess which global conflict was the primary influence on the last two adjustments of the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists' Doomsday Clock? Here's a hint: it ain't "Terrorists v. Freedom." In the late 90s, both nations went public with nuclear tests. Both presumably have the bomb. Each hates the other's fucking guts. Neither quite seems to understand the concept of "mutually assured destruction." And because of them, the Doomsday Clock currently stands at seven minutes to midnight. Ugh. Looks like it's time to get my Xanax prescription refilled...

Coming in 2014 to a Theater Near You..."Hotel Sudan": While the decade, president and country being ignored have all changed, the atrocity remains the same: genocide. Human depravity and suffering are being taken to the MAX in Darfur and we're letting it rot. Seriously, when the fuck is the international community going to prioritize shit like this as much as the aforementioned situations? In the immortal words of Bad Religion, "unac-fucking-ceptable."

Well there you have it, until I can think of something else to whine about.