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Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Libya Makes Me Sick

Libyan problems! Political posturing, alliances, double-talk, debate, calculated actions, potential deadly consequences, half-truths, lies -- I'm sick of it all. The United States of America has become a hotbed of reactionaries who clutch one handful of cruise missiles and another handful of olive branches. No one is immune to the debate: Are we the peacekeepers of the world, or are we better served to keep our distance from civil wars in foreign lands?

Philosophy and politics, now there is a contradiction of oxymoronic proportions. I mean, do you really trust these people you elected not to turn coat in the face of party support? Do you really think they care about enacting policies you hold most dear? And besides, who are they representing and why are they qualifying every remark? What way does the money storm blow? And, of course, how does CNN and Fox News report the consequences of any action or inaction?

Enough, damn it! Enough! Take all the public opinion polls and spin them any way you like. I don't care anymore because the voice of the individual is secondary to the power of political parties and to their incredible corporate control.

I know that only a fool like me would ignore the history of money and power. Maybe that's because I have never had either. But now I'm going to have my say, so here it is.

I am a voter who wants his government to pay close attention to the diminishing respect we receive from others around the world. We, the United States, as a wide-eyed and covetous Big Brother, feel the need to meddle in the affairs of foreign nations and to monetarily and politically enrich them as we nurture their potential for our own advancement.  We send money, weapons, and other assistance to those who will later turn on a dime (better make that a $20.00 bill now) when the times get rough and become our worst enemies. Our best step children continually bite the hand that feeds them. Upon inspection, I see that my hands have been gnawed to the bone.

Civil wars are defined as "wars between organized groups within the same nation, state, or republic."

Since the end of World War II, civil wars have lasted on average just over four years, a dramatic rise from the one-and-a-half year average of the 1900-1944 period. While the rate of emergence of new civil wars has been relatively steady since the mid-19th century, the increasing length of those wars resulted in increasing numbers of wars ongoing at any one time. For example, there were no more than five civil wars underway simultaneously in the first half of the 20th century. (Ann Hironaka, Neverending Wars: The International Community, Weak States, and the Perpetuation of Civil War, Harvard University Press: Cambridge, Mass., 2005)

We could debate ad infinitum about who should live and who should die outside our borders during a foreign civil war. We can pat ourselves on the back (and we should) about our humanitarian efforts to save innocent citizens caught in the grasp of evil dictators and despots. We can rationalize the need for any military action that keeps hearts beating. We do many wonderful things. And, we also screw up worse than Larry the Cable Guy trying to play a dramatic role.

To me, the latest Libyan talks and decisions look so, so phony. I don't understand the urgency of swift action at the time. We flipflop and we half-ass and we offer weak promises. In the meantime, people in Libya judge us as if we are the Almighty with the power to fight a bloodless civil conflict of sweeping political change. Is it any wonder we are going to end up being the ultimate antagonists? "Give me your weapons today and tomorrow, when we disagree, I'll be strong of mind enough to use them against you."

Oh, God, how I hate to evoke the names of the past... Vietnam, Iraq, Cuba. These specters are haunting my dreams again. Can't you just stop the fucking madness that will require Americans bleeding out? Tragedy looms on the Middle Eastern horizon? Yes, you can stop it. Stay out of Libya. It's time. Let me spell this out: C...I...V...I...L.

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