Worlds & Time

Saturday, April 22, 2006

U.S. Interests

I was listening to a radio show today, and one of the topics that came up was U.S. interests over seas.

What a phenomenally fucked up idea.

You know what was nice about the cold war? The simplicity of the good/evil duality that the whole thing was based on. True, there are all those proto-film noirs that add shades of gray, but looking back on it you could really see the understanding that nationality was good and disrespect to your country was evil. There could be this impersonal camaraderie when you were shooting the other spy in the back because, hey, it was good times on both sides.

But now, you don't fight for our country.

Does anyone else remember victory gardens . . . ? Well, if you're reading my blog, probably not. I certainly don't, but I remember the idea, which was that war was hellish enough that you had to sacrifice for it. If it really was worth it, then you could give up something so that your country to fight. Circa WWII, incidentally, although there were some more in the Vietnam era.

Now what do we give up? I'll tell you, it's our souls.

I'm not saying that it's just one company. As I sit in my Sam's Club purchased chair on my computer with an Intel chip and just having eaten a bag of Nori Maki that may as well have been produced by Atria, I have to rail against the internationals, because I know that nothing I can say or do could ever hurt them.

We don't have interests over seas. The American people, that is. Well, that's a mis-statement. We do have interests, but they're supposed to be about real concerns. The natural resources of another country should never have become an interest of the American government. You know why? Because we're Americans. We're self sufficient and rugged and (dare I say?) manly. When we have a dependency on anything that's a problem that we should have steered clear of. And you know it's gotten bad because even Bush acknowledges it.

I'm too lazy to find a resource for this, but did you know that hybrid cars are killing the environment? Why? Because somewhere in Washington, someone struck a deal with the car companies, and instead of thinking it through, it was some 23 year old that was up against two 40 year old corporate lawyers that ate him alive.

The deal went wrong this way. A congressman (probably a democrat) said to an aide: "We need more hybrids on the market. Two guys from GM and Ford are coming in to talk to you, and I want you to convince them to produce more hybrids."

And so the corporate lawyers come in, and they say, "Sure, no problem! We can do that, but we want these concessions. Quid pro Quo."

And the aide is so shocked that he agrees to it, and the law comes up, and the democrat votes for it (of course the Republicans vote for it, it's written in blood on their corporate contracts), and it passes.

So why is more hybrids a bad thing? Because for every hybrid sold, the Illinois boys get to produce a vehicle that (may or may not violate U.S. regulations and) makes up the difference that someone saves by driving a hybrid.

So when the commercial comes on for the hybrid (or when Bill Maher is talking about his Prius) and someone says "I'm doing my part," that's just dandy, except he's not because elsewhere there's a person that's making up the difference.

We don't even notice, and so when Bush notices, you know some thing's wrong. Our interests are heavily invested in being free, and it's hard to do that when we're enslaved to Sheik Abdullah bin Abdulaziz al-Saud or when China and Japan own our souls in the form of currency deposits.

And so we don't fight for America any more. We fight for good things, but those things are black or white any more. We fight for gray (have you ever heard anything more depressing?) and it's a dark gray.

Why are Victory Gardens important? Because it was important enough to us to fight that we had to give up something. Today, some of the players can't give something up. KBR shouldn't be making money off of Iraq of Afghanistan. Profiting off of something like a war should be a fucking crime against humanity. If KBR was a person, for the first time ever I'd argue for the death penalty.

U.S. interests abroad should be protecting our citizens. But crime should be a national priority. The war in Terrorism needs to be fought without sacrificing troops that could have been used in Katrina. Hey, for that matter, aren't storms on U.S. soil supposed to be U.S. interests?

Our drug problem should be too, but the war on drugs needs to be fought here in America. Not in Columbia. Oil is a national interest, but only our oil and our dependence on it. You'll never solve it by going somewhere else. Could Rocky have won by learning ballet instead of boxing? If you want the results, why can't we do the work?

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