Saturday, January 29, 2005

Return to the Days of Darkness

The future looked bright. The Cold War was over. The threat of mutual destruction was no longer in the back of everyone’s mind. Those bomb shelters and movies of atomic bomb drills now look quaint. Also, here at home, one needn’t fear that their lives would be ruined by a misstatement or injudicious youthful decision. Now, “pinko” may refer to one’s sexual orientation or just a color but certainly not a career ending political slur.

While containment and the threat of war kept the Cold War from going hot, free markets is what slew the dragon. Once again: Free markets perform better than planned economies. Not freedom by force, but freedom by example undid communism. The two Germanys, the two Koreas, the difference became obvious to anyone and everyone: communism as a form of government had no future. Marx has no clothes, and everyone could see what was exposed.

The booming economy for which Clinton gets the credit may have been the peace dividend. Finally, the U.S. had climbed out of the debt from fighting the Cold War and the hot war in Vietnam. The threat of war was gone; a thaw in the ridged mindset of ever vigilance was occurring; spring was in the air. The possibilities were seemed boundless. Having been born at the start of the Cold War, I had come to think that war with the USSR was inevitable and only a matter of time. And then, I came to believe I would live out my remaining years with no threat of WWIII. We had dodged the bullet. My son would not have to make the decisions I did or as my father had done before me.

But now, I believe the shades of darkness are descending on us once again. Nothing in this world is more destructive or blood thirsty as a people who think they have God on their side and they are doing His work. Bush’s inaugural speech sent a chill up my spine. What have we done? Pray God protect us from a faith-based government – especially one that is on a mission.

The one area of the Bush’s administration that most needed change is the one going into the next four years unaltered. The Necons remain in control of foreign policy. When does a political show of strength become a realistic display of a lack of common sense? The Necons were so fatally wrong about Iraq that anyone with any dignity would have quit in disgrace, but they are continuing to go on, planning more strategic blunders – given their past performance – and pulling the rest of us with them.

War is not something to be taken lightly. Once initiated, it has a life of its own. History has a list of aggressive leaders who thought their war would go their way, only to be educated otherwise about war’s own agenda. Rather than the naive assumption that with our invasion we would set up a democracy in Iraq to stabilize the Middle East, events seem to be pointing to a destabilization of the Middle East. A greater conflagration appears possible. Have we started WWIII? Not 9/11, not Afghanistan, but our obviously unjustified invasion of Iraq.

And the name calling and finger pointing has returned: to criticize the government is to criticize America, to mention the shortcoming of the Neocons is to belittle those in the army. And now, if you are against Bush, you are against God.

Duck and cover in the darkness again.

By the way on a lighter note, Red Word / Blue Word has been updated.
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