Saturday, September 22, 2012

Retrogress Congress

What's wrong with this sentence (taken from
"Before leaving Washington to concentrate efforts on their re-election campaigns, U.S. senators voted Saturday to fund the federal government into 2013 and passed a measure asserting a tough stance towards Iran over its nuclear program."

It reminds me of that last week of finals before Christmas vacation. I would look out my dorm window, away from Econ charts and Math equations, to salivate over my mothers cooking and think up new and exciting ways to ambush my brother.
But you still have work to do!!
And the fact that I can liken my laissez-faire finals attitude to that of the men and women "running" this country, is a more than uncomfortable situation.

I don't want my congressmen/women coming home to blow smoke up my ass while the world's on fire. I don't want them avoiding dire decisions because they have to put a few sticks with their faces on it in suburban front yards.
I mean, come on!
As one comic strip artist put it, if kicking the can down the road were an Olympic sport, the US would win gold, silver and bronze.
Unfortunately, we won't get more gold out of this fiasco.
The only thing gained is a deeper hole to dig ourselves out of on the assumption that once the elections pass, Congress and whatever puppet we elect will have the balls, intelligence and ability to compromise to balance the budget.
Pipe dreams.
Spinning wheels may give the illusion of forward motion but unless there's traction, you're just stuck in the mud. And we are deep.

Just the mere fact that we can continually allow our Congress to avoid any kind of responsibility says something. Why so complacent?
Is it because Endeavour flew by last night?
Or it was Friday night and by the time the news came in, you were too drunk to read your iPhone updates.
Why am I reading about this as if it's just another piece of news to air with the weather updates?

It's grossly unacceptable!
Let's avoid doing anything so we can all go home and tell our constituents how much we care. WHAT?!
I couldn't even get away with that in college. Oh yeah professor. I know I didn't turn in my paper or take the test, but you see, I'm planning for it, and working on my own approach, trying to gain support for my thesis - and I really do care, I just can't deliver anything right now.
Ummmm...OK, you fail. Grab an application to Starbucks on your way out.
(The fact that many college grads have to work at Starbucks is another conversation entirely).

And then this vague suggestion at pre-emptive war with Iran - tremendous.
With the striking name of Senate Joint Resolution 41, this Iran stance claims that time is running out on diplomacy. Although the Resolution also states that: "Nothing in this resolution shall be construed as an authorization for the use of force or a declaration of war," I'm not buying that should push come to shove, that sentence would stand firm against tanks and drones.
I hesitate to become morbid for a moment, but how much have we forgotten?
Are flag draped coffins and thousands of childless, parentless, widowed families not enough to jog the memory?
The Middle East is a quagmire. It always has been and always will be. Our foreign policy can not rest on the goal of "fixing" it. It's not our job, it's not our business.
As a foreign country, our job is to diplomatically set up parameters for relations. If those relations become strained or hostile, bombing the shit out of them won't convince them you're right.
I wonder if the new ranks of terrorist cells in Afghanistan and Pakistan think we're right. After shell shocking them non-stop with drone attacks, I wonder if they see our point as a freedom loving nation. I'm gonna err on the side of no.
Iran is no freedom loving nation either, but it's not our job to police them. It's not Israel's either.
I know it's unlikely to change, but our tight ties to Israel get us into more trouble than not.
Netanyahu is a war hawk and would love to get in the ring with Iran, knowing full well that our "diplomatic" ties would force us into the fray as well.
It's like a sick game of Twister where one foot wrong could set off a nuclear bomb.

I predict that some sort of ramped up power play is on the horizon with Iran, if for no other reason, our greed. I can recall reading a book many years ago called "Confessions of an Economic Hitman." In it, the author recounts a conversation he had with someone in the South Pacific, who warned that at some point in the future, the US would instigate war in the Middle East. This was at least 20 years before our pre-emptive strike on Iraq. The author thought the prediction silly but the man continued, saying that our greed based economy demanded control over these oil rich nations and the only way to secure it was through war. But he warned that these conflicts would not end the way the Cold War had. It would not end with a change in government. Because these Middle Eastern countries have such a strong faith base that once we are marked as "evil," they will never stop fighting us.

It is a frightening prediction but one that, as we have seen, is completely true.
As we kick our own financial problems down the road, we ready ourselves to take on the financial burdens of yet another war.
Meanwhile, your congressman/woman wants your vote.
What a sadly broken and twisted system this is.

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