Dawn Of The Ice Age

Aquarian Weekly 4/15/09 REALITY CHECK


When we remember we are all mad, the mysteries disappear and life stands explained. – Mark Twain

High & MightyThere is currently a heated debate on the direction of U.S. foreign policy following our president’s whirlwind European/Middle East tour; much of it regurgitated miasma from ideological handbook recital. The ultra-right wing yelps about appeasement and weakness while calling for reactionary aggressiveness, the super-left wants open forums, troop withdrawals, and a denouncing of anything approaching a tough tactic, and the poor moderates can’t decide if we have ourselves a polished statesman or a half-assed apologist. No matter. This is the fact: The United States of America is a bankrupt nation under a mountain of debt decaying from a dying economy with a weakened military and little to no credibility on the world stage. We make nothing and we can’t fight wars anymore, our two most lasting attributes for most of the last century. Our options are few and most of them are not pleasant.

It’s nice of everyone to chime in as it was for Joe Cool to glide effortlessly between diplomacy, as he did when discussing opening relations with Iran, and displaying stiff rhetoric after North Korea played their every-three-years-please-look-at-us card. But let’s face it; what do we really have to offer the rest of the world right now? Our dollar stinks, our property is under-valued and we’re on the dole. We’re into the better part of a decade fighting god-knows-what in third world countries and the guy who actually hit us is still at large, although as stated here since late 2001 is probably stone dead.

It’s not the best hand to play during international summits.

This is why nobody digs our global stimulus chicanery nor is too keen on buying into another big troop build-up on the Pakistan border. Sure, this is a new guy, but it’s the same brand; loud and proud with nothing to back it up — no money, no balls, and a track record of shitty intelligence and even shittier battle execution. We’re like a once unbeatable heavyweight champ whose time in the ring ran too long; slow punches and even slower reflexes, a ghostly image of greatness staggering through the final sad exhibition.

It is time to rebuild, not go around demanding this and reprimanding that. And part of the rebuilding comes and goes with what’s happening abroad. It’s a global economy now. Pulling in the oars and ignoring everyone else is no longer an option. And in almost every way fathomable we are in no position to advise military restraint or fiscal responsibility, and we cannot with a straight face make anymore veiled attempts at engaging in another in an agonizing series of “evil axis” rants when we’re into a tyrannical communist regime for $500 billion.

We are the world’s drug; the true opiate of the masses. We’re the dangerously mercurial lover that is untrustworthy and vindictive, but so goddamned fun.

But this is also bad news for the rest of the planet, which we have propped up like straw man for a long time, some say too long — purchasing too much crap and visiting too many miserable places and sending our best scientists and technological engineers all over the place to run things. We send a fuselage of cash and provisions nearly every time some starving nation is on the brink and lord knows we offer up our fighting forces every time some crackpot pisses off the U.N.

The party’s over folks, or it should be, but you know it isn’t. We can’t stand not being bold and the rest of the spinning sphere wouldn’t know what to do without leaning on us or hating us. They need it. We are the world’s drug; the true opiate of the masses. We’re the dangerously mercurial lover that is untrustworthy and vindictive, but so goddamned fun.

But enough of the hackneyed metaphors, we’re more than happy to play along and pretend to still have the moves, send our brand-new young and hip president to thrash together the odd syllable and appear as if we’re still in the game. Shit, all he’s done is bow to the Saudi King, he didn’t hold hands and tip toe through the tulips like the last guy or send Americans to die blowing up countries like his daddy. But we will shut down the torture chambers, sort of, and make inroads to treat the Iranian menace with something approaching respect. We’ll even get off the high horse and begin to take stock of our decades of silly transcontinental chess matches and put our own house in order.

How this will happen is anyone’s guess. Maybe outlaw investment banking or sell the rest of our bonds to Euro-trash skinheads. We could stop this ridiculous embargo against Cuba and legalize drugs so we can partner up with the Taliban. Watch how fast we have allies when they see our insatiable gorging of recreational pharmaceuticals. War on Terror, over and out.

But alas, we’re not in the solving business here. We proudly hail from the Part Of The Problem wing. We point out how things went awry and how best to run from it. This is why we welcome the new voices of the “unpatriotic” like the former vice president and whatever bleating troll is speaking for Newt Gingrich these days. And we’d also like to welcome to the other side a new member of the dissidence team, Karl Rove, who after decades of trying to silence our hobbies is now ejaculating his barely coherent twaddle for buck or two. Good for you, Karl. Good for all of you.

Our tent is large in Radical Avenue. Pull up a stool, gentlemen, there’s plenty of room. Let’s just lay off all this “we must handle ” and “we must fight” goofiness. Those days are over, or not — like the purported slicing of the military budget that bloats four percent. We’re also tightening our belts here at The Desk, cutting our energy budget by raising our beer consumption ten percent.

See you in hell.

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