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Reflections

Disclaimer:   This is pure opinion.  No documentation, no links, just raw opinion.  Feel free to ingore.  Your mileage may vary.  Use at your own risk.

I have always had a finely developed sense of impending doom.  Growing up in the 60’s and 70’s, I lived in a constant state of fear that the Cold War would get heated up and I would die in a nuclear Armageddon or the ensuing nuclear winter.‡    With the collapse of the Soviet Union, that fear diminished.  Then came 9/11.

I believe that 9/11 occurred because we were perceived by the world as weak, spineless, and without the stomach for the action necessary for killing the bastards responsible and everyone associated with them effective retaliation and neutralization in an asymmetrical war.  In large part, I think we demonstrated otherwise.

But, here we are, 12 years later, and no amount of groping by the TSA, domestic surveillance by the NSA, the Patriot Act, and all the other losses of freedom and privacy has made us any safer.  In spite of the inconveniences, indignities and intrusions we can’t even keep tabs on a couple of Chechen terrorists we were warned about by our allies.  Our military acted in good faith, tried to accomplish the mission of making us safer (argue all you want about whether it was the right mission, the right response, etc.) and our sons and daughters have paid the price in blood, limbs, and lives.   All of that has been a waste, because we are perceived by the world as weak, spineless, and without the stomach for the action necessary.

Why?  Because our Dear Leader doesn’t understand:

  • that making us the Great Santa doesn’t mean a significant portion of the world doesn’t still see us as the Great Satan
  • that other than on the east and west coasts of this country and in Western Europe, most of the world sees concession as a sign of weakness
  • that for most of the world, negotiation is perceived as a lack of resolve
  • that what he perceives as sophisticated, nuanced diplomacy is perceived by most of the rest of the world as spinelessness.  Our President acts and speaks as if he believes the rest of the world plays by the same set of enlightened, evolved rules he affects to by playing by

In short, we are less safe now than we were twelve years ago because, whether through stunning hubris and stupendous incompetence or as a deliberate act to reduce the stature of the country, our Dear Leader has given away any progress we might have made.  The worst part is that we will have even less liberty, even less privacy and will be even less safe a year from now.

That finely developed sense of impending doom of mine seems a lot less like paranoia and a lot more like a rational assessment of the situation on the ground with each passing day.

‡Of course, I also slept with my arms at my sides for fear that an alien in a passing UFO would interpret some random arm position as the intergalactic version of the finger…

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