So I go on vacation, and World War III starts
Man oh man, what is there to say about the most recent bombing of oft-bombed Beirut? The real loser in this, I suppose, is the nascent Lebanese government, forced into the bizarre predicament of innocuous observer to the bombing of its own land.
Me, I didn't realize how bad it'd gotten. I was in this country's heartland, Kansas City to be exact, celebrating my 30th birthday with a week-long orgy of booze, barbecue and various unmentionables. But that's all behind me now. I'm on the dark side of young adulthood, and the Middle East is on the dark side of... well, something. So let's get into it.
Any of y'all catch the Colbert Report last night? The montage showing just about everyone on Fox News calling the Israeli/Hezbollah conflict "World War III" was particularly hilarious. I'll be ready to agree with them, just as soon as Israel busts out the nukes. Or maybe as soon as Fox News' favorite guy in the whole wide world starts to take it seriously himself -- and it's pretty obvious that Bush has yet to do so. In a press conference a couple days ago, White House Pres Secretary Tony Snow said that Sec. of State Condoleeza Rice would visit the region, but that he wasn't sure when, or what her goals would be, and that he prefered to just not deal with it for the time being.
"Look, the Secretary's going to go, but she's not even sure when. I think I'm going to kick the can down the road a little bit," Snow said. Nice. Let's play some kick the can while people are dying. Of course, given that we sat back on our asses and did nothing about genocide in Darfur, why should we get involved in this little spat, just because 300 or so people have died? I mean, that's kid's stuff to us. We wouldn't do anything about bodycounts in the six figures in places like Darfur or Rwanda, and now 250 Lebanese and 25 Israeli deaths are a big deal? Given past precedent, I don't get it. Or maybe I'm just forgetting one of the unmentioned rules of Western diplomacy -- black bodies mean about as much as grease spots on the road.
Pissed off yet? I know I am. The idea that we actually get involved in foreign wars to protect human life is so woefully wrong I don't even know where to begin. If that were true, we'd be all over Africa. But we've got no other reason to be -- like, say, oil. Or in the case of Israel, a friendly, stable democracy in an unfriendly, generally dictatorial part of the world. Wars don't start because of human life. Wars start because we can't reach our objectives through political and diplomatic means. And our objectives are never simply the "end of genocide" or some such noble goal. There's always something more. The decent, moral reasons for war are just the justification-icing on the geopolitical-cake.
As for the hyperbole of this being WWIII, it's just that -- vitriolic exaggeration spewed by people who are actually fervently hoping for such an outcome, because it'd be great for ratings and maybe it would make Jesus reappear.
Oh, and one other thing that happened while I was out. Did the president actually give the German chancellor a fucking back rub? Seriously?
Great fucking God. When will our embarrassment end?
Her reaction to this, just a few seconds later, shows how much she enjoyed it:
Seriously, what else can Bush do to embarrass each and every citizen of this country? Angela Merkel is the Chancellor of Germany not a fucking Hooters Girl, you stupid, ignorant jackass. Christ! This is the sort of thing that makes me long for the dignified, upstanding White House of Bill Clinton.