Friday, July 14, 2006


My fear? That World War III may have already started. That future historians (if any there are) will look back and see its origins in the 9/11 attack on the World Trade Center and your responses to that event, Bush.

Waking up with this thought this morning, I googled WWIII and came up with all kinds of wonderfully wacky stuff on both sides of the political spectrum--for the most part far left and far right. Thus far WWIII thinking is still out on the fringes.

But the past two days' events in the Middle East are cause for considerable alarm. And it's not only what's happening Lebanon, but the broader context that is frightening: the escalation of sectarian slaughter in Iraq, the adamant refusal of Iran to listen to the rest of the world, the attack in Mumbai and the simmering nuclear rivalry between Pakistan and India, the stubborn and growing problem of world-wide terrorism and, out there on the furthest and brittlest of limbs, Kim Jong Il with his fistful of malfunctioning rockets and nuclear warheads.

All this, Bush, on your watch. Not that anyone can lay all the blame at your door, I suppose. There are some wicked, ruthless people out there, bent on causing trouble. They're up for anything that will satisfy their greed or further their fanatical cause. But I can't help wondering with some sorrow how much different the world would look today had the prescient Al Gore been elected President of the United States back in 2000 (as I and many others believe he was.) How differently the twenty-first century might have dawned. You are, after all, heaven help us, the most powerful person in the world--unless we assume that other, more powerful men behind you are indeed pulling the strings--and your personal belligerence and truculence can't help but be reflected in the state of things out there. As I have often said, I see you as an essentially weak man who has something to prove, a dangerous combination.

The folks in the media like to say that you're taking a more conciliatory approach these days, that you're trying to practice some diplomacy. I hope that's true. I hope you prove capable of doing such a thing. In the meantime, with Beirut exploding in smoke and flames and Iraqis slaughtering each other on the streets of Baghdad, you're off to Moscow with a big grin on your face to offer Putin another lecture on democracy. And your Rice...? Offers a mild reproof to the Israelis and asks them to steer clear of civilians.

Perhaps our once powerful and respected country is busy behind the scenes making every effort to calm things down in the Middle East, but from where I stand it looks like we're simply standing by and throwing up our hands in impotence. After all, diplomatic intervention carries with it the risk of failure, and there's an election on the near horizon. You and your administration are looking bad enough as it is. Another example of disastrous mishandling (too little and too late: remember Katrina?) could seal your fate with the electorate. Better to keep the big stick out of this hornets' nest.

Oh, and by the way, the heat is beginning to get to me, Bush. The climate, I mean. From the weather maps I see, it looks pretty awful everywhere, and fires are raging everywhere. Before you know it, people are actually going to start taking Al Gore at his word and believe in global warming. I think, Bush, that Al might have the last laugh--though, be it said, a laugh not unmixed with bitterness.


Dave said...

Ah, the heat. I heard yesterday a prediction that by 2070 Southern California should be 18 degrees hotter in the summer. Fires, indeed, and partly because we have been developing areas in and around forests and so routinely extinguishing fires that are part of the natural cycles. Lots of dead trees ready to burn, up to a million of them in the Angeles Forest alone.

Burn, baby, burn.

But the biggest U.S. effect of global waming is probably in Alaska where Native Alaskans already feel the effects on their hunting and fishing way of life. Many of them fear the extinguishing of their culture because of climatge changes. Air conditioning wont help there.

denn said...

P: My teacher used to say, " life is serious, not grim". I wonder what he would say now.

PK said...

Well, ya know Peter, I think I can blame him for most of what's happening. He went into Iraq, which set everyone there off. Then he DEMANDED that certain countries hold democratic elections.. gee they did.. he now doesn't like it. He has diarrhea of the mouth, and can't seem to stop. The whole of the world is in chaos thanks to him. If it happens, it will truly be a WORLD war III. China just sits there, waiting. He's off to lecture Putin now, and he can't even take care of the US. If he's not careful, it will be China Russia, and South America, with a few others thrown in to come down on top of us. They are all sick of his interference in their governments. As for Gore.. Don't think we'd have been embroiled in this kind of a mess. And, if he wouldn't have stopped the scientists from putting their predictions of our global warming problem in the news, we wouldn't be in the predicament we're in. If not for Gore, we still wouldn't have any news!

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