Sunday, July 25, 2004

North Korea claims U.S. flew 1,200 spy flights from January to June -

North Korea claims U.S. flew 1,200 spy flights from January to June -

Giving a third-world country a reason to rattle sabers is probably not a good thing, but this sort of intelligence gathering seems to me better than what we were doing with Afghanistan and Al Queda. Keeping an eye on Irag would have been a lot better than an unjustified pre-emptive strike was. I look at this country and shake my head. I have seen us go from a bunch of good guys defending ourselves (in WWII) to a nation on the verge of becoming an empire. And maybe we are not on the verge of it. We, like the Romans who left their imprint on language and government practices throughout the ages, have left our imprint across the world. That's not necessarily a bad thing except the imprint we have left is the entertainment industry, the circuses of ancient Rome reborn, and the business imperative which is a worse legacy than the Roman law. I think the center of what business has become is drawn up in the renaming of personnel departments, etc., into human resources, as calculatingly cold as natural resources. Humans are cast aside as quickly as unused iron ore or pipe. We stock grocery store shelves from computers without an eye to what people have been using; in some cases, we sell the shelf space and eliminate favorites for things which pay to be there. And the stacks remain untouched. This is a long way to travel from spy games, but that is a part of what this world has become. Humans have always lived in fear. I think we have much more reason, as individuals, to fear the days coming.


Blogger The Liberal Avenger said...

As you might imagine, I concur with you, Sir.

I think that too many people got the wrong message from 9/11... Individuals may have asked, "What did we do to piss these people off to the point where they were willing to do what they did?" Unfortunately, our Great Leader responded only with, "They hate us because we hate freedom," and the bulk of the country seems to have run with that - a silly, shallow, naive and frankly incorrect analysis of the problems at hand.

The excesses of American Commercial Culture are felt everywhere here at home... How many of us have watched our communities fight against the arrival of a Wal-Mart or yet another obnoxious shopping mall on the outskirts, only to see the retail giants fight ruthlessly against the very communities they wish to enter. Within MONTHS of their arrival, the small businesses that used to form the backbone of local American commercial culture start to fade away, leaving behind sad and grim mainstreets with whitewashed and broken windows.

In the wake of this collapse of local commercial culture, the job pool almst exclusively offers up poverty-level career opportunities in retail... You can be a cashier at Wal-Mart, Home Depot or McDonalds... None of these jobs will cover your mortgage payment, let alone pay for your kids to go to college.

The military becomes a viable option for young people who dream of higher education and better opportunities, another poverty-level job - now with the added bonus of real live combat in two theaters of operation!

North Korea is looking for us to throw them a bone, but The Simple Straight Talker from Crawford doesn't knuckle under to extortion or blackmail, particularly from sinister third-worlders like the NKs. In the meantime NK's neighbors in Seoul and Tokyo quietly go about the business of normalizing relationships with their stilted step-cousin to the north while GW struts and frets across his petty stage.

Even more effective (and less effective) than spy flights might be food, medical and other humanitarian aid. Take one-tenth of what we spend to keep the DMZ the "most dangerous border in the world" and spend it on carbs, protein, pills and people offered the proper way with some respect for the recipients and I'll guarantee that our garlic-eating enemies north of the 38th will be singing a different tune before long.

But of course, we'll never do such a thing... We're fixing now to show the dying 64 year old who deserted t NK 40 years ago that we don't ever forget. He and Bobby Fisher, unfortunate (but by no means innocent) pawns in a struggle that the rest of us thought was long behind us.

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