Thoreau in a straight jacket:
One day Wordsworth strolled over to the local jail, unfamiliar to him, to visit his friend Thoreau.  There had been a law that Thoreau did not like, so he refused to obey it.  When Wordsworth arrived his first words were, “What’s an honest man like you doing in jail?”  To this Thoreau answered, “What’s an honest man like you doing free?” 

As you know, Mahatma Gandhi took what has been, for Thoreau, a statement of personal ethics and turned it into a political weapon.  The entire British presence in India at the time was so few that if even 1% of the country was willing to break British imposed laws, there were not enough Brits even to feed them in jail.  So the colonial government fell.  Obviously it was just another of those symbolic things darling of the media; with so few Brits, the Indians were policing themselves, and doing a very good job of it.

Well the notion of using civil disobedience as a political weapon sat very well with folks here, and a generation amused themselves breaking laws and having non-violent events challenging laws, which indeed changed.  Then the Muslim’s got the hint.  Well if petty crimes were good, felonies must be better.  This experienced mission creep to the point where a few creeps keep the rest of us annoyed.

I think a sane man might find something regrettable in all this.  Well then one day Saddam Hussein or a representative approached the American ambassador and asked, “What would America think if we took those wells Kuwait is exploiting?  They’re ours, you know.”  The regrettable answer was, “Arab borders, Arab borders, nobody but Arabs knows them.  Nobody cares.”  This was simply untrue.  The Ottoman Empire was broken up by western powers possibly ignoring the local ethnic groups or possibly deliberately creating ungovernable states.  That’s without even mentioning “Israel.” 

So Hussein, an old buddy of ours we had supported against Iran, took his wells and then – mission creep again – went on to take all of Kuwait.  Bush Sr., who had okayed it before it happened now said Hussein had to go back.  Well you can’t un-fight a war any more than you can un-strangle a baby.  (All right. They aren’t killing babies that way; they’re marrying strangers.  The end result is the same and just as irreversible.)  So we fought Gulf War I, and for once we didn’t get mission creep. My hat is off to Bush on that one.  The Soviet Union thought, “Those were our tanks and weapons; we trained those men.  There is no way to stand up to America even with conventional weapons,” and the Soviet Union collapsed

But we did force Iraq to get rid of their weapons of mass destruction (WMDs), which we knew they had.  They had used poison gas against the Kurds.  And they’d have to submit to inspections.  The Iraqis showed their WMDs to the inspectors who did things to make them unreliable and dangerous to use.  But then they didn’t leave.  Iraq said all they were doing was spying.  A recent interview with an inspector had him saying, “Yes, we worked very closely with the CIA.”  Hussein was telling the truth.  No WMDs; Yes American spies.     

None of this is secret.  It was all in the news.  By now a sane man should be screaming foul. 

We could not possibly have not known the WMDs did not exist.  We’d spied the daylights out of the place.  While Bush Jr. was screaming WMDs ironically our own nuclear weapons program discovered that we were missing a lot of nuclear bombs.  So Bush was demanding Hussein do something we ourselves could not do.  Needless to say it led to war and needless to say, since we’d spied on Iraq already under cover of falsely alleged WMDs, Gulf War II went incredibly well.  We knew exactly what they had and where.

At this point we might well have said, “We have no enemies, only friends we understand to a greater and lesser degree.  We’re going to try to learn more about them.”  We would then have partitioned Iraq into Kurdish, Sunni and Shiite countries and maybe a couple more I don’t know about.  Instead we tossed it to the Shiites like an unregarded table scrap.  And that evolved into ISIS.

By now a sane man should be squawking unintelligibly.  But it gets worse.  Our old victim Iran (You do remember that we overthrew a democratically elected government there and installed the Shah.  We have never apologized for that.  We should.  Instead, if we did not overthrow the duly elected Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt we certainly recognized the military coup that did so, even though that was against American law.)  Iran is accused of trying to build a nuclear bomb.  They are signatories of a nuclear proliferation treaty; they have disavowed interest in making a bomb and accept routine inspections. 

Well they were enriching uranium past the minimum needed for a reactor.  If I were looking for efficiency from a reactor I might well do the same thing.  Maybe more concentrated uranium would give cheaper power.  They never went on to concentrate it at levels sufficient to make a bomb.   And money was going from Iran to the Shiites in conflict areas.  Nobody has made clear whether that means the government was sending the money or Iranian citizens were sending money.  Our “friend” Saudi Arabia sends money to ISIS, but through private channels.

So we demanded more inspections.  Obama has said to congress that if his deal for more inspections does not go through there will be a war, not today, not tomorrow, maybe not three months from now.  But there will be one.  That means it will happen during his term as president.  When the commander-in-chief of most of the world’s fighting power says there’s going to be a war, you’d better listen.  And it shakes down to this: war now or war later with more intelligence gathered.  Obama is playing Bush’s game again.  The old imaginary WMDs.  Our formerly sane observer by now should be in a straight jacket.  Anybody who isn’t has to be crazy.

It gets worse.

How does this play out in the rest of the world.  They all see plainly what I have just told you.  But what about their leaders?  Except for a handful of rich countries essentially every one of them knows in his heart that he is guilty of far worse things than Iran is guilty of.  And he knows “Israel”… can demand and get just about anything from America. 

Oh, maybe I should mention.  There used to be two countries, Israel and Judea.  The Bible says they were once united, but the archaeological evidence for this is weak.  But the two?  Sure.  They existed.  The citizens of Judea, the ones who were taken into captivity in Babylon and then later returned, are called Jews.  Israel just about vanished.  Maybe a couple hundred survive under the name Samaritans.  But the Jews came back and said, “We’re Israel.”  That played well in American churches, where apparently nobody reads the Bible or they’d know better.  When Iran says, “Israel has no right to exist”, I don’t agree.  But if anybody does have that right, it should be the Samaritans.  And it’s not about genocide.  It’s about scripture and history.  It’s all symbolic.

So what every dictator out there sees is that, Israel demanding, he might be next.  And they all wind up dead.

The Mid East is tormented by chaos.  We have promised sooner or later to attack Iran, which is the most stable, orderly country in the area.  “Israel” may be a democracy, but the land seizures and other provocations the Palestinians face simply don’t happen in Iran. 

Ready for your cold shock therapy session?

There have been 149 visitors over the past month and YouTube has played “Babies Overcome Evil” 128 times since I posted it. 

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