Sunday, May 29, 2005

It's The End of The World... Again.

I've been hearing a lot recently about some very disturbing topics, from some very non-politically oriented sources. This bothers me. These forums are getting surprisingly politically active considering most of the members are only connected because they own the same kind of car. This thread might be expected, since it's relevant to the price of gas... but it's still odd that something so "deep" would find its way to a forum. In my experiences forums, especially the larger ones, tend to be shallow places; people in large groups start experiencing herd mentality and don't deal well with actual thought.

There is more, too. I have heard friends talking about news they've heard or read regarding the oil shortage and our privacy and 'conspiracy theories', and the media is picking up on more "crisis" stories than I seem to remember. These stories aren't just sitting on the back pages any more; someone seems to think they're important and the public should see them. But why?

Deforestation and desertification in the Sahara haven't been addressed much, even though that's a major environmental issue. Nor has the news picked up on the remaining insurgents in Iraq who continue to kill our soldiers every day using simple bombs and guerilla warfare. A thought just occurred to me: there's almost no way to win against guerilla fighters. We started (and ended) the American Revolution with guerilla tactics which the British troops couldn't understand or strategize against. The French Revolution went much the same way until the people took control (and then got way out of control with Mme Guillotine). Vietnam? WWII and the island hopping? Take a wild guess what tactics were used. How many battles have people really won against guerilla warfare? I can't name one war where the tactic was used against an "organized" army in the open and the organization paid off in the long run. Surprise is an element that is difficult to overcome.

Back on topic: the news. The media online has become much more focused on topics other than Iraq, and it seems to me that they're digging up controversial issues (some of which, coincidentally, have been around for decades or longer) to distract the public eye from more pressing issues. It seems to be working, too. I don't keep up with the news very well, except what I catch if CNN happens to be on in a room I'm in, or someone posts it on a blog I watch. I don't know how much of the news is still about the War on Terror. I did catch a few muted minutes of CNN in a restaurant the other day. they were doing a story on Bush. The video was of him speaking to a group of officers at some military establishment, and the caption said something to the effect of "Bush: Winning the War in Iraq." I did a double-take and nearly spit out my soda. Winning? War?! Excuse me, but wasn't the 'war' over last year? Didn't Bush say then that we had won against the terrorists and were going to work on reconstruction? Oh, right. There's that insurgence thing going on. Why is he telling us we're winning when people still can't live in the major cities because of the daily skirmishes and car bombs? Where are those construction companies and engineers we are supposed to be seeing working peacefully with the Iraqis to rebuild their homes and workplaces? What ever happened to CNN,NBC,MSNBC, etc sending journalists over and giving us live updates on the situation? If the war is ongoing, shouldn't the public be informed of what's going on from the source of the action and not from a newsroom thousands of miles away?

But the public should focus on other issues, like the much-debated peak in oil production and the threat from Muslim Terrorists(tm). After all, we've always been at war with Iraq, we never were looking for WMDs anyway so of course there weren't any to find, and the reconstruction? They had an election, that's one step toward democracy!

You know, Star Wars seems like a pretty damn relevant political commentary right now, what with the panic about the war and the government (the Senate in SW) taking on more and more power... *blink* The second Trilogy hits pretty close to home as far as reflecting the general state of politics here, and that's scary too. I really don't like the idea of G.W. being a Sith Lord.


  1. There was a funny cartoon in Newsweek where a guy was leaving a movie center having watched Star Wars Episode III and he utters: "Now I understand the Star Wars... what I don't understand is Bush's" or something to that effect.

    But you're right, there's a significant amount of effort made to distract the public from more pressing issues, and it's just Bush's way to save face. I mean remember those ridiculous "orange alert" notices when a threat of terrorism was "likely"? Whatever happened to them? I just think it was a ploy to get people scared.

    A lof of Bush's administration works on the mechanism of fear, I think. And sadly it's been working. Looks like he failed to take into consideration open-minded bloggers like you ;)

    You say "They had an election, that's one step toward democracy" but I disagree. Democracy can never be imposed upon another person, just like one can't say "Like me" to some stranger. It has to bubble from within, and as long as the US continues to try to impose the ubiquitous "democracy and freedom" on the rest of the world, there just isn't going to be any freedom.

  2. I agree with your comments on democracy, Kines. I meant the comment I made as sarcasm, though I should have marked it as such :P I know from experience that sarcasm doesn't come across well online.