The more you're slip slidin' away
--Slip Slidin' Away, Paul Simon
Government is not the solution to the problem.
Government is the problem
With all the self-congratulatory focus on health care reform, Ranger would like to do an oblique march and look at the big picture.
Nine years and six months later and we are still wrapped up in a fetal defensive position. What have we accomplished during this period? Does it even matter?
- Iraq has tenuous elections; same, Afghanistan. Neither country is functioning as a nation-state. There is a lack of political consensus, but that is true here, too.
- The Turkish government had drifted towards Islamic fundamentalism and is increasingly allied with Iran, a direct result of U.S. actions empowering Kurdish separatists in the region.
- The entire region has been destabilized by empowering and removing the traditional counterbalances to Shia dominance.
- Saudi Arabia is drifting slowly away from U.S. influence.
- Nuclear proliferation in the region in being subtly supported by U.S. agreements with India, and now the same considerations may be extended to Pakistan. These policies are based upon mistaken beliefs that Pakistan is a regional ally.
- The U.S. has alienated our traditional "Old Europe" allies.
- Secret prisons and rendition may be still be operational. There has been no definite denial of their continued existence. The CIA may not use water boarding and torture, but the Joint Special Operations Command suffers no such prohibitions.
- Warrantless wiretaps in the U.S. continue under presidential fiat.
- We are still clueless regarding what to do with the hostages being detained at the Guantanamo Bay
prisonholding facility. We are their prisoners, as they are ours.
- We have gotten 4,000+ U.S. military personnel killed, 35,000 wounded, and 4,000+ messed up beyond return to a functional private life.
- We have killed and wounded unaccountable numbers of Iraqi and Afghani citizens.
- The actions of the Phony War on Terror (PWOT ©) have enabled Iran to directly challenge Saudi Arabia in region, thereby decreasing the chance of a successful Mideast peace process.
Bottom Line: We are the saboteurs to the much-vaunted Middle East Peace process which we would claim we wish to help broker.