Nov 24 2007
I go back to Korea tomorrow and I am not looking forward to it. Posting may be intermittent for a few days. I’m behind where I should be because I deliberately let it slip this week. I just did not feel like doing it.
Which, has gotten me to think about how much I have changed over the last 10 years or so. My values and beliefs are very different than they were in 1992, or for that matter 1982. Some would say I’ve lost my way. You’ll forgive me if I entertain the notion that it’s them that has gone off the tracks. I’ve found my way to a better place. ( This is my story-I’ll write it as I see fit. :-) )My only real regret is that it took so long to get here. If I had known 20 years ago what I know now-I’d have more money saved and I’d probably be a lot happier overall. Certainly a lot more women would have known the joy of loving me.
Which is their loss……and mine.
Whenever I am in the states, I try to get to listen to NPR. They used to run a series called “This I believe”. Here in no particular order are things that I believe in. Argue it if you must, but these are mine. You have to get your own.
1) I believe that the Iraq war was and is a mistake. That no matter what progress may be occurring, no matter how late, what happens in Iraq is not of long term benefit to the United States. If anything, it has made the middle eastern region less stable, not more. It may benefit Iraqis-but their interests are not a real concern of mine. I prefer the company of Americans. When it comes to the Middle East-less is more. Furthermore, if people would set down their ideological blinders and actually look at some of the hard facts-Iraq is really not much improved at all. Its still one screwed up place. The fact that it may be less so than a few months ago does not hide the fact that the Iraqis still have a lot fix themselves.
2) I believe that living overseas has been good for me. I have a much better perspective on my own country-plus Asia has a lot to offer that the US still does not. Does not make me less of an American-just a better educated one. As Rudyard Kipling said, “What can they know of England who only England know?“.
3) I believe that abortion should be safe, legal, and performed a hell of a lot less than it is now.
4) Speaking of unwanted conception-in my perfect world, pregnancy would be the only sexually transmitted disease. There would be no others. Zip, zero, nada. Sex in my perfect world would be a plentiful, guilt free, fear free, thing whose only scars may or may not be emotional.
5) And while we are on that subject, American attitudes towards sex are just plain stupid in my personal view. In a world with available contraception, a wealth of knowledge about human health and psyche, and supposed equality between the sexes-people should be having A LOT more sex, not less. I realize there would have to be huge mental shift to break the psychological chains that monogamy has placed upon us-but as a whole if we made that shift we would be a lot better off.
6) As for gay sex-I do not believe there is any inherent right to be gay. Or to have the rights of married couples. There is a right to privacy however and if you like buggering guys-knock yourself out. Just don’t expect me to understand it. “I’ll never understand how a guy could pass up a woman for another guy’s hairy ass.”-Nope. It just does not compute.
7) Moving on to other areas, it is clear to me that the so called “War on terror” is not a war, nor is it winnable. The root causes of terrorism are the things that need to be attacked and those have not changed since the Middle Ages. Economic inequality and religious, misguided beliefs have to be attacked and changed or made irrelevant. In the current context, Islam is the life blood that sustains the lack of progress in the Middle East. Muhammad has to be exposed as the fraud he was and people have to have other things to worship and idolize-like a decent apartment, a new car, and a good looking woman. In the end the United States will experience the greatest success in the “war on terror” in the areas it expends the least amount of resources, Horn of Africa and the Philippines for example-as well as the ongoing “learn we are not such bad guys” efforts of the United States Navy in Indonesia.
8 ) Marriage is incredibly overrated as an institution. It is too tied up in antiquated ideas about money and sex. Marriage should be more of a “roommate with benefits” arrangement. The idea that one special person is the be all end all of human existence is nuts.
9) I believe that there is no requirement to attack Iran, and that pursuing that course of action is just sheer lunacy. If change is to come to that country it has to come from within and Akmadinwhat’shisname is doing the best he can to make that implosion happen sooner rather than later. We should let the process play out. The Iranians are not stupid-they know they cannot use a bomb and I don’t believe they want to. They just want the insurance policy. Recent events bolster their point. Pakistan has a bomb-and they don’t get invaded. Neither does India, or North Korea. Iraq did not have a bomb and look what happened to them. Appeals to their better nature therefore tend to confuse them a bit. Persians are not Arabs-which is probably our greatest hope.
That does not mean that we cannot pressure Iran through Diplomatic, Political, Economic, and Military means. It just means that in the end if we do attack them-it will backfire and produce opposite of the intended effect.
10) I believe that the world is becoming multi-polar and despite our assertions to the contrary the United States is going to have to learn to compete as an equal competitor to rival economic and political blocks. Overwhelming military power or no, other nations have figured out that they can compete on our turf. We either take up the challenge or they will continue to advance at our expense. In 2050 there will be 5 major blocks in the world-maybe six. The Americas, India and the subcontinent, China, the rest of Asia, and Europe. Russia will have to retake or re-integrate some of the former Soviet block countries before it can play at the table again. The geography dictates that. And at least under Putin they will try. Czarist, Communist , or Capitalist-a Russian always behaves the same way.
11) Jordan is Palestine. There is room for only one state west of the river Jordan and like it or not, that is currently Israel. In my perfect world, the region would still be under a British mandate-but then so would most of the Middle East. A separate Palestinian state is just not a viable option. The Arabs had their chance, they gooned it-now they need to assimilate into anyone of 7 other Arab states open to them. If they did, within a generation this would be a non issue.
12) George W. Bush will not be vindicated by history as a great President. Neither will the ideas of the neocons gain wide acceptance. Both will be discredited as bad ideas that should never have seen the light of day. The coming years will highlight the domestic price that the nation has had to pay to execute its vengeance for 9-11; in increasing economic instability and realizations that the gap between the middle class and filthy rich is growing-and the Middle Class is losing ground. At best he will be exposed as a Clinton without Clinton’s vices.
13. English should be the official language of the United States. Speak Spanish? Great, but you have to sign for your paycheck in English pal. America is and was descended from England and is of English tradition. All the diversity bullies can just get over it. Assimilation into an English culture is the only real option for the immigration problem.
14.) The US military is : 1) Not large enough. 2) Not paid enough and 3) has lost its way in terms of personnel policy. Diversity and social experimentation need to be cast back on the ash heap. Single gender units are better than mixed gender units and its all about combat readiness anyway. If I were the king of the world- the combat exclusion law would be re-imposed tomorrow.
15) India is not the US’s friend.
16) China is the biggest threat to world peace today-because they are militarily strong, have no econmic principles and have hidden instability waiting to come to the surface. It will be interesting to see how long they can keep the lid on. Hu Jintao is every bit as much of a tin horn dictator as anyone on the US enemies list.
17) And for now anyway-I believe I will have another beer!
More at a later date.