Wednesday, December 31, 2008

A New Year – 2009

In some Latino countries the new year is celebrated by tossing water over their Spanish colonial balconies. It symbolizes the throwing out of the stale residue of the old year to make room for the new. Ah, if it were just that simple. Past still remains prologue. In the world left by GW Bush, the prospects of involuntarily extending the past into the future appear realistic and daunting.

The US main stream media celebrates the new year retrospectively by picking the PERSON OF THE YEAR. It seldom gets it right. To sell magazines, it contorts its reasoning to be cute, creative or politically correct; however, this year it did it right: BARRACK OBAMA was the person. For better or for worse, there is no reasonable argument against the selection.

Politicians must take hits when they bungle. But no one appears to make a fuss over the selection for JERK OF THE YEAR, and the US has a long list. You have to eliminate GW Bush from this list immediately as he is in class of his own: JERK OF THE CENTURY.

Some high profile suggestions for JERK OF THE YEAR are Bomb Bomb McCain who compulsively crashed his campaign with chronic bad judgement. His running mate Sarah Palin with her babies, guns and Jesus brought joy to 33% of the Americans who wallow in spiritual fervor; for the remaining 67% of the nation, it cringed at the appalling thought of clueless Sarah being a heart beat away from the US presidency.

Other JERK candidates are Bill and Hillary Clinton and governor of Illinois, Radomir Blagojevich. Unlike Bomb Bomb and Palin, they still have national cards to play, so they still have an opportunity to elevate themselves to JERK OF THE CENTURY.

Probably a less vitriolic way to regard the new year is the old stand by NEW YEARS RESOLUTIONS. So let me propose a few.

US ECONOMIC DEBACLE – Promise not to empower those who participated in the catastrophic economic collapse a role in the rebuilding the wealth of America. Move the financial center from NYC to Kokomo, Indiana where there is no old-boy network to carve up stimulus packages or bailout money that enriches Wall Street, but not Main Street. Kokomo is special as Main Street, since it has a railroad track that goes through the center of town.

GW BUSH COLONIAL WARS – Promise to end them. Ignore US military advice. It has lost the Korean and Vietnam wars. It has mismanaged Iraq and war in Afghanistan. It makes every excuse to continue the occupation of Iraq. If it cannot extract US forces and equipment in 16 months from Iraq, Obama should invite Wal-Mart logisticians to execute the retrograde operation. Wal-Mart certainly out performed FEMA during Katrina. Why the Pentagon wants to remain there can only be explained by the pro-Israeli neocon leadership that infests the building. Israel can justify occupation of Arab land, because the US also does the same. There is also the issue of war profits with their lobbyists.

Afghanistan presents two choices: bribe the Taliban to fight al Qaeda or get out. Reenforcement with 30,000 US troops is more madness. The insurgents have now focused on closing NATO's main supply route through Pakistan and the Kyber Pass. As a US ally, Pakistan's military establishment is a basket case as it redeploys 20,000 fighting men from the Afghan frontier to the border with India. Fighting a war sallying out from fortified bases has not worked for the US in Vietnam or Iraq, so why would it in Afghanistan?

PURGE CONGRESS AND THE SENATE – remove any US legislator who was greedy or dumb enough to vote for both the invasion of Iraq and no strings on the 750 billion dollar bailout. Impeach the jerks for compound dereliction of office. My choice, if replaced, would be by lottery – the chance of finding a less venial candidate would be greater than one with campaign contributions, lusting to be elected.

PROMISE TO SOLVE THE ISRAELI/PALESTINE conflict by acting as an honest broker. Stop sending American Jews as envoys to broker peace. These Jews are conflicted by ethnic and religious bonds and cannot be expected to be objective; Arab counterparts deeply mistrust them. At best the Arabs consider them Trojan Horses. Their role as US brokers between Israel and the Arabs is an insulting farce to the American and Arab people.

Preclude Israeli from slaughtering Arab civilians with ammo and equipment from the US. If unable, stop the supply. As it stands now, the US provides the bullets and the Israeli shoot them at Arab civilians – has more to do with Israeli occupation than defense. US green-lighted the flawed Israeli bombardment of Lebanon in 2006; my sense, based on US actions recently at the UN, it has also green-lighted the bloody Israeli attacks on Gaza; there will be Islamic Jihadist blowback on the US as a result. Israeli attacked while GW Bush was still in office as it was uncertain of Obama's reaction. Under no circumstance should the US takes sides in these conflicts just to pander to the Israel lobby.

Appears at this writing, that the Israelis will not stop Hamas rocket attacks by bombing. If they decide to go in on the ground, they will suffer as they did with their recent incursions into Lebanon.

Resolutions made at New Years are seldom kept. Realistically, none of those proposed by me will end up differently. Christianity will triumph over secularism in government; collectivism over free enterprise. Too bad on both scores. But there is hope that a just and wise man will find his way to American leadership. Happy New Year. Colonel Robert E Bartos USA Ret


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