Monday, June 06, 2005

Let Freedom Ring Flat

As the cable news channels obsess on Michael Jackson, Tom Cruise, and Russell Crowe, this story on the Lebanese elections gets buried in the clutter...

The good news is that free elections were held in Lebanon. The bad news is that the big winners were Hezbollah, the militant Shia group considered a terrorist organization by the U.S. State Department. Hezbollah has traditionally called for the destruction of the state of Israel. The pro-Syrian group now claims it has a mandate to retain its weapons, defying international demands that they disarm.

Holy unintended consequences!

Once again, our policy of spreading democracy has left us with a bullet hole in our kicking foot. We have, in effect, legitimized a terrorist organization. What can we do about it? Take Hezbollah off the terrorist list? (Bet you dollars to donuts that's just what we wind up doing.)


In a related story, the U.S. Department of Energy has announced that the price of gas rose two cents per gallon last week . The cost of crude oil has increased roughly 41% in the last year.

So we got that going for us.


And speaking of unintended consequences of foreign policies, let's play another round of the quiz game craze that's sweeping the country--

Name! That! War!

Based on the clues, answer:

a) What does this historic war sound like?


b) What was it really?

The clues...

-- After decades of conflict with an ideological enemy, Nation A emerges as a sole superpower.

-- Though theoretically the world's bastion of democracy, Nation A is in reality controlled by the vision and policies of a single leader and his inner circle of wealthy cronies.

-- After the death of a Nation A hero, Nation A's leader gives a "funeral speech" that convinces the citizens of Nation A to embark on an imperialistic military campaign to "aid fellow democracies."

-- Nation B, a former ally of Nation A, feels threatened and takes actions to curb Nation A's expansionist activities.

-- A general war ensues between Nation A's coalition of states and Nation B's axis of allies. This war, which lasts for decades, features clashes of religions and cultures, asymmetric forces, state-of-the-art technologies, intelligence failures, propaganda, terrorism, insurgency, betrayal, cover-ups, strategic defense initiatives, shifting alliances, personality conflicts among key politicians and generals, and misguided strategies.

-- When Nation B cuts Nation A off from its traditional sources of critical strategic resources, Nation A embarks on an excursion to Island C in an attempt to find a new source of vital raw materials.

-- After years of unsuccessfully courting Island C with diplomatic and economic tools of pursuation, Nation A becomes frustrated and launches an invasion of the Island. The invasion fails. Nation A's military power is destroyed, and its reign as world hegemon ends forever.

Sound familiar?

Here's what it was really.



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