This article by Thomas P. M. Barnett discusses longterm international security issues with admirable clear-headedness.
It seems to make sense. But is military intervention the only possible solution? And what exactly would a military made up of so-called “Super Empowered Individuals” look like? And what good will it do if this country gains the world, but loses its goddamned soul in the process?
I suppose I would prefer to live in McDonaldHappyLand instead of IslamoDeathtoTheInfidelWorld… but both seem like soul-killers when the squinting gets too fierce. I do very much agree with this particular quotation though:
“The knee-jerk reaction of many Americans to September 11 is to say, ?Let?s get off our dependency on foreign oil, and then we won?t have to deal with those people.? The most na?ve assumption underlying that dream is that reducing what little connectivity the Gap has with the Core will render it less dangerous to us over the long haul. Turning the Middle East into Central Africa will not build a better world for my kids. We cannot simply will those people away.”
I mean, I think that getting off the oil is great (for economic, ecological and political reasons; ie, we won’t have to prop up nasty blokes like the House of Saud), but were we to do so, that region of the world would twist in the wind. (And if Central Africa–which is probably the greatest tragedy of our time–is what twisting in the wind looks like… yikes…)
So, I guess what it all boils down to is that I don’t really know what to think anymore about anything regarding any of these issues. They are dauntingly complex. My only hope and prayer (and I may just be a completely misguided fool) is that my government is less myopic, greedy and corrupt than I believe it to me… Not a very sturdy reed to clutch at, I admit.
I think it was the lass over at noodniksanonymous who compared this whole thing to a bad breakup experience. Just can’t stop obsessing about it, reading about it, what have you. I feel like I lack the conceptual tools in which to reframe the debate; or maybe because I can see the validity in so many of these arguments, pro and con, and having difficulty transmuting these theoretical arguments into any semblance of real-life repercussions–military violence is completely alien to me and I realize that I am blessed beyond measure in the history of the world for this to be so.
My hope–as unrealistic as it is–is that that will be true the world over, some day, because then what a party we’d all have!