Friday, September 4, 2009

Thinking Out Loud

Suppose, just suppose that George W. Bush was not an imbecile. I know, I know; it stretches the mind to imagine such a thing. But, just for laughs, suppose. And suppose, as a result, he actually understood what happened on 9/11—that is, that airplanes hijacked by mostly Saudi Arabians who had been trained in Afghanistan, were responsible for destroying the World Trade Center, et al.
Now what would a smart person have done?
Attack Iraq? Hmmm, I think not.
I’m imagining that a truly smart person might have convened the world’s powerhouse nations, together with the world’s Muslim nations (wealth and power often don’t seem to go together) to decide that we had all had enough of this Jihad crap. That maybe it was time for the world to end the jihadi nonsense before it led to Armageddon.
Now the Taliban in Afghanistan, protecting Osama & Co., might have objected to such a meeting and such a decision, especially since they reside mentally somewhere in the 12th century. But screw them. Surely the world powers, with the help of the World’s Muslim Nations, could figure out a way to isolate the Taliban. Note, there isn’t any sensible way to quickly bring democracy to a country such as Afghanistan, with or without the Taliban. Democracy is a 20th century concept and the Afghans are a 12th century people. Never the twain shall meet.
But I’m thinking that the Europeans, the Arab sheiks/kings, even the Pakistanis, might have been convinced to cooperate in a global jihadi-pacification campaign, one that wouldn’t lead to destroying the world. Who knows, if we (the powers that be) actually managed to succeed in talking down the Irish from their decades-long campaign to terminate (with extreme prejudice) one another of their several religions, perhaps the Arabs and the Jews might have been convinced finally to end the 60-year war in Palestine.
Think of what the world would have thought of George then.
Now, I know what you’re thinking. But then Sadaam Hussein would still be in power. So what? So would the latest leader of North Korea. And so would the latest leader of Burma/Myanmar or whatever the hell it’s now called. And so would the crazies who now lead Iran.
And some of you are thinking, “yeah, but the world’s powers would never have agreed to any such thing.” Again, so what? How could we possibly have been worse off than we are right now?
Would our national debt now be in the range of $12 trillion?
Would Osama Bin Laden still be at large?
Would there still have been between four and five thousand American soldiers dead?
Would there still have been between 100,000 and one million Iraqi’s dead, not counting the several million refugees created by our war in Iraq?
Instead, because George W. Bush was an imbecile, and his cabal of neo-con-men and women pursued war policies only the stupid could love, we now have a president whose every option seems constrained by the idiocies that were put into place before him.
Makes the mind reel.
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