(WASHINGTON DC) – I am dismayed and so this is something of an angry post. I guess the best way to make my point is with pictures:
This is a picture of people celebrating. What are they celebrating? They are celebrating the killing of Americans. These people are very happy at the sight of people dying. They are elated – their joy can hardly be contained. This type of celebration is disordered and sick-minded.
(YUCATAN PENINSULA – 8th and 9th Baktun) – Exhibiting a mistake common to all emerging technological civilizations, the Mayans labored under the misconception that if you are going to build something, you should build it right, and build it to last.
One pathetic example of their inability to cash in on planned obsolescence is their calendar system. Rather than make a calendar that would simply last a short time and then need to be replaced, they used several calendars which are more or less permanent. The most egregious example is the so-called long count calendar. This calendar literally runs for a period of 144,000 days, or one b’ak’tun. Come on! a product life-cycle of 144,000 days?? But wait, after 144,000 days, you simply start over at the next Baktun. So, even today, were an enterprising young Mayan business man or woman going to capitalize on the coming end of the 13th Baktun (late next year), the astute consumer would simply say “No thanks, I, and my progeny, will just reuse this calendar for the 14th Baktun.”
As a side note, our civilization is marked by astute opportunists that recognize the profit potential of hysteria – even a thinly disguised retread of the Y2K hysteria. Late next year the 144,000th day of the 13th baktun of the Long Cycle will be reached. Since the long count calendar is incomprehensibly long, the only logical explanation for the coming end of the 13th baktun is the End Of Days, the Apocalypse, the END OF THE WORLD, right?
Ermm – no. The significance of this day is equal to the significance of the 31st day of December on a modern calendar, i.e., a time of celebration as we reach the end of one counting cycle followed immediately by the beginning of another.
Since the classic period of the Maya (the 8th and 9th baktun or 250 to 900 AD) the universe has come to an apocalyptic end three times. Oh, you hadn’t noticed?
This is another example of the Mayans simply not getting it. Why have a giant (money-making) Happy New Baktun celebration every 394.25 tropical years when you can have a Happy New Year celebration every 365 days?
The Mayans could not maintain any kind of economy to speak of due to the fact that once they built something it never needed replacing. After a period of phenomenal growth where everything they made was a “got-to-have” item, the market saturated, calendar factories and temple construction companies went out of business, and hundreds of thousands of workers were put out in the street.
Add to this the collapse of the hospitality industry due to the fact that nearly 400 years is simply too long between parties and you can see that the Mayans succumbed to a devastating ennui and simply faded into obscurity.
As I was writing Creepy I was unaware of the above. It would seem we are now done protecting civilians. The leadership philosophy of our President seems to have evolved naturally from his campaign speeches: “Yes, I believe we can change,” coupled with a Clintonian sense of “hope” that others (NATO) can take up the slack. But, wait, aren’t we part of NATO?
“But wait yourself!” you may be thinking. “You seem to have a damned if you do, damned if you don’t attitude toward our beneficent President.” Yes, it would seem that way to the sleepy or inattentive. Actually, the problem I have is the “dust in the wind, dude” approach he has to foreign policy. When he can drag himself to the task at hand, he seems to have seen the problem for the very first time. Now, I was very concerned about why we were bombing Libya to start with as noted in this post and this one. However, what really concerns me is the apparent lack of a coherent foreign policy. That should concern everyone, don’t you think?
(LIBYA) – In its new role as hired thug, America led the way with a second wave of bombing against Libyan ground forces and air defenses last Saturday and Sunday. This flexing of muscle was followed by a statement by Defense SecretaryRobert Gates, allowing as to how the US will be uninvolved “in a matter of days”, handing things over to an as yet undetermined coalition headed by, well, somebody not the US.
Is there an Imam on the planet that believes the goal of the United States is to protect downtrodden civilians? Or, to put a finer point to it, is there an Imam on the planet that won’t exploit this latest example of United States aggression against Muslims to their benefit?
Does the world need the United States bombing Libya? Or, to put a truly finer point to the issue, is there any coherence to the Commander In Chief’s use of our military? President Obama chartered a ferry-boat to get US citizens out of Libya because he didn’t want to send the wrong message by sending military conveyances. What was the wrong message? What message is being air-mailed now?
(LIBYA) – Regime change is in style. All the presidents are doing it. Sounding very Presidential, (read Bush-like) Obama had this to say on March 3rd:
“Going forward, we will continue to send a clear message: The violence must stop. Muammar Gaddafi has lost legitimacy to lead, and he must leave. Those who perpetrate violence against the Libyan people will be held accountable. And the aspirations of the Libyan people for freedom, democracy and dignity must be met.
Our history of successful regime change is non-existent. Our history of intervention in the problems of other countries has steadily declined over the last 20 years. With Desert Shield/Desert Storm, we had a president that fully understood the use of military power, and fully understood the situation in the Middle East. We had a limited mission, we had Colin Powell preventing “mission creep” and we had a definition of what success looked like. We couldn’t have had more control of the outcome than if we were playing with plastic army men in the back yard.
George HW Bush was roundly criticized for not “finishing the job” by going into Iraq and getting Hussein. However, in 1992, then Secretary of Defense Dick Cheney said this:
I would guess if we had gone in there, we would still have forces in Baghdad today. We’d be running the country. We would not have been able to get everybody out and bring everybody home. And the final point that I think needs to be made is this question of casualties. I don’t think you could have done all of that without significant additional U.S. casualties, and while everybody was tremendously impressed with the low-cost of the (1991) conflict, for the 146 Americans who were killed in action and for their families, it wasn’t a cheap war. And the question in my mind is, how many additional American casualties is Saddam (Hussein) worth? And the answer is, not that damned many. So, I think we got it right, both when we decided to expel him from Kuwait, but also when the President made the decision that we’d achieved our objectives and we were not going to go get bogged down in the problems of trying to take over and govern Iraq.
– Dick Cheney
Operation Iraqui Freedom demonstrated that while the apple may not fall far from the tree, it’s not the tree. The second war with Iraq had dubious goals; especially lacking was a clear definition of what success looked like. And, everything Cheney said above proved true. I have no idea what kind of conversations George W Bush and Cheney had behind closed doors, but Cheney was in a different role at that time.
However, by comparison with Obama’s current aggression in Libya, Bush’s
handling of Iraq was sober and measured. Obama’s Missiles of March extravaganza has all the planning and foresight of a last-minute stop at the fireworks display at the edge of town and then running home and setting them all off illegally in your back yard. I just hope he doesn’t set his house on fire.
Interesting take on the son of a goat herder from Kenya – I did a google search on Barack’s Effective Leadership as seen by foreign papers. All the positive ones are from 2008 and a few in 2009. The foreign press is not impressed in 2010 or this year. Not that they matter so much, they don’t vote. But the change in global perception is striking. However, now that he is heaving cruise missiles around, I’m sure he will burnish his tarnished image.
Prior to the Missiles of March, Obama chartered a ferry to pick up stranded US citizens. Not wanting to send the wrong message, not one military conveyance of any kind was sent. Meanwhile, the Brits overreacted with a Navy Frigate, the Germans sent three warships with 600 soldiers and the Chinese sent a warship to support the evacuation of its citizens.
Here is a picture of President Obama busy mapping out the logistics of
Operation Swing Low Sweet Ferry Boat.
I was glad to see his interest in the NCAA brackets, though. A man of the people, that one. Ψ